Best Steak Knife Sets For Your Kitchen
Steak knives arent just for steak. Theyre essential kitchen tools that help you slice your way through any meat or hearty vegetable with precision and grace. If youve ever been left to cut through a thick piece of meat with a kitchen knife that comes standard with your flatware set, you know what were talking about.
Like most knife styles, not all types of kitchen knives are created equal. The main thing you want to look for in steak knives is their ability to retain an edge and stay sharp. Since they will be frequently used and washed, you also want a set of steak knives that are durable and highly corrosion-resistant. However, how they look on your dining table and how they feel in your hand are also important, even though those factors are more subjective.
We scoured the internet to find to bring you some of the top-selling steak knives around. So without further ado, here are the best steak knife sets to buy in 2021.
How Many Knives Do I Need In A Knife Set
Some of the sets we tested only include two knives while others come with as many as eight knives plus extras like steak knives, a honing steel, shears, and a storage block. So, how many knives do you really need?
The larger, all-inclusive sets are perfect for anyone building a starter kitchen. Theyre also ideal for those who know they want all the specific knives included in the set, as the set generally offers a discount compared to buying knives individually. Some of these sets are inexpensive and are great for rental properties or anyone with a budget. Many of the big name-brand knife sets can get quite pricey, so youll want to be sure you will actually use all the knives to make it worth the extra price.
Then there are the mid-sized sets that include around five knives. These sets are ideal for serious cooks and professionals who want to have a nice knife for every purpose. Use the chefs knife as your kitchen workhorse but reach for the santoku when chopping vegetables, utility knife for smaller items, paring knife for peeling fruit and vegetables, serrated knife for bread, and the boning knife when processing a whole chicken.
Sharpening A Knife With A Wet Stone
Wet stones are atried-and-true methodof sharpening good quality knives. The process for using wet stones to sharpen a knife is simple, even if youve never used them before. By following these steps, you can sharpen your knives with high-quality wet stones to ensure your knives stay sharp for years of repeated use.
Learn more here if you want to know how to sharpen a knife with a wet stone.
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Best Stainless Steel Knife Set Global 7
Why youll love it:
This is an expensive knife set that is quality in some ways, but stumbles too much for a serious recommendation.
What we liked
- Blade: The blades are quite excellent steel, with a seriously fine edge . The blades hold their edge well, are easy to re-sharpen with household available tools, and amazingly sharp, which ensures they are safe to use.
What we didnt like
These Professional Knife Sets Offer Premium Quality And High End Performance For Pro Chefs Or Busy Home Cooks
Advances in metallurgy and manufacturing in the last 50 years have led to an increase in quality and a decrease in price of the average kitchen cutlery set in 2021. That being said, the old adage You get what you pay for still rings true. There are a lot of elements that can separate a $50 chefs knife from a $200 professional chef knife. Steel quality, handle material, balance and aesthetics are all factors that set the knives in these professional sets apart and justify their relatively expensive cost. If you are done with low to mid range kitchen cutlery sets, and are ready to shell out a bit more to have an elite level knife set that makes your kitchen counter look its best, here are some great options.
The price range of the cutlery sets highlighted in this article ranges from around $500 to $2400. Due to price fluctuation there are often a few sets in this article a little under $500. Obviously the term high end is subjective, but $500 seemed to be a good starting point for what most people would consider a premium level. If that range is a bit more than you want to throw down on a cutlery set, check out our post on the best kitchen knife sets under $300.
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Best Rated: Cuisinart 15
The people have spoken: With more than 16,600 reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, this Cuisinart collection is the best-rated block set we found. Shoppers love and respect the brand, which made its name by introducing the world to food processors back in the ’70s, but the high carbon stainless steel set stands on its own merits.
Designed with hollow handles and precision-tapered ground blades, the knives are lightweight and easy to hold. Plus, the tools’ fully forged bodies are a breeze to clean. The sturdy, streamlined block contains 15 pieces, including six steak knives, kitchen shears, and a 7-inch Santoku knife.
Cooks of all stripes rave about this Cuisinart block, with some saying it’s a great step up from entry-level sets. “There is a reason these knives are rated so highly,” . “They’re so sharp right out of the box, and the set includes a sharpener to keep them maintained. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever need to buy a new set of knives.”
To buy: $77 at
How To Build Your Own Knife Set
While itâs hard to argue with the ease and convenience of a knife set, many chefs recommend building your own. âTrust me, each knife has a purpose and itâs not a one-size-fits-all. You also need way less than you think you do,â says Keefe.
We tend to use only one or two knives in a home kitchen, says Michelle Hernandez, pastry chef and owner of Le Dix-Sept Patisserie in San Francisco. And itâs easier to care for a couple of knives and keep them sharp than a larger set at home. She recommends buying three high-quality knives at a specialty knives storeâif itâs a quality knife, it will last a lifetime, she says.
