Wusthof Knife Buying Guide - Series Overview - Gourmet, Classic, Ikon, Epicure, Pro Series
Wusthof Knife Buying Guide - Series Overview - Gourmet, Classic, Ikon, Epicure, and Grand Prix II
Wusthof has been making quality cutlery for over 200 years and in that time they have curated numerous lines of knives, each designed to fit different needs. Whether you are burgeoning home chef, a recent culinary school graduate, or a professional cook, there is a collection of Wusthof knives for you and in this article, we’ll go through each of Wusthof’s cutlery lines and help you to find the collection that is right for you.
Wusthof Gourmet Series
The Wusthof Gourmet Series is seen as the introductory line for home chefs just starting to build their cutlery collection. With a reasonable price point and riveted handles that are also used in the Wusthof Classic Series, these knives are a great starting point for any cutlery enthusiast. One of the biggest benefits of the Gourmet Series is that it offers a huge range of knives and knife sets. Each knife in this line is stamped as opposed to forged and while this means they won’t retain their edge as long, Wusthof makes these blades with high-quality steel as their other knives, ensuring that, with proper care, these knives can outlast their competitors. The Wusthof Gourmet Series is a great choice for anyone looking for more cutlery options and are willing to care for their knives in the long term.
The Wusthof Grand Prix II Series knives are forged and with that distinction comes a higher price point than the knives we’ve reviewed thus far. However, if you want to build a dependable cutlery collection with a modern design, this is the series for you. Like the Gourmet Series, there are a lot of styles to choose from in this collection, giving you the option to build a collection from the ground up or just get a few knives designed for specific tasks. The Grand Prix II Series blades are made with Precision Edge Technology, resulting in edges that are 20% sharper with twice the retention as their competitors. Each knife in the collection also features a unique, pebbled handle made of a synthetic resin material and features a partial tang and full bolster. This construction results in well-balanced knives that are built to last, making the Grand Prix II Series a great choice for anyone wanting to upgrade from stamped knives to forged knives in their kitchen.
The Wusthof Classic Series is the best-selling Wusthof collection and has been for generations. This series features the widest selection of knife types and every knife is forged from high-quality German steel. The blades of the Classic collection are made using the Precision Edge Technology which results in blades that are 20% sharper and retain their edge longer than other blades. The handle of each Classic blade is full tang with a finger guard for safer use and is made of a unique poly material that resists fading, so you get a beautiful knife with no handle-upkeep required. This construction has made this series the cutlery of choice for home chefs for decades and so they are the ideal choice for anyone searching for forged, full-tang blades from Wusthof.
The Wusthof Ikon Classic series is made up of modern knives for the modern chef, designed with clean lines and using the same handle material as the Classic Series. This material resists fading so your knives will look as good years from now as they do today, and given that the Ikon Classic Series will require more of an investment than the previously mentioned Wusthof Lines, this is an invaluable feature. The Ikon Classic Series is made to provide a superior cutting experience, with a double bolster, perfectly balanced blade, and full tang. While not as wide a selection as the Classic or Gourmet Series, the Ikon Classic Series does contain numerous knife styles and sets, so this cutlery line is a great choice for those who are willing to invest more for the highest quality knives on the market and want to retain a modern aesthetic in their kitchen.
The Epicure Series is designed with innovation in mind and is easily the most unique of the Wusthof cutlery lines. The Epicure Series is defined by the height of its knives and slightly rounded handles made of recycled composite wood. These combined features create a truly modern knife while the traditional construction retains the DNA of the Wusthof brand, with the knife being forged from high-quality steel with a full tang and bolster. This intricate design and high-quality results in a higher price point than the Ikon Classic Series, however for those who invest in these durable knives, you will receive cutlery that far outlives expectations. While this line does not have as many options in the way of knife-styles as the Classic and or even Classic Ikon series, it does contain the core knives of any collection, such as the cook’s knife, Santoku knife, slicing knife, etc. If you are looking for unique knives that feature quality construction, the Wusthof Epicure Series will serve you well.
The Ikon Blackwood Series is called the jewel of the Wusthof brand, and it’s not hard to see why. The Ikon series, (also called the Ikon Blackwood or African Blackwood Series) shares many similarities with the Ikon Classic line, they feature the same shape and general design and are forged from the same high-quality German steel as all Wusthof blades, however, the Ikon knives each have a handle made of their namesake wood. African Blackwood (Grenadill) is one of the hardest woods in the world and as such it’s extremely durable and resistant to swelling in changing humidity and temperatures. Beyond looking great, these handles are contoured for ultimate comfort and perfectly balanced with the blade. The Ikon Blackwood Series has fewer knives within it than the Ikon Classic Series, however, it contains all the basics needed to build a well-rounded collection. Between the high-quality steel of the blade, full tang, bolster, and unique handles, these knives come in at the highest price point of all the Wusthof lines. For those who are willing to invest in these amazing knives, you will get beautiful cutlery that is built to last and will certainly become the jewels of your cutlery collection.
Chef Austin Merath is Everything Kitchen's Culinary Wizard, Kitchen-Gadget Reviewer, and New-Product Tester. He studied under chefs in College of the Ozarks' Culinary Program. It's his job to make sure you choose the kitchen tools that are right for you by testing the best we have to offer. When not cooking, Austin is tinkering with computers or exploring the Ozarks with his wife Amy. Click here for his full bio.