Henckels and Wusthof are both great kitchen knives that have inherited a long history from their German origin.
Both the companies produce most of their goods in the same city in Germany. So, you can imagine the rivalry that has been between the two companies and their employees.
While that would be an interesting read today, we’re not here to talk about their origin and lore. Instead, we’re here to decide upon a single question.
Yes, we’re here to address the elephant in the room.
Who will emerge victorious in a showdown between two of the greatest kitchen knives, Henckels or Wusthof?
No matter which comes out on top, know that both are great tools to have in your arsenal. And you’ll be getting a guaranteed service of a lifetime from either of the kitchen tools. When someone looks for the best knife for kitchen, the ja henckels knife review almost always appears in the top of the list.
Forged Vs. Stamped
Before we get down to the comparisons, note that we’ll be comparing the same styles from the two brands to get the best results. So, the comparisons will be between stamped to stamped and forged to forged knives.
But what’s the difference? It can be hard to tell the difference between the two cutleries at a glance. But they both offer different sets of benefits and drawbacks.
In fact, chefs and cooks are constantly debating about the better of the two and if the results are up to one’s tastes. Nevertheless, we’ll be attempting to have a concise discussion on the two styles.
Forged knives have inherited their name from their production method. Manufacturers produce forged knives by forging a single piece of steel. As a result, forged knives have more robust steel that can keep an edge for longer. Moreover, they tend not to be flexible. As a result, they’re easy to sharpen. However, forged knives can be a bit on the expensive side.
Stamped knives, on the other hand, are a more budget-friendly option. If you’re looking to tackle various kitchen applications at a low price, they’re the way to go. But you get what you pay for. That’s why stamped knives tend to lack the strength that their forged counterparts boast. Moreover, stamped knives tend to be more flexible, so they’re not easy to sharpen. And they tend to keep an edge for a comparatively shorter period.
Now that we’ve chalked up on our knowledge between the two knife styles, let’s dive into the big question of Henckels Vs. Wusthof.
Henckels Vs. Wusthof
While we said earlier that we’d not be delving into the rich historical background of Henckels and Wusthof, it won’t be justice to deny the readers of it completely. With that being said, we’ll take a quick look at the rich historical background that these two companies share.
Zwilling JA Henckels began their journey in 1731. And it wasn’t long after Wusthof followed in their footsteps in 1814. Both of these companies were founded even before Germany was a country. And it’s not just their country origin that they share. Both of these companies started their journey in a town in Germany called Solingen. It’s also known as the city of blades.
Now you can see that both the companies share a similarity in their origin. However, there some differences between them too. The two main differences between Henckels and Wusthof knives are in their blades and handles.
As stated before, we’ll be comparing the forged knives from JA Henckels with the forged knives from Wusthof. The forged knife models from Henckels are Four Star, Pro, and Pro S. And their Wusthof counterparts are Wusthof Classic, Wusthof Classic Ikon, and Wusthof Grand Prix II.
Knife Blades: Henckels Vs. Wusthof
Both Henckels and Wusthof offer high-quality blades. They have similar appearances, and it’s hard to tell the difference between them at first sight. However, there are some crucial distinctions between the two brands offered blades.
The edge angle refers to the angle at which the blade is sharpened. The lower the angle degree, the sharper the edge.
For example, Henckels sharpens their knives at a 15-degree angle per side standard blades. And in Santoku knives, the edge angle is at 10 degrees per side. On the other hand, Wusthof designs its blades with an edge angle of 14 degrees per side.
Now, a one-degree angle difference is a minor variability. But when it comes down to sharpness, Wusthof knives relatively stand out. And thanks to their Precise Edge Technology (PEtec), Wusthof blades offer long edge retention, consistent quality, and enhanced cutting performance.
A blade’s hardness is directly related to its durability. Knife manufacturers use a measure called the Rockwell Hardness or HCR to measure the hardness of the blade. A higher hardness rating means tougher steel.
There is no one perfect rating when it comes to hardness. Instead, it would be best to choose a knife with a certain hardness level based on how you want to use that knife.
Make sure to remember that the harder the steel, the longer the blade can retain its sharpness. However, as the hardness rating goes up, the edge will be tougher to sharpen than its softer counterparts.
JA Henckels knives have a hardness rating of 57 HCR. But they also offer some models designed by Bob Cramer that have a hardness rating of 61 HCR.
On the other hand, Wusthof knives have a hardness rating of 58 HCR. So, while Wusthof blades stay sharp longer, the Henckels knives are easier to sharpen.
Both the companies offer their products at similar prices and qualities. However, the Wusthof utility knife has one-upped JA Henckels utility knife in terms of quality.
The Wusthof knife has a better cutting ability and is more appropriate for precision slicing tasks. With that being said, it’s also quite expensive compared to its Henckels counterpart, which is a much cheaper option.
Knife Handles: Henckels Vs. Wusthof
When it comes to handles, there are only two factors to consider, comfort and visual appeal.
Henckels’ knives have a distinct, sharp carve right at the end of the handle that prevents the knife from slipping when in your hand. It’s also visually pleasing.
Wusthof’s classic line also features the same design and curve. However, the rest of their products do not carry such features.
Henckels and Wusthof both offer the budget-friendly stamped option to their customers. They’re both quite good, qualitywise. However, they’re not quite the same, production-wise.
While Wusthof produces their stamped knife series in Germany, Henckels doesn’t do that. They manufacture their stamped knives line in Spain, hence the name Henckels International.
The stamped knives don’t have as good a reputation as the forged knives, but they can offer the flexibility that their forged counterparts lack. However, if it’s sturdiness you’re looking for, you’re better off investing in forged knives.
Now that you’ve gone through our detailed discussion on these two brand knives, you can see that it’s not an easy decision to make.
They both offer some outstanding options, and as we’re sure you’d agree, there’s no one clear winner here. Instead, it’s all up to how you want to use the knife and what’s more important to you.
However, rest assured that whichever knife you end up choosing, it won’t be a waste. So now you can make your decision considering all the facts that we mentioned above. And if that doesn’t cut it for you, try them both, see which feels better to you. We wish you all the best!