Knives belong to the products I appreciate. I’ll usually go to further length to find better quality.
Güde is a company whose knives I’ve learned to appreciate and enjoyed buying in the past. As the opportunity came up to visit the company I immediately decided to go for it.
It has been a discovery.
They serve a quite specific market of men who seek to feel close to the cooks they admire when they cook. These people will happily spend more money on the knife to connect with this feeling of cooking like a professional.
I was aware of the higher quality and of the fact that there are other companies like Wüsthof and Zwilling who reach a much larger audience. But I hadn’t made myself aware of the consequences for their business.
With a process consisting of 55 steps, Güde does a lot by hand.
This isn’t possible for larger companies. Such companies even can have fully automated parts of their production process happening without human interaction. As a consequence of the higher production costs in general, they have to produce a much larger number of knives. Probably around 10.000 per day.
For a manufacturer like Güde who has a largely manual process, things are different. Their type of process makes it difficult to produce large quantities of knives. On a typical day, they will thus produce 300 knives. All of these 300 knives will have been picked up 55 times by a person who’s attentive and patient while performing that specific task.
Both types of manufacturers are global players. Güde sells their knives to an audience reaching from Germany to New Zeeland.