Kitchen knives are a utensil that we use every day but don’t give a lot of thought to. Professional chefs feel very differently. They understand how important kitchen knives are for food preparation and put a lot of effort into choosing them and looking after them. Perhaps, you should start doing the same?
When you invest in a high-quality set of the best kitchen knives, you will soon realize what a difference they make. You will be able to chop, slice and cut with greater precision and with less effort. Food preparation will cease to be a chore and will become a joy. A well-balanced kitchen knife feels great in your hand and will last for years. As long as you look after them, they are rust resistant and will always look great. Take a look at our guide to the best kitchen knife set to get you started.
The Best Kitchen Knife Set
There are 15 pieces in this impressive knife set which comes with a hardwood knife block in light or dark brown. There is a knife to suit every kitchen task. You get a three inch paring knife, a five inch serrated utility knife, a seven inch Santoku knife with a hollow edge and indentations to stop food sticking to it, an eight inch chef’s knife (for herbs and onions), an eight inch bread knife (which will cleanly slice crusty sourdough bread), a steak knife, a sharpening steel and a kitchen shears.
Each knife is made from a single piece of fabricated high-quality stainless steel, which is both lightweight and durable. They have satin-finished blades which give you a precise cut and sharpness that lasts. These knives have a full tang for excellent maneuverability.
The traditional triple-rivet handles are a feature of this best knife set and are curved for comfort and have endcaps for a balanced feel. You can put these knives in the dishwasher.
15 piece set
Made from a single piece of fabricated stainless steel
- BrandZWILLING J.A. Henckels
- Weight8.4 pounds
Blades are very sharp
Blades stay sharp
Feel lovely in your hand
Not all knives fit the slots in the block
Paring knives are a bit wide
This block set of stainless steel knives includes 15 pieces. They are all made from high carbon stainless steel to give you accuracy and precision when you cut. Included in the set are an eight inch chef knife, an eight inch slicing knife and a seven inch Santoku knife as well as a 5.5 inch serrated utility knife and a 3.5 inch paring knife. You also get an eight inch sharpening steel and household shears.
The set includes six 4.5 inch steak knives which are hot-forged and will look great on your table. The handles are ergonomically designed and comfortable to use. The precision-tapered blades are exceptionally sharp with a fine edge. They are easy to clean.
15 piece set
Made from high carbon stainless steel
Includes a set of steak knives
- Brand Cuisinart
- Weight8.11 pounds
Can be used with just one hand
Steak knives may bend
Will rust if you put them in the dishwasher
An elegantly designed 15-piece set of knives in a block that looks even better as it ages. All the knives have ergonomic Pakkawood handles to give them a timeless appeal and the attractive woodgrain looks even better as it ages.
The knives are made from high-carbon stainless steel blades to give you precision cutting and they have a strong bolster for stability with control. They stay sharp after use and do not corrode, stain or pit. Within the set, you will get an eight inch chef knife, an eight inch Santoku knife and many more. You also get a set of steak knives, a kitchen scissors and a knife sharpener. These are suitable for amateur and professional use but should not be put in the dishwasher.
Knife set in a block
High-carbon stainless steel blades
Ergonomic Pakkawood handles
Stay sharp after use
- Weight8.85 pounds
Easy to clean
Will not survive the dishwasher
So sharp you have to take great care
Everything you need for slicing and chopping in one handy set. You get 13 knives as well as kitchen scissors, a peeler and a knife sharpener. They are all stored in an attractive transparent knife stand. The blades are made from stainless-steel coated with nonstick material and the handles are made from ergonomic PP. They are both sharp and sturdy and will not rust or stain. It includes knives for all tasks such as a carving knife, a utility knife and a pizza knife. You even get a set of steak knives.
Transparent knife stand
Made from non-stick stainless steel
Sharp and sturdy
- Weight4.8 pounds
Stay sharp even with use
Peeler is an excellent bonus
Will cut through frozen meat
Black coating can come off the knives
A useful and stylish wooden block houses this set of 13 knives plus a kitchen shears. It includes a 3.25 inch straight paring knife and a 4.5 inch serrated utility knife as well as a set of six 4.5 inch steak knives. You also get a honing steel for sharpening and the set is suitable for professional or home use.
