Wusthof’s Classic Ikon 8-Piece Block Set combines five fundamental kitchen prep knives with a sharpening steel, a stout pair of kitchen shears, and a hardwood storage block containing several extra slots. Though it’s certainly not budget-priced, you do get beautiful and reliable knives with features much improved over Wusthof’s more traditionally styled Classic series.
The set’s 3-1/2-inch paring knife, 4-1/2-inch utility knife, 6-inch sandwich knife, and 8-inch chef’s knife all feature easy-to-maintain, multi-purpose plain cutting edges which reset easily with the sharpening steel included in the block set. Two other tools — the 8-inch pastry knife and the kitchen shears — have long-lasting cutting edges but do require special sharpening equipment. The pastry knife’s serrated edge should perform well for years of normal use, but keep the teeth away from ceramic plates and glass cutting boards.
Tempered to hold an edge well and still sharpen easily, the high carbon stainless steel blades in the set result from forging one piece of German alloy steel into a knife blade with full tang and double bolsters. Laser-tested for accurate grinding and ice-hardened to increase the steel’s toughness, the knives are fitted with dark ebony-like synthetic handle slabs permanently fixed to the tang with stainless steel rivets.
Improvements in the Ikon design include comfortably shaped rounded handles in an Asian style and a reduced front bolster which allows full access to the edge of the blade. All knives in the set are dishwasher-safe but should be washed by hand. The steel is rated stain-free, not stain-less, and could blemish in acid solutions or as a result of food drying on the blades.
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