Henckels International products differ considerably from the traditional Henckels knives. The first impression here is lightweight — compared to the heavy forged blades from the German branches of the company. The 7-piece International Fine Edge Pro comes from Japan, and the construction methods use stamped steel and welded handles — which might be exactly what you want as a modern customer. Heavy forged builds really aren’t necessary considering the quality of modern steel.
Fine Edge Pro knives lack the heavy bolster of the Henckels forged products — that could be seen as an improvement, since the bolster does get in the way of slicing work and prevents owners from sharpening the blades for the entire length of the edge. Blade stock in this set is thinner than in the forged line, making the knives lighter and easier to handle. Expect to sharpen these knives before the first use. Edges obviously aren’t permanent, and many who think a knife is substandard haven’t actually learned to maintain that critical sharpness and shape. With this quality of steel, you can expect to hone the blades daily, if they are used daily.
I have heavy knives and light ones, some forged and some laser cut, and I have favorite uses for each. One of the knives I use most often is a light stamped steel blade of no particular pedigree, and I like it. I find these knives similar in structure, not built to be prybars but very handy for normal work. The seamless stainless steel handles clean up well, although I recommend hand washing and drying instead of running them through a dishwasher. I’d prefer handles with a different shape — the grip on these sits too far back. The assortment of blades in this set makes good sense — only the basics of paring and utility knives, chef’s knife and carving knife, and a serrated bread blade. Honing steel is included, and the block offers one more slot for kitchen shears. As a beginning selection, or gift set for a household just starting out, it’s a practical choice.
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