dealsj.a. henckels cutlery, eversharp 12 piece set for…

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vote-for2vote-against

OK, so here's what I know about J.A. Henckels knives:

There are essentially two lines, one made in China, one in Spain. You can guess which is higher price and quality. I read a bunch of reviews that said the Chinese ones were generally garbage and to just go with the spanish knives. Boy did I think I was clever when I found a 7 piece Spanish stashed in a dirty corner of my local Marshall's for $99! I looked at my smartphone and saw that Amazon sold them for $170, and most department stores sold them at around $250, and I needed a knife set, so I picked them up. I must say that I've been nothing but disappointed at how quickly they go blunt. When you sharpen them, they cut really well a few times. They have a great balance and a classic look, suitable for any countertop. However, they just keep going blunt.

I might just have a bad set. There's probably a reason they were stashed away in a Marshall's somewhere. Still, you've been warned.

Also, these are certainly the Chinese set.

vote-for3vote-against

I can echo the above sentiments - these are one of the Chinese-made (or Taiwanese) Henckels lines - which are pretty much supposed to be crap. These ones are "eversharp" which means all of the knives have tiny serrations along the length of the blade. Take that as you may - they never need sharpening (and in fact, can't be sharpened on any sort of home equipment... at least, unless you manage to grind off all the serrations and put on a new edge), but they also will destroy anything fragile.

If you're looking for knives in this price range, here are my suggestions:

1) You're better off getting a few good knives than a whole bunch of crappy knives.
2) Look at the Forschner knives made by Victorinox
3) Avoid these sets - you tend to pay a bunch extra for a block, crappy steak knives, and a bunch of filler knives.

vote-for5vote-against

Henckle makes great Knives. I do not have the Chinese ones and am happier than I have ever been with any knives. Full set cost a pretty penny but was worth it. Be wary of sets like this, you get what you pay for. I agree with the earlier poster, take the money you would spend on this set and buy one good knife. Although to get a good night you might have to add a little to it depending on what size you are looking for.

vote-for5vote-against

Ill also echo the above. One thing I learnt when I got my first good knife (which wasn't that expensive either) is that with knifes you get what you pay for, and one $50-$100 8+-inch chef's knife is worth every penny, and in most cheap knife sets, none of the knives are worth a crap other than the steak knifes.

You don't need a paring, utlity and boning knife. Unless you're a chef, in which case you should spend more money on your set of knives.

Get 1 good knife (There are plenty of good entry level models for around $40) and go from there. You'll realize that cutting is a much m,ore enjoyable task when you have one of these.

vote-for5vote-against

I think the first four commenters are missing the point. There are much much more expensive sets (in fact some even on sale at Macy's -- check 'em out). This however is a GREAT price for a reasonable set. Not everyone has a hundred plus to drop on a set, and not everyone wants just one knife. If you can afford a more expensive set, by all means get it. The rest of us that live with roommates in apartments can appreciate a decent set of knives on the cheap. :)

vote-for7vote-against

I bought these exact knives for the same price a few years back. The fact that they're inexpensive may be the point, but all you're doing is paying $40 for crap knives before you buy a good set. If you're comfortable knowing that they're horrible going in and still want to pay the $40 as a carryover until you can afford a good set, go for it. If you're expecting a good set of knives for that price forget it.

vote-for3vote-against

At $40 they are disposable. If I didn't just pickup a nice set of Henckels I would be in for one.

vote-for2vote-against

@jjdarling: Are you actually sharpening the knives or honing them? There is a difference.

vote-for2vote-against

I have the expensive knives I love them and your suppose to use the steel every time you use the knives they are wonderful had mine 20 years still look new only had them professionally sharpened 2 times. I would never buy these knives I suggest buying one at a time of the good knives if you cannot get the whole set.

vote-for3vote-against

I got a set of 3 of the eversharp knives on sale. They're decently sharp, but they're crap because once they go dull you have to toss them. This type of steel is cheap. Notice how it says stamped, not forged. Also notice how it says "stain and rust resistant." That means this is most likely a 440 steel, which is not a premium steel. Premium steel knives will rust because of the high amount of carbon in the blade. They will take and hold a much sharper edge because of their carbon content. Never let them soak.

