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German Knives: Zwilling JA Henckels vs. Wusthof, Two Shades of Greatness

Wusthof vs. Henckels

German knives have quite a lengthy history.  The brands MetroKitchen has selected,  Henckels and Wusthof, have been making beautiful kitchen knives for centuries! Many people like to compare Wusthof vs. Henckels.  No matter which you chose you’ll have a superb quality knife that has a lifetime guarantee.

Zwilling JA Henckels and Wusthof Trident craft the majority of their knives in Solingen, Germany. One can only imagine the inter-town rivalry between employees of these two companies!  Zwilling JA Henckels began in 1731. Wusthof followed suit in 1814. Both companies were founded before Germany was even a country. At the time of their founding, Solingen was located in the Duchy of Berg.

When contrasting and comparing different knife brands, it is essential to compare apples to apples, and in this case, it means comparing forged to forged and stamped to stamped knives. The forged knife styles from JA Henckels are Pro, Pro S, and Four Star. The forged styles made by Wusthof include Wusthof Classic, Wusthof Grand Prix II, Wusthof Classic Ikon.

The two main differences between Wusthof vs. Henckels are handles and blades.

Knife Handles: Wusthof vs. Henckels

Wusthof Chef's Knife

The knife handle is the most expensive component of a forged knife. Usually, aesthetics and ergonomics drive handle choice.  You may select a handle that visually appeals to you while someone else chooses by the grip.  Both Wusthof and Henckels make knives with a wide variety of handles, all are top quality.

Knife Blades: Wusthof vs. Henckels

While most of the blades from Henckels and Wusthof look relatively similar to each other, there are some distinctions. First is the hardness of the steel.

Hardness Rating

Henckels has a hardness rating of 56-57 Rockwell, but on some collections designed by Bob Kramer (some are Japanese) is 61 Rockwell.

Wusthof is rated at 58 Rockwell. The higher the number, the harder the steel so Wusthof is likely to hold its sharpness longer, while Henckels knives will be a little easier to sharpen.

Blade Angle

Another significant difference is the angle to which the blade is sharpened. Henckels sharpens their knives to a 15° per side on standard blades and 10° per side on S knives

Wusthof sharpens its knives to a narrower 14° angle per side on most standard blades and 10° per side on Asian style blades like Santoku and N.

There are a few other differences in these forged German knives.  Henckels International Forged is made in Spain. They’re made with softer steel than other Henckels forged styles that are made in Germany.

Half-Bolster Designs

The Henckels Pro style and the Wusthof Ikon lines (Classic Ikon, Classic Ikon Creme, Ikon Blackwood) have a different blade design.  These lines have a “half bolster” design.  The bolster is the part of the knife that gets thick just before the blade meets the handle. Most bolsters for German knives look like the one seen here (show image of HK-31021-203). The bolster has a thick area that extends from the top of the blade to the cutting edge. With the Pro,  the bolster is abbreviated and only gets thick where the metal meets the handle. The bolster does not extend down to the heel or bottom of the blade.

The Wusthof Ikon lines also have the same half bolster design.  The reason you’d want this type of knife is, so you have a full blade to use when cutting.   In other words, with Wusthof Ikon knives and Henckels Pro knives, you are getting the maximum cutting area from the blade.

Stamped Knives

Both Wusthof and Henckels make stamped knives as well. These are value-priced because they’re cut from a sheet of metal but are still sharp. We have a great article explaining the differences between stamped and forged knives.

Wusthof Knives Construction

Zwilling JA Henckels Construction

Solingen, Germany: “City of Blades”

Solingen, Germany

Located in region of Bergisches Land in the western edge of Germany, Solingen is known as the “City of Blades” due to its long storied history of manufacturing blades for swords, knives, scissors and razors dating back to Medieval times. Adding to its legacy as a European smithing town, Solingen has discovered blacksmith smelters dating back 2000 years.

Fun fact:Heinz Bender, who served as head pastry chef and worked for several presidents in the US White House is from Solingen.

