Wusthof vs. Dalstrong: An In-Depth Kitchen Knife Comparison

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Are you shopping for kitchen knives and wondering:

What’s the difference between Wusthof and Dalstrong? Which kitchen knives are better?

Wusthof has been making traditional German-style kitchen knives for over 200 years and is one of the world’s top-selling cutlery brands.

Dalstrong launched in 2012 but is already making a name for itself with sleek designs that blur the lines between Western and Asian styles.

In this comparison of Wusthof vs. Dalstrong, you’ll learn how their kitchen knives compare in terms of design (with lots of pictures), materials, performance, price, and much more.

Let’s dive right in!


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


Comparison Chart

 Wusthof Dalstrong
Founded18142012
Where It's MadeSolingen, GermanyYangJing, China
Blade MaterialGerman Stainless Steel (X50 Cr MoV 15)Varies per collection — some use German steel, others use Japanese
Handle MaterialSynthetic or WoodWood, synthetic or stainless steel
DesignTriple-riveted handle with a bolster and full tangMost are triple-riveted handle with bolster and full tang, design varies by collection
Weight of 8-inch chef's knife8 ounces9.6 ounces
Edge Angle Total (lower = sharper)14-degree angle per side (all collections)8-10 degrees per side (Shogun), 12-14 degrees (Phantom) and 16-18 degrees (Gladiator)
Blade Hardness (higher = harder)5855-62
Knife Collections77
WarrantyLimited LifetimeLimited Lifetime and a 100% satisfaction or money back guarantee
Price
$$$$ (View on Amazon)$$ (View on Amazon)

Wusthof: Company Overview

Wusthof has been producing quality, durable knives since 1814, and nowadays, they are one of the most recognized kitchen knife brands in the world. Founded by Johann Abraham Wusthof, the family-owned company still thrives seven generations later.

Wusthof uses traditional craftsmanship. Their 40 step process and skilled craftspeople are vital in creating flawless knives that perform as well as any on the market.

They boast several knife collections, but the most popular are Wusthof Classic (89 pieces), Wusthof Grand Prix II (31 pieces), and Wusthof Ikon (18 pieces). I’ll get into more details about these collections in a minute.

The accolades for Wusthof knives are abundant, deservingly so. The brand often receives praise from major publications, including the New York Times, Good Housekeeping, and CNET. In 2019, the Wusthof Classic collection won the Icon Award granted by Housewares News.

Dalstrong: Company Overview

Dalstrong launched in 2012, a mere 198 years after Wusthof, but the brand is already gaining traction among home cooks.

On Dalstrong.com, they claim that over 350,000 cooks trust “The Dalstrong Difference.” Not bad for a relatively new brand in an industry dominated by century-old brands like Wusthof and Zwilling

The company offers seven collections with a wide range of western and Asia designs and steel from both Germany and Japan.

While Wusthof focuses solely on kitchen knives, Dalstrong produces pots, pans, and even branded T-shirts (never seen that from a kitchenware brand).

Dalstrong may not receive prestigious accolades like Wusthof, but they offer reliable knives at a much lower price.

Where the Knives Are Made

Wusthof operates and crafts its knives in Solingen, Germany — also known as the “City of Blades.” Solingen has been a hub of German cutlery brands for centuries, including Zwilling J.A. Henckels and Messermeister. When you buy a Wusthof knife, you’re paying for the quality and traditional methods and heritage behind it.

Dalstrong is headquartered in Toronto, but they make their knives in Yangjiang, China, a city well known for its knifemaking for almost 1500 years. It’s nicknamed the “Capital of Knives and Scissors,” as 70% of China’s knives and scissors are produced here.

The craftspeople use Japanese methods such as hand-polishing and finishing the blades using a 3-step Honbazuke method to give it a truer edge. However, because the knives are made in China, Dalstrong can keep the costs down while still providing authentic and quality knives.

