J.A. Henckels International Classic 8-Inch Stainless-Steel Chef's Knife

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Price
$54.95
By
J.A. Henckels
Purchase Date
2003-02-06
Purchase Price
$45.00
Pros: Blade held up well, comfortable handle.
Cons: handle broke, bad customer service, some food sticks to knife when cutting.
I bought this knife around 2002-2003.  I am not professionally trained, but I cook all of my food from scratch for the past 10 years.  I do not own a lot of good knives, this was purchased because I wanted a good quality knife that would last a long time.  My evaluation of how the knife performs may not be great. 

After about 2-3 years the handle cracked at the rivet (I take good care of my tools, I never used it for a hammer, it never went in the dishwasher).  The cracked piece of the handle recently fell off.  [if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:DoNotOptimizeForBrowser/> </w:WordDocument></xml><![endif]

I returned it to J. A. Henckles under the lifetime warranty.  The replacement knife was about 1/16 of an inch thinner (they lowered the quality since I bought my knife) and it was a factory reject.  It came with a piece of cardboard around the blade.  The edge on it was defective.... I compared it to one in a store.  They had obviously sent me a factory reject and a lower quality knife to boot.  I had to threaten to start a claim with the Better Business Bureau before they would send me a knife in retail packaging.  I hate the new knife, the blade is so thin it cuts into your hand if you have to push down on the blade to cut though something thick.  I found this website while searching to find a good replacement knife.  Thank you for all you reviews.

I don't think that it is uncommon for the handles to break or fall off.  When I was fighting with their customer service to send me a replacement that was not a factory reject, I combed through some of the 2 star ratings on Amazon.  There were numerous complaints about the handles falling off and breaking.

Summary: The handle may break and the warranty replacement could be a factory reject.

I found this website while searching to find a good replacement knife.  Thank you for all you reviews.
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Reactions: 1 person
Value
3.00 star(s)
Performance
3.00 star(s)
Handle
3.00 star(s)
Blade
3.00 star(s)
Purchase Date
2001-06-01
Purchase Price
$50.00
Pros: Long lasting, sturdy
Cons: May be a bit heavy for some users
I own a previous iteration of this knife (31161-200) that no longer seems to be available for sale.  

They seem to be the same knife as far as I can tell.  

My knife is made in Spain.  Unlike a previous review, I think the Spanish Henckels are good knives depending on what your needs are.  Yes, they are not the German or Japanese ones, but they are still good knives that can be sharpened.   You need to avoid the Chinese Henckels, which are complete junk.  

I take my knife to a local sharpener once a year and it comes back just as sharp as some of my more expensive knives.  

If you like a heavy traditional knife, this fits the bill.  If you prefer something a bit more lightweight, then I would go in a different direction.  
Value
3.00 star(s)
Performance
2.00 star(s)
Handle
2.00 star(s)
Blade
2.00 star(s)
Pros: Inexspencive, Feels good in hand,
I own this knife. I don't know a whole lot about kitchen knives yet but this one for the PRICE is way better than the junk that most ppl have in there kitchen.

I have made knives in a forge so I know a little about steel and hardness to sharpness. This knife needs touching up after every use. It isn't a professional knife and does well in the home kitchen or the back yard. I usually throw it in the dishwasher and hit a few swipes on my sharpener. Good home knife not for the pro!
Value
3.00 star(s)
Performance
2.00 star(s)
Handle
2.00 star(s)
Blade
2.00 star(s)
Pros: Cheap
Cons: Cheap
Henckels makes several levels of quality.  The best are made in Germany or in Japan.  The German knives are "Zwillings" or "Twins."  The Japanese knives  have their own identity as "Miyabi."  

The rest, made in various places around the world outside of Germany and Japan -- mostly in Spain -- are called "International."  The International designation consists of several lines, and comprise Henckels lower-end offerings

My experience with any and all Henckels Internationals is that they are cheap junk and best avoided.  They don't sharpen easily nor do they sharpen well.  In much the same price range, Forschner Fibrox, Forschner Rosewood, and any of the better Dexters are preferable by far.  The best thing you can say about Internationals, is that they're cheaply priced.  Unfortunately, they're also cheap at the price.

After writing the above, I was given several Internationals to sharpen and am consequently upgrading my ratings slightly.  The knives sharpened easily to a good level of sharpness, but were unable to take much polish.  The edge maxxed out somewhere between a Norton fine India and a soft Arkansas.  The knives are too soft to hold an edge well.  

I'm in substantial agreement with the other reviewer, although I can't recommend the knife because there are better choices at similar prices.

BDL
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