The 10 Best Knife Sets

Updated March 01, 2018 by Sam Kraft

10 Best Knife Sets
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
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. Skip to the best knife set on Amazon.

10. Master Cutlery Top Chef

Named after the hit TV show, the Master Cutlery Top Chef comes with very sharp stainless steel blades for precision cutting. This set includes several specialty knives, such as two Santoku blades, a six-inch filet knife and a small paring knife.
  • handles are sleek and polished
  • effective serrated steak knives
  • scissors are not high quality
Brand Topchef
Model 80-TC12
Weight 8.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Calphalon Contemporary

The Calphalon Contemporary is a set for any occasion, from a wedding gift to a restock of your own kitchen. The knives have handles that are labelled for quick identification, and the attractive wooden block has a built-in sharpener to make your life easy.
  • block is slim for simple storage
  • includes a lifetime warranty
  • steak knives are not very sharp
Brand Calphalon
Model 1990629
Weight 7.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. AmazonBasics 18-Piece

Just because it's so affordable, don't assume the AmazonBasics 18-Piece is not decent quality. It’s a useful option for everyday use in your home kitchen, and the knives come in a classic design that’s more practical than flashy.
  • heavy handles for durability
  • rubber feet to keep block in place
  • blades require sharpening often
Brand AmazonBasics
Model HL-005985
Weight 10.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Chicago Cutlery DesignPro

The blades of the Chicago Cutlery DesignPro feature ergonomic handles that offer optimal balance and control. The knife block is built in an interesting geometric shape, with a two-toned color scheme that will make an impression on visitors.
  • blades resist food sticking to them
  • comes with sharpening steel
  • handy peeling knife included
Brand Chicago Cutlery
Model 1109176
Weight 8.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Cuisinart Steel

If you like the way silver cutlery looks when you’re chopping and dicing, then you’ll be pleased with the Cuisinart Steel, which comes with some of the lightest and sharpest blades available. These shiny pieces will look appealing in most kitchens.
  • blades are super easy to wash
  • knives will not break if dropped
  • easy on wrists for extended use
Brand Cuisinart
Model C77SS-15PK
Weight 10 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Mercer Culinary Genesis

The Mercer Culinary Genesis comes with a strong stand made of tempered glass that displays the blades openly for speedy selection. The stand is easy to clean, and the knives themselves are designed with stain-resistant high-carbon steel.
  • sleek contemporary appearance
  • handles provide reliable balance
  • includes 8-inch bread knife
Brand Mercer Culinary
Model M20000
Weight 8.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Victorinox Forschner

With professional performance and a straightforward design, the Victorinox Forschner leaves cooks feeling satisfied. The swiveling block is cut from solid walnut, doesn’t take up much space, and has a high-end appearance to match modern kitchens.
  • all pieces are dishwasher safe
  • expertly crafted in switzerland
  • comes with kitchen shears
Brand Victorinox
Model pending
Weight 9.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Global G-835

Each knife in the Global G-835 is designed fully in steel, including the handles. This set is suitable for culinary professionals — the blades are lightweight and well-balanced, which is ideal for hours of use in a restaurant kitchen.
  • dimpled handles for a good grip
  • blades retain sharpness long-term
  • block is smooth and lightweight
Brand Global
Model G835/WS
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Home Hero Chef

A 17-piece multipurpose set with a transparent knife block, the Home Hero Chef should meet any of your home needs and even suffice for some professionals. Vegetarians and vegans will appreciate its sharp paring knife for peeling and trimming vegetables.
  • simple set at a nice value
  • includes a serrated pizza knife
  • money-back guarantee
Brand Home Hero
Model pending
Weight 5.8 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Wusthof Classic

The items included in the Wusthof Classic will be your favorite new kitchen tools, with precise edges and robust, easy-to-grip handles. Treated properly, this German-made set will last a lifetime, as each blade is forged from a single piece of stainless steel.
  • resistant to odor absorption
  • comes with 12 pieces
  • light blades minimize hand fatigue
Brand Wüsthof
Model 8612
Weight 8.5 pounds
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.

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Last updated on March 01, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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