Best Kitchen Knife Sets Reviewed & Rated for Quality

A set of sharp knives is an essential thing to have in your kitchen. You are going to need a knife for any task that requires cutting. Such tasks are endless in the kitchen. For example, you may need to dice up a roast into small pieces of stew meat or carve a turkey on a Thanksgiving holiday. You may even need to remove bones from a piece of fish or take the bone out from a leg of lamb or slice bread and dinner rolls. Whenever you need to cut strings that you are tied around a roast, you are going to need a knife. There are many different types of knives and blades.

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By Bill Swanson:

This article has been recently updated to reflect added information regarding ceramic blade knives as well as ceramic blade knives. The Utopia set was updated to correspond with the availble set.

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There are plenty of different sets that you can pick from and they have a wide variety of different price points. The higher priced knives are more durable and will stay sharper for longer periods of times. Of course, there are plenty of inexpensive ones sold that will also hold a good sharp edge as long as you take good care of them. Sometimes you only need an inexpensive set so that you can furnish a vacation home or give to your kids when they leave for college. You will find that there are more than enough knife sets available to meet anyone at any budget.

10 Best Kitchen Knife Sets

 

1. Mercer Culinary Genesis

1. Mercer Culinary Genesis
Mercer Culinary offers a set of knives that are a great middle of the road option. They are made of a high-quality steel that will stay sharp and look new for a long time. You will love the well-designed handle that is fastened to each of the knives that allows you to grip them securely and comfortably at the same time.
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Santoprene Handle

They feature at a handle that is made of Santoprene. It has an ergonomic shape that feels great in your hands and is specifically designed to last in the kitchen.

German Steel

The blades are made of high carbon steel from Germany. They are forged to make them strong and long lasting so they won't rust, discolor, or get corroded after you have used them.

Cost and Value

You will find this collection sold at a price that is slightly higher than the average price. The higher price comes from the high-quality steel used to make each of the blades.
Pros
  • High carbon stainless steel
  • One-piece precision forged construction
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Taper-ground edge
Cons
  • Handles are relatively heavy

2. Wusthof Classic Slim

2. Wusthof Classic Slim
Here is a full collection of knives that make an excellent addition to any cooking area. They are a premium collection and have excellent features that make them long lasting and usable at the same time. All of the handles have three rivets so that they do not detach from the blades and the blades are made with high-quality steel that lasts.
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Cherry Block

The collection comes with a block that is made of Cherry wood. This gives you a safe place to store the knives when you aren't using them and it looks great on a counter.

Precision Forged

The blades are made of a steel that has been precision forged. This helps to improve the overall durability of the steel so that it lasts longer and resists rusting.

Cost and Value

Since this is a premium collection of knives, you will need to plan on seeing it sold at a price that is well above the average price. It's worth it since they will last a lifetime.
Pros
  • Ultra slim knife block design 
  • Precision forged full tang
  • Stain resistant
  • Lifetime Warranty
Cons
  • Knives get dull relatively quickly

3. Cuisinart Advantage

3. Cuisinart Advantage
Cuisinart is a brand that is well known in any kitchen. It is associated with quality and makes plenty of smart choices when they are designing their products. This collection of knives is a great example since they have a high-quality edge that stays sharp and also is coated with a non-stick surface. The colors also look great and protect you from illness.
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Color Coded

You will notice that each knife has its own unique color. The colors are to help you keep track of the knives so that you don't accidentally cross-contaminate food during preparation.

Blade Guards

There is a guard for each of the knives in this collection. The blade guards help to prevent injury and also keep the knives look great for years at a time.

Cost and Value

You will love these knives when you hear about the rock bottom price that they are sold at. This will let you purchase a high-quality collection without breaking the bank.
Pros
  • Stainless steel blades
  • Non-stick color coating for easy slicing
  • Color coding
  • 6 knives and 6 knife covers
Cons
  • Not the most durable knives

4. Victorinox

4. Victorinox
This collection of knives is made by the same company that brought you the Swiss Army Knife. Each of the knives is made for professional cooks and chefs so you can trust that they will last a lifetime and stay sharp. All of them are stamped with the seal of the NSF so that you can trust that they are sanitary.
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Laser Tested

All of the knives have been tested with a laser to make sure that they are sharp. You can trust that they will stay sharp throughout their lifetime as well.

