For over 200 years now, Wüsthof of Solingen, Germany has been producing knives of a quality recognized the world over. While many people know the name, many don’t know the best sharpener for Wüsthof knives, and that’s going to be our subject for today.
In this article, we’ll tell you more about the specifics of Wüsthof blades, such as the type of steel and hardness, sharpening angles, and the best sharpeners on the market today for maintaining these sharp kitchen beauties.
After that, we’ll even go into some buying tips, as well as some info for first-time owners of Wüsthof knives, so that in the end you’ll have lots of useful information on your knives and how to take care of them like a pro!
Without further ado, let’s talk about the best sharpener for Wüsthof knives and what you need to know about these beautiful blades!
Can you use any knife sharpener for Wüsthof knives?
While you technically COULD use any sharpener for your Wüsthof knives, we certainly wouldn’t recommend it.
Starting off, if you are using an electric sharpener for Asian-style knives, then this would be a bad fit from the get-go. For instance, Chai Dao and Nakiri knives are 20-degree blades, so they need a setting of 10 degrees on each side, while most other Asian-style blades are 30-degree blades, requiring a 15-degree angle for proper sharpening.
With Wüsthof knives, you are dealing with 28-degree requirements, so you specifically need to sharpen them at 14 degrees on each side.
Wüsthof blades are highly specialized and that’s why you really want a Wüsthof or Wüsthof-specific sharpener. Aside from needing that 14-degree angle on each side of the blade, Wüsthof also has a very specific type of steel.
Each Wüsthof blade is crafted from a single piece of chromium-molybdenum-vanadium steel and they even have their own proprietary formula for it — X50CRMOV15 – and you can identify a Wüsthof with it because it’s etched on each and every blade they produce.
These blades have a hardness of 58 on the Rockwell scale, and that’s the final piece of why you want a Wüsthof sharpener – these sharpening implements are designed for the exact angle, type of steel, and specific blade hardness.
So, while you could technically sharpen it with any sharpener, you would be doing yourself a disservice. Sharpening your Wüsthofs with the wrong angle or with mechanical sharpeners designed for different types of steel, may result in damaging your blade and in some cases, might even reduce the life of that 3rd party sharpener.
Wüsthof knives are best maintained with Wüsthof sharpeners and many owners of these blades agree. Properly maintained, Wüsthofs can last for decades – so treat them right and they’ll do the same for you!
The Best Sharpeners for Wüsthof Knives
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of what your Wüsthof knives need to stay sharp and ready, it’s time to take a look at the best sharpeners. You’ll notice that they are all Wüsthof and this is on purpose – these are high-end knives and now that you’ve seen the specifics of the steel type and required sharpening angles, you’ll understand why we recommend going strictly with vendor-approved products.
In this section, we’ve compiled a list of the best Wüsthof sharpeners, and we’ll start with the basics and work our way up to the heavy-duty options so that there’s a little something for everybody. With that said, let’s take a look at the best of the best Wüsthof sharpeners!
WÜSTHOF Gourmet Tri-Stone Sharpener
There’s just something about oiling up your whetstone and honing your knives personally.
Granted, it takes time, but when you consider that every sharpening session diminishes your knives, sharpening them on your own makes a lot of sense. You get to decide exactly how sharp your Wüsthof blades will be, they’ll last a little longer, and since you only need to sharpen them once a year, it’s time that is arguably very well spent!
The Wüsthof Gourmet Tri-Stone Sharpener gives you everything that you need to do this, in an aesthetically pleasing package. You’ve got colorful whetstones, artfully arranged, that provide you with a coarse, medium, and fine grit so that you can hone your blades to razor sharpness.
For some of us, that’s absolutely everything that you need!
Wüsthof Ikon Knife Sharpener
Not everyone is comfortable with sharpening their own blades and that’s understandable – a good set of knives is an investment in kitchen excellence, so if you’re not comfy with whetstones we definitely wouldn’t recommend them.
This is where the Wüsthof Ikon comes in and we have to say it’s a fantastic product. This is a ‘pull through’ style sharpener, so you simply insert the blade in the guide groove, pull it through, and let the diamond rods and ceramic steel sharpening array do the work for you.
