Are you looking to purchase a fully-forged knife but not sure whether to settle for the renowned Zwilling J.A. Henckels or the favorite German knife makers Wusthof?
Both makers have a spectrum of super durable, incredibly shaped, and visually appealing knives.
But, how do you determine which of these brands is best for you?
Read on to find out the key differences between Heckel vs. Wusthof kitchen knives and how they should influence your decision.
This brand was started in 1731 by Peter Henckels as Zwilling. However, it was renamed by his son, Johann Abraham Henckels, in the early 1800s to Zwilling J.A. Henckels. Most of their knives are forged in Germany and feature the ‘Twin” logo.
However, their lines of entry-level kitchen knives by J.A. Henckels International brands are made in Asia and Spain. These come with a single stick figure logo.
What I like
Zwilling J.A. Henckels makes their kitchen knife blade with high-carbon and rust-resistant steel that offers better edge retention and guarantees almost a lifetime performance.
In addition, the blades feature a full tang design, which I like for two reasons – perfect balance and durability. Also, the brand’s knife edges are cut at a 15-degree angle which is very sharp but not as razor-sharp as its competitor – Wusthof.
But, on the other hand, the Henckel knives are more durable than their counterparts. Another thing to like about these knives is their curved design to prevent slipping and breaking your pinky finger.
What I don’t like
The Zwilling is a bit large and might be too hefty for people with small hands.
Top 4 Best Henckels Knife Block Set – America’s Test Kitchen
J.A. Henckels International Statement Kitchen Knife Set with Block, 15-pc
When it comes to the best knife set for your culinary needs, you can’t really go wrong with this product. This set comes complete with 4.5 inches Steak Knife, 7 inches santoku knife hollow edge, 8 inches Chef’s Knife, Sharpening Steel Kitchen Shears, 3 inches paring knife, 5 inches serrated utility, 8 inches bread knife, and Hardwood Block.
The blades are made from high-quality stainless steel, while the handles are plastic but feel comfortable to grip. Each piece features a lightweight full tang construction to optimize endurance and manoeuvrability. Best of all, you can toss these knives into your dishwasher without compromising their quality.
HENCKELS J.A International Statement 20-pc Self-Sharpening Block Set
Like our top choice, this knife set includes 8″ Carving knife; 8″ Bread knife; 8″ Chef’s knife; 7″ Santoku knife; 4. 5″ Steak knives (8); kitchen shears; 5″ Serrated Utility knife; 3″ Paring knife; 4″ Paring knife; 5. 5″ Prep knife; 6″ Utility knife; 5. 5″ Boning knife; self-sharpening knife block. This is about everything you need to handy all home kitchen cutting tasks.
What to love about this product is the self-sharpening slot featured in this set. It allows you to maintain the knives’ blades sharpness by removing or replacing the knives. Also, the full-tang design ensures optimal manoeuvrability and fatigue-free cutting.
Henckels Classic 15-pc Self-Sharpening Block Set
This knife set comes with everything to handle any cutting task in your kitchen, from Chef’s knife to 14-Slot Self-Sharpening Knife Block and many more. This classic set comes with a self-sharpening block featuring a stained ash wood base to add elegance to your kitchen.
Talking about the block, it has integrated ceramic honing wheels touted to sharpen the knives whenever you remove or replace them automatically. Even better, the slots are labeled to guarantee proper placement.
J.A. Henckels International Forged Premio 18-Piece Block Set
If you need to purchase a decent set of knives, then the J.A. Henckels International Forged Premio 18-Piece Block Set can be the way to go. This set includes 8 inches chef’s knife, 7 inches santoku hollow edge, 6 inches utility knife, 9 inches sharpening steel, 5 inches serrated utility knife, 3 inches paring knife, 8 inches bread knife, 5 inches boning knife, kitchen shears; Stamped Steak Knives (8 Pieces) Hardwood Block.
Each knife in this set features a full tang design to improve strength and balance. On top of that, the handles are ergonomically shaped and triple-riveted to ensure optimal control and comfortable grip.
Wusthof started in 1814 with the product of pocket knives, scissors, and razor blades. But the company discontinued this line of products and moved to make kitchen knives in the 1970s. All of their products are forged in Germany and feature a trident logo.
