These are the two knives that most home chefs will use most often--the 4" paring knife and 8" cook's knife. By themselves they are not a complete set, but unless you've shifted over to santoku these are still the ones most often in hand. Even if you prefer the santoku style, you'll probably have a chef's knife around as a backup.
This pair of good knives from Henckels provides us with old designs created with new technology. The Henckels Sigmaforge process results in full rat tail tang handles of permanently bonded polypropylene along with forged bolsters and strong blades. Blade shape and edge are laser tested during manufacturing to detect even microscopic variation from the company's high standards. The FRIODUR ice hardening tempering process gives Solingen stainless steel even better durability than before.
The edge of these blades have wider bevels, in the European pattern, which makes them less efficient for slicing than the newer thin bevel Japanese designs, but also makes them less vulnerable to damage. These knives can handle twisting, flexing, and even chopping chores that would void the warranty on high end Japanese products.
Thicker blades and wider cutting bevels will still do that lighter slicing work, but with a slight drag you won't like if you spend too much time with the new generation of blades. You can compensate by keeping these knives in top condition and understanding that no one knife will meet every standard. A razor sharp Henckels is still a great knife.
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