53 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:
Though perhaps my terminology is wrong? What I mildly objected to is the part of the knife Wusthof calls the "finger guard". I had always thought of this part of the knife as the bolster.
Not wrong, but the terminology gets blurred. A "bolster" is usually understood to be an added piece ahead of the handle scale or through-handle designed to buttress the handle and prevent corrosion. It can be a separate piece, soldered, pinned, and/or glued on, OR it can be "integral" with the blade/tang, i.e., forged or ground into the assembly.
Bolsters can include finger guards or not. And the guards can go all the way to the heel or not. I agree that the classic Euro bolster that descends all the way to the heel is a PITA because (a) sooner or later, successive sharpenings will result in a lack of board contact near the heel, leading to accordion cuts; and (b) the typical cook cannot properly reduce the mass of metal at the heel to fix it. I have 4 paring knives out for professional sharpening because the bolsters also need taking down to make the edge profiles convex.
A full height bolster/guard also gives some added support to the blade when the knife is twisted. But most modern steels, properly heat-treated don't really need this.
I think Big Knife persists with this full-height design mostly because people expect it in $$ cutlery. They also do it as a risk management strategy. They could simply put a large choil in the blade ahead of a minimal bolster and completely solve the resharpening PITA and have some safety insurance.