Zwilling vs. Henckels Kitchen Knives: What’s the Difference?

We may earn a fee if you buy via links in this post (at no extra cost to you). Read our Terms & Conditions to learn more.

If you’re shopping for new kitchen knives, you might be wondering:

What’s the difference between Zwilling and Henckels? Are they the same?

In this comparison of Zwilling vs. Henckels kitchen knives, I’ll clear up the confusion.

You’ll learn:

  • Why people confuse these two brands
  • The key differences between Zwilling and Henckels knives
  • And how to choose the right brand for your kitchen

By the end, you’ll know the similarities, differences, pros, and cons of each brands’ knives and have the information you need to make a confident purchase.


Use the links below to navigate the comparison:


What’s the Difference Between Zwilling and Henckels? The Short Answer

People often confuse Zwilling and Henckels because they’re both owned by Zwilling J.A. Henckels, the renowned cutlery and cookware company.

Despite this shared ownership, Zwilling and Henckels are two separate brands with distinct kitchen knife collections.

Within Zwilling J.A. Henckels’ portfolio, Zwilling is the premium knife brand, whereas Henckels, also referred to as J.A. Henckels or Henckels International, is the company’s entry-level brand.

It may be helpful to think of the two in terms of tiers or a hierarchy. More advanced home chefs with a higher budget usually go for Zwilling, while Henckels is suitable for consumers looking for quality knives at an affordable price.

The key differences between Zwilling and Henckels knives are that Zwilling knives have forged blades, are more expensive, and are made in Germany and Japan. Henckels knives have stamped blades, are affordable, and are made in India, China, Thailand, and Spain.

To quickly identify whether a knife is a Zwilling or Henckels, look at the logo etched onto the blade.

Zwilling and Henckels logos
Zwilling logo (top), Henckels logo (bottom)

Zwilling translated to English means ‘twin’, and its logo features twin stick figures side-by-side. Henckels’ logo features a single stick figure.

Zwilling J.A. Henckels owns several brands besides Zwilling and Henckels, including Staub, Miyabi, Demeyere, and Ballarini. Its product lineup spans kitchen knives, cookware, appliances, kitchen accessories, and flatware.

Bottom line — Zwilling and Henckels are two completely separate kitchen knife brands, but they’re both owned by Zwilling J.A. Henckels. Each brand has its own knife collections, construction methods, factories, and pricing.

Now let’s dive a bit deeper into the differences between Zwilling and Henckels.

Construction: Forged vs. Stamped Knives

Both Zwilling and Henckels offer a variety of forged and stamped knives within their product offerings.

The construction depends on the specific collection, but Zwilling offers mostly forged knives, whereas most Henckels knives are stamped.

The difference between forged vs. stamped knives lies in the method used to craft the blade.

Forged knives are made from one uniform piece of metal that’s heated and formed into a blade. They typically have a half or full bolster (the thick piece of metal between the blade and the handle) and a tang, which is the part of the blade extending into the handle.

Stamped knives, by comparison, are cut from a large sheet of metal. The blades are thinner, more flexible, and don’t have a bolster.

Zwilling versus Henckels_stamped and forged blade
Henckels stamped blade (top), Zwilling forged blade (bottom)

Stamped knives are cheaper, but forged knives have superior balance, durability, and overall performance.

To give you a quick overview of Zwilling and Henckels construction methods, here’s a table detailing which blades are forged and which are stamped: 

Learn more about each collection on Zwilling.com and Amazon: Zwilling, Henckels.

Brand / CollectionBlade Construction
Zwilling ProForged
Zwilling Four StarForged
Zwilling GourmetStamped
Zwilling TWIN Fin IIStamped
Zwilling Professional “S”Forged
Zwilling TWIN SignatureStamped
Zwilling Kramer – MeijiForged
Zwilling Kramer Euroline StainlessForged
Zwilling TWIN Four Star IIForged
Zwilling Kramer Euroline CarbonForged
Zwilling Pro Holm OakForged
Zwilling Now SStamped
Zwilling TWIN GourmetStamped
Zwilling TWIN 1731Forged
Zwilling TWIN GripStamped
Henckels Classic Forged
Henckels SolutionStamped
Henckels ModernistForged
Henckels DynamicStamped
Henckels Everedge SolutionStamped
Henckels Everedge DynamicStamped
Henckels DefinitionStamped
Henckels Forged AccentForged
Henckels GraphiteForged
Henckels SilvercapStamped
Henckels StatementStamped
Henckels Forged ContourForged
Henckels Forged PremioForged
Henckels Everedge PlusStamped
Henckels Fine Edge ProStamped
Henckels Eversharp ProStamped
Henckels Fine Edge SynergyStamped
Henckels Forged SynergyForged

Where They Are Made

One of the most significant differences between Zwilling and Henckels’ knives is where they’re made.

