There are many options available in the market for a kitchen knife. However, if you are looking for a good quality knife that is both durable and efficient, certain names like Mercer Culinary and Wusthof immediately stand out from the competition. In this article, we will compare Mercer Culinary vs Wusthof knives to find the best kitchen knife for you.
What you can find out below include:
– The recommended lines in Mercer Culinary and Wusthof
– The ergonomics and handling of each knife
– The comparison of their build quality and maintenance requirements
– The cutting performance of Mercer Culinary vs Wusthof
– Which knife that is generally more recommended
Mercer Culinary: Recommended Lines
As one of the companies that have been making knives for more than 30 years, Mercer Culinary is now known for supplying their products to various culinary schools across North America. The company has recently entered the residential market. Now, you can also find certain Mercer Culinary knives in some restaurant kitchens and other professional settings. See also: Mercer Culinary vs Victorinox.
Mercer Culinary is also quite famous for selling affordable knives that still have pretty good quality. Of course, there are also some high-end lines with superior build quality and higher prices. Both Mercer Culinary vs Wusthof have stamped knives and forged knives. All of their knives are NSF-certified.
Here are some of the most recommended Mercer Culinary lines:
– Mercer Culinary Millenia. An affordable line of stamped knives. This line is quite budget-friendly, and hence it becomes a popular gift for home cooks and new culinary students. The blades are made from Japan carbon steel, whereas the handles are made from Santoprene. The blades are impressively sharp, but require constant re-sharpening. Indeed, stamped knives are typically lightweight and easy to lift, but experienced chefs usually prefer forged knives for the balance and performance.
– Mercer Culinary Renaissance. It is a workhorse in professional kitchen settings. It is a line of good quality forged knives. The blades are made from high-quality German carbon steel, whereas the handles are made from Delrin. Compared to the Millenia, it is indeed heavier, but it offers better feel and balance.
– Mercer Culinary Genesis. It is a line of high quality forged knives. The blades are made from German steel which is resistant to rust and corrosion. The handles are made from Santoprene. It has a full bolster to provide enhanced balance.
Mercer Culinary: Build Quality
As mentioned above, Mercer Culinary has several different models with different levels of build quality. However, most people who are interested in Mercer Culinary are usually looking for affordable knives that are sufficiently durable and reliable for serious uses.
The cheaper knives have pretty good build quality. Many of them are made from Japan carbon steel. They are actually easy to sharpen. They can also make very sharp edges. You will be impressed by how these blades cut through your ingredients effortlessly. However, since they lose their sharpness rather quickly, you will need to re-sharpen the blade every a few cuts.
Meanwhile, the more expensive knives are quite more durable. They can also make decently sharp edges. However, the main advantage is that they keep their sharpness longer and they are more resistant to rust and corrosion.
The ergonomics of the handles are generally good and comfortable. The standard triple-riveted design should be suitable for most people. There are some models with altered handle designs, but these models are not really recommended because not all people like the altered handle designs.
Mercer Culinary: Performance and Maintenance
The performance of Mercer Culinary vs Wusthof is quite apparent. For the usual kitchen tasks that are not putting too much stress on the blade, a Mercer Culinary knife can deliver impressive results. When properly sharpened, these knives can cut through this effortlessly.
But, as mentioned above, Mercer Culinary requires careful maintenance. You will need to sharpen them frequently in order to keep the optimum performance. On the good side, the blades are easy to sharpen, so you won’t face much of an issue. You also need to wash them and dry them every after use so that the blades won’t corrode.
Wusthof: Recommended Lines
Now, let’s continue with the Wusthof knives. You probably have heard a lot about Wusthof – it is one of the most renowned names in the kitchen knife market. When choosing between Mercer Culinary vs Wusthof, you may have noticed that most Wusthof knives are quite more expensive. After all, this brand is generally considered as a high-quality brand.
