With an astounding tradition of 287 years, Zwilling J.A. Henckels is one of the most prestigious brands in the cutlery industry. Respected for delivering premium German quality for accessible prices, Henckels knives have become a staple in the modern active kitchen. To help you reach the next level in cooking, we have prepared a list of the best Henckels knives you can buy this year. From fillet to Santoku, chef, utility knives and more, learn more about the value each model brings below.

Best Henckels Knives 2019

NameProduct Dimensions (inches)Blade Dimensions (inches)Weight (ounces)Blade TypeHandle Type
J.A. Henckels International Utility (16000-161)15.8 x 3.5 x 164Stainless steelPOM
J.A. Henckels Four Star Boning (31086-143)16.5 x 2.8 x 1.55 1/21.6High-carbon no-stain steelPolypropylene
J.A. Henckels Four Star Fillet (31073-183)15.8 x 3.5 x 164Stainless steelPOM
J.A. Henckels Pro Chef (38401-203)16.5 x 2.8 x 1.5812.8High-carbon no-stain steelPOM
J.A. Henckels Four Star Santoku (31118-163)16.5 x 2.5 x 167.4High-carbon no-stain steelPolypropylene
J.A. Henckels Classic Meat Cleaver (31134-161)11 x 4.5 x 1611.85Stainless steelPolypropylene
J.A. Henckels International Classic Paring (31160-101)11 x 3.8 x 143.68Stainless steelPOM
J.A. Henckels Pro Bread (38406-203)16 x 3 x 189.6Stainless steelTraditional triple-riveted
J.A. Henckels Fine Edge Pro Utility (31468-131)15 x 3.5 x 154Stainless steelTraditional triple-riveted
J.A. Henckels International Classic Utility (31160-161)10.6 x 3.8 x 163.8X50CrMoV15 steelTraditional triple-riveted

10. J.A. Henckels International Utility (16000-161) – Best Multi-purpose Heckles Knives

To open our list of the best Henckels knives, we want to present a model that is suitable for almost all average users. While their 6-inch utility knife (16000-161) isn’t the top choice for specific tasks, it definitely has the chance of becoming your go-to knife. In addition to its versatility, the Henckels utility knife is part of the company’s affordable International line. Therefore, you’ll be paying considerably less to add it to your collection.

Main Features

  • 6-inch stainless steel blade
  • Forged synergy German steel
  • Full bolster design
  • 15-degree blade angle
  • Double-riveted POM handle

Design & Usability

To be honest, there’s nothing spectacular about the Henckels utility knife’s design. Be that as it may, it checks off all the standard design requirements for a reliable multi-purpose knife. The 6-inch blade is just the right length to cater to various kitchen tasks, from cutting sandwiches to carving poultry. It’s also a fine choice for chopping, peeling or slicing miscellaneous ingredients. The double-riveted handle is feature’s the brand’s signature POM blend, which makes the knife comfortable to use.

Quality & Performance

At this price point, we were surprised to see that there aren’t that many quality complaints regarding Henckels’ utility knife. Some users may be disappointed that the model is made in China, but rest assured that all knives from the International line are indeed made of Henckels’ German steel. Their utility knife really gets the job done well, and it doesn’t need to be sharpened often either. The full bolster also ensures that you get the best value possible out of your purchase.

PROS
  • Versatile utility knife
  • Sturdy and sharp blade
  • Good edge retention
  • Feels comfortable
  • Quite affordable
CONS
  • Rather lightweight
  • Henckels International models aren’t as high quality
  • Made in China
Don’t think twice about getting the J.A. Henckels International Utility (16000-161) knife if you’re looking for a multi-purpose model. Not only does it perform well for a variety of cutting tasks, but it’s also very reasonably priced.

9. J.A. Henckels Four Star Boning (31086-143) – Best Henckels Knives for Boning

Working with meat is never an easy job. Not only do you have to get the sawing technique right, but you also need to buy a knife with a sharp and flexible blade. Whether you’re an aspiring chef or an established professional, a boning knife is an essential piece in your knife block. The J.A. Henckels Four Star boning knife (31086-143) is one of the company’s middle-upper range models.

