Perhaps not the comparison you thought you wanted, but I assure you this Dalstrong vs Wusthof review is the one you need. Each of these brands represents two different eras of the knife world, like a tale of old vs new, experience vs passion.
We will weigh these two brands against a bunch of criteria that are pivotal to determining their worth and suitability for you, so pay close attention!
What is Dalstrong?
If you haven’t heard of Dalstrong knives yet, you are missing out. It’s understandable if you’ve not yet heard of these fantastic Canadian knife makers because they’re still in their first decade of operation.
Founded in 2014 by David Dallaire, Dalstrong strives to push knife-making boundaries. To create products that are not only highly durable but also exceptionally stunning in beauty.
Despite its youthfulness as a company and short time in the business, Dalstrong has already become highly acclaimed. They manufacture their knives in YangJiang, China, a city renowned for its knife crafting traditions dating back to the 1500s.
Dalstrong’s product range features a mix of traditional Western-style knives and cutting-edge Japanese knives in their collections.
What is Wusthof?
Wusthof is one of the most renowned brands of kitchen knives in the entire world, having its roots in the German “city of blades” of Solingen. The company has been around for over 200 years and has utterly perfected the process of crafting precision forged blades.
Wusthof knives are loved by professional chefs worldwide. You can even spot them being used by Gordon Ramsay himself on the popular show Hell’s Kitchen.
This prestigious brand of knives has prided itself on a 40-step crafting process that incorporates the combined efforts of hand skills and computerized tech. As a result, Wusthof’s blades are typically stronger and more durable than most kitchen knives. In addition, they retain their edge for longer periods of time.
Most of their products are priced several notches above the average price of kitchen knives. However, they do offer some affordable options in their stamped knife collections.
How are they made
Despite being made in China, Dalstrong’s knives’ quality is quite top-tier, albeit the region they are crafted in makes a huge difference. The town of YangJiang is notorious for its extensive experience in producing knives through manual handcrafting and polishing techniques.
Unlike Wusthof, Dalstrong forges all its knives. However, despite not having any stamped knives, the brand remains several price points lower than the German brand.
Dalstrong may make their knives in China, but they import the materials from the best steel manufacturers in Japan, America, and Germany. Combined with the traditional handcrafting efforts of the best bladesmiths in China, the knives are heat treated and cold-rolled to perfection.
The sharpening and polishing process of Dalstrong knives uses the three-step Honbazuke method. That is, by grinding, honing, and polishing for a “true edge.”
The Wusthof knife is produced using a 40-step precision forged process that guarantees edge retention excellence. It also has extra sharp blades of up to 14-degree angles on chef’s knives. In addition, their forged knives come in a full tang construction that eliminates risk of the blade snapping under pressure.
Like Dalstrong, Wusthof also uses extreme heating and cooling to raise their blade hardness levels, reaching scores of 58 HRC.
Wusthof also constructs stamped knives as a cheaper option for some customers. They make these knives with full tang construction. Their Gourmet collection is essentially the brand’s budget-friendly range. They produce these knives in a way that is less taxing on the company’s expenses.
Nevertheless, these affordable blades are still high-quality knives made of superior high carbon German steel for extra durability and cutting strength.
Wusthof and Dalstrong primarily offer knives forged with precision edge technology for longer-lasting blades. The blade hardness level is one of the most notable differences between these two brands. They build the typical Wusthof chef’s knife for balance, typically crafted at a Rockwell Hardness Scale rating of 58 for strength, durability, and edge retention.
In contrast, Dalstrong knives vary in hardness, ranging between HRC scores of 55 and 63. Naturally, this means you get more variety with Dalstrong. Customers can choose the degree to which they want to sacrifice chip resistance for durability and vice-versa.
Remember, being a relatively new brand, Dalstrong has yet to prove it can last a lifetime like Wusthof.
Dalstrong and Wusthof knives are notorious for manufacturing sharp, durable blades that can pierce through tough food ingredients. However, as per Wusthof’s efforts towards a consistent range, they craft most of their knives with a sharp edge and a traditional German-style design.
They sharpen their knives to 14 degrees per side for an extra sharp finish that cuts more effortlessly than most knives on the market.
As per Dalstrong’s efforts towards a more versatile product range, they offer a wider range of sharpness options. Dalstrong’s products, such as the Shogun series, boast an 8-inch chef’s knife that is sharper than Wusthof, reaching up to 8-degree angles per side.
Of course, this puts the blade at risk of cracking or chipping. So, the brand also offers more durable options such as the Gladiator series, which they sharpen to 16-18 degrees per side.
Material differences (blade and handle)
The differences in how these brands approach their product collections and manufacturing processes directly influence their choice of materials used. Wusthof makes its knives with high-quality materials known as X50CRMOV15 German steel.