Knife Collections

Wusthof boasts several knife collections. The most popular include Classic, Ikon, Classic Ikon, Grand Prix II, and Epicure. Let’s take a look at the top three collections to see what makes them unique (check out my comparison of all Wusthof collections to see the full lineup): 

Classic: This is Wusthof’s signature knife collection, boasting a traditional German-style design with triple-riveted handles and exposed full tang. The knives offer excellent balance, making them easy to use. View Wusthof Classic on Amazon or check out my in-depth review.

Ikon: The Ikon line uses the same steel as the Classic and is just as sharp and durable. The main difference is the sustainable sleek, and classy African blackwood handles. Home cooks love the comfortable ergonomic design and the natural look. View Wusthof Ikon on Amazon or check out my in-depth comparison of Ikon vs Classic.

Grand Prix II: This collection is a hybrid between the Classic and Ikon. It utilizes the same blade material, but the handle is a rubbery synthetic material that provides an excellent grip. Grand Prix II adopts the Ikon’s ergonomic handle shape. It’s comfortable to use and even dishwasher safe, making this collection a practical choice. View Wusthof Grand Prix II on Amazon or check out my in-depth comparison of Grand Prix II vs Classic.

Dalstrong offers seven collections. Each collection utilizes different steel, different edge angles, and different hardness. Let’s look at the top three collections:

Omega: This is a favorite with both professional chefs and home cooks. It’s made with American forged BD1N-V hyper steel and scores 63 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. The liquid metal pattern on the blade easily releases ingredients, which provides slicker and faster chopping. There are 11 pieces in the collection. View Dalstrong Omega on Amazon.

Shogun: The Shogun collection is one of the more expansive. These blades are made with Japanese AUS-10V super steel. They score at least 62 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, with some above 63, making these the hardest Dalstrong knives. The edge is sharpened to an 8-10 degree angle per side, making them some of the sharpest knives you can buy. However, because the edge is so thin and the steel is so hard, these knives are more prone to chipping and breaking. View Dalstrong Shogun on Amazon.

Gladiator: This is the only Dalstrong collection made with German steel. Scoring 55 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, it’s their softest blade, which also makes it the most durable. These are larger knives, which make them powerful workhorses. Their 16-18 degree angle is perfect for most ingredients from garlic to slabs of beef. View Dalstrong Gladiator on Amazon.

Materials

All Wusthof knives use stain-resistant high-carbon steel. If you’re wondering, the technical term is chromium molybdenum-vanadium steel. What makes it so special? It has incredible strength, toughness, and durability.

The steel formula — X50CRMOV15 — is etched onto every blade.

The different elements that make up the steel include:

  • Stainless steel
  • 0.5% carbon
  • Chromium
  • Molybdenum
  • Vanadium

Wusthof handles vary by collection. Some have synthetic handles; others are made of wood.

For example, the Epicure and Ikon collections all have different types of wooden handles.

The handles in the Classic Ikon, Classic, and Grand Prix II collections are made with synthetic materials, including polyoxymethylene and polypropylene. These materials have a tight molecular structure, which makes them ultra-durable and resistant to fading. Plus, they can handle high heat and exposure to moisture.

Dalstrong knives are made with a wide range of steel, depending on the collection. The only collection made with German steel is the Gladiator. Because this is softer steel, it’s the most durable.

The Omega collection utilizes American steel. This BD1N-V hyper steel has added Nitrogen, which increases hardness, flexibility, and toughness.

The rest of Dalstrong knives use Japanese steel, such as AUS-10V, which is ultra-durable and holds its sharp edge well.

The handles vary by collection, too. The Gladiator Series uses Pakkawood; the Shogun is made with G10 Garolite (water and heat resistant synthetic material); the Crusader opts for stainless steel. 

Construction

It takes 40 steps to produce each Wusthof knife, including precision-forging the blades and using robotics, lasers, and skilled craftspeople to sharpen the edge.

Gourmet is Wusthof’s most budget-friendly collection, and these knives are stamped, not forged. Stamped knives are laser-cut from a large sheet of steel before being honed and heat-treated. In contrast, all of their other collections are forged.

