Opinion about Wüsthof Classic Ikon

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

calostro5

Active Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
37
Reaction score
11
Location
Spain
I have bought in Amazon a Wüsthof Classic Ikon Chef knife which I have not used yet. I have paid 79€ for it, and I think it is a good price.
I have read that some people don't recommend this knife because of the steel and they prefer japanese steel. Some people says this knife is very heavy and the weight ist not right centred.
In the other hand, I don't have much experience in sharpening, and a soft steel ist easier to sharpen.
What do you think about this knife? I would use this knife at home.

Should I return it and look for another knife?
 

vlasena

Member
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
23
Reaction score
9
Location
Berlin
Hi Carlos, i think it depends on what you want from this knife. Some people say you have to upgrade only when you feel the need, so in that case go ahead and enjoy this knife until you feel the need to upgrade, other will say try them all and choose your best. In the second case you can order 2,3,4 or even 10 knives more from Amazon, choose best and send the rest back.
 

Nemo

Staff member
Global Moderators
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
4,857
Reaction score
936
Location
Southern NSW (Aus)
I don't know this particular knife although I have a number of similar knives (Wustoff Trident, Mundial).

None of these knives perform as well as even a basic quality Japanese (or Japanese style) knife.

Because:

1) They are thicker in the blade, behind the edge and at the edge, meaning that they are heavier and wedge more.
2) They have a pretty flat grind, giving them poor food release.
3) The steel is much softer, so won't sustain an acute angle edge.
4) The steel is coarser grained and doesn't hold a polish well. Anything over 1000 grit is a waste of time.
5) The steel contains a lot of Cr which makes it moderately abrasion resistant (resists being ground on a stone) and impotrantly, helps it form a tenacious (hard to remove) burr.

I find these knives harder to sharpen than most Japanese knives because:
1) They have a "gummy" feeling on the stones.
2) Even though the steel is relatively soft, it is relatively slow to grind.
3) It takes extra effort to get rid of the burr completely. You will never have a truly sharp knife until you learn to get rid of the burr completely.

(Edited to fix typos)
 
Last edited:

MarkC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
151
Reaction score
58
I have bought in Amazon a Wüsthof Classic Ikon Chef knife which I have not used yet. I have paid 79€ for it, and I think it is a good price.
I have read that some people don't recommend this knife because of the steel and they prefer japanese steel. Some people says this knife is very heavy and the weight ist not right centred.
In the other hand, I don't have much experience in sharpening, and a soft steel ist easier to sharpen.
What do you think about this knife? I would use this knife at home.

Should I return it and look for another knife?
I have 3-4 similar knives in my knife drawer and hand them out to my wife or guests when they insist on helping. I keep them reasonably sharp and you can use a few swipes on a steel to straighten out the edge and they will cut reasonably well again. I never use them because I hate how they wedge and how dull they feel in comparison to J knives but they have a purpose in my household.
 

Carl Kotte

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
1,881
Reaction score
2,548
Location
Stockholm, Sweden
I’ve tried the Wüsthof classic Ikon and I liked it. Sure, it is pretty heavy and the balance point is somewhere at the handle IIRC. Its profile makes it great for rocking.
While many or all of @nemo’s points apply I don’t think they should deter you from keeping your knife, so long as you have an interest in the knife and think it suits you. At 79€ there are other knives you could get, some of which are Japanese (the cheaper lines of Mac, Tojiro and perhaps Misono), but whether you should depends on you.
 

daveb

Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderators
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
10,561
Reaction score
1,703
A lot of it's "useability" dependes on your cutting style. If you (like most casual users) use a rock chop, tip on the board and guillotine product under the blade then the German profile will suit you well. That's what it lives for and the Wustie Classic is a good example of a German profile knife. If you prefer to push cut, and most experienced users find this more efficient, then you will find it something of a challenge.

The steel is relatively soft - by design - so that the knife may deflect if it sees rigorous use but unlike it's Japanese counterparts it likely won't chip. And it can be straightened with a sharpening steel. But when sharpening on stones I find them more difficult to sharpen despite it being soft because of abrasion resistant properties that are designed into the steel.

