If top-shelf Wüsthof knives will break your bank, you can still get high-quality performance and construction with the mid-range Wüsthof Gourmet line. Each Gourmet knife is stamped from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, honed by hand, and hardened by the Friodur ice process, for maximum strength and stain-resistance. These knives boast a full tang, which is triple-riveted to a contoured handle made of Novadur polypropylene. This construction is impact-resistant, comfortable to hold, and durable.
The Gourmet series is ideal for cooks who want Wüsthof craftsmanship and quality in a moderately-priced line of knives. Like more expensive precision-forged models, Gourmet blades are made from high-carbon steel mixed with stain-resistant alloy for superior edge retention and easier re-sharpening. Blades are cut by precision lasers rather than hand, however, and are somewhat thinner than forged knives. They're then ground and polished by a computer-controlled process to ensure perfect tapering from tip to handle. Edges are later honed by hand and laser-tested for long-lasting sharpness and uniform cutting. Ultra-hygienic, slip-resistant Hostaform-C handles seamlessly encase the full tang, and are triple-riveted for extra strength. The perfect gift for the newlywed or anyone outfitting their first kitchen, this comprehensive 10-piece set contains every blade most cooks use on a regular basis. The eight-inch chef's knife is the workhorse of the bunch, handling everyday tasks from mincing garlic to chopping vegetables. The eight-inch serrated knife cuts bread; an eight-inch carving knife creates slender slices of roast meats; a six-inch utility knife cuts sandwiches or smaller pieces of meat; and the serrated five-inch knife slices tomatoes, crusty baguettes, or hard salami. Also included are a four-inch utility knife and trusty three-inch parer--another all-purpose workhorse for trimming, peeling, and dicing fruits and vegetables, plus precision tasks such as creating garnishes or de-veining shrimp. Rounding out the set are classic kitchen shears for snipping herbs or cutting open packages, a nine-inch sharpening steel, and a handsome wooden storage block. These knives are dishwasher safe, though hand washing is recommended. All Wüsthof Gourmet cutlery is made in Germany and carries a lifetime warranty against defects in materials or craftsmanship. --Mary Park