Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Cuisine 8-Inch Carving Knife review:
Ergonomic Carving Knife Handles Like a Pro
- Price:$58.88 - $119.95
Looks cool, with a distinctive exposed tang and ergonomic handle.
The ergonomic handle feels a bit clunky for short jobs.
An ergonomic handle might not make much difference on a slicing knife, but this one has good balance and the blade is nimble enough.
Like pinch hitters in baseball, carving knives have limited skills, but they need to be good enough to justify their place on the team. German cutlery maker Zwilling J.A. Henckels (zwilling is “twin” in German, a reference to the company’s Gemini twin symbol) has several lines manufactured in different parts of the globe. Launched in 2004, its German-made Twin Cuisine line is a collection of premium forged knives with ergonomic curved handles that feature a visible tang (the continuation of the blade that runs through a knife’s handle) and no rivets. The Twin Cuisine 8-Inch Carving Knife has a distinctive look, but how does it carve? We gave it a try.
The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Cuisine 8-inch Carving Knife has a high-carbon, no-stain steel blade (the same steel all Henckels forged knives are made from). The steel undergoes what Henckels calls Friodur ice-hardening, a process of heating, cooling, and reheating that changes the molecular structure of the blade so it resists staining and keeps its edge. The molded, rivetless handle is the main feature of Twin Cuisine knives: It has a distinctive curve. The bolster (the thick band of steel between blade and handle) has a pretty streamlined profile. Like all knives, this one should be washed by hand. It comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.
We sliced a pair of roasts with our Twin Cuisine carver: a medium-rare flank steak and a whole roasted chicken.
Flank steak: We liked the balance of this knife. The ergonomic handle felt rather hefty in our hand, but the weight felt centered. Slicing a loose-grained cut like flank (especially when cooked medium rare) takes a blade that’s both strong and supple. The Twin Cuisine was just so-so: strong for sure, but not so supple. It felt slightly clunky.
Chicken: We roasted a 4-pound bird, let it rest for 15 minutes, and picked up the Twin Cuisine to carve. The weight of the knife made it easy to tear through the first step: breaking the chicken down into parts. As for slicing the breast and thigh meat, the Twin Cuisine did surprisingly well. That ergonomic handle felt substantial, but the blade was nimble enough to negotiate curves and bones on even small pieces, and it was fairly easy to hold at oblique angles to get the slices right.
General stuff: Overall, the Twin Cuisine 8-inch carver is a good addition to the knife block. Its most striking feature—the ergonomic handle—might be lost on a knife you use for relatively short periods of time (the real test for the handle would be on a chef’s knife used to zip through a pile of onions). Still, it fulfills one of the other major requirements for a carving knife: looking good at the table whenever it shows up to carve holiday turkeys or roasts. This is a perfectly serviceable knife we’d be happy to find in our knife kit.
Photos by Chris Rochelle