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Made In vs. Wusthof: Which Kitchen Knives Are Better?

High-quality kitchen knives are a must-have for any serious cook, and Made In and Wusthof are two of the most popular brands today.

But how do you choose between the two?

Wusthof is a well-established German knife manufacturer. It’s been a family-owned company for seven generations, going back over 200 years.

Made In is a fast-growing cookware startup founded in 2016. They’ve made a name for themselves by offering professional-quality cookware and kitchen knives at prices most home cooks can afford.

In this comparison of Made In vs. Wusthof, I break down every aspect of both brands’ knives. I compare materials, designs, sharpness, quality, prices, and much more.

By the end of this article, you will know whether Made In or Wusthof knives are right for you.

So, if you are having a hard time choosing between Made In or Wusthof knives, keep reading.


Use the links below to navigate this comparison:


Made In vs. Wusthof: Comparison Chart

For a quick comparison of Made In vs. Wusthof knives, check out the chart below. I go into more detail about each of the categories in the sections below.

Made InWusthof
Founded20161814
Where It’s MadeFranceGermany
Product OfferingsOne kitchen knife collection, also offers cookwareFocuses solely on kitchen knives, offering several collections
DesignStraight handles, full tang, exposed steel rivets, wide blade.Wood or synthetic handles, full or half bolster, full tang. 
Blade MaterialX50CrMoV15 stainless steelX50CrMoV15 stainless steel
Handle MaterialSynthetic resinSynthetic resin or wood, depending on collection
ConstructionForged knife processForged or stamped knife process
Blade Hardness58-60 on the Rockwell Scale58 on the Rockwell Scale (Gourmet collection: 56)
Blade Sharpness12.5-degree angle per side14-degree angle per side
Weight (8-Inch Chef’s Knife)8 ounces8.5 ounces
Price$$$ (MadeInCookware.com)$$$$ (Amazon)

Introducing Made In

Made In is a newer kitchen supply company founded in 2016 by Jake Kalick and Chip Malt. They’ve quickly grown to be a big name in the cooking industry, selling professional-grade cookware directly to consumers via MadeInCookware.com.

Made In Chef Knife Blade
Made In Chef Knife Blade

While Made In offers high-quality knives, the company is best known for its stainless steel and carbon steel cookware. Made In also sells bakeware, dishware, and kitchen accessories.

While they are a US-based company, they partner with manufacturers in the United States, France, and Italy to produce the products. Made In partners with French manufacturers and raw material suppliers to produce its knives.

Introducing Wusthof

Wusthof is one of the oldest and most respected German knife brands, with the company history stretching back to 1814 in Solingen, Germany.

Wusthof Classic Chefs Knife and Santoku Knife
Wusthof Classic Chefs Knife (top) and Santoku Knife (bottom)

Founded by Johann Abraham Wusthof, Wusthof is still a family-owned business headquartered in Solingen, known as the “City of Blades” because it’s the home of several cutlery manufacturers.

With such a deep-rooted company history, it’s no surprise that Wusthof is one of the most trusted knife brands in the world.

Through economic crises, wars, and near bankruptcies, Wusthof has continued to run its business. The company never moved production to a cheaper locale, and it never compromised the quality to protect profits. Wusthof is a company you can trust.

Product Offerings

Wusthof offers eight knife collections: Aeon (limited edition), Crafter, Classic Ikon, Ikon, Classic, Epicure, Grand Prix II, and Gourmet.

All collections include multiple knives, with most including one or more sets. If you add up all the options, Wusthof boasts hundreds of knife offerings.

In contrast, Made In offers a single knife collection. While the company offers knives with red or black handles, the selection is limited to just five knives.

Wusthof’s range of products allows you to choose between multiple materials, designs, and applications.

With Made In, you are limited to a chef knife, santoku knife, nakiri knife, bread knife, and paring knife. Wusthof offers all of those knife types, plus dozens of other varieties.

Design

Because Made In offers one knife collection, they offer one design with handle options in red or black. The design is clean and classic, reminiscent of knives you’d find in any fine dining restaurant kitchen.

Made In Chefs Knife
Made In Chefs Knife

Made In knives include a half bolster and a full-length exposed tang. The full tang gives the knife a seamless look from end to end while also providing increased balance and strength.

Made In knives also include two exposed rivets in the handle, which adds a simple but elegant flare.

Made In blades are clean and embellishment-free, save for the brand’s logo stamped on both sides. The overall aesthetic of the knives is frill-free and well-executed. These knives look great in any kitchen.

Wusthof knives offer much more versatility and choice when it comes to design.