To exchange or not is your call but there's nothing wrong with keeping it. Suggest if you do that you pick up a good steel at your next opportunity. I like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Cerami...sharpening+steel+black&qid=1569973935&sr=8-34
 

Nemo

Staff member
Global Moderators
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
4,857
Reaction score
936
Location
Southern NSW (Aus)
These knives do make good beater knives (knives that you use for tasks which might chip a Japanese knife).

My wife loves her Mundials. She complains that my Japanese knives are too sharp. Come to think of it, she complains that I make her Mundials too sharp as well.
 

Hassanbensober

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2017
Messages
195
Reaction score
326
Location
St.paul mn
I spent my whole early adult life believing these knives were the best. They absolutely will stand up to any task you might need them too. I still keep a 10 inch classic chef dull and it is the best salmon skinner money can buy.
 

Walla

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2017
Messages
99
Reaction score
48
I'd say keep it...every chef, serious home cook...needs at least one knife like this...I have a couple...it may not thrill like a j knife can...but properly maintained it will last you a lifetime and be the sharpest thing most people have ever seen...if you want to continue into the world of j knives...it's handy to have a knife you don't have to baby...one that can chop through chicken bones...cut through the hardest squash and need nothing more than a swipe on the steel...

Save your j knives for softer things...and enjoy the feeling...and not worry about them when faced with a task that could damage them...

That's my opinion

Take care


Jeff
 

Michi

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
2,908
Reaction score
3,418
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Yes, a Japanese knife will out-perform a Wüsthof in terms of sharpness and edge retention. It'll also be far more prone to chipping and, depending on the steel, rusting, so it's a trade-off. Also, once sharp, you can keep a Wüsthof sharp with a honing steel for a long time; with Japanese knives, you can't use a honing steel at all because the knife is harder than the honing steel. If you use a steel with a Japanese knife, at best, you will achieve nothing; at worst, you'l take chips out of the knife edge. To keep a Japanese knife sharp, you'll have to invest in (and learn how to use) sharpening stones (or pay someone to sharpen it for you).

I wouldn't knock a Wüsthof. I have a whole collection, and I managed to cook more than passably well with them for more than three decades. They are damn near indestructible, don't rust, will survive getting put in a dishwasher just fine, and you can actually cut pork crackling, seeded bread, or half-frozen food without damaging the knife. You can even drop the knife onto a tile floor and there is every chance that it won't take any notice.

The Wüsthofs (and similar European soft-steel knives) are good knives. Very pragmatic, robust, and down to earth. Having said that, once you get to use your first Japanese knife, it'll be an eye-opener. Japanese knives are in a different class in terms of performance. But, as I said above, they require much more attention to proper cutting technique, and they need a lot of maintenance.

Pick your poison…
 

M1k3

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
2,725
Reaction score
2,339
Yes, a Japanese knife will out-perform a Wüsthof in terms of sharpness and edge retention. It'll also be far more prone to chipping and, depending on the steel, rusting, so it's a trade-off. Also, once sharp, you can keep a Wüsthof sharp with a honing steel for a long time; with Japanese knives, you can't use a honing steel at all because the knife is harder than the honing steel. If you use a steel with a Japanese knife, at best, you will achieve nothing; at worst, you'l take chips out of the knife edge. To keep a Japanese knife sharp, you'll have to invest in (and learn how to use) sharpening stones (or pay someone to sharpen it for you).

I wouldn't knock a Wüsthof. I have a whole collection, and I managed to cook more than passably well with them for more than three decades. They are damn near indestructible, don't rust, will survive getting put in a dishwasher just fine, and you can actually cut pork crackling, seeded bread, or half-frozen food without damaging the knife. You can even drop the knife onto a tile floor and there is every chance that it won't take any notice.

