KAI vs Wusthof

Joined Oct 25, 2015
Hello Everyone,

I'm young chef from Turkey and i've got really interesting question here. 

I want to buy a "real" chef knife and i've got 2 choices, KAI and Wusthof.

Many chefs using KAI knifes and my chef dad also. But I saw Gordon Ramsay when he was using Wusthof knife.

I think, KAI and Wusthof really high-quality knives but what you think? Which one you can advice me for buy?
Joined Nov 15, 2012
I actually have a Wusthof Ikon, and a Kai by way of Shun [which is made by Kai] so I'll comment.

The wusthof Ikon is certainly the best that German stainless has to offer, along with the stainless Zwillings Kramer which is way out of the price range, not that the fact speaks highly of German stainless, it is mediocre steel at best.  The Ikon has a descent  profile all around, and I like the handle even though it is heavy, and though slim it suites my big hands just fine.

When you say Kai I assume it is VG-10 steel, unless you are talking about their blue steel line. 

VG-10 is a decent performing steel, though it is an effort to sharpen and chippy in comparison to German stainless, and Shun/Kai VG-10 tends to be more chippy than others.  Their knives also run thicker behind the edge as compared to other Japanese knives.  The chefs knives also have a great deal of belly like Germans.  The Kiritsuki though has a large flat area much as other kiritsukis.

In terms of performance/price ratio, both makers knives score rather low, in other words much better can be had for the same money.

Joined May 14, 2014
Honestly if you saw Gordon Ramsey using one on TV, he was probably being paid to do so. Niether one is more or less "prestegious" so get whichever feels more comfortable. I personally prefer whustof but don't even take my wusties to work anymore- i prefer to use cheaper knives
Joined Dec 18, 2010
While neither is viewed by many members of this forum as being "worthy", they are both quite serviceable. They are very different, however, and I encourage you to try them out before selecting one.

One one hand I'd say you need one of each. But if only one is to be bought, I'd go for the Wust...
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Thanks for pointing that out Benuser, I got mixed up and forgot the wusty chefs does have a typical German profile :-(  Not my cup of tea.

I don't have the Ikon chefs, of course, I have the 9" slicer (which of course I would have never bought had I waited 2 months and when I gained the advantage of cheftalk).  I'm correct in assuming the chefs is reasonably thin behind the edge like the slicer, yes/no?

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Joined Jan 8, 2015
They are both good knives. If most the people around you are usin kai, i'd say, use kai, they are familare with its properties and should help you get the most out of your purchase.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Overall, of those two choices I'd pick the Wusthof Ikon just because I like the design better. It would take more work to maintain the edge but I'd be happier using it than the various Kai knives. 

If you can, order from out of country if that's what it takes to get better choices. 
Joined Nov 15, 2012
ChefCenk, now you have an idea where Kai and Wusthof stand, and a few knives that would be chosen over them.  I know you would be thrilled enough with the Hiromoto if a 270 is OK with you, but why don't you tell us just what you are looking for in a knife, what types of knives you are looking for (chefs, slicer, utility, filet, etc), if carbon is OK as well as stainless, and what your budget is.  We could get more specific that way.

Joined May 29, 2013
CheffCenk, Rick has the right idea that we need some more information from you, so we can help you.

These threads work best when there is a "give and take" between you and the rest of us.  Otherwise, we just end up talking between ourselves, without knowing what information you really need to know.

I would like to know if you are absolutely limited to Kai or Wusthoff, or if you would consider anything else.  Also, to just state the obvious, there are quite a few different quality levels in choosing either Kai or Wusthof.  Both companies make relatively good knives - and both companies make knives that are just low quality.

If you are willing to consider something not ordinarily available in Turkey, can you give us some idea as to whether it is easy or difficult for you to order something from outside Turkey?

I would also like to roughly know your budget.  That's really important for young chefs.  Many of us here are not necessarily keeping an eye on what the budget for a young chef would likely be like.  (My thought is that it may not really be all that much by the standards of most of the people who frequent this web site. That's usually the case in every country).

It would also help if we have an idea on how you intend to keep your knife or knives sharp.

Hope that helps in the dialogue.

Galley Swiller
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