The Best J.A. Henckels Knife Set – One Of The Oldest Cutlery Manufacturers

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    OUR TOP CHOICE

    OUR TOP CHOICE

    Key Features

     Number of Pieces- 19-pc

     Material – Stainless Steel

    Line – TWIN Signature

     What’s included:

    2.75″ Bird’s Beak Peeling Knife, 4″ Paring Knife, 4.5″ Vegetable Utility Knife (same as steak knife), 5″ Serrated Utility Knife, 6″ Utility Knife, 7″ Hollow Edge Santoku Knife, 8″ Chef’s Knife, 8″ Bread Knife, eight 4.5″ Steak Knives, Kitchen Shears, 9″ Sharpening Steel, and 20-Slot Bamboo Block

    Sharp ObjectJ.A. Henckels is one of the oldest cutlery manufacturers in the world. The founder, Johann Peter Henckels, registered his company and its trademark, “the twins” in 1731. It is likely that the company was started before that time, but this is the first public record of the company. 

    The original company, Zwilling (twins) J.A. Henckels began in the town of Solingin, in Germany. This town is known as the “City of Blades” because it’s where the finest and most renowned knives, scissors, razors and swords are made.

    In 1895, the Henckels International brand was established. It is a separate brand from the Zwilling J.A. Henckels, but is still part of the J.A. Henckels umbrella. The Henckels International is considered the “value” brand of cutlery, and offers consumers a more affordable option.

    In general, you’ll find that the Zwilling J.A. Henckels brand is a bit more expensive. These cutlery sets are considered a premium brand, and you’ll notice that in the price. The Henckels International brand is more affordable, however you should understand that this brand does also have some sets that are pricier than sets from the Zwilling brand.

    In this review, we’ll outline some of the best sets from both the Zwilling J.A. Henckels brand and the Henckels International brand. We’ll also give you some hints for how to buy a set of knives.

    Strengths

    • Most all knives are full tang.
    • Most all blades are forged instead of stamped.
    • Maintain sharpness well.
    • A variety of lines to choose from.
    • Reliable with good warranty.

    Weaknesses

    • Can rust if not well cared for.
    • Lower end lines are not as well made.
    • Don’t stand up well in the dishwasher.
    • Can be very pricey.

    For the complete product list, please continue reading…


    Top 7 Best JA Henckels Knife Set Reviews (2020 Reviews)

    1. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels TWIN Signature Knife Block Set

    Pros:

     An ideal set for large families

     

    Cons:

     It’s bulky
     Some knives may never be used

    Specifications:

      • Number of Pieces- 19-pc
      • Material – Stainless Steel
      • Line – TWIN Signature
      • What’s included  – 2.75″ Bird’s Beak Peeling Knife, 4″ Paring Knife, 4.5″ Vegetable Utility Knife (same as steak knife), 5″ Serrated Utility Knife, 6″ Utility Knife, 7″ Hollow Edge Santoku Knife, 8″ Chef’s Knife, 8″ Bread Knife, eight 4.5″ Steak Knives, Kitchen Shears, 9″ Sharpening Steel, and 20-Slot Bamboo Block

    The Twin line is one of the more affordable options from the Zwilling J.A. Henckels brand. This set of 19 knives gives you a wide range of knives for a variety of tasks. Despite the more affordable price, the quality of this set is not lacking. 

    All the knives are full tang, and well balanced. The ergonomic handles are super comfortable to hold. Our single complaint? This is a big set, and the block is big, so it takes up a bunch of space. Also, you may find that there are knives in the set you’ll never use.


    2. ZWILLING Pro Knife Set With 17.5-inch Stainless Magnetic Knife Bar

    Pros:

     An ideal professional set with everything included

     

    Cons:

     This set does not contain a knife block but a knife bar
     Highest price

    Specifications:

      • Number of Pieces- 16-pc
      • Line: Professional 
      • Material – Stainless Steel
      • What’s included  –3″ Paring Knife, 4″ Paring Knife, 5″ Serrated Utility Knife, 5.5″ Prep Knife, 7″ Santoku Knife, 8″ Bread Knife, 8″ Chef’s Knife, 4.5″ Fine Edge Steak Knives (6), TWIN Shears, TWIN Sharpening Steel, and 17.5″ Stainless Magnetic Knife Bar

    A perfect set of knives from the J.A. Henckels Professional line will round out your kitchen. This set is our pick for the best from J.A Henckels. It comes with a knife for every purpose you can think of. This set is comfortable to use and easy to maintain. 

    We like that this set comes with matching steak knives and that they hold their sharp edges well. It even comes with a pair of kitchen shears! We do wish this set had a knife block instead of a knife bar, but if you have limited counter space, the knife bar is a great alternative.


