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Henckels Twin Signature Knife Block Set

11 Piece Stainless Steel Knives

Posted by Ken

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J.A. Henckels International TwinThis line from Henckels appears to be their answer to the Wusthof Gourmet line. Like the Wusthof Gourmet knives, they're constructed from simple thin blades stamped from average quality German steel appointed with riveted synthetic handles. By virtue of the geometry, thin blades of average quality steel, even if dull, will still offer better performance than a dull thicker forged blade of higher quality steel.

Aimed at the home cook, these are the upper end of the stamped construction Henckels "value lines". While certainly better than the lesser offerings from Henckels, I can't think of a particularly good reason, or even a particularly poor reason, to spend over two hundred dollars for this set. I'm not a fan of knife sets in general and my criticisms of this set are similar to my criticisms of most sets on the market: It has a couple of essential knives and a lot of filler knives and other components of questionable utility and value. While it does offer an eight inch chef's knife, the rest of the knives are mostly lacking in one respect or another, either by virtue of being the wrong size for that style of knife or simply by offering limited utility.

In general, this set isn't quite as bad as most sets on the market in terms of the variety of knives and accessories included in the set, but one inclusion of a curved peeling/tourne knife in a set of this type is absurd. I have a peeling knife of which I can honestly say I've used fewer than a dozen times and I've worked in professional settings for years. With the exception of a small number of old school French kitchens where tradition reigns supreme, in professional kitchens a vegetable peeler is used to peel vegetables and fruit and a paring knife is used to tourne vegetables. How often is a home cook likely to tourne a vegetable let alone need to use a tourne knife if they're rarely used in professional kitchens? Additionally, even at the hands of an experienced user, a curved peeling knife isn't known for it's ease of sharpening, so the reasoning behind including this type of knife in a set aimed at a home cook is quite difficult to understand. My advice is simple regarding this set: Skip it. Use the budget for a few well chosen essentials. Two hundred dollars will go a long way towards buying a small number of carefully selected knives which offer superior performance and better materials and construction.

Check out our review of the Messermeister San Moritz Elite set for a less-expensive, smaller set that is much higher-quality. Or, if you want all the details, read up on our Buyer's Guide to Kitchen Knives.

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