Gustav Emil Ern Knives & Their History

Knives are unarguably a chefs most important tool, no matter what cuisine is being served up. Professional knives have definitely come a long way since the caveman days of hacking at food with a sharpened piece of rock.

The chef knife that we know today has formed from a diverse range of influences, from Germany, China and Japan it has been through a number of changes to find knives that work for each cuisine.

There are key differences in each type of chef’s knife, for instance, German knives tend to be heavy and tough, they can be distinguished by the curve of the blade towards the tip which is designed to create a rocking motion when chopping.

Chinese chef knives resemble a cleaver, they are designed to be extremely thin as preparing traditional Chinese foods involves; quick chopping, mincing vegetables and finely slicing fish and boneless meats. While a cleaver that we know is typically used for heavy duty foods such as boned meats, the Chinese knife is designed for intricacy, quick manoeuvrability, and delicate preparation.

Japanese chef knives are designed to be precise, they need to be able to perform heavy duty tasks in an intricate manor. Much of Japan’s cuisine has important presentation methods so their knives must be able to perform to a high standard.


Cooksmill stock an extensive range of knives suitable for oriental cooking, peeling and paring. Perhaps one of our most popular knife ranges that we have for sale are Gustav Emil Ern knives. These high quality knives are hand crafted in Solingen, the knife centre of Germany. Knives and swords have been produced in this area for thousands of years, which is why it is the perfect place for Gustav to make their expertly designed blades.

Gustav Emil Ern Knives History

Henckels and Wustof, who were the largest two competitors to Gustav Emil Ern, started mass producing their knives after World War 2. This lowered the cost of production immensely and made it difficult for Gustav Emil Ern to compete against them.

They were one of the last companies to employ highly skilled craftsmen to make their knives, because they required such tenacious workers and skilled employees the business was quite small and when it came to "quantity over quality" after the war, they weren't able to keep up with this mass production so the business gradually began going under, until the total demise not long after World War 2. In recent years, however, there has been a resurgence in the worlds best chefs wanting to use a Gustav Emil Ern knife set, boasting that they provide exceptional quality and, if properly cared for, can look and perform as if brand new for years.

These world-renowned knives are hand-made on the border between Germany and Holland in a city called Solingen, which is often referred to as "The City of Blades". They are highly regarded as the best knives produced here, offering such a variety of styles varying from light weight to heavy and many other characteristics.

How Gustav Emil Ern Knives are Manufactured

The process of making their knives differs depending on whether the knife is forged or stamped however they are all made to meet the same high standards and usually all boast a none slip handle, which is highly beneficial when working with wet foods such as fish. To help you decide which knife is most suitable for you and the tasks you wish to perform Cooksmill have created a knife guide.

Unlike other knife designers Gustav Emil's team have created a set of knives that are the perfect weight for both intricate and heavy duty tasks, sharpened to perfection before they are released for sale, these knives are high quality without a ridiculous price tag.

An important feature of all Gustav Emil Ern's knives is that they are all made with synthetic handles that look and feel like wood but have the hygienic advantages of plastic. Gustav Emil Ern ice harden their blades for added strength, making knives such as a German Vegetable Knife ideal for tasks such as cutting through hard root vegetables.

All of the Gustav knives have taper-ground edges which makes them sharp and effortless when put to work. Perfect for precise chopping and slicing, a Turning Knife is designed to carry out small intricate tasks such as peeling and adding touches like flower designs into garnishes.

Gustav Emil Ern Knives For Sale

View the entire range of Gustav Emil Ern knives for sale on the Cooksmill website, where we offer free delivery on orders over £50 (excluding VAT).

Once you have purchased your knife make sure you look after it so it doesn’t lose its quality over time. Gustav Emil Ern have designed their own knife sharpening tools to ensure that the blades are kept in top condition, they also design knife holding kits to help you keep your knives in order. By keeping these knives in good order, customers have raved about them, even stating that they are the best German knives they have ever used.

For more information on any of our products please contact us by calling 0161 886 4989 or email us at

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