Wusthof Classic Vs Ikon – The Great Knife Debate

Written by Peter Allen on . Posted in Cutlery

Before we talk about which is better—Wusthof Classic or Ikon—let’s talk about knives in general first. Many consider cooking as an art form. If you work with the right materials– the ingredients and the tools – you can come up with the masterpiece.

While novice cooks know that importance of starting out with great ingredients, it is the well experienced ones that know it is the tools and equipment that you use with the ingredients that make all the difference.

Have you ever watched any popular cooking competition show? Did you notice that chefs always bring their own set of knives even if they are provided with quality knives in the competition? It is because professional chefs spend years finding the right knives to use.

Thanks to brands like Wusthof, you wouldn’t have to spend years to find the right knives for you to use in your kitchen. All you have to do is decide which line you want to use from the Wusthof knife sets and you can start creating your kitchen masterpieces. Have a look at our extensive Wusthof Classic Vs Ikon review to choose which one might be just perfect for your kitechen.

The Wusthof company is a well-established knife making company that has been in existence since 1814. With over a decade of perfecting their product lines, they were able to create knives with the perfect balance and well-shaped handles. These qualities combined with the use of superior materials make Wusthof knives highly coveted in professional and home kitchens alike.

They currently have seven lines to choose from: Gourmet, Grand Prix II, Epicure, Pro, Ikon, Classic Ikon, and Classic.

Wusthof Classic is a Simple Yet Reliable Line

Photo by Sous Vide Guy / CC BY

The Classic line is comprised of 70 different types of knives. Each has the beautifully honed design that is very simplistic. This line is the most versatile of the seven, containing a wide array of knives with various uses.

The lengths of the knives range from 8 to 14 inches and are designed to slice through different food ingredients no matter the texture or firmness.

What sets the Classic line from the others is its triple-riveted handles with the fully exposed tang. There is a full-size bolster built into the tang and the blade to serve as protection for the users’ hands during preparation. It is considered as the most popular of the lines to date.

This line is recommended for budding chefs who want to improve their cutting and slicing techniques and want to work with the simplest of designs.

Below are two of the best Wusthof Classic line sets that are available in the market today.

* Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set

If you like matching your equipment to your kitchen, I have good news for you. While most knife lines come in black, this set from Wusthof is housed in a block that comes in six different colors. You can choose between acacia, bamboo, black, natural, walnut, and cherry.

The block looks well-made and is stable enough that it will not topple over easily. You can choose the wood to fit traditional kitchens or stick with black to match a more contemporary one. If you have limited space, you will be happy to hear that the knife block’s slim design will not take up too much of your counter space. It only measures 9.5 x 3.5 inches.

The set includes a paring knife that measures 3.5 inches. It is actually the most frequently used knife in the set. You can use this to peel or chop fruits and vegetables like potatoes, remove the hull of strawberries, or free the vein from the back of shrimps.

It also comes with a 5-inch utility knife that has a serrated blade. This is very helpful in cutting bread. Besides that, you can also use this knife to easily cut a chunk of chocolate bar into smaller pieces.

Another knife that comes with the set is the Kiritsuke Prep knife with a 6-inch blade. The Kiritsuke is probably one of the most versatile knives next to the paring knife. It can help you dice and julienne vegetables beautifully. It is also a great tool for cleaning and cutting fish. It goes through meat smoothly so it is something that you might be reaching for often when you prepare your meals.

Besides the Kiritsuke, you will also get another 8-inch knife, the Wusthof chef knife. It will probably be your go to in separating and slicing meat from bones.

It is perfect for mincing, slicing, and chopping ingredients.

Finally, we get to the 8-inch knife for bread. Now, while this may be the least utilized knife in the bunch, you will still be thankful to have this should you want to prepare garlic bread to go with your pasta. The edge of this knife is designed to bite into the bread just enough to cut it but not enough to shred it to pieces.

It must also be sharp enough to keep from squishing your soft breads. In choosing a bread knife, the length is crucial. You have to get one that is long enough to easily perform the sawing motion needed for cutting bread. Since this knife is 8 inches long, you will not have any troubles cutting your breads into slices.

Each knife is precision forged with the full tang design. Because it is made of high-quality stainless-steel, you can be sure that each piece will retain its sharpness for a very long time. The material is very durable so it should survive even the most rigorous of uses.

The set also comes with a highly versatile come-apart shears. It is very useful when you are trying to cut up an entire chicken or cutting leaves of herbs. It is also convenient to have when you need to cut open any packages of ingredients.

The handle, as mentioned above features the triple-rivet design. This ensures that the handle stays on the blade. One common comment against poorly manufactured knives is that the handles fall off the blade so easily. This is not going to be a problem with any of your Wusthof Classic knives. The material used is polyoxymethylene. This synthetic material makes the handles more durable and resistant to staining or fading.