From the Wusthof Classic series to their Classic Ikon knife, you will find they are all made of the same blade material. It combines stainless steel, carbon, chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium (1).
Unlike Wusthof, Dalstrong uses a wide range of steel materials for their blades, depending on the collection. For example, the Dalstrong Gladiator series is made of German steel, while the Omega series uses American steel. The rest of their collections, including the Dalstrong Shogun series, they make out of Japanese steel, typically AUS-10V.
Regarding the handle materials, Wusthof is a little more flexible and abundant in the varieties offered. Typically, you can get any type of handle with Wusthof, including Pakkawood, synthetic polyoxymethylene, and polypropylene. In addition, the elemental structure of Wusthof’s synthetic handles makes them highly durable and heat and moisture-resistant.
Unsurprisingly, Dalstrong goes the extra mile once again to offer a greater variety in handle materials. In fact, you’ll find different handle materials across their several knife collections, each of which offers its own unique benefits. For instance, the Shogun series comes with a durable synthetic material known as G10 Garolite, which is resistant to moisture and heat.
Some of Dalstrong’s other handle options include stainless steel, which comes with the Crusader collection. In addition, their Gladiator series offers Pakkawood just like Wusthof’s Classic Ikon, offering a vintage traditional design that complements your home decor.
Overall, Dalstrong offers all types of material handles that Wusthof offers. However, they take it a step further to manufacture rarer handles such as stainless steel.
When it comes to warranty, you can’t go wrong with either of these brands. They offer peace of mind and quality guarantees when purchasing their products. In addition, each Wusthof knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty that covers the customer for any defects related to the crafting process or quality of materials.
This means the customer can return their product to the manufacturer and have it repaired or replaced at little to no cost.
Dalstrong offers a limited lifetime warranty similar to Wusthof’s, covering the user for manufacturing defects or the material’s quality. However, Dalstrong knives also come with a 100% satisfaction or money-back guarantee for further peace of mind.
If the customer is unhappy with their knives for absolutely any reason, they can have them returned for a full refund within the first 120 days of purchase.
As with all brands of popular knives, it is always recommended to avoid cleaning your knives with a dishwasher. This is because over-exposure to water and detergents can rust or corrode the blade and handle material. However, if you choose to use a dishwasher, ensure the product item clearly states that it is safe.
Since Wusthof makes their knives precision forged with high-quality materials such as German steel, they possess a higher carbon content than most knives. This means the blade can withstand more exposure to heat and moisture without rusting or corroding. For that reason, most of Wusthof’s knives are dishwasher-safe as far as the blade goes, but the handle is another issue.
For starters, actively avoid dishwashers for both brands’ Pakkawood-handled knives, as this is a surefire way to damage them. On the other hand, Wusthof’s Grand Prix II is said to be dishwasher-safe because of its synthetic handle and high carbon German steel blade.
Likewise, some materials make Dalstrong knives dishwasher safe, such as the Japanese steel paring knife offered in their Shogun series collection (2).
If you choose to hand wash your knives (which we highly recommend), use a combination of warm water and light soap or detergent. Apply a cleaning cloth by rubbing the blade on the flat side, ensuring to avoid contact with the blade’s sharp edge. Leave the knife out to dry or use a drying cloth for faster storage or immediate use thereafter.
How are they different?
The clear difference between Wusthof and Dalstrong knives relates to their origins and company strategies. Wusthof is a 200-year-old brand steeped in tradition that primarily manufactures high-quality kitchen knives from Germany. On the other hand, Dalstrong is a young company from Canada that makes durable knives in Western and Asian styles.
Both brands primarily offer forged knives. However, Wusthof also offers stamped knife collections, whereas Dalstrong does not. Furthermore, Wusthof knives are predominantly more expensive than Dalstrong. Although, they do have some products within the same price range.
There is no doubt that Wusthof gives a more “premium” experience with kitchen knives. Still, Dalstrong offers a creative flair to its products that breaks away from traditional German style design and offers something unique and refreshing.
How are they similar?
To an extent, Wusthof and Dalstrong have some similarities to be aware of. For example, some of their collections offer similar knives made of the same steel, particularly when comparing their German-style products. Both brands also use a similar design for some of their products, such as the classic triple riveted handles design.
In terms of design and performance, Dalstrong and Wusthof knives are predominantly made using the forging process. They both offer ruthlessly sharp blades. You will also find similar product offerings between the two knives, covering all the essentials in their knife set products.
These sets often come with a good knife collection, including a chef’s knife, paring knife, steak knives, a knife block, and even a santoku knife, depending on the set.
What’s better about Dalstrong?
Without a doubt, Dalstrong offers a far more comprehensive range of products through their knives and provides more creativity with their collections. Some of their blades come with beautiful patterned Damascus steel while others feature a stunning curved handle made of shiny stainless steel.
