Henckel vs. Wusthof
Jul 31, 2001
The Bottom Line Henckel has better handles Wusthof has a better chef's knife shape
As I went through my knife options before plunking down several hundred bucks I really found myself stuck on the big two... Wusthof and Henckel...
Kitchenaid makes a nice forged set as well as Chicago Cutlery and Sabatier but I didn't find them in the same league. I own(ed) Henckel, Sabatier, Chicago Cutlery but not KitchenAid. Maybe I was attracted to the variety the lines offered as well as styling options and the company histories. For example Wusthof has been around since 1814. KitchenAid 1908... keep in mind folks Stand Mixers (I have one and it's indispensible).
In any case I looked at the 8" Chef's for comparison (the knife I use most) and there are two differences between Wusthof and Henckel:
1. Knife shape
2. Handle shape
They split: I think Henckel makes a better handle for my hand. The Wusthof is wither a classic riveted handle, or one with a bulbous end and a big silver rivet at the bottom. Not super tactile and pretty plain looking. The Henckel 4-star and 5-star knives both have in my opinion better handles. The 5 star didn't strike me as better than the 4 and was costlier so I went with the 4 star. I really didn't have enough time with the knives to determine the blade shape.
The Wusthof blade is rounder in the edge and rocks better. The edge of the knife is sharp at the handle as opposed to the Henckel which comes to a flared end that I actually prefer... go figure. Knife sharpeners will want to grind it down for you... The Henckel has more of a point to it and seems to want to slice better. I have no problems mincing or dicing or chopping. My Sabatier has a riveted classic handle and has a noticeably tougher job with effortless slicing, my Chicago Cutlery knife needs sharpening badly but in it's heyday was on par with the Sabatier.
I waver between loving my Henckels and loving them unconditionally. It is a good comparison in excellent products. I think they both do the same job but I find the handles of the Henckels better and the blade shape of the Wusthof chef's knife better. The forged Sabatier Elite knives are the best for the money. At TJMaxx I've found paring knives for $5.99-- totally terrific quality as well and easily worth $17.99. The Chicago Cutlery chef's I will not get resharpened and I don' t plan on getting KitchenAid knives ever. Next time I might get a Wusthof set for comparisons sake knowing full well that I will not be disappointed in either set at all. Or maybe a Kyocera ceramic set if I win the lottery.