Patented Handles

The company holds a patent on the handles. The handles are dishwasher safe so that they are easy to clean and they won't allow bacteria to grow on them for food safety.

Cost and Value

This is a premium collection that is sold at a price that is higher than the average price. The cost will vary depending on the number of knives that you get but all of the collections are sold above the average.
Pros
  • They are made in Switzerland by the same company that invented the Swiss Army Knife.
  • The handles feature an ergonomic design that reduces strain on your wrist.
  • All of the blades are made of a premium steel.
  • The blades are polished by hand so that they look great.
  • The edges have been laser tested for sharpness and quality.
Cons
  • Some users have felt that the knives are not well balanced.
  • Sometimes the knives do not hold an edge and need to be sharped frequently.

5. Vremi Colorful

5. Vremi Colorful
This is a colorful collection of essential knives for your kitchen. You can use them for any task that you may need to perform during food preparation. They are great for carving, slicing, and chopping. You can also pick out each of the knives easily thanks to them being color coded. All of them will last thanks to the blade guard.
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Blade Covers

The entire collection has a blade cover for each of the knives in the set. This will prevent injury and also help you pick out the knives quickly and easily.

Balanced

Vremi has taken extra care to make sure that all of the knives are well balanced. This will make them comfortable to use and also help to prevent injury.

Cost and Value

You will notice that this set is sold at a price that is lower than the average price. The low price turns them into a bargain buy since you don't have to pay a premium for them.
Pros
  • You get the five knives that are considered essential for the kitchen.
  • All of them are color code so that you can identify them.
  • There are blade covers that will protect the blade and prevent injury.
  • The handles have a non-slip design so that you don't slip.
  • All of the blades have a non-stick coating on them.
Cons
  • Users have had issues with the handles detaching from the blade.
  • The blades get dull easily and do not hold an edge.

6. Chicago Cutlery Fusion

6. Chicago Cutlery Fusion
You will love the high quality that you get from the well known Chicago Culterly. This is a full collection of knives that includes knives for preparation as well as eating. All of them are long-lasting thanks to the high-quality handles and the carbon steel that is used to make the blades. This is a set that you will love for years.
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Comfort Grip Handles

The handles are made with a comfort grip handle. The handle has an ergonomic shape to it so that you do not experience pain in your wrists and they are non-slip.

Taper Grind Edge

The blades feature a Taper Grind Edge so that you can get the maximum amount of sharpness from each blade. It also makes it each to re-sharpen the set when they get dull.

Cost and Value

You will find this collection sold at a price that is higher than the average price. The higher price is due to the fact that it is a premium brand that has 18 knives in it.
Pros
  • The blades are forged from a high carbon steel for durability.
  • The handles are made to be ergonomic and non-slip.
  • The edges are designed to be sharpened quickly and easily.
  • All of the blades are formulated to resist rust and corrosion.
  • It comes with a wood block that is made of pine to store the knives.
Cons
  • You cannot wash these knives in the dishwasher or they won't last.
  • Some users have reported that the handles break apart.

7. Stone Boomer

7. Stone Boomer
This is an amazing collection of knives for your cooking area. It has a modern design that allows them to look great while they are stored on your countertop. All of the knives that you need for food preparation are included in this collection which means that you have everything you need to prepare the perfect meal for yourself or guests.
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Lightweight

The handles and the blade have been designed to be as light as possible without sacrificing quality. This will help you make precise cuts and allows them to be easy on your hands.

Modern StandV

The stand has a compact and modern design. It is clear so that you can easily see the blade of each of the knives so that you don't accidentally grab the wrong one.

Cost and Value

This collection is sold at a price that is lower than the average price. The lower price is great because it allows you to have a great set without having to pay a premium.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • High-quality. 
  • Very modern.
  • Good price tag. 
Cons
  • May wear if not taken care of properly. 

8. Utopia Kitchen

8. Utopia Kitchen
The Utopia Kitchen 12 piece knife collection includes a variety that should cover your every food preparation need. The knife set is in an acrylic see through stand that allows you to see what knife you are selecting.
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Blade Types

The set includes (6) serrated steak knives, an 8” serrated bread knife, 8” straight edged Chef knife and slicing knife, 5” utility knife, and 3.5” paring knife.

