or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Henckels Pro S's

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I just bought a henckels Pro S chef's knife and carving knife- do these still hold up as "great chef's knives" in a professional kitchen?
post #2 of 3
No. Yes. Maybe. It depends.

When the line was first introduced in the seventies, it was widely considered to be all that. However, Henckels ran into some quality control issues and Wusthof pulled ahead as the most prestigious of the German knife manufacturers. However, the issues were resolved long ago.

There's a class of knives which I like to call "German." They're the high end lines made by a number of manufacturers, not all of whom are German. A partial (alphabetical) list includes, F. Dick, Forschner (Swiss -- although their best knives are made in a German factory), Gude, Henckels, Lamson (USA), Messermeister, and Wusthof. The knives are nearly identically profiled, share very similar bolster designs, use extremely similar alloys for the blade, are of drop-hammer forged construction, have wonderful fit and finish, great handles and so on.

Change is inevitable. In the past few years most of the "Germans" have introduced lines which reflect a concern for ergonomic design, and the competition from Japan.

Henckles in particular has altered it's manufacturing practices so their "twin" series (including your Pro S) are now forged/blocked from a single piece of steel plus a forge welded bolster/finger guard. In other words, they've stepped up their game a little to be more like Wusthof.

I mentioned earlier that all of the "Germans" use similar alloys. These are, by and large, X45CrMo15 and X50CrMo15. Henckles, however, uses a proprietary formula which they do not give out publicly. For performance purposes it might as well be X50CrMo15.

Again, a long winded way of saying Henckles and Wusthof might as well be the same knife. To answer your question, functionally, Henckles are as good as the very best German knives and I think that's fairly well recognized by those interested in such things.

However, the big manufacturer "Germans" are no longer the most prestigious knives. All of the "best" knives in pro kitchens are either Japanese or custom manufactured.

High end western handled, western patterned, Japanese knives are far better than the Germans in terms of edge taking and edge holding. They follow French design profiles which makes them considerably more agile, and they are also considerably lighter. On the other hand, they're a little more fragile. For instance, it's not a good idea to use a Japanese chef's knife for splitting several raw chickens in a row -- something a Wustie or Henckles would laugh at.

Anyway, you get the idea.

Henckles Pro S are wonderful knives for the right person, and get plenty of respect. However, they're no longer top dog. Wusthof gets more unthinking support among the Germans. And when it comes to people who really care about such things, the Germans aren't in the running. Consider though, that "people who really care about such things" tend to be knife hobbyists as much as professional cooks; and as such tend to draw distinctions where there's very little difference.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much- that was a a great knowledgeable reply. I appreciate it.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Knife Reviews