The Henckels Knife Set: When You’re Ready to Upgrade

Professional chefs will tell you that the most crucial tool in the kitchen is a good sharp knife. But do you really have to spend the money on an expensive Henckels knife set? People who own them certainly think so.

The differences between expensive knives and inexpensive knives are the quality of the steel, the handles, and the overall comfort.

All knives are sharp when they’re brand new. But a cheap knife will lose its sharp edge much sooner than a high-quality blade.

Expensive knives use better quality steel, which makes a stronger, more durable blade. Top-notch stainless steel costs more, but it lasts much longer because it is resistant to corrosion and rust.

Expensive knives also tend to have a better weight and balance, making them feel more comfortable in your hand. Like a lot of things in this world, you get what you pay for with knives.

The Henckels Knife Set Lines

Henckels has many different lines of knives. But they are all separated into two distinct brands: Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives and J.A. Henckels International knives.

Zwilling J.A. Henckels

The Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives are the company’s premium brand. The knives in this line are the very best that Henckels makes. And they make all of them exclusively in Germany.

They are also easy to identify because they all have the “twin” logo, which is two red stick figures embedded in each knife’s handle.

J.A. Henckels International

The J.A. Henckels International knives are distinctly different. Henckels calls this their “entry-level” line. These knives are all made in Asia, primarily China, and Spain.

And they are designed for budget-conscious customers. You can quickly identify the International line by the single red stick figure on the handles.

How to Care for Your Henckels Knife Set

How to Care for Your Henckels Knife Set

If you take care of your Henckels knife set, it will last for a lifetime.

Cleaning

As with any good knives, it is crucial that you not put them in the dishwasher. You should always hand wash them in warm soapy water and then dry them immediately.

Don’t leave them sitting on the counter or in the sink with food on them, which will be much harder to clean off later.

And don’t let them soak in water. Because the Henckels knives are razor sharp, you should also take care to clean them with the blade facing away from your fingers.

Storage

Your good knives should be stored separately in a wooden block or hung on the wall. You don’t want to keep them in a drawer unless they have a protective sheath on the blade.

Leaving them loose in a drawer allows the knife to come into contact with other objects, which can destroy your sharp edges. It’s also way too easy to cut yourself when you reach in a drawer to grab a sharp blade. Poor storage can ruin your expensive knives.

How We Reviewed

This analysis was an independent review of five different Henckels knife sets. And for comparison, we reviewed three other top brands.

We researched professional and consumer reviews for each of these products. And during the review process, we also looked at and compared the features of each knife set.

Our Henckels Knife Set Review

One thing’s for sure; people love their Henckels knives. Professional chefs worldwide swear by them. And a good Henckels knife set will last for a lifetime. In no particular order, here are five of our favorites.

Zwilling J.A. Henckels 30720-000 Twin Signature starter knife set

No products found.

This little three-piece Henckels knife set is an excellent place to start if you are new to the brand. It comes with an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 6-inch utility knife, and a 4-inch paring knife.

These knives feature a high-quality German stainless steel. They are also fully forged with a seamless construction from handle to blade, giving the knives excellent balance.

And the triple-riveted ergonomic handles make these knives fit comfortably in your hand. The product description says that these knives are dishwasher-safe. But it’s always better to hand wash your good knives.

This Henckels knife set is quite affordable, costing from $72 to $120. And customer ratings for these knives are excellent. Amazon buyers rate this set 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Most people rave about these knives. But some complained that the weight of them was uncomfortable, which is just a matter of personal preference.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • The set comes with three essential knives
  • Extremely sharp

Cons

  • Only comes with three knives
  • Doesn’t come with protective sheaths or storage block

Zwilling Pro 12-piece block knife set

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Zwilling Pro 12 Piece Block Knife Set, Black
  • Includes 4" parer, 5" serrated, 7" Santoku, 8" chef, 8" bread, 4 x 4.5" steak knives, kitchen shears, sharpening steel...
  • Curved bolster encourages cutting with improved precision, safety and Comfort
  • SIGMAFORGE knife is forged from a single piece of Special Formula High-Carbon NO STAIN stainless steel

This 12-piece Henckels knife set comes with an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 7-inch santoku, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, and a 4-inch paring knife.

It also comes with four steak knives, kitchen shears, sharpening steel, and a beautiful hardwood storage block. The knives feature a forged unique formula high-carbon no-stain steel.

