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Güde Solingen... anyone familiar with this German brand?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Greetings folks!

After searching long and hard for information on this line of knives, I've decided to finally get out in the open and ask you fine people here. Hopefully someone will be able to help.

I'm very interested in the alpha line of knives from Güde Solingen, Germany. At first I was planning on buying a set of Ikon knives from Wüsthof but saw these thought since they are roughly in the same price range, what are the differences. Unfortunately I am not able to try these out over here but I am somewhat intrigued, therefore I am here asking for reviews or any opinions on this brand.

Anyways I look forward to hearing what you have to say!



PS there is a website on this line of knives but I have to wait until I have 5 posts to post it :lips: so just google güde Thanks!
post #2 of 9
Guild makes Excelent sereted knives, alot of knife nuts go after it, there regular chef knives are on the same level as other german knives, ok steel, good fit and finish but leaves you wanting more. There are better knives out there especaily for the money. for regualar straight edge knives go japanese, you wont be disapointed.
post #3 of 9
Your best bet if your in the States is to go here Lehman's - Products for Simple, Self-sufficient Living

I also recommend trying to get the 32cm bread knife. It's probably the best bread knife on the planet.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips! Especially the link there to lehman's! I think i might just start off with the Bread knife before going any further on this slightly pricey set. Hopefully I won't be disappointed.

post #5 of 9
Adam's mostly right. But the situation's a little complicated.

Let's start with Gude's reputation for bread knives. They make at least two lines, which are not created equal. The short knife normally sold by U.S. re- and e-tailers is not the good one. The long one is similar to the 10.5" MAC bread knife in a lot of ways, including a reverse set to the teeth. As far as I know, is usually only availaible through European dealers and is extremely expensive as bread knives go -- something in excess of $200 USD. I understand that Jay Lehman, if you talk to him personally, will sometimes put in a special order for the long knife which is the subject of discussion.

Take a look at the breads in Güde - Die Messer and you can see that the edges on the 21 and 32 cm knives are different designs. And, good luck getting one.

Other than their high-end breads Gude's claim to fame is their extreme imbalance. That metal "return" on the back of the handle makes even their long blades heavily back-weighted. The theory is that since most of the weight is in the hand, the blade feels light. Maybe for you Jack, but not for me.

Otherwise, they're another pretty good, conservatively handled, "German" profile knife in the same class as Wusthof Classic, F. Dick, Messermeister Meridian, Henckles Twin, Lamsonsharp, Victorinox Forged, etc. In short, excellent fit and finish, over-heavy, bad blade profiles (especially with the chef knives), heavy-hammer forged, and obsolete blade steel. Setting aside handle shape and balance idiosyncracy there are people who find reasons to choose one of these Germans over another -- frankly it's all over my head.

Don't get me wrong, the Germans are good knives. But as good knives go they're at the bottom.

While I don't think Ikons are very good knives in the greater scheme of things, at least they're profiled to more acute bevels, have modified their blade profiles in the direction of French/Japanese designs and are lighter than the classic German designs.

If you can live with (or like) carbon steel, there are still a few wonderful French knives around. Otherwise, all the value in mass produced, quality, culinary cutlery is coming out of Japan.

If you're willing to spend on a bread knife, Gude is great but MAC is a much better deal. 98% of the knife for half the price. If you're willing to settle for 95%, the Forschner Rosewood (or Fibrox) is a better value still. After that, your basic $10 bread knife is going to do a pretty good job. While it may be "the best," the big Gude breads are priced so far outside the market they've got to be regarded as more hobbyist than performance.

As to the regular set -- you've got to love both German knives and Gude's weird balance. I'd say, just forget it.

At Ikon price levels or less, you can do much better with Kanetsugu M, MAC Professional, and Togiharu to name just three. Even Global and Shun are far better values. If you can work with carbon steel knives, the world of better competitors expands exponentially.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I really enjoy the german knives I have right now but I think I will look into some of these japenese knives that you mention. I've heard about Global and Shun more so than the others but with global, i guess I wasn't totally sold on the aesthetics. In the end, it's all about the food though right? :)

Thanks so much BDL for that detailed posting. You've helped quite a bit!
post #7 of 9
I agree with pretty much everything said here, and BDL's thoughts on the Ikon line is almost dead on. I owned the Ikon 8" Chef's knife and while a better than average German blade, there is still better for the price.

I own the Gude 32cm knife and initially I agreed that it is a 'hobbyist' knife insofar that you pay a lot more to get a lot less--point of diminishing returns I suppose.

But then I started to think about all the Gyuto/Chef knifes people buy, myself included, that are in the $200-300 range, and this seems to be 'reasonable' because it is a knife used most often.

However, I use my Gude every day, and I am particularly inclined toward bread (the thick, dark and hard crusty type) so I would have to say that my bread knife holds an equally important status in my kitchen as my Gyuto.

I suppose it comes down to allocation, and how much of what you use, and what you're willing to spend. But you will not find a better bread knife than the Gude, at least not by any of the Japanese makers.
post #8 of 9
Take a look at Tojiro.
post #9 of 9
If your into Shun, go to williams sonoma and check out the Kaji line they have. It's kinda like an updated version of the classic, and it features the same steel as their elite (SG-2) which is definitely a step up from VG-10. Surprisingly enough the price is also quite reasonable too. If you want to buy a Shun, that's probably your best bet.

Shun Kaji | Williams-Sonoma
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