FL Italian's concern about the cost of Wusthof's might be somewhat less of a problem, depending on the line of Wusthof knives looked at.
Two weeks ago, at the going-out-of-business sale (in Receivership) of City Kitchens in downtown Seattle, I purchased among other things a 12" Wusthof Pro line chef's knife. The listed price at City Kitchens was $56, with everything left in the store being half-off (or $28). Since I didn't have anything as big as a 12" chef's knife, I thought it might be a useful and inexpensive way to add a long and new Wusthof knife to my galley (as well as a long knife to practice using on my Edge Pro Apex sharpener).
From the look and feel of the knife, it appears to be Wusthof's alternative to Victorinox/Forschner Fibrox for the commercial kitchen market (another tipoff is the "NSF" stamp, for "National Sanitary Foundation"). The blade is stamped, not forged, and the handle is a molded "ergo" handle. It appears that this might be a considerably more budget alternative to the Classic line, the Ikon line or some of the other top line Wusthof's.
POINTS IN FAVOR:
(1) The steel type stamped (engraved?) on the blade is "X50CrMoV15". Also prominently stamped on the blade is "Solingen, Germany". The blister packaging for the knife included a descriptive sheet, which again specified that the knife came from Solingen. Based on the "X50CrMoV15", and the "Solingen" references, I am presuming that the PRO line knives were made at Wusthof's Solingen factory, and were (presumably) heat treated to the same hardness level as the other "X50CrMoV15" knives.
I do recognize that BDL is not necessarily a fan of German knives, but the Wusthof PRO line of knives probably gives the least expensive version of Wusthof's primary quality blade steel.
(2) Blade Thickness: As stamped steel, the blade is thinner than a forged blade, which is one of the favorite points for the Victorinox/Forschner. Wusthof does taper the blade, both along the face plane of the blade, and along the spine of the blade.(For what it's worth, my measurement by dial caliper of the spine of the knife just at its junction with the molded handle showed the blade to be in the 0.100 to 0.102 inch range, which converts out to just about 2.54 to 2.56 mm)
(3) Price: The Wusthof PRO line chef's knives are priced at slightly more than the Victorinox/Forschner Fobrox Handled knives, with the 8" Wusthof PRO chef knife at about $30 and the 10" chef's knife at about $33 to $35. If you want a Wusthof knife without the high price, this appears to be the budget champ.
POINTS NOT NECESSARILY IN FAVOR:
(1) Handle Size: The handle for the PRO line is not very small - in fact it's big. (I'm comparing it to my Tojiro DP F-808 210 mm western handle Chef's Knife, which has had numerous comments about its large size - and the PRO handle feels to me to be even bigger)..
(2) Handle Fit: The handle is ergonomically shaped, so that it's intended for a full-handed grip, with the hand held back from the blade. Held that way, it's comfortable. This knife is awkward at best for a pinch grip. (A pinch grip can be done, but it's a completely different feel from the standard western-style rounded box style handle pinch grip).
(3) Blade Sharpening: The molded handle, with its "bolster" creates a pain-in-the-neck when sharpening at the heel of the blade. There is a 1/4 inch clearance from the bottom of the "bolster" to the projection back of the blade edge. However, the "bolster" is a full half-inch wide at the heel of the blade. That will make blade sharpening using any stones very awkward. The curvature of the "bolster" from the spine to the heel of the blade also is also awkward using the Edge Pro. Whether there are similar problems with electric sharpeners remains to be tested.
One potential saving grace is that the "bolster" and the rest of the handle are plastic, rubber or other relatively soft materials, which appear to be easily removed or modified by utility knife (no special tooling required).
(4) Availability - try as I might to find a chain of brick and mortar stores carrying it, the Wusthof PRO line of knives appears to only be available online.
Hope that might be of consideration.
(One additional note: City Kitchens is now completely closed)