These are cheap knives. My set was made in china, and the price reflected that. I have a Henckel chef's knife that is "german steel made in china" and its quality is far superior to the eversharp ones I have. The blade on that one is thicker and the handle is more comfortable, even if it's still a cheap, chinese made piece of junk that doesn't hold an edge for very long.

Invest some money in one chef's knife and maybe a paring knife if you want to cut smaller things.

vote-for3vote-against

The "REAL" Henkels are made in Solingen, Germany. The "International" line of Henkels can really be made just about anywhere, not only China or Spain, and they're made by third party manufacturers for Henkels, not actually made by Henckels themselves. There are, however, also Japanese made Henkels knives (the Miyabi line) which are also very high quality, but also very high priced.

vote-for1vote-against

I once got an Eversharp paring knife for free, just for watching a 15 minute demonstration of them at Walmart!

vote-for2vote-against

I have a german made henkel, which was closer to $100 for one. I walked into the kitchen one Thanksgiving morning and see my mother in law opening a can of beans with my knife. It was bent like I've never seen a knife bent. I was going to throw it in the garbage so I wouldn't be reminded about how I wanted to open that can of beans on my mother in law's head. My wife sent to Chicago I think and they sent me a brand new knive for free. The good henkels are well worth the money and they stand behind them.

vote-for1vote-against

wooo... $90 now. does that change the discussion? :-P As a casual cook, I don't plan on upgrading my lower-range set, well, ever. It all depends on what you use them for. These were probably better than whatever was $40 at Target yesterday...

vote-for1vote-against

don't know what you urbanites do, but the best place for good knives is a farm sale - you buy carbon steel, wash and dry immediately after use. BUT you buy a good new steel.

vote-for4vote-against

@dcalotta: I agree. The Forschner knives are a great deal for the budget minded. After reading reviews from America's Test Kitchen, I purchased this Forschner knife. I wasn't really happy with my POC Chinese made set of the cheaper Henckels: http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-8-Inch-Chefs-Knife/dp/B000638D32/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1266328617&sr=8-1

It's been a great knife for the money, holds an edge very well and has a nice balance in my hand. Wusthof disappointed me when the handle of a relatively new 3" parer cracked in half after I knocked it onto my wood kitchen floor. That Victorinox is the go-to knife for the rest of my family-- my Shun knives scare the pants off of them.

If you're just starting out & can't afford anything else, get this if for nothing more than the knife block. Then make yourself a promise to buy one or two really good knives every year to add/replace the Henckels that you're gonna want to throw across the kitchen in frustration.

vote-for1vote-against

I assume Bing Cashback works for this too - 25% cashback from Macy's right now.

vote-for3vote-against

Chicago Cutlery makes good knives and were well rated by Cooks Illustrated (the American's Test Kitchen people). They said that the tiny difference in quality between Chicago Cutlery and the best they tested was so small as to not recommend the high priced knife. They recommended buying the "Chicago" knives.

The ones with the stainless steel handles will hold up better in the dishwasher, but if you oil wooden handles after washing they will last a very long time.

As for a decent sharpener, if you don't like doing it manually, they said that the Chef's Choice sharpeners like the 110 model did a great job of getting the right angle and sharpness for a standard edge. I have a similar but older model and can attest to the fact that it does a great job, about the same as using my Lansky sharpening system.

vote-for1vote-against

This comment might be a little late, but no one should ever wash knives in the dishwasher. The chemicals and heat are bad for the blade and the handle. Plus things get knocked around in the dishwasher and it can damage the blade. Unless you paid <$10 for it, it's really worth it to wash the knife by hand immediately after each use, dry it with a towel, and make sure it's completely dry before storing it.