JA Henckels Knife Reviews & Buying Guide 2019

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto once said, “A kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen.” If the knife makes the kitchen, you need to invest in the best knives possible; a Zwilling JA Henckels knife is a fantastic knife.

The JA Henckels Ultimate Serrated Chef’s Knife is a powerful slicing and chopping tool. But that’s not the only great cutlery product you’ll want for your kitchen. Each job requires a special knife to do the job properly. Read on to find out more.

Zwilling JA Henckels has been making knives for nearly three centuries. Founded in 1731 in Germany, the Henckels brand has come to be one of the top selling, top rated, and top performing knife makers in the world.

You can find all types of kitchen tools — from cutlery to cookware — in the Henckels lineup.

What makes Zwilling JA Henckels knives so special? They use proprietary methods, like their Friodur ice-hardening technique and their Sigmaforge stainless steel construction technique.

Their designs are unique and innovative. Each knife is hand sharpened and has a comfortable and timeless design that will stay usable and sharp for many years.

Here are the top 8 Zwilling JA Henckels knives to help you create any culinary masterpiece.

1. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature Knife Set

Zwilling J.A. Henckels 30782-000 TWIN Signature Knife Block Set, 19 Piece, Black

If you aren’t sure what knives you want or need, it’s best to just buy them all! This Twin Signature Knife Set from JA Henckels features the following knives:

  • 8 Steak knives
  • 2.5-inch peeler
  • 4-inch paring
  • 4.5-inch utility
  • 5-inch serrated utility
  • 6-inch utility
  • 8-inch chef
  • 7-inch Santoku hollow edge
  • 8-inch bread knife

Besides all these knives, you’ll get a bamboo holding block, 9-inch sharpening steel, and a pair of kitchen shears. It may be the perfect set for a seasoned chef or someone just starting out because it has everything you need.

The construction is a high-carbon stainless steel that’s been Friodur ice-hardened. It’s stainless steel, so no worrying about rust spots or warping.

The lightweight and curved design doesn’t feature a traditional bolster, so it is more hand-friendly in the kitchen.

You can count on the laser-sharpened edge to stay sharp cut after cut. And do be careful – these knives are ridiculously sharp!

The lifetime warranty is wonderful, considering the huge price tag on this knife set.

Although they can be washed in the dishwasher, the company recommends hand washing to maintain the thin steel’s original characteristics.

My only complaint is that there’s a spot in the knife block for a cleaver, and I wish that JA Henckels would just include it, rather than making me purchase it separately.

2. J.A. Henckels International Classic 6″ Chef’s Knife

J.A. Henckels 31161-161 CLASSIC Chef's Knife, 6 Inch, Black

While six inches might be considered rather small for a chef’s knife, this classic design is actually a multi-use kitchen workhorse.

The design of the blade features a full tang with a polymer handle and three rivets. This layout means that the knife will be more durable and strong.

The narrow and lightweight handle is seamlessly matched with the steel blade.

Now, this knife does feature their traditional bolster design, which some chefs have pointed out is not as comfortable when you hold the knife between your thumb and forefinger – as many professionals do.

The smaller design might feel awkward in larger hands.

The curved angle of the blade itself is nice for fast slicing and chopping since it provides that easy rocking motion.

You’ll get a lifetime warranty on this German steel knife that’s made in Spain. This knife is fine-edged and thin and is a great tool for the price.

3. J.A. Henckels Ultimate Serrated Chef’s Knife

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels 38421-203 Ultimate Serrated Chef's Knife

You’ve no doubt heard of a serrated bread knife, but what about a serrated chef’s knife? It’s a wonderful tool for one main reason: it stays very sharp. The knife has alternating fine and large scallops on the cutting edge that stay thin and sharp use after use.

A serrated chef’s knife can come in handy when chopping or slicing anything with a strong exterior and soft interior, like tomato or melon.

The curved bolster on this handle makes it more comfortable when using a professional grip on the blade itself. The bolster moves seamlessly into the POM (polymer) handle, which also features a curve on the back end for a good fit.

The blade itself — which extends all the way up into the handle — is made from Zwilling JA Henckels’ signature low-carbon steel. This single piece of steel won’t stain and can even handle the dishwasher.

If you only choose one knife for your kitchen, this is the knife. You can chop, slice, carve, and cut just about anything with this tool.

4. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Professional “S” Flexible Slicing Knife

Zwilling J.A. Henckels 31020-263 Professional S Flexible Slicing Knife, 10', Black/Stainless Steel

This knife comes from the ‘S’ series, which is Henckels’ professional line. It has been handcrafted in Germany from a single piece of their proprietary steel that won’t stain or rust.

