Rostfrei is a German word that means rust-free or stainless. Therefore, Rostfrei knife refers to a stainless steel knife made in Germany. Note that this is not a knife brand but simply a German Knife made with rust-free steel like 440A, 440B, or 420 stainless steel. The first Rostfrei knife in Germany was manufactured in Solingen by the Wusthof Company.
The production of knives using stainless steel started in the 18th century, but Germany discovered the technique later in 1912. The original knives were stamped Rostfrei on the blade and the practice stuck to date to differentiate the rust-free knives from the rest.
Therefore, if you come across a knife or cutlery engraved with the word Rostfrei, it has its origin from German or German speaking countries like Switzerland and Belgium. Victorinox from Switzerland does brand most of their Swiss Army knives as Rostfrei because parts of Switzerland’s population are German speakers.
So what’s inox? You might have heard the term before, especially if you’re a knife enthusiast. It means stainless steel just like Rostfei and it gets its name from knives made by Victorinox–the famous Swiss cutlery company!
Even though most blades stamped Rostfrei are produced in Solingen, some come from different manufacturers. Companies from countries like Taiwan and China engrave their knives Rostfrei as a marketing strategy to dupe shoppers into thinking the knives are Germanmade.
How to differentiate original from fake Rostfrei knives
As stated above, companies from different parts of the world label their knives Rostfrei to attract more customers. You are most likely to purchase a fake Rostfrei knife from online stores as it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between fake and original.
Authentic Rostfei knives have the Rostfrei Solingen stamp. Solingen would signify where the knife was made. Solingen is known as the “City of Blades,” this is where most knife companies existed in Germany. Companies like Eickhorn-Solingen, Wusthof, and Dreiturm were found in this city and were known to produce the best qualities of knives.
Unfortunately, there are no strict laws that discourage the manufacture of counterfeit Rostfrei knives. Still, the general rule remains that only knives produced in Germany should be bear the Rostfrei label. With that in mind, the only way to get an original Rostfrei knife is to buy from a reputable seller in Europe.
Benefits of a Rostfrei knife
Everyone wants to own a Rostfrei knife because they are considered high quality.
However, there have been debates that there is no significant difference between Rostfrei knives and other stainless steel knives like AUS 8 steel produced in other countries because it is the material used that matters, not the country of origin.
With that in mind, let us look into the advantages of Rostfrei knives:
Easy to maintain
Rostfrei knives are easy to maintain mainly because they do not stain or rust. Unlike regular knives, stainless steel knives survive in dump and wet environments without the need for tender care.
With these knives, you do not have to worry about washing them immediately after use and storing them dry.
Rostfrei knives are cheaper compared to carbon knives because they contain a low amount of carbon. They are also cheaper than high end stainless steel knives because they mostly use 440 series of steel which is cheap.
Therefore, if you want an affordable knife to use in corrosive environments like in the kitchen, you are in the right place. Rostfrei knives will offer you durability and reliability at affordable rates.
Picking up from the point above, a Rostfrei knife will serve you for a very long time. Some knife users have come out with testimonies of Rostfrei knives that have been used across generations. This feature is associated with the fact that stainless steel does not rust or stain and, therefore, does not degrade.
Furthermore, the use of stainless steel in making Rostfrei knives makes them adaptable to most environments hence they can be used in kitchens, camps, and marine places.
Easy to sharpen
Since Rostfrei knives are made of more stainless steel elements than carbon, they are not very hard steel. This makes them very easy to sharpen. However, it is essential to point out that they become dull very fast and therefore you will be required to sharpen often.
While it is hard work to sharpen frequently, it is a relief that getting an edge with these knives is easier.
So far, it must be clear that Rostfrei is not a brand but rust-free knives manufactured in Germany. The original Rostfrei is manufactured in Germany, but manufacturers from different regions brand their knives Rostfrei to increase sales.
This sends out a warning that you might purchase a counterfeit Rostfrei knife, especially from online stores. Rostfrei knives are popular among knife users because they are easy to maintain, durable, easy to sharpen, versatile, and affordable.
My name is Jonathan M, and I’m a passionate Mechanical Engineer, a knife enthusiast, and the author of this website. I have a bachelor's degree in Mechanical engineering with a specialization in material science. I am particularly interested in researching knife steel, knife properties, and brands. I hope you will find value in the articles on this website. Contact me if you have any questions or input!