For professional chefs, having a quality knife means being equipped better to serve your guests or customers. Zwilling J.A. Henckels is a German company that has been making quality knives since 1731. Today, they are still one of the leading knife manufacturers worldwide. Henckels knives are known for their optimum balance, comfort, impressive cutting capability, and superior durability.
For many foodies and professional chefs worldwide, there are no better knives than those from Zwilling J.A. Henckels. In this guide, you’ll learn some of the best Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives we've evaluated after trying and testing them.
Given its range of knives, J.A. Henckels competes with almost every other knife manufacturer out there. From low-end to high-end, German to Japanese, there’s a Henckels knife for everyone. Henckels knives differ in their attention to detail, with features like full tang construction and riveted handles. At the lower end of the price spectrum, their knives compete on value while still offering quality construction. At the higher end, their knives compete on features and performance.
What sets Zwilling J.A. Henckels apart from other knife brands is its focus on quality and durability. Their knives are made with high-quality materials and construction, which results in a longer lifespan. Additionally, they offer a wide variety of knives to suit any need, whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook.
Best Henckels Knife Sets
- Best Overall: J.A. Henckels International Forged 18-Piece Set
- Best Value: J.A. Henckels International Classic 16-Piece Set
- Best Budget: Henckels Steak Knife Set
- Best for Beginners: Henckels Modernist 7-Piece Self-Sharpening Block Set
- Best for Everyday Use: Zwilling Gourmet
List of the Best Henckels Knife Sets
1. Best Overall: J.A. Henckels International Forged 18-Piece Set
This is one of the larger knife sets offered by the J.A. Henckels International brand. It includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 7-inch Santoku knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 3-inch paring knife, an 8-inch steak knife, 9-inch sharpening steel, an 8-inch bread knife, a 5-inch boning knife, kitchen shears, and hardwood storage block.
This set is made in Spain and features the same kind of design Henckels is known for, like the triple-riveted handles and high carbon, rust-resistant stain. All the knives have a full tang running all the way through a plastic handle, which is fastened by 3 rivets. All the knives are forged except steak knives. If you’re looking for quality knives to enhance speed and precision, you can’t go wrong with J.A. Henckels International forged.
So while the J.A. Henckels International Forged 18-Piece Set and J.A. Henckels International Classic 16-Piece Set are both high-quality sets that are designed for different levels of experience, the Forged 18-piece set is a bit more expensive, but it is made with a fully forged construction for added durability and longevity.
- Full set of knives for all purposes
- Superior durability
- Extra slots for other knives
- Sturdy and well balanced
- Difficult to see which one is which on the wood block
2. Best Value: J.A. Henckels International Classic 16-Piece Set
This set of very finely made knives is all that you need to equip your kitchen for cooking tasks large and small. Unlike many other of the best Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives, which are made in China, these are made in Spain. The set includes utility knives, a hollow edge santoku knife, a paring knife, a bread knife, a boning knife, a curved peeling knife, and 6 forged steak knives.
This set we tested also comes with a sharpening steel, one pair of shears, and a nice-looking bamboo block. Typical of the best Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives, they come with a full tang and an ergonomic handle. The bolster has been designed to protect your fingers and also provides a comfortable place for your grip.
The blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel and are precision forged. It is amongst the sharpest steel for knives. They have a full-tang construction and are laser-tested for quality and durability. The set is covered by J.A. Henckels International’s lifetime warranty.
Comparing the J.A. Henckels International Forged 18-Piece Set and J.A. Henckels International Classic 16-Piece Set, the Classic 16-piece set is made with a stamped construction, but it is still a high-quality option for home cooks.
- Includes function and steak knives
- Beautiful bamboo block
- Forge, strong and sturdy
- Lifetime warranty
- A bit expensive
3. Best Budget: Henckels Steak Knife Set
If you’re looking for the most affordable and beat steak knives on this list, the Henckels steak knife set is a great option. This set includes four steak knives with 4.5-inch serrated blades. The knives have a full-tang construction and are made from high-carbon stainless steel. After evaluation, they are also dishwasher safe.
So, while the J.A. Henckels International Classic 16-Piece Set is a versatile set that includes all the essential knives for a home kitchen, the Henckels steak knife set is a specialized set that includes high-quality steak knives with serrated blades, which are perfect for cutting through meat.
- Full-tang construction
- High-carbon stainless steel blades
- Dishwasher safe
- Some users find the knives too light
- Serrated blades may not be ideal for everyone
4. Best for Beginners: Henckels Modernist 7-Piece Self-Sharpening Block Set
This Henckels knife set comes from their modernist line. You’ll receive a knife block with a paring knife, serrated utility knife, straight edge utility knife, santoku knife chef knife, and kitchen shears. If you’re looking for the best knife for beginners out of all of the best Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives, this set is a great option.
The blades are made from high-carbon stainless steel and have a full-tang construction. The handles are ergonomic and provide a comfortable grip. The set also comes with self-sharpening technology that will keep the blades sharp with each use. Henckel modernist knives are made of high-quality German steel with a single fully forged piece.
