The best chefs in the world know that they are only as good as their knives. In fact, many chefs feel like they are missing an appendage when they are without their knives. Even if the only cooking you do at home, if you want to turn out great meals on a regular basis, you need to invest in a high-quality kitchen knife set to get the job done.
There are plenty of options to choose from, and it can be tricky to know which set is best for your needs. But don’t worry – our goal is to take the guesswork out of buying a knife set. We’ve reviewed many of the available options and chosen the 10 we like best.
Before we reveal our choices, let’s talk about some of the most important features to keep in mind as you make a decision about which knife set to buy.
What to Look for in a Kitchen Knife Set
Knife sets come in a variety of sizes and price points, and it’s important to know what to keep in mind.
- The first consideration is what the knives are made of. Many kitchen knives have stainless steel blades, and that’s a good choice for most home chefs. Stainless steel holds an edge and it won’t rust if the knives get wet. However, you may also want to consider other materials such as ceramic, which are razor sharp and also beautiful.
- You should also look for solid construction. The best knives have blades that extend all the way down into the handle – when you look at the edge, you should see the metal running all the way down to the end of the handle, and that will ensure that the knife doesn’t fall apart.
- The material of the handle itself is important because it’s what you’ll be holding as you chop with your knives. Many kitchen knives have wooden handles, but others have plastic handles, and some ceramic knives have ceramic handles.
- The design of your knives matters if you want them to look good in your kitchen. Some knives are straightforward and utilitarian, while others are almost like works of art. For example, ceramic knives come in a rainbow of colors to suit any décor.
- Knife sets often come with a knife block or case. If you intend to display your knives in your kitchen, then a simple block may be sufficient. However, if you need to travel with your knives you may prefer to get a set with a travel case.
- Finally, you should keep a budget in mind as you shop. The knives on our list span a wide array of prices and there is something for everybody.
Best Kitchen Knife Sets That Will Slice through Everything in 2020
Now that you know what to look for when you shop for a kitchen knife set, here are our picks for the 10 best.
Last update on 2020-01-12 / Affiliate links / Price / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10. Utopia Kitchen Premium Class Stainless-Steel 12 Knife Set with Acrylic Stand
The first knife set on our list is the Utopia Kitchen Premium Class Stainless-Steel 12 Knife Set with Acrylic Stand. Here are some of the reasons that we like this set:
- These knives are made of solid stainless steel, so there’s no handle to worry about.
- Comes with an 8” chef’s knife, an 8” bread knife, a utility knife, a paring knife, and six steak knives.
- The acrylic stand gives this set a very cool and modern look.
There are a few potential downsides to keep in mind. For example:
- These knives are not dishwasher safe – you’ll need to wash them in the sink and dry them immediately.
- These are good starter knives but they need to be sharpened frequently.
- The acrylic case looks cool but could be sturdier.
On the whole, we like these knives as an affordable and attractive starter set.
9. LivingKit Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife Block Set Block
Coming in at the #9 spot is the LivingKit Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife Block Set Block. Here’s why it made our list:
- 14-piece set includes a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a slicing knife, a paring knife, a utility knife, six steak knives, kitchen shears, and a sharpener, as well as an attractive wood block.
- Knife blades are stainless steel and run all the way down to the end of the handle.
- These knives are very sharp and hold their edge well.
Here are a few negatives to keep in mind before you buy:
- These knives must be hand washed and dried to prevent rusting.
- The wooden base is small and would work better if it were a bit larger.
- The wooden block also has a bit of a tendency to wobble on the countertop.
The bottom line is that these are very nice starter knives, but the knife block leaves something to be desired.
8. Chicago Cutlery 1119644 Fusion Forged 18-Piece Knife Block Set
Our #8 pick is the Chicago Cutlery 1119644 Fusion Forged 18-Piece Knife Block Set. Here are some of the reasons that we selected it for our list:
- High-carbon stainless steel blades come with a lifetime warranty.
- Includes 18 pieces, including a Santoku knife, a Partoku knife, and a sharpening steel.
- The sleek-looking wooden stand fits in well with most kitchen décor.
There are a few potential negatives to consider here:
- The wooden block is large and takes up quite a bit of counter space.
- In some cases, the knives don’t sit flush in the block.
- This set doesn’t include kitchen shears, and that may be disappointing for some.
On the whole, we love this set for its large selection of knives and the sharp edges.
7. HomeHero 5-Piece Stainless Steel Sharpener and Block Kitchen Knife Set
The #7 pick on our list is the HomeHero 5-Piece Stainless Steel Sharpener and Block Kitchen Knife Set. This is a small set that we like for the following reasons:
- Comes with a stainless steel chef’s knife, bread knife, carving knife, paring knife, and utility knife, as well as a sharpener and a finger guard.