The Aeon, Crafter, Ikon, and Epicure (pictured below) feature wooden handles, while the other collections have black handles.

Wusthof Epicure Cook's Knife, 8 Inch

The Crafter (pictured below) has brass rivets, and the rest have steel rivets (the handle on Aeon and Grand Prix knives covers the rivets).

The Gourmet collection has no bolster, while the others feature full or double bolsters. The variety goes on and on.

While the collections boast plenty of differences, there are a few consistencies across all Wusthof knives.

  • They are all full-tang, whether the tang is exposed or not.
  • All blades feature a 14° edge angle, and they all have the Wusthof logo and collection name stamped on both sides of the blade (although these stampings will fade over time)
  • All Wusthof knives are buffed and polished by hand.

When comparing knives, there are some stand-out differences between Made In and Wusthof.

Wusthof forged knives feature either a full bolster (ex. the Classic collection pictured below), or a half bolster. Made In knives have a half bolster.

Made In versus Wusthof_bolster

The advantage of a full bolster is that it adds more heft and protects your hand from slipping. The disadvantage is that it gets in the way of a pinch grip and prevents you from sharpening the edge through the heel.

Made In’s 8-inch chef’s knife blade is wider than most of Wusthof’s chef’s knives. That makes these knives great for chopping thick vegetables and meats and perfect for scooping chopped ingredients. But the downside is that the wider blade makes it less maneuverable.

Made In versus Wusthof_blade width
The Made In knife is under the Wusthof knife

Wusthof blades are a bit narrower, but they offer an extra-wide chef’s knife that features a blade with a similar width as Made In.

Most of Wusthof’s knives feature handles contoured to the shape of your hand, making the knife easy to grip and maneuver. Wusthof knives also widen at the butt end, which makes the knife feel secure in your hand.

Made In versus Wusthof_handles
Made In (left) Wusthof (right)

Made In knives feature a straight handle with rounded edges, which appears at first glance to be less ergonomic and less safe than Wusthof knives.

However, after some getting used to it, the design feels comfortable and secure. The knives are well balanced, and the handles are sturdy; they just look a bit different than what many home chefs are used to.

Finally, Made In knife handles have two exposed rivets. As I mentioned above, Wusthof has a variety of rivet combinations. The Epicure features two rivets, and the rest have three.

Materials

Made In and Wusthof use similar materials to manufacture their knives. Both companies manufacture their knife blades from a single piece of X50CrMoV15 stainless steel. The Aeon collection from Wusthof also has a DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating, improving durability.

The handles for Made In knives are made from a synthetic resin, similar to polyoxymethylene (POM).

Most Wusthof knife handles are made from POM, except for the Crafter, Epicure, Ikon, and Aeon collections, which are made of wood.

Each of those four collections has a different type of wood handle for a distinct look and feel.

  • Crafter features smoked oak handles with distinct graining for a rustic look.
  • Epicure handles are made of Richlite, a composite of recycled wood and resin.
  • Ikon handles are made of Grenadill, an African blackwood. It’s dark with subtle graining.
  • Aeon handles are made of millennia-old bog oak, a rare wood that comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Construction

Made In’s steel is treated with nitrogen during the manufacturing process, making the blades more resistant to chipping and corrosion.

After treating the raw steel rods with nitrogen, the French manufacturers heat and shape the treated steel rods into the knife’s blade, bolster, and tang.

The blade is then buffed and polished. Then, the handle, which is also manufactured in France, is applied, and the knife is ready for shipment.

Wusthof uses a similar manufacturing process, though their facility is more high-tech. Made In forges its knives primarily by hand, while Wusthof incorporates robotics and modern technology into its manufacturing process.

While most of its knives are forged just like Made In, Wusthof’s Gourmet collection is stamped, which means the blade is laser-cut out of a sheet of steel.

While Made In knives are sharpened using a standard process, Wusthof has proprietary knife sharpening technology called Precision Edge Technology (PEtec), a laser-guided precision sharpening process. Wusthof claims PETec yields a 20% sharper blade with twice the edge retention of standard sharpening.

With PEtec sharpening aside, both manufacturers use a similar manufacturing process with a similar approach. They don’t cut corners, and they don’t sacrifice quality. Made In and Wusthof prioritize quality craftsmanship and hand finishing to guarantee the best knife quality possible.

Blade Hardness

Metal hardness is measured by the Rockwell Scale. Created by Stanley P. Rockwell, the Rockwell Scale determines the relative hardness by impacting it with a hard object, usually a conical diamond.