While the Henkels Modernist 7-Piece Self-Sharpening Block Set was tested and found to be a set that includes self-sharpening blocks, which makes maintenance easier, in comparison, the Henckels Steak Knife Set is a specialized set that includes serrated blades perfect for cutting through meat.
- The set includes everything a beginner needs
- Made from high-quality materials
- Self-sharpening technology keeps blades sharp
- Comfortable handles
- Some users found the knives too heavy
- A few users didn’t like the self-sharpening block
5, Best for Everyday Use: Zwilling Gourmet
Zwilling’s Gourmet series is designed for the home cook who wants high quality at a mid-range price. These are the best Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives that are made in Germany with a single piece of stainless steel that is heat treated for durability. The handles are riveted on and have a comfortable grip. The blades are also laser tested for precision cutting.
So, while the Zwilling Gourmet was a tried and tested option that is perfect for those who only need one high-quality knife in their kitchen, the J.A. Henckels International Forged 18-Piece Set is an extensive set that includes a wide variety of knives, making it suitable for professional kitchens or home chefs who need a lot of different knives for their cooking needs.
- Made from high-quality stainless steel
- Triple-riveted handles for durability
- Comfortable grip
- Precision cutting
- Some users found the knives too heavy
- A few customers didn’t like the self-sharpening block that came with the set
Criteria for Choosing the Best Zwilling J.A Henckels Knives
Before you commit to the best kitchen knife brands from Zwilling J. A. Henckels, it is important that you understand what makes a knife set great. Here are some factors to keep in mind when narrowing down your search:
Type of Knife
The first thing you need to consider is what type of knife you need. Do you want a basic set that includes the essentials like a chef’s knife and a paring knife? Or do you need a more specialized set with steak knives and a Santoku knife? Once you know what types of knives you need, it will be easier to find a set with everything you need.
The next thing you need to consider when choosing from the best Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives is the blade material. The most common materials used for knife blades are stainless steel and carbon steel. Stainless steel is more resistant to rust and corrosion, but it can be more difficult to sharpen. Carbon steel is easier to sharpen, but it is more susceptible to rust and corrosion.
The tang is part of the knife that extends into the handle. Full tang knives are more durable and balanced than partial tang or rat tail knives. Semi-tang knives are cheaper but more prone to breaking and less balanced.
The most common materials used for knife handles are wood, plastic, and metal. Wood handles can be beautiful, but they require more maintenance to prevent them from drying out and cracking. Plastic handles are more durable and easier to care for but can become slippery when wet. Metal handles are the most durable but can become hot to the touch after extended use. Think about this as you check out the best Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives we tested.
Care and Maintenance
Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives are made of high-carbon stainless steel and will not rust or stain with normal use. However, they can discolor if exposed to bleach or other harsh chemicals. To clean your knives, simply wash them in warm, soapy water and dry them immediately with a clean towel. Do not put your knives in the dishwasher, as this can damage the blade and dull the finish.
To keep your knives sharp, use a honing steel or sharpening stone regularly. Honing steel realigns the blade’s edge, while a sharpening stone removes metal from the blade to create a new edge. Both honing and sharpening should be done with care, as it is easy to damage the blade if you are not careful.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives are some of the best on the market, and they will last a lifetime with proper care. With just a little bit of effort, you can keep your knives looking and performing like new.
|Knife Set||Type of Knife||Blade Material||Tang||Handle Material||Care and Maintenance|
|J.A. Henckels International Forged 18-Piece Set||5/5||5/5||5/5||4/5||5/5|
|J.A. Henckels International Classic 16-Piece Set||5/5||4/5||5/5||4/5||5/5|
|Henckels Steak Knife Set||5/5||5/5||4/5||5/5||5/5|
|Henckels Modernist 7-Piece Self Sharpening Block Set||5/5||4/5||5/5||5/5||5/5|
Types of JA Henckels Knives
There are several different types of kitchen knives, both for home cooks and professional chefs, that Zwilling J.A. Henckels offers.
A peeling knife is a small paring knife that is used to peel fruits and vegetables. It has a sharp, pointed blade that is ideal for getting into tight spaces.
A utility knife is a versatile all-purpose knife that can be used for a variety of tasks, such as slicing, dicing, and mincing.
A vegetable knife is a larger version of a utility knife that is designed specifically for chopping vegetables. It has a broad, blunt blade that is perfect for slicing through tough veggies.
A bread knife has a serrated blade that is ideal for slicing through bread and other baked goods. The serrations help to prevent the bread from tearing as you slice.
A chef’s knife is a versatile all-purpose knife that is ideal for slicing, dicing, and mincing. It has a sharp, pointed blade that is perfect for getting into tight spaces.
A paring knife is a small, sharp knife that is perfect for peeling and slicing fruit and vegetables. It has a short, stubby blade that is easy to control.
A santoku knife is a Japanese-style all-purpose knife that is similar to a chef’s knife. It has a broad, flat blade that is ideal for chopping and slicing.
A boning knife is a long, thin knife that is perfect for removing bones from meat and poultry. It has a sharp, pointed blade that can get into small spaces.
