Henckels Twin Select 30440-200 Carving
Kitchen Knife Review

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Henckels Twin Select 200mm Carving Knife


- Carving knives are rather specialized cutting tools, and even though western carving knife has to play the role of half a dozen or more Japanese knives I listed above, it still is a knife with relatively narrow specialization. I had a large piece of meat to do the test cutting, Week after that I got the fish fillet to test. Overall, cutting soft proteins is a pretty non abusive job, when done properly at least. Also, having just 200mm blade is definitely not enough. May be because I am so used to 300mm long slicers, but still, by definition carving knives are "long" knives, so I'd expect longer blades. Well, longer or not, 200mm(7.87") is what you get with this knife. The idea of having a slicer is to have the ability to make clean, smooth cuts, and to do that you need thin blade, thin edge and length, otherwise you have to resort to sawing motion, which results in jagged edges and depending on the meat being cut, you might damage the slice. All of which happened to me, because the piece of meat I was working with was about 6-7" wide and cutting thin slices off of that piece was not doable with 200mm(8") long blade, and 30° secondary bevel weren't solving all the problems either, primary bevel is still 40°, and it doesn't matter that I am used to longer knives with thinner blades, it's not my lack of skills with slicers, it's simple physics, edge of certain thickness needs corresponding force applied to it to make a cut and with thick edges you have to push harder, pressure gets spread on wider surface and so on. Overall, I was not very happy with the knife performance. it's perform better with smaller pieces of proteins, but the thick edge is still a hindrance. it's not like Twin Select carving knife is not gonna be able to cut through the meat, but making thin, even slices is a different matter than simply hacking through the meat. In short, carving knives are delicate cutting tools, in theory at least and there is no reason not to optimize them as such. I mean just 2mm thick(or thin) blade is not enough, you need length, thin edge, etc. Well, the edge is up to the owner, just in this case I had to grind a thick one. Long story short, if you get this or similar western carving knife, you'll be much better off grinding 30° inclusive edge on it, because(especially) of the short blade, you do need a thinner edge, if not the blade length, then with push cutting sharper edge will help to some degree. Well, all knives need to be sharp to begin with. Twin Select carving knife fared a little worse on fish, because the textures different(comparing to meat) and it's also softer. Applying more force makes slices worse. I didn't have poultry for testing, but I suppose slicing boiled chicken breast will probably be also similar.

As mentioned above, I am aware that number of people use carving knives as their primary kitchen knife, or general purpose kitchen knife in other words, replacing traditional western chef's knife or Japanese gyuto. Similar trend with Japanese knives would be using Yanagiba as a general purpose knife, which I have attempted few times and found it to be rather difficult. As Takeshi said, takes decade or so to master Yanagiba properly, at least in order to be able to use it for general food prep. Although, that use is not necessarily skill based, sometimes it's the opposite. I've seen small utility knives used in the same role, e.g. Calphalon parer, and I can't wrap my mind around it :) Anyway, carving knives are a bit easier to master, in that they are not chisel edged knives, but normal double bevel ones. That's not to say carving knives are inherently better, for what they are designed, yanagibas work better, being more specialized tools and much sharper too. However, using chisel edge knife requires some learning and carving knives with normal double bevel edges don't have wedging issues. I went through several types of vegetables, but as with yanagibas, I still think for vegetables Gyutos and chukabochos do work better. My skills and preferences make them work better, and I was not training for 10 years with Yanagibas to become as efficient with it. I'd guess carving knives would take les time, but lack of blade width is rather inconvenient using claw grip. Besides, because of the blade geometry, the belly as usual is small and if you attempt rocking motion, you have to raise your elbow too high. That isn't too big of a problem with 300mm long blade, but with 200mm blade, eventually you will feel it in your shoulder. However, if you forego rocking motion and restrict cutting to slicing and push cutting, with proper skills you can keep your claw hand sake and work efficiently. I still feel more comfy with wider blades when chopping vegies at high(or low) speeds in claw grip. Other than that, it's tolerable, granted the knife is sufficiently sharp.


- My personal option is that I don't like this knife, mostly by its design. Doesn't look good and I have issues with grip security, which can be annoying. On top of that, the blade is just 200mm long, and in my opinion it is not enough for a good slicer. If you plan on using the carving knife as your general purpose knife, longer one would be still preferable. Plus the same handle security issues. Anyhow, I'd skip this knife it were my choice, I've got whole bunch of longer, harder and sharper slicers, more expensive too. However, I think even Calphalon slicer seems to be a better choice, except its steel is probably worse that what's on Twin Select, but it'd be very hard to tell the difference with 20° per side edges anyway. If you like the design, then I've warned you about the handle security issues with oily hands, but that's all and what really matters is if you like the knife or not.

  • Blade - 200.00mm(7.87")
  • Thickness - 2.00mm
  • Width - 30.00mm
  • OAL - 347.00mm(13.66")
  • Steel - X50CrMoV15 54-56HRC
  • Handle - Stainless Steel
  • Weight - 230.00g(7.78oz)
  • Acquired - 06/2007 Price - 100.00$

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Last updated - 05/19/19