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German Kitchen Knives

Best splurge
Wusthof Classic Ikon set
5/5
Best on a budget
Mercer 8-Piece Magnetic Board Set
5/5
Best Overall
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature Knife Set
5/5

Solingen, Germany, is often referred to as the city of blades. This is because many of the best knives in the world come from Germany. They are known for making the finest of blades, including swords, scissors, razors, and knives.

Many of the Soligen, Germany, brands have been around for over a decade. Even more of the brands have been around for over 100 years. While Germany’s blade collection was especially important during medieval times, they have adapted to manufacturing some of the best kitchen knives today.

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Best German Kitchen Knives of 2021

The best German kitchen knives are typically made out of high-strength, durable materials. They are extremely sharp and come with thinner blades to offer more balance when cutting. Here are a few of our favorite brands, as well as top collections to consider:

1. Mercer

The Mercer brand is a good option if you want items that are versatile and durable, but don’t want to spend a fortune. Mercer may be cheaper than the other German knife brands because they’re technically not made in Germany. They are made in Taiwan but are still considered to be German knives because of how they’re made and the materials they use.

The Mercer brand is a good option if you want items that are versatile and durable, but don’t want to spend a fortune. Mercer may be cheaper than the other German knife brands because they’re technically not made in Germany. They are made in Taiwan but are still considered to be German knives because of how they’re made and the materials they use.

Mercer is best known for its stamped and forged knives. More specifically, a few of their most popular German knives include the Renaissance and Millennia.

The Mercer handles are designed for comfort with an ergonomic design and nonslip grip. Additionally, a lot of their German knives come with a full tang construction. Another reason that people like these quality knives is that they also come with incredibly sharp blades. The specific blade angle varies between the different knives but each one uses a softer steel that holds up well.

Important Facts to Know about the Mercer Brand

Manufacturing location: Taiwan

Blade material: High carbon steel that is also stain-resistant.

Handle material: Varies, depending on the knives. A lot of their collections include synthetic materials that include Delrin and ABS. Some of their collections also have wood handles.

Edge angle: Most are between 14-15. They also have a unique Asian collection which includes 6-degrees on one side and 15 degrees on the other side.

Rockwell hardness level: 56

A Mercer Knife Set to Consider

The 8-Piece Magnetic Board Set is one of our favorite Mercer collections. This set comes with a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a fillet knife, a stiff boning knife, and a paring knife. Each of the knives is compatible with a magnetic board, also available by Mercer. This makes it easy to store your knives without much effort. The unique style of the board can also make your collection stand out.

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2. Gude

Gude is another one of our favorite German knife brands. While they haven’t been around as long as a few of the other kitchen knives brands, they still have over 100 years of experience meaning they know how to make good quality knives. Gude has been manufacturing German kitchen knives and German steel blades since the early-1900s. Their lineup consists of drop forged knives that are hand-grounded and very sharp.

Gude is another one of our favorite German knife brands. While they haven’t been around as long as a few of the other kitchen knives brands, they still have over 100 years of experience meaning they know how to make good quality knives. Gude has been manufacturing German kitchen knives and German steel blades since the early-1900s. Their lineup consists of drop forged knives that are hand-grounded and very sharp.

With a 55-step process, you can expect a durable, sharp knife blade, regardless of the knife set you choose. The great thing about the Gude brand is that they tend to be affordable.

Gude also offers a diverse inventory of quality knives to choose from. You can choose from eight knife collections, each of which also has numerous types of knives included. The Alpha Collection is one of the most popular and includes items like the chef knife or the slicer knife with a serrated edge. This collection also comes with sharpening steel to sharpen your blades at home.

Important Facts to Know About the Gude Brand

Manufacturing location: Solingen, Germany

Blade material: Most of this brand is designed with Chrome-Moly cutlery steel materials. Some collections may use carbon steel.

Handle material: This depends on the specific chef’s knife. Potential materials include Hostaform or pear wood.

Edge angle: All knives are designed with 17-degrees on each side.

Rockwell Hardness level: 56

A Gude Collection to Consider

If you like the Gude brand for its style, then you might enjoy the Gude Delta Series Knives. This set is on our best German knives list because the knives are made with a chrome steel blade and an African Blackwood half bolster style. The wood is especially durable, and is made from one of the heaviest materials in the world. Gude also hand sharpens the blade before shipping.

This particular set comes with three knives.

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3. Zwilling J.A. Henckels

Zwilling is another popular German knife brand that people often compare to Wusthof. This is because Zwilling J.A. Henckels manufactures its knives in the same location and both brands have a prominent following in Solingen Germany.