Wusthof indeed has both stamped knives and forged knives. The stamped knives include Gourmet, Emeril, Pro, and Silverpoint (II) lines. Meanwhile, the forged knives include Classic, Ikon, Grand Prix II, Cordon Bleu, Epicure, and Xline lines. Beginners and casual users may find stamped knives to be more comfortable to use because they are lightweight, but most experts prefer forged knives due to the stability and toughness.
Nevertheless, if you are concerned about the value-per-money ratio, here are the most recommended Wusthof lines that you should consider.
– Wusthof Classic. Just like what the name suggests, this is a traditional forged knife with a triple-riveted handle and a full bolster. It looks nice and elegant, and it feels great. It has a good balance is not too heavy. This line also has the most types of knives, so if you want all your kitchen knives to be from the same line, this is the way to go.
– Wusthof Ikon. It is defined by a curved ergonomic handle and a half bolster. The feel is slightly different. With a steel core that spreads and covers the butt, the knife feels nicely balanced. It looks beautiful, and it will fit in your grip very comfortably.
– Wusthof Epicure. It is custom-designed in a partnership Epicurean, a cutting board maker. The wood-fiber handle is made from recycled materials. The spine has a subtle continuous arc with a steep curve towards the tip. It has a full bolster and a ceramic coating which is said to prevent food from sticking.
– Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu. It is made in a partnership with the famous Le Cordon Bleu culinary. In a glance, it looks similar to the Classic. However, this line has a half bolster, hence allowing the total weight to be 30% lighter. As a result, the knife is quite more comfortable to use and less fatiguing. Ideal for people who perform lots of chopping or those who can’t withstand heavy German-style knives.
Wusthof: Build Quality
All Wusthof knives are made from the X50CrMoV15 stainless steel. This material contains molybdenum and vanadium to dramatically increase the knife’s toughness, durability, and corrosion resistance. You can be certain that these knives won’t ever rust. Furthermore, most of the knives have a Rockwell hardness level of 58, which is pretty much the norm for German-style knives. However, they are sharpened to an angle of 14 degrees, just like Japanese-style knives, instead of 22 degrees like regular German-style knives.
This results in a very sharp and efficient knife. The blade is able to withstand great stress without chipping, and it will keep a sharp cutting edge for quite a long time. Though it is not as sharp as Japanese blades that have higher carbon levels, it offers a very good balance between sharpness, toughness, and easy maintenance – something that ultra-sharp Japanese blades can’t offer.
One important thing to note about forged knives from Wusthof is that the knives all are made from the same manufacturing process. However, these knives are customized into different styles with differing feel, balance, and handles. So, a $200 Ikon chef knife will actually has the same blade as a $70 Classic chef knife; they just have different feel and handles. Their blades will have similar sharpness and durability.
Wusthof also boasts about their PETec (Precision Edge Technology). It is a patented high-tech sharpening system which guarantees that every Wusthof knife has been precisely sharpened to the exact specs. Every blade has been sharpened evenly from the tip to the heel, and the company claims that they have superior consistency from knife to knife. So, a Wusthof knife will always give you a sharp edge right out of the box.
Wusthof: Performance and Maintenance
Performance-wise, Wusthof knives are really great. Since they are sharpened at 14 degrees, they feel quite sharper than regular German-style knives. You can cut through fruits and meats effortlessly. The balance is also very good. These knives will allow you excellent control over your cutting movements.
Their durability will make a very good investment if you often need to do heavy-duty cutting tasks. These Wusthof knives have excellent hardness. They will never chip or bend. And these knives will never rust, so you don’t need to worry at all about rust damage and contamination.
The blades keep their sharpness well. When the time to sharpen has come, you can easily sharpen them at the same angle as the original. Well, although these knives are highly resistant to rust and corrosion, you still have to clean them properly every after use, so that you can preserve their quality.
Mercer Culinary vs Wusthof
All in all, Wusthof knives are definitely better. These are higher quality knives that will last longer. They have very good sharpness and hence are able to cut effortlessly. The feel and balance are impressive.