10 Best Kitchen Knife Sets in 2018 – Top Models Compared
Good food preparation is all about pairing the right ingredients with the best tools. Whether you are an amateur or a professional, a chef’s knife set is critical to their ability to produce fine food and drink quickly and effectively. Knowing your knives and keeping a high quality set on hand at home is what sets smart home chefs apart the rest.
With so many options on the market and wildly varying prices, it is difficult to choose a well-made kitchen knife set without overspending or getting a poor quality product that will need to be replaced in a few years. To help you choose the best kitchen knife set for your home, we’ve reviewed the following sets to help you get the best for your needs and budget. Here’s what we have for you:
- Best Kitchen Knife Sets - Comparisons
- 10 Best Kitchen Knife Sets - Reviews
- 1. Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Cutlery
- 2. Victorinox Swiss Classic 15-Piece Cutlery Block Set
- 3. Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set
- 4. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 12-Piece
- 5. AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set
- 6. Chicago Cutlery Elston 16pc Block Set
- 7. J.A. Henckels International Statement 15-pc Knife Block Set
- 8. DALSTRONG Knife Set Block - Gladiator Series Knife Set
- 9. Cangshan V2 Series 59649 22-Piece German Steel
- 10. Messermeister San Moritz Elite 9-Piece
- Final Verdict
Best Kitchen Knife Sets - Comparisons
high-carbon stainless steel
high-carbon, no-stain German steel
high quality Japanese stainless steel
high quality stainless steel
high carbon stainless steel
High Carbon German Steel
high carbon steel alloy
10 Best Kitchen Knife Sets - Reviews
1. Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Cutlery
A brand synonymous with high quality, Calphalon’s Classic Self-Sharpening Cutlery Knife Block knife set is everything you need without extras you don’t. Not only do these knives perform exceptionally well, but they are backed by a lifetime warranty against defects. Calphalon stands behind their products 100%, and they are as elegant as they are strong, sharp, and durable.
The set is comprised of an 8-inch chef knife (every kitchen needs one), 6-inch serrated utility knife (excellent for slicing bread or rolls), a 5-inch santoku (ideal for slicing and dicing vegetables and tender morsels), a 4.5-inch paring knife (for when you need a delicate touch), a pair of kitchen shears (by far one of the most useful items), and six steak knives for place settings or general kitchen use.
All knives are forged with high carbon stainless steel using full tang handles with three rock-solid rivets. In the knife block itself, each of the large non-serrated blade knives have a built in ceramic sharpener so you can keep a fresh edge on your knives for every use. This is a beautiful kitchen knife set built to last, and the cutting performance and durability is unmatched in its price range and category.
- Built in ceramic sharpener for the three non-serrated knives block slots
- Includes both a chef knife and santoku for increased cutting versatility
- Kitchen shears are must-have add-on for any good kitchen knife set.
- Steak knives must be sharpened using another knife sharpener (no included ceramic sharpener on the block for steak knives)
- Kitchen shears do not separate for easy dishwasher cleaning
- Handles are durable but plain
2. Victorinox Swiss Classic 15-Piece Cutlery Block Set
Knifemakers for centuries, Victorinox and their brand is best recognized from their classic Swiss Army Knife, though they have been specializing in household and professional cutlery for far longer than they have been in the pocket knife business. The Victorinox Swiss Classic 15-Piece Cutlery Block Set provides you with every functional kitchen knife you will need for food preparation. From the simplest to the most complex, this knife set can handle whatever needs doing in your kitchen with ease.
The set includes both an 5-inch and 8-inch chef knives, a 3.25-inch straight paring knife, a 4.5-inch serrated utility knife, a 7-inch santoku, six 4.5-inch steak knives, an 8-inch bread knife, a 9-inch butcher’s steel, a pair of kitchen shears and a hardwood knife block. All knives are stamped, cold-rolled steel to hold a stronger edge along the length of the blade. They are also conical ground along the length and depth of the edge to provide a wider breaking point.
Handles are slip-resistant textured plastic and balance perfectly with the lightweight Swiss steel blades. All in all, these are some of the best quality kitchen knives you can buy that won’t break the bank. Given these knives are manufactured by dedicated expert craftsmen in Switzerland, their generations of experience in knife making ensures you are getting your money’s worth and then some.