It’s fast and designed EXACTLY for your Wüsthof blades – don’t sharpen non- Wüsthofs with this or you’re going to be upset. With Wüsthof knives, however, the angle is perfect and they are designed for their specific grade of steel.
With this sharpener, your yearly sharpening of your kitchen blades will be easily done and it’s also an investment that is easy on your wallet. What’s not to like?
This set is perfect if you have a small set of Wüsthofs and don’t need a heavy-duty sharpening solution!
Wüsthof 2-stage Knife Sharpener
Wüsthof is well-known for its quality offerings and this 2-stage sharpener is a fine example of this. Despite costing about the same price as a large pizza, this handheld Wüsthof sharpener has been lauded in numerous reviews as ‘the best sharpener I’ve ever owned’.
While it doesn’t have the bells and whistles of some models, what you do get is ease of use. Simply place your blade in the first groove, pull it through, and then you can put it through the second ‘fine’ stage groove to hone the blade to perfection.
While this sharpener won’t last as long if you have a large collection of Wüsthofs, if you have a modest one then this is the most cost-effective sharpener you can buy and numerous reviews also say it’s the only one you’ll ever need!
Wüsthof Diamond Sharpener Steel
While you only need to sharpen your Wüsthof blades once a year, some owners prefer to give their blades a quick honing after every use, in order to ensure that their Wüsthof blades always cut like a laser. You sacrifice a little bit of their overall life, but there’s a definite difference.
For those out there who agree, this 9” sharpening steel is a definite must-have. It’s simple, yet elegant, with a brushed-steel handle, and it may be used on dull or moderately sharp blades as-needed or in-between every use to keep your Wüsthof blades at their absolute keenest.
WÜSTHOF Precision Edge 4-Stage Knife Sharpener
While it’s nice to have a dedicated sharpener for your Wüsthof blades, most of us have an assortment of other knives that we might want to sharpen as well.
This Wüsthof precision Edge 4-stage knife sharpener gives you the best of both worlds. It comes with 4 grooves, designed for coarse and fine sharpening, and one set of grooves is for your Wüsthof knives, while the other is designed for your Asian-style kitchen knives that need a 10-degree angle for proper honing.
The rubberized base provides a secure grip and all you need to do is move the plastic cover to expose the ‘standard’ or ‘Asian’ setting, pull your knife through each of the two grooves, and your sharpening is done for the year!
If you require a more versatile sharpener, rather than a dedicated Wüsthof-only model, then this is just about a perfect fit!
Wüsthof Easy-Edge Electric Knife Sharpener
If you have a fairly large collection of Wüsthofs or simply want to ensure a perfect sharpening that only requires inserting your knife and hitting a button, then this Wüsthof Easy-Edge Electric Knife Sharpener might be your new favorite gadget!
To say that it’s been well-received by Wüsthof owners is an understatement – many glowing reviews have advised that they have used this exact model to resurrect 20 to 30-year-old Wüsthof knives to their original sharpness. Best of all, like the 2-stage sharpener, this will work for your Asian-style blades, too.
The device itself is good-looking, compact, and has a rubberized base so that it will stay where you put it and won’t move when you use it. If you normally send out your knives to get professionally sharpened, then this sharpener comes highly recommended – you’ll get the edge you’re looking for and save a bundle in the bargain!
Best tips for new Wüsthof owners
If you’re new to Wüsthof knives, then congratulations – you’re going to have many, many happy years with your new kitchen blades and that’s a real rarity these days. Wüsthof has been producing quality knives since 1814, and as long as you take good care of them, then you can literally get decades of use out of each and every blade.
In this section, we’ll give you some of the best tips for new owners to help you to prolong the life of your blades so that you may enjoy them to the fullest in the years to come.
Go electric if you aren’t comfortable sharpening knives
While some purists like to go with whetstones, if you aren’t comfortable with them, we’d highly recommend that you avoid them altogether. Honing blades on a whetstone takes practice – you’ve got to select the right grit, hold the blade carefully at the right angle, and make sure that the whetstone is also oiled and well-maintained.
