Kitchen knives are not all the same.
Different brands focus on different aspects of a knife. Some focus on durability, some on sharpness, some on price.
So it’s worth taking a bit of time to research before buying a knife, especially since a good knife can last for decades.
Two very good brands with lots of history are Wüsthof and Victorinox. They both produce quality knives, but they do have their differences.
In this article, I’m going to tell you the differences between these two great brands. I’ll go in-depth into the details of each, talking about where they are made, what materials are used and the difference in price.
This article should provide all the information you need to select the right knife for your needs.
If you ignore the price and focus on quality, Wüsthof knives are unarguably better. They are built for extreme durability and use a classic design. However; that is reflected in the price and you can still get a quality knife from Victorinox for a third the price of a standard Wüsthof. So if you’re on a budget then Victorinox offers some of the best value knives around.
|My recommendation||Current price|
|Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch||View on Amazon (opens new tab)|
|Victorinox Rosewood Chef’s Knife 8-Inch||View on Amazon (opens new tab)|
Wüsthof vs Victorinox – Comparison Table
Here is my summary comparison table for each brand. This is mostly based on their main range of knives; the Wüsthof Classic and the Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife.
For a more in-depth look at each category then check out the rest of the article below.
|Country of Manufacture||Germany||Switzerland|
|Rockwell hardness||HRC 58||HRC 56|
|Factory edge||14 degrees (double bevel)||15 degrees (double bevel)|
|Handle material||POM (thermoplastic)||TPE (thermoplastic)|
|Price range||$150 – $170 (Classic)||$50 – $60 (Fibrox Pro)|
|Main benefit||High quality, super durable||Low price, comfortable design|
|My recommendation||Wüsthof 8-Inch Classic (view on Amazon)||Victorinox Rosewood Chef’s Knife 8-Inch (View on Amazon)|
Wüsthof vs Victorinox – Where are they made
|Brand||Country of manufacture|
Wüsthof is a family-owned German company based in Solingen, a city based just outside Düsseldorf in Western German.
Wüsthof produces all its knives in the German city of Solingen and has done so for over 200 years. This relatively small German city has a population just above 150,000, its strong knife making reputation has led it to be dubbed ‘The City of Blades’.
Victorinox produces all their knives in Ibach, Switzerland.
Victorinox is a very interesting company as they are the original creators of the Swiss Army Knife, in fact, they produce around 45,000 Swiss Army Knives every single day.
The company was founded in 1884 and since then has expanded into other products such as chef’s knives and watches.
I think the practicality that you’d expect from a Swiss Army Knife is reflected in many of the features of Victorinox’s kitchen knives, which certainly focus more on durability than sharpness, but we’ll come to that next.
Both of these brands have an incredible heritage and have long been making durable blades, you can be assured that both these brands offer plenty of knife making experience.
Wüsthof vs Victorinox – What steel do they use
The first thing to know is that Wüsthof and Victorinox actually both use the same steel for their knives, at least in their main range.
However, the way the blade is formed does still make a significant difference between the two.
|Brand||Steel type||Rockwell hardness|
|Wüsthof Classic||X50CrMoV15 (forged)||HRC 58|
|Victorinox Fibrox Pro||X50CrMoV15 (stamped)||HRC 56|
Both these knives use the same steel, X50CrMoV15. However, there is a difference in their Rockwell hardness, with the Wüsthof knife being the harder of the two.
The main reason for that is that Wüsthof blades are forged (at least in their main, Classic range) and Victorinox blades are stamped.
Both the Wüsthof Classic and Victorinox ranges use X50CrMoV15. It’s a German steel that is popular amongst producers of quality western-style knives. Wüsthof uses forged steel for most of its knives whilst Victorinox knives are usually stamped.
X50CrMoV15 large benefit is its durability, and that’s why it’s so popular with many European knife brands.
The main elements of interest within X50CrMoV15’s composition are Carbon, Vanadium and Chromium.
The Carbon content is around 0.55%. That’s not particularly high when comparing it with other quality knives; however, it’s high enough to provide sufficient strength in the blade for a 15 – 20 degree angle on each side, which is standard for western knives.
The big benefit of not having a very high Carbon content is that higher Carbon steels are usually more brittle, therefore the 0.55% content keeps the blade durable.