There is a suitable knife in this best cutlery set for all kitchen slicing and chopping tasks. Every knife is made from high carbon stainless steel that has been conical ground and tempered with ice to make sure that it stays sharp with use. All of the handles are textured for a safe and comfortable grip. They are also weighted for balance which makes them a joy to use.
Set of 13 knives plus a kitchen shears
Honing steel for sharpening
Made from high carbon stainless steel
- Weight8.33 pounds
Non-slip handles are safe to grip
Sloping blades ‘rocks’ for efficient cutting
Dishwasher safe but better washed by hand
This knife block set will resist staining and rust because it is made from high carbon stainless steel and is of commercial use quality. It complies with FDA regulations and each set undergoes at least five quality control checks before it is dispatched.
The blades have been finished off with taper grind edge technology which gives you a precise cutting experience and makes them a joy to sharpen. The handle has been ergonomically designed to make it comfortable enough for you to have full confidence when cutting. The knife set includes an eight inch chef knife, an eight inch slicing knife, a five inch santoku knife and a six steak knives. You also get a kitchen shears, a bamboo knife block that has a built-in sharpener and a bamboo cutting board.
Resists staining and rust
Finished off with taper grind edge technology
A joy to sharpen
Bamboo knife block
- Weight9.58 pounds
Plenty of weight in each knife
Sharpener is very useful
Very comfortable handles
Will rust if left in water
Best not to put them in the dishwasher
A set of six, high-quality and color-coded knives. Other colors and designs are available but this set comprises an eight inch chef knife in purple, an eight inch slicing knife in red, an eight inch serrated bread knife in yellow, a seven inch Santoku knife in green, a 6.5 inch utility knife in dark blue and a 3.5 inch paring knife in light blue.
All of the knives come with color coded knife slides (blade guards) to prevent accidental cuts when they are stored in your kitchen drawers. They all have a nonstick coating which makes slicing easy. The color coding makes it simple to designate knives for raw and cooked food to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Set of six colorful knives
All knives come with blade guards
Color-coded to prevent cross-contamination
- Weight2.16 pounds
Color coating is very useful
Non-stick coating is very durable
Blade guards are a useful safety feature
Very attractive knives
Coating makes them harder to sharpen
Some customers found them heavy
There is something for every cooking task in this 18 piece kitchen knife set. It includes all the kitchen classics including as 3.25 inch parer knife, a three inch peeler knife and a 5 inch utility knife. You also get eight steak knives and a stainless sharpening steel.
They are made out of high-carbon stainless steel and have comfort-grip poly handles so they won’t slide out of your hand. A special taper grind edge method has been used to sharpen the blades so that you can cut precisely. They are also very easy to sharpen. The blades are resistant to staining and rusting but should not be put in the dishwasher.
18 piece kitchen knife set
Made out of high-carbon stainless steel
Comfort-grip poly handles
Resistant to rusting
- BrandChicago Cutlery
- Weight13.55 pounds
Knives look great
Handles are comfortable to hold
Cannot be put in the dishwasher
Some knives have snapped under pressure
A set of sleek and modern knives that look great and do a fantastic job. They have a patented design which is based on ergonomic principles so that handles are very easy and comfortable to grip. The full tang has been forged from X50Cr15MoV steel (German) and has been certified to have achieved a HRC of 58 +/- 2 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. They are also certified by the National Sanitation Foundation.
The set includes an eight inch chef’s knife, a seven inch Santoku knife and a five inch serrated utility knife. You also get a honing steel, kitchen shears and a Walnut block which has been handcrafted.
17 piece knife block set
Ergonomically designed handles
Made from German steel
Certified by the National Sanitation Foundation
- Weight16.4 pounds
Very nice to look at
Knife block looks lovely on a countertop
So sharp that they may cut you
Will rust if care not taken with washing
A versatile and highly useful set of knives that come in an attractive wooden block. The block has built-in ceramic sharpeners so the straight-edged knives are automatically sharpened every time they are put in and out of the block.
They have been forged from high-carbon steel that does not stain – the steak knives in the set are made from stamped steel. The handles are labeled so that you can quickly tell which knife is which. The handles are triple riveted and contoured to give you a secure grip and the full tang design provides superb balance and strength. The set includes a six inch utility knife, a six inch serrated utility knife, an eight inch chef’s knife and many more. There is also kitchen shears and eight steak knives.
