or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Forschner vs. Wusthof

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi All!

I'm looking for opionions on why (and if it is true) Forschner knives supposedly hold an edge better than some more expensive brands such as Wusthof. I have heard this same advice from 3 friends who are in the culinary arts. If I am comparing the forged steel chefs knife in both brands for instance, they both have a similar weight and feel in the hand. If they are both forged steel then what would make one knife hold an edge better than another except for the care and use of said knife? I welcome any input !!! :)
post #2 of 4
Lilcookie, you have posted an equipment question in the Welcome Forum. I will move your question to the Equipment Forum so it will attract the attention it deserves.

Please return to the Welcome Forum to introduce yourself. Welcome to Chef Talk Cafe!

Welcome Forum Moderator
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
Moderator Emerita, Welcome Forum
***It is better to ask forgiveness than beg permission.***
post #3 of 4
A great many things enter into the taking of an edge and edge holding. Under identical use, there are 3 main issues to consider:

steel quality

Geometry includes the primary grind of the flats, the stock thickness, and the actual edge angles. Very thin edges (acute angles) are very sharp but lack the structure behind them to support the edge during use. They'll go dull more quickly. Too thick of an angle, and it won't cut well.

Steel quality includes carbide formation, distribution and arrangement, they austenization of the steel and dictates the potential for tempering. Different steels require different tempering procedures. Steel quality is largely determined by carbon content and added ingredients to create specific alloys, but there are tradeoffs for every addition and their quantities.

Temper is the process that sets the tradeoff point for a steel between toughness and brittleness. Toughness includes the sorts of shocks, stresses, bends and such the blade can take without failing. Toughness is best in softer tempered steels. But this sort of temper, while easy to sharpen, will not hold the edge well as it's too soft. When you increase the hardness in tempering, the blade becomes able to hold its edge but increases the brittleness of the blade, especially at the edge. Brittleness shows up in chips, broken tips and even in difficult sharpening.

The actual process of tempering involves some high tech ovens. As the ovens don't heat perfectly evenly, the manufacturer has to trade off how much variation he'll tolerate in the temper with how many knives are tempered in each batch. Cryo quenching greatly improves the toughness without the brittleness. Cryo quenching is not terribly common as it adds time and costs to the production.

Wusthof mechanically forges their steel. They take the steel and heat and pound on it. This is not a shaping process. This is a working of the steel to build crystalline structure and work impurities out. The blades are then ground and tempered. I don't know if their stock steel is powdered or not.

Forschner uses powdered steels and grinds to shape. Then tempered.

I have a Wusthof. Great knife. I have a few Forschners. Overall, I prefer the Forschners for some design features rather than the steels. The full, dropped bolster of the Wusthof really irritates me in sharpening. There are plenty of ways to balance a blade other than bolsters.

As to edge retention, I can't quantify a difference. Neither uses particularly good steels and both finish their knives to a lower RC (hardness) than I'd prefer.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #4 of 4

forschner vs. ???

phatch have a lot of good things to say.

i can't help but think that "stamped" knives are a lot more advanced than
people give them credit for. a lot has to do with the steel the "stamped"
knife is made out of. a high quality, dense, high carbon steel is "stamped"
(in quotes cuz lots of "stamped" knives are actually laser or water cut)
can be made into a terrific knife (and look at some very high quality
japanese "western style" knives ... starts out as a flat blade and then
the bolsters are welded on, not forged one piece like the german knives,
and if i didn't tell you, you would even know). also, knife for knife, the
forschners are thinner and sharpened at a more acute angle than woostofs
so of course they are sharper.

some people carelessly throw around the phrase "razor sharp" ... how thin
is a razor blade? the thinner the blade the sharper it can be. a 3mm thick
forged blade will find it hard to compete with a 1.5 mm thick "stamped" blade.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Equipment Reviews