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Henckels Kitchen Knives

Discussion in 'Food Forum' started by Cali-Glock, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

    Feb 11, 2002
    California Sierra Mnts
    I wanted some nice kitchen knives for Christmas. I have been lusting after some $70-120 sets at kitchen supply houses this past year as my wife and I browse outlet malls.

    My wife was smarter than me though - she first did some internet research about good kitchen knives and then asked a friend of mine for help chosing some knives. Instead of getting a set of knives she only got me three knives.

    She got me three German Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional "S" knives and a magnetic hanger for the knives. She spent about three times the $ for those three knives than I was expecting her to spend on a full set... but OH MY GOSH those are the nicest knives I have ever used! She DID GOOD!! My friend's suggestion to my wife (which after using these knives I love) is to buy a few more knives each year - a couple for my birthday, a couple for Christmas, a couple just because and slowly add to this collection.




  2. MrsKitty


    Mar 23, 2003
    Heheheeheheee ;f ;f ;f

    We have set of Four Star Henckels and some Wusthoff Grand Prix pieces too. There is one of the S series here. They are all great knives. The Grand Prix feels better in my hand than the Four Stars but I love them too.

    Take care of them and they will last forever!

    That is an awsome gift, and an addictive one too :)

  3. Keyhole


    Dec 28, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Aren't they the best? I got some Henckel's last year. Such a wonderful feel.
  4. Mild Bill

    Mild Bill Millennium Member

    Oct 18, 1999
    Tampa, Florida
    Cali, I have all three of those knives---and even tho I have others, I really can't say
    I 'need' them...

    With those three you can do just about everything...

    I also love my Chef's Choice Edge Select 120 Sharpener/Honer to keep them sharp, fast...


    Now that I think about it, it's good and useful to have a serrated knife for cutting
    bread and tomatoes, but you don't necessarily need a full size bread knife...

    The Henckels Pro-S 5" Tomato Knife is great for both...


  5. USMC_G19

    USMC_G19 Ham Salad

    Dec 13, 2005
    Northern VA
    I have a set of the 5 star knives. Very comfortable in the hand. They will easily outlast me!!!
  6. lwt210


    Nov 28, 2001
    Ahh Grasshopper.

    One finds true joy in seeing that last block slot filled. They be some good cutlery, matey.
  7. FlaChef

    FlaChef Steyroid

    Jul 4, 2004
    Buy what you need and what feels good to you.

    "sets" are for susie q homemaker not tools.

    Personaly I also prefer the magnet bars, I have three mounted above my stove for my stay at home blades. I keep about 6-9 (depends on where I am working and what functions I need to preform at that job) blades in my roll up kit that goes to work w/ me. Actually the kit sits above my desk now that I have one.

    Heinkles (sp?) are a big name and you pay for it. Wuuhrstoffs (sp?) are pretty much identical and used to be less $$ but now run about the same. Real Heinkels are made in solgen (SP?) germany, there is also a line of cheapo spanish made heinkels tha suck(okay I'm gonna give up on sp? now, just know i probably get them all wrong). F.Dicks are also nearly identical and are a good deal less. These brands (and a couple more) are all made in Solgen using nearly identical "forged chromium steels" They will hold edges very well, are heavy, and a PITA to sharpen. Though for home cooks just drop them off at a sharpening place or knife store once a year, and learn how to use a steel to keep them trued. Different handle shapes and materails are all that seperate the various lines.

    Sabatier is also a big French maker that produces similar chromium steel forged blades as well as high carbon non-stainless blades.

    Globals & Chromas (designed by Porche so most people think they are Porche made and german), are very good japanese blades, signifigantly lighter and softer, sharpen up pretty easily (though the japanese use a different sharpening angle than europeans and takes a different stroke) and have solid metal handles. Most, including myself, prefer the balance of these.

    Ceramic blades are brittle, impossible to maintain and gimmicky except for a VERY few limited applications.

    Stamped blades are cheaper, lighter and easier to sharpen, most are junk except one.

    For about 1/3 the cost ($45 for a 10" chef knife vs $90-$180) the KING is the Victorinox Foreschner swiss blades. Same steel as in the swiss army knives, it is a high carbon stainless. They are my go to knives for every day work, and what I have bought for all my family. If I have to break down and get a new one or two every 4-6 years then it's still worth it. These things hardly ever need to get put to a stone, just regular use of a diamond dust steel (these will actually sharpen a little, as opposed to a traditional steel which just trues and is better for the harder german knives).

    The essentials in a kit are:

    The chefs knife is the usual do 90% of everything tool in 8", 10" or 12" length (10" being the most versatile and common). Alternately some chefs will use a Santoku as their do it all (like what is in your first picture, basicly the japanese equivilant w/ out the point; uses a slightly different stoke for repetitive slicing).

    Boning and/or filet knives are indespensible for those two tasks, and come in flexible or stiff varities. My only heinkel is an OLD wood handle (hence at least 80's) boning knife I got used off of a sharpening service guy that had been abandoned w/ him. It used to be stiff, but has been ground down so much it is now the perfect in-between.

    Paring knives. I buy cheapo $7 ones and toss them when they get dull (I've lost to many good ones). A good alternate is called a tourne knife or buds beak, basicly a curved paring knife used for carvings, I usually walk around w/ one in my sleeve pocket at work.

