J. A. Henckels International Classic Knife Set

Kitchen Stainless Granton 2 Piece

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J. A. Henckels International ClassicThese two very useful prep knives from the International Series by J. A. Henckels both feature hollow ground edges but in two different styles. Combined with the forged strength of this modified German pattern, this results in blades that will handle nearly any task in the kitchen except chopping through bones.

The only major limitation is length--the Santoku at five inches cutting length and the Paring knife at 4 inches are designed primarily for slicing fruits and vegetables and for peeling and prepping. But both are strong enough to handle heavier work--boning and slicing meat, poultry and fish and trimming away fat and waste.

The granton hollow grind of the 5" Santoku is designed to create a frictionless surface that prevents slices of food from sticking to the blade, stacking up on the side and rolling away. It usually works but there will always be a few runaway pieces. When slicing cooked meats, the hollows fill with juices and allow even cutting of thinner slices, with more control than a flat ground blade will offer. To me it seems that the thinner cross section of the blade is more responsible for the improvements than the hollow grind, but there's no question that it's a jump up from the older and heavier Western styles.

Henckels uses well tested stainless steel alloys that have no unwelcome surprises, with edge holding ability that is market standard for this level of blade. Daily sharpening with a honing steel should be enough to maintain the edge. Hand washing is recommended and the knives should be wiped dry before putting them back in the block.

Overall these knives show the solid construction you expect from Henckels, with improvements that actually make a difference.

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