Knife Style: Wusthof Classic 6-Inch Utility Knife
Our Reviewer Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Buyer Rating: 4.8 out of 5 Stars with 34 Reviews
Model Number: Classic Knife 4522 Best Used For: Consumer High End Use
The Classic 6-Inch Utility Knife from Wusthof, often called a Sandwich Knife, is a solid choice for what many cooks call “in-between” work. If you’re a culinary student, home cooking enthusiast or serious cooking hobbyist you’ll appreciate adding this knife to your prep knives for tasks that other knives just don’t handle as easily. Professional cooks also herald this Wusthof Classic utility knife as a high-quality knife well worth the investment for mid-sized prep work.
This knife line is forged with the best materials and they create award-winning sharp knives across the entire Classic line. While paring knives and smaller utility knives are perfect for small detail work, and chef’s knives handle the bulky work best, you’ll often face kitchen prep work that falls in between. And if you do, you’ll definitely appreciate this knife.
After I read the reviews of this 6-inch knife, I believe it would also be one of the best gifts I can imagine for a home chef friend or family member, or even as a wedding gift where the couple enjoys cooking. Practically any cook — especially foodies — who could use a top quality 6-inch utility knife for mid-range prep work would enjoy owning this knife.
- What’s So Good About This Wusthof Classic Knife?
- Pros and Cons of Wusthof Classic Utility Knives
- Versatility of Prep Use
- Quality and Manufacturing
- What Buyers Say About Their Wusthof Knives
- Who Should Buy This Knife
- Who Shouldn’t Buy This Knife
- Knife Accessories and Related Items
- Our Recommendation and Why
What’s So Good About This Wusthof Classic Knife?
This model 4522 utility knife can be a solid #2 go-to knife in any starter prep knife set. One advantage of the 6-inch length is its ability to tackle tasks too big for a 3-4″ knife and too small for the larger (and most common size) 8-inch chef’s knives. As such, this makes them one of the best all-purpose kitchen knives you could own.
Cooks with larger hands often prefer the 6-inch version for prep work because it gives better control than a cook’s knife and also has a larger handle than a small paring knife. Any serious cook, culinary student, home cooking enthusiast, or even a professional cook who handles a lot of mid-range prep work can benefit from a knife this size.
This Wusthof Classic 6-inch Utility Knife is made with a straight-edge blade, and is designed for multipurpose use. It is forged and hand-honed to an incredibly sharp edge, and Wusthof has created a high-carbon steel kitchen knife with a full tang, precision bolster, and polymer handle, ensuring the best heft and balance for your knife.
While they say this knife line says it is dishwasher-safe, I strongly recommend that you do not clean this knife, or any knife, that way. You can read our article about the best way to clean your knives to find out why I feel so strongly about that. Dishwashers are just not the way to keep your high-end knives sharp, clear of pitting, and stain- and corrosion-free.
Pros and Cons of Wusthof Classic Utility Knives
No matter how much any of us like or dislike a particular knife brand, knife line, or particular knife, there are pros and cons to each, whether it is because of features or how you intend to use it. Here are some of my observations.
- Straight-edge blades like this one, rather than hollow edge or serrated blades, have the most flexible use case of all the knives in your kitchen. This 6″ utility version is extremely versatile, and can handle most mid-sized knife chores with ease. Smaller than most slicing knives, the thin, flared-tip blade glides effortlessly through meat, vegetables, or fruit, producing a smooth and clean cut. This is one of the reasons some prefer to call this a sandwich knife, but this knife is capable of much more. It also does excellent work cutting larger fruits and vegetables into delicate slices.
- Wusthof Classic knives are constructed to the highest manufacturing and quality standards. These are forged blades, designed with a triple-riveted full tang and ergonomic composition handles. Their manufacturing process makes them incredibly sharp — and you can keep them that way with proper care. These knives are made to last, unlike cheaper knives.
- Wusthof further adds to this knife’s performance by adding a precision bolster. This provides excellent heft and balance, which seriously improves your knife’s ability to slice easily. Because of this balanced design, these knives don’t put a strain on your hand or arm, and are comfortable for extended use in your kitchen. Ever done a bunch of chopping or slicing and had to stop a minute to rest your fingers and wrist? I have! A lot of the time I find that a dull or poorly balanced knife is a big contributing factor to my tired hands or arms after a day of holiday cooking.
