HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

I would like to invest in 1-2 Wüsthof knives. Please help me pick one.

I am a pescatarian and for the most part, my cooking involves chopping lots and lots of vegetables. I would love to invest in 1-2 "good" knives and am hoping you guys can help me pick one that would be most useful to me.

As of now, the nicest knife that I have is one chopping knife from idea which I think is okay but not ideal. Other than that, I have lived in a world with only steak knives...I am not sure how that has been possible..but it has : )

Thank you for the help!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Marria
    I have been a great fan of the Wusthof classic line of cutlery for the past 20 years. The very first knife that I purchased still remains one of my go to everyday blade and that is a 6" Chef's knife, small light and nimble allowing dexterity approaching their 4" paringknife but with the backbone to handle any small root vegetable. I like their paring blades well enough to own several just for redundancy when 3 Cooks share the same kitchen. My second most frequent blade is a 7" boning knife since we buy large cuts and break them down to save afew bucks. After that it's a toss up between a nice 10" extra deep 2" blade profile that rips a watermelon in two with a single thrusts and breaks down thick slabs if chocolate without a hint of blade wobble. I have been caring for themby keeping the out of the dishwasher, steeling them for almost each use and overgrinding them on a Chef's Choice sharpener unit for at least the last decade. So the good news is that they are very durable and have a lot of steel bolster to grind down in a professional sharpening effort back to a razor edge and proper blade profile that has been eroding away with my extreme zeal to keep sharp edges. While not as thin and light as my Shun and Global knifes that iuse for I have owned most of the Wusthof blades the longest and they have well proven their value. Shop them in person before you purchase. Good luck

    1 Reply
    1. re: ThanksVille

      Thanks so much for the thorough reply. This was very helpful!

    2. If all you've every owned have been steak knives, then you should probably make good use out of a classic chef's knife:

      http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classic...

      I also do lots of veggies and enjoy using this one:

      http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-4183-7-...

      I agree with the other poster about seeing and feeling the knives in person and in your hand. I personally don't own the chef's knife because it has always felt too heavy in my hand. You will also want to see what size(s) you feel comfortable with.

      You could probably also use a paring knife for smaller jobs:

      http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classic...

      Most stores that carry these knives are prepared to let you handle them while in the store so don't be afraid to ask to see them.

      I won't be surprised if you end up (one day, but not just yet) with a fillet knife (for filleting your own fish.) The blades on these are a little flexible (which helps when cutting the fish away from the bone or the skin):

      http://www.amazon.com/Wusthof-Classic...

      6 Replies
      1. re: sherrib

        The potential downside to the Wusthof 8 inch Chef's linked above is that it get's difficult sharpening behind that thick bolster eventually forming that half moon shape at that area.

        When consdiering a new knife also a sharpening/maintenance strategy should also be considered because eventually all knives dull and unless maintained it doesn't matter much which knife you own.

        1. re: bbqJohn

          Very well said. Knives should be kept sharp and bolsters do get in the way of keeping them sharp.

          1. re: sherrib

            The bolster also aids in slicing tomato wedges with a dull knife. I start my cut at the bolster point and draw back the knife (towards me) as it creates the slice. I cannot do that with a thick bolster like Wusthof's Chefs knives.

            1. re: bbqJohn

              <The bolster also aids in slicing tomato wedges with a dull knife>

              You probably meant "the lack of a bolster"

              That said, both Wusthof and Henckels have gradually move away from the bolster design.

              http://www.cutleryandmore.com/henckel...

              http://www.cutleryandmore.com/ikon.htm

              while Messerimester never had bolster.

              http://www.cutleryandmore.com/messerm...

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Yes lack of... so that there is a point at the blade nearest the handle to insert into softer foods like tomatoes.

                Of your links above I prefer the Messerimester for it's flatter profile but then at that price point there are likely superior options.

                Right now if I were to buy a new knife I'd like to try the Richmond Artifex.. at under $100 it looks like a good deal.

                1. re: bbqJohn

                  The French profile works better for me but, whether or not it is better for someone else depends on how they use it. Messmeister uses a more acute edge angle on their knives so, they are "sharper" out of the box then Wusthof or Henckels.

                  Fibrox handled Victorinox kitchen knives are good values no matter which profile you prefer.

      2. In keeping with your question for a good Wushhof knife....

        If all you are going to get is one good knife, nothing beats a chef's knife. I'd go for an 8". If you add a second knife, a paring knife is invaluable. Sherrib posted a link to the Wusthof Classic 8" Chef's knife on Amazon, which is $119.95. If you look at their two piece set, it's $121.38 which includes the 8" chef and the 3.5" paring knife. For an extra $1.43, adding it is is not a huge uplift....

