JA Henckel International Knives & Sets: Top 30 Best and Worst

JA Henckel International Knife Sets



Are you looking for a top quality knife or set of knives for either your home or professional kitchen? This review of JA Henckels International Knives & Sets is the right place to start. With over 120 years’ experience in manufacturing some of the most popular knives on the market, the JA Henckels company is not only one of the go-to brands for the best knives, it’s production of some of the best German steel makes the quality top of the line as well.  Look ==>


JA Henckels International manufactures a wide assortment of kitchen cutlery including knife block sets, starter knives as well as specialty items including knives for steak, paring, bread, utility, santoku, chef’s knives, shears, slicing and carving blades, cleavers, everything you need to hone and sharpen your knives and even cheese sets and flatware.


In this article, we’ll be rating the different types of cutlery from this company with regard to quality, price, reviews and our own kitchen recommendations. Scroll down to read the full article or click one of the links below to skip right to your area of interest.

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Block Sets

  1.       Pro S 20-Piece

When it comes to knives, some chefs need only a few but others realize having the right knife for each job makes them much more efficient. A JA Henckels Knife Set is the answer. The Pro S 20 piece set provides exactly that. It comes with a 2.75” bird’s beak peeler, a 2.75” trimming blade, 4” paring, 5” serrated utility, 5.5” flexible boning, 6” utility, 7” hollow edge santoku, 8”  bread, 8” chef’s knife, Twin L kitchen shears, eight 4.5” forged steak knives and a 9” sharpening steel all fitting nicely into a large block made of beechwood.


This set is comprised of JA Henckel’s Sigmaforge processed steel which makes for hard yet flexible blades. Ice hardening is used to make harder and sharper blades. The edges are precision laser cut, meaning they stay sharp much longer vs other knives you may have used or have in your kitchen.


If you’re a professional chef, aspire to be one or just do a lot of cooking at home, this is the set to beat.



      Four Star II 10-Piece

A 5 Star Rating is Very Hard To Get & Keep. Click Here for Best Price on Amazon.

The Four Star II 10 piece henckels knife set gets high marks across the board with an average of 5/5 stars in user reviews. This is one of the few knife block sets with a 5 Star rating. The blades are made of high carbon stainless, and they have a comfortable molded handles with stainless steel end caps. The dimensions of the block itself are 16.75” long x 7.75” wide x 5.5” high.


These Four Star blades are made in Solingen, Germany and are forged from a single piece of steel rather than stamped.

In this set, you get a 2.75” paring and boning knife, 4” utility, 5” serrated utility, 5.5” boning, 5” santoku hollow edge, 8” chef, 8” bread, kitchen shears and a sharpening steel. They are housed in a beautiful bamboo block with 16 slots. If you wish, you can purchase steak knives separately as they fit perfectly into the extra slots.


  1.       Twin Pro S 18-Piece

    Twin Pro S 18pc Knife Block Set

Each knife in this set is forged from one piece of high carbon no-stain steal and has an ice hardened blade. The handles are unique and feature an exposed horizontal tang with an ergonomically designed polypropylene handle. The blade itself is honed by hand and has a laser cut edge for sharpness that lasts. Each piece has a large bolster that gives the knife a nice even balance.


This block set comes with a 2.75” peeler, 2.75” paring, 8” chef, 4” utility, 5” serrated utility, 5” santoku with hollow edge, 8” bread, eight steak knives, a kitchen shears and a sharpening steel. There are two extra slots in the heavy wood block.


One thing to note on this henckels knife set is while it doesn’t have the higher price tag vs the Pro S above, that’s because the steak knives are of slightly lesser quality than the others in the set. They still work well, but they’re not the high grade steel used in the more expensive Henckel’s block sets.


  1.       Forged Premio 18-Piece

    Forged Premio 18pc Knife Block Set

The 18 piece Forged Premio knife block set comes with a 3” paring knife, 8 serrated steak knives, 5” serrated utility, 6” utility, 7” Santoku hollow edge blade, 8” chef knife, 9” sharpening steel, 8” bread knife, 5” boning knife and kitchen shears all housed in a solid hardwood block for storage and convenience.  If you don’t need the steak knives, this also comes without them as a 9 piece set.


