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Sep 24, 2012 08:24 PM

J.A Henckels Forged Knife Set at Costco, Good Value?

Hey Guys,

Need your opinion on buying this set of knives at costco.

Is it good value or should I be buying individual knives? My budget is around $150 for at least the essential knives.

Thanks in advance

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  1. When I''ve researched Henckel knives at Costco in the past, I found that they were lower tier knives not made in Germany. I think you get what you pay for on this one. Perhaps others have first hand experience? You probably want to search google and see what reviews exist.

    1. I believe what you looked at are the Henckels International knives.

      As justsayn said, these are lower tier knives. I have sharpened and used these knives and I was not impressed. If I am you, then I would focus on getting one good main knife. This can be a Chef's knife, Santoku, Gyuto, Chinese cleaver...etc.

      If budget is limited, then I highly recommend the Dexter-Russell or Victorinox stamped knives. They are relatively inexpensive and better than Henckels International. For examples:

      A sharpening strategy is very important. You can spend $2000 for a knife, but if you don't sharpened it and maintain it, then it is a waste of money. A $2000 dull knife is no different than a $20 dull knife.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        " I have sharpened and used these knives and I was not impressed."

        What didn't you like about the Henckels International knives? Bad edge retention?

        1. re: unprofessional_chef

          Yeah. But probably more so, it couldn't form a refined cutting edge in the first place.

          "The 6 inch Henckels International knife formed an edge, but it is not as sharp as the Kiwi based on paper cut and hair cut tests and cutting meats."

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            My experience from sharpening Henckels International knives has been that some take a perfectly decent edge and hold it reasonably well while others, sometimes of the same model, are completely unable to take a useful edge at all. They must be really inconsistent in their heat treatments or something.

            As such, I don't recommend these knives either.

            1. re: cowboyardee

              Jim (knifesavers) and you said the same thing about inconsistent edge. As such, I will that this into account. I have limited experience of Henckel International compared to you two, who are professional and semi-professional knife sharpeners.

      2. Out here in SoCal Costco has the Henckels International made in Spain.

        They are OK but can be a bit hit or miss on ease of sharpening.

        Gotta agree with Chem that on a budget Dexter are hard to beat. They aren't fancy looking but especially the V-lo are very light and comfortable. I haven't seen many but like the Dexter Green River for looks. I'm a sucker for a walnut handle. ;)

        Throw one other budget brand at you which is Mercer. They are a great bang for buck blade and look like more expensive knives. They are common among culinary students and are a decent level blade for the money.

        Sure you can drop more cake on a much better knife but stepping up from decent to exceptional gets spendy.

        As Chem said whatever you get will dull so have a sharpening plan.


        1. You would probably be wasting a lot of money if you got a set. If I were starting out, I'd get a good medium sized chef's knife 8" blade), a good santoku (7" blade) and some cheap paring knives. IMO, the best bang for your buck is the Messermeister Meridian Elite line for the first two. The blade angle is 15° rather than the 20-22° edge of most European knives. I have a set of 3 MIU paring knives that came free with something, and other than the paint coming off the wood handle, they've sharpened up nicely (I took them to 15°). This will put you a bit over your budget, but you'll save money in the long run. carries many of the Messermeister Meridians. Like all large knife makers, they also carry cheaper lines, but I wouldn't advise fooling with those. One GOOD knife is better than 2 or 3 that won't take a good edge and keep it.


          1. OK. Let's make this clear I am a professional cook/chef who has been working in kitchens since I was 20. YOU ONLY NEED TWO KNIVES!!! A good chef's or french knife(10" seems to be the professional standard) and a pearing knife (mine is a 5"). A "knife set is a rip-off. Spend the same amount of money on one good chef's knives and a whetstone, that's all you need.

            4 Replies
            1. re: andyp83

              <and a pearing knife (mine is a 5")>

              But what if I don't like pear?

              (just kidding)>

              1. re: andyp83

                You might need only those two knives in a professional kitchen, but I find other knives useful. I use a serrated bread knife, a 9" slicing knife, and a 6" utility knife, besides a paring knife and a chef's knife (8"). I also have a boning knife and a filet knife. I probably could get by with fewer knives, but I like having all of them. The knives I mentioned are all Wusthof Classic, but I bought them all at a thrift store for less than $20, for all of them and several more. Oh, I forgot the 12" slicing knife that is used mostly for watermelons.

                1. re: John E.

                  All those Classics for $20.00....WOW....How much $$ to shop for me :-)

                  I agree though with a block full of knives. In addition to Chefs & paring, I have a cheap Dexter Filet Knife for fish (used to buy them by the doz) , serrated for bread products, boning used mostly for whole chickens, 6" sandwich my wife uses for everything, and a 10" slicer I use for carving roasts and a few other knives to boot. I don't think they are all necessary to start off with but in the long run nice & practical to have.

                2. re: andyp83

                  Hi, Andy:

                  Which of those two do you use to fillet fish? Bone beef or break subprimals? Slice bread?