Are you looking for a high quality forged knife without spending a fortune? There are a variety of forged knives, so I decided to give one of the least expensive forged knives on the market a try by testing out the J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef’s Knife.
Does this 10″ chef’s knife meet the expectations of a forged knife? Continue reading below to find out!
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ZWILLING J.A. Henckels has been in the business of creating high quality knives since 1731. Their experience has allowed them to perfect steel selection, hardening processes, blade sharpening and handle manufacturing which helps them to create extremely sharp and durable blades with optimal balance and ergonomics.
Henckles makes a variety of knives of varying level of quality. The “International” collections are made in locations outside of Germany and Japan and are on the lower price end. This particular knife is made in Spain.
In addition to the International Classic Series, they offer Zwilling Pro, Four Star, Twin Four Star II, Professional “S”, Twin Signature, and Twin 1731.
This 10″ knife is a great size for cutting up those larger fruits and vegetables along with many other larger items. Although the blade is large, it does smaller and delicate cuts like bread and tomatoes just as well. The longer blade helps you to make fewer cuts so that you can conserve your energy while in the kitchen.
The J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef’s Knife is made of high quality German carbon no-stain steel. The blade is hot-drop forged from a single piece of steel and ground in two directions to create a 15 degree edge. The hot-drop forging process adds durability to the knife. Although this knife is made in Spain, the blade still comes from Germany.
The big feature that this forged knife provides that stamped knives do not is the bolster. The bolster provides added weight to the knife so that it is comfortably balanced in your hand. The bolster also provide safety by protecting your hand from the sharp blade.
The handle is made from a polyoxyethylene material. It is comprised of two scales that attach to the full tang with three rivets. The edges are ground down to create a smooth and give the appearance of a single piece. This handle is very durable and easy to clean.
The first thing that I noticed about the J.A. Henckle Chef’s Knife is its weight. Weighing in at 8.6 ounces this knife has a noticeable difference than many of the stamped knives. I don’t see the weight as a negative trait, but more as a positive since it is connected to many of its benefits. The full tang contributes to the weight which is where the knife blade extends all the way through the handle. This knife also has a bolster which adds weight but provides balance and safety.
The blade of this chef’s knife is thicker at the spine and tapers down to the edge. The thicker blade provides stability and leverage while cutting. The edge is sharpened at a 15 degree angle. It is useful for a multitude of cuts such as butchering, chopping, slicing, mincing, and dicing.
The handle’s design provides an excellent grip. I especially liked how comfortable using a pinch grip was with this handle and bolster. The texture of the handle is smooth, and was a little slippery while using with oily hands. The design of the handle creates a look and feel that the knife is a single unit. The way the handle is put together not only feels good in your hand, it also makes it easy to clean by keeping food particles out of any crevices.
You can feel the overall durability of the J.A. Henckle Chef’s Knife when you hold it in your hand. The handle is firmly secured to the tang by three rivets. Dropping this knife handle first would do little damage to the knife, although I’d probably worry more about my floor.
The blade comes extremely sharp and seems to hold the sharpness longer than stamped blades. I would still hone the blade regularly to keep it performing well. The stainless steel helps to prevent corrosion on the blade. With this being a single piece of steel from tip to tang, I see this being able to last many, many years.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The J.A. Henckle International Classic Chef’s Knife can be cleaned in the dishwasher because it has a synthetic handle. Although J.A. Henckle recommends using caution when putting your knife in the dishwasher, I recommend that all knives be hand washed to ensure their sharpness and longevity (see: Kitchen Knife Care). This includes immediately rinsing off after use, and then using warm water and soap to fully clean it.
Although the blade is made of stainless steel, they are not 100% rust proof. Rinse off fruit and vegetable juices along with other high acid foods as soon as you are finished using it. If your knife gets rust stains, you can use a non-abrasive metal cleaner to remove them.
The blade holds its sharpness pretty well, but you should regularly hone it to keep it sharp. If the blade no longer comes back to being sharp with honing you can use a whetstone to apply a fresh edge to the blade.
The scales of the handle are flush with the tang to prevent juices and food particles from getting in between. The 3 rivets firmly secures the handle so there is no cracks or crevices.
Remember that your knife is an investment. If you take proper care of your knife, it will provide you many years of great use.
The J.A. Henckle International Classic Chef’s Knife is fully guaranteed against defects in materials and / or craftsmanship. The warranty does not cover wood products, such as knife handles, wear from normal use, or any damage resulting from use other than the intended purpose of the item. You can file a claim by sending J.A. Henckle the knife along with a description of the issue.
|Blade||Forged German Stainless Steel|
|Handle||Riveted Polyoxymethylene (POM)|
|Blade Length||10" (advertised)
|Full Length||15.375" (actual)|
|Weight||8.6 oz (actual)|
Who Should Buy the J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef’s Knife?
I would recommend the J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef’s Knife to home chef’s who want:
- A Forged Blade – Although there are some great stamped blades on the market, you can can’t go wrong with a hot drop forged stain-resistant carbon steel blade. You can see and feel the durability of this knife.
- A Solid Bolster – The bolster of this knife is an outstanding addition as it adds the perfect weight to balance out the knife. It also provides a safety feature to prevent cut while holding the knife.
- An Affordable Choice – Getting a high quality knife for about $60 is an excellent deal. Especially when it comes to forged blades, you’re not going to find many options cheaper than that.
- A Durable Kitchen Tool – The overall quality of this knife can be felt from the first time you hold it. The full tang and riveted handle is an added addition to the forged blade. The blade sharpness holds up after multiple uses without needing to be honed or sharpened every time. This knife is one that will hold up in your personal home or professional business.