It’s Sigma forged and Friodur ice-hardened to remain rigid and sharp throughout its lifetime.

The 10-inch blade has been laser sharpened and finished for a thin and super-sharp edge. The steel measures at a 57 on the Rockwell Hardness test, which is considerable for a kitchen knife. [https://www.hardnesstesters.com/test-types/rockwell-hardness-testing]

The bolster and handle are both narrow and ergonomically shaped. The durable polymer handle is triple riveted and smooth to the touch.

This knife is more balanced than cheaper Zwilling knives and features a less weight-forward design.

You can use the dishwasher for this knife for easy care, although hand washing is recommended by JA Henckels. This slicing knife will become your best friend for putting together salads.

5. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels 7″ Hollow Edge Santoku Knife

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels - Four Star 7' Hollow Edge Santoku Kitchen Knife

The Four Star line from Zwilling JA Henckels features their most expensive and finest knives; this knife is from that line. The no stain and rust-free steel has been honed and forged in Germany.

This knife has Friodur ice-hardening, so it doesn’t bend, chip, or crack. You’ll find a 10-degree angle on each side of the laser-sharpened blade edge.

Hollow-edged knives help thinly cut and sliced food slide off the blade during preparation. Because you can work faster, this knife is ideal for those who cut, slice, or chop a lot of food at once.

One perk of this Santoku hollow edge design is that it keeps its shape and sharpness longer. The downside is that this type of design often calls for professional sharpening only.

The black handle is made of propylene and has been seamlessly attached to the entire handle to keep the knife cleaner and more comfortable. The no-bolster design is more comfortable for cutting for long periods. This knife is well-made and well-balanced.

6. Twin Gourmet High-Carbon Stainless Steel Steak Knives

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Gourmet 9-Piece High-Carbon Stainless-Steel Gourmet Steak Knives with Block

If you’ve ever tried to saw through a steak with a cheap knife, you can appreciate the need for these high-quality steak knives. Having the wrong knife will sabotage the texture and flavor of a well-cooked steak.

These Spanish-made and German-designed knives are sharp and thin to help keep a tender steak tender.

This knife is made in the style of the Twin line, which always features Henckels’ proprietary no-stain and no-rust steel. It’s made from a single piece and has a poly handle seamlessly and solidly triple riveted into place.

About one-third of the blade — from the pointed tip down — is serrated for helping to slice meats. The rest is thin and laser sharp.

The bolster-free design is unique; people either love it or find it strange and uncomfortable – it all depends on how you hold the knife.

All in all, these are a good, lower-cost choice for those who are sick of cheap steak knives.

7. ZWILLING J.A. Henckels TWIN Signature Chinese Chef’s Knife / Vegetable Cleaver

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels 38419-183 Chinese Chef's Knife/Vegetable Cleaver

Chinese chef’s knives are strange-looking when compared to a traditional, curved chef’s knife. But these things work wonders for chopping vegetables, finely mincing herbs, and very thinly slicing meats. They can do all the work required for making a killer stir-fry.

This 7-inch blade is thick and sharp. It’s 2mm, which is about a half a millimeter bigger than other Zwilling JA Henckels knives.

It features a 15-degree edge on each side of the blade and is nearly three inches tall, so makes a good transporter from the cutting board to the stove.

SEE ALSO: Best Cutting Boards

This signature series knife is made in Germany. It features the classic Henckels steel that’s ice-hardened and laser sharp.

There’s no bolster here, so you can comfortably hold the knife blade in the professional style – between the thumb and forefinger. This knife is smaller than most, so like all Henckels knives, it’s well-suited to small hands.  

8. J.A. Henckels International Classic 4″ Paring/Utility Knife

J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL 31160-101 CLASSIC Paring/Utility Knife, 4-inch, Black/Stainless Steel

Small utility knives are always included in big knife sets. That’s because they are wonderful for peeling, slicing, and almost anything that requires a light hand and attention to detail.

This 4-inch knife is small and light and is meant to become an intuitive extension of the chef’s hand. The blade is small, thin, and sharp.

This knife hails from the Classic series, so it’s made in Spain from German materials and specifications. It doesn’t feature their fancier steel or ice-hardening.

The blade has a satin finish, so don’t expect a shine when using this knife. While not as nice as other Henckels knives, it’s solid and sturdy with a full tang and bolstered handle design. The black polymer handle helps balance the blade and is comfortable to use.

This is the ideal knife for slicing an apple, chopping garlic or even opening a package. It’s inexpensive and reliable.

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