Best Affordable: Amazonbasics Premium 18
For a budget-friendly set, check out AmazonBasics’s Premium 18-piece knife block that breaks down to just over $3 per blade. But don’t let the low price fool you the knives are made from professional-quality stainless steel and feature a full bolster to protect fingers while slicing and dicing. The set boasts a wide variety of blades, like a 6-inch boning knife for breaking down poultry, a 7-inch Santoku for mincing, and eight micro-serrated table knives for slicing steaks.
The AmazonBasics Premium Block Set is so popular that it’s earned a remarkable 4.6-star rating from nearly 18,000 reviewers who say it’s durable and a great price. “Absolute steal for the price,” said a user. “These knives are some of the sharpest I’ve ever used. Construction is very sturdy with full tang. Excellent assortment of knives and a very solid knife block.”
To buy: $63 at
Best All Stainless Steel: Cuisinart Graphix 15
While most knives have handles made from wood, rubber, or plastic, these knives are all metal for a sleek, modern appearance and easy care. Theyre made from high carbon stainless steel and have a taper-ground blade for a very sharp edge and easy sharpening.
The set includes a 3 1/2-inch paring knife, a 3 1/2-inch birds beak paring knife, a 5 1/2-inch serrated utility knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, an 8-inch slicing knife, an 8-inch chefs knife, six steak knives, a pair of shears, and 8-inch sharpening steel. Our tester particularly loved the paring knife, which she said was “a favorite for small jobs, like slicing nectarines, plums, and berries.” The included black knife block holds all the components and adds to the modern look of the set. These should be hand washed and dried. While they may look hefty, our tester notes that the knives are surprisingly lightweight, due to the hollow handles.
Blade Material: High carbon stainless steel | Number of Knives: 12 + scissors | Sharpening: Sharpening steel
“I found the high-carbon stainless steel blades ideal for cutting.” Sharon Lehman, Product Tester
Are Knife Sets Worth It Or Should You Build A Collection By Buying Each Knife Separately
For most people, a reliable high-quality knife set is worth it. Like we mentioned above, its all about what you plan on using it for. Even a smaller set with three knives will give you a much wider range when preparing food. If youre enthusiastic about cooking but arent in a position to buy a dozen styles and sizes of high-end knives, a quality larger set will have you cooking up a broader range of culinary delights. Once youve become acquainted with the sizes and styles of knives that you use most often, you can start taking a look at individual knives that suit your tastes and customize your collection further.
The Spruce / Renu Dhar
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What To Look For In A Set
Look for a set that contains what we consider the three essentials: a chefs knife, utility knife and serrated bread knife. A chefs knife is the workhorse youll use for chopping onions and celery, slicing tomatoes or eggplant, and mincing garlic and parsley. The curvier its blade, the better it will be at rocking back and forth for tasks like mincing herbs. Although paring knives were once considered must-haves, today we recommend a slightly longer one called a utility knife, which in addition to paring an apple, can be used for slicing small blocks of cheese or segmenting an orange. All good sets will include a long, serrated bread knife. A long thin slicing or carving knife is another good tool to have in your kitchen and we like sets that include one.
Many sets will come will many other pieces that increase the price. Dont pay more for additional tools unless you know youll use them. For example, if you already have a set of steak knives you love, you dont need more in a knife set. Keep in mind, the block itself is considered one of the pieces. It is a useful tool for storing your knives where theyre easy to access, their blades dont get nicked or damaged, and you cant accidentally cut yourself. A block will take up space on your countertop, though, so aim to choose one that fits your needs and space.
Why You Still Have To Sharpen Your Knives Even In A Set
When it comes to a knife, theres one thing thats more important than anything else, and thats how sharp it is. The most well balanced, comfortable to hold, expensive knife in the world is pretty much useless if it doesnt have a sharp blade. In addition to just doing the job for which it was intended faster and more precisely, a sharp knife is safer. With a well-honed blade, you are less likely to cut yourself than with a dull one. A dull blade can slip off of a tomato instead of slicing down. To test your knife for sharpness, try to cut a single sheet of paper vertically. A sharp blade will cut right through the paper leaving a clean edge on either side.
Inevitably, you will have to resharpen the blades of your knives. You can bring or send them to a sharpening service once a year or you can buy a countertop or electric model and do it yourself. Check out some of ourfavorite knife sharpeners here.
