Wusthof Classic vs. Ikon – What’s the Difference?

Wusthof Classic vs. Ikon

Wusthof has been making knives for a long time (since 1814) now, and they are one of the most reputable knife brands globally with lines of different kinds of knives.

The company is known for making superior quality knives that are famous for top-notch performance and high durability. And there Classic and Ikon knife lines are perhaps two of their most famous knife lines.

Both are superior quality knives designed to last a long time but are quite different and will hence work for different users. In this piece, we provide a comprehensive comparison of the Classic and Ikon knife lines by highlighting their pros and cons to help you decide which one will work for you.

Wusthof Classic

Wusthof Classic

Photo: thewowstyle.com

The Classic knife line is the Wusthof’s best-selling line, and it has also been on the market longest. Many users love these knives due to their extreme durability and the fact that they are highly reliable.

Classic knives will feature a triple-riveted design that will ensure the blade and handle never separate and their handle is the best way to tell them apart from the Ikon. Also, unlike the Ikon they have a fully exposed tang and a full bolster for a perfect balance.

These knives are made with a Polyoxymethylene handle which besides being highly durable is also resistant to discoloration or fading and the blade is high carbon stainless steel.


  • Triple-Riveted Design – With the triple-riveted design, these knives will serve you well for many years without ever having to worry about the handle and blade separating. Also, the triple riveting adds some aesthetic appeal.
  • Holds Edge Well – One of the key reasons why many professional chefs swear by the Wusthof Classic is the fact that it holds a sharp edge quite well. With this knife, you will not need to do any frequent sharpening as you would with many kitchen knives.
  • Exceptional Cutting Balance – Wusthof Classic is known for its exceptional balance while cutting and while the Ikon also has a nice balance, the extra weight of the Classic gives it a slight edge.
  • Tried and Tested – Having been around longer than the Ikon, the Classic has been tried and tested by everyone from professional chefs to regular home users. And the fact that many professionals are still using it means that you are getting something that has been proven to be highly effective.


  • Not the Best handle – The handle on the Classic knives will not conform to the hand as well as the Ikon knives which makes them a little less comfortable to hold. But, the good news is that they are still well-balanced and more comfortable than the many cheap knives in the market. They have a nice curve on the handle to rest your small finger for a better grip.
  • Relatively Heavier – Generally, these knives are heavier than the Ikon ones, and this is mostly due to the full bolster and the fact that they are full tang. But, the extra weight is what gives them a nice balance.

Wusthof Ikon

Wusthof Ikon

Photo: Wusthof

Wusthof Ikon knives are known for their aesthetically appealing and super comfortable handles. These knives will feature a beautifully contoured handle that is meticulously crafted from African wood which is a stable and tough material.

Like the Classic knives, the Ikon knives are also made from high carbon stainless steel and also triple-riveted to ensure the handle and blade will never come apart for a long time.

But, the handle is still what seems to give these knives an edge because besides having smoother curves, the material will never contract or expand which makes it comfortable to hold and use in any weather.

These knives will also have a fully exposed tang like the Classic ones but unlike the latter, they will have half bolster instead of a full one. But, there are two half bolsters with one at the intersection of the blade and handle and the other on the handle’s butt end.


  • Comfortable and Ergonomic Handle – The African wood used on these knives makes them more comfortable and ergonomic which means the knife will be perfect for extended use. The handle has some smooth curves and it will fit an adult’s hand perfectly.
  • Real Wood Handle – Nothing beats the elegance of a real wood handle. The Grenadill wood used on these knives is quite stable and hard for long service life, and it also offers the advantage of being heavy to give the knife some good balance.
  • Holds Edge Longer – Like the Classic knife, the Ikon also features the manufacturer’s unique PEtec edges that are known for cutting exceptionally well but these knives are known to hold a sharp wedge almost twice as well which means less sharpening.


  • Relatively Pricier – When compared to the Classic, Ikon knives are relatively pricier whether you are buying a set or a single knife. Hence, for budget shoppers, they might not be the ideal choice.
  • Half Bolster – Unlike the Classic, these knives will have a half bolster which can affect the balance for some users and also makes them a little less safe. However, for those that hate heavy knives, this is a pro as it helps to reduce the overall knife weight.
  • Requires More Care – The wooden handle on the Ikon knives will typically require more care as you will need to polish it periodically. Also, this means you need to buy a polishing towel and restoring oil as single Ikon knives will not include them and this is an extra cost.

Which One Should You Buy?

Both the Wusthof Classic and Ikon are some amazing knives and regardless of which one you choose, you can be certain you will have one of the best knives in the market.

Also, these are quite similar knives that cut well and are well-balanced, and so in most instances what you choose between the two is all up to your personal preferences.

But, if you have a preference for the extra weight and safety that comes with a full bolster and also want something relatively more affordable, the Classic is your best bet.

However, for anyone looking for a knife with a more pleasant African wood handle and are also planning to prepare lots of food at a go the fatigue-reducing handle design of the Ikon makes it a better choice.

Read More: Wusthof Classic vs. Gourmet