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Jul 8, 2006 11:09 PM

differences btwn henckels 4 star & professional s?


trying to decide on which knife set to purchase. thanks!

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  1. I will be the first of many voices cautioning against your plan to purchase a "knife set". Please give thoughtful consideration to buying individual knives that YOU will use, not what some manufacturer decides.

    I have owned Le Sabatier carbon steel knives for forty years and still use the originals on a daily basis. Do I have others? Absolutely, including one dreaded stainless steel number for use on foods that instantly discolor when exposed to carbon steel.

    Would I buy a "knife set"? Absolutely not. This is the advice I have given my sons and anyone else who asks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sherri

      There was a thread on this a while back. The point I made back then is that there are small sets on the market now that may be a very good deal for someone. For example, I bought a wustof set with exactly four knives (a chefs, a serrated, a utility, and a slicer). I use all of them and the set was quite cheap. Would it be better to buy individual knives (a chefs from this company, a serrated from that, etc.)? Perhaps, but it is also more expensive. The knock against buying sets applies to larger sets. A set of 2-4 knives may be a very good investment.

    2. I agree with the above. I have purchased only a few Henckle's Pro S knives - a chef's, a boning, a bread, and a serrated multi-purpose which is good for multiple uses. These have served me well for my personal needs for many years. With the other specialty utensils I own, so far I've had no need to go overboard and I didn't need to spend hundreds if not $1000 to equip myself to slice and chop whatever I need to.

      I might expand eventually if I find that I need others, but I know that that will only be very few more - possibly a paring knife, although all these years have gone by and I haven't had a burning desire for one yet. I certainly don't need a carving knife, I own a Black and Decker electric knife that I adore.

      My choice of the Pro S was purely based on the fact that it felt good in my hand - I think a knife is a very personal item and should feel right for you (and obviously of course, be well made).


      1. Simple answer, Professional S knives are full tang. This means that the blade runs the full length of the knife, even through the handle. Professional S knives also have riveted handles, which some folks think may be less sanitary.

        The 4-Star knife handle is also full tang and the handle is molded around the blade, maybe making it more sanitary. The 4-Star knife also has a more ergonomical shape to it and is more comfortable if you have smaller hands.

        I agree with what was said above, that you should look at buying the best knife for each job not a set. Also, don't spend money on knives that you don't use often or maybe will never use. For example, I use the following knives:

        Chef knife-Global brand
        Bread knife-Wusthof with reverse serrations.
        Boning, meat slicer, paring knives-Victorinox/Forschner EXCELLENT VALUE.

        If you don't have much money, definitely buy the best chef knife that you can afford because you will be using it 95% of the time or more. BTW, you should consider Wusthof over Henckel knives. Almost everyone agrees that their quality is now vastly superior.

        1. I would never buy a set of knives. I'm a bit of a knife junkie and have any number of different brands and types. I love my Japanese vegetable knife which looks like a small Chinese knife (read cleaver). Has a bamboo handle and boy will it chop veggies. Also have a Furi santoku knife and cleaver, solid stainless that is outstanding. If I want a chef's knife I have one of those "restaurant" types with the white plastic handle that I bought at Sam's club probably 10 years ago and it still keeps a perfect edge, super sharp.

          Have a Santoku knive I got on sale at Chef's and it's outstanding, think it may be a Jacque Pepin.

          So, look around, try some out. There are excellent knives that don't cost an arm and a leg. Have a little 4 or 5 inch chef type knife I got at the Asian grocery for maybe 6 dollars. It will take your finger off if you're not careful, sharp.

          Be sure, however, to get wooden slotted trays if you are going to put your knives in a drawer, just don't toss them in. Never just toss them in in a pile.