- Includes a butcher’s steel for freshening up edges before use
- Stamped from cold rolled steel for increased strength and durability
- Handle is textured plastic for added versatility, durability and superior grip
- Steel sharpeners require a little practice use properly and are not as efficient as ceramic or carbide sharpeners
- Plastic handles are tough and grippier, but they are not exactly aesthetically pleasing
- Shears cannot be separated for easier cleaning
3. Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set
Want to add a touch of modern class to your kitchen knives? Show off the beautiful workmanship of your kitchen knives with this 6-piece set from Mercer Culinary. This unique knife block is constructed on two sides of using tempered glass, allowing you to admire the elegant blades of your kitchen knives.
The set includes the essential blades every home or professional chef needs: a paring knife, bread knife, chef’s knife, boning/fillet knife and vegetable knife. All these blades are forged from high carbon, German X40 CrMo V15 rust resistant stainless steel. The advantage of this particular type of steel is it holds an edge far longer than other grades of stainless steel, and when conically ground (like the knives in this set) it is also far easier to hone.
Best of all, the knives in this set are full tang, meaning the blade and handle are one continuous piece of steel. Not only does this make for a stronger and more durable knife, but it provides exceptional balance and superior cutting power. As a finishing touch, the handles of these knives are wrapped in a rubber-like material called santoprene, a sure-gripping synthetic nearly impervious to breakdown due to cold, heat or oil exposure. This may be a small set of knives, but when you have high quality knives of this caliber, you only need a few.
- Superior grade forged steel knives
- Tempered glass transparent knife block
- The best knives for most food preparation tasks
- Fewer knives than similarly priced kits
- No sharpening solution included
- No santoku included (one of the most versatile chopping knives available)
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4. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 12-Piece
From their humble introduction via infomercial in the 1980s-90s, Ginsu has become a tour-de-force in the world of kitchen cutlery. For the discriminating home chef, the Ginsu Chikara Forged Kitchen Knife sets comprises all the knives you need forged from high quality materials without the high end price tag.
In this set, you get a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch chef knife, a 7-inch santoku, two 5-inch utility knives (one serrated, one straight edged), a honing steel, four steak knives and a pair of kitchen shears. Not counting the steak knives (which are stamped), all knives in this set are forged using 420J stainless steel. Not only is this grade of steel highly rust resistant, but it also retains its edge far longer than many other grades of tool steel. Thanks to their full tang handles, these knives are also far stronger and provide more cutting power than other knives.
The finishing touch on these knives is their textured plastic grips, which are oil, heat, and cold resistant and designed to last for decades. All knives and the shears fit neatly into the attractive and stylish bamboo knife block, including the sharpening steel. In terms of value and quality, you’d be hard pressed to find another kitchen knife set that offers this much value for such a reasonable cost.
- All the knives you need for any food preparation task
- Includes high quality sharpening steel
- Attractive bamboo finish hardwood knife block
- 420J stainless is good quality, but other knife making steels are easier to hone and maintain
- Steak knives are stamp metal construction, not full-tang forged like the rest of the knife set
- Knife block is composite, not hardwood.
5. AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set
Despite the name, Amazon’s kitchen knife block set is anything but basic. This is a full 18-piece suite of kitchen knives suitable for heavy regular use without significant additional maintenance. With this knife kit, there’s no preparation task too great or too small.
For a reasonable cost, you get the following blades: 8-inch chef’s knife, 8-inch slicing, 7-inch santoku, 8-inch bread knife, 5.5-inch utility knife, a pair of 8-inch kitchen shears and an 8-inch butcher’s steel. You also receive 8 full tang steak knives, providing you with more than enough place settings for family and guests.
All blades are precision formed from high quality stainless steel, and handles are weighted to provide balance and cutting power. These knives provide ideal balance and control, and keeping a fresh edge is easy thanks the included sharpening steel. Best of all, their triple-riveted and ergonomic handles don’t degrade in oils, heat, or cold and can easily be popped in the dishwasher for faster cleanup. For a value option, this set provides everything you could want or need from a quality set of kitchen knives.
- Plenty of knives for any kitchen task that presents itself
- Sharpen edges up quickly with the included steel before each use
- Hardwood knife block for safe and convenient storage
- Stainless steel blades are nothing special, and tend not to hold a fine edge for long
- Knife block needs to be cleaned regularly
- Shears cannot be separated for cleaning
6. Chicago Cutlery Elston 16pc Block Set
For chefs who are a fan of the clean modern look, Chicago Cutlery offers this value set that includes all the kitchen knives you need, a set of steak knives, and a pair of shears. Everything stores neatly in the included hardwood knife block, and is designed to fit perfectly in your modern or contemporary design kitchen. Let’s take a look at what sets these knives apart from other kitchen knife sets:
The first distinction that stands out is the polished stainless steel finish. This is a gorgeous knife set complete with full tang forged blades that give you the cutting power and control you need to prepare your dishes expertly and efficiently. Chicago Cutlery also applies their exclusive 25-degree tapered grind technology to make both cutting and sharpening efficient and easy. The high carbon stainless steel blades are also stronger and harder than other knife blades, making them hold an edge longer and resist both stains and rust over time.
