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2 Wusthof Classic vs. Gourmet [All You Need to Know & Winner]

Wusthof knives are a perfectly dependable tool in the kitchen. Go through our incisive informational review of the two ranges to make the right decision!

Excellent set of Japanese chef's knives from Damascus steel. View from above

The brand is known for its diverse range and different categories of knives, so there is plenty of excellent kitchenware for you to choose from. Sometimes, however, it can be challenging to select your choice of kitchen knives from the plethora of product lines available under Wusthof. 

But you can decide from either the Wusthof Classic or Gourmet ranges to keep it simple. These are the most sought-after categories by customers. Read on to know everything about these two Wusthof knives’ collections. 

Go ahead and compare their advantages and disadvantages in terms of features like durability, performance, design, etc. We will even suggest the best out of the two, so stick on till the very end! 

Wusthof Classic & Gourmet Compared

Let us first understand how the two Wusthof categories we are talking about are similar to each other. That will prepare you to identify the different characteristics more clearly and know their distinct features much better.  

As you know, an in-depth understanding of any product can make a massive difference to the purchase and its long-term use. The better you know these kitchen knives before you decide to buy them, the greater your satisfaction will be. 

Let’s see what is similar between the Wusthof Classic and the Wusthof Gourmet to ensure that great buy brings joy to the kitchen! 

Similarities Between Wusthof Classic And Gourmet

Both the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet lines are similar in design. It is a significant aspect of the two kinds of kitchen knives that cannot be ignored for various reasons. The brand gives you complete assurance that each blade is strong and has a good finish. 

Moreover, the knives have a high-carbon metal design in both the ranges. The stainless steel material of the two kinds of knives is rust-resistant. You can imagine how durable and efficient the kitchenware is for the kitchen just from the initial features discussed here. 

There are more similarities between the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet besides the body and durability of the kitchen knives. For instance, the handles' material, the product options, and the instructions for cleaning the knives are pretty similar. 

Not only that, even some of the warranties available in the two categories are the same. Let’s look at these similarities one by one and understand these two Wusthof brands a lot better. 

  1. The Material Of The Handles 

As we know, both Wusthof Classic and Gourmet knives are made of the same material. The stainless steel body ensures that both knife categories are durable and great for long-term use. The handles, too, are made of a durable material known as polyoxymethylene (POM). 

POM is specially manufactured for the durability of many products, e.g., it is used on frames of eyeglasses, ski-bindings, etc. You could say that POM on Wusthof knife handles assures that longevity is a feature that will improve the kitchen. 

In other words, the knives are high-quality, which you can go on using far more than some other knife products. They are also unyielding to fading and discoloration. POM is a material that is engineered to give great features and results, which is apparent in the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet knives. 

  1. The Materials Of The Blades

The blades of Wusthof Classic and Gourmet knives are made of several materials. Stainless steel, carbon, chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium combine in precise ratios to give the characteristics to the blades that make them so well-known. 

    • Stainless steel is the base material as it is ideal for kitchen knives
    • 0.5% of carbon adds hardness to the blade
    • Chromium is blended to increase resistance to stains on the blade
    • Molybdenum is also used to increase the hardness of the blade - it is a chemical element that prevents corrosion
    • Vanadium increases the durability of the blade

This particular mixture of chemicals, alloys, and minerals gives the Wusthof blade an edge over other kitchen knife blades on the market. Especially in the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet categories, these alloys and elements ensure that the blades are durable and resistant to corrosion. 

  1. The Design Features Of The Blades and Handles 

When you see the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet knives, you might be surprised at how similar they are in appearance to each other. The blades have the same design and shape. And not just the blades, but the handles and also similar in shape. 

They are black in color and have a sleek design. However, if you look closely, you will see that the Wusthof Classic has a bolster and a tang that is fully exposed in the handles. This feature is absent from the Wusthof Gourmet knife. 