15 piece set of knives
Built-in ceramic sharpeners
Forged from high-carbon steel
Triple riveted handles
- Weight4.7 pounds
Self-sharpening block keeps knives very sharp
Have a lovely feel when you handle them
Handles are comfortable
Will rust if not looked after
No eight-inch bread knife included in the set
Crafted from German stainless steel, this is an elegant and durable set of knives in a Pakkawood wooden block that will look great on your kitchen countertop. The handles are made from steel and have been ergonomically designed to make them comfortable to use. The polymer handles are durable and practical. The blades are cast from superior grade high-carbon stainless steel to give a precision cut every time they are used. They are sharp and sturdy and resist rust and staining.
Within the set, the knives include an eight inch chef knife, an eight inch Santoku knife and a 3.5 inch paring knife. The set comes with a sharpener and six steak knives.
15 piece knife set in wooden block
Ergonomically designed handles
Superior grade high-carbon stainless steel
- Weight8.5 pounds
Lightweight and easy to use
Very sturdy design
Will rust if left in water
Very sharp so take care!
A fun set of six kitchen knives in bright vibrant colors. They each have high-quality stainless steel blades that will slice effortlessly through food. All the knives have a brightly-colored non-stick coating and come with a color-coordinated blade protector.
Thanks to the color coding you won’t get mixed up about which knife you have used for raw and cooked food and this cuts down the risk of food poisoning. The handles are comfortable and easy to hold. The set comprises an eight inch chef knife in purple, an eight inch slicing knife in blue, an eight inch serrated bread knife in red, a seven inch Santoku Knife in bright green, a 6.5 inch utility knife in yellow and a paring knife in orange.
Set of six kitchen knives
Blade guards included
- Weight2.15 pounds
Cut with precision
Plastic handles don’t grip as well as rubber
Blades are quite thick
A set of six knives with bright red handles that are stored in a matching red knife block. The set includes an eight inch chef knife, an eight inch slicing knife, an eight inch bread knife, a seven inch Santoku knife, a five inch utility knife and a three inch paring knife.
The knives are cast from a high carbon stainless steel and they have strong, durable bolsters. The blades are resistant to both tarnish and rust. The handles have been ergonomically designed to ensure that they offer a good grip thanks to the non-slip coating. This gives you a comfortable and stable cut that is precise and accurate. The blades are exceptionally sharp and should be stored in the block for safety when they are not in use.
Set of six knives
Made from high carbon stainless steel
Ergonomically designed non-slip handles
- BrandChef Essential
- Weight2.8 pounds
Razor sharp blades
Can add extra knives to the holder
Need sharpening quite frequently
Customer services are hard to get hold of
A high quality 15 piece knife set from one of the US’ best selling brands. Included in the set are an eight inch chef’s knife, an eight inch bread knife and six steak knives along with many more. You also get a sharpening rod to keep the blades sharp whenever you need them.
The blades have been carefully crafted from high-carbon stainless steel which is tougher than regular stainless steel. This means that the blades stay sharper for longer and cut accurately and precisely every time you use them. The stainless steel handles have a satin finish, and are very comfortable to grip. Thanks to the careful balance, each knife feels balanced as you hold it. They should be washed in mild detergent and dried immediately.
15 piece knife set
Sharpening rod included
High-carbon stainless steel blades
Satin finish handles
- Weight6 pounds
Good value for money
Knives are perfectly balanced
Can rust if left wet
Satin finish can get a little dull with age
This set of five kitchen knives all feature a Santoprene handle which is ergonomically designed. It is exceptionally comfortable and, thanks to the superior grip, they will not slip out of your hand even when they are wet. The handles are tough enough to withstand kitchen oils and the changes of temperature that take place in a kitchen.
They are made from precision forged German steel which is designed to resist corrosion and discoloration. The forging process makes the stainless steel stronger and more durable. The tang runs the full length of the handle which gives excellent balance. The edge is taper-ground and this makes the knife stable when cutting and makes the chopping and cutting action more efficient so your hands do not get fatigued. It also makes the knives stay sharper for longer. The knives are stored in a beautiful clear glass block.