    Serrated blade, no way around it you need a good one. You definietly want one that is either curved, offset, OR what they call a sandwich knife. A straight blade means hitting your knuckes on the counter when slicing. The sandwich knife is the size and shape of a chef knife but the front half of the blade has relaxed serations, my Victorinox one has been my (and I've met a few others who are in love w/ this blade) go to knife for a couple of years and has seen stretches where for months it was the only knife that came out of my bag.

    Sliceing knives are a niche kind of knife used for slcing large roasts, hams, turkeys, etc. mostly for banquet functions. These are 10-14" are usually flexible; straight w/ round tip or sometimes pointed and are of limited use for anything else (except maybe fileting and skinning large sides of fish like salmon where a normal filet knife just isn't long enough).

    Cleavers, unless your doing the kind of butchery where you need to chop through bone leave these monsters (and their little brothers the "vegetable cleavers") to the asian chefs (had a viet namese instructur who quite impressively demonstrated there was nothing he couldn't do w/ one). I am scared of losing a finger tip swinging these things around.

    Sabres, yup pretty much just a smaller version of the sword used in high volume meat cutting as the curve reduces fatigue. Unless your doing butchery daily just use your good chef knife.

    Utility knife, or other names for little 5 and 6" mini chef knives and slicers can come in handy, but there's not really anythig you need one for you can't get done w' the bigger brothers, if you neeed to be doing something small/delicate/precise you'd probably be better off w/ a paring knife anyway. But if you find one that's comfy to you then by all means use it for all kinds of tasks.
  8. MrsKitty


    Mar 23, 2003

    That post just got this thread stickied :)
  9. walangkatapat

    walangkatapat Millennium Member

    Aug 28, 1999
  10. Shoeless

    Shoeless Gun Totin' Girl

    Nov 25, 2001
    Planet Earth
    At some point in your life, you just want good quality stuff. So a few months ago, I sucked it up and spent $200 on three Wusthof knives and boy am I glad I did! I got a Santoku, a bread knife (we don't buy pre-sliced bread) and a paring knife. Three knives is all I've needed, and they are faaaabulous. Definitely worth the money.

    Oh, and I got a steel which I use nearly every time I use the knives, too.

  11. corona


    Oct 2, 2005
    San Antonio
    I'm with you on the Wustoff knives. I've got a full set, and I can't stand cooking in a kitchen without them.
  12. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

    Jun 14, 2005
    40 years into a lifetime of hand sharpening with waterstones..

    i recently with some joy got rid of about 80% of my stainless knives, and replaced them with antique style, cheapo, Old Hickory and Dexter Russells and Case XX.. ancient knives for the most part, 40 years old.

    And they do cut, folks. I'll stand em up to anybody's anything for fun per dollah, and i coulda HAD Henckels, or any sort of japanese toy.. which came close.

    but i disdain, despise, and abhor the feel of hand sharpening stainless, and high carbon-low (if any) chrome, vanadium steel is a pure pleasure to handle.

    Forester, F. Dick, Dexter Russel, Case XX, Shapleigh, a handful of others, many who made industrial or mil-spec knives..are some of the best values ever made. BUT.. you have to get old ones, and that doesn't suit almost everyone.

    For that matter, vintage Sabatier or other fine euro knives are generally of a better grade of steel than presently. Often amazingly better.
  13. Garweh

    Garweh CLM

    Aug 12, 2002
    Upstate New York
    I have a set of Henckels for home use and a set of Shun (Kershaw) at a restaurant where I am the patissier. The Shun win hands down! They have a slightly thinner blade than the Henckels and they take and hold an edge much better than the Henckels. Just my $0.02 worth.
  14. rhikdavis

    rhikdavis U.S. Veteran

    Jul 22, 2002
    In Remembrance
    Is there a brick and mortar that sells these knives or must they be purchased online..I wouldnt mind getting my hands on a few before I lay down the big bucks. ;f
  15. robNsaTX

    robNsaTX Millennium Member

    Apr 12, 1999
    If you have a Williams-Sonoma in your area they will have them... or any well stocked "kitchen" store should too..

  16. Skyhook


    Nov 4, 2002
    That edge issue is important.

    We've had the complete set of Henckel's for about ten yrs and we also have a set of the Chicago Cutlery knives. Those Chicago blades are easier to get a good edge on and they seem to keep it better than those Henckels.

    I also have the Chef sharpener and use it together with both metal and diamond steels and I prefer those cheapie Chicago blades for most work. The Henckels look prettier for the guests, though.;)
  17. HalfMoon


    Oct 4, 2005
    No doubt. I have a set of the Henckels 5 star's and two of them are hard to get an edge on, and lose it fast, the others seem better.. Maybe I got two bad blades, i dunno.
  18. Shoeless

    Shoeless Gun Totin' Girl

    Nov 25, 2001
    Planet Earth
    I got my Wusthoff's at Cook's Warehouse.

  19. OEF_VET


    May 11, 2006
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Bed, Bath, & Beyond stocks Henckel's and Wusthoff. Linen's and Things does as well.

    My personal preference is for Viking cutlery. It's a little pricey, but I love the feel of it. So far, I have an 8" hollow ground chef's knife, a flexible filet knife, a boning knife, paring knife, and serrated bread knife. Luckily, there is a Viking store in Franklin, TN, where I work (and formerly lived), and they offer a 20% trade discount.
  20. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean

    Feb 18, 2002
    I'm looking a buying some "good" knives for myself and for gifts this Christmas. I've looked at the aforementioned Henkels and Wustoff brands.

    My question is has anyone here ever used the Messermeister and/or Kershaw Shun, brands. A chef I know has recommended these two brands.

    Thanks, Mike