A slicing knife is a long, thin knife that is perfect for slicing meat and poultry. It has a sharp, pointed blade that can get into small spaces.
A serrated knife has a saw-like blade that is perfect for slicing bread and other food with a hard crust. The serrations help the blade grip the food and prevent it from slipping.
A filleting knife has a thin, flexible blade that is perfect for filleting fish and removing skin from seafood. The blade is often curved to help follow the contours of the fish.
How to Use Zwilling Knives
When it comes to how to use kitchen knives, Zwilling knives are versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks in the kitchen. Here are some tips on how to use them:
- Make sure you sharpen your blades regularly: A sharp blade is a safe blade. Dull knives can slip and cause accidents.
- Use the right knife for the job: Different knives are designed for different tasks. Using the wrong knife for the job can make the task more difficult and can also be dangerous.
- Be careful when using knives: Always handle knives with care. Cut away from your body and keep your fingers away from the blade.
- Use only wooden or plastic cutting boards: Metal cutting boards can damage your knives. Also, avoid cutting directly on your kitchen bench as this can damage your knives and benchtop.
- Be mindful of what you’re cutting: Be aware of what you’re cutting and how hard or soft it is. This will help you avoid damaging your knife and help you cut more efficiently.
- Hand wash your knives: Do not allow your knives to sit on the counter or in the sink with food particles attached to them. Clean them immediately after use, then rinse and dry them.
- Store your knives separately in a wooden block: Do not store your knives in a drawer where they can become dull and nicked. A wooden block will protect your blades and help you keep them sharper for longer.
- Never put your knives in the dishwasher: The detergent and high temperatures can damage your blades.
Care and Maintenance of Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knives
Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives are some of the best quality knives on the market today and should be treated with care and respect in order to ensure they remain in top condition for years to come. To keep them sharp, it’s important to use a sharpening stone or steel rod regularly and always store your knives properly – either in a block or hung on a magnetic holder. It’s also important to clean and dry your knives after every use, as leaving them wet can lead to corrosion of the blade over time.
Why Choose Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knives?
The biggest reason why you might choose Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives is their quality and precision. Every knife is made in Germany with a special process known as Friodur ice-hardening, which ensures that each blade maintains its sharpness for longer periods of time than other brands without having to be sharpened frequently. The handles are also ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use.
Best Practices for Using Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knives
Using Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives properly can help you get the most out of them and keep them in top condition for years to come. Always use a chopping board when cutting with your knives – this will protect both the blades and your work surface from damage or scratches. It’s also important to use the right knife for the job – for example, a paring or filleting knife should not be used for slicing vegetables or meat. Finally, always use both hands when using Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives – this will help ensure that you have maximum control and reduce the risk of accidents occurring in the kitchen.
FAQs on the Best Zwilling Kitchen Knives
Why are German knives expensive?
Well, these knives are expensive and worth it because of the time and materials that go into making each knife. Also, the quality control of Zwilling J.A. Henckels is extremely high, meaning that every knife that leaves their factory is of the highest quality.
Are Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives durable?
Yes, Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives are extremely durable and long-lasting. The knives are crafted from premium stainless steel and feature a unique bolster design that helps to protect the knife blade from wear and tear. Plus, the handles of Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives are reinforced with a special synthetic material that makes them incredibly sturdy.
What are the benefits of using Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knives over other brands?
Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives offer superior quality and performance compared to other brands due to their precision in German engineering and construction process. These knives have an ergonomic handle design, perfect balance, and ultra-sharp blades that make cutting and slicing easy. Additionally, Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives are backed by a lifetime warranty, so you can rest assured knowing that your knives will always be in top condition.
How do I properly care for my Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knives?
It’s important to take good care of your Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives in order to ensure they remain sharp and effective over time. Hand wash your knives with warm water and mild detergent and dry them thoroughly before putting them away in storage or display racks. Keep the blades sharpened regularly with a honing steel, and never put your knives in the dishwasher as this can damage them. Finally, store your knives in a safe place away from children, and make sure to never leave them soaking in water or on wet surfaces. With proper care and maintenance, your Zwilling J.A. Henckels knives will last you for many years!
What makes Zwilling knives so good?
Zwilling knives are made from high-carbon stainless steel, making them durable and strong. Also, the blades are ice-hardened, which makes them resistant to corrosion and gives them long-lasting sharpness.
Are German or Japanese knives better?
The design of German and Japanese knives has evolved over time to meet the needs of their respective cultures. German knives tend to be heavier and have a more robust design, while Japanese knives are lighter and have a more delicate design. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide which type of knife is better for them.
Final Thought on the Best Henckels Knives
Whether you’re a professional chef or just a home cook, you can only be good as the tool you use. If you’re looking for a high-quality knife that will last a lifetime, then Zwilling J.A. Henckels is a great option to consider. With a wide variety of knives to choose from, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for your needs.
JA Henckels also offers plenty of quality knife sets with a sharpener, sheath, and other accessories, so you can get everything you need in one purchase. No matter what type of knife you’re looking for, Zwilling J.A. Henckels is a great option that should be at the top of your list.