It takes skill and a decent amount of time to do it right, so if you aren’t versed in the art of hand-honing your blades, please don’t – there are a number of fine electric options that take all of the guesswork out of them and any of the examples that we’ve given you today are a much better option.
Take advantage of the tech and you’ll sharpen your Wüsthof blades perfectly, each and every time, and best of all with quality knives like these, you’ll only need to sharpen them once a year anyway!
Store your Wüsthofs properly
While some kitchen implements can just be tossed in the drawer, you definitely don’t want to do that with generation-spanning knives like Wüsthofs.
We’d recommend going with one of the two options below – either a standard block that’s designed to fit your Wüsthofs or the minimalist drawer-style variety. We’ll keep it brief, but give you a quick rundown of each option.
Wüsthof 15-Slot Block – Acacia Wood
Made of beautifully-grained wood from the Acacia gum tree, this 15-slot block holder gives you easy access in an attractive package. It’s inexpensive, eco-friendly, and gets the job done with style.
Wüsthof 14 Slot Wide in-Drawer Storage Tray
For the more minimalist types out there, this 14-slot in-drawer tray from Wüsthof lets you store your knives out of view, but easily within reach when you need them. Simply slide open the drawer and your knives are standing ready and neatly arranged in eco-friendly wooden slots.
Use your knives for the intended tasks
Once you’ve seen how sharp and easy to use your Wüsthof knives are, it’s easy to go overboard by simply using whatever knife you have on hand for any cutting task you require. Try to resist that urge – Wüsthofs are specialized, like any kitchen knife set, and it’s best to use each one for its intended purpose.
Wüsthof carries butcher knives, steak knives, utility knives… you name it. A good example of the ‘right knife for the right job is this WÜSTHOF 2-Piece Chef’s Tools Mincing Set for chopping herbs. The wide, half-oval blade may be rocked back and forth and comes with a proper surface for the task.
You get the idea! Don’t be afraid to use your Wüsthofs for other tasks from time to time – they can definitely take it – but if you want to get the most mileage out of them, take note of the additional tasks and simply expand your Wüsthof collection.
That way you’ll always be using the right knife for the right job and your knives can last you a lifetime of use!
Caring for your Wüsthof knives
Make sure that you are cleaning your Wüsthof knives properly. It’s pretty simple, really. Use soap and water to clean them and always go with a non-abrasive type sponge.
NEVER use a dishwasher for these knives. The heat inside really isn’t good for them, so you’ll always want to clean your Wüsthofs by hand.
Finally, don’t leave them soaking in liquids, especially juices or sauces. Citrus, pepper, and other yummy foodstuffs also happen to be highly corrosive and while a mistake or two will be okay, eventually you might overexpose the metal and risk early corrosion of the blades.
The best way to avoid this is to quickly clean your Wüsthofs when you’re done and put them away. No muss, no fuss!
One of the nice things about dealing with a company that’s been in business for over 200 years is that you really can’t go wrong with any of their products. Wüsthof Sharpeners are definitely no exception to this.
Anyone that you purchase is going to be a great sharpener, hands-down, although if you have a large collection of knives then you might want to consider a stationary Wüsthof electric sharpener to save you time. The handhelds are good for smaller collections, though, so just get what you need!
As far as their blades, the most important thing to know is the difference between the forged and stamped blades, so we’ll tell you a little bit about that while you’re here.
Forged vs Stamped
Forged Wüsthof knives are exactly what they sound like – they’re hammered and beaten to be amazingly resilient and they’re the toughest variety of Wüsthofs.
Stamped, by contrast, are laser cut from a roll of steel. They’re still nice, mind you, but they’re not as tough as the forged lines.
Some examples of their forged lines include:
While examples of their laser-cut stamped line are:
- Urban Farmer
The good news on both stamped and forged is that you get quality blades that will last a long time, especially when you consider our next Wüsthof buying tip.
Buy with confidence – There’s a limited lifetime warranty
Wüsthofs come with a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. These knives are designed to last many, many years, so if anything untoward happens with your knife during the course of normal use (no knife throwing or cutting cans to show off, please!) then you can simply go to their warranty page, download and fill out a form, and ship your knife into them.