These knives all have a full tang for durability and good balance, and they have triple riveted ergonomic handles. The blades have a satin finish and are made of stainless steel. Each has a metal cap on the end with the J.A. Henckels International logo.

The steak knives are made in China, and the rest are made in China. You may think this means the quality is less. While they’re not quite as hearty (or expensive) as the JA Henckel’s Knives made in Germany, users still say in their reviews that they’re a great value for the money.


  1.       Twin Signature 19-Piece

    Twin Signature Forged Premio 19 pc Set

This set is by Zwilling J.A. Henckels and has special formula steel with precision-stamped blades (note stamped not forged), making it one of the more budget-friendly choices. Like many of the other sets, the blades are still ice-hardened to 57 Rockwell Hardness. They are hand polished and sharpened with a laser controlled edge and have a 15 degree angle on each side (the Soduku has a 10 degree angle). They are made in Germany.


The main difference between the Zwilling line and the regular JA Henckels knives is that the Zwilling knives are manufactured in Germany and have a “twin” logo on the side of the blade. They are of higher quality versus the regular Henckels line.


In this knife block set, you get a 2.5” peeling knife, 4” paring, 5” serrated, 6” utility and sandwich knife, 8” chef’s, 7” santoku hollow edge, 4.5” utility, 8” bread, 9” sharpening steel, a kitchen shears and eight 4.5” steak knives in a wood block.


But There’s More:

Steak Knives

  1.       Zwilling Twin Pro S 4-Piece Set

    Twin Pro S 4pc set

The top of the Henckels line, this set will slice up steak with class. They are made in Germany from high carbon stainless and have a full rattail tang and a large bolster for great balance. The blades are ice hardened and will not stain. The ergonomic handles are made from Novodur (a high quality resin) and are riveted and balanced perfectly, and they come with a lifetime warranty.


These knives get 4.7 out of 5 stars in user reviews and with good reason – users love them. The only complaint from one reviewer is that he only has four and wants to buy a separate set for grilling parties next summer.

See Henckels Steak Knife Sets on Amazon: Best Prices & Any Available Discounts. Click Here.


  1.       Zwilling Twin Four Star II 4-Piece Set

    Four Star II 4pc Set

If you’re looking for good quality steak knives and are on slightly more of a budget, this set of four is also a good choice. They have a full rattail tang just like the #1 pick, and they have a super bolster for balance. They have comfortable molded plastic handles (vs the hard resin of the Pro S series) and have a stainless steel end cap with a logo.


Like our first choice, they also have friodur ice hardened blades that resist corrosion and are made of 57 Rockwell Hardness no stain high carbon steel. The biggest difference along with the handle material is that these are not serrated. However, in one user review, it’s said you can cut through a steak by holding the knife very lightly and it cuts just with its own weight alone. In fact, in some user reviews, non-serrated steak knives are preferred since they don’t shred the meat when cutting.


Like all Henckels knives they are dishwasher safe, but hand washing is recommended to make them last longer. Like all in the Zwilling series, they are made in Germany.


  1.       Classic 4-Piece Set

For right around $100, this four piece set is a middle of the road good choice. These steak knives have fine edge non-serrated blades. They are made of hot drop forged high carbon German stainless and have a triple riveted handle with a full tang. The handles are made of black plastic. The 5-inch blades are slim and thin and curve to a sharp point. Unlike the Zwilling lines, these are made in Spain.


One thing users have commented on in their reviews of this Classic set is that they’re a bit smaller than you might expect. They work great for most people, but if you have exceptionally large hands, you may be more comfortable with a larger model. In fact, one man who is six feet tall and 270 pounds says the quality is good and he’s glad he bought them. But he wishes he would have purchased a larger set more suitable to his big hands.

So, the bottom line on these is that if you’re above a Walmart budget but can’t afford the best, the Classic set is a good choice. They’re well-balanced and do a good job of cutting, but they’re best used by someone with smaller hands.


  1.       Twin Gourmet 8-Piece Set

    Twin 8pc Set

This high-end set is a true deal. Not only do you get eight knives instead of four, they also come in a nice wood box for storage and presentation. The blades are half serrated. This means the half of the blade closest to the sharp tip is serrated. It’s 4.5” long and works great for slicing roast, chops or steaks. They’re made in Spain of high carbon stainless and have synthetic handles.


