I’ve never been a big fan of “knife sets”. Most cooks can get by quite comfortably with three or four well chosen knives. Most of the knives in these sets are what I would consider to be “filler” to allow the manufacturers to sell knives that they’d otherwise rarely sell individually.
Check out our Guide to the best budget kitchen knives for more on that.
All that being said, this Henckel International 17-piece set has less “filler” than most, but the quality of the knives and the steel used in them isn’t exactly what I’d consider to be the top tier of Henckels offerings.
The knives are stamped (read, less expensive to manufacture) with molded handles. The one advantage they do offer over the more expensive forged Henckels knives, is that since stamped blades are thinner, the blade geometry is actually quite a bit better than the forged blades, even if the steel is of a lower grade.
These are undoubtedly “value” driven knives aimed at the casual home user. Many home cooks may find they fill their needs quite nicely, but if I were on a budget and wanted to buy German knives (which these technically aren’t, as the International lines are made primarily in China), I’d save a few more pennies and buy a Messermeister Chefs Knife and Parer set which will outperform the Henckels Synergy knives in every respect. I’d then add to the set as my needs and budget dictate.
Also be sure to check out the Forschner seven-piece set. That’s another smaller set of essential knives that will perform much better than the Henckels.
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