Set of five kitchen knives
Beautiful clear glass block
Edges are taper-ground
- BrandMercer Culinary
- Weight8.1 pounds
Cut vegetable and steak very easily
Chef’s knife can be used for just about every task!
Glass block looks stunning and is easy to clean
Very tall – so won’t fit anywhere if height is limited
Will start to rust if not dried immediately
Best Kitchen Knife Set Buying Guide & FAQ
What Makes a Good Kitchen Knife
Once you have decided that you want to invest in a new kitchen knife set, there are some important things that you should know. The first, is what makes a good kitchen knife. Here are the basics to get you up to speed.
A good kitchen knife set is:
- Made of stainless steel
High quality low-carbon stainless steel is the best option because it is resistant to rusting. This does not mean that it will not rust but it is less likely to. It also resists staining and pitting but it will need to be sharpened regularly.
- Has a full tang
A knife with a full tang has a blade that continues inside the handle and goes right to the end. The best kitchen knives have this and it gives the knife both strength and balance. The highest quality knives have a full tang and this is something that you should look for. You can also get a knife with a half tang and that means that the blade extends part of the way into the handle. This type of knife is not so expensive.
- Has a bolster
The bolster is the area between the blade and the handle. There is often a thicker piece of steel here and it will stop your hand from slipping forwards and onto the blade.
- Is evenly balanced
This means that the weight of the blade and the weight of the handle is the same. If you try to balance the knife across your finger at the bolster, a well-balanced knife will not tip in either direction and will stay level.
- Has an ergonomic handle
This is a handle that is contoured so that it is comfortable to use and will not put a strain on your hands when you are using it for a prolonged period of time.
- Has a non-slip handle
When you are working in the kitchen, it is common for your hands to be wet. A non-slip handle means that you can use a knife safely without your hands slipping off it.
- Is sharp out of the box
It is so frustrating when you have to sharpen a knife before you use it so look for some that are sharp when they are delivered to you.
- Stays sharp
For a knife that you use frequently, you can expect to have to sharpen it every few weeks but the longer they stay sharp the better.
- Can be put in the dishwasher
No kitchen knives will be completely safe in the dishwasher but if they are advertised as dishwasher safe, they stand a better chance of surviving!
The Essential Knives For Every Kitchen
All kitchen tasks require a different type of knife if it is going to be carried out efficiently and safely. However, there are so many different types of kitchen knives that it can be confusing when choosing some for yourself. How many knives do you actually need? Should you choose a six piece set or a 16 piece set?
To get you started, here is a list of the main five types of kitchen knife that you should own in your chef knife set as a bare minimum.
- The chef’s knife or cook’s knife
This is one of the larger knives in the kitchen and is typically between six and 12 inches long, although eight inches is probably the most popular length. It will have a broad blade that tapers to a point at the top of the knife. The tapered shape causes the knife to rock back and for as you are chopping and this makes the process a lot faster! We’ve all seen TV chef’s dice a carrot in seconds with this type of knife! The longer the knife, the quicker it is to slice. However, for cooks with small hands, a shorter version may be easier to control. These knives are not usually serrated and they can be made from forged or stamped stainless steel.
They can be used for almost every kitchen task. You can use them to cut foods like tofu and cheese, to chop firm vegetables like carrots, to dice soft foods like tomatoes and to slice steaks. No set of kitchen knives is complete without one of these!
- The utility knife
Many cooks consider this to be just a small version of the chef’s knife. These knives are typically between four and seven inches long. Some are straight edged but others are serrated. Their main use is for cutting meat or vegetables that are too small to be cut comfortably with a traditional chef’s knife.
You will come across some utility knives that have a scalloped edge. This offers greater flexibility when cutting. This type of edge is particularly useful for cutting hard and soft vegetables and for making meat sandwiches.
- The Santoku knife
As the name of this knife suggests, it is Japanese in origin and translates into “three virtues”. The three virtues are slicing, dicing, and mincing.
It is basically a short version of a chef’s knife but it has a flat blade and therefore doesn’t rock when it cuts. As a result, it is not a great choice for chopping herbs but is perfect for cutting thin slices of vegetables. Its small size makes it a great alternative for cooks who cannot handle the large size and heavy blade of a traditional chef’s knife. Santoku knives can have a hollow edge which is excellent for cutting through meat precisely and without tearing.