That’s the same with the strong Vanadium of 0.4%, Vanadium improves the resistance to wear of the steel also adding to its durability.
The Chromium content is 15% is what the 15 in X50CrMoV15 represents. Chromium is vital for the durability of steel as it’s what makes stainless steel resistant to rust.
Steel need only be 10.5% to be considered stainless, so a 15% content is high and makes this a quality stainless steel, very unlikely to rust unless extremely mistreated by the owner.
There is a difference in the Rockwell hardness (HRC) between the Wüsthof and Victorinox knives.
Wüsthof knives tend to be forged, that’s when steel is heated to a point it can be molded.
Victorinox knives tend to be stamped. This is when the blade is stamped out of a flat sheet of steel, like a cookie-cutter.
Typically forged blades are regarded as better and harder, resulting in the difference on the Rockwell Scale we see here.
However, stamped blades are significantly less expensive, and Victorinox knives still receive the benefits of durability that X50CrMoV15 provides.
Most people would agree that the forged steel of the Wüsthof is better, although as a result there is a significant price difference between the two.
Wüsthof vs Victorinox – How sharp are they
Once again I’m going to focus on the most popular knives from each brand for this comparison.
You will experience a similar sharpness initially between both Wüsthof and Victorinox. However; Wüsthof knives will hold the edge for longer due to the steel being harder.
|Brand||Factory edge||Rockwell hardness|
|Wüsthof Classic||14 degrees (double bevel)||HRC 58|
|Victorinox Fibrox Pro||15 degrees (double bevel)||HRC 56|
Both Wüsthof and Victorinox use the same type of steel for their main range. However, because forged Wüsthof knives are slightly harder they will hold the edge for longer.
Wüsthof Classics do have a slightly sharper factory edge, coming out at a very slim 14 degrees on each side. That’s a very acute angle for this hardness of steel and I would actually recommend sharpening a Wüsthof between 15 – 20 degrees when you do come to sharpen it.
I consider the 14-degree factory edge to be a bit of a marketing figure as 0.55% Carbon steel just won’t hold an edge that fine for very long.
Wüsthof Classic knives are measured as being harder than Victorinox knives, measuring 58 and 56 on the Rockwell scale respectively.
That means that whilst they use the same base steel, and are factory sharpened to a similar angle, Wüsthof knives will be able to hold their edge for longer.
In reality, that means you’ll need to sharpen a Victorinox knife more often than you would a Wüsthof if you want to keep the edge as sharp as possible.
There isn’t a huge amount to choose between the two when measuring sharpness, but overall Wüsthof wins in this comparison.
Wüsthof vs Victorinox – What are the handles made from
The material used for handles is a vital and often overlooked feature of any knife.
A quality handle is often the sign of a quality overall knife. Handles need to be made from a durable material that can withstand all the heat and moisture fluctuations knives can experience in the kitchen.
Once again we’ll focus on the two main ranges from each brand, the Wüsthof Classic and Victorinox Fibrox Pro.
|Wüsthof Classic||POM (thermoplastic)|
|Victorinox Fibrox Pro||TPE (thermoplastic)|
Both Wüsthof Classic and Victorinox Fibrox Pro use different types of thermoplastic material for their knife handles. Wüsthof uses POM and Victorinox uses the more flexible TPE.
It is worth mentioning that whilst Victorinox’s most popular range uses TPE; they also have a knife that uses a very attractive Rosewood timber, which is actually my personal Victorinox recommendation.
But as the TPE knives are by far Victorinox’s most popular, I’m focusing on that.
Thermoplastic materials like these are ideal for knife handles due to their extreme durability.
POM is specifically designed for high stiffness and stability, and being a thermoplastic means it’s also extremely resistant to temperature and moisture changes.
It’s a fantastic material to use for knife handles, that will undergo all sorts of pressures and it makes sense to use this material for your main range, which is usually your more practical range.
TPE has many similarities in regard to it being durable, but it has more flex in it than POM.
As a result, the TPE handle Victorinox use isn’t quite as tough as the Wüsthof, but it does offer a good amount of grip.
Wüsthof vs Victorinox – How much do they cost
Both these brands have a range of knives all at differing price ranges.
