Knife Set: Wusthof Classic 3-Piece Knife Set
Our Reviewer Rating: 5
Buyer Rating: 4.8 out of 5 Stars with 87 Reviews
Model Number: Classic Knife Set 9608 Best Used For: Consumer High End Use
Are you looking for a high-end starter set of knives? The Wusthof Classic 3-piece Knife Set is one of the highest quality and most versatile knife sets available today. Prized by professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts both, you can’t go wrong with this set. With precision manufacturing, high-quality materials, and a careful choice of knife type and sizes, this boxed set is a great value despite its higher price. This is one knife set where you really do get even more than you pay for.
- What is Included in this Wusthof Classic Knife Set?
- Pros and Cons of Wusthof Classic Knives
- Versatility of Use
- Quality and Manufacturing
- What Buyers Are Saying About Their Wusthof Knife Set
- Who Should Buy This Wusthof Classic Knife Set
- Who Shouldn’t Buy This Wusthof Knife Set
- Accessories and Related Items
- Our Recommendation and Why
What is Included in this Wusthof Classic Knife Set?
This Wusthof’s model 9608 3-piece knife set includes a versatile set of knives that can form the basis of a starter knife set. Their quality and flexibility makes them an excellent choice for culinary students just starting out, home enthusiasts, and even professional chefs looking for another or replacement knife set. The set includes:
- Wusthof’s Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife with a straight-edge blade. Some prefer to call it a Cook’s Knife, but I’ll leave that up to you.
- Their Classic line 6-inch Utility Knife, often also referred to as a sandwich knife.
- Wusthof Classic 3.5-inch Paring Knife, often also referred to as a Granny Knife, a Clip-Point Paring Knife, or a Peeling Knife.
These knives are forged and hand-honed for the sharpest edge possible, and all three blades are high-carbon steel kitchen knives with a full tang and composition handles to ensure the best strength and permanence.
While they are made to be dishwasher-safe, I highly recommend against cleaning this knife set, or any knife set, 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. It’s just not the way to keep your high-end knives in tip-top shape.
Pros and Cons of Wusthof Classic Knives
As with any product, no matter how wonderful, there are pros and cons to each, whether it is because of features or context, such as being a match to a particular user. Here are some of my observations.
- Straight-edge blades like this Wusthof starter set are the most versatile of all knives, and the sizes for these knives are also the most flexible compared to other lengths. The straight edge allows the knife to slice cleanly without tearing fibers when cutting so you get an even slice or cut.
- Wusthof Classic knives are constructed to the highest standards. Forged blades, with full tang and composition handles, and sharpened with their special PEtec process, these can be knives to last the lifetime of a cook, and even beyond.
- These well-balanced knives do not dull easily like less expensive knives do and are comfortable for extended use in your kitchen.
- Wusthof knives, like almost every quality knife out there, tend to exacting standards. So, unfortunately, they’ll tend towards certain size handles when they design for ergonomic use. This can cause some issues for people with really small hands. Not impossible to compensate for, but one small-handed person suggested that it might take some experimenting to find the most comfortable grip and technique. However, this person also intended to keep their knives, so that says a lot.
- The Classic line of knives isn’t cheap in price. Or cheap in quality. But not everyone can afford almost $200 to buy three knives, no matter how versatile and high-quality. So if you’re on a tight budget or buying a gift where your price limit is lower, this set won’t suit you. However, you might consider doing as I mention farther down, and consider buying the one that fits your preferences and needs first and most.
- These knives are not pretty. If you want color, classy shiny handles, and sleek fancy knives, these workhorse knives won’t please you. The handle material and rivets — as important as they are to durability — won’t appeal to people looking for fashionable kitchen knives.
Versatility of Use
The cook’s knife in this set is suited to chopping, dicing, slicing, and carving, and great for meat and both hard and soft vegetables. The paring knife’s small size and sharp point makes it excellent for hand-held or intricate cutting chores like mincing or peeling. And the flared tip, tapered blade and medium-sized blade of the utility knife are useful for slicing sandwiches, meat, and fruit.
The 8-inch size for the chef knife is the most versatile size, as a longer knife can get in your way while cutting, and a shorter 5-inch or 6-inch knife sometimes isn’t up to the task of cutting larger items.
While paring knives come in quite a few sizes, the 3-1/2-inch blade is the most commonly sought after, as it can be turned to most tasks pretty well. And the same applies to the 6-inch utility knife, or sandwich knife.
Quality and Manufacturing
No review of Wusthof knives can be complete without some discussion of the manufacturing process involved in making these some of the top rated kitchen knives in the world.
