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View Full Version : When is a knife not worth rehandling?



mr drinky
01-24-2013, 01:40 PM
Last weekend I was talking with a bartender/chef in Minneapolis, and he mentioned that his handle had fallen off of his Wusthof and was wondering what to do with it. The knife knut in me says get a new knife, but it seems as if he likes the knife and would like to get a new handle put on -- but then rehandling knives is no cheap endeavor either.

I've thought of donating a block of wood for the project and seeing if a hobbyist would like to take take a crack at rehandling it for him as a learning project. Since he now tends bar more than cooks, I don't exactly want to send him down the road of new knife, sharpening stones, diamond plate etc...that comes later ;)

Is a Wusthof worth rehandling? For me, any knife is worth rehandling if it is used.

k.

Johnny.B.Good
01-24-2013, 01:50 PM
Is there some sentimental value attached to the knife? If not, I would just buy a new one if it were me (same knife, if that is what he likes and has no desire to try something different).

I have no problem with people spending more money on a handle than a knife is worth, but not if cost is an issue.

How does the handle of a Wusthof "fall off," anyway? If the knife is going to be abused, may as well abuse a Wusthof handle rather than some nice scales shaped by hand.

Benuser
01-24-2013, 02:01 PM
I would send it to Wüsthof. I guess they will just replace the whole knife, without any discussion.

labor of love
01-24-2013, 02:25 PM
would it be cheaper to just buy the same wusthof new instead of rehandling it? maybe that should be an option.

Jmadams13
01-24-2013, 02:36 PM
I agree sending it to Wusthof. I had the scales come loose on a paring a few years ago, called them, sent it back, and had a brand new one in about three days. No questions asked. It was actually a better knife that I got, because the one that I sent back wasn't made anymore (it was really really old).

Lefty
01-24-2013, 03:00 PM
At least it wasn't made by Estwing....

Benuser
01-24-2013, 03:15 PM
I agree sending it to Wusthof. I had the scales come loose on a paring a few years ago, called them, sent it back, and had a brand new one in about three days. No questions asked. It was actually a better knife that I got, because the one that I sent back wasn't made anymore (it was really really old).
Glad to hear their American distributor is just as accommodating as its European counterpart.

chinacats
01-24-2013, 03:33 PM
Slightly OT, but I just received a Wusthof chef's as a gift and the handle seems to have already shrunk. It is something made for Sur la Table and the handle is made of something other than wood (recycled wood fibre). Curious as to their quality control nowadays: though I will just replace it with some of Mark's stuff. Interesting knife and one that will actually get used; it is the only knife that I have with that much belly (more than my old Henckels) and will be perfect for rocking herbs.

Evidently the blade is coated in some type of ceramic but that will be gone after first thinning. The steel is somewhat soft, but overall it seems nice for what it is.

daveb
01-24-2013, 03:36 PM
Any Wustie retailer will either replace the knife of provide phone/shipping info for replacement. If he can get to where knife was originally purchased so much the better - if not "I received it as a gift - don't know where they bought it".

If for whatever reason he wants to go new then try and upgrade him to the Ikon or Messermeister. With a semi bolster, either is a much better candidate for sharpening than the full bolster Wustie Classic. And since you're now talking $150ish why don't you look at these...

mr drinky
01-24-2013, 04:01 PM
I just wrote him and offered the suggestion of sending it back to the manufacturer unless he had some sentimental value to it. I'm not sure how the scales came off. He used to work at Alinea in Chicago and doesn't strike me as a knife abuser. Maybe it got dropped.

I may also loan him a knife and see where that takes things.

k.

kalaeb
01-24-2013, 04:26 PM
Wusthoff are a pain to rehandle, their bolsters are not square where it hits the tang. Getting that curve right is not easy.

Johnny.B.Good
01-24-2013, 04:26 PM
I just wrote him and offered the suggestion of sending it back to the manufacturer unless he had some sentimental value to it. I'm not sure how the scales came off. He used to work at Alinea in Chicago and doesn't strike me as a knife abuser. Maybe it got dropped.

Nobody could abuse a Wusthof much worse than my mother has abused hers over the years (soaking in the sink, allowing them to drip dry, and the occasional trip through the dishwasher). Some of her handles (particularly the bread knife for some reason) are in pretty rough shape (dried and cracked), but they're all serviceable. These are old knives, so perhaps materials and construction have changed over the years, but having scales come all the way off is something.

My guess is Wusthof replaces the knife for the cost of shipping (if that).

mr drinky
01-24-2013, 04:27 PM
Wusthoff are a pain to rehandle, their bolsters are not square where it hits the tang. Getting that curve right is not easy. Good to know.

k.

keithsaltydog
01-24-2013, 04:54 PM
Little off topic,Forchners over the yrs. have been used alot in Hotel kitchens.Cooks liked them because easy to sharpen,no bolster at all.I still have old ones 10" & 12" chef knives.I am amazed how wt the rigors of banquet kit. how well the handles hold up.Eventually develope gaps where bacteria can get in but thats after tons of use.

Alot of the blank knives sold are low quality compared to even the cheaper J-Gyuto's like Fujiwara,Tojiro DP,Suisin Inox,Carbonext which are all better than Forchner's.All worthy of rehandle.

El Pescador
01-24-2013, 06:49 PM
I think you need to let him know what a professional rehandle costs (I think Dave Martell Charges +/-$185 w/o the wood) and let him make the decision. If he sees some value in that THEN I would go down the road of trying to find someone to help him. You took the time to join and participate in the forum because you place a tremendous value on kitchen knives-to him, it might just be a knife.

dough
01-24-2013, 10:10 PM
Is a Wusthof worth rehandling? For me, any knife is worth rehandling if it is used.


i think you can only ask the knife owner. i know if i spend a lot of time with a knife i get a bevel and overall geometry i am very comfortable using. new knifes cant replace that time and effort. sure i can turn new knife to being similar to old knife but i could just put a more personalized handle on old knife.