Main Features

  • 5-inch precision-honed blade
  • FRIODUR ice-hardening
  • Patented SIGMAFORGE process
  • Laser-controlled blade edge
  • 57 Rockwell hardness

Design & Usability

Like any trusty boning knife, the Henckels model has a 5.5-inch blade, fully forged through the brand’s patented SIGMAFORGE process. Additionally, the blade is hand-honed and ice-hardened, with a laser-controlled edge. Although one customer complained about the softness of the blade, a good boning knife will always feature flexibility so the user can work their way around bones. Consequently, the model is easy to use for all sorts of boning, from lamb legs to ribs or chickens.

Quality & Performance

Users have nothing but the utmost respect for the quality provided in Henckels’ Four Star line. Numerous customers state that their previous knives from the same line lasted for well over a decade (and, in some cases, 35+ years!). The model’s performance is also up to par with the standard of quality, judging by the complete lack of complaints in this department. The 57 Rockwell hardness rating and fantastic balance also make this boning knife a must for those who work with meat.

PROS
  • High-quality manufacturing process
  • Flexible blade
  • Satisfying balance
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Line with long product life
CONS
  • Handle is smaller than predecessor’s
  • One isolated complaint of being soft
  • Suitable only for certain tasks (boning, filleting)
Even if the price may appear to be on the high side, the J.A. Henckels Four Star boning knife (31086-143) is worth every penny. Chefs who often need to prepare meat for the meals they cook shouldn’t think twice about purchasing it.

8. J.A. Henckels Four Star Fillet (31073-183) – Best Henckels Fillet Knives

We’ve previously talked all about the best fillet knife options of the year. However, we have an extra treat with a fantastic Henckels model for the same task. The J.A. Henckels fillet knife (31073-183) is also part of the praised Four Star line, with an impressive 4.7-star average rating on Amazon.

Main Features

  • 7-inch no-stain steel blade
  • SIGMAFORGE and FRIODUR processes
  • 15 degrees per side edge angle
  • Precision-honed blade
  • Ergonomic polypropylene handle

Design & Usability

Similar to boning knives, fillet knives require a fairly flexible blade for maneuverability. The 7-inch blade on this Henckels fillet model undergoes the same arduous preparation process as their boning knife. In other words, it’s forged from a single piece of steel with SIGMAFORGE, ice-hardened through FRIODUR, and honed to precision. Even though the model was designed for filleting, it can easily be used for chicken breast cutlets, meat trimming or even minor deboning tasks.

Quality & Performance

As with all Henckels Four Star knives, there are slim chances of experiencing quality issues. Even one customer who dropped their knife on the floor and shattered it got an immediate replacement from Henckels. Their lifetime guarantee policy is truly one the company stands behind through thick and thin. Performance-wise, the model’s grip, performance, sharpness, and edge retention have all passed the test with flying colors.

PROS
  • Wonderful for filleting and trimming
  • Appropriately thin and flexible blade
  • Holds its edge well
  • Proper grip
  • Nicely balanced
CONS
  • Might be lightweight for some
  • Fragile (shatters if it’s dropped)
  • Rather pricey
You can count on the J.A. Henckels Four Star fillet knife (31073-183) for fish, poultry, and soft meats. It probably costs more than you would normally spend on a knife, but you’ll be getting a long-lasting, high-performing product.

7. J.A. Henckels Pro Chef (38401-203) – Best Henckels Chef Knives

We couldn’t have approached the best Henckels knives without covering the staple in every cook’s kitchen – the best chef knives. For today’s list, we have selected the J.A. Henckels Pro chef knife (38401-203), one of their superior models that boasts a 4.6-star average customer rating. The Pro chef knife is the most expensive model among the best Henckels knives we reviewed. Notwithstanding, we believe it’s worth it.

Main Features

  • 8-inch high-carbon stainless steel blade
  • Fully forged with SIGMAFORGE
  • Triple-riveted POM handle
  • Curved bolster
  • 9″ width at its widest point

Design & Usability

As opposed to many other Henckels knives, the Pro chef features a curved bolster and blade design. Therefore, the user enjoys additional precision when cutting, as well as an extra safety measure. As a result, any chef can apply the “rocking” technique without any issues for speedy meal preparation. Considering that the model is a chef knife, customers can rely on it for almost all common tasks, from slicing and dicing to chopping or mincing. It’s also a trustworthy model for commercial kitchens.

