Wusthof is a brand most will recognize as being among the foremost manufacturers of quality cutlery. This 8-piece steak set is no exception to the brand’s legacy of quality, being made of high-carbon 18/10 stainless steel and presented in a wooden box for gift-giving. It also comes with a lifetime warranty. This set will cost you $80.
- Made entirely of 18/10 stainless steel
- 4.5in blades
- Satin finish
- Fully tanged and bolstered
- Mahogany-stained presentation box with wooden construction
- Ultra-sharp, long-lasting serrated edges
- Covered by a lifetime warranty
Wusthof Steak Knives
The Wusthof stainless steel steak knives are made of 18/10 stainless steel. That means little to some people, so it may be worthwhile to explain for a moment. 18/10 is a type of steel that has 18% chromium and 10% nickel, hence the name. This is one of the two types of stainless steel most commonly found in good flatware: the other type is 18/08, which has slightly less nickel.
Does that make a difference? Yes. Both chromium and nickel protect iron from rusting. Nickel in particular also adds to its strength and shine. An 18/08 knife will therefore be slightly less sturdy and shiny than an 18/10 one—which tells you that if the price difference is negligible, the latter is the better buy.
Wusthof’s stainless steel knives are in fact as sturdy and shiny as one may expect of their composition and manufacturer. They are well-crafted too. These are precision-forged instruments, which is generally better than the usual stamped type for several reasons.
The entirely stainless-steel construction and forging ensure that these are not light knives. You may not like them if you prefer light steak knives at your table. Most people will like the way they handle, though, as they stay true to the Wusthof brand’s reputation. These are very well-balanced despite their heft, and after using them, you may well appreciate how the weight improves the ease of steak-cutting.
Like all forged knives, these are bolstered. This means less likelihood of your fingers slipping down to the blade while handling it. That matters, given how efficient these knives’ edges are at tearing through meat. They have a single-sided serration that gives them smoother cutting action than double-sided serrated blades, yet also gives them the benefit of edge retention long after most straight blades have lost theirs. Since they are forged, they are also likely to retain their edge for a very long time, meaning you will not need to worry about sharpening them after only a few years.
Appearance-wise, they are very attractive. The clean lines lend themselves well to the distinctively-Wusthof elegance of the high-gloss finish, and they should match your other flatware beautifully. The presentation box itself is not ugly either, but one does feel it could have been made with a little more care. It does not feel half as durable as the knives it holds.
The only real issue with these knives is the slimness of their handles. Some might say the price could be another sticking point, but considering the quality that goes into them and the warranty backing their purchase, this is more than arguable. The handles, on the other hand, are admittedly on the slim side. Average hands will find them perfect, but people with larger hands may wish they had more thickness as well as length.
Nevertheless, these are still rather nice steak knives from a very good manufacturer. They may not be “bargain buys”, but they can certainly make a statement at a formal or special dinner—and they would not lead to your embarrassment were you to send them as a gift to someone either. With a 4.4 star rating, this is a nice set of knives.
It might profit us to compare the Wusthof stainless steel knives to some others at this point, specifically the JA Henckels International Stainless Steel 8-piece Steak Knife Set and the Rada Cutlery S6S 6-Piece Serrated Steak Knife Set. The Wusthof and Henckels are both European brand sets, so that may account for the difference in styling when compared to the US-made Rada set.
All three are all-metal knife sets, although the Rada knives are equipped with aluminum handles instead of stainless steel ones. This makes them less attractive (especially over time, as the aluminum finish dulls) than the European sets, but they are also cheaper costing around $25. In fact, the Rada knives cost the least, although that may also be because there are fewer of them in the package.
The middle-priced Henckels set (which is less than half the cost of the Wusthof at about $40) is advertised as being made of 18/10 stainless steel too. However, there have been reports of them rusting nonetheless, which may indicate poorer quality manufacturing than the Wusthof set. In the hand they feel fairly similar—perhaps a touch slender for big-handed people, like the Wusthof knives—but the Wusthofs do end up being preferable after some use. The Wusthofs have slightly more weight to them as well as longer blades.
The Rada knives, on the other hand, have even shorter blades at 3.5 inches. Most people will likely prefer the half-inch of length added to the blade on the Wusthof knives. There is also the fact that the Rada ones are quite short and may be best for people with hands on the smaller side: the handle is just another 3.5 inches, approximately, and that can make them uncomfortable to use for some.
On the whole, the Wusthofs present and handle the best of all sets. However, they are also the priciest, so that needs to be weighed against their good points. Buyers on a budget may opt for the Henckels steak knives if they want something for “fancy dinners”; those who want to save as much money as possible and do not care about dull-looking handles later should try the Rada ones.