According to Henckels, they use an ice-hardening process to make the blade super sharp and flexible at the same time. The handles are a classic design with triple rivets. And they have a curved bolster for added comfort.

This Henckels knife set costs from $500 to $650. And like the three-piece set, it gets incredible customer ratings. Amazon rates this set 4.8 out of 5 stars.

The vast majority of people love these knives. Finding many negative reviews on them is tough. Some did complain though about the storage block.

Others complained that this set is quite tall in the storage block, so if you have low cabinets, it will be a very tight fit.

Pros

  • Comes with a vast variety of knives
  • Knives hold their sharp edge
  • Perfect balance

Cons

  • More expensive than some of the other sets
  • Takes up a lot of space under the cabinets
  • Some customers didn’t like the storage block

J.A. Henckels International Forged Premio 18-piece block set

J.A. Henckels International Forged Premio 18-Piece Block Set
  • 18 Pieces Forged Premio Knife Block; Set Includes 3 inches paring knife, 5 inches serrated utility knife, 6 inches...
  • Full tang extends the length of the knife, adding balance and strength
  • Triple riveted, ergonomic handle ensures comfort and Control

If the more expensive sets don’t quite fit in your budget, but you still want the Henckels quality, this set is perfect.

It comes with an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 7-inch santoku, a 6-inch utility knife, a 5-inch boning knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, and a 3-inch paring knife.

This Henckels knife set also comes with 8 steak knives, 9-inch sharpening steel, kitchen shears, and a hardwood storage block.

The stamped steak knives are part of this set. But all of the kitchen knives are forged. And the full tang gives the knives excellent balance and strength.

The blades are high-carbon quality stainless steel. And the ergonomic handles are triple-riveted.

This 18-piece Henckels knife set costs from $200 to $215. And like the others, this Henckels knife set gets excellent customer reviews.

Amazon buyers rated it 4.4 out of 5 stars. These knives are indeed better quality than most average knives. But they’re not professional quality like some of the other sets.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Very sharp
  • Knives have the weight and balance of more expensive knives

Cons

  • Steak knives are serrated and stamped, not forged
  • Knives are very close to each other in the storage block
  • Blades have stamps that say “Made in China”

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional “S” 10-piece knife block set

Sale
ZWILLING Professional S Knife Block Set, 10 Piece, Black
  • Included Components: 4" Purer 5" Serrated Utility 5" He Santoku 5.5" Flexible Boning 6" Utility 8" Bread 8" Chef Kitchen...
  • Material Type: Stainless Steel
  • The length of the package is 10.0 inches

This Henckels knife set is a favorite of many professional chefs all over the world and with good reason. It comes with an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 6-inch utility knife, a 5.5-inch boning knife, a 5-inch hollow-edge santoku, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, and a 4-inch paring knife.

It also comes with a sharpening steel, kitchen shears, and a wooden storage block. The knives feature forged high-quality high-carbon no-stick ice-hardened steel blades.

And the sturdy bolster gives them the perfect balance. The knives are also incredibly sharp because of the laser-controlled edge.

This Henckels knife set is incredible, but it will cost you a pretty penny. The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional “S” 10-piece block set costs from $500 to $985.

It also gets very high customer reviews. Amazon buyers rated this set 4.0 out of 5 stars. People love this Henckels knife set. Many of the reviews commented about the incredible sharpness of these knives.

Pros

  • Extremely sharp
  • Storage block comes with an extra slot for your favorite knife
  • Knives hold the sharp edge for a long time

Cons

  • Costly
  • Doesn’t come with steak knives

Zwilling_JA_Henckels_Twin_Four_Star_7-Piece_Set”>Zwilling JA Henckels Twin Four Star 7-piece set

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Four Star 7-Piece Block Set
  • 7-piece set consists of 4-inch parer, 5-inch Santoku, 5-inch serrated utility, 8-inch chef knife, cutting shears,...
  • Friodur ice-hardened, 1-piece, high-carbon, no-stain, forged steel blades
  • Full rat-tail tangs and bolsters provide better weight and superior balance

According to Henckels, the Four Star line is the top-selling series in the Zwilling collection worldwide. This seven-piece Henckels knife set is a good option if you don’t want to buy a large set with extra knives you won’t use.

It comes with an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 5-inch santoku, and a 4-inch paring knife. It also comes with kitchen shears, a sharpening rod, and a hardwood storage block.