- The bread knife
Obviously, this knife is for bread but it is also for cakes and can even sometimes be used on poultry and seafood. You use them with a sawing motion so you don’t have to apply too much pressure and squash the loaf! They are usually between seven and 10 inches long with a narrow blade that is always serrated with big serrations.
- The paring knife
This is the knife that you reach for when you need to peel or cut smaller fruit and vegetables or to trim fat from meat. They are around three or four inches in length and have a very pointy tip.
Many paring knives have a spear point at the tip but some have a bird’s beak.
Now that you know what the basic kitchen knives are, you may decide that you would like to add others to your collection. Here are some additional knives that a good knife set should include.
- The boning knife
This will mainly be used for working with meat – taking the flesh from the bone and filleting fish. However, it can also be used as a paring knife for peeling and trimming vegetables.
They are usually three to eight inches long and have blades of varying widths. The blades can also be very stiff or very flexible.
- The fillet knife
This may look like a boning knife but it is thicker and is used to cut thin fish slices. However, in practice, the two are interchangeable in a domestic kitchen situation.
- Steak knives
Many kitchen knife sets come with six or eight steak knives. This is because your regular cutlery set
is not often able to cope with a juicy steak. They are very useful for cutting meat but can also be used for salads.
Best Kitchen Knife Set FAQ:
Q: How often should I sharpen my kitchen knives?
A: For those using knives at home, it will be sufficient to sharpen them with around once a week or once every other week. However, eventually, this will stop working. At this stage, you will have to use a whetstone to grind a new edge onto the blade.
New knives should last for at least a year before you have to use a whetstone.
Q: How do I store my kitchen knife set?
A: Once you have purchased your gorgeous kitchen knife set, you have to find a way of storing them. It is important that the knives don’t get damaged and that they cannot damage you! Here are the main ways in which kitchen knife sets can be stored.
- Knife blocks: Many kitchen knife sets come with a knife block included. They can be made out of a range of materials including wood and glass and the knives are either slotted in the top or at an angle into the side. Inevitably, this will take up some of your counterspace and if you have a small kitchen, this could be an issue for you. The plus side is that they can look very attractive and everyone will see that you have a great new set of knives! Knife blocks make it very easy to grab a knife and use it which is a good thing if you are in a hurry but is not so great from a child safety point of view. Also, they are not easy to clean so sanitation could be an issue.
- Magnetic wall strips: You attach these to your kitchen wall and because they are magnetic, your knives will stick to the strip. They don’t use up counterspace and it is very easy to grab a knife. Again, this can cause a problem with child safety. However, in terms of sanitation, they are very easy to clean.
- Drawers: The simplest storage is to pop the knives in a drawer. This frees up counterspace and kids cannot get at them, especially if you install child-proof locks on the drawers. On the downside, you have to go hunting for knives when you want one and you will need blade guards to cover sharp knives or they will cut you.
Q: Are knives dishwasher safe?
A: The very simple answer to this is no. Many manufacturers will claim that their knives are rust resistant but that is not the same thing as never rusting. Knives are made from stainless steel and whilst this material is very good at resisting rust, it will rust under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, the environment inside a dishwasher exactly matches those circumstances!
Dishwashers are very hostile environments for knives. The combination of hot water and powerful detergents inevitably causes damage. If you let the knife sit in a hot and moist dishwasher for any length of time after the cycle has finished, it is even more likely to rust. When you read knife set reviews you see this issue frequently discussed.
The only way to completely avoid rusting is to carefully hand wash the knife in hot water with a mild detergent. Then, immediately dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth before putting it away.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick of the best kitchen knife set has 15 pieces and comes in a hardwood knife block. You get a three inch paring knife, a five inch serrated utility knife, a seven inch Santoku knife with a hollow edge and many more. You even get a sharpening steel and kitchen shears.
Each knife is made from a single piece of fabricated high-quality stainless steel and has satin-finished blades that cut precisely. They have a full tang for excellent maneuverability. The triple-rivet handles are curved and have stainless steel endcaps. You can put these knives in the dishwasher.
- Take Good Care Of Your Kitchen Knives, And They Will Take Good Care Of You - TheWashingtonPost
- Top 10 Knife Skills - HowStuffWorks