Henckels vs. Wusthof

Whether you buy Henckels or Wusthof, you are purchasing a high-quality German knife that will be super sharp and with a lifetime guarantee.

Filed Under: Product Guides

Sours: https://blog.metrokitchen.com/guides/wusthof-vs-henckels-knives/

Your Guide To Knife Care & Cleaning Zwilling and Henckels Knives

It’s no surprise we love cutting, slicing, dicing, and chopping with Zwilling and Henckels knives.

Since these are high quality knives, they should be cleaned and cared for as so. Read on how to learn how to care for these knives so they’ll last a lifetime.

Knife washing 101

You want your knife to last a long, long time, and the first step is how you wash your knife.

Hand wash recommended

ZWILLING knives are dishwasher safe, however, we recommend washing them by hand. Washing these knives in the dishwasher will shorten their lifespan and worsen their cutting edge retention. This is because dishwasher use extremely hot water, often tough chemicals, and of course, there’s always the likely chance the knives will bang against other cutlery.

How to wash your knives

Wash your knives under lukewarm water with a mild, non-abrasive soap and a non-scratch cloth or sponge and always dry immediately. So now you know how to wash your knives. But how do you care for them to make sure they last forever?

How to care for your knife

Zwilling Pro Chef Knife

So you’ve learned how to wash your knife properly. Now, how do you care for it?

Clean acidic foods right away

Letting acidic foods stay on the blade of your knife may cause your knife to tarnish and rust. If you see some rust, ZWILLING has a great tip on how to remove rust spots and have your blade looking as good as new!

Minimize the patina

Over time, knives made of carbon steel will turn dark grey or even black. This is called patina, and it’s what happens overtime because of acidic foods. To reduce patina, when you’re cutting highly acidic foods, be sure to rinse, wipe the blade, and then return to cutting. And as always, rinse and dry your knives immediately after use.

No bones about it

We cannot stress this enough – if you’re not using a meat cleaver, do not use your knife to cut bones! Please don’t use your knife for poking, prying, separating, or cutting semi-frozen or frozen foods.

That’s not what a knife does

Knives can slice, dice, chop, and do so much more. What knives can’t do is hammer nails, drive screws, or open cans. And trying to make a knife be something it’s not can bend or even break the blade.

Proper knife care includes storage

5 piece knife block set on magnetic knife block

Zwilling J.A. Henckels 4-Star 5 Piece Knife Block Set

So now that your knife is clean and being used for it’s intended purpose, it’s time to throw it in your drawer until you need it again, right? A ZWILLING knife is an investment and needs to be cared for like it’s one.

Knife block

Storing your knives in a knife block is one of the safest ways to store your knives. It’s also one of the most decorate ways.

Magnetic bar

Go on, show your knives off. A magnetic bar lets you view and access your knives easily.

Knife case

Take your knife storage to another level and invest in a knife case. These are great for professional chefs and people who often travel with their knives. Just make sure to use knife sheaths to protect your blades.


You can store your knives in a drawer, but unless you want the cutting edge to chip or dent because of the clashing against other utensils, we recommend using knife sheaths.

A knife for life

zwilling henckels knives

Want more tips on how to care for your ZWILLING and Henckels knives? Visit Zwilling.com for more tips or check out some of our favourite recipes from ZWILLING pros.

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Sours: https://blog.kitchenstuffplus.com/your-guide-to-knife-care-cleaning-zwilling-henckels-knives/
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Zwilling J. A. Henckels

Zwilling J. A. Henckels AG is a German knife-maker based in Solingen, Germany. It is one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of kitchen knives for domestic and professional use, having been founded in June 1731 by Peter Henckels. The brand's namesake was Johann Abraham Henckels (1771–1850), who renamed the brand after himself under his leadership. J.A. Henckels is one of the leading manufacturers of chef's knives.