The knives are easy to maintain.

The manufacturer dissuades users from washing these knives in the dishwasher. However, they are pretty easy to wash. All you have to do is clean food debris off using a dish sponge with some detergent.

Wusthof knife sets come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Should any of your knives break, you can just call the manufacturer, and have it fixed or replaced.

Here are the pros and cons of buying the Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set:

Pros:

  • Built by a reputable company
  • Knives come in different sizes
  • Very durable
  • Comes with a slim block to keep your knives organized
  • Comes with lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • For budding chef’s there might be too few knives
  • A little heavy
  • Not dishwasher safe

* Wusthof Classic 16-piece Bamboo Knife Block Set

Just like the 7-piece set, this knife set comes with a very slim knife block with 17 slots. It comes in six colors that is the perfect container for the black handled knives that come with it. The block contains an extra slot to house any additional knife that you may have. It is very slim and would not take too much space on your counter.

The set comes with two utility knives measuring 4.5 inches and 6 inches. These are great for cutting medium-sized vegetables and fruits, slicing chunks of cheeses, trimming chicken and preparing fillets from small types of fish.

There is also the 3.5-inch paring knife which is just as versatile as the utility knife. The shorter blade allows for more precise control over the knife.

Just like the previous set, it also contains the following: 5-inch serrated utility knife, 8-inch bread knife, 8-inch chef’s knife, and the come-apart shears. On top of that, it also includes the 8-inch Wunder knife with the hollow edge.  This very versatile blade can help you do so much in the kitchen.

You can use it for slicing, carving, and chopping.

If your family loves eating steaks, this set will really make you happy. It comes with six pieces of steak knives measuring 4.5 inches each. These steak knives will make your meals more convenient. The blade is short enough to easily cut your meat into pieces.

Finally, it comes with a sharpening steel that measures 9 inches. This is a particularly helpful tool in keeping the blades of your knives very sharp. Some people have tried using this sharpening steel and claimed that, while it does keep the edge of the blades sharp, it cannot make it as sharp as new.

All the bladed tools in this set are forged from high-carbon stainless steel. Each knife is forged from a single bar of metal. This is heated and pounded into shape. A knife that is forged is usually heavier and more durable than its stamped counterpart. The knives are known for their hardness. They rate a 58 on the Rockwell scale for hardness.

Besides this feature, Wusthof also uses PEtec or Precision Edge technology to ensure that each knife’s blade is sharper than other blades by 20%. The technology also makes the knives’ edge stay sharp twice as long. This means you don’t have to use that sharpening steel as much.

The handles are also attached to the blade with three rivets to make sure that the handles stay attached to it no matter what. This combined with the full tang ensures that the blade and the handle never get separated. This is what makes Wusthof knives different from other more affordable alternatives.

This set is perfect for budding chefs and home cooks who are no longer satisfied with their basic knife sets.

Here are the pros and cons of buying the Wusthof Classic 16-piece Bamboo Knife Block Set:

Pros:

  • Built by a reputable company
  • More knives to choose from
  • Very durable
  • Comes with a slim block to keep your knives organized
  • Comes with lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • A little heavy
  • Not dishwasher safe

Wusthof Ikon is an Ergonomically-designed line

After the success of the Classic line, Wusthof came up with another very similarly designed range of knives. This is the Ikon line. Also known as the Classic Ikon, the main difference between this and its predecessor is the ergonomic design of the handle of the newer range.

The handle’s design allows for better grip. This results to the cook’s better control of the knife, producing more precise cuts without damaging the fiber of the food being processed.

It is ideal for preparing large batches of food because the knife’s design reduces fatigue. You can cut and slice more without feeling too much pain from exerting effort. Other than that, the Ikon is virtually the same as the knives from the Classic line. If you are planning on preparing a large amount of food, this is the line that is advisable for you to get.

Below are the two best Ikon line sets that you can buy for your kitchen.

* Wusthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Walnut Block Knife Set

Cooking experts may tell you that all you will need are three knives: the bread knife, a paring knife, and a chef’s knife. This particular set of Wusthof Ikon knives have all three of those plus a few extra ones that you will discover you cannot live without.

All in all, the set contains a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch chef’s knife, and the 8-inch bread knife. It also contains a 6-inch utility knife. This knife is what beginner chefs and usual home cooks use instead of the more intimidating chef’s knife. If you prepare a lot of cucumbers, apples, potatoes, citrus fruits, or even slabs of meat. You also get the kitchen shears.

With the set comes a 13-slot knife block. This is made with high-quality treated wood that is perfect for keeping the Ikon set of knives organized. It can accommodate seven more knives that you may already own or plan to buy in the near future.

The honing steel that goes with the set is also a useful tool. It can keep your knives’ edges really sharp. This way, you won’t have to go out and get your knives sharpened professionally because you can do it yourself at home.