The knives feature ice-hardened high-carbon no-stick forged steel blades. And the full rat-tail tang and sturdy bolster give them the perfect balance. The laser-controlled edges also keep the blades very sharp.

This Henckels knife set costs from $270 to $615. And it gets excellent reviews. Amazon buyers rated it 4.7 out of 5 stars. Like the 10-piece “S” set, people seriously love these knives. Many customers raved about how long the extremely sharp edges last.

Pros

  • Superior quality
  • Extremely sharp
  • Knives hold the sharp edge for a long time

Cons

  • Only comes with four knives
  • Costly

How Henckels Stand Up to Other Knives

If you’re looking for top quality knives, there are some other brands to consider.

Messermeister San Moritz Elite 9-Piece Knife Block Set

Like the Henckels, the Messermeister knives are top-of-the-line. This set comes with a 9-inch bread knife, an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 7-inch santoku, a 6-inch utility knife, a 5-inch scalloped utility knife, and a 3.5-inch paring knife.

It also comes with a 10-inch sharpening steel, take-apart kitchen shears, and a 16-slot wooden storage block. These knives feature forged high-carbon German steel blades.

Messermeister uses a high-quality stainless steel alloy that gives superior stain resistance. It also provides razor sharpness and edge retention as well as a comfortable sharpening experience.

The bolstered knives have a three-quarter tang extension to the handle for maximum power and balance.

A unique feature of these knives is that the blades are thicker and more substantial than other knives.

The Messermeister set costs from $500 to $540. And Amazon buyers rated it 3.9 out of 5 stars. There aren’t a ton of reviews for these knives because they’re not as well-known a brand as Henckels.

But the people who own these knives love them. Many people buy them to pass down for generations in their families.

Pros

  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Comes with free lifetime sharpening and refurbishing
  • Razor sharp
  • Quality construction

Cons

  • Some people complained that the knives are too thick
  • Expensive
  • Knives are quite heavy

Wusthof Classic 7-piece slim knife block set

This 7-piece Wusthof set comes with an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 6-inch prep knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, and a 3.5-inch paring knife.

It also comes with take-apart kitchen shears and a wooden storage block. These knives feature forged high-carbon stainless steel that contains 15 percent chromium, making them super stain resistant. The bolsters give these knives excellent balance.

And the full tang ensures safety and stability. These knives are also exceptionally sharp because, like the Henckels, they use laser-edge technology.

One unique thing about this set is that the block has a very slim design, so it doesn’t take up much counter space.

The Wusthof Classic 7-piece slim knife block set costs from $330 to $350. And it gets excellent customer reviews. Amazon buyers rated it 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Most people love these knives. Although, some complained about the storage block not being as high-quality as the knives.

Pros

  • Razor sharp right out of the box
  • Slim design doesn’t take up much counter space
  • Top quality and German made

Cons

  • Costly
  • Doesn’t come with a sharpening steel
  • Logos on the handles are just stickers and peel off

Shun DMS1020 Classic 10-piece chef’s block knife set

The Shun Classic 10-piece chef’s knife set comes with a 9-inch hollow-ground slicer knife, an 8.25-inch bread knife, an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 6-inch boning knife, a 6-inch utility knife, a 5.5-inch santoku, and a 3.5-inch paring knife.

It also comes with a honing steel, herb shears, and a 22-slot bamboo storage block. The Shun knives feature solid VG10 super steel blades that are clad with 16 layers of high-carbon stainless steel to prevent corrosion. And the bolster balances the knives perfectly.

They create these forged knives in the tradition of samurai sword making. Like the Henckels, these knives will last a lifetime if you take care of them.

These Shun knives are excellent quality. But they will cost you a chunk of change. The Shun set costs from $830 to $900. And just like the Henckels, the Shun knives get excellent customer reviews.

Many people noted that these knives are very expensive, but they all agreed that they were worth it.

Pros

  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Super high quality
  • The bamboo storage block is gorgeous
  • Handles don’t retain moisture

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Knives can only be sharpened using a whetstone

It All Comes Down to This

While all eight of the sets we reviewed were superior quality, based on customer reviews you can’t beat the Henckels.

Our favorite Henckels knife set is the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional “S” 10-piece knife block set. It’s more expensive than the others, but the knives are superb quality.

You should invest in the best knives that your budget will allow. And the Henckels knives are an investment that you will be glad you made.

With Henckels, the superior quality far outweighs the higher price tag.

Last update on 2022-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Comment