Quality & Performance

Even though the Pro chef knife is a fine, premium tool, there are some concerns regarding quality control. One user actually received two factory defects consecutively, so make sure you reach out to Henckels’ customer support if you receive a dud. You may also want to add a knife sharpener to your cart when you check out, as the model may not come razor sharp. Other than that, the Pro chef knife’s performance is stunning, providing smooth, clean, and precise cuts every time.

PROS
  • Suitable for professional settings
  • Excellent balance
  • Clean and smooth slices
  • Solid construction
  • Convenient design
CONS
  • Quality control problems
  • Not razor sharp out of the box
  • Most expensive model on our list
If a respectable chef knife is what you need, the J.A. Henckels 38401-203 is for you. Despite its high price, the Pro chef knife delivers the results required for professional chefs.

6. J.A. Henckels Four Star Santoku (31118-163) – Best Henckels Santoku Knives

It’s tricky to find the best Santoku knife, especially when you don’t have a generous budget at hand. If you can’t afford to get a Japanese-made model, the J.A. Henckels Four Star Santoku (31118-163) is the second best option you can hope for.

Main Features

  • 6-inch Santoku knife
  • High-carbon no-stain steel
  • 57 HRC rating
  • Ice-hardened steel with FRIODUR
  • SIGMAFORGE single-piece solid steel forging

Design & Usability

The beautiful Henckels Santoku has a 6-inch blade that follows the classic Japanese silhouette with a curved tip. In spite of one minor complaint regarding the size of the polypropylene handle, the majority agrees that it provides a cozy yet firm grip. As with all Four Star models, this Santoku was crafted through FRIODUR ice-hardening and SIGMAFORGE forging. You can count on it for meats and vegetables in terms of chopping, dicing, and slicing.

Quality & Performance

Fortunately, the Santoku has proven to be one of the best Henckels knives as far as quality is in the discussion. Not only do the German steel and manufacturing live up to their name, but they also ensure stellar performance. The Santoku comes incredibly sharp and is known for withstanding long and demanding meal preparation sessions. It’s also sure to exceed your expectations regarding edge retention, thanks to the 57 Rockwell hardness rating.

PROS
  • Japanese design with German steel
  • Fine edge retention
  • Ideally balanced
  • Remarkably sharp
  • Comfortable grip
CONS
  • Handle seems too big for the blade
  • Lack of hollow edge may be inconvenient
  • Pretty wide for storing in a block
There are few Santoku knives that can surpass the overall value of the Henckels 6-inch model. It may not be made by Japanese artisans, but it follows the traditional design while boosting quality through hard German steel.

5. J.A. Henckels Classic Meat Cleaver (31134-161) – Best Henckels Knives for Meat

Hacking through meat is in no way an easy task. If you’re not an experienced butcher, you’ll need a good entry-level meat cleaver for home use. In this regard, we warmly recommend the J.A. Henckels meat cleaver (31134-161) from their Classic line. It’s extremely accessible for a meat cleaver too.

Main Features

  • 6-inch blade with 11-inch overall length
  • 5-inch to 3-inch blade width
  • Fully-forged construction
  • Satin-finished blade
  • Bottom-curved handle

Design & Usability

The brand’s Classic meat cleaver has a 6-inch blade that is 3 inches wide at its widest point. It weighs a little under 12 ounces and measures 11 inches from point to butt. For pro butchers, the knife may be too light and small. However, the average home chef will make great use of it for chopping and dicing prepared meats and vegetables. Do take note that the Classic meat cleaver won’t fit into a traditional Henckels block. To store it safely, we recommend buying a 6-inch edge guard.

Quality & Performance

The Classic meat cleaver is a favorite among customers, with a #14 spot in the Amazon Meat Cleavers category. Aside from the inferior size and weight, users are actually highly pleased with their purchase. You can cut without putting in too much effort or risking wrist fatigue. Moreover, the cleaver is simple to control even if you don’t have experience cutting meats. Top it all off with convenient balance and you have a top value cleaver for sure.

PROS
  • Affordable for a model in its class
  • Good balance
  • Easy to control
  • Effortless cutting
  • Among top 15 best-selling meat cleavers on Amazon
CONS
  • May not be as heavy as expected
  • Quite small for a cleaver
  • Sharp spine
Few competing models can match the J.A. Henckels meat cleaver (31134-161) in terms of price vs quality. We encourage you to try it out if you’re a casual home chef who wants an upgraded user experience when working with meats.

