When it comes to these two knives, I have a clear favorite. Since I prefer lighter, more modern-style knives, the Global G-2 chef knife is a hands-down winner for my kitchen. Of course this doesn’t mean that the Wusthof Classic chef knife is in any way inferior. It’s a superb European chef’s knife. Just not my style.
These knives are as different as two knives can be and still be called chef knives. They come from two different knife-making traditions, and are two expressions of advances in knifemaking technologies.
The Global G-2 is a single piece of stainless steel. This makes it very robust, easy to clean, and supremely cool looking. It looks like the chef knife used on a space station. It’s also constructed in the Japanese tradition, which means no heavy heel on the blade or thick finger guard. Since it’s all one piece, there isn’t really a bolster either, just the place where the blade becomes the handle. The handle is perfectly balanced with the blade by virtue of being hollow then filled with sand, also making the knife lighter than many of its counterparts.
The Wusthof Classic is made of high-carbon stainless steel. It’s full tang, the steel of its blade extending all the way down to the butt of the handle. The handle itself is made of a synthetic polymer riveted in place on either side of the tang. The bolster is heavy and a thick fingerguard extends all the way down to the heel of the blade, making the blade much more versatile in crushing and cracking tasks. Despite its very classic design, the Wusthof Classic line has ultra-high tech edges. Their PEtech method uses precision lasers to grind the edges of their knives at the ideal angle.
The first difference you’ll probably notice about these knives is their handles. The designs of each is distinct, and I greatly favor the Global handle. It’s smaller for one thing, allowing for a looseness or tightness of grip. It’s also rounded instead of the square design of the Wusthof knife, which I find both more comfortable and easier to grip. Also, being all one piece, the Global’s handle doesn’t have any seams or cracks. Anywhere there’s a seam or a crack, it’s a weak point that can chip or break, or even a place where little bits of food can get stuck and kick up a stink. In the comparison of handles, the Global knife is a clear winner.
Another noticeable difference between these two knives is their weights. The Global feels positively airy compared to the Wusthof knife. I find a lighter knife is easier to control and use, and it’s not as tiring for long stints of cutting and chopping. While a heavier knife may be handy for disjointing cuts of meat (the original used of chef’s knives), I keep a heavy cleaver in the kitchen for those rare occasions that might be necessary. So I prefer the Global knife in this regard as well. Japanese Knife
As much as I like the Global G-2, the Wusthof Classic has it beat in one category: steel. I prefer knives made with high-carbon stainless steel. It’s strong, takes a wicked edge, and holds the edge. Additionally, it’s just as easy to maintain as stainless steel. While the Global G-2’s steel has added vanadium to improve the grain, and therefore the edge, of the knife, it still doesn’t take the scalpel fine edge of the Wusthof Classic.
Despite not taking on quite so sharp an edge as the Wusthof Classic, the Global G-2 is still my choice. It’s lighter, easier to clean, and a pleasure to use. I don’t mind having to make a few extra passes with a honing steel for these advantages.
For those chef’s who prefer a heavier knife, though, or who still have an old school sensibility, my choice may not be for you. Check out the heavier, blockier Wusthof Classic. It may appeal to you more than the lighter, more delicate Global G-2.