Acrylic stand

The knife set comes with an acrylic stand to hold the knives, protecting the blades and organizing them when not in use.

It is recommended to wipe the knives dry after washing to prevent rust.

The elite handle design allows for easy use and the conservative blade thickness requires less force when cutting.
The knives are built with high grade anti-rust stainless steel

These knives are manufactured with high grade anti- rust stainless steel.
Pros

The blades are anti-rust due to being manufactured of high grade stainless steel.

The acrylic stand protects the cutting edges as well providing an attractive stand for your counter top.

Price.

Cons

Some customers complained for the handles developing rust spots.

Not recommended for dishwasher.

9. Zwilling J.A. Henckels

9. Zwilling J.A. Henckels
You will want to check out this product if you need a full collection of knives. It features a special formula of steel that will help all of the blades last for a long time. All of them were polished and sharpened by hand at the factory so that you can trust the quality of the steel used to make these knives.
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Three Rivets

Unlike other brands of knives, these knives have three rivets on the handles. The rivets will keep the handles from falling off while you are cutting with the knives so they will last longer.

High Carbon Steel

The blades are made of a special formulation of high carbon steel. This helps to protect against rust and will make them last longer even when they are washed in the dishwasher.

Cost and Value

This is a premium brand of knives so you will have to plan on seeing them sold at a price that is higher than the average price for that reason.
Pros
  • The blades are precision stamped from a special formulation of steel.
  • The blades are hardened with ice to the 57 Rockwell Hardness scale.
  • They can be washed in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
  • The collection has a knife block where you can store them.
  • It is made in Germany so you can trust the quality.
Cons
  • Some users have reported that the blades break on the smaller knives.
  • The holes in the block are too large for the blades.

10. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara

10. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara
This is a brand of Japanese kitchen knives. They are made of forged steel from Japan and are extremely well balanced. You will love how each of these knives feels in your hand while you are preparing food for a meal. When you are done, you can wash them by hand easily and then store them in the wooden knife block.
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Consumer Reports "Best Buy"

This collection has been rated at "Best Buy" by Consumer reported five different times. This means that you can trust the quality and the value of the knife collection since it has been tested by Consumer Reports.

Balance

The blades are balanced so that you can easily cut through the food. This will make it easy on your arms and wrists so that you don't strain these parts of your body.

Cost and Value

You will find this product sold at a price that is average. The price can vary since there are 4, 8, 12, and 19 piece options that will affect the final price.
Pros
  • It has been named Consumer Reports "Best Buy" five times.
  • The knives are designed to stay sharper than similar knives made by the competition.
  • The block has an attractive bamboo finish that makes it look great.
  • All of the blades are made with a premium Japanese steel.
  • All of the knives are balanced so that they are easy to use.
Cons
  • Some users have reported that the blades get rust spots.
  • Other users have experienced the knives breaking in half while using them.

Just about every food preparation task requires a quality set of knives. This is because you are going to need to cut, chop, slice, and dice your food into the proper size for cooking. In order to accomplish this, you are going to need different knives that have blades for different purposes. While you can purchase your knives individually, it is usually less expensive to purchase them in a set so that you can save money on the knives. Most sets also have a storage stand or block where you can store the knives safely when they are not being used.

Knife collections are made at just about every single price point so you should have no issues trying to find on that meets your price requirements. You can get inexpensive ones which are great for when you are getting your home established and you can also purchase premium sets that are designed to last for years. It also helps that you can decide on how many knives to get in a collection since many of the sets offer a different number of knives at different budgets. This means that everyone can find a set that works for their unique needs.

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Kitchen Knife Sets

Type of Knives

When you are picking out a collection of knives for your kitchen, you will want to take a look at what sort of knives are included in the set. At a minimum, you are going to want to look for a collection that has at least five knives. The essential knives are the chef’s knife, a slicing knife, bread knife, utility knife, and a paring knife. Without all of the knives, the collection isn’t going to cover everything that you are going to need in order to do your food preparation.

