Wusthof Vs. Calphalon Knives: What’s The Difference?

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As a food nerd, I always search for the best kitchen tools to make the cooking and baking process move smoothly. For professional chefs and home cooks, quality knives are essential. Many great brands manufacture excellent knife sets, and Wusthof and Calphalon are two of them. What is the difference between Wusthof knives and Calphalon Knives? 

Some Wusthof knife sets are forged or stamped, while Calphalon knife sets are fully forged except for their steak knives. Calphalon knives are made of high-carbon German steel while Wusthof knives are created from chromium-molybdenum-vanadium steel

Let us review the characteristics between Wusthof knives and Calphalon knives. Both are exceptional brands made of strong steel, but which one is worth buying? Read on to determine which of the best Wusthof and Calphalon knife sets you should purchase. 

Wusthof Vs. Calphalon Knives: Which One Is Better?

Before jumping in, it is important to say that both these brands have different features that separate them from each other. Modern technology has made it possible for them to improve the quality and appearance of the kitchen accessories they manufacture. Here is a detailed description of the two popular brands. 

Wusthof Knives

Wusthof knives are among the most popular knives used by top-grade chefs and gourmets. World-renowned chef Gordon Ramsey invested in a Wusthof knife set too. If Gordon Ramsey is satisfied, we know it is of tip-top condition! Some knives are manufactured in Solingen, Germany, and some in China. 

Wusthof produces 1.7 million knives per year, and the brand is sold in over 80 countries. Their design and composition make their knives one of the top best worldwide. 

These knives are made of a single piece of chromium- molybdenum-vanadium steel. The added molybdenum and vanadium steel ensures durability, solidity, and protection against rust. 

The knives have a Rockwell hardness of 58 HRC. The Rockwell scale determines the strength and hardness of steel.

If you decide to purchase a Wusthof knife set, you will see the steel formula (X50CRMOV15) carved onto each blade. This formula means that the knife contains:

  • X: stainless steel
  • 50:  0,5% carbon content that guarantees precision and sharpness. 
  • CR: chromium which makes the knives resistant to stain
  • MO: molybdenum which protects the knives against rusting and stain
  • V: vanadium, a malleable metal that makes alloys strong, hard, and resistant to corrosion. 
  • 15: represents the percentage of Chromium content in the alloy. 

The knives are reviewed by trained specialists and created by skilled bladesmiths. Modern technology assists Wusthof with the production of the knives. They use mechanized drop hammers and laser-guided grinding. 

Wusthof knives are mostly forged; however, some are stamped too. With their high score on the Rockwell scale and their exceptional quality and design, Wusthof knives are costly.

The Best Wusthof Knife Sets

To make your purchase easier, here are three of the best ranked Wusthof knife sets and their pros and cons:

Wusthof 8347-33 Classic IKON 7-Piece Knife Set

First on the list is the most common Wusthof knife set. The 7-piece knife set includes:  

  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 3.5-inch Paring Knife
  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 9-inch Sharpening Steel
  • Stainless Steel Come-Apart Shears
  • 17-slot Walnut Knife Block

The Classic IKON 7-piece knife set is easy to sharpen, thanks to their half-bolster in the middle. This set is perfect for professional and aspiring chefs! 

Their durability and hardness make them comfortable to use for all cooks. I specifically love the stylish and elegant design of the knives. They are extra sharp and incredibly sturdy. It comes with a full warranty. 

It is a big investment, but the Wusthof Classic IKON 7-piece knife set can last you years. The only disadvantage is that it does not come with a sharpener or honing steel.

Wusthof Classic IKON 14-Piece Knife Block Set

This set comes second in line with the 7-piece and is just as high quality. The 14-piece knife set includes a: 

  • 5-inch Serrated Utility Knife 
  • 3.5-inch Paring Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
  • 8-inch Bread Knife 
  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 8-inch Hollow Edge Offset Carving Knife
  • 10-inch Sharpening Steel with Loop 
  • Four 4.5-inch Steak Knives
  • 15-slot Walnut Knife Block 
  • Come-apart Kitchen Shears 

I am not nearly as close to being a professional chef, but this set sounds like every chef’s dream! I do not think you will need any more knives for a very long time. Apart from the modern technology Wusthof uses to improve the knives’ quality, every knife they sell is handmade. 

The Classic IKON 14-piece knife set is all you have ever wanted and more, so the price tag will be bigger too, but it is worth the hefty investment. Their design is polished and modern; the knives are durable and excellently balanced. 

The entire set covers all your needs, and although its appearance looks somewhat colossal on your kitchen countertop, guests will surely look twice when they see it. 

Wusthof 9601 Classic IKON 3-Piece Cook’s Set

If you are looking for a simple knife set with equal style and durability as the bigger knife sets, then the 3-piece Classic IKON knife set is just for you! This set includes a: 

  • 3 ½-inch Paring Knife 
  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife 
  • 8-inch Carving Knife 

As you can see, this 3-piece set is simple but covers your basic needs for cooking in the kitchen. The carving knife and paring knife work well with cutting fruits and vegetables, and the chef’s knife is great for dicing meat or any foods that require more force to cut. 

I recommend starting with this basic set and if you want to go bigger later, then work your way up to the mighty sets. You get a full warranty on this set; it is durable and sharp and features a stylish design with handles that do not cause strain on your wrist and hands. 

The only cons to the 3-piece Classic IKON knife set are that it does not come with storage such as a knife block, and you will ultimately need to upgrade to a bigger knife set. 

The Wusthof Classic IKON knife sets have sharp knife edges of 14 degrees on both sides, and even though Wusthof has tools for sharpening, you do not need to sharpen their knives for a long time. 