I detail the differences between forged and stamped knives in this guide, but, in general, forged knives are more substantial, durable, and expensive than stamped knives. Most high-quality collections are forged, and most budget-friendly knives are stamped.

forged knife vs stamped knife

All Wusthof knives include a full tang, and most have exposed rivets, providing a traditional German appearance.

Wusthof Classic Chefs Knife Labeled
Wusthof Classic Chefs Knife Labeled (view on Amazon)

The bolsters, however, vary by collection. The Gourmet collection doesn’t have a bolster; the Ikon and Classic Ikon knives have a double bolster (one near the blade and one on the butt end of the handle); the Grand Prix II and Classic collections have a full bolster.

Dalstrong knives are all forged. While each knife is made slightly differently, in general, Dalstrong prioritizes manual handcrafting and polishing.

The knives are assembled by expert bladesmiths in China using imported steel from Japan, America, and Germany, depending on the collection. The blades are heat treated, cold-rolled, and annealed if it is patterned.

The expert knife makers are trained in Japanese knifemaking. They spend days on each knife, hand polishing and finishing the blades and handles using a three-step Honbazuke method, translated meaning a “truer edge.”

The blade is sharpened and polished in three steps: grinding, honing, and polishing. Dalstrong utilizes cryo-tempering to strengthen the blade.

Despite these processes, some Dalstrong customers complain about the construction.

For example, one customer noticed that the bolster is too big, so about two inches of the knife blade is completely unusable. Other customers noticed that the Damascus pattern doesn’t look as advertised when the knives arrive.

Design

Wusthof celebrates traditional German design, especially with its Classic collection, with its full bolster, triple rivets, and an exposed full tang. The polyoxymethylene handle is durable, robust, and comfortable.

Wusthof Classic Kitchen Knives
Wusthof Classic Santoku (top) and Chef’s knife (bottom) – View on Amazon

They also offer collections with more unique appearances. For example, the Classic Ikon Creme (pictured below) sticks out from the crowd. It still nods to its German heritage with the triple rivets and exposed tang, but the handle is a shiny cream color.

The Urban Farmer (pictured below) is another unique option from Wusthof. The smoked beech handle gives the knives a more rustic, cottage chic look. It still has exposed rivets, but only two instead of three.

Dalstrong has a more eclectic mix of designs. The Gladiator Series offers a traditional German style, with triple rivets, an exposed tang, and a Pakkawood handle.

The other Dalstrong collections are inspired by traditional Japanese design. The most unique is the Shadow Black series.

Its sleek and bold design features sharp, crisp edges. It’s completely black from tip to handle. If you want a statement piece, this is it, but the design isn’t for everyone.

The Shogun (pictured below) is a hybrid with a triple-riveted handle matched with a Japanese-style blade. It features a Damascus pattern in the photographs, but keep in mind that some customers said this didn’t translate well in reality.

The Dalstrong Phantom collection features a D-shaped handle (not symmetrical all the way around) that tucks into your palm with a copper and brass mosaic pin for extra elegance.

Overall, Dalstrong has some interesting designs, but the mix of Western and Asian styles makes me believe they’re still searching for their identity. Either that or they are trying to appease all design preferences.

Alternatively, Wusthof is secure in who it is, and it’s traditional German-style design, perfecting it over centuries.

Sharpness

Wusthof knives are all sharpened to 14 degrees per side — 28 degrees in total, making them sharp enough to slice through every ingredient, yet durable enough for a lifetime of use.

Wusthof knives also have excellent edge retention since they’re sharpened with a combination of lasers, robots, and expert craftspeople, and the blade is made from a premium steel blend.

With Dalstrong, sharpness depends on the collection. The Shogun 8-inch chef knife is sharpened to an incredible 8-10 degrees per side. However, this puts it at more risk of chipping. Other collections, such as the Gladiator, are sharpened to 16-18 degrees per side.

The edge retention on the Dalstrong knives varies due to the variance in blade hardness between collections.

Blade Hardness

Blade hardness is measured using the Rockwell scale. A quality knife falls between 55 and 62. The lower the number, the softer the steel. A softer steel is slightly more flexible and less likely to chip, but harder steel can tolerate and maintain a sharper edge. 