Another great advantage of Dalstrong is that many of their knives feature a sheath that comes with it, making it safer and easier to store your knives.
Of course, Dalstrong also has the better warranty by a landslide, offering an additional money-back guarantee on top of the standard limited warranty. Moreover, in terms of handle colors, Dalstrong offers up to 9 color varieties, whereas Wusthof only offers three color choices.
Dalstrong also offers products beyond kitchen knives, including cookware items, barbecue tools, and premium packaging.
What’s better about Wusthof?
200 years of experience is tough to top, forming Wusthof’s core advantage over other knives. Their perfected forging process comprises of 40-steps, and their materials are sourced from the best German steel suppliers in the world. This combination results in unbeatable durability, strength, and edge retention with Wusthof kitchen knives.
Another advantage of Wusthof knives is their stamped knives collection, a type of knife not offered by Dalstrong. The advantage of stamped knives is that they are more affordable and in many cases more lightweight, making them a preferred option for many customers.
Indeed, taking this into account, the Dalstrong-Wusthof comparison of prices suddenly becomes more level.
Who should get Dalstrong and why?
My best advice for anyone going for Dalstrong knives is to buy them if you like the look of them. For most homeowners, the minuscule differences in blade hardness or edge sharpness won’t be felt between these two brands of top-quality knives. That said, I’d recommend Dalstrong for their aesthetics, superior warranty, and generally lower prices.
Who should get Wusthof and why?
Wusthof is top-of-the-range when it comes to quality. Regardless of your opinion on how they look or their smaller range of options compared to Dalstrong, their superiority in performance cannot be questioned. Durability, edge retention, strength, and sharpness are just a few of the significant advantages you can experience with Wusthof knives.
In fact, these top-quality knives are even loved by Michelin-star chefs all over the world, including the great Gordon Ramsay himself!
Dalstrong certainly has the upper hand in their range of product offerings. While Wusthof only offers German-style blades, Dalstrong offers a full range of American, German, and Japanese-style knives, so you get the best of all worlds within the knife industry.
However, Wüsthof knives are available as forged or stamped, whereas Dalstrong only offers forged, giving the German brand a slight edge in this regard.
However, the sheer affordability of Dalstrong knives, despite being made using the full tang forging process, diminishes Wusthof’s advantage. Simply put, most would rather pay a low price for a forged knife rather than a low price for a stamped knife.
That, combined with Dalstrong’s greater range of knife designs, color choices, and handle materials, makes them the clear winner in product offerings.
Design and Performance
Both these kitchen knife manufacturing titans use high-quality materials in the crafting of their blades, and both are no strangers to German steel. As a result, you can find a great selection of durable and sharp knives with either Dalstrong or Wusthof. In addition, both offer full tang forged knives as their primary product offering.
On that note, Wusthof’s crafting method has been perfected over 200 years in the business. Their knives have stood the test of time actually to last a lifetime. In addition, they have extensive experience in manufacturing knives and knife handles. It’s a perfected 40-step crafting process that combines modern tools and technology with traditional handyman skills.
Thus, the durability, strength, and edge-retention of Wusthof knives remain superior to Dalstrong for the time being.
Price and Warranty
Wusthof and Dalstrong offer quality knife sets and individual items at various prices. Generally, Wusthof knives are more expensive than the average knife, and to access their cheaper options. You will likely have to go for a stamped knife. Dalstrong, on the other hand, offers forged knives at affordable prices, making them an overall more cost-efficient brand than Wusthof.
On top of that, Dalstrong offers a better warranty than Wusthof. In addition to the standard limited warranty offered by both brands, Dalstrong goes a step further to offer a 120-day money-back satisfaction guarantee. This means you can have your product returned and receive a full refund within the first four months of purchase, for any reason whatsoever!
Dalstrong vs Wusthof FAQ
Is Dalstrong a Chinese company?
No, Dalstrong is a Canadian company founded in 2014, intending to provide high-quality kitchen knives precision forged at affordable prices. The company does, however, manufacture its materials in China, though they use materials sourced from America, Germany, and Japan.
Is Dalstrong a German company?
Despite using German steel in many of its products, Dalstrong is a Canadian company based in Toronto. They make their products in China. They source their materials from regions across the U.S, Germany, and Japan, offering a great variety of high-quality knife sets.
Do Dalstrong knives stay sharp?
The typical Dalstrong knife is expected to last you many years, though the absolute limit of its longevity is yet to be determined as they are a relatively new brand. They build each knife with top-tier materials for durability, strength, and edge-retention, expected to last a lifetime against defects as per the company’s promise.
(1) – https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/42/molybdenum
(2) – https://www.worldhistory.org/Shogun/