J. A, Henckels--Difference in Quality?

mimidiAugust 15, 2005

I have decided to start or get a set of Henckel knives. I have learned that some are made in Germany and others in China, Japan, Spain, etc. ( Their Internatioal Knives.) My question is, is the stainless steel used in the knives the same or are the knives made in Germany a better knife.

I don't want to pay the price of a "5" star knife made in Germany if it is no better than the international ones.

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I think the International Henkle knives are stamped knives not forged. There really is a difference. Do you have a shop that would carry quality knives near you. It would defiantely be worth going and trying different makes of a few freq. used knives (chef/paring) in your hand. Honestly I would rather have just these two knives and a decent quality bread knife/stamped than a set of lesser quality.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 6:40PM
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The International Henckels are forged, I've seen them at Costco, and the fit and finish is not quite what the German Henkels have. I don't know about the steel. One problem with Henkels is that they have a full bolster that extends all the way down to the edge which makes it difficult to sharpen the entire length of the edge. One German alternative with a half bolster is Messermeister.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 6:50PM
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We have a full set of the International, made in Spain. Once we learned how to sharpen and hone them properly, they have been fabulous. We chose the Internationals because they were within our budget. Don't know if the other models are much different, but, after 4 years, we're really happy with the ones we have. Huge difference from "ordinary" knives.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 12:33AM
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Thanks for the input. I am working on getting a set of these knives. Have found some good buys on e-bay.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 8:11AM
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suse17: I would appreciate any tips you've learned on sharpening them. This is the first set of good knies I've had and I would like to treat them right, from the start. TIA.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 2:49PM
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PhatCat -

Sorry for the delay - didn't see your message till tonight. We discovered that we were using the steel and sharpener at the wrong angle - should be, on average, around 20 degrees. DH was using a much wider angle, and essentially, flattening the cutting edge. (Much better when you follow directions!) We use the steel every time we use the knife, and it makes a big difference maintaining the edge. We sharpen using a Zip-Zap ceramic sharpener when the steel doesn't do the trick any more. Add, for around $20 (or was it $30?), we bought the Henckles sharpener which you set on the counter and draw the knife through 4 or 5 times. Yu can actually feel the difference after the second or third pass as it sharpens. We never put them in the DW, and we keep them in blocks, except for some extra serated ones we bought that don't fit in the block.

We found sharpening instructions on the web, and even a video, but it was a few years ago, so I don't recall the site. Maybe try a search/ Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 10:31PM
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I just bought the Henckles sharpner you are talking about.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 11:07AM
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Mimidi -

How do you like the sharpener?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 10:15PM
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I love it. I didn't realize that I had so many good knives in my kitchen. They only needed sharpening. I had knives from my grandmother and monther in law that were old. Never used them because they were dull. I have sharpened them and wow. I can cut and slice anything.

I have bought three Henckels for myself and my daughter in laws. (I thought they needed to know what a good knife was.)With what I already have I only need a chefs knife now. I am glad I didn't just buy the whole set of Henckels. I never would have used all of them. I took the advise of others and bought ones I thought I would use.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 8:40AM
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Glad the sharpener worked out so well! We "discovered" some good old knives in our kitchen, too, after we bought the sharpener. Well worth the price.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 9:40PM
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