- Because of the seamless hygienic fit of the handle, there are no gaps in the handle for food residue to slip in, making it easier to keep this knife clean and sanitary.
- Because of their ergonomic handle design, Wusthof’s knives sometimes don’t fit every hand size well. Reviewers find the handles very comfortable to use for extended periods, but the proper handle length for your grip is an important consideration. The handle of the 6″ blade may work pretty well for most hands, but if you have small or large hands, you may need to do some adjusting of your grip to make it work well for you. However, the Wusthof Classic line (model 4522) also includes a straight-edge 5″ utility knife and straight-edge 7″ utility knife as alternate options, too.
- If you don’t have the budget to spend $90 on a single prep knife, no matter how handy, you won’t want to buy a Wusthof Classic knife at a time. You get what you pay for, as reviewer after reviewer mentions, but it’s your pocketbook and only you can decide how much you want to spend. If you’re looking to buy more than one knife, be sure to check out their sets for a better combined price. You can read my reviews of the Classic 2-Piece Knife Set and 3-Piece Knife Set (which includes this utility knife) for an idea of how they will work for you. And if you need a solid Cook’s knife, you can read our review of the 8-inch Wusthof Classic version here, as well.
- If you don’t do much mid-range prep work, and your paring knife and cook’s knife can get the job done, you may very well not need a mid-sized in-between knife.
Versatility of Prep Use
As I mentioned above in pros and cons, the Classic utility knife is exceptionally versatile for mid-range prep work. This makes it the best knife to buy if you can only afford one mid-sized knife for prep work. It serves well as a slicing knife in general for meat, vegetables, and fruit. And the thin blade makes it great for delicate slicing tasks that are too big for a paring knife or hard to accomplish with the thicker blade of the chef’s knife.
In addition to in-between uses for this knife, in a pinch you can use it as a replacement for some smaller tasks you usually take care of with an 8″ chef’s knife. And it can double as your second go-to small kitchen knife for delicate or intricate tasks that are just a bit big for a paring knife such as slicing cucumbers, cheese, apples, or other mid-sized vegetables and fruit.
Quality and Manufacturing
I really can’t say this Wusthof knife review is complete without a discussion of the manufacturing process involved in making these some of the best-rated small kitchen knives in the world. Their knives are regularly rated among the top knives of any brand and Good Housekeeping gives Wusthof extremely high marks in side-by-side tests with other top brands.
Wusthof manufactures the Classic knives through a forged method in its Solingen, Germany, factory. Wusthof craftsmen hand-forge a knife starting from a single piece of their high-carbon steel alloy, which many professionals acknowledge as some of the best knife steel available.
They use a unique “Precision Edge Technology” (PEtec) that Wusthof says will give the knife the ability to hold its edge 30% longer than competing knives from other manufacturers. In contests with measurements taken through independent testing, they have tested 20% higher than competing brands for sharpness.
After hand-honing and hand-polishing the final knife blade, the finished Wusthof knife is hard enough to resist dulling and yet also soft enough to take a keen edge when honed or sharpened during your regular use. Often knives from competitors are made from a steel that is too hard, so they aren’t capable of being honed or sharpened back to a precision edge, or too soft, so that they dull easily.
The final finishing process creates an extremely stain-resistant blade. The full tang makes the knife much stronger, and much less likely to snap the handle or break free of the blade with extended use. They also add a finger guard to protect your hands, and the guard improves the knife’s heft, balance, and stabilization even further.
You can learn more about important elements of kitchen knives from this article.
What Buyers Say About Their Wusthof Knives
One regular comment is that buyers feel the investment in Wusthof’s knives, especially this line, is “worth every cent” over purchasing lesser quality knives that won’t hold their edge. And with all 5-Star and 4-Star reviews, that’s a solid approval rating from buyers. One buyer pointed out that if this size, performance, and quality of the knife is right for you, the expense won’t matter once you’ve used it. Although there aren’t too many reviews on this knife (only 19 at the time of writing) I suspect this is because of the price, and the fact that most users looking for this knife are likely to purchase it in a set (see our review of the 3-piece set).