The full-tang triple-riveted handles are made of Polyoxymethylene, making them strong and long-lasting. The Wusthof knives are known for sturdy thick bolsters, and exposed tangs guarantee great balance. 

Calphalon Knives

Calphalon headquarters are situated in Perrysburg, Ohio, USA, but they have taken their business to a different country over the years. 

Most of the Calphalon products are manufactured in China. A few products are still made in the United States and Mexico. 

The Calphalon knives are fully forged, excluding the steak knives. They are made of high-carbon, no-stain German steel and steak knives with quality Asian steel. 

The materials they use to produce their products are outsourced from Europe or Asia.  

Although Calphalon knives are well-favored, there is little information on how they go about making the knives. 

Despite that, Calphalon guarantees that their quality knives will remain sharp for many years to come. 

We cannot confirm if this is entirely true; however, their SharpIN technology might prove their theory. 

Calaphalon created SharpIN technology (ceramic sharpeners in the knife block slots) that sharpens the edge of your knife whenever you pull it out or put it back in. 

This can only be used on knives with straight edges and not serrated knives, e.g., bread and steak knives. 

Not all the Calphalon features SharpIN technology. Some come with a honing rod. 

Calphalon Four Knife Collections


High-carbon, no-stain steel blades with triple-riveted handles. 


Source: https://www.calphalon.com/select-by-calphalon-fruit-and-vegetable-knife-set/SAP_1960983.html

Stainless steel blades with a secure grip. 


High-carbon, no-stain German steel with contoured handles. 


Fully forged, high-carbon, no-stain German steel.

There is not a big difference between these four collections. They only vary in handle materials. 

The Pros Of Calphalon Knives

Let us look at eight advantages of the Calphalon knives: 

  1. Most knives are self-sharpening
  2. The blades are made of  strong high-carbon, no-stain German steel
  3. Calphalon products have a lifetime warranty. 
  4. Handles are contoured, which allows comfortability. 
  5.  Perfectly balanced
  6. Some knives are labeled, making it easy for you to see which knife to use and its purpose. 
  7. Calphalon has a wide range of knives. 
  8. Some knives undergo the forging process and consist of full-tang. 

The Cons Of Calphalon Knives

There is no doubt that Calphalon sells quality knives. Alas, they have their disadvantages too. 

  1. Somewhat expensive
  2. You cannot purchase a single-piece knife. Calphalon only makes knife sets
  3. Not all knife sets have the self-sharpening feature
  4. Their quality has no match to the traditional German or Japanese knives. 

The Best Calphalon Knife Sets

I put together three of the best Calphalon knife sets on the market. 

Calphalon Classic Self-sharpening 15-Piece Cutlery Knife Block Set

The first of the best Calphalon knife sets include a: 

  • 4 ½ inch Paring Knife
  • 6-inch Serrated Utility Knife 
  • 6-inch Utility Knife 
  • 7-inch Santoku
  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 8 Steak Knifes
  • Kitchen Shears
  • Sharpening Knife Block

The various knives are perfect for all your cooking needs, such as dicing meat, cutting onions, vegetables, fruits, etc. 

They have razor-sharp blades made from alloy metal and steel that prevent corrosion and bending. You can use the sharpening knife block to get your knives in tip-top condition once they become blunt. 

This Calphalon knife set has riveted handles and a comfortable contoured grip, preventing the knife from slipping between your fingers. 

Like all Cephalon knives, they too have labels you can check to identify the knives. 

I love this set because the blades are long and easy to clean and grip. 

The Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Stainless Steel 15-Piece Knife Block Set

This set comes second on the list and is well worth the investments. The 15-piece set includes a: 

  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 3 ½ Paring Knife
  • 8 Steak Knives
  • Kitchen Shears
  • Knife-sharpening Wood Block

The knife block is self-sharpening, so every time you remove or replace the knife, it will sharpen it. The knives are fully stainless steel, and the slots feature built-in ceramic sharpeners. 

You can easily see which knife you are using by checking the label at the handle of the knives. 

I recommend this particular set because it includes every knife you will ever need, has a comfortable and fatigue-reducing handle, and is dishwasher safe! 

The Calphalon 12-Piece Classic Knife Block Set With Sharpening Technology

This 12-piece knife set is forged and, like the others, is labeled for easy identification. It includes a: 

  • 6-inch Serrated Utility Knife
  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 5-inch Santoku 
  • 4 ½ Paring Knife
  • 6 Steak Knives
  • Kitchen Shears
  • Self-sharpening Knife Block

The knives are made of BPA-free materials. They are heat resistant with non-stick blades. 

The good news is that this Calphalon 12-piece knife set is also dishwasher safe! So, you can give your hands a rest while the dishwasher cleans your knives for you. 

How To Clean Your Knives

Do not spend a hefty amount of money on quality knives if you cannot take proper care of them.

I might sound eccentric, but if you are a connoisseur or professional chef, you would know that knives (and other kitchen utensils) can make or break you! 

Clean your knives by placing them in hot water with dish soap. Afterward, rinse it with clear water and pat dry or let it air-dry. 

Wash your kitchen knives separately and avoid heaping them in the sink; otherwise, you might damage or scratch them. 

If the knife remains dirty, then soak it in warm soapy water for about two minutes. 

Which Of The Two Brands Are Better?

While both brands are exceptional, you can clearly determine which one stands out. The Wusthof knives are high-quality, and honestly, Calphalon does not stand a chance. 

Calphalon is better known for their pots and pans, which are far more high-standard than their kitchen knives. The brand is less expensive than Wusthof, and most people are satisfied with their knives, so do not ditch them just yet!

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