  1. Cleaning Of The Knives 

Both the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet knives can be cleaned in the same way. Even the cleaning instructions provided for both sets are the same. They have to be washed immediately once used to prevent early damage and corrosion that could result from spices and food sticking to the blades.  

Also, the Wusthof knives function best when they are hand-washed. It is not that the knives cannot be put in a dishwasher. Technically, yes, that can be done. But one could end up damaging the blades if they rub against each other in the motored wash.

All you have to do is dip a cloth or sponge in liquid soap and warm water to clean your Wusthof knives. Dry them after cleaning, and you’ll have a set of Wusthof knives as good as new in the kitchen. 

  1. Warranty

The same limited lifetime warranty is offered on all Wusthof knives. Wusthof also guarantees knives that are perfectly manufactured without any defects. Their warranties do not engage with normal Wusthof ranges, or mishandling of the knives leading to product damage. 

Do check the warranty terms and conditions in detail before actually buying these knives. 

Differences between Wusthof Classic & Gourmet

You need the best Wusthof knives for your kitchen, be it the Classic range or the Gourmet line. While there are many similarities between the two ranges, there are several differences that make each knife stand apart.

When you choose the best knives from the two ranges, it is equally important to know the differences between them to understand the similarities. Now that we know something about the materials, handles, and durability of the Wusthof knives in the discussion, let us see how they are different.   

  1. Manufacturing Process 

You would be thinking why we have brought up the issue of understanding how the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet are made. Would it help to know the manufacturing process to make the best buy for your home and kitchen? 

You are correct in thinking that, but in the case of the Wusthof knife ranges, it becomes essential to know the brand well because knowing the manufacturing process reveals a lot about the cut of the knives. 

And naturally, as you might have guessed by now, it is the cut of the knives that determine the kitchen knives’ abilities and the diversity of the Wusthof products. 

The look and feel of the Wusthof Classic are maintained by running it through what knife manufacturers know as the forging technique. It is an old and durable way of making knives that gives them a unique character. 

Whoever is familiar with the forging technique knows that it is a detailed process with around 40-steps that is comprehensive and requires thorough attention to detail. The beauty of the forging technique comes through in the authenticity of the Wusthof Classic. 

This knife is far more popular than most knives in the market due to the look and feel of its body. Also, the blade is hard, thick, and durable because of the care taken for every step of the forging process of the Wusthof Classic knife. This precision makes it a classic in the kitchen, a must-have for everyone. 

The forging process includes molding a steel bolster for the Wusthof knife. The bolster acts as a safety device when you are using the knife for cutting in the kitchen. It prevents the hand from slipping and causing injury. 

While the forging technique is a more traditional approach to making knives in the Wusthof ranges, there are more straightforward approaches to knife manufacturing. For instance, the Wusthof Gourmet is a laser-cut stamped knife, a modern technique used to manufacture knives. 

The technique is easier to use, even though it is as meticulous as the forging technique. The knives are stamped out of a metal sheet through a 14-step process that may not give the Wusthof Classic an authentic look after forging. 

Nevertheless, this is a more contemporary knife, and the laser-cut stamped technique has its benefits on the cut of the knives. 

  1. Edge Angle

It is always good to factor in the role of the edge angle in the use of knives for cutting and peeling food and spices. The edge angle determines the sharpness of the blade, so go for a knife once you have examined the edge angle.

Thus, we see that the Wusthof Classic knives are sharper than their counterparts simply by observing the edge angle of the knives in the two ranges. They also utilize technologies like the PrecisionEdge technology that contribute significantly to such features of the knives.

Technically speaking, the Wusthof Classic has a 14-degree angle on both sides of the knife. On the other hand, the Gourmet has an 18-degree angle, which makes it less ideal than the Classic. 

You can be pretty sure of getting a good, sharp knife in the Wusthof Classic range. The Gourmet may seem like it is falling short of the ideal edge angle, but it can manage a balance between durability and performance.  

Any edge angle between 14 and 20 degrees can give you the features you are looking for in the two Wusthof ranges. 

