Henckels stands as one of the two highest regarded brands of German kitchen knives, along with Wusthof, and although being the more affordable of the two, manages to produce solid quality in its forged knives.
Henckels has quite a few series of kitchen knives, some forged and some stamped. While forged kitchen knives are much preferred even by home cooks nowadays, I will recommend sets of forged knives and stamped knives for more options.
The forged knives by Henckels are made of ice-hardened, heavy German steel and differentiated by their handle designs. I personally prefer the molded handle of the Four Star series. Four Star II has a similar handle with a metal cap while the Pro S series and Protection series sport a traditional look with a classic triple riveted handle.
The Pro S 8-piece set is very beautiful and classic-looking in a block of hardwood. If you like three-rivet style you will love the smooth and comfortable hold of this set with its rounded edges. The knives have great balance and they are very sharp out of the box. They keep their edge for months but I like to hone my knives once in a while even when they’re still sharp so that they stay that way.
The interesting thing about this kitchen knives set is that it includes a santoku knife instead of a bread knife like most European or American knives sets. The price of this set may be high range, but if you keep an eye out you may be able to catch a bargain.
Now this is my favorite Henckels kitchen knives set with the same items as the Pro S set above, but minus the sandwich knife for a lot less. The Four Star series also has molded handles which are more comfortable than riveted ones, although big hands might find the bend at the end of the handle something of a nuisance.
The blades are no different from all other series of Henckels forged knives. They are sharpened to a perfection and well balanced with a full tang. You can be sure they glide through everything easily and feel as natural as an extension of your hand.
For an extensive set of Henckels kitchen knives at a value price, I recommend this 19-pc set.
Although stamped instead of forged, this Henckels kitchen knives set has 16 knives of high carbon stainless steel with full tang and traditional triple rivets, together with shears, sharpening rod and a bamboo block. I don’t think any addition is needed for this full set.
Actually stamped knives aren’t all as bad as many people purport. They are simply made in a different way which makes them lightweight. Stamped knives meant that the knives are really sharp as they come, so you might cut yourself if you’re not careful. You can sharpen them easily after they go dull, but that isn’t very frequently needed. The knives are all balanced well and comfortable to hold.