        Straying a little beyond your question:

        If you were to add a third knife (outside the scope of your question), I'd add a thin utility knife. Their 4.5" knife would be a little small for me, I use a knife that would be equivalent to their 6" sandwich. Not surprisingly they have a 3 piece set for these that checks in at $179.95.

        Now going further afield:

        If you are willing to consider other brands, you can get pretty good knives, but that opens a whole new can o worms. People can pop out of the woodwork and recommend German, French, Japanese blades as the best thing since sliced bread... Unless you are interested in learning new knife techniques, stick with the knife profiles that you know and love.

        You can consider a Victorinox/Forschner 8" chef's knife as well if the Wusthof classic prices seem like crazy talk to you.

        1. For a Wusthof start with a classic chef's knife or their Santoku.

          Since you are a Pescatarian, I would look towards Asia where they have diets very similar to yours. Those peoples generally use a Cleaver. You don't need to spend a $100 or more per knife. A good CCK cleaver runs $40~60 and will work wonders on Vegetables and fish.

          1. First, are you sure you want Wusthof. Second, are you only looking for a vegetable knife?

            I agree with others. A Chef's knife or a Santoku is probably your best bet. If you are willing to look beyond Wusthof, then I will suggest a Tojiro DP gyuto or a CCK 1303

            3 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I am definitely open to other brands. I had just heard so many great things about Wusthof and it is fairly accessible. Thank you for the help- I am going to look into these.

              1. re: marria77

                As far as German knives go, Wusthof is good. However, there are more styles than the German style. If you like a knife which resemble the German Chef's knife, but with a thinner blade, sharper edge, harder steel, straighter curvature, than the Tojiro DP gyuto is an excellent buy.

                http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojiro-...

                CCK1303 is a great knife at a very affordable price as Sid Post has said.

                Again, ultimately, it is about your own style too. Some people like trucks. Other like coupes. That is something you have to figure on your own.

                1. re: marria77

                  marria77,
                  If you are open to other brands, then there are MANY more options out there. Personally, I do own and like the Victorinox Forschner chef's knife. It's a great place to start. You WILL get lots and lots of different opinions. Chem has mentioned some Chowhounders below who are knife experts. I agree that you should take their opinions (as well as his) into serious consideration when looking around and asking others for advice. They give EXCELLENT advice and are extremely patient with someone who is new.

              2. I agree with khuzdul, You may want to consider Cook's Illustrated's highest rated knife, the Victorinox (formerly Victorinox Forschner) Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife, Model 40520 . You can get from Amazon for $29.99 shipped:

                http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-4052...

                I own this knife and wouldn't own any other. This knife is perfect in every respect for me, down to the textured handle.

                Oh, and a knife is not an investment, it's simply a purchase.

                10 Replies
                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                  Wow- thanks. Looking into this right now. Can't believe how affordable this is.

                  1. re: marria77

                    That is mostly because the Victorinox knives which most of us talk about are stamped knives. Victorinox does offer the forged version, but its forged knives are no more cheaper than Wusthof forged knives.

                    http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Forg...

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Cook's Illustrated says:

                      "As for forged versus stamped, it simply doesn't matter, nor does the existence of a bolster."

                      1. re: 1POINT21GW

                        The more I use kitchen knives, the less I like full bolsters. Sure they can be ground off but, why start with them in the first place.

                        1. re: Sid Post

                          <Sure they can be ground off but, why start with them in the first place.>

                          Because it builds inner strength and characters.

                        2. re: 1POINT21GW

                          Generally speaking, I'd call the existence of a full length bolster a negative - it hinders sharpening and eventually stops parts of the edge from contacting the board.

                          The forschner/victorinox is a great knife for the money, and I'll second your recommendation for it. But aside from that, I'd recommend not putting too much stock in Cook's Illustrated's knife reviews - they have an extremely flawed review process.

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            <But aside from that, I'd recommend not putting too much stock in Cook's Illustrated's knife reviews>

                            It is amazing that we were writing at about the same time and wrote the same thing. :D

                            This is how I feel about Cook's Illustrated. It is much better than asking random people on the street, but no way close to asking people on this forum, and definitely not on knitchenknifeforum...etc.

                            Think of it like a science question. Asking a high school science teacher about a science question is better than an average person on the street, but far worse than asking an expert in that particular field like an university professor in that field.

                          2. re: 1POINT21GW

                            Yes, I agree. You will see that from my past writings here that I don't not care between forged vs stamped. That being said, it is important to know that we were comparing a Wusthof forged knife vs a Victorinox stamped knife in term of prices, and that may or may not be fair -- depending on the context. So I wanted to be clear about that. What people want to do with that information is up to them. Let me give you another example. There are factory mass produced knives, and there are custom knives, right? A good mass produced knife can easily rival an averagely made custom knife. However, it is still important to know a custom knife will almost always cost more than a mass produced knife.

                            This is in no way take away the usefulness of a stamped knife.

