When you’re setting up your kitchen, having a decent kitchen knife set is usually high on the list of priorities. Some people might be able to make do with just a couple of knives in their kitchen, but having a proper set will give you a lot of versatility and convenience while cooking, preparing snacks, or meal prepping.
There are also a lot of factors to keep in mind before you go about purchasing a new set of kitchen knives. The market has so many different options now, so making a final decision can be quite challenging. There are kitchen knife sets with different numbers of knives, different colors, and different ways of storage. You might have a theme to follow and want the knives to blend in, or you might be looking for a specific set that’s durable and guaranteed to remain sharp for a long time.
Are Kitchen Knife Sets Beneficial?
There’s some debate on whether a whole kitchen knife set is the best way to go or not. The table below will summarize the advantages and disadvantages of getting a set:
Advantages of a Kitchen Knife Set
Disadvantages of a Kitchen Knife Set
You get a cohesive set with all the knives being of one design and looking streamlined when on display
There may be more knives than you have to use, which means that you may get more value from buying individual knives
Several knife set options available in the market; one can choose whatever best fits their requirements
Could be more expensive than buying a few knives separately
Good for amateurs, as there’s no need to research the individual knives
Some options for knife sets don’t off the same quality or build as individual knives
Might include storage options like a knife block or bonus items like a matching chopping board, shears, and a honing steel
If you don’t use all the knives regularly, they may just be taking up extra space
Factors to Consider When Buying a Kitchen Knife Set
Choosing a knife set for your kitchen needs might be tricky, as everyone has different needs and requirements for that department. Check out the factors below to shortlist the wide variety of options you’d probably find in the market:
1. Expectations for Usage
If you’re an experienced cook or chef, chances are that you’d know just what to do with most of the knives in a set. Some enthusiastic cooks may want a large number of knives in their set in order to make a variety of dishes and prepare all kinds of ingredients.
Amateur cooks, on the other hand, might just settle for the standard set of knives. Take a look at what a knife set offers and then make the decision based on how often you expect to use each type of knife. While you’re at it, also consider what kind of chopping board you want to use the knives on.
2. Storage Options
Buying several knives at once means that you’d have to think about a safe and convenient way to store them. Many kitchen knives already come with their own block. If they don’t, you’d have to figure out another way to store the knives properly in order to keep them from wearing out too quickly. Those who have small kids in their home will also want the knives to be stored well away from their reach. Here are some storage tips for the rest of your kitchen as well.
Below are a few storage options for kitchen knives, with some of the details listed for more clarity:
Type of Knife Storage/Features to Consider
Medium to low
Usually Wood-oak, ash, cherry, olive, bamboo, and rubberwood. Can also be made of stainless steel or tempered glass
Stainless steel or wood attached to a magnet
Synthetic material, woven fabric, or leather
Wood, metal, plastic
Leather, fabric, or synthetic material
Easy to use
Keeps blade edges sharp
Keeps knives separated
Knives don’t touch each other
Keeps knives organized
Prevents wear and tear
Keeps knives safely away from children
Difficult to keep clean
Need to dry knives completely before using
Some models may dull knives by dragging the blades
Pulling may weaken knife tang over time
More exposed and potentially accessible to kids
Can be inconvenient for home use
Same as for knife block
Can be annoying
Difficulty to keep clean
The cost of a kitchen knife set doesn’t always depend on the number of knives in it. Different brands have varying prices, with the better quality and build driving up the cost. If you’re on a budget, there are standard sets that can still be very durable.
There are various materials used for knife blades and the knife handle. Both are important considerations. The blades are usually made of stainless steel, carbon steel, ceramic, high carbon stainless steel, or titanium. There are other materials such as talonite or plastic, but these aren’t the ideal choices. At the very least, the knives you choose should have high-quality stainless steel for the blades.
The knife blades might be made of wood, laminate, stainless steel, or some synthetic material such as Bakelite. While wood is the most traditional option, it is hard to keep clean. Stainless steel is probably the most sanitary option, but it could make the knife heavier and drive up the price. Of all options, laminate handles might be the best compromise.
5. Warranty and Reviews
Buying anything online enables you to easily check for the warranty and reviews of a product. With kitchen knife sets, make sure that the manufacturer is willing to stand by the quality of their offering. The reviews will tell you whether to get a certain knife set or not, so don’t skip those in any case.
The Best Kitchen Knife Sets for 2021
If you’re thinking of buying a kitchen knife set in 2021, here are some of the top options currently available. Looking at these might be useful for making a decision regarding your own purchase:
Some might say that this is the most efficient kitchen knife set you can have. It has all the basics; ergonomic handles, sturdy steel, a full tang, and a lifetime warranty to boot. On the other hand, it’s also a unique and trendy offering due to the lonely tempered glass block for storage. Even if you’re a novice at cooking, a knife from this set will help you handle it safely due to the slip-resistant grip.