    3. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Four Star Knife Block Set

    Pros:

     Handles are bolstered

    Cons:

     This is a step down from the Pro series
     Block color can vary

    Specifications:

      • Number of Pieces- 12-pc
      • Material – Stainless Steel
      • Line: Four Star
      • What’s included  – 4” Parer; 5” Serrated Utility; 5” Prep; 8” Bread; 8” Chef; 4x 4.5” Forged steak knives; 2-stage pull through sharpener; Sharpening Steel; Shears; 14-slot Hardwood Block

    A more affordable option is our second pick. From the Four Star line, this knife set is a bit smaller, but gives your kitchen plenty of knife options.  We really like the clean and simple bolstered handles, which were very comfortable to hold. 

    The set also has steak knives, which are sharp and work great, but there’s only four. We do think the knife block is really attractive, and will look great on any counter, however, the color you see in the display, may not be the color that comes from the box.


    4. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Gourmet Knife Block Set

    Pros:

     An ideal set for everyday use

    Cons:

     Block is not greatest
     No steak knives

    Specifications:

      • Number of Pieces- 10-pc
      • Material – Stainless Steel
      • Line – Gourmet
      • What’s included  – 2.75″ Peeling Knife; 3″ Vegetable Knife; 4″ Paring Knife; 5″ Serrated Utility Knife; 6″ Slicing Knife; 8″ Bread Knife; 8″ Chef’s Knife; 9″ Steel; Shears; Rubberwood Block

    A great set if you’re on a budget or if you’re looking for a gift for newlyweds or a house warming. This budget set of knives from the Zwilling Gourmet line is a great starter set, and has everything you’ll need to work efficiently in the kitchen. 

    Despite being inexpensive, you’ll find that this set doesn’t lack in quality. This set uses the same quality steel as other Zwilling lines. We weren’t however, in love with the knife block material. Also this set doesn’t come with steak knives, but the block has space to add in, later.


    5. J.A. Henckels International Silvercap Knife Block Set

    Pros:

     Great value tools for economy price

    Cons:

     Not as high quality steel
     The logo-stamped endcap not for everyone

    Specifications:

      • Number of Pieces- 14-pc
      • Material – Stainless Steel
      • Line – Silvercap
      • What’s included  – 3″ Paring Knife, 4″ Paring Knife, 5″ Serrated Utility Knife, 5″ Hollow Edge Santoku Knife, 8″ Bread Knife, 8″ Chef’s Knife, six 4.5″ Steak Knives, Kitchen Shears, and 13-slot Silver Hardwood Block.

    A super affordable option from the J.A. Henckels International brand, the Silvercap line is really attractive, of good quality and is surprisingly affordable. This set looks expensive, and when you use it you’ll be surprised it’s not. Made from a similar quality steel of other J.A. Henckels line these are good knives. 

    They are comfortable to use, and lightweight. We aren’t in love with the handles, they look a little cheap. This knife set will fit in some kitchens and not in others. The stamped end caps and the metal-look block aren’t a good fit for some décors.


    6. J.A. Henckels International Definition Self-Sharpening Block Set

    Pros:

     An ideal block for beginners

    Cons:

     Lower quality steel blades
     Not the best way to sharpen knives

    Specifications:

      • Number of Pieces- 14-pc
      • Material – Stainless Steel
      • Line – Definition
      • What’s included  – 3″ Paring Knife; 5″ Serrated Utility Knife; 6″ Utility Knife; 7″ Santoku Knife; 8″ Bread Knife; 8″ Chef’s Knife; 4.5″ Steak Knives (6); Kitchen Shears; Self-Sharpening Knife Block

    If you’re not excited or confident about maintaining the blades of your knives, this is the set for you. This set from the Henckels International Definition line is all you need for your kitchen, including a block that gently sharpens your blades each time you insert or remove the knife from the block. 

    Good knives with easy maintenance. The block is even attractive. While we like the idea of the sharpening block, we’re still not convinced it will do a great job over the long haul.


    7. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Pro Knife Block Set

    Pros:

     Highest quality steel

    Cons:

     It’s a costly investment
     Hand wash only

    Specifications:

      • Number of Pieces- 16-pc
      • Material – Stainless Steel
      • Line – Professional
      • What’s included  – 3″ Paring Knife, 4″ Paring Knife, 5″ Serrated Utility Knife, 5.5″ Prep Knife, 7″ Santoku Knife, 8″ Bread Knife, 8″ Chef’s Knife, 4.5″ Fine Edge Steak Knives (6), TWIN Shears, TWIN Sharpening Steel, and 16 Slot Hardwood Block.

    Our final pick is from the Zwilling Professional line. One of the more expensive knife sets on the market; this is a superb quality set, and is well worth the price. This set comes with everything the experienced chef needs, and then some. 