  1. Rockwell Hardness Rating

While choosing a knife, you have to be sure of its performance and durability. The blade's hardness is another factor that you have to consider before buying either the Wusthof Classic or Gourmet knives.

The Rockwell Hardness Rating, also known as the Rockwell scale, is used to measure the hardness of a blade. The standard range is usually between 50 on the lower end of the scale and 60 on the upper end. 

However, other brands use a different measure from time to time. While talking about the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet brands, it is safe to assume that the Classic usually has a hardness of 58, and the Gourmet measures around 56. 

The hardness measurement on the Classic knife is an indication of its ability to hold a sharper blade.    

  1. Full-Tang 

When you come across the term full-tang to research the best Wusthof Classic or Gourmet knives, you have to know two things - first, that the full-tang adds weight to the knife that you are considering as an option to buy for the kitchen. 

Second, the weight is used to bring balance to the knife. The full-tang is just like the bolster on the Wusthof Classic knives. It will also have three rivets to enhance the look of the knife. Having a full-tang usually means that the knife you are looking to purchase is a top-quality product. 

It is a great way to know the knife instantly like you would see when you come across the Wusthof Classic knives. All Wusthof Classic knives have the full-tang, while the Gourmet has many knives with the same feature. 

However, the full-tang does not run across the entire width of the Gourmet knife. Running across the width of the knife is necessary for the full-tang to expose the knife fully. Gourmet knives also carry the distinction of having blades that are smaller than 4.5”. 

It is significant to note that these blades do not carry a full-tang. They do have half-tang, though, and two rivets instead of three. 

  1. Weight 

The Classic knives are heavier than their Gourmet counterparts. They have a bolster, a forged blade that is thicker, and a full-tang. These parts naturally make the Classic knives heavy; the only question remaining is whether they are as light to use as the Gourmet knives. 

So, when it comes to the heaviness of a knife, there are different perceptions depending upon the person using the knife. A chef might deliberately want to use a heavy one, while a household with a regular kitchen might not prefer the Classic for the same reason. 

Let us take the example of the 8-inch knife in both the Classic and Gourmet ranges to understand the difference between the weight of the two kinds of knives. This 8-inch knife is known as the cook knife, which, in the case of the Gourmet, weighs 8-ounces.

The Classic 8-inch knife is more than an ounce heavier at 9.1-ounces. As you can see, this one-ounce difference can influence your decision to buy the Classic 8-inch and use it for everyday utility.      

  1. Bolster 

Bolsters are situated between the handles and the blades to give knives balance by adding weight to the entire length. They also make knives secure to use by preventing your hand from slipping when there is a lot of chopping or cutting to do. 

Wusthof Classic knives owe their bolsters to the forging technique, but the Gourmet range cannot have them so easily, as it is stamped out of the laser technique. Thus, though the Gourmet knife may be more lightweight, you must be careful about your hand slipping if you are using the knife.    

  1. Price 

The features of the Wusthof Classic make it an outstanding product to have in your kitchen. Naturally, the quality, durability, performance, and the materials that make the Wusthof Classic will factor into the price that the range will carry. 

For example, if you compare the Classic 8-inch chef knife with the Gourmet 8-inch knife in the same category, you will notice a substantial price difference. That might seem surprising because both the chef knives are meant to do the same things and are even the same size.   

But after going through the details of the manufacturing processes, the weight, parts, features, etc., we realize how this is possible while comparing the two ranges. The Wusthof Classic knife range outdoes the Gourmet range simply because of its manufacturing process and features. 

Overall, expect to pay 30% more on average for a Wusthof Classic. Sometimes, this could go up to 150%, depending upon the size and category of the knife you want. Both the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet are good knives, but which is better suited for your kitchen?

Product Options

Any category of knives that you choose will offer a range of options, keeping in mind your cooking requirements. The Wusthof Classic gives 39 knife sets to pick from that are entirely different from each other. 

