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Wusthof Classic and Henckel 4 &5 star Knife Sharpening

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by coxhaus, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. coxhaus


    Nov 8, 2006
    I think I am looking for the sharpening angle. I have a bunch maybe 20 or so old Henckel 4 star and 5-star knives that I have been sharpening using a Work sharp original sharpener for a lot of years. The Work Sarp only goes to 20 degrees for each side which seems to work for the Henkel knives OK. I started buying Wusthof classic knives a couple of years ago and I have about 8 or so. I have decided the Wusthof knives don't seem to work as well at 20 degrees as the original angle. It could be I have become complacent with the Henkels over a long period of time and I don't remember what a new Henkel is like. I have a Wusthof salmon knife that I have been using for sushi. I tried to sharpen it at 20 degrees and it does not work well now. So, my wife ordered me for my birthday a Work Sharp Ken Onion which goes to 15 degrees. I plan to try 15 degrees for the Wusthof knives. I hope this will work as the new knife sharpener has not arrived.

    My next problem is I found a discontinued Wusthof Classic Sushi 4526/23cm 9" on eBay which I bought for my birthday to me. It is a one-sided sushi knife. What angle do you think I should sharpen this sushi knife at? I think since it is one sided the blade angle is thinner? Whereas a 2-sided knife sharpened 20-degree knife is really 40 degrees and a 15 degree is really 30 degrees. I read that Wusthof knives are sharpened at 14 degrees from the factory so I assume 28 degrees for 2 sided knives. I don't know what they do with 1 sided knives.

    I hope this makes sense and I am making progress.
  2. -Kiku-


    Aug 13, 2020
    I'm a complete noob at this but I wouldn't go below 15° bevel on soft-steeled German knives.
    If you do try it anyway, that sharp edge will probably disappear only after a couple of cuts.
    Extremely acute bevel angles on soft-steel knives aren't really practical and will only result in accelerated wear of the blade.

    Japanese stainless steel cutlery designed for slicing through boneless protein is typically at 10°-15° bevel.
    White-steel blades used by professional sushi/sashimi chefs go even lower (9°-12°).

    You can read more about general bevel angle categories here:
  3. JimWhite


    Nov 13, 2020
    I have new Wusthof Ikon Creme 8" Santoku (Wunderknife), and they come factory sharpened to 14° degrees per side.
  4. -Kiku-


    Aug 13, 2020
    The boundary between what's considered "soft" and "hard" isn't well defined. But in the cutlery community, I think it is generally agreed that soft-steel German-style knives are at below 56 HRC whereas 58+ HRC are considered "hard" (for German-style knives).

    Here are some German-style cutlery brands and their bevel angles:

    Henckels 4-Star series are rated at 57 HRC and they typically have 15° bevel.
    Dalstrong Gladiator series are rated at 56+ HRC with 14°-16° bevel.
    Wusthof Ikon are rated at 58 HRC and they typically have 14° bevel.

    In general, you are not going to find soft-steel German-style kitchen knives at below 15° bevel. If they do exist, I have yet to see one. (Okay, I'll admit I didn't try very hard to find them.)
  5. coxhaus


    Nov 8, 2006
    Thanks guys for all the info as it helps. I am now sharpening my Wusthof knives at 17.5 degree angle using my WSKO. I am still using 20 degrees for my Henckels 4-star knives. I really don't like my Henckels filet knives at this angle so I may try 17.5 on my 3 Henckels filet knives. If this works well then I may try 15 degrees and see if the edge holds on my filet knives. My old Work Sharp only had 20 degrees so I was using 20 degrees for everything. I am trying to make it easy to remember what angle the knives are sharpened at. I would prefer not to have to keep a log for each knife.
  6. lonestar1979


    Mar 2, 2014
    Wusthoffs are about 58rc,you can sharoen them at 15 deg per side with no problem at all....maybe even less
  7. coxhaus


    Nov 8, 2006
    OK, for Thanksgiving I will sharpen some of my Wusthof knives at 15 degrees and see how it goes.

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