Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knife Sets

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

A set of kitchen knives with a chopping board

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

Knife Block

Magnetic Strip

Knife Bag

Drawer Tray

Knife Sheath

User Friendliness

High

High

Medium to low

Yes

Low

Compact

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Material

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

Advantages

Easy to use

Saves space

Trendy

Good presentation

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

Disadvantages

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

3. Cost

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. 

4. Material

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: 

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
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


1. Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set


Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set

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. 

 

Pros:



  • 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


Cons:



  • Knife block is made of glass, which can break or crack with a little mishandling



2. Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Block Set


Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Block Set

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.

 

Pros



  • 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


Cons



  • Need frequent sharpening

  • May rust easily



3. Victorinox 4-Piece Fibrox Pro Knife Set


Victorinox 4-Piece Fibrox Pro Knife Set

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.

 

Pros:



  • 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


Cons:



  • The knives need to be sharpened quite often. 

  • Some reports of dull knives in package



4. Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Cutlery Knife Block Set


Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Cutlery Knife Block Set

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. 

 

Pros



  • 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


Cons



  • Knives need sharpening quite often

  • Some users have trouble holding knives at just the right edge for sharpening.



5. Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set


Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set

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. 

 

Pros: 



  • 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


Cons



  • 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 SetCuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Block SetVictorinox 4-Piece Fibrox Pro Knife SetCalphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Cutlery Knife Block SetWusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set
Material of bladeHigh carbon steelStainless steelStainless steelHigh-carbon stainless steelGerman stainless steel
Material of handleSantopreneStainless steelThermoset plasticPoly-resinPolyoxymethylene
No. of knives5124105
WarrantyLimited LifetimeLifetimeLifetimeLifetimeLifetime
Item dimensions10 x 4 x 15 inches6.5 x 14.88 x 11.13 inches19.5 x 6.75 x 1.75 inches15.13 x 12.88 x 15 inches20 x 14 x 8 inches
Main advantagesTrendy look, ability to see which knife you’re using, quality construction and materialsA wide range of different knives, relatively inexpensiveReasonable price, ergonomic handlesKnives sharpen themselves when they enter or exit the slotMade of quality German steel, compact block, extremely sharp
Main DisadvantagesKnife block is prone to breakingBlades need frequent sharpeningDo not come with a knife block or any other kind of storageSome knives might need to be held at a certain angle for sharpening-
 

Conclusion

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.