The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Four Star four-knife steak set offers forged high carbon stainless steel blades and a lighter build than the Henckels full tang cutlery. With rat tail tangs enclosed in molded polymer handles, the construction is clean and functional but not heavy duty.
Backed up with a limited lifetime warranty, the set holds up well to table use. Plain-edged blades slip through steak easily, and edges dulled by porcelain can be easily restored with an ordinary honing steel. Most people expect heavy knives when they buy Henckels products and may be surprised by this lighter build. While it might be too light for heavy prep work, this should be a good match for dining.
The Four Star series doesn’t have the usual Henckels look, in spite of the Henckels trademark — the high carbon stain-free stainless steel alloy specs are displayed on the steak knives as with Henckels best chef’s knives. With a Henckels product, I expect to see more steel than I do here, with the components boldly becoming part of the look instead of being hidden away in a molded polymer handle. It’s much easier to trust what you can see.
The junction of blade and bolster is abrupt, not blended gradually, and I’ve seen that contribute to metal fatigue in other knives I’ve owned and broken. There’s much to like in this set, but if you’re an old Henckels customer, you may not like all the design changes. If you’re a new customer and open minded, you’ll see these as as good knives backed up by a reliable company.
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