Wusthof knives score a 58 on the Rockwell scale, which is the ideal balance between durability and edge retention, especially for knives you’ll use every day. Their Gourmet collection is slightly softer, scoring 56.

Dalstrong knives vary depending on the collection. The Gladiator collection scores a 55; Phantom and Crusader a 58; Shogun is 62; and the Omega collection scores a 63.

Durability

Wusthof is a mainstay in cutlery and priced for its durability. When you buy Wusthof, you’re investing in a tool you’ll have for life. 

Dalstrong hasn’t been around long enough to prove their durability, but there are mixed reviews so far. While many people have found the knives durable, others had issues with the tip breaking off and chipping.

With Wusthof, you know you’re getting quality knives that will last for years, and they have the longevity and reviews to prove it. With Dalstrong, the long-term durability is yet to be seen.

Price

Wusthof knives are more expensive than Dalstrong due to their quality, construction, and history. While both companies aren’t cheap, Dalstrong is the more budget-friendly option. 

Dalstrong is new to the market, and manufactures their knives in China, which helps keep costs down. In some cases, Dalstrong knives are half the price of a similar style knife from Wusthof. However, the exact price difference depends on the collection and where you’re shopping.

Both brands have a limited lifetime warranty that protects you against defects in craftsmanship and materials, but Dalstrong also offers a 100% satisfaction or money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy with your knives for any reason, you can return them for a full refund—no questions asked.

Below is a comparison chart showing the current prices of each brand’s top collections on Amazon. Click the chart to learn more about each item.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Bottom Line: Should You Buy Wusthof or Dalstrong Knives?

Now that you know the differences between Wusthof and Dalstrong knives, it’s time to decide which brand is best for you.

Before I share my recommendation, let’s recap the pros and cons.

Wusthof Pros:

  • Been in the business for over 200 years.
  • Still use traditional methods to make their quality knives.
  • Have eight quality collections.
  • Craftspeople use a durable and corrosion-resistant steel blend.
  • Knives are inspected multiple times before being sold.
  • All knives have a full tang.
  • Multiple design options.
  • Sharp and durable blades.
  • All knives come with a lifetime warranty.

Wusthof Cons:

  • More expensive than Dalstrong.
  • The Gourmet collection doesn’t have a bolster.
  • Not much distinction between different collections. They all use the same steel, hardness, and edge sharpness.

Dalstrong Pros:

  • Seven unique collections with distinct characteristics.
  • All knives are forged.
  • Unique designs with a mix of Western and Asian styles.
  • Ultra-sharp edges (Shogun collection is sharpened to 8-10 degrees per side).
  • Significantly less expensive than Wusthof.
  • 100% satisfaction or money-back guarantee. 

Dalstrong Cons:

  • Reviews say some knives are prone to chipping and breaking.
  • The bolster is too big on some knives, making it hard to utilize the entire blade.
  • The company has yet to find its identity.
  • The Omega collection scores 63 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, which is a bit too brittle, especially for vigorous and frequent use.
  • They’re not as durable as Wusthof knives.

While Dalstrong has built a solid reputation, encouraging home and professional chefs to switch to their products, they’re no match for Wusthof.

The bottom line—with over 200 years in the cutlery business, Wusthof has a proven track record. When you buy Wusthof, you know you’re getting a set of high-quality and ultra-durable knives from one of the world’s best brands.

Dalstrong is building a solid reputation and its elegantly-designed knives are well-made, but the long-term durability is yet to be determined.

If you appreciate the traditional Western-style and you’re willing to make the investment, I highly recommend Wusthof. My favorite collection is the Classic. You can find it on Amazon, or in kitchen supplies stores like Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table. I’ve also written an in-depth review of the Wusthof Classic collection.

If you prefer knives with an Asian-inspired design, Dalstrong is an excellent option that won’t break the bank. Their knives are also available on Amazon where you can read hundreds of other reviews.

If you’re still in research mode, check out these other helpful reviews and comparisons:

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