Why buy a kitchen knife set?
A kitchen knife is any knife designed to aid in food preparation. Some all-purpose kitchen knives are designed for more specific purposes or foods, like boning knives for removing bones from poultry, meat, and fish. While it’s possible to buy different kitchen knives individually and grow your collection that way, there are many benefits to buying them as a set instead. Kitchen knives sold in a set are made of the same material, in the same style, and have the same angles. This makes them more aesthetically pleasing since they’ll appear uniform on your kitchen countertop or cutlery drawer. Still, it makes it easier when the time comes to sharpen your knives, as you’ll be able to use the same sharpening tool on all of them. Moreover, many kitchen knife sets have built-in knife sharpeners, which individual knives rarely have. Knife sets also tend to go with their knife block or holder, giving you a convenient place to store, display, and reach your knives.
What should you look for in a kitchen knife set?
- Knife Types: Not every set of kitchen knife sets will contain some knife. Most sets will include some pretty basic, more universal knives like chef’s knives for chopping meat and vegetables, pairing knives for trimming small fruits and veggies, and at least one long serrated knife for cutting bread. But some sets contain much more specific or less common types of knives than the usual, more useful ones. There are knife sets designed just for cheeses or meats, for instance. You don’t want to spend money on knives you’ll never use, so think about the kind of foods you use, make, and eat at home and which knives will be best suited for cutting and preparing those foods. If you’re a vegetarian, you won’t need a set that includes a meat cleaver.
- Quantity: Not all kitchen knife sets include some types of knives, but not all sets contain the same amount of knives. Sets of four to nine knives are most common, but sets of as few as three or four knives or ten or more are readily available. The set quantity that’s right for you will depend on your cooking habits and how many knives you already own. If you only cook once or twice a week, you probably won’t need a large ten or 12-piece set of kitchen knives. But if you cook daily or make more elaborate meals with lots of steps and prep work, a smaller quantity set probably isn’t going to cut it.
- Blade Material: Almost every kitchen knife set will feature knives made of metal, but not all metals are created equal. Stainless steel and carbon steel are the most common options. Stainless steel is handy because it’s easy to sharpen and clean and doesn’t rust. They are, however, bendier, not as strong, and don’t hold an edge as well as carbon steel. Many professionals favor carbon steel for its ability to stay sharp for longer and its strength, but it will be more expensive, is more high maintenance, and will rust if not correctly cared for. Ceramic knives are the one rare non-metal alternative that may be worthwhile, as they’re lightweight, inexpensive, don’t rust, and stay sharp surprisingly well. However, they are more prone to chipping or breaking than metal knives.
What are some tips for choosing the proper handles for knives?
Be sure to consider the material of the knives’ handles are made of and the blades. Wood, plastic, and stainless steel are all standard options. Plastic handles are smooth, waterproof, and light, often easy to grip, but they may not look as high-end and will melt if left too close to heat sources. Wood is tough and aesthetically pleasing, though it’s harder to clean and care for since prolonged soaking in water will lead to it breaking or cracking. Stainless steel is also nice and durable, smooth to the touch, and rustproof, but it may also be too heavy for some and too slippery to grip correctly if it’s not texturized. Regardless of the handle material, keep an eye out for knives with built-in rubberized handle grips, making them easier to grasp. Molded or contoured handles are also handy since they’ll better fit in your hands if you can find a handle with both.
Cuisinart C77BTR-15P Triple Rivet Collection
If you're after classic, quintessential kitchen knives, you can't go wrong with this set from a trusted brand in kitchenware.
Pros: You often can’t go wrong with the classics, including this traditional set of kitchen knives. There are 13 knives in this set, six different types for different cooking tasks, a wooden block holder, sharpening steel, and kitchen shears. If you don’t need so many knives, a set of six and several individual knives are also available for purchase. Each knife blade is made from high-carbon stainless steel for extra strength and durability, plus an extra-wide safety bolster for greater protection. Several different handle colors are also available to better match your kitchen.
Cons: The steak knives aren’t serrated, as is the norm, so they may not be as effective at cutting as typical steak knives. The handles of the knives are also a bit less sturdy than most.
Bottom Line: This set of quality kitchen knives will suit just about any kitchen. As long as you don’t mind the unusual steak knives, there’s enough variety in the other knives to account for your cooking needs.
Home Hero Kitchen Knife Set
This attractive, high-volume kitchen knife set is perfect for people who cook daily and comes with a unique holder to boot.
Pros: This set covers you whether you want a complete set of kitchen knives with less common types or a more typical, basic variety. You can buy it as a 17, eight, or seven-piece set in either classic silver or a black finish to give them an extra-sleek, contemporary look. Regardless of which quantity or color you pick, the knife blades are coated in a finish to make them non-scratch and nonstick. This makes the knives easier to clean and helps them keep their smooth, attractive appearance for longer. A holder is included, but it’s pretty different from the usual. The clear plastic body displays the knives upright, in a fan-like shape rather than the standard wooden block-like holder. There are also holders on the stand for the peeler and a pair of scissors included with the 17-piece set. A complimentary knife sharpener also comes with your purchase, even if you buy one of the smaller sets.
