Written by adam on Feb 27, 2006
J.A. Henckels 8" Chef Knife
I used to think that my nice Chicago Cutlery Chef Knife was a great knife. It has such sentimental value to me. The Chicago Cutlery set was given to us as a wedding present nearly nine years ago. The Chef's Knife was the first one I used (it was the biggest) and now it's the only one I use to do any preparation of food in the house. I have taken extremely good care of the set by washing, cleaning, and oiling the walnut wood handles regularly. There is not one molecule of rust whatsoever on the set, nor are any of the woodend handles dried, cracked, or split.
I thought my walnut-handled chef's knife was the greatest knife I'd ever used. I was only mostly right. Sure, it had served me faithfully for more than eight years, but all that time I never knew what I had been missing. The thing that eluded me was a higher-level of quality, and that level is Henckels. I would bet that you have at least heard of that name, if not seen some in stores. This is not your father's chef knife, bosephus.
During the past year, I had been coveting my father's Henckel's knife whenever we visited. Sometimes, late at night, I would sneak into the kitchen and hold it close. I think that the old man must have picked up on my jealousy, because it was the first present I opened from him this year at Christmas.
Behold, the J.A. Henckel's 8" Chef's Knife.
I have used this knife countless times in the past two months, and not once has the blade felt like it needed honing. That should tell you something right there. Oh sure, I honed it anyway because I'm compulsive like that, but deep down I don't think it was necessary.
The handle of Hencek's knives are made from a single piece of stainless steel. The gunmetal gray handle grip is bolted on to the knife. This thing is extremely high quality, probably one of the better knives for the home chef.
The blade is definitely sharp, but what struck me the most was how clean of a sharpening it was. When I cut onions or potatoes, the blade slices down neatly, quickly, and with no hestitation or added pressure necessary. The difference in cutting is very apparent between this one and my Chicago Cutlery knife. After a side by side test, I can sense that my old knife skips and shudders slightly when I cut. Don't get me wrong, though, it is very sharp. But the edge on the Henckel's is much cleaner.
If you are serious about cooking, perhaps you want to take your game to a higher level, you should definitely invest in a better chef's knife or set of knives. Buying a Henckel's is a an investment that will pay off.