A lot of reviews claim that the knives from the Ikon set are perfectly balanced and comfortable to use. They also rave about how each knife looks so beautiful and sophisticated with its black and stainless-steel colors. The wooden knife block serves as the perfect background for the sleek kitchen tools.

The Ikon 7-piece set is designed for a lifetime of use.

Each knife is forged from one block of high-carbon stainless steel. The carbon material makes the blade extra hard and able to keep its sharp edge longer. Each knife has a laser-tested edge to make sure that you have a long-lasting, and razor-sharp edge to begin with.

The knives from the Ikon line have handles made from real wood that comes from African Blackwood trees. This is a tree naturally found in Eastern African. This wood is known for being stiff and sturdy. It has a very fine texture too. Wusthof polishes this wood to a shine that adds to the beauty of the knives.

Each handle has rear and half-bolsters on the blade. These are safety notches added to the blade to keep the hand from sliding onto the sharp part. The wooden handles are also triple-riveted to the metal. Combined with the full-tang, which means the metal part of the knife that extends into the grip portion of its handle, this makes each Ikon knife very sturdy indeed.

While cleaning is already easy with this knife, given that the stainless steel isn’t a surface that food would normally cling to, it is best not to wash the knives in a dishwasher. Just soak the knife in water and wash it with mild detergent after using to quickly wash off food debris and juices.

Here are the pros and cons of buying the Wusthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Walnut Block Knife Set:

Pros:

  • Built by a reputable company
  • Contains more knives than what you may need
  • Very durable
  • Handles are well designed to prevent fatigue
  • Comes with a slim block to keep your knives organized
  • Comes with lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • A little heavy
  • Not dishwasher safe

* Wusthof Classic Ikon 14-piece Knife Block Set

We will now take a look at the final set of knives for this particular Wusthof knife comparison. This set contains all the items that are included in the 7-piece Ikon set above plus a few more knives that you will use for more technical preparations.

This knife set includes the paring knife that measures 3.5 inches, a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a serrated utility knife that measures 5 inches, and a utility knife that measures 6 inches.

It also includes a 7-inch Santoku knife with a hollow edge. This exotic sounding knife is actually just a chopping and slicing knife. It is finely balanced and very lightweight. It does not have a bolster so the entire length of the blade can be used.

This particular knife is best for fine slicing.

Although it is lightweight, this particular knife is extremely strong. It has the power to cut through bone and can serve as a butcher’s knife. The hollow edge is designed to prevent anything from sticking to its blade. The Santoku knife is not suitable for cooks that are used to doing the rocking motion commonly used with a chef’s knife.

Another special knife that is included in this set is the 8-inch offset carving knife. This one has an L-shaped blade that is perfect for making uniform slices of meats like cooked turkey or chicken. It is also the ideal knife for filleting large fish. The shape of the blade makes it easy for you to slice downward without scraping your knuckles on the chopping board.

The set also contains four matching steak knives. These table knives make it easier for you to cut up your meat while you are enjoying a steak dinner with your family or friends.

All these knives have been improved by Wusthof’s PEtec which enhances all the edges to be sharper and stay sharp longer.

Besides the knives, the set also comes with a pair of kitchen shears. You can use this for taking apart an entire chicken or turkey, cutting up leaves of herbs, sectioning grapes, peeling shrimps, and so many more.

The included sharpening steel is a great addition to this set. It enables you to keep the edges of your knives sharpened so you don’t have to spend on getting it done professionally.

The contoured handles are designed for better control and comfort. This is extra helpful when you prepare a lot of ingredients on a daily basis. That is why this set is ideal for commercial use. You won’t have to worry about handles falling off the knives because they are attached securely to the entire tang with three rivets. The material for the handles is designed to resist stains.

Here are the pros and cons of buying the Wusthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Walnut Block Knife Set:

Pros:

  • Built by a reputable company
  • Contains more knives than what you may need including specialty knives
  • Very durable
  • Handles are well designed to prevent fatigue
  • Comes with a slim block to keep your knives organized
  • Comes with lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • A little heavy
  • Not dishwasher safe

Conclusion: Which is the Best Wusthof Knife Set?

Still working on the Wusthof Classic Vs Ikon? The truth is, these sets are almost all identical. The only difference between Wusthof Classic and Classic Ikon lines is the design of the handles. They both have durable blades that keep sharp despite heavy use. They both have the triple-riveted handles with the full-tang.

Additionally, the sets all have the same basic types of knives that any budding chef would want in his arsenal. If you need something more than what the 7-piece sets can provide, get the 16-piece set from the Classic line or the 14-piece set from the Ikon line. Whatever you, choose, Wusthof Classic Vs Ikon, will surely enhance your cooking experience and elevate the quality of food that comes out of your kitchen.

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Peter Allen

Peter Allen

Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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