In user reviews, these get 4.1 out of 5 stars, mostly because of the plastic handles. As for sharpness, one user review comments she wouldn’t want them to be any sharper because they’d cut through her dinner plates!


Another man says he’s had his set since Christmas 2004, and they’re still razor sharp even after consistent use. He says he’ll never buy cheap knives again. Even though these cost a little more, over time you’ll save a lot of money and frustration in having inexpensive tools that won’t get the job done. He says receiving the gift was a revelation for him as he’s never invested in quality cutlery.


  1.      International 8 pc Set    

    International 8pc Set

This is currently Amazon’s Choice for Henckels Steak Knife Set. Look Here for Price.

This is the most budget friendly set on our list. It still has a great deal of the Henckel’s quality, and while users give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, it’s quite a stretch from top of the line.


The smooth plastic handles make for a nice presentation. The whole knife is a nice size at 8.75” long with a 4.5” serrated blade so they fit comfortably in the hand. At its widest point, the blade is 0.75” wide.

See Henckels Steak Knife Sets on Amazon: Best Prices & Any Available Discounts. Click Here.

As for cost, these are about the cheapest Henckels knives you can buy. While the steel is good quality and they’ll still beat any department store knives, some users say the tips can be prone to bending. So as with any knife, you won’t want to use it for prying anything. With everyday use, you’ll find the blades to be strong and good for food preparation as well as cutting meat at the dinner table.

For more information, we have a detailed steak knife review. You can see our top picks for the Best Steak Knives by clicking here


Specialty Knives


Twin Pro S Chef’s Knife

You can check on Amazon for price and any available discount here.

  Chef’s Knives: 6″, 8″ & 10″


  1.       Twin Pro S

Whether you’re a professional chef or home cook, the Twin Pro S is a force to be reckoned with. It’s the one knife you’ll probably find is on your counter more often than in the drawer because you’ll be using it so often.


It’s made from one solid piece of ice-hardened high carbon stainless steel, making it super strong and durable. The weight has an excellent balance (just read any user review) that lets you cut quickly and safely while maintaining control of the blade. Built with a laser controlled edge, it has a 15 degree angle on either side, making it ideal for both right and left handed users.


The polypropylene handle gives a solid grip. And the blade is a full tang for safety and durability. You’ll likely find it’s your go-to knife for rocking, chopping or circular cutting motions.

While the steel is the same vs Henckel’s Four and Five Star lines, the Pro S handles tend to be a bit heavier and the knife is less “weight-forward”.


Twin Pro S 8″ Chef’s Knife

The Twin Pro S comes with either an 8” or 6” blade.



Blade Length – 8”

Blade Width – 1 13/16” at the widest point

Total Length – 13”

Bevel – Dual (cuts on both sides – great for left or right handed chefs)

Handle Material – Polypropylene

Tang – Full

Blade – 57 Rockwell hardness

Edge Angle – 15 Degrees on each side

Bolster - Full

Packaging – Box only (no sheath)

Twin Pro S 6″ Chef’s Knife

Made in Germany


  1.       Four Star

The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Four Star Chef’s Knife is second in quality in the Henckels line, but it’s still no slouch. It’s made in Germany from a high carbon stainless that is ice-hardened, giving it amazing strength. It has a strong, broad blade with a fine edge for precision cutting. You can use it in a chopping, rocking or circular motion.


This is not the most expensive chef’s knife in the Henckel’s line. However, it’s good for several reasons. When looking at this one vs the Forged Synergy, for instance, you’ll find the Four Star has no rivets, so bacteria has no place to hide. It’s also made of a much higher grade of steel, so it’s much stronger. Also, while all the blade steel is made in Germany, the cheaper models are manufactured in Spain or China. While the Four Star is made in Germany.



Blade Length – 8”

Blade Width – Just over 1.75” at the widest point

Total Length – 13”

Bevel – Dual (cuts on both sides – great for left or right handed chefs)

Handle Material – Wood

Tang – ¾

Blade – 57 Rockwell hardness

Edge Angle – 15 Degrees on each side

Bolster - Full

Packaging – Box only (no sheath)

Made in Germany


  1.       Classic 8-Inch

This is currently Amazon’s Choice for Best Chefs Knife. Check Prices Here.


