Many people swear by their Victorinox knives, or the popular Wüsthof brands. For German (or in the case of Victorinox, Swiss) made blades, my personal preference is Viking – and here’s why:
The Viking cutlery collection is handmade by the master craftsmen in Solingen, Germany. There, each piece is forged from a solid piece of high-carbon-chromium vanadium, an extremely strong stainless steel that can retain a very sharp blade. They are hot drop-forged, which is a centuries-old technique which allows for greater knife balance and strength than stamping or partial forging.
The steel is tempered, ice-hardened, ground, and then hand-finished. The Viking knives are full tang, meaning the steel runs all the way through the handle, giving the knife the right amount of balance in-hand. Triple-rivet, Polyoxymethelene handles are an high-end knife standard, and are present here as well.
The Viking knives come with a Lifetime warranty and Viking claims they are “dishwasher safe” – however, I would strongly advise against washing these in the dishwasher as the harsh dish-soap will take the luster out of the stainless steel. All knives are theoretically “dishwasher safe” if the outer appearance doesn’t mean much to you. All high-end kitchen knives should be hand washed with light amount of dish soap, then immediately dried and put away.
So are all knives created equal? In reality, they are. Both Victorinox (the “Forged” series) and Wüsthof make knives with the same specs as the Viking. Any real difference in how they perform would fall exclusively on the chef using them. They all cost around the same, with the Viking pricing slightly above the rest. In my experience, the Viking knives feel thicker, and a bit more durable than the rest. They can take the abuse that I dish them, without needing constant sharpening. Also, the warranty is very good. I’ve had a set of knives for three years now, and my wife broke the top on one trying to cut through a bone (btw, never cut through bone with any knife but a cleaver knife), Viking fixed it under warranty without issue.
Pros: Lifetime warranty, your cutlery can now match your Viking appliances.
Cons: Between the top European brands, there is not much difference in manufacturing processes. Viking is slightly more expensive than the rest.