Zwilling is another popular German knife brand that people often compare to Wusthof. This is because Zwilling J.A. Henckels manufactures its knives in the same location and both brands have a prominent following in Solingen Germany.

However, Zwilling J.A. Henckels has over 15 German knives to choose from, meeting the needs of more home chefs. A few of their most popular collections include Four Star and Kramer Meiji. Each of their different items has a distinct design, some following the traditional German design, others taking a more modern approach to kitchen knives.

What makes the Henckels knives most unique when compared to the other good German knives brands is their proprietary technology, called SIGMAFORGE. This process consists of forging knives from one piece of solid steel. Using geometric precision, they create German kitchen knives that have a very sharp edge and that are flexible.

You might be surprised to learn that the Zwilling J.A. Henckels brand is actually two entities. While Zwilling owns both, they are actually two distinct brands. Zwilling is the premium knife brand. J.A. Henckels is more of an entry-level option.

In other words, if you are a professional chef or want to take your cooking to the next level, then the Zwilling brand might be a better choice. If you’re looking for entry-level cutlery, you might choose the Henckels brand. The biggest difference between the two brands is that the Zwilling brand has forged blades and the Henckel brand uses stamped blades.

Pros:

Here are a few things that we like about the Zwilling J.A. Henckels brand:

  • Henckel’s knives are made with high carbon materials that are rust-resistant.
  • Henckels knives offer a variety of kitchen knives accommodating different budgets.
  • Many of the Zwilling knives are made right in Germany.
  • J.A. Henckels knives are affordable while still offering good durability and quality.

Cons:

Here are a few things to consider before deciding if the Zwilling J.A. Henckels brand is right for you:

  • With so many collections available, some may offer slightly less quality than others.
  • The J.A. Henckel brand is not always manufactured in Germany.

Important Facts to Know about the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Brand

Manufacturing location: Solingen, Germany or Seki, Japan.

Blade material: Most Zwilling knives come with a forged FRIODU blade. J.A. Henckels comes with a stamped blade.

Handle material: The handle material depends on the specific kitchen knives, but may include wood, stainless steel, polymer, or black linen.

Edge angle: Zwilling: 15-degree angle on each side. Most J.A. Henckel’s: between 9-12 degrees.

Hardness level: Zwilling German knife brands: 57, Most J.A. Henckel’s products: 61

A Zwilling Set to Consider

If you’re considering buying Zwilling German knives, then we recommend the Professional S 7-Piece Knife Set. It comes with seven German knives that are sure to improve your cooking experience. This set includes the iconic Zwilling steel formula which makes them sharp, stain-resistant, and long-lasting. The knives are ice-hardened which means are some of the most durable knives available.

This set includes:

  • Paring knife
  • Chef’s knife
  • Prep knife
  • Bread knife
  • Honing rod
  • Kitchen shears

It also comes with a high-quality knife block.

The Henckels Statement Knife Set With Block is a good entry-level option available through the J.A. Henckels brand. This knife set comes with 12 pieces including a paring knife, a santoku knife, a bread knife, a chef’s knife, six steak knives, sharpening steel, and a hardwood knife block.

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4. Wusthof

The Wusthof brand uses the traditional German knife design, which consists of a rust-resistant steel blade that usually also includes a full bolster design. However, their designs are also paired with modern updates, like luxurious patterns and a thinner blade that is easy to sharpen at home. You also have the option of choosing between full bolster, synthetic, or nonsynthetic handles.

You won’t read many best german knives lists and not find Wusthof on it. This brand is owned and operated by the Wusthof family, who has continued to focus on making some of the best quality knives. The Wusthof brand has been creating German blades since 1814, and they continue to sell the best German knives in over 80 countries.

The Wusthof brand uses the traditional German knife design, which consists of a rust-resistant steel blade that usually also includes a full bolster design. However, their designs are also paired with modern updates, like luxurious patterns and a thinner blade that is easy to sharpen at home. You also have the option of choosing between full bolster, synthetic, or nonsynthetic handles.

With over seven generations, the Wusthof brand has perfected its design. They use a unique steel formula that pairs a series of quality materials, including stainless steel, chrome, vanadium, and molybdenum. The manufacturing process is so involved and premium that it involves over 40 intricate steps.

This brand even offers a lot of different knife collections to meet your preferences. A few of your options include the Classic, the Classic Ikon, the Grand Prix II, and the Gourmet. Each of the sets is made with high-quality German steel but comes in different colors and designs.

True to their German heritage, Wusthof continues to manufacturer all of their German knives right in Germany.