Start with a 8â chefâs knife, a 4â paring knife, and a serrated bread knife, and you can add on from there. Youâll also need a sharpening blade, which you should use every time before using your knife. The key is quality over quantity. âOne of my chefs that I worked for in France told me you only need one good knife to do everything in the kitchen,â Hernandez says. Some of her favorite knives include a Wusthof 8â chefâs knife, which is a great sturdy, starter knife Materialâs almost 4â knife or Victorinox Utility Knife and a Wusthof âdouble serratedâ bread knife to slice through crusty loaves
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Best Overall Cuisinart C77ss
Why youll love this:
This is a simple, well made, no frills knife set with a decent variety and a good price. Overall a perfect choice for our baseline model by which to compare other sets.
What We Liked
- Price: These are excellent knives for the budget. Overall inexpensive while not being so cheap as to make you instantly suspicious of their motives.
- Variety: As a baseline kitchen knife set, this set is superb. It includes a santoku knife , an actual chefs knife , a slicing knife, two paring knives , a serrated utility knife, and 6 serrated steak knives, plus shears and sharpening steel, of course.
- Block: Block is sturdy and unassuming, while complimenting the color of the knives themselves quite well.
- High Carbon: As mentioned, a high carbon content is a desirable quality in knives, making them sharper and retain their edge longer. This doesnt completely remove the need for maintenance, but it does reduce it.
What We Didnt Like
Best Quality: Shun Classic 6
Shun knives are renowned for their stunning design, as well as their surgical-level precision. The blades are handcrafted in Japan with VG-Max “super” steel, clad with 34 layers of stainless steel. The result is a durable, razor-sharp edge that gives cooks incredible control. This set’s eight-slot wooden block includes Shun’s celebrated chef’s and santoku knives, as well as versatile kitchen shears and 9-inch honing steel.
Users love Shun knives for looks and performance, saying they are worth the cost. It’s no wonder they’ve earned a 4.7-star rating on Williams Sonoma’s site. “Shun products live up to their reputation,” one reviewer wrote. “They are very well-balanced, stay sharp, and are a work of art.”
To buy: $420 at williams-sonoma.com
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Best Kitchen Knife Handles Tuo Kitchen Knife Set
Why youll love it:
This is a very nice and reasonably priced set of blades, thats suffers a bit from being limited in number.
What we liked
- Handles: These are quite beautiful and sturdy pakkawood handles. Pakkawood is a wood and plastic composite material commonly used for kitchen knives. Unlike wood, it wont expand or shrink over time, and feels very nice in the hand, being somewhat moisture wicking. These handles are well shaped and very nice to look at, by far my favorite of the knives weve looked at thus far.
- Block: This is a better execution on the block design the Mercer Culinary set used, with no ugly glass in the way and a more comfortable angle to pull the knives from. I still think its unnecessary overall, but if youre going to assume people dont remember where their knives are, you could do far worse than this design.
- Steel: These knives are made of an excellent material, being the same hard, sharp German steel a lot of the knives on this list are forged from. Not much new to say its an excellent high carbon steel and probably the best possible to make kitchen knives from.
What we didnt like
- Variety: The choice of knives for this one is a bit odd. You have a santoku knife, a paring knife, and a utility knife, a cleaver, and a cheese knife. 4 of the 5 are welcome, but in such a limited knife set I highly question the addition of a cheese knife over a more commonly useful knife, like a butchers knife, carving knife, or even a bread knife.
How Does The Knife Feel
A good knife should feel like an extension of your hand. It should be comfortable to grip and easy to control. Neither the handle nor the blade should feel exceptionally heavier than the other. Before you make a purchase, or make the first cut in your own kitchen, its a good idea to simulate slicing and see how a knife feels to you.
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Laguiole En Aubrac Birchwood Steak Knives
These French-made, hand-crafted steak knives are no doubt an investment. At $100 apiece, youre getting what you pay forbeautiful yet extremely sharp and durable steak knives. The ergonomically designed birchwood handle fits perfectly in your palm. Because of their popularity, there are a lot of Laguiole knock-offs out there, but these are the real deal.
Knives Come In Two Styles
Most knives in American kitchens are based on Western-style. They tend to be thick and heavy as theyre intended to cut through root vegetables and large cuts of meat. On a German knife, theres a bolster and a curved blade to make it easy to glide and rock when youre cutting and mincing. French knives have a straighter edge, which is better for slicing.
In the past decade or so, Asian knives have also become popular. Designed to prep delicate foods like fish and tender vegetables with an up and down motion, theyre lighter and thinner and have blades with less of an angle. While this makes them comfortable to use and helps them to make precise cuts, it also means they have to be handled more carefully and shouldnt be used for tasks like cutting up butternut squash or through bones.