If you’re looking for a good all-purpose chef knife, this might just be the one. It has a great balance, and you can use it for chopping, mincing, slicing and dicing to your heart’s content. It’s even strong enough to cut through meat bones without missing a beat. It’s made of high carbon stainless steel from Germany and has a hot-drop forged blade and bolster.

It has a full-tang with three studs holding the blade in place This means the blade goes all the way through the handle to make it super sturdy and durable. Speaking of durable, it’s also good to know the handle is made of wood, not plastic.


In review after review it’s said this one does a great job of holding an edge, and it will continue to slice tomatoes paper thin if you keep the blade honed. Since the blade is beveled on both sides, it also works well for left and right-handed chefs.


This Classic Henckels International knife comes with either an 8” or a 10” blade. The 8” is perfect for most users, but those with large hands may prefer the longer blade.



Blade Length – 8”

Total Length – 13”

Weight – 8.3 ounces

Heel Depth – 1.5” (area between your hand and the cutting surface)

Bevel – Dual (cuts on both sides)

Handle Material – Wood

Tang – Full

Packaging – Box only (no sheath)

Made in Spain


That’s Not All:


  1.       Forged Synergy

The Forged Synergy series is JA Henckels budget brand. And while it’s not a good as some of their more expensive lines, these knives will certainly get you through many meals if you’re on a budget.


The Forged Synergy 8” Chef’s Knife has a German stainless steel blade, a molded plastic handle and a rat tail tang. In user reviews it’s said to have excellent balance because the full bolster makes it heavier.



Blade Length – 8”

Total Length – 13”

Bevel – Dual (cuts on both sides)

Handle Material – Plastic

Tang – Rat tail

Cutting Edge Angle – 20 degrees

Packaging – Box only (no sheath)

Made in China


  1.       Fine Edge Pro 8-Inch

The Fine Edge Pro, while still carrying the JA Henckel’s name, is without a doubt a cheap knife. At a retail price of under $20, it’s very much a budget blade. That said, users in their reviews still give it 4 out of 5 stars. In other words, it’s not badly rated for a cheap blade.

What’s the Real Story?

The blade is stamped stainless steel instead of forged, and it has a plastic handle with a full tang and three rivets. Even with the price, this one still minces, slices, dices and chops well. When comparing it vs the more expensive knives, it still does the job but gets dull much more quickly. You can plan on sharpening it often. It’s really best for the casual home cook who doesn’t use it for everything all day long like a professional chef might.

I think you can agree that every home cook doesn’t need a $500 chef’s knife. And for this reason, in the list of ja henckels knives, there is plenty of room for a less expensive blade for the moderate home cook.


Blade Length – 8”

Total Length – 13”

Handle Material – Black plastic

Tang – Full

Packaging – Box only (no sheath)

Made in China


Paring Knives

  1.       Twin Pro S

The 2.75” Twin Pro S paring knife boasts Sigmaforge construction and is Henckel’s top of the line when it comes to these little cutters. It’s made of a high carbon no stain steel and has a fully visible tang. The blade is cut with a laser for an edge that lasts, and the metal is ice hardened for durability.


Overall in user reviews, it gets 5 out of 5 stars, and it’s a well-deserved rating. While it’s not cheap, it’s a great knife that, with proper care, will likely be the only paring knife you’ll ever need to buy. While like the rest of the knives on our best and worst list, this one is dishwasher safe but hand washing is recommended. That way you know the blade edge hasn’t been knocked around in the dishwasher. And you can get it completely dry which will help it resist rusting and keep the handle looking like new.


Users say it’s great for everything from slicing olives to cutting and coring strawberries and that the blade is shaped perfectly for both. In review after review, users say it holds its edge over time and it’s an extremely handy tool to have in the kitchen.


  1.       Zwilling Four Star

    Zwilling Four Star 4in Paring Knife

This paring knife is a bit longer than standard because of its four inch blade. The longer blade makes it ideal for cutting and shaping vegetables and peeling anything. It also has a blade made in Germany of high carbon stainless steel that’s ice-hardened for more strength. It’s dishwasher safe and comes with a lifetime guarantee.


As far as how long it holds an edge, most users say they use a sharpening stone to sharpen it about twice per year if they use it frequently. If you don’t use it that often, it could be years before it needs sharpening.


