The Henckels Gourmet 3-Piece Starter Set of three high carbon stainless steel knives pares back the complications of J.A. Henckels manufacturing to the bare minimum but still provides three very useful blades of good quality. The alloy steel matches Henckels’ usual standards, but construction methods are much simpler than in Henckels’ other product lines. The flat tapered grind of the blades — one of the most important features — gives the blades the cutting action you expect from good blades. Touching up the edges with sharpening stones may be necessary for the first use, but regular maintenance is an easy job for a honing steel.
The three-piece Henckels starter set includes a 3″ Paring Knife, 6″ Utility Knife, and 8″ Chef Knife — enough blades to run the average kitchen. For some specific tasks like cutting pastry or carving roasts, other blades will work better than the three provided here, but these three are enough to get by. The chef’s knife is the workhorse blade of the European kitchen, useful for chopping, slicing, mincing, and more. Experts who’ve learned the correct use of every part of the blade often need no other knife. The paring knife removes faults in produce and shapes and peels fruits and vegetables. The utility knife makes a good choice for sandwich prep as well as carving and boning meats and poultry.
The stamped steel blades are securely fitted to polymer handle slabs using full tang riveted construction. Some will prefer the slimmer handle profiles of the Gourmet series — lighter and a better fit for small hands. The stain-free knives are dishwasher safe but will gradually erode in machine washing. Henckels recommends hand washing and drying for best care of the edge and finish.