The most popular Asian shape in American kitchens is the santoku, which has a long wide blade. Its designed primarily for slicing and can do pretty much whatever a chefs knife can. However, because it has a straight blade, its harder to use for rocking back and forth or scoring vegetables.
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Buck 13 Piece Rosewood Kitchen Cutlery Set
|Handles available in Rosewood Dymalux, Slate Paperstone, and elk bone.|
|Triple Rivet Handles|
|Covered By Bucks Forever Warranty|
Set includes the following: 8 chef knife, 8 slicer, 2.75 paring knife, 4.0 paring knife, 4.785 spreader, BBQ fork, 6 steak knives.
Buck Knives is an odd name to show up in the kitchen cutlery, and theyve entered this part of the knife industry in a very Buck Knives style.
On these knives you get the standard Buck 420HC steel with the Paul Bos heat treat, which is technically a lower grade material but I would be more than ready to put it up against 440C or any of the kitchen knives rolling out with the German 1.4116 steel. Its a little soft, but it grinds super easy and takes a very thin edge so when its handled right it can produce some incredible, long-lasting blades. Buck has been working with this steel for decades, and famously have this stuff dialed in.
The other stand-out element is the handle. Where most kitchen knives keep a fairly straight-lined profile, Buck has molded their handles with some pretty dramatic curves that provide a lot in terms of traction by virtue of increased surface area. In short, these are really easy to keep a grip on, but they are not optimized for a traditional pinch grip.
Wusthof Classic Ikon 7
|X50CrMoV15 High Carbon Steel Blades|
|Triple Riveted Polypropylene Handle|
|15 Slot Walnut Knife Block|
|Wusthofs Precision Edge Technology|
|Half Bolstered Blade Which Allows The Entire Blade To be Sharpened|
|Made in Germany|
Set includes the following knives: 5 inch serrated utility/tomato, 3.5 inch paring, 8 inch bread, 5 inch santoku, 8 inch chefs, one pair of come-apart shears and a 6 slot storage block.
Upon initial inspection of this set, it is pretty obvious that Wusthof plans on this being the last kitchen cutlery set you ever need to buy which is why the Classic Ikon series is popular with professional chefs. The knives look and feel tough enough to survive the apocalypse. That doesnt mean they are heavy, just well built. Wusthof went to great pains to make sure the Ikon series is well balanced and easy to maintain. You wont find the same out-of-box slicing prowess as the most of the Japanese knife sets, but the classic Ikon series knives are more durable and less likely to chip.
This seven piece set is a great starter set for anyone wanting get started with professional kitchen knives, because it offers excellent value compared to buying these premium knives separately. I do wish the storage block has some empty slots, so the set could be added to over time. Fortunately Wusthof does sell a variety of storage blocks separately, so upgrading to a bigger block down the road is an option.
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Zwilling Pro 7 Piece Ash Self Sharpening Knife Block
Best investment knife set
- Pros: Excellent quality and innovative knife block design, includes scissors
- Cons: Price may put some off
Set contains: Ash block, 4in paring knife, 5in utility knife, 8in slicing knife, 8in chefs knife, 8in bread knife, kitchen scissors.
This is a knife set that oozes quality. The five knives should cover every kitchen task youd need and the scissors are a welcome bonus, too. The ice-hardened stainless steel knives are full tang and are pleasingly weighty in the hand. The slight curve at the bottom of the handle makes them particularly comfortable to hold.
The knives cut effortlessly, with the bread knife gliding through our crusty loaf. We particularly liked the serrated utility knife, which was perfect for cutting anything from tomatoes to grapefruit.
While the black handled knives with flush rivets look traditional, the knife block itself is clever and innovative. Each knife has its own slot, with an image next to it to show you which one goes where. The slots for non-serrated knives have integrated ceramic sharpening stones so they are gently sharpened each time you pull one out or put it back.
The ash block is also attractive and sits quite low, meaning you can happily place it under a cupboard.
Heres What To Look For In A Kitchen Knife Set
When shopping for a knife block, youll want to first figure out how many pieces you need. The first and most important step is determining what kinds of knives you use the most and which ones feel comfortable to you, explains Schuster. In general, you should have a chefs knife and/or a santoku as your primary knife. These knives range in length from 6 to 8 inches, and the best way to see which ones feel the best is to hold them.
Next, a paring knife is a good part of any knife set for smaller, handheld tasks. After that, a serrated knife, around 8 inches in length, for slicing bread, tomatoes and other foods where you dont want to squish the center.
Some sets come with a boning knife, which for most home cooks is not necessary, he continues. Some sets come with a utility knife, usually about 6 inches in length with a thin blade. Many folks at home like these kinds of knives, and its not a terrible idea to have one around, as larger knives may scare some cooks for less intense tasks.
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