Early history & expansion[edit]

J. A. Henckels International logo

"Zwilling" (German for 'twin') was founded on 13 June 1731 by the German knife-maker Peter Henckels.[1][2] The logo was registered with the Cutlers’ Guild of Solingen, making Zwilling one of the earliest examples of a trademarked company.[3][4] In 1771, Peter's son Johann Abraham Henckels (1771–1850) – the later namesake of the company – was born.[5][6] The Henckels logo has been in the current shape with a red background since 1969.[7]

J. A. Henckels Twin Brand Razors and Shears promotional postcard, around 1930–1945

J. A. Henckels opened the first trading outlet in 1818 in Berlin,[8] opening a shop in New York City in 1883 and followed a year later by Vienna.[9] The company exhibited its products at the 1851 Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in Great Britain, being awarded an international knifesmithing medal.[10]

J. A. Henckels was awarded the Grand Prix prize in Paris in 1900[11] and the Grand Prix of St. Louis in 1904.[12][13] It was also awarded with the Prussian State Golden Medal. Henckels was also given a royal warrant of appointment as purveyors of knives to the Imperial and Royal Court of Austria-Hungary (see K.u.k. Hoflieferant(in German)[14][15]).

Brands & current state[edit]

The company operates several brands, including Zwilling J. A. Henckels, J. A. Henckels International, Miyabi, Staub, Demeyere, Ballarini, and BSF.[16] Through these activities, the company also operates its own retail shops both in Germany and internationally, among them about 200 sub-stores in China. Since 1970 the company has been owned by the Werhahn Group,[17] with a staff of 3,200 worldwide. Profits amounted to €282 million in 2007, with 80% of its profits generated outside Germany. In 2004, Henckels acquired the Japanese knife manufacturer Nippa, and renamed it Miyabi, and the U.S. beauty specialist Tweezerman, which is operated independently from Zwilling.[18]


Since 1988, J. A. Henckels has partnered with Solingen-based professional hairdressing equipment manufacturer Jaguar,[19] which became part of the Zwilling group in 2004 to make product for the hairdressing industry, also owning a selection of hairdressing equipment brands.[20]


With the 2008 acquisitions of the Belgian manufacturer Demeyere (stainless steel cookware) and the French group Staub, which produces enameled cast iron cookware, Zwilling moved to expand the cookware segment of its business.[21]

Knife lines[edit]

Zwilling J. A. Henckels Four Star knife set

In 1976 Henckels introduced The Four Star line, which is a fully forged knife with a molded handle made of polypropylene and a tang extending into the handle.[22][23] The majority of Zwilling knives have blades constructed from high-carbon stainless steel, which is ice-hardened for sharpness and stain resistance, along with a partnership allowing some products constructed using a microcarbide powder steel with clad layers, which are manufactured in Japan. In 2011 Zwilling partnered with Master Bladesmith and Designer Bob Kramer to launch a series of co-branded knives, stating with a Carbon Steel line. [24]

Manufacturing process[edit]

TWIN Cuisine Tournant knife

Henckels knives are manufactured in several ways. A large selection of the knife range are forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, which is cold-hardened to improve stain resistance. This hardening process consists of cryogenic tempering and involves immersing the finished knife blades in liquid nitrogen.[25] This process is required to get full hardness from most stainless knife steels, as it completes the conversion of austenite to martensite. The process of forging is intended to produce improved cutting-edge retention, weight, balance, and reduced opportunity for metal fatigue. Nearly all of Zwilling's knives are manufactured in Solingen, Germany.[26]

Modern expansion[edit]

In 1909 Henckels set up its first subsidiary in the U.S.,[27] followed by Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Japan, Italy, France, Spain, China. In 2008, subsidiaries were set up in Great Britain and Brazil.

