Gunter Wilhelm Knives—How They’re Made
Gunter Wilhelm is one of the most well-known and trusted in the kitchen cutlery and cookware universe.
Manufactured in Solingen, Germany, Gunter Wilhelm knives, along with the other major German maker, Wusthof and Henckels, well made with a very high nod to quality. GW takes pride in its relentless pursuit of excellence.
Gunter Wilhelm founded 15 years ago! Quality Matters!
The quality of our products starts with the quality of its components and engineering. We select the finest materials for our cutlery and cookware. And for us ‘Quality Matters is more than a slogan. It’s the mastery of techniques passed through, ensuring each product is made to the same exacting standards. It may take more time and it may take more effort but it’s this commitment to meticulous detailing that makes for knife and cookware of real quality and character.
Gunter Wilhelm Knives—how they’re made
GW knives all use the same X50CrMoV15 stainless steel Controlled multi stage heat treatment and ice hardening process to optimize the steel characteristics for hardness, durability and flexibility. There is nothing out of the ordinary about this steel, but it’s tough and definitely won’t rust. Each knife is drop forged from a single billet of steel, the blade and handle one solid piece, thus they are all Triple, Double and Full-Tang (one piece of steel from the tip to the heel). The knives are heat-treated to a Rockwell hardness of 58 which is the norm for German-style knives. Finally, they are all sharpened (with a few notable exceptions) to an angle of 14 degrees per side. This is much sharper than what German-style knives and shows the influence of the Japanese invasion.
The knife-making creates a durable blade that can withstand a lot of stress and still not chip and will retain a sharp edge for a respectable amount of time. It can’t quite match the blistering turpitude of many Japanese knives which are usually made of steels with higher carbon content. But for a home kitchen (and most professionals as well), it’s more than sharp enough. Plus, it won’t require the maintenance and vigilance demanded by many Japanese blades.
FORGED VS. STAMPED A forged knife is made from steel that has been heated and hammered and heated and hammered some more, so as to realign its molecular structure and make it stronger and more resilient. While a stamped knife is literally stamped out of a roll of steel and thus lacks this strengthening process. With modern manufacturing techniques the lines have now blurred. But in the case of Gunter Wilhelm, their forged knives are higher quality and will stay sharp longer.
BOLSTER In a traditional forged knife, the bolster is that narrow wedge of steel that separates the handle from the blade. It’s supposed to protect the cook’s fingers from slipping on to the cutting edge. Many modern forged knives have minimal bolsters or none at all.
Important To Remember
About Gunter Wilhelm is that all the various lines Knives (forged, that is) share the same manufacturing process, the same forged blade at their core. But they are customized into a spread of styles that distinguish themselves from each other by their handles and their balance and feel. So if you’re in the mood to a chef knife with a Black or Brown Pakkawood handle Executive Series I – II or most gorgeous THUNDER ProCut, please understand that the extra money you’re spending is going to the handle, the feel and German made, not to the engineering of the blade. And understand that a GW Executive (which costs around $70 less) should slice through a carrot just as effortlessly as the THUNDER, and hold its edge just as well, have just as long a life cycle. The same is true for the PREMIER and LIGHTNING ProCut. The blades should all perform similarly.