The Wüsthofs (and similar European soft-steel knives) are good knives. Very pragmatic, robust, and down to earth. Having said that, once you get to use your first Japanese knife, it'll be an eye-opener. Japanese knives are in a different class in terms of performance. But, as I said above, they require much more attention to proper cutting technique, and they need a lot of maintenance.

Pick your poison…
Very well put. Wusthof and other similar German style knives are like Honda's and Toyata's. Useable performance and low maintenance. Where as J Knives are more like super cars. High performance and maintenance.
 

Eloh

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Messages
322
Reaction score
231
If you let it thin behind the edge a bit by someone competent with a belt grinder, it will be a very decent performer.
The relatively soft steel works best with a polishing rod. (eg dick micro)
 

Julian

Active Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Messages
31
Reaction score
5
A lot of good points already made, I will also point out that what people here call "hard" or "soft" is very relative. If you are coming from cheap / no name knives, the Wüsthof will be much, much harder. It is not a soft steel by any means, just not as hard as others.
 

Eloh

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2015
Messages
322
Reaction score
231
Good point. They are almost the same hardness as a ashi stainless for example
 
Last edited:

Julian

Active Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Messages
31
Reaction score
5
For anyone saying you can't put a sharp edge on a Wüsthof, check out my cutting test ;)

 
Last edited:

kayman67

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Messages
833
Reaction score
474
Location
EU
Everything worth mentioning is already above. They work well (enough) for a particular cut, they can take a lot of abuse, an usable edge is easy to obtain. They can also be tuned and they get better, but an edge with good retention and decay is hard to obtain. Not impossible, but since it's out of reach for most people, might just as well be (I saw it's easier to get a better edge with Victorinox).
If the knife is a multi tool in the kitchen to care little for, this is a good buy. If not, even with mainstream choices like Mac or Global or others, it's difficult to recommend as first choice.
 

nonoyes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
108
Reaction score
29
This might be a contrary opinion but I think that if you do not sharpen yourself, German knives are better for the casual home cook (if it fits your cutting style etc.). The passable edge lasts longer, it holds up pretty well to board contact, and professional sharpening is not required very often. Learn to steel (lightly) and the edge should last a good while.

Nothing against Japanese knives, I use a gyuto more than anything else. I'm learning to sharpen and they are all easier to sharpen than my Wusthof. But I'm still glad I had my Wusthof first (and still).
 

Benuser

Supporting Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
6,284
Reaction score
728
Has been said before: thin it behind the edge, or at least ease the shoulders. The recent ones I've seen had a nasty burr or even a wire edge right OOTB.
 

Keith Sinclair

Supporting Member
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
3,992
Reaction score
356
Location
Hawaii
My main gripe with wussys is the steel so much chrom. they won't rust. I can put an edge on them. They are not sharpening friendly at all takes some effort. A Victorinox is a much better knife.
 

suntravel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
207
Reaction score
239
Location
Germay
cool knifes, but way to big bevel, get them thinned out and they are great performers ;)

Takes me 10 min on a beltgrinder and they are cutting like lasers with very good toughness and easy to sharpen.

Regards

Uwe
 

Benuser

Supporting Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
6,284
Reaction score
728
My main gripe with wussys is the steel so much chrom. they won't rust. I can put an edge on them. They are not sharpening friendly at all takes some effort. A Victorinox is a much better knife.
Must have to do with different Heat Treatment, both being Krupp's 4116. IIRC, the Vics felt a bit coarser on the stones than Wüsthof.
 

Keith Sinclair

Supporting Member
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
3,992
Reaction score
356
Location
Hawaii
Never thinned one on my belt. Think I will offer to one of the students. Some bring wussys & henks when start school from parents house. Just thinner edge would make easier to sharpen. Plus when they bring them to me they are very dull.
 

Benuser

Supporting Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
6,284
Reaction score
728
Never thinned one on my belt. Think I will offer to one of the students. Some bring wussys & henks when start school from parents house. Just thinner edge would make easier to sharpen. Plus when they bring them to me they are very dull.
The thickness behind the edge makes people use a lot force, and so the board contact will be harder to the edge.
 