Sharon Franke has been testing and writing about kitchen equipment for over 30 years. Before becoming a cooking tools expert, she spent seven years working as a professional chef in New York City restaurants. In her free time, she’s busy baking sourdough bread and rustling pots and pans on her own stove.
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Ultimate Set With Steak Knives With Block
CDN$4,796 if items purchased separately
This 32-Pc. Ultimate Set features super-sharp American-made cooking knives that deliver clean cuts and make prep work fast and easy. Complete with 12 Steak Knives and an oak block that will safely store and protect the edges of your knives. Available with honey or cherry finish.
Rada Cutlery Starter Pack With 7 Parts
This all-American company stamps their high-quality stainless steel stainless steel knives , but sharpens the edges of the knives by hand.
The slopes are hollow for easy sharpening.
The handles are made of aluminum and have a silver, satin finish.
Although their wings do not have the desired full forceps, Rada has a return policy if the wing comes out of the handle.
They also do not have supports, but this is replaced with a finger guard instead.
Unlike the other sets on this list, the Radas 7-Piece Starter Kit does not have a block.
But their wings stick to a magnet if thats what you currently have at home, or if thats what you plan to buy in the future.
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Best Japanese Steel Set: Global 6
Japanese knives are typically thin and delicate, perfect for precise cuts that preserve and enhance a dish’s flavor. That’s why chefs around the world covet Global’s Japanese-steel knives. This handcrafted set includes five blades, notably a 5.5-inch Nakiri knife designed to chop and slice vegetables, nestled inside a bamboo and stainless steel block.
Global’s knives are constructed from a single piece of stainless steel, and the edges are sharpened with a 50/50 symmetrical bevel for extra-thin cuts. The hollow handles are dimpled for easy gripping and filled with sand to keep the knives balanced yet lightweight.
You’ll find tons of happy customers who’ve left reviews on Sur La Table, including one who said, “I really appreciate the clean lines of the knife block and the great quality of the knives. The handles and balance are wonderful.”
To buy: $400 at surlatable.com
Meet Every Food Preparation Challenge With Ease
The consummate blend of luxury and utility, the Ultimate Set holds Cutco’s full line of kitchen cutlery plus 12 Steak Knives in a beautiful handcrafted oak block.
If at any time you are not satisfied with the performance of your product, we will correct the problem or replace the product. Whether you made the initial purchase or you received Cutco as a gift, it is Cutcos guarantee that your products will perform like new forever. *A nominal return shipping fee applies.
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Best Value: Mercer Culinary Genesis 6
Mercer-made knives are the perfect middle ground between price and quality. At just under $160, this set is a great deal for all the knives a home cook needsan 8-inch chef’s knife, a bread knife, a boning knife, a utility knife, and a 3.5-inch utility knifeinside a stylish wood and glass block.
The German-made blades are tough, easy to care for, and extraordinarily sharp. They’re designed with a full tang and taper-ground edges for extra stability and feature easy-grip rubbered handles that won’t slip when wet. Best of all, they sell for a fraction of what other sets cost. One happy customer wrote, “As a chef and culinary instructor, I have worked with many different expensive German steel forged knives and these are as good or better than knives costing 10 times the price!”
To buy: $156 at
Best German Steel Set: Wsthof Classic 7
For tough kitchen workhorses, grab German-forged steel. While slightly softer than its Japanese counterpart, it holds its edge longer and is easy to sharpen. That makes the Western-style knives ideal for heavy-duty tasks like splitting bone-in chicken breasts or hacking through a squash.
Wüsthof is our German go-to. For more than 200 years, the brand has produced durable and dependable cutlery, and this set is no exception. Outfitted with five hand-honed high-carbon steel blades and precisely balanced handles, the knives undergo the brand’s unique sharpening process for an even longer-lasting edge. You can also choose five different block finishes, such as bamboo, acacia, and walnut.
This Wüsthof block set is popular with Amazon shoppers, earning a 4.8-star rating and reviews saying how sharp and well balanced its knives are. “We never knew how much difference a quality knife can make, but now I apologize to my wife constantly for not buying these sooner,” a customer wrote. “Perfect selection for most uses and all amazingly sharp. Well balanced and feel great in the hand. Looks great on the counter too.”
