Wusthof’s Culinar knives offer drop forged Solingen steel from tip to tang, with a lighter build than most forged designs and a modernistic stainless steel handle design. This set of three good knives covers most kitchen tasks well, handling nearly everything but heavy chopping. Though chefs will need special purpose knives to round out the collection, the Culinar starter set is both a good basic selection and a quality addition to an already well-equipped kitchen.
One of the subtle advantages to Wusthof’s best blades is the laser controlled tapered grind. Thickness of the blades tapers both from spine to edge and from bolster to tip, reducing weight and friction. The smooth bevel of the plain edge slips through food with very little drag. Sharpening involves a few strokes on a honing steel. The high carbon stainless steel holds an edge well but isn’t tempered hard enough to chip. This makes the knives resistant to damage and easy to maintain without fancy sharpening gear.
The chef’s knife handles most tasks all by itself, useful for slicing, carving, chopping and mincing, and strong enough to divide hard squash and even frozen food. The sleek paring knife fits the hand securely, even if you aren’t accustomed to solid steel handles. The utility knife will likely be the least used, but only because the other two work so well. Remember, it’s available when doing sandwich prep, boning poultry, and dividing meat. Six-inch plain edge blades come in handy.
Culinar knives clean up easily by hand. The stain-free high carbon steel build is dishwasher safe, but both finish and edge will degrade if run through a machine.
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