MarkC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
151
Reaction score
58
Everything worth mentioning is already above. They work well (enough) for a particular cut, they can take a lot of abuse, an usable edge is easy to obtain. They can also be tuned and they get better, but an edge with good retention and decay is hard to obtain. Not impossible, but since it's out of reach for most people, might just as well be (I saw it's easier to get a better edge with Victorinox).
If the knife is a multi tool in the kitchen to care little for, this is a good buy. If not, even with mainstream choices like Mac or Global or others, it's difficult to recommend as first choice.
I think your comments on where I am. I have used Macs for years before being able to afford some of my current knives and they perform pretty well and can be sharpened easily with a couple stones.
 

calostro5

Active Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
37
Reaction score
11
Location
Spain
Hi Carlos, i think it depends on what you want from this knife. Some people say you have to upgrade only when you feel the need, so in that case go ahead and enjoy this knife until you feel the need to upgrade, other will say try them all and choose your best. In the second case you can order 2,3,4 or even 10 knives more from Amazon, choose best and send the rest back.
I want this knife only for cooking in my house. I don't have any knowledge in cooking or training in cutting.

I don't know this particular knife although I have a number of similar knives (Wustoff Trident, Mundial).

None of these knives perform as well as even a basic quality Japanese (or Japanese style) knife.

Because:

1) They are thicker in the blade, behind the edge and at the edge, meaning that they are heavier and wedge more.
2) They have a pretty flat grind, giving them poor food release.
3) The steel is much softer, so won't sustain an acute angle edge.
4) The steel is coarser grained and doesn't hold a polish well. Anything over 1000 grit is a waste of time.
5) The steel contains a lot of Cr which makes it moderately abrasion resistant (resists being ground on a stone) and impotrantly, helps it form a tenacious (hard to remove) burr.

I find these knives harder to sharpen than most Japanese knives because:
1) They have a "gummy" feeling on the stones.
2) Even though the steel is relatively soft, it is relatively slow to grind.
3) It takes extra effort to get rid of the burr completely. You will never have a truly sharp knife until you learn to get rid of the burr completely.

(Edited to fix typos)
Good reasons to return the knife and look for a japanese knife.

I have 3-4 similar knives in my knife drawer and hand them out to my wife or guests when they insist on helping. I keep them reasonably sharp and you can use a few swipes on a steel to straighten out the edge and they will cut reasonably well again. I never use them because I hate how they wedge and how dull they feel in comparison to J knives but they have a purpose in my household.
So, you prefer a japanese knife.

I’ve tried the Wüsthof classic Ikon and I liked it. Sure, it is pretty heavy and the balance point is somewhere at the handle IIRC. Its profile makes it great for rocking.
While many or all of @nemo’s points apply I don’t think they should deter you from keeping your knife, so long as you have an interest in the knife and think it suits you. At 79€ there are other knives you could get, some of which are Japanese (the cheaper lines of Mac, Tojiro and perhaps Misono), but whether you should depends on you.
I will look for these knives. In order to avoid extra taxes, I would buy what I find in Europa.

Sometimes you need a nice, beefy and tough knife. The Ikon fits that in my opinion. Nothing wrong with that. I have a Wusthof Grand Prix II in my kit.
One comment in favor of this knife.
I agree this knife seems beefy, but for hard dutty I could use a cheaper knife.

A lot of it's "useability" dependes on your cutting style. If you (like most casual users) use a rock chop, tip on the board and guillotine product under the blade then the German profile will suit you well. That's what it lives for and the Wustie Classic is a good example of a German profile knife. If you prefer to push cut, and most experienced users find this more efficient, then you will find it something of a challenge.

The steel is relatively soft - by design - so that the knife may deflect if it sees rigorous use but unlike it's Japanese counterparts it likely won't chip. And it can be straightened with a sharpening steel. But when sharpening on stones I find them more difficult to sharpen despite it being soft because of abrasion resistant properties that are designed into the steel.

