on February 27, 2013
I bought this set just over 2 years ago and it's been in constant use every day since then by my wife and I. Slicing soft fruit/veggies like tomatoes is so easy, and hard vegetables cut like butter. They handle anything we throw at them superbly and you can cut yourself quite easily with them, as you don't even notice them going into your skin until they are already pretty deep within unlike cheap knives.
Compared to other quality knives, these are one of my favourites - I love the weight, build quality, and balance, they speed up cooking, cutting and chopping as it's easy to get into a good rhythm and flow with these knives. The reason I chose this set over other high quality ones is that it is my favourite for every day cooking, a superb set really, very versatile and it has every essential element you need - except maybe a cheese knife, as I can't work without one.
My only gripe is the handle. Although it feels very nice and allows me to work quickly, it's not as ergonomic compared to Cutco knives for example. After long periods of use you may find your hands getting a bit sore - which for me is not a problem, but it might be for a person with sensitive hands, maybe needing to buy a gel handle cover.
3-Inch paring knife - Great handle length although that makes the balance a bit towards the rear which I don't really like, but that's true for almost all small paring knives. The blade angle is great and good for taking out potato eyes and anything requiring precision. Sometimes I wish it was a little longer than 3 inches for peeling larger items, but then I usually just use the 4.5-incher instead.
4.5-Inch utility knife - The second most used knife in the set, it's got the perfect balance and a great size for many tasks. Unfortunately this is the largest utility knife in the set, compared to other sets that have a 6-inch utility knife. Personally I'd rather have a 4.5-incher as I can use it as a large paring knife when I need one, and I tend to cut/slice smaller items that give me more precision than a 6-inch knife would. For jobs where I'd need the 6-inch knife, I have the 8-inch carving knife.
8-Inch carving knife - Great knife, probably the third most used in the set that we use for anything the 4.5-incher is too small for. Goes through meat without much force and has a good angle for carving, with the front of the knife shorter than the rear, makes it good for getting those last slices of turkey even.
8-Inch cook's knife - The most used knife in the set and it's absolutely great. Feels and handles like a cook's knife should. It might be a little heavy for some who haven't owned quality knives, but that's how a quality tempered steel blade (of this size) should feel like. For me it's a little bit on the light side, but it's perfect for my wife who prefers to chop rather than the European rocking back and forth. It stays sharp for surprisingly long that it's easy to forget. And after sharpening you are amazed at how sharp it originally was. Even when it's "dull" and time for sharpening, it's still much sharper than "cheap knives".
8-Inch bread knife - Speaks for itself, probably the least used knife out of the lot, but when we do use it, it's to slice bread. It goes through the bread very smoothly. I know some would like a longer blade, like 9 or 10 or even 12 inches. I don't really understand that; unless you are cutting a giant loaf in half, you don't need anything larger than this. I actually wish it was smaller at times for slicing pastries. I'm glad it's the least used knife as I have no idea how I'd sharpen this, I guess I'd probably have to send it to Wusthof?
9-Inch honing steel - This one is decent quality. I have a larger, better quality one that I use instead of this one, but I tried this one several times and it also does the job. If you have never honed, watch videos online on how to use it. Buying a set like this and never sharpening the knives will make them practically useless as time goes by. I know I am stating the obvious but I've seen some people buy sets and then replacing them with new sets after a few years because the new ones are so much better and "sharper". Either they did not sharpen their set or they didn't do it right. You know you sharpened them right when they feel like new. With cheaper brands this is not always possible because the blade wears down so quickly, but with Wusthof you should be able to get near-new like sharpness with the honing steel. They're really easy to maintain compared to cheaper knives. This is why I advocate to people that buying a quality set is a long term investment that will actually save you money instead of going through cheap knives year after year. If you are not a fan of honing or it's too difficult for you to get exactly right for each knife, get a ceramic or electric sharpener. My wife uses a cheap one from a Cutco set that works just fine when I'm not home and she needs to sharpen a knife.
Kitchen shears - These are great, the best scizzors in the house, I even use them to open ridiculously difficult packaging, cut through carpets and other hard surfaces (shh, don't tell me wife!). The little teeth on the shears make for very precise and straight cuts and it's easy to clean them as they go apart easily. Unlike some other take-apart shears you don't need to worry about them "falling apart". I couldn't cut through a penny with them like I could with the Cutco ones, but maybe I was just using ones from the wrong year.
Beechwood knife block - Looks very nice and has a good build. It would've been nice to have some extra slots for other knives I've added to the collection since then, especially the steak knives, but aesthetics-wise, it looks better when all the slots are filled and with the same brand.
As I said before, they stay sharp very long, I usually only need to sharpen the most commonly used ones, the cook's knife and utility knife, only once every two months or longer. If you are not experienced with honing or want extra sharpness, get a ceramic or electric knife sharpener; they might reduce the lifetime of the knives, but that's the price you pay if you want extra sharpness all the time.
All in all, I am extremely happy with the set. They exceeded my expectations and they are worth their full price, although if you look around you could probably find them on sale. It's much cheaper to buy the knives in a set than individually and "grow" your collection. If you can afford it, buy a set with all the knives you'll need. While I couldn't find a set with a cheese knife, this set had everything else I needed and it turned out to be one of the best purchases for the kitchen.