Important Facts to Know

Here are a few fast facts about Wusthof:

Manufacturing location: Solingen Germany

Blade material: X50CRMOV15, which is a single block of steel alloy that includes carbon and chromium steel materials.

Handle material: Depends on the specific German knife you choose. Wusthof offers natural fibers and African Blackwood materials.

Edge angle: All knives in the Wusthof brand come with a 14-degree angle with the exception of the Santoku knives. These knives feature a 10-inch sharpening on each side.

Hardness level: 58

A Wusthof Collection to Consider

The Wusthof Classic Ikon set is one of our favorite German knives collections. With well over a decade of knife-making experience, Wusthof knows how to make a good chef’s knife. In this set, you get much more than the versatile chef’s knife. This collection comes with:

  • Chef’s knife
  • Paring knife
  • Utility knife
  • Kitchen shears
  • Bread knife
  • Honing steel

This collection also comes with a knife block to provide you with storage for your items.

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Why Buy a German Kitchen Knife?

Germany has earned a reputation as one of the top producers of cutlery. German knives have become the standard against which other knife makers are compared against. This is usually due to the fact that German knives are designed with high-quality materials, comfortable handles, and thick, forged knife blades.

Forged German knives are also extremely sharp, which makes them a top kitchen knife. They also often have a full tang design, which means the steel blade runs from the tip to the end of the handle. This can also improve comfort when using the knife, especially where the handle meets the blade.

Here are a few German kitchen knife brands that we trust:

  • Wusthof
  • Henckels
  • Mercer
  • Zwilling

You will find a lot of knife makers in Germany. Whether you’re looking for forged knives or the precision forged Classic Ikon, you have a lot of options.

How to Choose the Best German Kitchen Knives

Even once you decide to buy German knives, you have to pick which brand and collection is right for you. You can narrow down your options by considering the following:

  • Features: Consider things like the blade angle and material when choosing the right knife. Certain features can also improve comfort. For example, a full tang design can give you more space to place your hand, giving you more control over your cutting.
  • Overall weight: Knives also come in different weights. You want one that is large enough to give you the control you need to cut your ingredients, but that’s also comfortable.
  • Construction: Also referred to as the knife construction, the materials and design are also very important. The materials you choose will also affect how often you have to sharpen them. Most German knives are made from steel that includes iron and carbon. German knife brands then pair this with a full tang construction design and a handle with three rivets for optimal comfort.
  • Style: Kitchen knives also come in different designs and colors. This may or may not be important to you.
  • Durability: When choosing the best German kitchen knives, you want a brand that offers durability.

German Knives Versus Japanese Knives

Many chefs compare German knives with Japanese knives. However, they do have noticeable differences. The biggest difference between the two is the materials used when making them. German knives are made with a single piece of high-quality steel. Japanese knives are made with more carbon materials, which can make them harder and sometimes, heavier.

Frequently Asked Questions About German Knives

The Rockwell Hardness level refers to the resistance level of a piece of metal or steel. The higher the rating, typically the stronger and more durable.

When you buy high-quality knives, you want a brand that lasts. However, you can also extend the life of your knives by properly caring for them. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your knife set:

  • Choose a trustworthy brand: Choosing a trustworthy brand on our best German knives list ensures that you get a good quality set to start with.
  • Choose a good knife block: A knife block is designed to protect your knives. Choose a knife block that is designed for your specific collection of knives.
  • Use your knives for their intended purpose: Choosing the right type of knife and using it for its intended purpose is also important in maintaining your knives.
  • Follow care and cleaning instructions: It is recommended that most German knives be hand-washed. While some may be dishwasher safe, you can maintain their quality handwashing.

While you may find German knives at a factory price in Germany, there is also a lot of affordable online sellers. Most German knives can be shipped to your home at a competitive price.

The number of quality knives that you need in your kitchen will depend on your cooking style and preferences. You can always buy a sole knife, or you can go with one of the top knife sets. If you already have a few good kitchen knifes, you might not need to splurge on a full set. However, having a uniform set of full bolster German knives can improve your cooking and make your kitchen look nicer.

Choose Your Favorite German Kitchen Knives Today

German knives are a great choice if you’re ready to upgrade your kitchen tools. Whether you want a full tang design or a half bolster, you’re sure to find a German set that meets your cooking needs. Consider your budget and cooking preferences when choosing the right set for you. German brands offer a lot of quality options.

Heather Hardy

Heather Hardy

Heather is a professional writer with a background in real estate and home renovation. She enjoys research and contributing to DIY publications.

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