To exchange or not is your call but there's nothing wrong with keeping it. Suggest if you do that you pick up a good steel at your next opportunity. I like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Cerami...sharpening+steel+black&qid=1569973935&sr=8-34
I don't know my cutting style as I don't have any technique or training in cutting. I fact I don't know the different cutting styles.
My idea is sharpening with stones. So, as you say, this a soft steel but difficult to sharpen with a stone. This doesn't seems a good steel for a beginner.
On the other hand, this steel doesn't chip as easily as japaneses steels.

These knives do make good beater knives (knives that you use for tasks which might chip a Japanese knife).

My wife loves her Mundials. She complains that my Japanese knives are too sharp. Come to think of it, she complains that I make her Mundials too sharp as well.
So, you are in favor of this knife.

I spent my whole early adult life believing these knives were the best. They absolutely will stand up to any task you might need them too. I still keep a 10 inch classic chef dull and it is the best salmon skinner money can buy.
I understand that now you think there are better options. What do you recommend me?

I'd say keep it...every chef, serious home cook...needs at least one knife like this...I have a couple...it may not thrill like a j knife can...but properly maintained it will last you a lifetime and be the sharpest thing most people have ever seen...if you want to continue into the world of j knives...it's handy to have a knife you don't have to baby...one that can chop through chicken bones...cut through the hardest squash and need nothing more than a swipe on the steel...

Save your j knives for softer things...and enjoy the feeling...and not worry about them when faced with a task that could damage them...

That's my opinion

Take care


Jeff
I appreciate your opinion. I don't have any japanese knife. All my knives are cheap and spanish.
Thank you take care you too.

Yes, a Japanese knife will out-perform a Wüsthof in terms of sharpness and edge retention. It'll also be far more prone to chipping and, depending on the steel, rusting, so it's a trade-off. Also, once sharp, you can keep a Wüsthof sharp with a honing steel for a long time; with Japanese knives, you can't use a honing steel at all because the knife is harder than the honing steel. If you use a steel with a Japanese knife, at best, you will achieve nothing; at worst, you'l take chips out of the knife edge. To keep a Japanese knife sharp, you'll have to invest in (and learn how to use) sharpening stones (or pay someone to sharpen it for you).

I wouldn't knock a Wüsthof. I have a whole collection, and I managed to cook more than passably well with them for more than three decades. They are damn near indestructible, don't rust, will survive getting put in a dishwasher just fine, and you can actually cut pork crackling, seeded bread, or half-frozen food without damaging the knife. You can even drop the knife onto a tile floor and there is every chance that it won't take any notice.

The Wüsthofs (and similar European soft-steel knives) are good knives. Very pragmatic, robust, and down to earth. Having said that, once you get to use your first Japanese knife, it'll be an eye-opener. Japanese knives are in a different class in terms of performance. But, as I said above, they require much more attention to proper cutting technique, and they need a lot of maintenance.

Pick your poison…
I the way in which you set out the matter, Wüsthof is a good choice for a beginner. But I won0t use a honing steel for sharpening, but stones.
 

calostro5

Active Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
37
Reaction score
11
Location
Spain
Very well put. Wusthof and other similar German style knives are like Honda's and Toyata's. Useable performance and low maintenance. Where as J Knives are more like super cars. High performance and maintenance.
Other opinion in favor of this knife.

A lot of good points already made, I will also point out that what people here call "hard" or "soft" is very relative. If you are coming from cheap / no name knives, the Wüsthof will be much, much harder. It is not a soft steel by any means, just not as hard as others.
Yes, the other knives that I have are cheap knives.

For anyone saying you can't put a sharp edge on a Wüsthof, check out my cutting test ;)

Good edge. What did you used to get it?
I have just bought a Shapton 1000 stone. Maybe this it too coarse to get a smooth edge.