                            P.S.: I really do not have much respect for Cook's Illustrated for knives. It is correct in this aspect, but it has been so wrong in many other statements. I think any knife experts (like cowboyardee, Dave5440, petek, TeRReT, scubadoo, smkit....etc) on this forum are far more reliable than Cook's Illustrated.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Magazines that depend on revenue from advertisers and sensationalism to grab a random shoppers attention at checkout are generally not the best place for expert advice on any topic. Product review should be viewed with suspicion in almost all instances.

                              "There are factory mass produced knives, and there are custom knives, right? A good mass produced knife can easily rival an averagely made custom knife."
                              Years ago, it was basically impossible to find an average priced mass produced factory "sporting/hunting" knife that rivaled a reasonably executed custom knife (liner lock folders being an exception - those aren't something your average knifemaker could get right 10~20 years ago). Factory heat treat was very inconsistent and most blades were soft stamped blades. A nice 1095 blade from a custom maker would out cut and out work the factory stuff.

                              Today, good factories and manufacturers are giving consumers a very high level of custom knifemaker performance at a reasonable pricepoint available to the masses. Context matters and the "shades of grey" remain when talking about specifics. However, today factory knives are much better and rival the performance of what most people where looking for in a custom knife. Now it's more about "sporting and hunting jewelry" then it is about performance.

                              1. re: Sid Post

                                Which magazines are you referring to?

                    2. I love my Wusthofs,but next purchase will be Victorinox. They are easy to sharpen and I won't cry if something happens to them. You can buy three Vic's for the price of one Wus.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: keepercat

                        They are softer but, a steel re-aligns the edge pretty easy. Steel a lot and sharpen rarely and you will be fine.

                      2. Hi Marria77. I suggest starting out with 2 knives; some form of a chef’s knife and a pairing knife. A santoku may be a better fit for you than a traditional chef’s knife.

                        Bear in mind, Wusthof as well as many Western / German knife companies have been making knives with a similar blade steel and blade shape – for quite some time. The main difference between quite a number of different brands/ models is the handle and bolster style. Shop around, you might be able to find a discounted discontinued model or check out the Messermeister brand. It’s supposed to be as good as other German knives – for less money.

                        IMO, the Victorinox / Forschner touted by Cook’s Illustrated, is a great choice for someone just starting out or with a limited budget. It’s inexpensive and compares favorably against more expensive knives cause it uses a similar blade steel found in better Western / German knives. Plus it’s thinner blade cuts with less wedging. However, the knife needs to be steeled and sharpened at a much greater rate than the better Western / German knives. You’ll likely wear out several of them in the same time it takes to wear out a better one.

                        1. Maria
                          I love my Wustof knives. A few months ago I would have suggested you go with their 6" chef's knife, but DH got me a santuko for Christmas and I use it at least as much, if not more than my 6" chef. If I had to get rid of ALL my knives, only keeping two I'd keep the santuko and one of my 3 Wustof paring knives - most likely the 4".

                          I agree with the other posters who say shop in person to get a good idea of which line feels best in your hand. we held lots of knives before we decided on the Wustof classic line.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: jujuthomas

                            I can't think of a use for a 6 inch Chef's knife. It's flat area is very small for up and down chopping and it's too small for rock chopping.

                            1. re: bbqJohn

                              It depends on what you are cutting. For vegetables, the Santoku is hard to beat.

                              1. re: Sid Post

                                At least from my experience Santokus are very easy to beat regardless of veggies or meat. I don't do as much prep now as I used to. Now I prep and cook an all you can eat, 4-5 course (incls. soup) lunch buffet for 40-80 people 5 times a week. Much less prep compared to when I was a dedicated Prep Cook in a scratch kitchen. As a Prep Cook, a weeks worth of knife work was probably more than I did at home in any given year.

                                I any case I'm much more productive with a Chef's style knife as opposed to a Santoku (we have two of those btw). But in the end whatever one feels they can use best and enjoy is what's best for that person.

                                The link below is the Artifex I mentioned in another post. AEB-L (also called 13C26) steel is not common in sub $100 knives and it's quite adept at veggies ... see videos

                                http://www.chefknivestogo.com/riar21....

                                1. re: bbqJohn

                                  That Richmond Artifex French/Gyuto knife looks really good. It's also nice that it is made in the USA. I might pick one of these up and give it a good "test drive". I think the stainless laminated steel blade stock is a little better but, this blade stock should allow easier blade maintenance for most people.

                          2. If I was shopping for a Chef's knife/gyuto and I was working with a budget that could accommodate two wusthof knives, I wouldn't do German-styled knives. I'd get a konosuke HD/Tojiro/sakai and be done with it. If you think you're too much of a bull in a chinashop for a Japanese styled knife, then I think you should just get a victorinox and call it a day.