Knives in this set include the following: standard 8-inch chef’s knife, 6.75-inch bread knife, two 3.25-inch paring knives and two 4.25-inch utility knives, kitchen shears, sharpening steel and eight steak knives. This is a beautiful set of kitchen knives that include high end option like forged steak knives and full tang construction that are generally not found in knife block sets in this particular price bracket.
- Contemporary styling with exceptional form and functional design
- High carbon steel paired with stainless steel handles
- Beautiful hardwood knife block
- Knives can be loaded into the dishwasher, but it is not recommended by the manufacturer
- Grips/handles on these knives are comfortable, but without texturing they can be tricky to handle when wet
- Contemporary look may not suit every kitchen design
7. J.A. Henckels International Statement 15-pc Knife Block Set
Definitely one of the best offerings we reviewed, J.A. Henckels International Statement 15-Piece Knife Block Set is literally a cut above the rest. From the beautiful design to the precision edge blades, these knives are built to last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance. Here’s what makes this knife set unique:
All blades in this set are fabricated from high quality stainless steel using a precision stamping method to cut full tang blades from sheet metal before they are ground on a conical grinder. Handles for each knife are triple riveted to ensure proper fit and function, and to improve the control and balance of each blade.
This set includes the following knives: 3-inch paring knife for all your fruit and vegetable needs, 5” serrated utility knife for general use, hollow-edge 8-inch chef’s knife, 8-inch bread knife suitable for cutting all kinds of baked goods, kitchen shears for general purpose kitchen tasks and a full set of 4.5-inch steak knives for entertaining.
Your knives all have their own slot on the hardwood knife block, and there is even a sharpening steel for freshening up the edges on your blades before each use. Anyone looking for a versatile kitchen knife set for their home would do well to give this set a first look when they are shopping around.
- Beautifully designed blades and handles that provide superior cutting power and durability
- Included sharpening steel for freshening up blades before each use
- Shears can be separated for easier cleaning
- Blades are not high carbon stainless steel, so they do not hold an edge or sharpen as easily as high carbon blades
- Stamp blade knives are not as well balanced or strong as forged knives
- Does not include a fillet knife or boning knife, both of which are exceptionally useful for carving meat
8. DALSTRONG Knife Set Block - Gladiator Series Knife Set
Looking for professional quality blades for your home kitchen? Look no farther than the Dalstrong Gladiator Series Knife Set. These are premium quality kitchen knives that don’t come with a premium price tag. Beautifully designed and made from the best materials, the Gladiator Series are forged from German High-Carbon stainless steel rated at 55 on the Rockwell hardness scale and polished to a satiny gloss.
The handles of this set are constructed from exotic pakkawood, and the full-tang handles are triple riveted for superior control and durability. They are also laminated and polished to prevent contamination of the wood and seal it against water and other materials.
Knives in this set include: standard 8-inch chef’s knife for all manner of prep cutting, 9-inch carving knife with a thin blade for superior maneuverability, 9-inch bread knife for standard loaves and other baked goods, 7-inch santoku for chopping and moving fruit and vegetables, 6.5-inch straight edge utility knife for veggies and fruits, 6.5-inch serrated utility knife for tomatoes and french loaves, and a 3.75-inch paring knife for fine detail work including peeling and coring.
Every knife has its own storage slot on the block, and the block itself has a gorgeous wood stain finish that fits most kitchen designs and aesthetics. Best of all, this knife set includes a full length honing steel for keeping all your knives in the best possible condition with every use. All in all, this is a premium knife set that won’t cost a small fortune and still provides the best possible kitchen knife performance.
- Professional quality kitchen knives for an affordable price
- Gorgeous acacia wood storage block
- Included honing steel lets you put a professionally sharp edge on your knives for each cut
- These knives are not dishwasher safe and must be hand washed
- There is no fillet or boning knife included with this set
- Consistent maintenance is required to keep these knives in premium condition
9. Cangshan V2 Series 59649 22-Piece German Steel
Unlike the Dalstrong kitchen knife set, the Cangshan V2 series provides you with a complete set of chef’s blades for every imaginable cutting task you would ever encounter in a kitchen on any continent. Everything you need is at your fingertips, and all knives in this set are made of high quality materials that any chef would be proud to have in their kitchen tool set.
