Looking to upgrade your current kitchen knives? In this article, you’ll find my 18-piece Wusthof Gourmet knife set review, as well as a brief comparison between those knives and Wusthof Classic knives. You’ll also learn a little information about how different knives are constructed so that you can make an educated purchasing decision.
In my previous article about my top time-saving kitchen tools, I mentioned that upgrading from typical young person, thrift store knives to professional, sharp knives was a huge time (and frustration) saver, particularly when it came to cutting tomatoes. This article goes more into depth as a full Wusthof Gourmet knives review of the specific kind of knives I purchased.
Initially, I picked the Wusthof Gourmet collection because I felt that it was an excellent balance of quality and value. I still believe that to be the case.
I’ve had this set for almost four years now, and I am still very pleased with this purchase.
Wusthof has earned their reputation as the leading producer of luxury German knives. They dominate the market as one of the most trusted and well-known knife manufacturers, along with their competitor Henckels (although to a smaller degree).
But are Wusthof Gourmet knives the right choice for you?
- Wusthof has an excellent reputation as a family owned company based in Solingen, Germany (known as the City of Blades) since 1814.
- Their Gourmet collection is priced competitively to allow more people to access high quality knives.
- They have held up admirably to four years of cooking in my home, with minimal sharpening required.
- If you are looking for an affordable way to dip your toes in the world of professional level cooking equipment, this Gourmet collection is for you.
- If you like having the absolute best available, even for just making a salad, the Gourmet collection is not for you.
- If you have concerns regarding knife safety (no judgment – we’re all clumsy from time to time), you may prefer knives with larger bolsters between your fingers and the cutting edge.
- Due to the stamped construction of the Wusthof Gourmet knives, you will need to sharpen them more often than you would with a forged knife (like a Wusthof Classic).
- If you are on a tight budget, these knives are still not cheap. They are simply more affordable than many of their competitors.
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Ready to see the price? You can find the most current prices on Amazon. They don’t carry the exact set I bought right now, but this 16-piece gourmet set is very similar.
I also more recently bought Wusthof’s small knife sharpener, in addition to the one that comes with the set. This was, in my opinion, a great enhancement. It is very user-friendly and extends the useful life of the knives.
First, let’s look at some of the terminology you might run across as you research which knives you may want to purchase.
Forging vs Stamping
What is the difference between forged vs stamped knives? Great question!
Forged knives come from one single bar of steel. Either a craftsperson or a machine heats up the steel and pounds it into shape.
Stamped knives come from a large sheet of steel. They are cut or stamped out, much like how you’d stamp a cookie from a layer of cookie dough with a cookie cutter. Once stamped, the knife is honed and treated with heat so that it becomes more durable.
Generally, a forged knife weighs more and is sturdier. However, since forged knives require more labor, time, and money to produce, they also cost more.
Historically, forged knives were better quality due to the skill of the artisans who made them.
Now, however, with more and (sometimes) better machines at work producing knives, you can find very high quality stamped knives. You can also find cheap, mass-produced, and not particularly high quality forged knives. Thus, that distinction is not necessarily accurate today.
In addition, some modern knives take shape using a combination of these two techniques, so they are actually hybrids.
The Wusthof Gourmet collection consists of stamped knives, which is why it’s a little easier on your pocketbook.
Wusthof Gourmet vs Classic
Wusthof in general, in both their Gourmet and Classic lines, makes incredibly high quality knives. Any kitchen knife from this brand would be a good purchase.
The two main considerations most people take into account when deciding between Wusthof Classic vs Gourmet are price and quality.
While it may not be self-evident from the names, the Wusthof Classic collection is the high-end line, while the Gourmet collection is significantly more budget friendly.
The main difference between these two knife collections is that the gourmet knives are stamped, while the classic knives are forged. For this reason, the classic knives are significantly more costly.
Depending on what knife, knives, or knife set you choose, the Classic collection ranges from almost twice as expensive to significantly more than twice as expensive as the Gourmet collection.