As for the length, users who own this 4” and a shorter version say they use this one much more as the extra blade length makes it more versatile.  Also, while it’s advertised as a four inch blade, this measurement does include the bolster. Not including that, the cutting edge itself is about 3.75” long. If you prefer a shorter knife, this one comes in a 3” model as well.


As for sharpness and balance, users are impressed with both. In reviews, they say it remains extremely sharp and balances very well in the hand. One user says she’s had one of these for ten years and she still loves it. It has a nice light weight that makes it easy to use and the balance fits well in the hand.


  1.       Twin Four Star

Our third choice, the Twin Four Star 2.75” parer is a good mid-range choice. It works very well for both peeling and making garnishes with all types of vegetables and fruit, and its super strong due to the ice hardened high carbon stainless blade.


The handle is made of molded black polypropylene, and it’s safe to clean it in the dishwasher. The blade slopes downward just a bit making it ideal for coring fruits, and user reviews say it’s very comfortable to hold. One of the reasons this is true is because of its super bolster which not only provides a perfect place for your fingers to rest but also makes it perfectly balanced.


One user lost hers after 15 years and decided she couldn’t live without it. If anything speaks to the durability and quality of these knives, that’s it.


  1.       Zwilling Twin Grip Set

    Twin Grip Set

If you’re not happy with just one paring knife and you’re on a budget, this set might be for you. It contains a 3-inch low point knife, a 4-inch classic parer, a 4.5 inch serrated utility and a 2.25 inch peeling knife with

a curved blade. Between all of these, let’s just say all your fruit and vegetable preparation work should be handled.


While these are certainly a cheap version of the more expensive models, they still work well and are more than enough to get you started in the kitchen. The blades are stamped from high carbon stainless steel. The handles are brightly colored plastic and have a texture to them to improve your grip. All that, and they’re safe to put in the dishwasher.


While this set does get high ratings due to quantity and quality versus price, one user says she was surprised to find out that the handles on all four knives are the same length, as she’s used to using knives where the handle and blade length are very similar. She says she doesn’t mind; it just took some getting used to.


One other reviewer commented that she first thought the brightly colored handles looked gaudy but now she’s so happy she bought them. She can glance in the drawer and pick the exact knife she wants quickly because of the color coding.


  1.       International Kitchen Elements Set

Another option if you’re looking for variety is this International three piece set. It comes with a 3.5” paring knife, a 3” vegetable knife and a 2” peeling knife. Between these three, you’ll have everything you need for small kitchen jobs like coring or peeling veggies and fruits.


The blades are stamped from a single piece of German stainless steel, and they come with a limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. Though hand washing is recommended, it is safe to put them in the dishwasher.


Without a doubt, this set is the cheap leader in the Henckel’s line and yes, it’s stamped “made in China” right on the blade. However, if you’re on a tight budget, need something to get you by or you’re just getting started with stocking your kitchen tools, this set could be a great place for you to start until you can upgrade to something better.


Bread Knives

  1.       Zwilling Twin Four Star II

    Twin Four Star II 8 in Bread Knife

This 8 inch scalloped beast is truly the top of the line when it comes to bread knives. It has a razor sharp edge that will stay that way thanks to its friodur ice-hardend blade. It’s precision forged in Germany from one single piece of solid stainless steel. It has a full tang design with an enhanced bolster. And that combined with the ergonomic polypropylene handle make it a bread maker’s dream both to hold and to use.


The dimensions of this beauty are 13.75” x 0.75” x 1.25”, and it is a ja henckels knife that comes with a limited lifetime warranty.


In user reviews, it does extremely well at 4.9 out of 5 stars. In fact, one user says she uses this for homemade breads four or five times per week and she’s impressed. She says the build quality is excellent, the steel is strong and it feels better than the Wusthof knives she’s used.


One of the things users love to note is the balance of this tool. The center of gravity is where the blade meets the shaft, making it easy to slice through even softer loaves. Additionally, it cuts through every type of crust including thick crusty French bread, or you can use it to thin cut sandwich slices with no problem.


The only complaint about this one seems to be that the point is really sharp. While some users appreciate this, others think since it’s a bread knife, the tip should be rounded off.


  1.       Zwilling Twin Four Star

This eight inch bread knife is well – great for slicing bread, and tomatoes. In fact, users say it works great for a lot of things you thought were hard to cut. In a pinch, you can even use it in place of your chef’s knife. It has a sharp scalloped blade.  It’s made of ice hardened high carbon stainless steel. And has a sturdy polypropylene handle that is safe to clean in the dishwasher.


