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Holiday 2020: Give Your Favorite Chef the Gift of Quality Knives

A woman cutting vegetables with a high quality chef's knife.
BaanTaksinStudio/Shutterstock

A quality knife is a culinary workhorse for anyone who loves working in the kitchen. This year, surprise your favorite chef with one (or a few) top-notch, reliably sharp knives he or she will love.

We’ve provided our two top picks for knife block sets below, along with a variety of dependable knives perfect for anyone who loves slicing, dicing, and chopping.

Wüsthof Gourmet Knife Block Set

Wüsthof is a well-respected knife brand that’s been around for years. This gourmet set is one of their less-expensive series and is considered entry-level. It features precision stainless-steel, stamped knives. It’s certainly not cheap, compared to the bargain-brand knife blocks and sets you’ll find at your local home store, but it’ll provide years of service.

If you want to go all out and really spoil your favorite chef, you can always jump from basic to premium and go for the forged series, which has even higher quality knives. Here’s a fantastic block, complete with precision-forged knives.

The stamped blades are stain- and rust-resistant, high-carbon steel. This set comes complete with a chef’s, utility, and bread knife, two paring knives, four serrated steak knives, and more! The Acadia woodblock also holds a nine-inch honing steel and a pair of kitchen shears. Your favorite chef will have everything he or she needs with this high-quality block.

Best Overall

Wusthof Gourmet Knife Block Set, One Size, Acacia Block, Stainless Knives, 16 Piece

A respected brand, made from German high-carbon, stainless steel.

Home Hero Block Set

If you’re looking for a more affordable set of knives with an aesthetic appeal, look no further! This highly rated stainless-steel knife set comes in an all-black coating for a sleek, modern appearance that will suit any kitchen.

These practical, durable knives are perfect for any culinary student or novice home chef looking for a set that can take a beating. The sharp blades provide precision with each slice, and the ergonomic handles offer comfort, which is vital for any chef.

Wüsthof Classic Ikon 8 In. Chef’s Knife

Someone slicing fresh figs with a Wüsthof eight-inch chef's knife on a cutting board.
Wüsthof

The Wüsthof Chef’s knife is the ultimate multipurpose tool designed to perform various kitchen tasks. From chopping veggies to slicing meat, this knife will quickly become any chef’s best friend.

The most crucial thing when choosing a chef’s knife is finding one that will comfortably fit someone’s hand. If you aren’t entirely familiar with chef’s knives, you can learn how to choose the best one for any chef here.

This classic Ikon, eight-inch Wüsthof features a durable full tang, made of high-carbon stainless steel. While most chef’s knife blades are between 6-14 inches, an 8- or 9-inch blade tends to be the most manageable and adaptable for home cooking.

J.A. Henckels 8 In. Chef’s Knife

If you’re looking for a more affordable chef’s knife, J.A. Henckels’ 8-Inch is a dependable option. Like the Wüsthof, this indestructible German blade is durable. It’s on the heavier side, but it’s less than half the price of the Wüsthof Ikon we shared above.

This means you get a tool fit for cutting large pieces of meat or cubing hearty veggies, like winter squashes. On the other side of this full-tang chef’s knife, there’s also an excellent tool for mincing, slicing, or dicing.

Mercer Culinary Paring Knife

Mercer knives are made of stain- and rust-resistant Japanese steel for durable longevity. They’re used for precision cuts, and their razor-sharp edges breeze through weeknight cooking.

This paring knife features a comfortable, ergonomic handle. It’s a bit bulkier than others, but still lightweight enough to naturally fit the hand. It makes an excellent gift for anyone looking for comfort and quality at a friendly price.

Viking Culinary High-Carbon Steel Steak Knife Set

A Viking steak knife on a cutting board next to a ribeye and the full set of Viking knives.
Viking

If you or someone you know love’s steakhouse steak knives, this is a gift worth giving. This restaurant-grade, six-piece knife set is made of German stainless steel. They also all fit securely in a gorgeous, rubberwood gift box.

Victorinox Boning Knife

A boning knife is best for trimming and deboning cuts of meat, but it’s also excellent for slicing delicate meats. This expertly crafted Swiss knife features a curved, semi-stiff blade, perfect for the butcher in your home.

Dalstrong Carving Knife and Fork Set

With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, this carving knife and fork set will ensure that every turkey or roast is sliced to perfection! Whether your family slow roasts a traditional prime rib, or can’t do Christmas without an oven-roasted ham, this set delivers.

The high-carbon German steel offers an incredible shard edge. It also comes with a honing rod to ensure that edge is always straight. The carving fork is beautifully designed, with a black, pakkawood handle for comfort and maneuverability.

Cutluxe 10 In. Bread Knife

Every kitchen needs a serrated bread knife for bagels, cakes, crusty loaves, sandwiches, baguettes, and so much more. Your friend will love whipping out this sharp, gorgeously crafted knife any time she has some warm bread to slice.

Mercer Tomato Knife

Beyond tomatoes, a small serrated kitchen knife is a necessary tool for cutting citrus, or even sawing through small sandwiches. It might seem like a splurge, but once your favorite chef uses this little guy, you’ll hear all about how it’s now his favorite blade.


A quality set of knives is a must-have for any culinary student, home chef, or foodie, who loves spending time in the kitchen. With practice, a keen sense of taste, and a good set of knives, your favorite cook will be able to transform just about anything into a five-star meal!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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