To allow for a fairer comparison I’ve categorized three of their major ranges that represent their highest and lowest cost knives.
I’ve tried to compare similar knives, sticking to 8 Inch Chef’s knives or the closest equivalent they have in the range.
In brackets next to the general price range you’ll see the name of the range.
These prices are rough estimates. Prices do change over time but this is intended as a rough guide.
|Premium||$170 – $190 (Ikon)||Not Applicable|
|Standard||$150 – $170 (Classic)||$110 – $130 (Professional)|
|Value||$75 – $95 (Gourmet)||$50 – $60 (Fibrox Pro)|
This is easily the main benefit of Victorinox knives over Wüsthof.
Victorinox knives are significantly less expensive. Their most popular range is the Fibrox Pro range, which is still quite a bit less expensive than the Wüsthof Gourmet range.
Victorinox do focus on low-priced knives and there are good reasons for the price difference.
Wüsthof knives are of better quality, and their Standard and Premium ranges both use forged steel and have more durable handles.
With that being said, Victorinox does offer very good value for money on their most popular range, the Fibrox Pro.
These knives are still often $20 less than the Wüsthof value range (Gourmet), even though both brands use the same stamped steel for these lower-priced knives.
In summary, I’d say Victorinox offers great value for money at the lower end of the price scale, and they are very close competitors for the best chef’s knife under $100.
But If I was comparing the two with a budget of more than $100, I would definitely choose Wüsthof.
Wüsthof vs Victorinox – What is the difference
The main difference between Wüsthof and Victorinox knives is the price. Victorinox knives generally cost much less than Wüsthof. However, Wüsthof’s Standard and Premium range of knives are better quality and justify the price difference.
|Wüsthof||High quality, super durable|
|Victorinox||Low price, comfortable design|
I like both these brands, but there is a clear difference in the average price and that’s because they are just not equal in terms of quality.
Wüsthof is a name that’s synonymous with quality and durability. Their knives use classic designs and are built to last.
Victorinox have focused on the more budget-friendly end of the price scale, and to be fair they do it very well.
Being the creators of The Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox is a company that knows a thing or two about making knives that do the job but don’t break the bank. So it’s no surprise their Fibrox Pro knives offer good practicality and comfort, for a very low price.
Wüsthof vs Victorinox – Which is better for you
The determining factor for which of these brands you choose really comes down to budget.
If you have over $100 to spend, I definitely recommend a knife from the Classic Wüsthof range over the Victorinox Professional range. I think Wüsthof offers the best western style Chef’s knives within the $100 – $200 price range.
However; if you have under $100 to spend then Victorinox is certainly worth consideration.
The most similar Wüsthof knife at this price is their Gourmet collection, but you’ll usually find they still come in more expensive than Victorinox and they use the exact same stamped X50CrMoV15 steel.
If you are on a tight budget, Victorinox is a strong contender for the best brand around $50.
And you don’t even have to compromise on style, check out my Victorinox recommendation below, it’s got a beautiful Rosewood handle and is still only at the $50 – $60 mark.
My Wüsthof Recommendation
The Wüsthof Classic Chef’s knife is my recommendation if you’re looking for a Wüsthof knife.
I recommend it a lot on this site as it’s the ultimate western chef’s knife. It’s super durable, comfortable to hold and use and as we’ve seen in the article above it uses top quality materials and is manufactured right in the German ‘City of Blades’, as it has been for over 200 years.
There are less expensive and more expensive Wüsthof knives, but for the money, I think this is the best.
My Victorinox Recommendation
The Fibrox Pro, with its thermoplastic handle, might be the most popular Victorinox knife, but it’s not my personal recommendation.
For a similar price, you can get the Victorinox Rosewood Chef’s Knife. It uses the exact same steel but has a beautiful Rosewood handle instead of the thermoplastic.
Rosewood is hard, so it’s still plenty durable, and I think the style it gives the knife is really hard to match at this price range. It certainly looks like a knife that would be more expensive than it actually is.
The handle shape is a classic design, along with the curved blade edge it’s ideal for rock chopping and is a lightweight knife overall.
For a knife around the $50 mark, you’ll find it hard to find another knife as stylish and as high in quality as this one.