On the other hand, since the Classic knives are forged rather than stamped, they are heavier, harder, sharper, and more durable. You don’t have to sharpen them as often. Of course, you will want to practice good knife safety skills when handling them.
Construction of Wusthof Classic vs Gourmet Knives
Both the Gourmet and Classic knives feature a full tang. This means that each knife contains one solid piece of metal, which runs throughout the length of the knife. You can see the full tang in the photos. You can also see the rivets connecting the handle to the tang (non sharp end of the knife).
This makes them both strong and durable, even when cutting hard items. You don’t want the blade to fall off the handle while you’re using it!
The Gourmet knives have a covered bolster, while the Classic knives feature an uncovered bolster. The bolster is the flat, not sharp edge of the knife in between the base of the cutting edge and the handle where your hand would be.
The bolster protects your hand while you cut. The Classic knives feature larger, thicker bolsters due their overall thicker construction. Some people like this as a safety feature.
On the other hand, the Gourmet knives are quite a bit lighter, which I think makes them easier to work with.
Creating a forged Wusthof knife takes 40 steps. In comparison, producing a stamped Wusthof knife requires only 14 steps. This explains why you’ll find larger bolsters on a forged, Classic knife.
You can read more on their website if you’re curious about the production process and the special materials they use.
While it’s true that the Classic knives are stronger, I don’t consider the increased cost worth it for my daily life. As a vegetarian, I don’t need knives that can cut through bone or anything too dramatic. Usually I just need to chop some veggies to make a quick stir fry.
If you have experience using extremely high quality professional knives, or if you do a lot of intensive chopping and cooking, you may find the Gourmet knives lacking.
As a home cook, I find the Gourmet knives to be quite impressive. They provide excellent value. You’ll want to take into account how you currently use knives when deciding which collection is right for you.
Wusthof recommends hand washing for both lines of knives.
You can check out the most current price for the Classic knives on Amazon.
Wusthof Gourmet Chef’s Knife Review
For me, the chef’s knife has been the most helpful and useful knife in this set. It works excellently for chopping large piles of kale or fresh herbs all at once. The sharp edge makes it a great choice for tomatoes, the trickiest of vegetables to chop if you don’t have a sharp knife.
In addition, the weight of this chef’s knife lends its strength to cut through tough items like butternut squash with significantly less elbow grease than with other knives I’ve used in the past.
The size of the chef’s knife makes it very efficient at cutting through large batches of food in one movement. This limits the amount of repetitive motions you need to do while cooking a meal.
Alternatives to Wusthof Gourmet Knives
If you want higher quality knives and can afford them, the Wusthof Classic knives are an excellent choice.
On the other hand, if you are still hesitant to pay the going price for Wusthof Gourmet knives, a more affordable and budget-friendly option is this set from Cuisinart. Food & Wine recommends them, and they have earned a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon (out of 2,077 reviews at the time of publishing). However, I have not personally used them, so I cannot speak from experience here.
Wusthof Gourmet Knives Review: The Verdict
Through this Wusthof Gourmet knives review, you’ve learned about the two main ways we produce knives. You’ve also learned how this impacts our comparison of Wusthof Gourmet vs Classic knives.
You’ve also learned my opinion, which is that for a hobby cook, the Gourmet knives are excellent equipment to add to your toolkit (whether you opt for just a knife or two, or a larger set).
I am not alone in my positive stance on these knives. The test kitchen at Saveur named Wusthof’s Gourmet 8″ Offset Deli Knife as their pick for best upgrade for a bread knife in their article published 10 March, 2021. In addition, at the time of publishing, the reviewers of Amazon had given the Wusthof Gourmet 16-piece set a 4.6 out of 5 star rating (out of 427 reviews). You can access the full Wusthof store on Amazon below to see all their offerings.The Wusthof Store on Amazon
Overall, I feel these knives had made cooking easier and more fun. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to make their time in the kitchen less work!
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