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Thread: which zwilling j a henckel knives?

  1. #1

    which zwilling j a henckel knives?

    I have never owned a set of good kitchen knives. My brother recently bought a set of zwilling j a henckels twin four star 2 knives and he absolutely loves them. I have been looking at the same knives or the less expensive four star. Looks to me that the only difference is the stainless end cap on the handle. Trying to save some $, so is there a big difference between these two sets or not? Like I said, I am very new to this and am unable to just spend a lot. Maybe a smaller set, and then just add a knife here and there as I save. Any pointers?

  2. #2
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    how much is the total you are looking to spend for the two knives?

    there may and usually is better options out there than the henckels so long as your not set on the henckels brand.

  3. #3
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    Before the gang tries to convince you to buy something else, I'll answer your question. There is no difference in the blade or cutting performance between the Henckels Four Star and Four Star 2.
    "Experience" is what you get when you don't get what you want.

  4. #4
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    I have the four star which I was very happy with until I came to this forum. These knives are built with an unskilled, relatively careless consumer in mind. The steel is on the soft side which is good for steeling and minimizing damage from dings, and twisting action. They are also exceptionally stain resistant and dishwasher "safe." The trade-off is these knives are not built to hold a great edge very long, nor are they built to give excellent cutting performance. If you are interested in cutting performance, German production knives are decent at best.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Is it ok to talk him into buying something else yet?

    Compared to the knives we rave about over here your typical German blade henkels, whustof, messermeister etc are about a 2 or 3 on a 1-10 scale.

    That being said if you are dead set on the henkels brand, they do have a Japanese line called Miyabi. These are pretty good from what I hear and are considered a good first entry into the world of Japanese knives.
    Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
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  6. #6


    Ok I'll break the decorum here.

    I find those knives appalling, because the qualities that make a knife worth ANY amount of money are:
    1. Geometry
    2. Heat Treat
    3. Edge quality(strictly sharpening job)
    4. Design
    5. Comfort
    6. Aesthetics

    I've never seen a single knife from Henckels' name brand lines that provides a single one of those points in any quantity worth noting. It may seem snooty, or petulant, but considering they are a gigantic global company and producing them in state-of-the-art factories with highly paid engineers behind them, it is completely unacceptable that they aren't brilliant performers on SOME level.




    That said, I have a brother. Nothing like one-upsmanship between siblings, why not just take yourself back to scratch and come out with cutlery that is going to blow any concept of expectations out of the water(for both of you)? There's a thread here with some simple questions, and links to definitions of terms like "grip" and "cutting motion" that will help us provide you with a knife and accessories that will fit your budget/wants/needs and set a new standard for your expectations.

  7. #7

    which zwilling j a henckel knives?

    Wow! I did not realize what I was getting into. I thought the Henckel's were a very nice knife. I am used to having cheap department store garbage that breaks and just tears meat instead of cutting it, and forget about cutting vegetables.

    Like I said, I am on a pretty tight budget - and was just willing to spend a little more on a better knife set than a cheap $50 set that feels flimsy and doesn't last. Really liked my brothers four star 2s & they felt very good in my hand. Then looked at the original four star (because they are cheaper.) That was the reason for my question. Didn't want to buy the cheaper, and then wish I bought the four star 2s even if a smaller block to start out with, then add to it.

    I don't know, maybe $200-$300 for a couple of useful knives that maybe I could add to when I save up some more money.

    Not trying to be a chef or anything - I have a very small kitchen, and cook for a small family, nothing special. Any tips or info is greatly appreciated.

    Really don't know anything about German vs Japanese knives. Henckel's were the best knives I ever knew, and felt very comfortable in my hand. Didn't know they rated so low. Guess I'm not a knife fanatic (yet) ha ha

    Thank you guys for listening to an inexperienced beginner

  8. #8
    Budget is not a real big issue. Clearly, the more you are willing to spend, the better stuff you can get(provided you make an informed decision). Whatever your budget/style/needs/etc are, there is cutlery for you.

    Do the questionnaire! Be detailed, don't be embarrassed if you don't know stuff. I got into knives because I wanted to buy a Shun chef's knife to use as a full-time Sushi Chef. It's been my passion ever since to help guys as earnest and ill-informed as I was.

  9. #9
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    I guess I'll break decorum, as well, Eamon.

    1. Geometry - If you mean thin, yes, the chefs' knives are thicker, esp at the heel. However, if you are referring to grind, it is no worse that some of the flat ground knives that so many here rave about.
    2. Heat treat - No amount of heat treating is going to turn the steel in a vier sterne into a top performer. It is stainless and tough at 55-ish hrc, period.
    3. Edge quality - The sharpening job is limited by the iceberg-sized carbides in the steel.
    4-6. There is so much ambiguity and personal preference built into these that it would be a waste of time to comment.

    These are the Jeeps and personnel carriers of the knife world. They don't get you from point A to point B the fastest or with the same style but they serve their purpose.

  10. #10

    which zwilling j a henckel knives?

    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post


    Ok I'll break the decorum here.

    I find those knives appalling, because the qualities that make a knife worth ANY amount of money are:
    1. Geometry
    2. Heat Treat
    3. Edge quality(strictly sharpening job)
    4. Design
    5. Comfort
    6. Aesthetics

    I've never seen a single knife from Henckels' name brand lines that provides a single one of those points in any quantity worth noting. It may seem snooty, or petulant, but considering they are a gigantic global company and producing them in state-of-the-art factories with highly paid engineers behind them, it is completely unacceptable that they aren't brilliant performers on SOME level.




    That said, I have a brother. Nothing like one-upsmanship between siblings, why not just take yourself back to scratch and come out with cutlery that is going to blow any concept of expectations out of the water(for both of you)? There's a thread here with some simple questions, and links to definitions of terms like "grip" and "cutting motion" that will help us provide you with a knife and accessories that will fit your budget/wants/needs and set a new standard for your expectations.
    What type of knife(s) do you think you want? chef, utility, bread,

    Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing? wanting something better than cheap department store garbage (faberware)

    What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already? dislike all of these qualities of my knives
    Aesthetics-
    Edge Quality/Retention-
    Ease of Use-
    Comfort-

    What grip do you use? I would have to say mostly a pinch grip

    What kind of cutting motion do you use? mostly slicing

    Where do you store them? In a block

    Have you ever oiled a handle? no

    What kind of cutting board(s) do you use? plastic but thinking of wood

    For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing? nothing

    Have they ever been sharpened? no

    What is your budget? lower end

    What do you cook and how often? meat/vegetables - couple times a week

    Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?

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