on September 28, 2007
This was a gift from our wedding registry. And I did read the less than impressive reviews of the set and yet decided to go with it - 1) because of the price, (2) these received the relatively better reviews for a Henckels set (3) one-piece stamped steel construction. My husband was in the restaurant suply business for 7 years, and he is no fan of the Henckels International line but I succumbed to the draw of the little man (in the co. logo) without whom, I believe for the moment, no kitchen is complete. Since we received them, even my skeptical husband has gotten fond of them. They are not 'cheap looking', 'prone to rusting' (with proper knife handling, of course), 'thin blade'd, as some have opined here. We don't have a grand chef's kitchen operation running at our house and for us, these are great. With low to moderate use, regular hand cleaning and wiping down, they are still like new. They feel just right in terms of weight and look great. We have an extra pair of henckels kitchen shears that we were able to put in the block that had a compartment for it.
UPDATE: Nov 26, 2012: Just wanted to report back that our knives are still going strong. No rust. No dullness that the (included) sharpening steel doesn't address.
on January 21, 2009
First off before you go off and buy this knife set you have to realize this is the cheap version of the J.A. Henckels....hence the International. Although Amazon description says High Grade German Steel it is not. These knifes are made in China.
Some reviews here people complain of rusting ect. Now these knifes might indeed rust, but some care must be taken with them. I have had mine over 1 year now, and they have held up perfectly. I cant complain. I have taken good care of my knifes. They dont go in the dish washer, they dont stay wet very long soaking in the sink. I use them, wash and dry them and keep them sharp. The are still a very sharp
I have used and held the high end Henckels and these are a far cry from them...but so is the price. You will pay $300 or more. Twin Cuisine is a very very nice set, feels heavy and solid. The Fine edge synergy are light and thin, almost feel like they might break. Not a knife you want to take with you to a knife fight. However for the price they cant be beat. If your looking for Henckles high quality knifes go spend the extra money and dont get the International version. If your looking for a cheap good knife set that will last a long time with extra care, you cant go wrong with this set.
I dont regret ever buying this set however next time I will get a set like the Twin Cuisine's.
on August 20, 2006
This is my first brand-name knife set purchase. The knives are all very sharp, the grip is comfortable, and the whole set appears to be of good build quality, so I expect it to last for a while. For less than $50, it is a good buy.
on March 11, 2007
This knife set is a very nice, low end knife set, and if you are looking for a set around this price, don't hesitate to move on them. You can also pick up the two piece asian knife set including a santoku (B000FMVS5Y) which will fill the block. The knives can be kept sharp (enough of my blood has spilled to prove it), and they look very nice. The graphite block is aesthetically pleasing, as well.
They don't have a ton of heft to them, which will give them a "cheap" feeling, but some might prefer that.
I wish they hadn't put the "made in china" sticker right on the blade in a spot tough to remove it, but what can you do.
on October 24, 2012
I tend to view knives in three tiers- first is the stamped junk you get at chain stores; next are mid-priced forged blades; and last are the incredibly hard, did-you-really-pay-500-dollars-for-one-knife products that i will probably never own. These are a cut well above the junk, but below the forged, so I think the price is about right. They are made in China, though the description says from German blanks, so if country of origin is a consideration for you there is that, but I think they're ok otherwise; you shouldn't expect the same level of product as a $400 set at this price, mind you.
I like the handles on these knives; they're quite comfortable. The blades are a bit too narrow to use a "standard" grip over the hilt easily, though. The sizes they provide in the kit are well chosen, I think, having a good variety so you can choose the tool for the task. The knives are described as being hand honed, but I think with the ones I got they only used one hand! Plan on sharpening them. As others have mentioned, even though the description says dishwasher safe, for many reasons you should never put your knives through the dishwasher. Take care of them and keep them sharp and they should give good service.
The honing steel seems ok, but it and the block are both pretty basic. I think that sums up my opinion of them-- a decent, basic set of knives that would make a good starter set, say, in your first apartment. If you could afford the extra $100, though, the Forged Synergy set has a similar look, but is far more substantial and I think will probably last longer.
[A couple of months' water under the bridge later...] I still say these are useful knives, after I've had them for a while. They actually took a better edge than I expected, and I was able to get them shaving sharp. They just won't hold that edge like more expensive knives, so if you want them to keep it you have to hone them regularly. I've gotten in the habit of running each knife over a fine diamond steel every time I use it, so that's not an issue for my home kitchen, though it wouldn't stand up to commercial use.
One thing about ergonomics, though-- some other commentators have said otherwise, but these knives are not wide enough to use classic knife techniques. They just aren't; but that doesn't mean they're bad. Most of us just hold a knife by the handle and cut stuff, and these knives will be great for that (after you sharpen them).
If you want to recreate the knife skills you see on the Food Network, though, they won't work; standard knife grip is your thumb on the left of the blade, first and second fingers on the right of it, and third and fourth curl around the handle, and these knives, none of them, are wide enough to use a standard grip. (If you want to try it, do this: hold the blade in your non-dominant hand, near the tip; curl your third finger of your dominant hand (the one after the one you're not supposed to point up when greeting someone) around the place where the grip curves down to the blade, then pinch the blade itself between your thumb and your first and second fingers. If you hold the blade itself between your thumb and forefinger, and the handle is only touched by your third and pinkie fingers, then you have the grip-- you hold the blade, not the handle, when you use a knife.
These knives are not broad enough to do that. If you try to chop something with your hand in standard position, you're just going to bruise your knuckles, over and over, and not complete a cut.
That's not the point. I described the above to help people understand why folks debate their value; I understand and agree with both viewpoints about what they can be used for (or should be used for), but my original decision was that this is a great set of knives for someone setting up their household, renting their first apartment, or let's face it, moving up from a position where buying knives isn't an option to a position where it's possible. if you compare them to all the other knives out there then they lose; these can't hold a candle to the knives i use day to day. But if you compare them to the other options in this price range, i don't think there is a better choice.
on January 21, 2008
I waited a year and a half to buy new knives, and these are the knives i finally got. They work well and I don't have to sharpen them all the time, but they are getting rust spots. I don't put them in the dishwasher, and I always hand wash them shortly after I use them, so I expected them to hold up a little better. They do their job, rusty or not, so I'm not complaining, I just expected a little more out of J.A. Henckels. I bought them on sale, so I guess I got what I paid for.