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5 Best Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knives

Kristina Perrin
Published by Kristina Perrin
Last Updated On: October 16, 2023

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.

Competitors

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

List of the Best Henckels Knife Sets

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1 - J.A. Henckels International Forged 18-Piece Set

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.

Pros
  • Full set of knives for all purposes
  • Superior durability
  • Extra slots for other knives
  • Sturdy and well balanced
Cons
  • Difficult to see which one is which on the wood block
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2 - J.A. Henckels International Classic 16-Piece Set

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.

Pros
  • Includes function and steak knives
  • Beautiful bamboo block
  • Forge, strong and sturdy
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • A bit expensive
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3 - Henckels Steak Knife Set

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.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Full-tang construction
  • High-carbon stainless steel blades
  • Dishwasher safe
Cons
  • Some users find the knives too light
  • Serrated blades may not be ideal for everyone
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4 - 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.

Pros
  • The set includes everything a beginner needs
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Self-sharpening technology keeps blades sharp
  • Comfortable handles
Cons
  • Some users found the knives too heavy
  • A few users didn’t like the self-sharpening block
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5 - 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.

Pros
  • Made from high-quality stainless steel
  • Triple-riveted handles for durability
  • Comfortable grip
  • Precision cutting
Cons
  • Some users found the knives too heavy
  • A few customers didn’t like the self-sharpening block that came with the set
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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:

1. 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.

2. Blade Material

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.

3. Tang

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.

4. Handle Material

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.

5. 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
Zwilling Gourmet 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5

FAQs

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What are the benefits of using Zwilling J.A. Henckels Knives over other brands?

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Are German or Japanese knives better?

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.

 

J.A. Henckels International Forged 18-Piece Set

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Full set of knives for all purposes
  • Superior durability
  • Extra slots for other knives
  • Sturdy and well balanced
Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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