- All knives in the set are comfortable while using and also made safe with the grip
- The construction of the knives are of high carbon steel
- Durable and long lasting quality
- Affordable price point
- Company name is well-known
- Glass block makes it easy to see which knife you want.
- Will hold edge even after months of using
- Knife block is made of glass, which can break or crack with a little mishandling
If you’re on the lookout for a reliable, cost-friendly kitchen knife set that’s also from a known brand, this is probably the one.
- Can be cleaned in the dishwasher
- Very economical price range
- Lifetime warranty
- High carbon stainless steel construction for high durability
- Handles are easy to hold and won't tire your hand out
- Blades’ construction makes them resistant to breaking
- Hollow handle for lightweight experience
- Need frequent sharpening
- May rust easily
Victoriox is a well-known knife brand, so you can hardly go wrong with the kitchen knife sets. Overall, this 4-piece set is more of a beginner’s option. Its handles are ergonomically shaped for comfort, while the handle without a bolster makes for easy sharpening. The blades are made out of a high carbon stainless steel. If you're looking for a house-warming gift or need to get a decent first set of knives yourself, this is probably one of the safest choices. However, make sure to get a drawer tray or magnetic strip for them, as they don’t come with a block or even sheaths.
- Handles are easy and safe to hold
- Handles are slip-resistant, making them perfect for beginners
- In the relatively inexpensive range for kitchen knife sets
- Lifetime warranty protection
- High carbon stainless steel construction for extra strength and durability.
- Manufactured by a popular German knife manufacturer with generations of experience
- Lack of bolster makes it easy to sharpen blade and make precise cuts
- The knives need to be sharpened quite often.
- Some reports of dull knives in package
Having a self-sharpening kitchen knife set is now possible, and this Calphalon option is one of the best around. Its ceramic knife sharpener is built into the knife block, so one doesn't have to go to the trouble of sharpening the knives on a separate tool. The knives themselves are made from a high carbon stainless steel with full tang and a triple riveted handle.
- Affordable price range
- Inbuilt knife sharpener that won't get lost
- Lifetime warranty to protect purchase
- Full tang for durability
- Wide variety of knives included
- Pair of shears included
- Knives need sharpening quite often
- Some users have trouble holding knives at just the right edge for sharpening.
This classic block set is available in three colors, but it’s the German steel that really makes it a great choice. German steel is one of the highest carbon steel options in such knives, so we can expect this set to be both efficient and durable. There’s a 3.5 inch paring knife, a 5-inch serrated knife, a 6-inch prepping knife, 8-inch bread knife, and an 8-inch chef knife in here. Also included are a slim design wooden knife block and kitchen shears that come apart for easy cleaning.
- Triple rivets and full tang for extra durability
- Lifetime warranty
- Knives are durable and strong
- Wooden block is slim and compact
- Knives are very sharp, making slicing and prepping a breeze
- A little on the expensive side
- Some complaints about the quality of the wood block
- The knives are a little expensive as compared to other kitchen knife sets.
The following table takes a glance at all the knife sets we’ve discussed above.
|Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set||Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Block Set||Victorinox 4-Piece Fibrox Pro Knife Set||Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Cutlery Knife Block Set||Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set|
|Material of blade||High carbon steel||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||High-carbon stainless steel||German stainless steel|
|Material of handle||Santoprene||Stainless steel||Thermoset plastic||Poly-resin||Polyoxymethylene|
|No. of knives||5||12||4||10||5|
|Item dimensions||10 x 4 x 15 inches||6.5 x 14.88 x 11.13 inches||19.5 x 6.75 x 1.75 inches||15.13 x 12.88 x 15 inches||20 x 14 x 8 inches|
|Main advantages||Trendy look, ability to see which knife you’re using, quality construction and materials||A wide range of different knives, relatively inexpensive||Reasonable price, ergonomic handles||Knives sharpen themselves when they enter or exit the slot||Made of quality German steel, compact block, extremely sharp|
|Main Disadvantages||Knife block is prone to breaking||Blades need frequent sharpening||Do not come with a knife block or any other kind of storage||Some knives might need to be held at a certain angle for sharpening||-|
We now have several high-tech gadgets such as electric potato peelers, multifunctional choppers, and so on. However, nothing really beats the handiness and control that a quality kitchen knife gives to a cooking enthusiast. No kitchen can be complete without a knife, and the kitchen knife sets we’ve discussed here are among the best options money can buy today. With these sets, you get a range of the standard knives and then some, all with some bonus items for extra convenience. Choose one now and upgrade your kitchen for good.