It’s essential that knife steel falls within the optimal range on the Rockwell Scale. A blade that is too hard is prone to chipping, but a blade that is not hard enough won’t hold its edge. It is generally accepted that knife steel should fall between a 56 and a 62 on the Rockwell Scale.

Wusthof knives rate 58 on the Rockwell scale, except for the stamped Gourmet collection, which scores a 56. Made In knives fall between 58 and 60 on the Rockwell scale.

The difference will be difficult to notice. The Made In knives that rank at 60 for hardness will hold an edge longer than the Wusthof Gourmet collection, but they will be more challenging to sharpen. For the rest of the knives, you are unlikely to notice the difference.

Sharpness

Made In sharpens their knives to a 12.5-degree angle for each side of the blade. That level of sharpness is rare for Western-style knives but common among Japanese-style knives.

Wusthof blades are sharpened to a 14-degree angle on each side.

Slicing grapes paper thin with the Made In Chef Knife 2
Slicing grapes with the Made In Chef’s knife

While Wusthof blades are plenty sharp, and they hold their edge very well, Made In knives are technically sharper.

Weight and Balance

Wusthof and Made In knives boast excellent weight and balance, thanks to their full tangs. The knives balance well in your hand when held from any angle.

Made In versus Wusthof_full tang
Wusthof (left), Made In (right)

They have enough heft to guide you through cutting thick vegetables or meat but are light enough that they won’t hurt your wrist.

When comparing the two, the weight of Wusthof and Made In knives are similar.

Made In’s chef’s knife is 8.5 inches long and weighs 8 ounces. Wusthof’s Classic collection forged 8-inch cook’s knife weighs 8.5 ounces.

That slight difference in weight is barely noticeable, and the balance of both knives accounts for the difference.

Forged knives are heavier than stamped knives due to the thicker blades, bolsters, and full tangs. Therefore Wusthof’s Gourmet stamped knives are lighter than the other collections. The Gourmet collection 8-inch cook’s knife weighs just 6.25 ounces, which will be a noticeable difference.

Price

Wusthof knives are more expensive than Made In knives, but the specific prices vary by collection.

For example, with high-quality African Blackwood handles, the Wusthof Ikon collection costs more than the Wusthof Classic collection, which features synthetic resin handles.

One reason why Wusthof knives are more expensive than Made In knives is that they have earned a higher price tag. Wusthof has a long history with a proven track record of performance and durability. Made In is essentially still a startup, so they can’t justify as high of a price point.

The other reason Wusthof knives are more expensive is because of retail markup.

Wusthof knives are primarily sold through third-party retailers, which increases the price.

Made In knives are sold directly to consumers through its website, so the company doesn’t need to pay an intermediary. Made In has passed on some of that savings to its customers, keeping its prices lower.

Check out the prices of Made In knives and the different Wusthof collections at the links below:

Wusthof Prices:

Made In Prices:

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Made In or Wusthof?

Now that you know the differences between Made in and Wusthof knives, it’s time to decide which is the right knife set for you.

Before I provide my recommendation, let’s recap the key differences:

  • Made In launched in 2016. They make their knives in France and sell them exclusively on MadeInCookware.com. Wusthof has been in business since 1814. They make their knives in Germany and sell them on Amazon and at retailers globally.
  • Made In offers only one knife collection, while Wusthof offers several collections with unique features.
  • Made In knives have wide blades and straight handles with rounded edges and two rivets. The design of Wusthof knives varies by collection, but all feature a thick blade, bolster, tang, and ergonomic handle.
  • Both Made In and Wusthof blades are made of X50CrMoV15 stainless steel.
  • Made In handles are made of POM (polyoxymethylene). Wusthof handles vary by collection; some are made of POM while others are wood.
  • Made In blades are forged from a single rod of steel. Most Wusthof blades are forged, except for the Gourmet collection, which features stamped blades.
  • Made In edges are sharper than Wusthofs.
  • Wusthof knives are more expensive than Made In knives, but the specific prices vary by collection.

Both brands use the same high-quality steel and utilize a similar manufacturing process. Their knives are incredibly sharp, durable, and well-balanced.

Wusthof just offers a much wider variety of options and the prestige of a family-owned brand that has been in business for centuries.

Made In can’t compete with Wusthof’s track record or range of designs, but you get the same materials and construction for a lower price.

Whichever knife collection you choose, you will be happy with the results. Just choose the one that fits your needs the best.

Learn more about both brands and check the current prices at the links below:

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He’s been studying consumer buying behavior for over a decade and has managed marketing campaigns for over a dozen Fortune 500 brands. When he’s not testing the latest home products, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn or via email.

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