Whereas, the Wusthof Gourmet knives have a range of 37 knife sets that are not only distinct, but also have unique features. A product from each knife set is described briefly below.

  1. Wusthof Classic Starter Knife Set - 7 pieces 

With the Classic set, there is a knife for any event that needs cooking. However, please don’t be startled when you receive only four knives instead of seven. The utility knife, paring knife, chef’s knife and bread knife are all that are required for chopping meat and vegetables. 

Also, shears, a woodblock and honing steel make up the three other pieces of the whole knife set. Made of rust-resistant, stainless steel, the knives will last for a long time, and are also versatile in the kitchen. Even the grip is comfortable and you would find it quite easy to cut with them.  

That said, you might want to mix up between the paring and utility knives. It is perfectly alright to use one instead of the other on a particular food item. Although the size of the two knives is the same, there won’t be a problem while cutting, or chopping.   

  1. Wusthof Gourmet Starter Knife Set - 7 pieces 

The Gourmet knife set is quite different from the Classic. You will get a utility knife, a 6” serrated utility knife, a paring knife and a cook’s knife in this seven piece set. The other included tools are shears, honing steel and a block with nine slots. 

Also, the knives are affordable, but do not have a full tang like the Classic ones. You may not get the same quality and longevity that is guaranteed with the Classic block set. However, in terms of the look and finish, both knife sets are almost the same. 

Lastly, this product does not include a bread knife that can be very useful for daily use. 

Wusthof Classic Or Gourmet Knives?

Wusthof knives have been made in Solingen, The City of Blades in Germany, since 1814. The two ranges Wusthof Classic and Gourmet, are high-quality products designed for professional and home cooking. 

In fact, the Classic range is meant primarily for professionals or those who love cooking and do it seriously. It is sought by people who care more about the output and the knives' performance and less about the price of the knives. 

The Gourmet range is meant for people who love the quality and design that Wusthof knives have to offer but use them for everyday cutting and chopping. In other words, the Gourmet knives are suitable for general and long-term use. 

Finally, the Classic has an excellent forging technique, excellent design, and full-tang. It is generally safer to use, has a well-balanced feel to it, and is stain-proof. In comparison, the Wusthof Gourmet is a laser-stamped knife. 

The design of the Gourmet is more straightforward than its counterpart, and it is half-tang in most cases. It has to be used with caution since it does not have a full-tang. It may be a lightweight knife, but there are chances of the knife slipping out of your hand for long-term use. 

If we look at the pros and cons of the two kinds of knives, in a nutshell, we will quickly know our winner from just a glance at the listings. We figured sharing them here with you would make it clear why we choose one Wusthof brand over the other.

Pros and Cons Of Wusthof Classic And Gourmet

Wusthof Classic Pros

  • Manufactured by forging technique
  • Sharper blades
  • Great look and feel
  • Excellent design
  • Durable

Wusthof Classic Cons

  • Heavy 
  • Expensive

Wusthof Gourmet Pros

  • Easy laser-stamp manufacturing technique
  • Lightweight
  • High-quality
  • Reasonably priced

Wusthof Gourmet Cons

  • No full-tang design
  • Less performance relative to Wusthof Classic

steel kitchen knives, isolated on white with clipping path

And The Winner Is...

The Wusthof Classic range easily wins over the Gourmet range of knives. This is because Classic knives have a distinct set of features due to their manufacturing process, making them sharp and durable. 

This range would also appeal to many customers because it gives outstanding performance with an excellent look and feel. We would suggest the Wusthof Classic knives for cooking experts and lovers. 

On the contrary, the high-quality Wusthof Gourmet range is durable as well. But it does not perform as well as the Classic. Just mix and match the blades from the ranges to create your own knife set. 

Also, we suggest that you buy the Chef’s knife and Santoku knife from the Wusthof Classic for daily use. The bread knife or the carving knife can be added to the knife collection at home from the Gourmet collection. 

Happy cooking with the Wusthof Classic!

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