Nothing beats a decent knife.
These days, you’ll find cooking systems that can cut thin sheets of tomatoes, chop cucumbers into equally small cubes, and julienne peppers that are half the size of matchsticks.
But the truth is, nothing beats a decent knife.
And two of possibly the best knives ever are Victorinox and Zwilling.
Both award-winning, some would say the Swiss cutler is the finest.
Others would argue with it and swear by the German company.
What is the better option?
Read on to find out more.
Victorinox Brand Overview
Apart from chocolate, the Victorinox knife – especially the one in the smart little red tool set – is one of Switzerland’s best exports.
And they have been producing this for over a century.
It all started in 1884, when Karl Elsener opened a cutlery shop in a town called Ibach-Schwyz and named it Victoria after his mother.
Elsener, along with other master cutters, supplied knives to their army years later to promote his craft.
In 1921, stainless steel – more commonly known as stainless steel – was invented.
Using this innovation, along with other technological advances in time like automation, reshaped the company.
Elsener then gave it a new name: Victorinox.
The rest is, as they say, history.
Creating the knife
Inox (Acier inoxydable) was further developed and refined under Elsener’s company.
The German and French steel alloys used exclusively in Victorinox products consist of chromium, silicon, carbon, molybdenum and manganese.
The combination of all these makes their knives tough, yet agile, sharp, resistant to the elements and durable.
To expand their product line, they also started using materials other than their unique stainless steel.
Their ceramic knives, for example, have been very popular in recent years.
Another variant that they are quite proud of is their Damascus steel.
Very effective at cutting almost anything, they have only produced a few thousand since 2010 because it is very expensive to manufacture.
A key feature of most Victorinox household kitchen sheets is that these are stamped instead of individually.
This makes their knives thinner and lighter, therefore easier to handle, especially for novice chefs.
Their special steel is classified as HRC 55-58, which is relatively soft compared to Asian knives with a rating of over 60.
Soft metals are fairly easy to regrind when it gets dull.
However, it must be polished every day before use to get optimal cuts.
Rarely do you find Victorinox handles made from natural materials like wood.
Instead, special thermoplastic such as Fibrox is used (low maintenance, resistant to heat and cold, does not contain bacteria).
Since the blade is stamped (with 50% pliers and no bolster), the handle is ergonomically shaped to have a bolster and is tied to the steel.
Perhaps the best thing about Victorinox is that it is affordable.
It is a challenge to find a good knife for under a hundred dollars.
With this brand you have one to one third of it!
- Good balance between the blade and the handle
- Easy to use, especially for new chefs
- Needs daily sanding and may require sanding every six months
- Some people think that stamped knives are not as good as forged ones
Best selling product: Swiss Classic Chef’s Knife
This variant is one of the most recommended in the brand’s range.
With a slight curve on the spine and abdomen and then tapered to the end, this is perfect for light chopping, dicing and chopping.
Just sanded on both sides, this can cut both meat and vegetables well.
The Fibrox handle is beautifully contoured for easy grip.
This comes in four blade lengths: 5, 6, 8 and 10 inches.
Twin Brand Overview
Believe it or not, this German company has been producing knives for almost 300 years.
It all started in 1731, when Peter Henckels built his first workshop in Solingen, Germany, and the Zwilling brand.
A few years later, they have opened stores all over the world including New York and Vienna.
And because of their commitment to their craft, they also began to win awards at the World’s Fair – in London (1851), Paris (1855), Chicago (1893).
Today, Zwilling JA Henckels operates several brands around the world under its very wide umbrella, including Staub, Demeyre, Miyabi and Ballarini.
However, their knives – the reason why they are so big in the culinary world today – are still produced in Solingen.
Creating the knife
Like Victorinox, Zwilling has perfected their steel and craftsmanship for centuries.
And they have found the best process that can give them more than just decent knives every single time.
Zwilling Sonderschmelze – a combination of carbon and chrome – is special steel formulated by the company for their knives.
This gives the steel the right hardness, smoothness and gloss you will see professionals use in smart restaurant kitchens.
It undergoes two main processes: Sigmaforge (precision forging) and Friodur (cooling for curing).
Every step of the way ensures their qualified employees that the products live up to the quality that Zwilling is known for.
There are Zwilling variants that have a low HRC of 57 and there are others that go as high as 63.
The former is easy to sharpen, while the latter does not require grinding for a long time.
Many of their knives – thick on the spine, curved on the abdomen and tapered to a point – are fully forceps, triple-riveted and tongue-strengthened.
When it comes to handles, you are left with simple but effective lines.
Although they are made of special thermoplastic, they chose the classic black color instead of light colors that other brands are known for.
You can hardly find a Gemini under $ 100.
However, you can be sure that you will get a kitchen tool that will last you forever.
- In terms of knife hardness – many varieties to choose from
- Good weight and well balanced
- Full pliers, triple rivet – the handle does not come loose
- Does not need sanding for a long time
- A little expensive for most
- Not much style (handle colors) to choose from
Best selling product: Traditional chef’s knife
Also highly recommended and used by professional (and famous) chefs around the world.
Because it is forged and thick on the spine, this can cut through different kinds of food – even hard vegetables and meat bones.
You can choose from different blade lengths (6, 7, 8, 10-inch) and see which ones fit better in your hand.
Understandably, it is quite difficult to choose between the two.
Their long history in the industry is matched by outstanding quality and refines their very unique manufacturing process to come up with products that ensure first-class performance.
Now that you have been introduced to both brands and have a good idea of what each one has to offer, you will need to figure out what suits your needs.
If you do not mind spending a few hundred dollars on a piece, go to Zwilling.
If you are an amateur chef who wants to try a good knife but has $ 50 left over, Victorinox will do well.
Whatever it is, you can be sure that you are getting one of the best.
Last updated on February 7, 2021 by Andy Wang