These knives are constructed in a forged method, using sustainable manufacturing processes. This involves creating a hand-forged knife from a high-carbon steel alloy consisting of 0.5% carbon, 15% chromium, and smaller amounts of molybdenum and vanadium, which many professionals acknowledge as one of the best knife steels available. Then they measure the knife by laser before sharpening, and finally hand-hone the knife to a precision edge. They use a unique “Precision Edge Technology” (PEtec) that Wusthof claims will give the knife the ability to hold its edge 30% longer than competing knives from other manufacturers.
Finally the knife blade is hand-polished. The finished blade is hard enough to resist dulling but soft enough to take a keen edge when honed or sharpened. The final finishing process creates a highly stain-resistant blade that is exceptionally sharp but also allows for an easily restorable edge through honing after regular use and periodic sharpening.
The sharpened blade and durable composition handle are constructed with a full tang fit all the way through the handle to increase the stability and durability of the knife. With a full tang, the knife is much stronger, and much less likely to snap with extended use.
What Buyers Are Saying About Their Wusthof Knife Set
One regular comment is that buyers feel the investment in these knives is completely worth it over purchasing lesser quality knives that won’t hold their edge or last. They especially comment that forged blades are far superior to stamped blades in both durability and the ability to hold their edge.
One reviewer’s comment, liked by other buyers, is that her Wusthof Classic knives were particularly well balanced and the ergonomic grips were comfortable. Another felt that the Classic line is the best trade-off between price and quality, since the Gourmet is less expensive but a stamped blade, while the Culinar line is more expensive.
Reviewers also strongly recommend buying the honing steel (called a sharpening steel by many) and the Wusthof knife sharpener. A honing steel should be used after cleaning on each use to smooth and realign the worn carbon steel and straighten any small bends from use since tiny misalignments occur during everyday use. The kitchen knife sharpener should be used a couple of times a year to fix the nicks and dulling that occur over time. This is done by removing metal and fining down the blade, which sharpens the edge.
Who Should Buy This Wusthof Classic Knife Set
Wusthof is one of the most popular knife brands among professional chefs and home cooking enthusiasts alike. The quality manufacturing process produces knives with incredible quality and versatility.
If you aren’t on a tight budget and trying to fill out all your knife needs in one go, and especially if you are looking for a solid kitchen starter set for yourself or family or friends, this 3 piece set is one of the best starter knife sets available.
And if you’re looking for gift ideas for chefs or even just home cooks looking for the best quality knives, this Wusthof 3-piece set makes one of the best gifts you can buy. It’s a gift that can truly last a lifetime if cared for properly.
Who Shouldn’t Buy This Wusthof Knife Set
Are you on a tight budget — either buying for yourself or as a gift? While this set of knives offers incredible value for the price, it isn’t all that cheap and may not fit your budget, no matter how high the discount is.
If this combination of knives doesn’t fit in your budget, but you like the looks of the Classic line, you can always buy them one at a time in your order of preference and fill out the set as your pocketbook permits. These 3 knives are so well-rounded that you can handle a large portion of your kitchen needs with just this starter set, and I highly recommend this forged knife line over a stamped blade set for long-term use.
To purchase each separately, you can find them at:
If you don’t have a quality 8-inch chef knife (or as some people prefer a “cook’s” knife), I think that’s the best place to start. The 8-inch size makes it the most versatile of cook’s knives, and I think it certainly qualifies as the best all purpose knife type you can buy.
Accessories and Related Items
There are any number of Classic line knives you can purchase to round out your knife set. For starter sets, I recommend the serrated bread knife and the hollow edge Santoku knife. You’ll probably find the blade covers, the honing steel, and the knife sharpener of great use as well.
- Wusthof Classic Double-Serrated 9-inch Bread Knife
- Wusthof Classic Santoku Knife with Hollow Edge
- Ultimate Edge BS4 4-Piece Knife Sleeve Set
- Wusthof 10-inch Honing or Sharpening Steel
- Wusthof Precision Edge 2 Stage Knife Sharpener
Our Recommendation and Why
In our review of the Wusthof Classic 3-Piece Knife Set, we’ve covered a lot of ground, from quality and manufacturing, to versatility, to the pros and cons of the knife set and each knife included in this boxed set. And any knife chosen and used by professional chefs, such as Martha Stewart and Jamie Oliver, has merit. Consumer Reports consistently rates this Classic line as some of its top-rated knives, and Cook’s Illustrated magazine routinely gives high ratings to the Classic knives.
Depending on your particular kitchen needs, especially if you are only cooking for 1 or 2, you might not even need many other knives. If you’re a cooking enthusiast or cooking for a group, this set can form the basis of a solid set of knives for you.
And in the end, what it all comes down to for this Wusthof set is exceptionally high quality and value for a very discounted price, and easily one of the best knife sets under $200. We don’t give out 5 star ratings lightly, but this set rates it. You’ll get 3 very well-rounded, high-quality knives that will make up the backbone of your kitchen tool set for years to come.
And for that price, AND qualifying for Free Shipping, you’ve got to check out the Wusthof Classic 3-Piece Set.