It’s made in Germany and users say it cuts straight slices from homemade bread better than any other knife they’ve tried. In review after review, they say it doesn’t matter if the bread just came out of the machine or if was baked yesterday. This knife cuts nice even slices without doing any damage or squishing the loaf. It even works well on breads that have a hard crust and a soft center.


Additionally, because of the high quality steel used, people who own one say it holds its edge without having to sharpen it. They say it has a great balance and is in fact so sharp you have to be careful not to push too hard and drive it into the cutting board. One user says she’s had this knife for over ten years and has never sharpened it. That’s quality.


  1.       Forged Synergy

The Forged Synergy model is a good moderately priced eight inch bread knife. It’s made of German stainless (but manufactured in China) with a plastic molded riveted handle that is break-resistant. The blade has a satin finish and a good balance. It’s designed with a rattail tang with a full bolster for excellent balance and a comfortable grip.

While users overall give this model 4.6 out of 5 stars, they also say if you can afford the better Henckel’s knives, choose one of those. While this one is good and they say it’s comfortable to use, it doesn’t tend to hold an edge as well. This means it still works great for cutting both freshly baked or store bought breads, but you may need to sharpen it a little more often.


  1.       Twin Signature

The Twin Signature eight inch bread knife is in about the same class as the Forged Synergy. They are both made from ice-hardened German stainless steel but they are stamped instead of forged. While they’re still decent knives, they’re not going to be nearly as hearty as some of the pricier models. This one does have the benefit of having a full tang, and it has a plastic handle held together with three rivets.


According to users, the scalloped edge works great and the teeth are more finely honed than those of most bread knives. One user says he has yet to find a loaf of bread it won’t cut with minimal effort, and it does a very neat job without leaving any raggedy edges. He uses it about 1-2 times per week and loves the sharpness and the way it fits in his hand.


  1.       International Fine Edge Pro

While this is the cheapest bread knife in the Henckel’s line and made in China, it’s still made of the same high quality German stainless as its more expensive counterparts. The biggest difference is that the steel is stamped instead of forged. It still cuts through even hard breads well and will even thin slice a tomato. It has a full tang with a triple riveted handle and comes with a limited lifetime manufacturer warranty.


One plus about this budget blade is that it can easily be used by both left and right-handed users since there’s no bias to the handle.


As for reviews, consumers give it 4.4 out of 5 stars, which is a great rating especially considering the affordability of this blade.  Users are surprised that even though the cost is little, it can still slice through even freshly baked bread without squishing down the loaf. It’s unusual to find a knife in this price range that can do that and at the same time cut through a hard crusty bagel like it’s butter.


The takeaway on the International Fine Edge Pro 8” bread knife is that if you only have a small amount to spend, this is a good knife to get that will last awhile. However, it’s not going to hold its edge vs some of the more expensive models. Also, scalloped blades are much more difficult to sharpen than smooth ones. So, if you need something to get you buy, this bread knife is a bargain. But if you want one that’s going to be the last one you’ll buy, invest in something more substantial.


Santoku Knives

Unless you’re really familiar with working in the kitchen, you may not have ever heard of a santoku knife. Essentially, santoku is the term used for an all-around blade – like an Asian chef’s knife. It’s usually seven inches long and has a broad blade with an exceptionally sharp edge and can be used for vegetables, meat and fish. It’s best to use santoku knives in a chopping motion.


  1.       Twin Pro S

    Santuko Twin Pro S 7in

The Twin Pro S comes with either a five or seven inch blade. It lets you cut paper thin slices and the hollow edges of the blade prevent food from sticking to it. It’s made using optimum grades of metal that are welded into each part of the knife, and the metal is ice hardened for super strength. It has a full tang and bolster with a triple riveted synthetic handle in black. This santoku is made in Germany and comes with a lifetime warranty.


Unlike some santoku knives, this one has hollows on both sides of the blade, making it ideal for either right or left handed cooks. The blade is 1.75” at its widest point, and it will easily fit into most knife blocks.


People who bought one of these give it an overall 4.3 out of 5 stars. And most reviews say the knife is used for everything from chicken, pork chops, onions, peppers, garlic and more. It cuts through all types of food with ease and with minimal force.