Henckels knives are made in China, Thailand, Spain, and India, hence the name Henckels International. Manufacturing in Asia and Spain, where labor is less expensive, allows Henckels to offer its knives at a low price compared to Zwilling.

Zwilling manufactures most collections in Solingen, Germany. It also has factories in Japan, where several collections are produced using traditional Japanese methods.

Zwilling versus Henckels_Where They Are Made

Japan and Germany have been at the forefront of knife making for hundreds of years, so it’s no surprise that Zwilling J.A. Henckels utilizes the expertise and tradition in those countries for Zwilling, its premium cutlery brand.

This table shows where each brand’s knives are made:

CollectionWhere It’s Made
Zwilling ProGermany
Zwilling Four StarGermany
Zwilling GourmetGermany
ZwillingTWIN Fin IIJapan
Zwilling Professional “S”Germany
Zwilling TWIN SignatureGermany
Zwilling Kramer – MeijiJapan
Zwilling Kramer Euroline StainlessJapan
Zwilling TWIN Four Star IIGermany
Zwilling Kramer Euroline CarbonJapan
Zwilling Pro Holm OakGermany
Zwilling Now SGermany
Zwilling TWIN GourmetSpain
Zwilling TWIN 1731Germany
Zwilling TWIN GripSpain
Henckels Classic Spain
Henckels SolutionIndia
Henckels ModernistChina
Henckels DynamicIndia
Henckels Everedge SolutionIndia
Henckels Everedge DynamicIndia
Henckels DefinitionChina
Henckels Forged AccentChina
Henckels GraphiteChina
Henckels SilvercapChina
Henckels StatementChina
Henckels Forged ContourSpain
Henckels Forged PremioChina
Henckels Everedge PlusChina
Henckels Fine Edge ProThailand
Henckels Eversharp ProThailand
Henckels Fine Edge SynergyChina
Henckels Forged SynergyChina

Price

When choosing between Zwilling and Henckels, you’ll notice a fairly significant price difference.

As Zwilling J.A. Henckels’ “value-driven brand,” Henckels knives are significantly less expensive than Zwilling knives.

You’ll also notice that pricing differs across collections within each brand.

For example, the Zwilling Kramer Meiji collection is one of Zwilling’s most expensive options due to its ultra-premium carbide steel blade and distinctive design. In contrast, the Zwilling Twin Gourmet collection is more affordable due to its stamped blade.

The chart below shows the current prices for Zwilling and Henckels most popular knife collections:

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Materials

Both brands use German stainless steel to manufacture their blades, but Zwilling utilizes a special high-carbon formula stainless steel designed to resist stains. The company also uses premium carbide steel for some of the collections made in Japan.

Also, Zwilling blades go through a unique ice-hardening process called Friodur, which results in superior initial sharpness, edge retention, and corrosion resistance.

Henckels’ handles are made of durable, moisture-resistant plastic, except the Modernist collection, which features sleek steel handles.

J.A. Henckels International Modernist 3-pc Starter Knife Set

Zwilling offers more variety, including heavy-duty plastic, steel, and different types of wood.

For example, the Zwilling Pro Holm Oak collection features Mediterranean Holm Oak handles, and the Zwilling Kramer Euroline Carbon collection utilizes Grenadille wood handles.

Design

Zwilling and Henckels offer extensive variations in design.

Zwilling’s best-selling collection, Pro, is crafted from a specially formulated, proprietary high-carbon stainless steel with a shiny finish.

The blade is fully forged with a half bolster and full exposed tang.

The handles are black and triple-riveted with a distinct curve at the butt, providing a nice resting spot for your pinky finger.

Zwilling Pro versus Henckels Solution_Design
Zwilling Pro (top), Henckels Solution (bottom)

One of Henckels’ top-selling collections is the Solution. At a glance, these knives look very similar to Zwilling Pro. Both have black handles with three exposed rivets and a full exposed tang. But when you look closer, you’ll notice several differences.

First, note that the blade has no bolster; it remains the same width from the tip to the butt. That makes Solution knives much lighter but also less balanced and not as sturdy.

Zwilling Pro versus Henckels Solution_Thickness
Zwilling Pro (top), Henckels Solution (bottom)

When you hold the Henckels Solution knife with an open palm, it tips forward since most of the weight is in the blade. I had to pinch the handle to prevent it from slipping out of my hand.

Henckels Solution Knife Unbalanced

When you do the same with the Zwilling Pro knife, it remains balanced in your hand since the weight is evenly distributed from the tip of the blade to the butt of the handle.

Zwilling Pro Balancing in Hand

Next, notice that the blade’s spine is rounded, while Zwilling Pro’s is straighter.

