A $67 High-End Chef’s Knife That Stays Sharp? Crowd Cookware Made One.

The Kickstarter heros follow up their Blackbeard pans with the Wigbold

The Wigbold Chef's Knife Crowd Cookware Kickstarter
Crowd Cookware's newest Kickstarter is the Wigbold, a supposedly high-end, low-priced chef's knife.
Crowd Cookware

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When it comes to chef’s knives, we abide by the “less is more” platitude. Chances are the casual home cook doesn’t need an arsenal of cutlery, with different types of steel, handles and designs. Keep it simple. 

We could say the same for Crowd Cookware. The Kickstarter darlings — who are following up two massively successful nonstick pan campaigns (one raised about $376K, the other $358K) — are currently crowdfunding the Wigbold, their first chef’s knife. The knife itself is solid, the pitch less so.

First, let’s talk about the Wigbold. It’s only $67. It’s made of German stainless steel. It has a Rockwell Hardness in the 55-57 range, which is on the low-end of high-end chef’s knives (softer and will require sharpening, but might last longer in your kitchen because it’s less brittle and thus less likely to chip). But its cutting edge is in the 12-14 degree range, so it’ll come razor sharp out of the box. And each knife is sent with a sharpening stone, so you can keep it in good shape yourself. Although, if you’re not comfortable with that, backers will be able to send their knives to Crowd Cookware for free sharpening for life (though this is a startup being funded through Kickstarter, so the whole “lifetime” guarantee can’t really be counted on).

In short, a good value for a promising new knife, and if it’s not your favorite, that’s OK. It’s not an investment item. 

The Wigbold Kickstarter Chef's Knife Dick Middelweerd
Chef Dick Middelweerd, of two Michelin star restaurant De Treeswijkhoeve, with the Wigbold. (Crowd Cookware)

Then, there’s the pitch about the knife. As we’ve said before, the whole pirate theme they’re going for is misguided (did they just get Pirates of the Caribbean in the Netherlands?). Also they mention the crowd helped them design the knife, but really, it seems the company just asked their audience what they’d be interested in buying. Then there are the graphs about the broader and bigger blade — any amateaur chef knows those qualifiers don’t necessarily mean better, so they end up seeming like bait for Americans. Bigger! Broader! Better! Oh, and the name comes from the German pirate Magister Wigbold. Oy.

The thing is, Crowd Cookware shows a lot of promise. The Wigbold, at its price point, is definitely worth considering for your kitchen, especially if you haven’t found a chef’s knife that feels good in your hand (for what it’s worth, two Michelin star chef Dick Middelweerd has nice things to say about it).

But next time they come to Kickstarter, or start their own webshop, we hope they drop the pirate thing.


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