Cons: Attractive as the black finish might be, there’s a chance that it will start to flake or scrape off over time, especially if you use the knives daily. The holder is also tricky to clean since the opening is so narrow; you’ll have to unscrew it and take it apart to clean it properly.
Bottom Line: This stylish, modern set of kitchen knives are an excellent option for anyone who wants to display their collection. The unique, transparent holder shows off your stylish new knife collection and ensures you can always see and grab the right knife you need at the moment.
McCook MC21B Knife Set
This handy rust-resistant, dishwasher-safe knife set comes with its own holder that sharpens your knives each time you slide one back inside.
Pros: Considering how many knives plus two bonus pairs of all-purpose utility shears you receive and the handiness of its holder, you get excellent value for your money with this kitchen knife set. You receive either 15 or 20 knives of varying sizes with your purchase, both multipurpose and specialty types. They’re serrated, made of stainless steel with a higher carbon count for better strength, and have contoured ergonomic handles to grip them easier and comfortably. The holder has a sharpener compatible with all the knives in the set, built right into the wooden block, so you’ll never need to worry about losing or misplacing it. As a bonus, if the all-black isn’t to your liking or doesn’t suit your kitchen’s style, there are four other color combinations from which you can choose.
Cons: Though they’re listed as dishwasher-safe, these knives are meant to be hand-washed only, especially if you want them to last as long as possible. Also, note that 15 and 20-piece sets are your only quantity options; if you’re after a smaller set, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Bottom Line: Like many kitchen appliances and implements, high-quality sets of kitchen knives are known to be expensive purchases. While this set isn’t inexpensive, you get an excellent bang for your buck between the high-carbon stainless steel blades, the built-in sharpeners, and bonus accessories.
HENCKELS Statement Kitchen Knife Set with Block
This high-end set of kitchen knives offer professional-grade, precision cutting when preparing your food.
Pros: These high-end, premium kitchen knives have all the qualities you’d expect from such a quality set. They’re made of top-notch stainless steel, with every blade made from a single piece to increase their strength and durability; this considerably decreases the risk of the blades ever snapping or breaking since there are no weaker fusion points. The triple-rivet handle paired with the endcap at the end of each knife also ensures that they’re incredibly well-balanced. You’ll be amazed at how well they hold an edge—it’ll be a long time before you need to re-sharpen them. But when that time does come, a steel sharpener comes with your purchase. A real hardwood, not engineered wood, holding block comes with your purchase. It’s available in five different color options, and the set can be bought with 12, 15, 15, or 20 total knives/pieces.
Cons: Since these are premium kitchen knives, they come with a premium price tag usually associated with high-quality products. Also, note that the block holder is horizontally wider and bulkier than most, so it will take up more countertop space than a typical knife holder.
Bottom Line: If you often cook and have the money to spare, you can’t go wrong with these premium-grade kitchen knives. You’ll look and feel like a professional chef when chopping, slicing, or dicing with this set.
Farberware Stainless-Steel Knife and Kitchen Tool Set
This affordable set of kitchen knives comes with multiple other handy utensils, perfect for new chefs or anyone building their first kitchen tool collection.
Pros: This beginner-friendly kitchen knife collection is about as low-priced a set as you’ll find, especially considering all the extra utensils that come with the knives. Besides the 12 knives, you also receive a set of all-purpose shears, three spatulas, and a set of measuring spoons. That’s 22 kitchen essentials, plus the countertop storage holder for the knives. The knives themselves are micro-serrated, so they won’t grow dull over time like regular straight-edged knives. It would help if you didn’t ever have to worry about needing to sharpen them. This also makes them handy for cutting through thicker foods, like meat. The handles are also textured and nonslip for your safety and a superior grip. You also can buy this set with a cutting board or without the spatula and measuring spoons if you already have a set or two of those utensils at home.
Cons: These knives are not dishwasher-safe; you’ll have to wash them by hand. Be sure not to soak them for extended periods and immediately dry them after washing, too, as they aren’t rustproof. They aren’t as durable and long-lasting as other, pricier kitchen knife sets, especially the handles.
Bottom Line: If you’re living on your own for the first time, just starting your kitchen utensil collection, or are learning to cook, this is an excellent kitchen knife set for your needs. You receive not just a set of kitchen knives but two other sets of common kitchen accessories for a meager price.
Kitchen knife sets are a great way to quickly and easily acquire a wide variety of knives to cover almost every cutting, chopping, peeling, slicing, and dicing task. Your meal prep became more efficient, and cooking became more enjoyable by upgrading to a durable, reliable knife set.