    We like that this set has a variety of block colors to select from. The ergonomic handles on this set are so comfortable, and these knives are incredibly balanced. The downside, these are hand wash only, so you’ll spend extra time cleaning up.


    Final Verdict

    ZWILLING TWIN Signature

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    A knife set makes a great addition to any kitchen. J.A. Henckel offers a knife set for every chef and every budget. Each set is made with the high quality that J.A. Henckels has been known for since 1731, and will be a lasting part of your kitchen.


    FEATURES TO CONSIDER

    Hop on any website that sells cookware, and you’ll quickly find out that there are not just a few options when it comes to knife sets. They come in a variety of sizes, with a variety of purposes, in a variety of price ranges. It can be daunting. 

    We think that J.A. Henckels offers chefs of varying experience, a full range of knives. Their knives are well made, and are made to stand the test of time.

    If you’re shopping for a knife set, we would recommend that you consider these features, to help you make the best choice for your kitchen.

    Number of Pieces

    When you are shopping for a knife set, you’ll want to consider how many knives come in the set. Are you looking for just a couple of good chef’s knives or do you want a complete set of knives with kitchen shears and steak knives? 

    Kitchen knife sets range from two knives to 16 or more, depending on what you want or what you expect to use your knives for. We do think that you should consider sets of steak knives that have enough pieces for six to eight people. And do look for cheese knife sets with a couple of different blades for different types of cheeses. Otherwise, the number of knives you pick, is really a personal preference.

    Size

    Knife size varies depending on the purpose of the knife. However there is also some variability in the size of each type of knife. Larger knives like cleavers and some chef’s knives are made to work on larger tasks like chopping vegetables or cutting meat. 

    These knives will be largest in your set, but you can find smaller versions that fit better with smaller hands or smaller chefs. Once you leave these larger knives behind, there are a range of knives with varying purposes that are generally smaller.

    Do keep in mind that picking the right size knife for you is important. You need to feel confident wielding the knife you choose, or it will be unsafe, and you risk hurting yourself or damaging the knife.

    Steel

    Blades should be made from a good quality steel. This will insure that your knives are capable of handling a range of tasks, and won’t rust or bend. The best quality blades are those that are made from high-carbon steel. 

    If you want blades that are made from high-carbon steel, look for labels that indicate “HC Steel” or “HC Stainless Steel”. Also, be prepared to pay more for this higher quality steel.

    You may also find special things like ice cured steel or Damascus steel. Both of these kinds of steel have different ways of cooling or processing the metals to create a stronger product.

    Handle

    Handles come in a variety of shapes and materials. Make sure that you understand the care that is necessary for the type of handle material that you select. 

    Polycarbonate or resin handles are more durable, and may be dishwasher safe. Wood handles are less durable, some are dishwasher safe, but all will need to be oiled to keep the handle from cracking.

    Do select a handle that feels nice in your hand. Some chefs prefer a simple straight handle. Others prefer a handle that has some ergonomic curves that make the handle fit better, and provide more grip and control.

    Rockwell Hardness

    Rockwell hardness is the standard measure of the hardness of a piece of metal. The larger the Rockwell number the harder the steel or metal. When it comes to kitchen knives, you want to find a knife with a Rockwell hardness number of at least 55. 

    This is the lowest we’d recommend for a decent quality blade that will be affordable. For higher end blades, look for a Rockwell value of 57 to 60. 

    Do keep in mind however, that there are tradeoffs to the higher Rockwell hardness values. The hard the steel is, the more brittle it becomes, and this can cause chipping.

    Type of Knife

    What kind of knife are you looking for? There are different knives for different purposes. Paring knives are good for delicate tasks. Chef’s knives are a good all-purpose knife. There are cheese knives and steak knives and knives made especially for cutting bread. 

    Know what you want to do with your knife, what kitchen task you’re trying to accomplish, before you shop for a knife. This will allow you to buy the right knives for your kitchen, and keeps your drawers free from tools that you don’t use, and more cash in your pocket.

    Care

    It’s important to understand what you need to do to care for a good set of knives. You will want to hone your knives regularly, with a good honing steel. Once a year or so, you’ll want to have your knives sharpened.

    Beyond honing and sharpening, you should also know what the day to day care is for your knife set. Do you need to oil wood handles? Can your knives go in the dishwasher or are they hand wash only? These are important considerations for selecting a product that will last a long time in your kitchen.

    Warranty 

    It is nice when your knives come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Many knife makers will warranty their product for life, so long as you are the original owner. Others have shorter warranties. 

    Our suggestion, when you’re shopping for a knife set, consider the warranty based on the price and quality of the product. Higher end products you should expect to come with a longer warranty, or a lifetime warranty.