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Henckel Chef's knife

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Some of the fellas i work with swear by their henckel's and i just wanted some other opinions on how they are. Ive never owned a henckel, and i wanted some more feedback before i considered purchasing one. Thanks in advance
post #2 of 5
Henckel chef knives are decent quality, they are on par with the wusthof's and f dick's of the world. It also makes a very big difference which line you are looking at because henckel has many. Stay away from the henckel international series, they are low quality knives with softer steel and cheaper construction. THe difference is the international has one little henckel man while the other series have 2.

However that being said, Japanese knives blow european knives out of the water in just about all ways in regards to performance. But sometimes Japanese knives suffer in terms of fit and finish and what not, i personally use all Japanese knives for my job and swear by their superior steel and construction. So the next question is what are you going to be using your potential knife for?
post #3 of 5
Henkels makes good stuff, and then it makes some pretty gawd-awfull cheap stuff too, never go by the name.

If you want to use your knives in a professional kitchen, I beg you, I plead, I--whatever, not to use a knife over $80, and never bring more than 3 or 4 knives into your workplace.


I have seen fist fights, "manicures", attempted amputation of digits and other appendages, dumpster diving to retreive knives, co-erced dumpster diving to search for missing knives, Locker-room break-ins and general mayhem, month-long grudges about sharpening techniques, and, well, I think you get the picture.

It's a right frightfull headache for the Chef, especially for one of a larger brigade with one or two who are knife freaks. Many kitchens now contract out knives to a knife company where they will issue X amount of butt-ugly knives-albeit sharp butt-ugly knives, and a month later come by exachnge them for another batch of sharp butt-ugly knives.

If the knife is for at home, knock yourself out. However no matter how expensive the knife is it will eventually need sharpening, and sharpening is another long topic.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #4 of 5

First, unless and until you tell which knives from which particular line you're talking about we can't give you more than the most general information. Also, if you've been following this board, you're aware I consider your sharpening tools to an integral part of your knife set. Let's start with the range of knives generally, so we can locate Henckels and give them a grade: Lousy, Not very good, okay, pretty good, very good, excellent and ridiculously expensive.

Henckels (with an "s") makes a variety of lines of knives at several different quality levels. They range from not very good to excellent (Twin Cermax). Their better, forged knives -- which are probably the ones you're friends are crowing about -- are in the pretty good range. All of their lines which begin with the word "Twin" are forged and made in German ... with one exception. Twin Cermax are made in Japan at a dedicated factory Henckels owns and operates (in other words, they're not subcontracted). Twin Cermax are very much high-grade Japanese, western style knives. Don't ask. You can't afford one.

Henckels fits in with all of the other big "German" manufacturers ("German" in quotes because I'm including Lamson and Forschner/Victorinox which are actually American and Swiss respectively), using a particular set of steels for knife making. Great handles, extremely high quality workmanship and fit and finish, mediocre steel. The other big name German manufacturers are F. Dick, Wusthof, and Messermeister. With a very few exceptions their knives are more similar than different.

From a pure performance aspect there are several manufacturers who will give you more bang from the buck than Henckels. I'm hesitant to make any recommendation until I hear more about what you do, what you care about in a knife, how you plan to keep it (or them) sharp, which type(s) of knife you want (chef? boning? paring? bread? slicer?), and how much you want to spend.

Let me know,
post #5 of 5
I agree with yankchef do your self a favor and get japanese knifes. I have two a chef and a nariki and both take a really sharp edge and holds it well. It honestly depents on the kitchen your in about taking more expensive knives in. Im sure there are places out there that i would never take a japanese knife into for fear it will end up growing legs and walking away but i would think most nicer kitchen you wouldnt have a problem with that. No mater what knife you choose make sure you know how to sharpen and sharpen properly. All knifes dull and a dull knife is worth anything.
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