In popular culture[edit]

A Henckels shop front can be seen in a whole scene in Fritz Lang's M (approximately 51 minutes into the movie). In 2010 Jeffrey Elliot and Michael DeWan wrote The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Complete Guide to Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques and Care which is available in English, Dutch, and French [28]


  1. ^The Saturday Evening Post. Curtis Publishing Company. November 1950.
  2. ^Special Consular Reports. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1904.
  3. ^Congressional Serial Set. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1904.
  4. ^Statistics, United States Department of Commerce and Labor Bureau of (1905). Industrial Education and Industrial Conditions in Germany : Special Consular Reports Vol. Xxxiii. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 183.
  5. ^Kelleter, Heinrich (1924). Geschichte der Familie J. A. Henckels in Verbindung mit einer Geschichte der solinger Industrie (in German). J. A. Henckels.
  6. ^Schwärzel, Renate (1994). Deutsche Wirtschafts Archive: Nachweis historischer Quellen in Unternehmen, Körperschaften des Öffentlichen Rechts (Kammern) und Verbänden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (in German). Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN .
  7. ^DE Magazin Deutschland. Frankfurter Societäts-Medien GmbH. 2013.
  8. ^Kelleter, Heinrich (1924). Geschichte der Familie J. A. Henckels in Verbindung mit einer Geschichte der solinger Industrie (in German). J. A. Henckels.
  9. ^Schwärzel, Renate (1994). Deutsche Wirtschafts Archive: Nachweis historischer Quellen in Unternehmen, Körperschaften des Öffentlichen Rechts (Kammern) und Verbänden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (in German). Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN .
  10. ^Robuck, Mike (2014-08-05). Gun Trader's Guide to Collectible Knives: A Comprehensive, Fully Illustrated Reference with Current Market Values. Simon and Schuster. ISBN .
  11. ^Home Furnishing Review. Andrew J. Haire. 1909.
  12. ^Packetfahrt-Actien-Gesellschaft, Hamburg-Amerikanische (1908). Guide Through Germany, Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, &c: Souvenir of the Hamburg-American Line. J. H. Herz.
  13. ^Germany Reichskommission, Weltausstellung in St. Louis (1904). International Exposition St. Louis 1904: Official Catalogue. Exhibition of the German Empire. Georg Stilke.
  14. ^Österreich-Ungarn (1918). Hof- und Staats-Handbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie: für das Jahr ... nach amtlichen Quellen zusammengestellt (in German). Hof- und Staatsdr.
  15. ^Hof- und Staats-Handbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie (in German).
  16. ^Fabrikverkauf in Deutschland- 2005/2006: Der grosse JET Einkaufsführer (in German). Zeppelin Verlag. September 2004. ISBN .
  17. ^Economic Bulletin. Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce. 1972.
  18. ^"J. A. Henckels Acquires Tweezerman and Japanese Cutlery Manufacturer". HomeWorld Business. 2004-12-28. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  19. ^"Company history". Jaguar Solingen. Jaguar. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  20. ^BTC. Gale Research. 1993. ISBN .
  21. ^"Henckels Acquires Staub". HomeWorld Business. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  22. ^Kling, Rob (1996-02-28). Computerization and Controversy: Value Conflicts and Social Choices. Elsevier. ISBN .
  23. ^Dwell. Dwell, LLC. February 2008.
  24. ^://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bladesmith-bob-kramer-partners-with-zwilling-ja-henckels-to-create-custom-knives-105442498.html
  25. ^"This Kitchen Knife Is Both Functional and Frameworthy". Bloomberg.com. 2017-07-26. Retrieved 2020-09-07.
  26. ^Forbes, Paula (2011-09-29). "Inside the Henckels Knife Factory". Eater. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  27. ^"Solingen: Jubiläumsmesser aus echtem Brückenstahl". RP ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 2020-05-01.
  28. ^https://www.amazon.com/Zwilling-Henckels-Complete-Knife-Skills/dp/0778802566/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=jeffrey+Elliot&qid=1633459842&s=books&sr=1-2

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zwilling_J._A._Henckels
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Kitchen Knife Forging

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Zwilling Pro VS Wusthof Ikon Classic Chef's Knife - (Zwilling J. A. Henckels)

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