This is a review of two knives actually, a "shootout" if you will...
I have both the Wusthof Cordon Blue 9" (230mm) and the MAC Mighty Professional 8.5" (215mm) chefs knives and thought I'd do a comparison review...
Both of these knives are excellent but are somewhat different animals…
The Wusthof Cordon Blue 9" chef's:
This knife is the same in all respects as the Wusthof Ikon line, save for the handle, which is borrowed from the their Classic line (Quite a bit less expensive than the Ikon too). Perfect fit & finish! Nothing critical to be found, a beautiful knife in the classic sense. OOTB (out of the box) sharpness is very good, with a bit of "toothy-ness" to the cutting edge. The handle is POM, riveted to the full tang, and very comfortable. The Classic handle lends itself well to both a pinch & /or racket grip. The bolster differs from the Classic line in that it is not a full bolster. I prefer this. Where the choil meets the bolster is thoughtfully rounded and makes for a very comfortable grip. Cutting performance is very good OOTB but a few swipes on a good honing steel gets it razor sharp. The grind of the blade has a fair amount of belly that suits the western "locomotive" or rock chopping style of slicing very well. The blade height is 46mm, enough clearance for knuckles when doing board work. The forged stainless steel blade is fairly stiff, a little less stiff & thinner than the older classic Wusthofs, (newest Ptec Tecnology) but nothing is sacrificed here. This knife is a great performer, however I found the tip to be a little thicker than I like and the knife wedges a little when chopping through whole onions or potatoes for example. Rock chopping and mincing are a breeze however. Food sticking to the blade when slicing I’ll rate as average.
The Wusthof ratings;
OOTB sharpness: 4
Fit & Finish: 5
Ease of sharpening: 5
Total Avg. Score: 4.2
Mac Professional Mighty Chef's 8.5"
One of the sharpest knives OOTB I've ever encountered. Seriously sharp! A little more utilitarian looking than the Wusthof and the fit and finish is not perfect. There were a few grind marks on the spine and bolster, but you'd have to look carefully to notice. The handle is stabilized pakka wood and pretty comfortable but it definitely wants to put your hand in a pinch grip position. Like the Wusthof this is a single steel (but proprietary) full tang blade. The grind is very flat so it is best used with eastern style chopping motion rather than rock chopping (makes sense as it is an Asian company after all). Rock chopping will bring about a pronounced "thud" every time the rear of the blade meets the board, which I found slightly uncomfortable. The tip is VERY thin and perfect for tasks such as onion brunoises. Overall the blade is fairly thin and relatively stiff, about equal to the Wusthof. Food sticks to the blade just as good as on the Wusthof. There is no relief grind where the choil meets the bolster. The blade height is 48mm. Sharpening the MAC is a little more involved than the Wusthof as the MAC's harder metallurgy and offset bevel (70/30) will require a little more attention when maintaining. MAC recommends a ceramic honing "steel" for maintenance and I would suggest getting familiar with water stone sharpening if this is your first Eastern knife. Fortunately MAC offers a sharpening service if you'd rather send it in once or twice a year.
The MAC ratings;
OOTB sharpness: 5
Fit & Finish: 4
Ease of sharpening: 3 (was 2 but I chaged based on MAC’s sharpening service)
Total Avg. Score: 3.9
A few notes: one reviewer dinged the MAC for having a stamped blade (vs. forged). I did not subtract points from the MAC for this. With modern manufacturing processes stamped blades can and do perform every bit as well as forged blades. If a stamped blade in a kitchen knife bothers you, you might want to get over it. Also,
So there you go...Frankly I am a little surprised at my findings, even though the MAC scored lower technically, it’s the knife I reach for first. I think both knives are excellent, each with it’s own strengths. I have no regrets having both in my kitchen.
This chef's knife is designed after the standard French chef's knife which has a curved edged. This 8.5" knife is standard for home and professional kitchens.