What I like
All knives from this brand feature the proprietary X50CrMoV15 stainless steel with vanadium and molybdenum to improve the knives’ corrosion resistance, durability, and hardness. While this steel might seem ordinary, it’s strong and rust-resistant to serve your purpose for many years to come.
Like Henckel, these knives feature a full-tang design from the tip to the heels, which is a single solid piece. Also, they are German-style knives, meaning their products are heat-treated into a Rockwell hardness of 58.
Above all, the blades are razor-sharp since they are cut at 14 degrees. Plus, it has tremendous edge retention.
What I don’t like
Wusthof knives have harder blades, but this is both a blessing and a curse. While stronger blades have better edge retention, their durability is questionable. They are more susceptible to chipping, and it’s a signal for replacement.
Top 4 Best Wusthof Knife Block Set – America’s Test Kitchen
WÜSTHOF Classic Seven Piece Knife Block Set
If you love this brand, then the WÜSTHOF Classic Seven Piece Knife Block Set might just be what you’re looking for. This set comes with a 13-slot storage block to house a 9-inch honing steel, 8-inch bread knife, 6-inch utility knife, 3-1/2-inch paring knife, 8-inch cook’s knife, and kitchen shears.
Each knife is forged from a single piece of high carbon stainless steel and features a triple-riveted handle for a comfortable grip and secure handling. The full-tang design ensures the right balance and superior strength. Needless to say, this product is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
WUSTHOF Three Piece Cook’s Set
Next is the WUSTHOF Three Piece Cook’s Set. With a 6-inch utility knife, 5-inch paring knife, and an 8-inch cook’s knife, this set comes complete to handle anything, from small chopping taste to dicing, slicing and prepping vegetables, fruits and meat.
The blades are made from high carbon stainless steel, which is durable and rust-resistant. Thanks to the triple-riveted handle, each knife is comfortable to hold and manoeuvre.
WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON Twelve Piece Knife Block Set
If you want a complete set of Wusthof knives, I recommend the WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON Twelve Piece Knife Block Set. The blades are made of high carbon stainless steel, while the handles are made of synthetic with three rivets for secure handling.
Like all other options on this list, each knife is forged from a single piece of stainless steel for reliable performance. Also, the blades are sharpened by robots on a Wheatstone for unsurpassed cutting performance.
Wusthof Classic IKON 7-Piece High Carbon Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife Set
If you are in the market for a set that can improve your kitchen’s overall appearance, the Wusthof Classic IKON 7-Piece Kitchen Knife Set is a decent choice.
Aside from stunning looks, this model features triple-riveted synthetic polypropylene handles that won’t fade and discolor with time. Also, the double bolster guarantees exceptional balance and outstanding cutting performance.
More so, the knives are forged from a single piece of tempered high carbon stainless steel, which makes them corrosion and stain-resistant. Plus, they are sharper and retain the edge longer than the previous model, thanks to its latest Precision Edge Technology.
Type of Knives
The number of types of knives that you will need depends on your aspiration for cooking and culinary skills. Therefore it’s best to purchase a set of knives rather than buying them individually – it helps save cost.
For people on a tight budget, you might consider the 3-piece set. However, if you want a perfect combination of versatility and value, you are better off with a 7-piece set.
All knives are not forged the same way. While most of them are made with steel, this material is an alloy that contains carbon, iron, and other trace minerals in different proportions based on the manufacturer’s intent.
Both brands have developed their own unique combination to afford better edge retention, sharpness, and durability. Regardless it would be best to stick with a knife that features a full tank construction and riveted handles for the best cutting experience and endurance.
These German brands craft their finest Cutlery with a proprietary Steel blend and patented bolster design for uniqueness and outstanding performance. You want to consider the bolster when deciding which set of knives to purchase.
This feature protects your pinky finger and provides extra strength. Keep in mind that there are three main styles for the German knives – full, half, and no bolster.
Both companies have many years of experience and are known for their lines of high-quality products. It is hard to conclude which is the better brand – Henckel vs. Wusthof. The differences between these brands are minor and won’t really be a deal-breaker.
So whether you end up purchasing a set of knives from one band or the other, we are confident that you would be investing in a set of quality, high-performing kitchen knives to last a lifetime.