  1.       Zwilling Four Star

Coming in as second place is the Four Star 7” santoku with the Zwilling JA Henckels Knives name. This means the knife is made in Germany of forged high carbon steel and has been through an ice hardening process to add strength. It has a black polypropylene handle along with a full tang and bolster.


This knife works well with either a chopping, slicing or rocking motion and does all of those smoothly and quickly with minimal effort. In user reviews, it’s said to have a great balance and a solid tang and bolster. Users also say the wide blade is great for scooping food from the cutting board into the pan or bowl.


The only thing to note with this top rated knife is that you really don’t want to use it against glass, marble or any other hard surface, as it will dull the edge quickly. Users say it doesn’t need sharpening often, but if it gets regular use, you probably want to hone it often and have it professionally sharpened as the need arises.


  1.       Zwilling Pro

This santoku actually comes in a 5.5” and 7” model, so you can choose which you’d like depending mostly on the size of your hand. Most users prefer the standard seven inch blade, but if you have particularly small hands, the shorter version may be best for you.


It has hollows along the entire blade edge which keep food from sticking, and it has a nice wide profile. The blade is made from forged stainless steel, and the plastic resin handle is held together with three rivets. The dimensions of the entire knife are 16.5” long x 2.75” wide x 1.5” high.

Users give this blade 4.4 out of 5 stars and comment that it has become the go-to knife in the kitchen. It’s incredibly sharp (at least as sharp as a straight razor according to one user review), and the handle is well-balanced and fits comfortably into the hand. The blade has a slight curve which makes it easier to use this knife in a rocking motion.


People who bought this santoku also say the construction is very solid and strong, making it a knife you’ll keep in your kitchen for years.


  1.       International Classic

Fourth on the list is the seven inch International Classic santoku. While it only has hollows on one side, that side does a fantastic job at extra thin cutting and in the preparation of fish, meat and vegetables. The blade is made of carbon steel that’s stain resistant and hot drop forged, making it very durable. This knife also has a full bolster for good balance. It has a full tang and triple riveted handle.


The biggest differences between the Classic and the picks higher on our best of list are that the more expensive knives have a “no-stain” treatment on the metal. This one does not. Aside from that, there is one more important thing to note. These less expensive models just don’t hold an edge as long as their pricier counterparts. When they work, they work great, but you will need to sharpen them more often.


The only real complaint users seem to have about this Classic santoku is that food slides up the blade when you’re cutting. Most users aren’t bothered by this as it’s so sharp, works so well, and it’s easy to remove the food. At the best, the next slice will push off the last one if it’s stuck to the blade so you don’t need to clean it off with each and every stroke.


  1.       Forged Synergy

The cheapest of the bunch, the seven inch Forged Synergy model is still a good investment if you’re on a tight budget. It still works very well for slicing meat and vegetables since it has a fully forged stainless blade. It has a molded plastic handle and a full rattail tang that offers great balance and an excellent grip. Its full bolster gives it a nice weight and makes it safe to use, and it comes with a lifetime warranty.


Like the Classic, it’s good to note this one only has hollows on one side of the blade, so it won’t work for left-handed users. Also like the Classic, food tends to stick on the side of the blade without the hollows. You may have to swipe or scrape it off occasionally while you’re doing your prep work.


Overall, however, users give this one 4.2 out of 5 stars, which is a great rating for a knife on the cheap end of the spectrum. One reviewer gave it very high marks and even said she uses it at chef school, and she thinks it’s better than some of the more expensive Wusthof knives used by the other students.


The Bottom Line

No matter which of the JA Henckels knives you choose, you’ll likely be happy with your decision. Whether you choose the highest end Twin Four Star II, Twin Pro S, Gourmet, Signature or budget-friendly International series, they’re all good.

You can see all the Best Prices & Values on Amazon. Click Here.

My recommendation is to figure out how much you can afford and buy your knives accordingly. Every dollar you spend on a good knife or set makes a difference when you only keep one set in your kitchen.


The difference between the best and the worst is a dramatic one, and the best might be the only knives you ever buy. However, even if you choose the budget line, any of these JA Henckels knives will last you and your family a good long time.

If Henckels are not the knives for you, you can see our Best Kitchen Knife Set by clicking here.


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