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Solingen, Germany has maintained the reputation of manufacturing the finest cutlery for many generations. Solingen has long been the active center in high quality cutlery production. It has manufactured swords and blades in the 1800s, produced sabres for various wars in 1839, and exported knives to the US as early as the turn of the 20th century.

The blades of the swords and knives are made with Solingen steel, which is considered as one of the best steels around.

Some of the famous knife makers are Wüsthof, Otter-Messer, Messermeister, Böker, Hartkop and J.A. Henckels. J.A. Henckels is one of the largest and oldest kitchen knives manufacturers. Böker is a commercial distributor and manufacturer of knives and one of the first companies to produce ceramic knives.  

Wüsthof or Wüsthof Trident has produced precision forged knives that are commonly found in every kitchen store to big box retailer. Knives made by Wüsthof are top rated and consistently given with high ratings. Otter-Messer is also a maker of high quality knives since 1840 in Solingen. The English name translation is "Otter Knives”, which means that the knives are extremely strong and durable.  

Conclusion:  The region still produces quality knives and is dominated by Wüsthof and J.A. Henckels.  The two Coke vs Pepsi options in German knives.  In recent years Henckels has offered more low cost knives that has negatively impacted many people's opinion of the brand.   If you just want a good factory made kitchen knife look for forged models.  For more information check out our kitchen knife buying guide.