The German knives smithery tradition is very long. The city Solingen for example enjoys since generations an excellent reputation among chefs and knives experts.
Unlike Japanese ones, forged German knives are made of softer steel. This makes them more resistant and less brittle, but they can not be sharpened so finely as their Japanese “colleagues“.
The so-called Rockwell hardness (HRC) determines the hardness of a knife. This determines the cutting efficiency (indicates how long a blade retains its sharpness) and the degree of sharpness.
A German quality knife has an average hardness of 54-56 HRC. A Japanese knife on the other hand achieves a hardness of 56-62 HRC. A knife can not be produced hardener, because otherwise it would break at the slightest jamming. The steel is becoming increasingly sensitive with increasing hardness.
Moreover German knives are sharpened on both sides. This way the blade of German kitchen knives gets its typical bellied shape. This makes German chef's knives not as sharp as Japanese. German kitchen knives therefore can be used in contrast to Japanese ones by left-handers.
For the various tasks involved in food preparation different shapes of the knife edge are needed. The technical term "bevel" refers to the blade of a knife.
The distinction is:
Blade with straight bevel
The smooth bevel causes a completely smooth, clean cut. Nothings frays. Blades with straight bevel are used for cutting hard and soft meat, vegetables, fruits. A smooth bevel is also needed for peeling.
Blade with wavy edge
The cut with regular waves on the blade facilitates the cutting and dicing of material with solid hard shell or crust, e.g. bread, tomatoes and rind of bacon.
Blade with scalloped edge
When cutting air cushions occur at the cavities of the blade. This way the cut material does not stick to the blade. Very thin slices succeed with a scalloped blade, as it's supposed to be with ham or salmon.
Who cares about their own cooking utensils, we recommend to clean the knives immediately after use with hot water, a little bit dish soap and a damp cloth and then to dry them. In this way, the rests of aggressive and corrosive food have no chance.