The chef’s knife is the main knife and is used for preparing the food. You can use it for dicing, chopping, and slicing food so that it is ready for cooking. Typically a utility knife is used for the same purposes but it is smaller than the chef’s knife which makes it more ideal for fruits and vegetables. The paring knife is a small knife that you use for coring out fruits or peeling fruits and vegetables. Serrated knives are used for cutting through foods that have a harder outside and softer inside, such as bread, rolls, or an angel food cake.

You may want to look for knife collections that have more knives in the set. In most cases, the additional knives will be variations of the five essential ones. However, some sets also come with steak knives that can be used to set the table so that your guests can cut their food while they are eating. You may also see scissors and a sharpener in the set as well which can be useful. It is best that you think about what knives you need in the set ahead of time and pick out a collection that has all of them.

Manufacturing Process

There are two different common manufacturing processes that are used to make the knives. One is forged and the other is stamped. Forged blades cost more to make but also tend to last much longer than stamped blades. Forging refers to the process in which steel is heated up and then it is beaten into shape. This makes the blade strong and sturdy since all of the molecules in the steel are properly aligned. Furthermore, blades that are forged tend to bend less and are also less likely to break. However, forging requires more time and energy since the metal has to be heated up and beaten into shape until it is ready. You will need to keep in mind that there are some knives that are advertised as forged when they are made with a different process. It can be hard to detect the knock-off so you will need to be careful and verify that a forged blade is really forged.

Stamped blades cost a lot less because they are made with a piece of steel that is cut by a cookie cutter like a machine. Due to the lack of beating the blade with a hammer, the blade does not have a bolster or a heel and isn’t as strong as forged. However, the process takes less time and energy which is why stamped blades are inexpensive to make. There are plenty of high-quality knife sets that work as well as forged but generally speaking, a stamped blade is more prone to bending and breaking than a forged blade. If you don’t mind sacrificing quality for a lower price, then stamped is a good option.

Care

Eventually, you are going to need to wash and sharpen your knives which is why you will want to think about what you need to do to care for your knives. You aren’t going to want to get a set of knives that start to develop rust or corrosion the first time they are washed. Another concern is how often you are going to need to sharpen the knives. The less care that is required, the more time you can spend focusing on food preparation.

Many people leave dirty knives in the sink or wash them in the dishwasher which can cause the knives to develop rust and corrosion. All knives will last longer when they are washed and dried immediately after use but some of them are dishwasher safe which makes it easier to care for them. If you are someone who doesn’t always do their dishes right away, then you will want to look for knives that are resistant to corrosion.

The other thing that you are going to want to think about is the edge. A common complaint that many people have with their kitchen knives is that they get dull easy. Higher quality blades will hold their edge better and stay sharper for a longer period of time which means that you will not have to sharpen them as often as a lower quality blade. For many people, sharpening a knife can be a hassle so you may be happier getting a set that doesn’t require as much work as other sets. The less you have to do to care for your knives, the happier you are going to be with them.

Knife blade materials can consist of ceramic, stainless steel, as well as stamped and forged steel. Ceramic blades are much harder than steel blades and can hold their edges better, but due to the hardness, ceramic blades can break if too much side pressure is exerted on the blade. The edges can also chip if not handled properly.

Handle

The handle matters because it is what you are going to hold onto while you are using the knife. For this reason, you are going to want to make sure that you are comfortable with the handle and make sure that it is something that you like. There are a couple of things that you can look for to make sure that you have a good handle on your knife. The first one is to make sure that the handle is strongly attached to the blade. The premium knives have rivets that are used to connect the handle and the blade and such designs tend to be more durable. Less expensive knives have a handle that is made of the same piece of metal as the blade or the handle is glued onto the blade. Both of these designs are more likely to snap and break.

Another characteristic of a well-made knife handle is that it has a non-slip surface. This is important because you may have wet hands while you are preparing food. Knife handles are made out of various types of materials, including wood, plastic, metal, and synthetic materials. A slippery handle can cause you to lose control of the knife which can lead to serious injury. It can also result in you dropping the knife on the floor and contaminate it. The best handles have grips that will allow you to maintain a firm hold on the knife even when your hand or the handle is wet. Handles made of wood or rubbery surface will ensure a better grip if your hands are wet when using your knives. Finally, you should check to make sure that the knife handle has a comfortable grip. If the handle is too hard, then it won’t be comfortable for you to hold onto the knife while you are using it. Many brands of knives have softer grips that are easier on your hands.