4. J.A. Henckels International Classic Paring (31160-101) – Best Henckels Knives for Paring

Peeling and shaping fruits and vegetables is far more difficult than it seems. Rookies may think that they can rely on their go-to chef knife for any task, but a paring knife becomes necessary if you want to step up your game. We support the J.A. Henckels International Classic paring knife (31160-101) in this sense, the best Henckels knives for your fruit and veggie needs.

Main Features

  • 4-inch paring/ utility knife
  • No-stain carbon steel
  • Ergonomic triple-riveted handle
  • German steel, Spain manufacturing
  • Seamless blade-to-handle transition

Design & Usability

The knife’s blade measures 4 inches long, which means that it’s an ideal model for paring. It has a total length of 11 inches, with a seamless transition from the blade to the handle. As part of Henckels’ International line, the paring knife is made from German steel and manufactured in Spain. International models feature a shallow and narrow handle, which is ideal for the small-handed user. You can use the knife to peel, cut, and shape both vegetables and fruits without any problems.

Quality & Performance

As one of the top 10 Amazon Paring Knives in terms of sales, it’s clear that customers trust the 31160-101 model. Sadly, however, it appears to be below the other best Henckels knives from a quality point of view. Not only do some customers believe it feels cheap, but others even experienced the handle cracking. Even though the paring knife doesn’t come super sharp, it’s appreciated for holding an edge well. All in all, it’s a great value for the small amount you pay.

PROS
  • Perfect for fruits and veggies
  • Good value for the money
  • Satisfying edge retention
  • Nice balance
  • #10 best-selling Paring Knife on Amazon
CONS
  • Requires out-of-box sharpening
  • Handle prone to cracking
  • Feels cheaply-made
Shopping for a paring knife on a fairly limited budget? The J.A. Henckels International Classic paring knife (31160-101) is just what you need. It may require initial sharpening, but it will help you work with vegetables and fruits for years to come.

3. J.A. Henckels Pro Bread (38406-203) – Best Henckels Knives for Bread

We all know the frustration of reaching for a knife to cut bread only to have the loaf squashed in the process. We’re also aware that not everyone will be up to empty their wallet for a high-end bread knife. Nevertheless, we have identified the best Henckels knives for slicing through bread without getting annoyed – the J.A. Henckels Pro bread knife (38406-203). It’s the best buy if you’re looking for a bread knife specifically.

Main Features

  • 8-inch Pro bread knife
  • 16-inch total length
  • Serrated edge
  • Ice-hardened through FRIODUR process
  • 6-ounce weight

Design & Usability

Owing to the heavily serrated edge, you won’t have to struggle with slicing any type of bread again. No matter if the crust is hard or soft, the Henckels bread knife will get the job done admirably. The model is 16 inches long, with a no-stain 8-inch blade. Its 9.6-ounce weight is ideal for cutting bread without getting frustrated halfway through the process. The final touch is the traditional triple-riveted handle, which proves to be comfortable for almost any user.

Quality & Performance

Even though the model is notably expensive, it truly delivers top-of-the-line quality. Sure, you may not use it that often, but you’ll be getting quality cuts when you do. Every slice of bread turns out clean and precise, regardless of the width you’re aiming for. Henckels’ signature FRIODUR ice-hardening blade preparation also ensures long-term edge retention. When it does need a touch-up, you can use a sharpener appropriate for serrated knives.

PROS
  • Premium quality
  • Suitable for all types of bread
  • Precise, clean cuts
  • Perfect weight for bread-cutting
  • Designed and manufactured in Germany
CONS
  • Very expensive
  • Won’t be used that often
  • Not a must-have for the average user
As far as bread knives are concerned, the J.A. Henckels Pro 38406-203 model is one of the best in its class. It’s part of the company’s Pro line, which means that you can count on it in a professional kitchen environment.

2. J.A. Henckels Fine Edge Pro Utility (31468-131) – Best Henckels Knives on a Budget

Impossible as it may seem, you can get one of the best Henckels knives for less than $20. Even more so, their J.A. Henckels Fine Edge Pro utility knife (31468-131) has a remarkable average customer rating of 4.3 stars on Amazon. On the platform, it’s also one of the top 20 best-selling products in the Kitchen Utility Knives category.