As with many other kits, you get a butcher’s steel for honing, an extremely sharp and sturdy pair of all-steel kitchen shears, and a suite of full tang steak knives. That’s where the comparison ends for this knife set though: all blades and the shears are made from German forged X50Cr15MoV steel rated at 58 on the Rockwell hardness scale. They sharpen easily and stay sharp, and they are among the sturdiest and strongest blades you can buy.
The butcher’s steel is also coated in industrial diamonds to make honing a fresh edge a matter of a couple quick swipes along its length. The shears are also constructed of single piece German forged steel that is the same grade as the knives, and they can be separated for safe and thorough cleaning.
Knives included in this kit ar as follows: 9-inch carving knife with a thin blade for proper slicing and additional maneuverability around joints and bones, standard 9-inch serrated bread knife for slicing baked goods, 8-inch standard chef’s knife for general cutting kitchen work, a 7-inch santoku knife for fast and efficient vegetable chopping, a 7-inch tanto point chef’s knife for precision cutting, 4.75-inch boning knife for working with tender/delicate cuts of poultry or meat, 4-inch fish scaling and fillet knife for preparing your catch of the day, two 3.75-inch utility knives (one straight edged, one serrated) for working with fruit and vegetables and two 3-inch paring knives (one curved, one straight) for delicate finishing work, coring, and slicing fruits and vegetables.
Best of all, blades, steel, shears and steak knives all store neatly in the included solid acacia wood knife block. Not only is acacia wood durable and beautiful to look at, but it is also one of the best woods for sanitizing and storage. Hands down, this is the ultimate knife set for the discriminating home chef. It comes at a premium price, but it is worth every penny in terms of quality and utility.
- Every type of knife a chef could ever want or need
- Steak knives are full tang and made from the same high quality steel as kitchen knives
- Shears are separable and forged from solid high-carbon steel, making them superior to almost all other kitchen shears.
- Does not include a poultry cleaver
- Knives must be washed by hand
- Acacia wood knife block should be cleaned regularly to keep it sanitary
10. Messermeister San Moritz Elite 9-Piece
If you want the best professional quality set of kitchen knives without, Messermeister San Moritz Elite 9-Piece Knife Block Set is going to be at the top of your list. These are handcrafted and hand finished in Solingen, Germany, the European heart of the cutlery and knife making trade for centuries. Each knife is individually crafted by 3rd and 4th generation masters of knife making, and every knife is also finished and sharpened by hand in their workshop.
Every knife is made using the hot drop hammer forged method, which involves heating a single billet of steel, placing it in a mold, and striking it multiple times with a pneumatic hammer. This creates a blade of unsurpassed toughness, hardness, and strength. Blades are tempered and hardened in oil quench baths using multiple firings before being ground by hand to a razor sharp edge. The final step involves polishing and stropping the edge using a cloth wheel, making these knives as sharp as possible to match their strength and hardness.
All blades are 3/4-tang and precisely balanced for the ultimate cutting experience, and the San Moritz Elite all have easy-grip handles that provide both stability and control. The blades are all composed of 1,4116 high carbon steel alloy. This alloy consists of molybdenum vanadium (metal used in battle tank armor) and high carbon stainless tool steel that holds an edge like no other metal. All you ever need to do to make it “factory sharp” is give it a few quick swipes with the included honing steel, and the edge is good as new.
Everything stores nearly in the wood block, and the included knives are as follows: honing steel, 8-inch chef knife, 9-inch bread knife, 7-inch santoku, 4-inch serrated utility knife, and a 3-inch straight edged paring knife. These are the best professional grade knives you will have and use for decades to come, and so long as you maintain them in good order they should be the last set of kitchen knives you ever buy.
- Professional grade knife set with all essential kitchen knives
- Hand forged and hand finished by master European craftsmen
- Shears can be separated for thorough cleaning
- Knives and shears must be washed and dried by hand
- Does not include a boning knife, fillet knife, or cleaver
- Knives are only ¾ tang, not full tang
Video Credit: British-mechanic
Our reviews indicate the best value for the money is definitely the J.A. Henckels International Statement 15-pc Knife Block Set. This kitchen knife set is the best due to quality of materials, type of blades included in the set, and ease of use and maintenance. Definitely check this set out when you are shopping around for a good kitchen knife set, they are definitely a fantastic for the money.