Everything worth mentioning is already above. They work well (enough) for a particular cut, they can take a lot of abuse, an usable edge is easy to obtain. They can also be tuned and they get better, but an edge with good retention and decay is hard to obtain. Not impossible, but since it's out of reach for most people, might just as well be (I saw it's easier to get a better edge with Victorinox).
If the knife is a multi tool in the kitchen to care little for, this is a good buy. If not, even with mainstream choices like Mac or Global or others, it's difficult to recommend as first choice.
This a good point of view, My idea is to use this knife for everything. But I won't abuse it. I take care the tools.

This might be a contrary opinion but I think that if you do not sharpen yourself, German knives are better for the casual home cook (if it fits your cutting style etc.). The passable edge lasts longer, it holds up pretty well to board contact, and professional sharpening is not required very often. Learn to steel (lightly) and the edge should last a good while.

Nothing against Japanese knives, I use a gyuto more than anything else. I'm learning to sharpen and they are all easier to sharpen than my Wusthof. But I'm still glad I had my Wusthof first (and still).
I would sharpen the knife. I just need to improve my sharpening skill.

Has been said before: thin it behind the edge, or at least ease the shoulders. The recent ones I've seen had a nasty burr or even a wire edge right OOTB.
So, you would buy a japanese knife. Or at least not this knife.

My main gripe with wussys is the steel so much chrom. they won't rust. I can put an edge on them. They are not sharpening friendly at all takes some effort. A Victorinox is a much better knife.
Victorinox Fibrox?

cool knifes, but way to big bevel, get them thinned out and they are great performers ;)

Takes me 10 min on a beltgrinder and they are cutting like lasers with very good toughness and easy to sharpen.

Regards

Uwe
I don't have a beltgrinder, and I need to improve my sharpening skill.
Regards.

Never thinned one on my belt. Think I will offer to one of the students. Some bring wussys & henks when start school from parents house. Just thinner edge would make easier to sharpen. Plus when they bring them to me they are very dull.
I agree, thinner edge makes easier to sharpen.
 

nonoyes

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2018
Messages
108
Reaction score
29
I would sharpen the knife. I just need to improve my sharpening skill.
Wusthof has changed since I bought my knife years ago so this may not apply to yours but I don't enjoy sharpening mine. At. All. I still think it's a great knife otherwise.

The steeling I'm referring to is not sharpening, it is using the metal rod to "realign the teeth", which is a quick task frequently performed on classic western chef's knives (but offers little reward and much risk to higher hardness, e.g., Japanese, knives):


You can fill out the questionnaire and get lots of advice if you want to look at new knives (the questionnaire also has nice descriptions of the different cutting techniques).
 

Bobby2shots

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
84
Reaction score
45
Location
Lachute Quebec
Calostro5,
Another vote in favour of keeping the Wusthof Ikon,,,, don't underestimate it, it's a very well made knife, and can potentially serve you a lifetime. Don't get caught up in which knife is "better", without identifying specifically what makes one knife "better" than the other when that knife is in YOUR hands. (better at what task exactly?)

Look at your own specific needs, and go with the knife that best suits those needs. Both Japanese and German knives have their strong points, and weaknesses. The Wusthof is a great all-rounder, especially if you only have a few knives. If you need to add a less-expensive and thinner knife for some reason, such as for cutting squash or other fibrous produce, you might want to consider a Victorinox knife for your collection. In my opinion, the Victorinox knives are one of the great bargains out there today; extremely easy to maintain a razor-sharp edge, and far less prone to chipping than many of the harder-steel knives out there. My 6" Victorinox Rosewood utility/chef knife is my most frequently used knife (4-5 times a day), and it's still as sharp is the day I bought it 10 months ago in December of 2018. A joy to use... and I confess, I didn't expect that when I bought it. I've not had to sharpen it at all on stones,,,, just the lightest touch-up with a steel or ceramic honing rod, and I can cut tomatoes so thin, you can read a newspaper through them.

FWIW, I own 20 or so German and Japanese knives by Wusthof, Zwilling Pro,Victorinox, Miyabi, Shun, and MAC. They're all good knives, and I don't consider any of them "better" than another,,,, just different, each with their own strong points and weaknesses.
 
2
Top