How does the entry level and affordable but discontinued Wusthof Pro stack up against Wusthof’s flagship Classic family of knives? Does the Classic blow away the cheaper Pro or does the scrappy Pro hold its own against its much snobbier cousin?
|Serious home cooking
Wusthof Pro vs Classic: The differences
The Wusthof Classic was made for serious home chefs while the Wusthof Pro was made to meet the demands of a bustling commercial kitchen. Contrary to popular belief, professional chefs in commercial settings usually do not use high-end knives like the Wusthof Classic. Instead, they prefer cheaper, less precious knives like the Pro series which are durable but inexpensive enough to be replaced regularly when the heavy use of a busy kitchen inevitably damages them or wears them down. The Classic provides a more luxurious experience but needs to be specially cared for to keep it in top condition.
The Wusthof Pro is discontinued, The Wusthof Classic is not
Sadly the Wusthof Pro was discontinued in 2020 despite favorable feedback. Stores may continue to sell off their existing stock but no new Pro knives will be produced. I’ve been unable to find the Wusthof Pro in stock in the 8 or 10 inch chef’s knife style, although some of the more exotic knife styles are still available for sale.
The most obvious difference between these two knives is the cost– the Classic costs almost 4x as much as the Pro at the time of writing this. However, you get what you pay for, the Classic has much higher quality construction that will last generations.
The Classic has a POM handle, the Pro uses cheaper plastic
Technically both knives have plastic handles but the synthetic POM material on the Wusthof Classic looks and feels more like wood. The Pro uses a much cheaper plastic material that feels rough in hand and looks toy-like. Some customers also report the handle on the Pro breaking easily and being sensitive warping from heat.
The Classic blade is forged, the Pro is stamped
A forged blade is a sign of quality. During the forging process highly skilled craftsmen hammer the blade at high heat to produce a denser, stronger blade. The Wusthof Classic features a blade born of this process but the Wusthof Pro’s blade is stamped. Stamping is the more pedestrian technique of cutting the blade from a single sheet of steel– usually entirely automated. The result is a blade not quite as strong as the Classic and a few ounces lighter due to its lower density. I discuss the issue of forged vs stamped at length in my article comparing the Classic and Gourmet.
Wusthof Pro vs Classic: What they share
Made in Germany
The Wusthof Pro is made in Solingen, Germany like all Wusthof knives currently produced.
Both knives underwent the rigorous testing requirements for NSF certification– an independent testing and review organization.
The Wusthof Pro is best for the no-nonsense home chef who doesn’t want to baby their knife. If the thought of having a hundred dollar plus knife sitting around waiting to be damaged by a rough house guest stresses you out, then the Wusthof Pro is for you. However, with the Wusthof Pro now discontinued, I recommend the Victorinox Fibrox as an almost perfect replacement. But for those who want a luxury cutting experience, the Classic is the better choice.