Wusthof, Wusthof, Wusthof !! I have Wusthof knives on my brain. . mainly because I’ve been working on a final article to add to the KitchenKnifeGuru site that will cover everything Wusthofian. Weeeell, let’s not get carried away, but at the very least, it should offer shoppers a serious guide to help them wade through the goods. Working title: Wusthof Knives – a buyer’s guide. Sounds good?
Nevertheless. . . in the final preparation, and more importantly, to actually feel in my grubby mitts how the different models work in the real world (I only own an abused 3 1/2 inch Wusthof mating knife from heaven), I took an excursion to the Wusthof Outlet Store in Norwalk, Connecticut. Wow – what a discovery!
I must admit that I have become a bit cynical with outlet stores too late, but this baby is the real deal – a beautifully designed shopping room, energetic and well-informed sellers and the prices ?. . . beyond my wildest dreams. (More on this later.)
The story of my visit. . .
This special stock sale ran for three days – Thursday to Saturday. I did not know what to expect, so I played it safe rather than sorry and drove there Thursday morning and arrived around noon. 11.30. The small parking lot was already pretty darn full!
The outside entrance is a bit mundane. But when you step in. . .presto chango!
The store abounded with shopping fever, and at first I kicked myself for not getting there earlier. Should they run out of all the good stuff by noon?
Choice, choice, choice! Of course, I was only interested in my two favorite high-quality forged lines: Wusthof Classic and Wusthof Icon.
When I saw the trash cans on chef’s knives (knives that cost $ 125 and over online, cut in half), I began to breathe easier. There would be plenty for everyone.
The trays below are full of 8- and 9-inch Classic Ikon chef’s knives. Out there in the retail world, each costs $ 150 and up. Not here in Wusthofland. More like $ 85 (plus 20% more off the register).
Angela, my guide to marketing assistant, told me that all these knives came from Wusthof’s factory in Solingen, Germany, and were in perfect working order. No deficiencies or monkey business. Most were returned fixtures from retailers like William-Sonoma or Sur La Table etc. Some might have been used briefly as demos or in photoshots, but that was it. Sweeeeeet! (It’s Angela below.)
For the first half hour I still had to calm down because there were such a number of beautiful knives at fire sale prices !! I could not get used to it. I scooted over here, over and over again (pretty much like everyone else) and filled my little shopping cart fuller than it was financially viable. But after a while, I finally started to acclimatize and have fun.
The next photo is just enough of kitchen knife desire: Wusthof’s Anniversary 2-Piece Knife Set. Handle in natural wood with rivets in brass. Carbon steel knives (does not stainless). I thought they were “interesting” until I picked up the 9-inch chef’s knife. Oooo. It felt like it was made for my hand. Perfect grip and perfectly weighted. Balanced, substantial, but not too heavy, which says something to a 9-inch.
And I loved the shape of the blade, which is slightly wider than other Wusthof 9-inches and gives you more to scoop with. Yes, because it is carbon steel, you can not be relaxed in maintenance and leave it out on the counter to air dry, otherwise it will germinate an ugly orange-brown film on the blade, also known rust.
Only $ 129 against the usual $ 200. And that didn’t even include the additional 20 percent they cut off at the register during special sales campaigns like this three-day March bonanza. Eventually I pulled away and continued my odyssey.
Where do you want to place them all? I bought one of these with 17 slots for about $ 20.
Do you eat a lot of crusty bread, and are you tired of your bread knife slipping everywhere before it digs in? Wusthof makes a double serrated bread knife that, Angela explained, tears the crust like a wolf. “Double”, because there are smaller mirco-serrations sandwiched between the larger ones. (See below, bottom right.) This puppy came into my basket, but not the last cut. We do not eat enough baguette these days to justify it.
One of those who escaped. . .
Do you want big? The smaller of these two knives is a standard 8-inch coke knife; the larger one must be for filleting a Brontosaurus or for chopping cabbage heads for, literally, an army. But it gives you a feel for the full range of Wusthof knives, one for every occasion.
More kitchen knife desire. This time a 6-inch cooks from the Ikon line, all made with Blackwood handles. African Blackwood is one of the toughest forests in the world and of rigueur too many advanced knife makers. This puppy? Only $ 69 (excluding additional 20 percent off). Not too shabby. Almost sided in my basket. In fact, I think it slipped in and then had to give up 🙁
Two and a half hours later, I hit the check-out counter. After calling my wife first, of course, for a reality check. (Oh, how I whimpered and lashes.)
Though I pretty much knew what I was looking for and looked at, time and time again I overheard the knowledgeable staff advising and guiding customers in the right direction towards the right Wusthof knife for them.
Guess where the tall, lovely blonde sales expert is from? (The same land as all these Wusthof knives, ha-ha!) So. about.
For those of you who live in the NYC area, let me give you more of the thin: Wusthof Outlet Store is open year-round and sells extra stock at very discounted prices. But four times a year (March, June, September and early December) they run a special sale where they try to clear the shelves by taking another 20 percent off. In March and December, sales run for three days, while in the other periods it is only a single Saturday. They do not publish dates on the website because they do not want to compete too hard with local Wusthof knife dealers. (Wusthof is highly requested by their authorized dealers.)
The amount of stock can obviously vary a lot, but there is always something. This time was unusually plentiful, which included a wide range of products as well as quantity. It’s not always like that.
My sparse, last row:
– a 7-inch Classic Ikon santoku (at min Best chef’s knives recommended list)
– a 6-inch Classic boneless knife (long delayed)
– a bird’s beak knife (can not wait to try it on peaches for pie)
– oh, and of course a new knife block that fits them all.
When my sister-in-law heard that I was spending an afternoon buying knives, she chuckled at the funny eccentric man her sister was marrying. And maybe that’s true. But in the end, I would like to think that it’s more about the whole kitchen experience. If you love to cook, then sharp, well-designed knives are your buddies. They make it a lot more fun!
PS Wusthof also sharpens knives on site (whether made by Wusthof or not) for a flat fee of $ 2 per. Knife.
Wusthof Outlet Store
399 Wilson Ave.
Norwalk, CT 06854
Phone: (203) 295-3804
Email: email@example.com (store mgr)