To buy: $450 at
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What Makes A Good Knife Set
With so many options to consider, it might be hard to distinguish a good knife set from a poor set. What makes a good knife set is almost entirely up to you. The three major factors you should consider are what do you need to prepare and cook regularly, whats the highest quality of those tools you can afford, and how much effort do you want to make to maintain the set. Everything else is really preference and bonus. If you make steaks and roasts regularly, consider getting a set with steak knives. If youre interested in some butchery work, find a set with a boning knife and cleaver. If you stick to mostly fruits, veggies, bread, and pre-butchered meats, a simpler set will serve you just fine.
Once youve established what you need, look for a set that offers those tools made with the best materials you can afford. High carbon stainless steel is the standard for most knives and can be found at reasonable prices. Explore handle finishes for both comfort and aesthetics.
Finally, a good knife set is one you can maintain easily. While we recommend you wash all of your knives by hand to preserve the sharpness and integrity of the blade, you might want to look for a dishwasher-safe set if that realistically suits you better. If youre not interested in sharpening your knives, get a set that comes super-sharp right out of the box. Ultimately, the most expensive set doesnt mean its the best set for you if youre never going to use all of it.
Number And Types Of Knives
Knife sets will vary in how many knives and what type of knives are included. Know that more isnt necessarily better if you wont use all of the knives. If you already have a set of steak knives, you probably dont need another half-dozen. However, if you dont have any decent knives at all, it might be your best option to buy a complete set so you get everything you need at the best price.
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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
Buying Guide For Best Steak Knife Sets
Whether youre a carnivore at heart or a casual chef with a taste for the finer things in life, you probably appreciate a basic principle of cooking and grilling: sharp is much better than dull. When it comes to purchasing a new steak knife set, its important to choose a set that will arrive ready to work, yet look beautiful resting in a knife block on your kitchen counter.
Cutting with a poor-quality knife or one that isnt suited to the task at hand is not only frustrating, it can be dangerous. A paring knife is far too flimsy to cut through dense layers of meat and fat it can bend or slip. Likewise, the handle of a table knife isnt designed to provide leverage for slicing easily through a thick cut of meat. A high-quality steak knife does its job safely, making your cooking and dining experiences much more enjoyable.
The shopping guide below will help you make the best decision possible when purchasing a steak knife set youll enjoy for years to come.
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Best Durable: Zwilling Ja Henckels Four Star 8
As one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of cutlery and cookware, Zwilling is famous for its classic designs and razor-sharp edges. Part of the brand’s success comes from its proprietary Sigmaforge process, in which each blade is precision-forged from a single piece of ice-hardened stainless steel. The edges are exceptionally long-lasting, resisting corrosion and dulling.
This block set is part of Zwilling’s Four-Star line, which was designed in collaboration with professional chefs to bring expert-level tools into home kitchens. The German-made knives also have virtually indestructible handles with just enough texture to guarantee a stable grip. It includes every blade you’d need in the kitchen, from an 8-inch bread knife for slicing crusty loaves to a 5.5-inch prep knife for precise cuts, as well as a beautiful beechwood block.
The Four-Star block is Sur La Table’s best-reviewed block set, with users saying the blades last for years. “I bought my first four-star knives over 30 years ago in Europe,” one said. “I use them every day. They get professionally sharpened once a year. They are just as good now as the day I bought them.”
To buy: $250 at surlatable.com and
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Best For Steak Knives: Laguiole Jean Dubost 6
Whether you’re cutting into seared steak, roasted vegetables, or comforting baked pasta, a sharp table knife is essential. And the Dubost family has been crafting fine cutlery for generations. The French brand’s timeless design is not only chic but comfortable to hold. What’s more, each knife is hand-polished for an extra shine before heading out of the factory.
This stainless steel set comes in a beechwood box and features slightly curved blades with serrated edges to cut effortlessly through meat. It’s the perfect buy for entertaining, or even as a holiday gift to your favorite steak lover. “These look great with most place settings, but are also super knives,” a user gushed about the brand. “I spent quite a bit of time comparing the available sets of steak knives and I’m so happy I settled on these.”
To buy: $100 at williams-sonoma.com
% Off Single Table And Steak Knife Offer Terms
15% off Single Table Knives and Steak Knives valid through 11:59 p.m. ET Oct. 22, 2021. Offer valid with Traditional Table Knife , Stainless Table Knife and Steak Knife only. Choose from available handle colors. Prior purchases excluded. Cannot combine offers. All prices are in Canadian dollars. Prices and offers apply only to orders shipping within Canada.
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