You can find more detail about Wüsthof’s limited lifetime warranty here on their website.
As far as our favorites from the items that we reviewed today, we have 3 recommendations and we’ll give you a rundown of the pros and cons of each in the sections below. Our 3 favorites are as follows:
- Wüsthof Gourmet Tri-Stone Sharpener
- Wüsthof 2-stage knife sharpener
- Wüsthof Easy-Edge Electric sharpener
Wüsthof Gourmet Tri-Stone Sharpener
For old-school types, the Wüsthof Gourmet Tri-Stone Sharpener has everything you need and it looks fantastic.
- Sharpen to your exact standards
- Honing by hand increases the lifetime of your knives – as long as you’ve got the skill!
- Not a good fit if you haven’t practiced or simply don’t have the time for hand-sharpening.
For owners who have a small collection, but don’t like hand sharpening, the Wüsthof 2-stage knife sharpener is both inexpensive and extremely efficient – it’s really all you’ll need for a long, long time.
- Perfectly configured to sharpen your Wüsthof knives
- Fast and easy – just pull the knife through each of the 2 grooves and you’re done
- Not a good fit if you have a large collection of knives or need to sharpen other types of knives in your kitchen
Finally, for those with large collections or who like sending their knives out to be sharpened, the Wüsthof Easy-Edge Electric sharpener is just what the doctor ordered. You can sharpen your Wüsthofs and Asian-style knives with ease and you’ll be very pleased with the results!
- Sharpens like a pro for both Wüsthof and Asian-style blades in your kitchen
- Fast, efficient, and robust – you won’t need to replace this anytime soon
- May not be cost-effective for small knife collections, unless you intend to expand them
Before we go, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions to help finalize this session of ‘Wüsthof Sharpening 101’. Below you’ll find some of the questions that we get asked the most on this topic.
Why won’t my Wüsthof knives stay sharp?
Usually, if your Wüsthofs aren’t holding their edge, it has to do with the angle at which they are being sharpened. Your Wüsthofs need to be sharpened at a 14-degree angle on each side in order to be at their best, so be sure that you stick to this and you should definitely see a difference.
How long will Wüsthof knives last?
If you take good care of them, your Wüsthof knives will last at least a decade, but many owners have had their own Wüsthofs for 30 years or more! You’ll want to be sure to follow the care steps that we’ve shared today, such as avoiding soaking your blade, always cleaning with soap and water (and no abrasives), and sharpening each knife once a year.
As long as you put in the time to take care of them, your efforts will be well-rewarded, and don’t forget that the forged variety of Wüsthof knives will outlast the stamped (laser cut) varieties.
What is the difference between coarse and fine on a Wüsthof knife sharpener?
Sharpening your blade is actually two tasks – sharpening and honing.
Honing the blade is when you are maintaining and straightening the edge, and this is done with coarse setting on your sharpener. The fine setting is for sharpening up your blade, which is basically just shaving it down to restore the proper cutting angle when the blade becomes dull or damaged.
Wrapping up on Wüsthof knives and their care
A well-sharpened knife is a wonderful thing in the kitchen and with Wüsthof blades, it’s a feeling that you’d better get used to! Cared for properly, these blades last for many, many years, but aside from the standard care of keeping them clean, avoiding soaking, and keeping them out of the dishwasher, you’ll also need to keep them sharp.
Once every year you’ll want to sharpen your Wüsthof knives and our recommendations include the Wüsthof Gourmet Tri-Stone Sharpener, the Wüsthof 2-stage knife sharpener, or the Wüsthof Easy-Edge Electric sharpener. With the Tri-stone, you can sharpen your knives the old-fashioned way, while the 2-stage sharpener will maintain a modest collection with ease.
Finally, the Easy-Edge electric sharpener can sharpen your entire collection of knives to a razor edge, whether they are Wüsthofs or most other Asian-style kitchen knives.
Until next time, we wish you and yours the very best, and we hope that you enjoy your new Wüsthofs – they really are the best!