Whether you’re outfitting your first kitchen in your first home, or you’re looking to buy a kitchen knife set simply because you’ve never gotten around to it before, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re a newbie home chef or a seasoned pro, we’ve compiled the six best knife sets for any kitchen.
What to Look for in a Knife Set
Firstly, you’ll want to look for a knife set that includes all the essentials: generally a paring knife, chef’s knife, carving knife, slicer, fillet knife, bread knife, boning knife, utility knife, serrated knife and peeling knife. All of these serve different purposes in the kitchen; you may find you use some more than others, so if a knife you don’t expect to use often isn’t included in a set, don’t worry. Some home cooks might just not need a boning knife, and that’s okay.
Also, check to make sure there is a sharpener included. If not, it is never a bad idea to have a quality knife sharpener in your kitchen. Dull knives can be very dangerous!
Secondly, look at what the knives are made from. Common materials include stainless steel, carbon steel, ceramic and titanium. Stainless steel and carbon steel are the most popular. Stainless steel blades are durable, but high-carbon steel blades are more so and often lighter.
Beyond the material, look at how the knives were made. Do the knives feature forged or stamped blades? With forged blades, the maker creates one blade from one piece of steel; with stamped blades, multiple blades are cut from a larger piece of steel. In general, forged blades are stronger and more durable.
Then, of course, you’ll want to look at price and quality.
Best Budget-Friendly Kitchen Knife Set: Cuisinart 15-Piece, Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set
If you’ve been shopping around for a knife set already, you likely have experienced a bit of sticker shock. Knife sets can get pretty pricey!
Here’s a set that won’t break the bank, though.
At less than $50 on Amazon, the Cuisinart 15-Piece, Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set, is a steal. The knife set comes with six steak knives, a chef’s knife, slicing knife, santoku knife, serrated utility knife, paring knife, bird’s beak paring knife, sharpening steel, kitchen shears and then the woodblock.
The knife block set has amassed quite the positive reviews and is a perfect fit for anyone needing a budget-friendly, long-lasting, all-bases-covered knife set. This high-carbon stainless steel is great for any home cook or home chef.
Best Starter Kitchen Knife Set: Cuisinart Advantage Color Collection
Maybe you don’t even want to spend $50, though. Maybe you want to spend even less and you really just want the very basics. You might not even need a knife block!
If you’re the type of home cook that needs to cut something once in a blue moon, and usually that something isn’t too technical (think an avocado or a piece of bread, then go with this 12-piece set from Cuisinart.
At less than $20, the Cuisinart Advantage Color Collection features six knives and six knife covers. The non-stick knives come in bright hues like lime green and orange, for a fun aesthetic that Cuisinart claims are functional as well: the different colors help avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen.
The kitchen knife set comes with a chef’s knife, slicing knife, serrated bread knife, santoku knife, utility knife and paring knife. The blades are stainless steel.
Best Professional Grade Kitchen Knife Set: Global Kabuto Knife Block Set
But what about for those who are pros in the kitchen? Those looking for some of the highest-quality knives on the market? Those folks will want to look at this seven-piece Kabuto knife block set.
At nearly $400, it’s pricey, but this high-quality kitchen knife set will last a lifetime.
Made from Japanese stainless steel, the set comes with a paring knife, utility knife, prep knife, vegetable knife, chef’s knife and bread knife. The knife block is an aesthetically pleasing addition to any kitchen that’s decorated more on the modern than the traditional side, too, as it shows off your quality knife blades in a clear, acrylic box.
Best Portable Kitchen Knife Set: Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Piece Knife Roll Set
You’ve likely seen it on television before if you watch any cooking competition shows at all. The challenging chef shows up at the kitchen with their own kitchen knife set and whips out a fabric roll, which they unfurl to reveal their “superior” knives within.
If you dream of taking your precious knives on the go in just this manner, there’s nothing stopping you. Just get this Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Piece Knife Roll Set, for under $120. The roll itself is made from a heavy canvas and it holds a parking knife, boning knife, santoku knife, bread knife, slicing knife, chef’s knife and honing steel.
Top of the line Kitchen Knife Set: Wusthof Gourmet Knife Block Set
This German-made kitchen knife set is made with high-carbon stainless steel and will last for ages! Purchasing this Wusthof Gourmet Knife Block Set is definitely an investment and commonly seen in professional chef's kitchens. This 10-piece kitchen knife set comes with 2 peeling knives, a paring knife, 2 utility knives, chef knife, bread knife, serrated utility knife, kitchen shears and wooden block.
These german knives are known for being extremely sharp, and their high-carbon stainless steel blades might make them the best knife set on this list. You can never go wrong with the Wusthof classic knives.
Most Comprehensive Knife Set: Chicago Cutlery Insignia Knife Block Set
If you want all the quality knives possible for your money, consider the Chicago Cutlery Insignia Knife Block Set, which comes with 19 pieces of stainless steel cutlery.
You get a peeler, parer, boning knife, utility knife, serrated bread knife, santoku knife, slicer, chef’s knife, kitchen shears, eight steak knives, a wood block with a built-in sharpener and a bamboo cutting board.
Amazon reviewers claim the high-quality knives are very sharp and lightweight, and durable for several years of use.
Taking Care of Your New Knife Set
If you drop a good amount of money on a new knife set, you’ll want to be sure to give your knives proper care to make sure they last as long as possible.
How can you best take care of your new knives?
You can better protect your blades by…
- Only using a wooden cutting board
- Storing your knives separately from other silverware
- Storing knives separately from one another, or at least sheathing them
- Washing knives by hand versus dishwasher safe
- Only using each type of knife for its intended purpose
- Sharpening your knives on a regular basis
Ready to Round Out Your Kitchen?
A high-quality set of knives is the perfect complement to any kitchen countertop, no matter what skill level you may be on as a home cook. You never know when you’ll want to cut that perfect tomato slice for a sandwich or peel an apple for a seasonal pie.
From grilling masters to bakers, occasional casual cooks to serious home chefs, everyone can use a quality cutlery set.
You might also be interested in: The 14 Best Kitchen Gadgets for Your Home
The 5 Best Kitchen Knife Sets:
- Best Budget-Friendly Kitchen Knife Set: Cuisinart 15-Piece, Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set
- Best Starter Kitchen Knife Set: Cuisinart Advantage Color Collection
- Best Professional Grade Kitchen Knife Set: Global Kabuto Knife Block Set
- Best Portable Kitchen Knife Set: Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Piece Knife Roll Set
- Top of the line Kitchen Knife Set: Wusthof Gourmet Knife Block Set
- Most Comprehensive Knife Set: Chicago Cutlery Insignia Knife Block Set