Storage

There is a good chance that your knife collection will have some means of storing the knives when they are not being used. Premium collections generally have a wooden block that has slits in it for you to put the knives. A less expensive collection may have a clip on or slide on blade covers. Of course, there is always the chance that there is no storage solution provided with the knives at all. You are going to have to pick the kind that is most suitable for your needs. The storage device protects the knife edges from being dinged together and dulling the edges prematurely. Some storage devices have a built-in blade sharpener.

Sometimes there is a reason to get knives that do not have any storage with them. If you already own a knife block or have magnets in your kitchen, then you can save the extra expense but not purchasing something that you do not need. There are also collections that have a blade cover. These are small plastic covers that either slide over the blade or clip onto it. They prevent accidents by making sure that the sharp edge of the blade is covered so that you do not hurt yourself. Additionally, such covers also protect the blade from rubbing against other objects and getting dull.

You will also see knife sets that are sold with a stand or a wooden block. In this case, the stand is usually placed on your countertop and you slide each knife into the slot that is cut into the stand. You can remove the knife by grabbing onto the handle so there is no chance that you can accidentally grab the knife by the blade. This will help the knives stay organized and help to prevent injuries by keeping them organized.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I keep my knives sharp?

A: Most sets are sold with a sharpening rod that you should use every time you go to use the knife. You should tilt the knife to a 30-degree angle and move it up and down the rod around 10 times on each side. You do not need to move fast and you should instead move carefully so that you do not dull the edge. Eventually, you will need a wet stone but if you follow these instructions the edge will last longer.

Q: How do I get the rust off of my knife?

A: It may not be possible to remove rust without professional tools. However, one trick is to soak the blade in cola or lemon juice overnight and then wipe the rust off with a dish sponge. The acid in these liquids will dissolve the rust which makes it possible to remove it. Keep in mind that it only works for light rust and will not be effective against a heavy build-up of rust.

Q: Can I wash my knives in the dishwasher?

A: It’s never recommended to wash your knives in the dishwasher. The dishwasher uses hard soaps and nothing in the dishwasher will dry instantly. The heat of the dishwasher can cause the glue in the handle to dissolve and even make the blade rust. The best practice is to wash the knives immediately in the sink and then dry them quickly with a paper towel when you have finished using them. The will keep the knives looking new for longer periods of time.

Q: Why should I buy a knife set rather than individual knives?

A: Knives that are sold individually will have a higher amount of retail markup than knives that are sold in a set. Therefore, you should only buy knives individually when you need to. Since knives tend to wear out about the same time, it typically makes more sense to replace an entire set at the same time anyway. It’s also beneficial to buy knives in a set if you do not own any knives at all.

Q: Are low-cost knives worth the money?

A: Premium knife sets last for a lifetime so while they have a higher upfront cost, they typically have a lower cost over the life of the set. Low-cost knives have a lower upfront cost but you shouldn’t expect them to last. They are worth the money in certain use cases such as when you are buying low-cost kitchen utensils to help you get started, but eventually, you should move up to a higher cost set.

Q. Can serrated knife blades be sharpened?

A. Yes. Serrated knives tend to stay sharper much longer than straight blades but are more difficult and time-consuming to sharpen. So if you are willing to put in the time it can be accomplished with a cheap handheld sharpening rod. Each gullet on the blade will need to be sharpened individually with the rod. Specific instructions can be found on Wikihow.

Q. What can I use to sharpen a ceramic knife blade?

A. Diamond sharpening stones are the best for use on ceramic blades.

Sources

  1. Consumer Reports, Kitchen Knife Buying Guide
  2. Wikipedia, Kitchen Knife
  3. Ginny’s Recipe & Tips, Kitchen Knife Buying Guide
  4. 4. Wikihow, Sharpen-Serrated-Knives

Sources

  1. Consumer Reports, Kitchen Knife Buying Guide, Website
  2. Wikipedia, Kitchen Knife, Website
  3. Ginny's Recipe's & Tips, Kitchen Knife Buying Guide, Website
  4. Wikihow, Sharpen-Serrated-Knives, Website
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