One comment echoed often by reviewers is that this particular line is the best trade-off between price and quality compared to the less-expensive Wusthof Gourmet line (a stamped blade) or Wusthof’s Culinar line (more expensive).
One reviewer said that the thinner blade and taper of this utility knife makes this a fabulous slicing knife, and he rarely turns to his chef’s knife for slicing and carving. He even uses it for cutting bread over his serrated knives. Just don’t try to use this knife to lever cans open. The thinner blade is made for slicing, not prying!
Lastly, many reviewers felt the Wusthof 6-inch utility knife was an incredibly useful in-between knife in their kitchen, because it is bigger than a paring knife but handles like one, and easier to manage than a chef’s knife.
Who Should Buy This Knife
Wusthof is one of the most popular knife brands among home chefs. They produce knives with incredible quality and usability. Lastly most serious cooks will agree that a mid-range utility knife fills a critical need in a set of prep knives, and the knife you’ll use the most often for in-between work.
If you aren’t on a tight budget, and especially if you are looking for a solid prep knife for yourself or family or friends, this 6-inch knife is one of the best knives under $100 you can buy for your kitchen after a solid paring knife.
And if you’re looking for gift ideas for chefs or even a home cook wanting the best quality knives, this Wusthof knife makes one of the best gifts you can buy for a cook (or yourself).
Who Shouldn’t Buy This Knife
Are you on a tight budget — either buying for yourself or as a gift? While this knife offers incredible value and functionality, it isn’t as cheap as other similar-sized knives and may not fit your budget, no matter how useful. And if you just don’t do much in-between prep work and can handle your slicing, dicing, and cutting with either a paring knife or chef’s knife, you may not need a utility knife at all.
Knife Accessories and Related Items
There are any number of Wusthof Classic knives you can purchase to round out your prep knives. For prep knife starter sets, I recommend the bird’s beak parer for digging out stems and eyes of potatoes, a 5″ serrated utility knife (sausage knife) for rolls, salami, citrus, and tomatoes, a 6″ flexible boning knife, and a straight edge 3-1/2″ paring knife. With this utility knife and the others, you’ll have a great starter set. You’ll probably find the blade covers in the most common sizes and the honing steel of great use as well.
- Wusthof Classic 2-3/4″ Bird’s Beak Peeling Knife (or parer knife)
(note, one listing is 2.5″ but the actual Wusthof model 4062 is 2.75″ or 7cm)
- Wusthof Classic 5″ Serrated Utility Knife (or sausage knife)
- Wusthof Classic 6-inch Flexible Boning Knife
- Wusthof Classic 3.5″ Paring Knife (see our review of this paring knife)
- Ultimate Edge BS4 4-Piece Knife Sleeve Set
- Wusthof 10-inch Honing or Sharpening Steel
Our Recommendation and Why
In our review of the Wusthof Classic Utility Knife, we’ve covered a lot of key points, from quality and manufacturing, to flexibility of use, to the pros and cons of the knife and utility knife specifics. If you think you’ll need a prep knife for in-between kitchen work, this knife is an excellent choice. Basically, the answer to our proposed question is this — if you need a mid-range utility knife, this is an excellent choice. If not, I wouldn’t spend the money.
Depending on your particular kitchen needs, especially if you are only cooking for 1 or 2, you might not even need many other knives beyond this utility knife and a paring knife for prep work plus a solid chef’s knife. If you’re a cooking enthusiast or cooking for a group, this knife can be a solid #2 knife in set of prep knives you’ll never regret buying.
And in the end, what you’ll really appreciate about this Wusthof utility knife is great quality, ease of use, and value. We don’t give out 4.5+ star ratings often but this Wusthof knife deserves it. So if this knife meets your needs, you’ll get a well-rounded, high-quality knife that will be a solid addition to your kitchen prep knife set for years to come.
And for this value and quality, AND qualifying for Free Shipping, you’ve got to check out the Wusthof Classic 6-inch Utility Knife.