Zwilling Pro versus Henckels Solution_Blade Profile
Zwilling Pro (top), Henckels Solution (bottom)

Finally, the handles are a similar shape, but with Henckels Solution knives, the curve towards the butt is not nearly as prominent as the curve on Zwilling Pro knives.

Zwilling versus Henckels_Handles
Zwilling Pro (top), Henckels Solution (bottom)

As you can see in these two examples, Zwilling and Henckels both offer the classic Western-style knife design — black handles exposed rivets and tang with wide blades. But if you’re looking for something unique, Zwilling provides more options.

For example, the Zwilling Kramer Meiji collection is considered Japanese-style knives. They feature PakkaWood handles and polished blades with gorgeous Damascus patterns etched into the surface.

ZWILLING J.a. Henckels Kramer By Meiji 8

Another unique Zwilling collection is the Pro Holm Oak. These knives feature the same look as the Pro but with light-shaded wood handles made of Mediterranean Holm Oak.

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Chef's Knife

Sharpness

There aren’t significant differences between Henckels and Zwilling when it comes to sharpness. Both brands sharpen the majority of their knives to a 15-degree angle, though Zwilling’s Japanese knives are sometimes sharpened to a 9-12 degree angle.

Product Options

Henckels and Zwilling offer an extensive range of collections. Both update their collections frequently and are constantly adding new options to their product catalog.

Here are the collections currently offered by both companies:

Zwilling (view all collections on Zwilling.com or Amazon):

  • Zwilling Pro
  • Zwilling Four Star
  • Zwilling Gourmet
  • Zwilling TWIN Fin II
  • Zwilling Professional “S”
  • Zwilling TWIN Signature
  • Zwilling Kramer – Meiji
  • Zwilling Kramer Euroline Stainless Damascus
  • Zwilling TWIN Four Star II
  • Zwilling Kramer Euroline Carbon
  •  Zwilling Pro Holm Oak
  • Zwilling Now S
  • Zwilling TWIN Gourmet
  • Zwilling Diplome
  • Zwilling TWIN 1731
  • Zwilling TWIN Grip

Henckels (view all collections on Zwilling.com or Amazon):

  • Henckels Classic
  • Henckels Solution
  • Henckels Modernist
  • Henckels Dynamic
  • Henckels Everedge Solution
  • Henckels Everedge Dynamic
  • Henckels Definition
  • Henckels Forged Accent
  • Henckels Graphite
  • Henckels Silvercap
  • Henckels Statement
  • Henckels Forged Contour
  • Henckels Forged Premio
  • Henckels Everedge Plus
  • Henckels Fine Edge Pro
  • Henckels Eversharp Pro
  • Henckels Fine Edge Synergy
  • Henckels Forged Synergy

Bottom Line: Are Zwilling Knives Better than Henckels Knives?

Zwilling and Henckels share the same parent company, but their kitchen knives are very different.

Zwilling is the company’s premium cutlery brand, utilizing high-end materials, features, and construction processes (and price). 

Henckels is the company’s value-driven brand, aimed at making quality, durable knives that are affordable.

Does this mean that Zwilling is the better brand?

Before I answer that question, let’s quickly recap the key differences:

  • Both brands offer forged and stamped knives, with construction varying by collection. In general, most Henckels blades are stamped, while Zwilling blades are predominantly forged.
  • Zwilling knives are manufactured in Germany and Japan, two global cutlery hubs. Henckels knives are manufactured all over the world and often in countries with cheaper labor costs.
  • Zwilling offers both German and Japanese-style knives, while Henckels knives are predominantly German-style.
  • Zwilling knives are significantly more expensive than Henckels.

By almost all accounts, Zwilling knives are higher-quality than Henckels. They’re made with more premium materials by some of the most skilled artisans and bladesmiths in the world.

I’ve tested and reviewed dozens of kitchen knives and can confidently say that Zwilling is one of the best brands in the world. Its knives are sharp, durable, well-balanced, and aesthetically pleasing.

Sure, Zwilling knives cost much more than Henckels, but you’ll get knives that perform at a higher level and last for years.

Henckels knives are good quality, too. But they aren’t as well made as Zwilling.

If price is important, I recommend Henckels Classic knives, one of the brand’s few forged collections. It performs similar to Zwilling, but at a discount, since it’s made in Spain.

You can learn more about Zwilling and Henckels knives by checking them out on Zwilling.com and Amazon:

Leave a Comment

Prudent Reviews Footer Logo

Follow us on social:

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, Prudent Reviews earns fees when you click on links within our articles and make qualifying purchases.

All content on PrudentReviews.com is intended for informational purposes only. The information provided on this website is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for professional advice.

Contact us: [email protected]