Test: Zyliss, Leo W. and Zwilling knives

Test: Zyliss, Leo W. and Zwilling knives

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Today ladies and gentlemen, it is not one, nor two, but three knives that I will test in front of you! I was very happy to receive several knives recently. The first is a Zyliss novelty. It is a chef's knife with a 14.5 cm blade, sold with a case. The second is also a chef's knife, 16 cm and which has the distinction of being ceramic! It is manufactured by Léo W., a company newly launched in the manufacture and sale of ceramic knives. We do not laugh with the third, a Zwilling chef's knife of 20 cm from the five star range which does not seem to slice soft caramels!

It is important to say before starting that the first two knives are disadvantaged by the overwhelming size of the Zwilling!

Zyliss, the featherweight

Data sheet: Chef knife 14.5 cm, stainless steel and ergonomic silicone handle. With protective blade cover. 82 grams. PVGC € 13.50

Léo W., the middleweight

Technical sheet: Chef knife 16 cm in high density ceramic (minimum 95% zirconium oxide). Anti-slip plastic handle. Convex sharpening of the blade finished by hand. 100 grams. € 34.90.

Zwilling, the heavyweight!

Data sheet: Chef knife 20 cm Five Star range. FRIODUR hardened steel. Ergonomic plastic handle. 194 grams. Around 80 €.

Test 1: handling and ergonomics

And now ladies and gentlemen, before your amazed eyes, I will mince onions! Applause!

Once in hand, we realize that the Zyliss knife is really very light, maybe too much. The grip is pleasant and assured but the attack of the cutting edge is not the most effective: the blade slides a little on the skin of the onion. The ceramic knife is a surprise. Light, it is nevertheless very balanced in use, we could cut onions! The cutting edge is very good as well as the comfort. The Zwilling shines by the ease of its cut, but not being pro in cutting onions, I feel awkward with this big knife to cut my little onions from nothing at all. When you get started, you feel like Arthur is removing Excalibur from his rock: we have just found the ideal weapon to face a whole regiment (in a row) of onions. Its weight facilitates cutting, the only effort required is to raise the blade. We feel all the frightening effectiveness of this knife which would cut our fingers without us realizing it immediately - I advise to check from time to time if they are all whole! The 3 knives have a stop (or bolster for Zwilling) which protects the fingers from the edge when cutting. We can say that the 3 are very pleasant in terms of ergonomics even if the Leo W. and the Zwilling outweigh the Zyliss.

Test 2: sharp

Here is a test that I found rather nice on the Leo W. site: cut a sheet of paper to test the edge. Obviously, I wanted to test for myself. The paper is a filigree vellum of 80 grams. Rather late then.

For this test, I took a witness knife, an old Victorinox Chef of 18 cm quite dull (and who does not get out that bad after all) to simulate the knife of the average housewife. The Zyliss defends itself anyway, with this thickness, you need a minimum of edge to be able to split the paper without tearing it. We also see that he would not miss much for him to go to the end of his cut. Léo W. splits the leaf fingers in the nose. Likewise for Zwilling which shows a disconcerting ease. I had to kill a tree in the Amazon tonight for the sake of science, I'm sorry.

Test 3: balance

A good balance is important for comfort. If the weight is evenly distributed between the blade and the handle, the hand will tire less and you will be able to cut a long time and even participate in contests on TV to cut onions until the eyes fall out. Everyone goes their own way: handle a little more weighted than the blade, heavier blade ... it is also a matter of taste.

It is the handle of the Zyliss which is the heaviest, which explains the impression of lightness which is a little disabling on the first test. A heavier blade may be welcome. The ceramic knife displays a perfect balance. The Zwilling is not far from showing the same balance but the blade seems slightly heavier.


Regarding the Zyliss, I see it more like an extra knife. The one we take with us to ill-equipped friends, because we said we brought drinks, or even for a picnic. Or even like a knife which we know will be very useful for some time but which will have to change in the medium term. At this price there (13.50 €) we do not ask more, it is quite correct. In addition, its blade cover is very practical (especially to take it to friends because we said we brought the aperitif). The Léo W. is the ideal everyday knife for the housewife. In my opinion for non-professional use, it is intended for all amateur cooks who need reliable and durable knives. Comfort, ergonomics, efficiency, occasional sharpening… only good. My only regret: I can't put it on the magnetic bar with my other knives. Mr. Léo W.: and why not a case to accompany it? :) With Zwilling we play in the big leagues, too big even I would say. You have to know how to handle these steel beasts and also how to sharpen them regularly to maintain their cutting edge. It is still incomparable comfort, we do not come back from these knives there, know it! One last thing about the strength of ceramic knives. In my opinion, any knife that falls may be severely damaged. It seems to me that if our knives are worth taking care of, we are careful not to drop them (I am only talking about household use that does not concern professionals). The better the ceramic, the stronger your knife will be. No special fear to have therefore, learn about the quality of your knives. Zyliss, chef knife 14.5 cm, PGVC € 13.50 (product offered by Zyliss) Léo W. chef knife 16 cm, € 34.90 (product offered by Léo W.) Zwilling, chef knife Five Star 20 cm, approx. 80 € (product offered by myself to myself)