Main Features

  • 5-inch utility knife
  • One-piece stamped blade
  • Full tang serrated knife
  • Curved triple-riveted handle
  • 4-ounce weight

Design & Usability

With a 5-inch serrated blade, the 31468-131 utility knife meets the requirements for almost all general tasks. Although the blade is stamped, it is manufactured from a single piece of steel with a full tang. The utility knife is suitable for a variety of kitchen applications, from cutting bread or cheese to vegetables like tomatoes, celery or lettuce. In addition, it works for meats like sausages or steaks just as well. It is highly recommended for outdoor use too, such as camping or picnics.

Quality & Performance

You may be questioning the quality of a $10 Henckels knife. Rest assured that there aren’t as many negative consumer reports as you may expect to be. A few users complained about the blade being too thin or flexible, but the same aspects are actually an advantage for certain foods. The model also surpasses its predecessor in terms of quality, so it gets another point from us for this reason too. Nonetheless, be careful with the plastic clamshell packaging if you decide to order the model.

PROS
  • Cheapest best Henckels knives
  • Extremely sharp
  • Flexible blade
  • Higher quality than predecessor
  • Convenient size and weight
CONS
  • Blade may be too thin
  • Inadequate packaging
  • Poor finish
For a mere $10 price point, the J.A. Henckels Fine Edge Pro utility knife (31468-131) is a dream come true. You really can’t get any better if you’re on a tight budget. If you want to browse other affordable models, you can look into our guide for the best chef knives under 50 dollars.

1. J.A. Henckels International Classic Utility (31160-161) – Best Henckels Knives of 2019

As challenging as it was for us to pick, we have identified the best Henckels knives of the year for most purposes. When choosing our #1 champ, we considered all general aspects for the everyday average home chef. By no means is it a top choice for professional chefs, nor should the user expect it to be a commercial kitchen workhorse. The best-selling J.A. Henckels International Classic utility knife (31160-161) is a worthwhile addition to your knife block.

Main Features

  • 6-inch blade; 10.625-inch total length
  • X50CrMoV15 German steel
  • Fully-forged knife
  • Fine honing
  • Ergonomic traditional handle

Design & Usability

The 31160-161 follows the classic design of a fine-edged utility knife. Its 6-inch blade is neither too long nor too short, making it an adaptable piece of cutlery. If you have small hands, the model will be particularly useful for you. On this note, unfortunately, numerous customers complained about the poor finish of the handle. Some people received their knife with sharp and uncomfortable edges on the handle. Otherwise, the 10.6-inch length should be appropriate for the majority of users.

Quality & Performance

From a quality viewpoint, the major aspect that customers complain about is edge retention. Nevertheless, any cook with a bit of experience knows that their go-to knives need to be sharpened often. Aside from that, the 31160-161 actually arrives super sharp and ready to use straight out of the box. We recommend it for cutting sandwiches but also select veggies and fruits. Users are thrilled about the nice balance it provides, as well as the overall value for an inexpensive Henckels.

PROS
  • Accessible for most budgets and tasks
  • Pleasantly balanced
  • Very sharp upon arrival
  • Good for small hands
  • #10 best-selling Kitchen Utility Knife on Amazon
CONS
  • Handle edges are sharp
  • May dull quickly
  • Design drawbacks
Whether you’re a first-time Henckels customer or you want to replace the utility knife in your block, the J.A. Henckels International Classic utility knife (31160-161) is an excellent choice. There’s a good chance it won’t exceed your budget, all while you enjoy a quality knife from one of the most esteemed brands in the industry.

Final Verdict

To conclude, there’s not a doubt in the world regarding the worth and value of the best Henckels knives. The company never fails to impress customers, whether through an incredibly inexpensive utility knife or a top-tier pro chef knife. When shopping for the best Henckels knives, we recommend narrowing your options based on purpose. What do you want to cut with it? Meat, bread, vegetables? Do you need a straight or serrated edge? How long should it be?

Once you have the answers to a few preliminary questions, the best option will be crystal clear. Have you made the decision to invest in the best Henckels knives? Which model did you pick? Share your experience with us using the comment section. Enjoy!

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