You bought or received a set of Wusthof knives and used them so much the handles now need a replacement. Will Wusthof replace the knife handles for you, or do you have to do it yourself?
According to Wusthof’s official Warranty, Return and Replacement Policy, they cannot replace knife handles since the handles are manufactured separately from the rest of the knife.
Wusthof will replace the entire knife or knives though, but not for free.
Ahead, we’ll dig deeper into Wusthof’s policy and discuss whether you can replace the damaged knife handles yourself, so make sure you keep reading!
Does Wusthof Replace Knife Handles?
Wusthof is a German brand known for its high-quality knives. The brand offers a lifetime warranty on its products designed to inspire consumer confidence.
Let’s go over some scenarios you might face if you’ve owned a set of Wusthof knives for long enough and whether the manufacturer will replace the knife handles.
The Knives Are Old
If your Wusthof knives are more than 30 years old, they likely have wooden handles. Wusthof has since discontinued manufacturing its knives with wooden handles because the wood is prone to breaking down due to moisture.
In its Warranty, Return and Replacement Policy, Wusthof clearly states that they “cannot repair or replace these wooden handles.”
The Knife Handles Melted
The polypropylene used in more current Wusthof knife handles can melt when exposed to very high heat. If you didn’t know this before using the knives, one or more of your kitchen knives might now be useless.
Wusthof says in its policy about replacing melted knife handles: “Once damaged, these handles cannot be replaced since they are permanently attached at our factory in a separate manufacturing process.”
Once again, you’re out of luck.
If you drop your knife from a great height or if the knife becomes weakened through time and use, then it could snap in two, separating the knife blade and handle.
Will Wusthof replace the knife handle? Wusthof says this in its policy: “If it is possible, repairing this type of damage would require the services of an experienced knife grinding/sharpening service [a service which we at Wusthof do not perform)].”
So yes, this type of knife damage, of the three, is one in which replacing the Wusthof knife handle is the most viable. However, Wusthof will not perform the service themselves.
Can You Return Damaged Wusthof Knives?
If you experience one or more issues with your Wusthof knife handles, your natural inclination will be to return the knives. Is that something you can do?
That depends on when you bought the knives.
The Wusthof returns page mentions that the manufacturer only accepts returns on orders shipped within 45 days.
If you have an old set of wooden-handled Wusthof knives, then your knives are so outdated that you would be ineligible to return them.
Okay, so what about if you accidentally snapped the knives in two or burned the handles of your Wusthof knives?
You’d still not have any return options.
Wusthof states that any product you wish to return “must be unused and in its original packaging.” Further, you must have purchased the knives through the official Wusthof website.
Pretty much, the only conditions that are acceptable for returns are if you change your mind about your purchase.
Once the knives are out of the box and in your knife block in the kitchen, they are no longer eligible for returns. That’s when Wusthof’s lifetime policy on its products would kick in and possibly offer you a means of remediation so your knives would be usable once again.
Will Wusthof Replace Damaged Knives?
In each scenario described in the first section, Wusthof will not leave you hanging.
If you have old wooden knife handles, Wusthof offers warranty holders the opportunity to purchase a set of new knives at a discount of 50 percent off whatever its current suggested retail price is.
You can also enjoy a 50-percent discount if you have newer Wusthof knives with melted polypropylene handles.
If your knife snaps, Wusthof recommends you email or fax them, and they can connect you with someone who can repair the knife.
Here are some other damaged or broken knife scenarios and what Wusthof’s solutions are.
If the Sharpening Steel Wears Out
A honing or sharpening steel is supposed to maintain the knife’s cutting edge at a precise 20 degrees, so it’s aligned. The ridges of sharpening steel can wear out if you use yours often enough.
Wusthof doesn’t offer any replacements for sharpening steel but does provide this advice: “…your honing steel does, in fact, have a lifetime. It should be replaced when the shaft has become smooth and shiny.
Since the shaft of the honing steel is magnetized, you will increase its effective life by wiping it down after each use and keeping the ridges free of the microscopic ‘shavings’ that cling to it.”
Learn more about sharpening your Wusthof knives here: How To Use A Wusthof Knife Sharpener – 5 Steps To Follow
If the Knives Become Too Dull
Wusthof says that only knives that aren’t regularly sharpened reach such a severe degree of dullness that you can no longer use them.
The manufacturer themselves cannot help you sharpen your knives, but if you reach out to their Customer Service Department, they can connect you with a sharpening professional.
If the Knives Sustain Edge Damage from Third-Party Sharpening
What if you sought the services of a knife-sharpening professional outside of those in Wusthof’s circle, and your knives ended up damaged, especially around the edges?
Wusthof makes it quite clear that they “cannot be held responsible for irreparable edge and general damage caused by a third party,” You should take up your issue with the third party in question.
If the Knife Edges or Blades Are Chipped and/or Broken
Should the knife edge or blade begin cracking, bending, chipping, or otherwise sustaining damage, Wusthof doesn’t cover it.
Like most manufacturers, Wusthof’s warranty only kicks in due to craftsmanship and material defects, not improper use.
Wusthof is confident that its knives will not crack or bend unless from “undue stress,” so you’ll have to replace them yourself, purchasing them at full price.
Can You Replace Wusthof Knife Handles Yourself?
Perhaps you find yourself in a situation where Wusthof will not repair or replace your knife handles.
At this point, you have three options. You can contact Wusthof and ask if the manufacturer can put you in touch with a recommended third party. You can also seek out a third party or replace the knife handles yourself.
The second and third options do put your warranty at risk. If you end up damaging or breaking your Wusthof knives, they wouldn’t be able to help you.
Now that you’re aware of the risks, here’s how to detach the faulty handles on your Wusthof knives and use different ones instead.
Step 1 – Remove the Handle
To disassemble your Wusthof knife, you need something flat that you can slide under the handle to push the handle off. It might take a bit of jiggling and finagling, but you should eventually get the handle off.
Step 2 – Drill Bigger Holes If Necessary
If your Wusthof knife has no holes or smaller holes than you anticipated, you’ll need to drill larger ones.
The diameter of the holes should be at least five millimeters, but 5.5 millimeters is better so the glue can expand when drying.
Make sure that when drilling, you use a metal drill bit that can pierce through the metal of the Wusthof blade.
Step 3 – Make or Buy Your Handle
You can use oak wood to construct a wooden handle, but you probably want your Wusthof knives to look a little bit more modern than that.
If you find a handle made of polypropylene or similar material, you can purchase a replacement handle.
Make sure the handle is long enough to fit the current Wusthof knives.
Step 4 – Glue the Handle
Epoxy glue is a fantastic adhesive for your new knife handle. It’s strong and should hold up even if you wash the knives repeatedly.
Allow the glue adequate time to set before you tinker with the knives again, as if the glue isn’t dry, the handles can come out uneven!
Step 5 – Sand and Finish the Handle
If your replacement handles are made of any other material but wood, then you’re all finished for now. For those with wooden handles, make sure you sand the handle and then cover the wood in wax or linseed oil. You’re all done after that!
Wusthof kitchen knives are durable products, but the knife handles can melt or wear down over time. In most cases, Wusthof will happily allow you to replace the knives at 50 percent off the brand’s regular retail price.
You can also sometimes seek a third-party knife repair service that Wusthof recommends. If none of those options work for you, you can even add a new handle to your Wusthof knives yourself!
Read more about Wusthof knives: Which Knives Are Better: Wusthof Or Zwilling?