We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Not only is a quality knife set a must-have for any proper kitchen, it makes it easy for just about anyone to slice, dice, chop and peel to perfection. We’ve included everything from starter sets that are suitable as a housewarming gift for a young couple to heavy-duty packages that provide the performance and durability a master chef requires. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.
10. Master Cutlery Top Chef
- Handles are sleek and polished
- Effective serrated steak knives
- Scissors are not high quality
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
9. Calphalon Contemporary
- Block is slim for simple storage
- Includes a lifetime warranty
- Steak knives are not very sharp
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
8. AmazonBasics 14-Piece
- Heavy handles for durability
- Rubber feet to keep block in place
- Blades require sharpening often
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
7. Chicago Cutlery DesignPro
- Blades resist food sticking to them
- Comes with sharpening steel
- Handy peeling knife included
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
5. Mercer Culinary Genesis
- Sleek contemporary appearance
- Handles provide reliable balance
- Includes 8-inch bread knife
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
4. Victorinox Forschner
- All pieces are dishwasher safe
- Expertly crafted in switzerland
- Comes with kitchen shears
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
3. Global G-835
- Dimpled handles for a good grip
- Blades retain sharpness long-term
- Block is smooth and lightweight
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
2. Home Hero Chef
- Simple set at a nice value
- Includes a serrated pizza knife
- Money-back guarantee
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
1. Wusthof Classic
- Resistant to odor absorption
- Comes with 12 pieces
- Light blades minimize hand fatigue
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
A Cutting Rite Of Passage
A knife set can serve as a rite of passage, whether given as a gift or set up for a lifetime of use in a busy kitchen. What marries them all to one another is a consistency in the basics of each set’s design. There are the knives themselves, equipped as they are with their handles and blades, the variety which makes certain knives more suitable for specific tasks than others. Then, there’s the block or stand, the device designed to house the knives, keeping them safe and organized for years of use.
A good knife is a well balanced knife that feels simultaneously lightweight in the hand and heavy enough to get the job done. Your serrated blades are ideal for cutting through breads, tomatoes, and the like. Your straight-edged blades, on the other hand, make much cleaner cuts through things like steak, fruits, and leafy greens.
Most of the blocks here are wood, which is breathable enough to prevent moisture from collecting and lingering inside the block, where it could damage your knives over time. A couple of the sets on this list use steel blocks, which aren’t as breathable, but also won’t harbor any unwanted substances of their own should they endure prolonged exposure to moisture.
What’s In The Block
There is nothing more dangerous in the kitchen than a dull knife. I have never cut myself on a sharp knife, because a sharp knife–if it’s the right knife for the job at hand–will cut through your materials effortlessly. As soon as you feel yourself forcing your way through a cut, you’re probably just about to lose a finger. Knives, in that sense, are a lot like love; you can’t force it, but if it’s right, it ought to work on its own.
Perhaps, then, you should let your heart guide you toward the ideal knife set for your kitchen. At least, it’s a good way to start. Since we’re a bit of a superficial society, let’s let our hearts evaluate the look of each set to begin with. After all, one of these sets is bound to live in your kitchen for a good long while, and you want it to match what you’ve got going on in there.
Once you see a style you like, whether it’s the cool, modernist steel or the rustic, unfinished wood look, you can head on to the next vital criteria: size. If you have a house full of would-be chefs, and they act like chefs, then they do a lot of cooking and not a lot of cleaning. That means, especially if you’re as pressed for time as the rest of the western world, that you don’t have time to go washing somebody else’s knife just to make yourself some lunch.
In that case, you want to get your hands on a set with as many knives as possible. If money’s an issue for you, you can invest in a smaller set that has a bigger block into which you can add more knives down the line. This way, you get quality cutting now and a reduction in homicidal thoughts later.
Finally, when selecting from among the knife sets on our list, you should consider the knives within. If you’re a vegetarian, for example, you probably don’t need a set that includes eight steak knives. They’re useful to have around, but a set with only four would serve you just fine. The more carnivorous cooks should look for sets with eight steak knives, fillet knives, and even small cleavers where available.
Sharper And Sharper
For a great long while, knives were the only utensil known to man. Most people as far back as history goes, utilized some form of sharp cutting utensil for food preparation as well as a variety of work around the home and field. Eventually, these knives evolved from stone to bronze and iron, and knives took on the characteristics we can recognize in today’s designs.
At that point in the history of the blades, most every male carried a knife on his person. This he used to cut his meat, protect himself, and more. Around the height of the Roman Empire, the introduction of forks and other utensils into the lower classes slowly relegated the knife to a place primarily in the kitchen.
Knives today are designed with all the advantages of laser cutting, 3-D printing, computer modeling, and rigorous, unprecedented tests for durability and sharpness, making the simple steel elements of even 150 years ago seem little more than the stone tools used by early man.