- This is an extremely affordable knife set and great for beginners.
- The knives are well made and sharp enough for daily use.
Here are a few things we think could be better:
- This is a small set and not ideal if you want steak knives or kitchen shears.
- The stand that comes with this set is acrylic and not very sturdy.
- These knives rust easily and must be dried thoroughly to prevent it.
Ultimately, we like this set for its very low price and solid construction.
6. Den Haven Professional Chef Knives, Multi Use 8 Piece Gift Set
Our #6 pick is the Den Haven Professional Chef Knives, Multi Use 8 Piece Gift Set. We like this set for these reasons:
- Comes with a chef’s knife, carving knife, bread knife, paring knife, utility knife, cheese knife, and pizza knife, as well as a vegetable peeler.
- Bright and colorful set adds a bit of fun to your dinner preparation.
- These knives have a non-stick finish for easy cleaning.
There are a few potential downsides to keep in mind as you consider this set:
- The holder that comes with these knives is a magnetic strip that hangs on the wall, and that may not appeal to some people.
- These knives are reasonably sharp but don’t hold an edge as well as some more expensive knives do.
- The included vegetable peeler is pretty flimsy, although it does a decent job peeling veggies.
On the whole, we like the colorful appearance and super-inexpensive price of this fun set.
5. AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set
Our #5 pick is the AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set. Here are some of the reasons that we love it:
- This set comes with all the knives you need – chef’s, carving, bread, paring, boning, utility, steak knives, Santoku knife, kitchen shears, and a sharpener.
- These knives are weighted for excellent balance and control.
- The handles are ergonomic and designed for comfort.
Here are a few things that we think could be better with this set:
- These knives are well made but need to be sharpened frequently.
- The included block is tall and may be a bit bulky if you have limited counter space.
- These knives may be too heavy for some people.
All in all, we like this set for its versatility and for the high-quality of construction.
4. J.A. Henckels International Statement 15 piece Knife Set with Block
Coming in at #4 on our list is the J.A. Henckels International Statement 15 piece Knife Set with Block. Here are some of the things we like about it:
- This set includes a chef’s knife, a bread knife, two Santoku knives, a full set of steak knives, a paring knife, and a utility knife.
- The handles are triple riveted and have a sleek, ergonomic design for easy handling.
- These knives are well made, sharp, and durable.
There are a few potential negative to consider here:
- This set is made in China, not in Germany like the more expensive J.A. Henckels knives.
- The handles may be too large for people who have small hands.
- These knives are not dishwasher safe.
On the whole, we like the design of these knives and think they make an affordable choice for people who want high-quality cutlery.
3. Equinox 7-Piece German Steel Knife Block Set with Detachable Sharpener
The #3 pick on our list is the Equinox 7-Piece German Steel Knife Block Set with Detachable Sharpener. Here are a few of the reasons that we chose it:
- This set includes a chef’s knife, a break knife, a carving knife, a paring knife, a boning knife, and kitchen shears.
- The attractive wooden block includes a detachable knife sharpener.
- Made in Germany, these knives are well constructed and very sharp.
While we love this set, there are a few things that we think could be better:
- We’d love to see a similar set but with steak knives and a Santoku knife.
- The included knife block is not particularly attractive.
- The sharpener is not as effective as a real sharpening steel would be.
Ultimately, we like this set for its quality construction and sharp edges.
2. Chicago Cutlery Insignia2 18-Piece Knife Block Set with In-Block Knife Sharpener
Our #2 pick is the Chicago Cutlery Insignia2 18-Piece Knife Block Set with In-Block Knife Sharpener. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to buy this set:
- Includes a chef’s knife, carving knife, break knife, Santoku knife, paring knife, utility knife, eight steak knives, and kitchen shears.
- The included knife block has a built-in knife sharpener.
- Triple stainless steel rivets ensure that these knives will last.
Here are a few things that you should consider before buying:
- The tops of the handles are square and the knives tend to roll over on their “backs” with the blades up – so use caution.
- The in-block sharpener is not nearly as effective as a real steel.
- As a result, these knives must be sharpened frequently.
On the whole, we like this set’s sturdy construction and versatility.
1. Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-pc. Cutlery Knife Block Set
Calphalon is a respected name in kitchenware, so it should come as no surprise that the Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-pc. Cutlery Knife Block Set is our #1 pick. Here’s what we like about it:
- This set includes a chef’s knife, a Santoku knife, two utility knives, a pair of kitchen shears, a paring knife, and a full set of steak knives.
- The included wooden stand has ceramic sharpeners built into each slot so that the knives sharpen themselves on their way in and out of the block.
- This set comes with a full lifetime warranty.
While we really love almost everything about this set, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- This is one of the pricier sets on our list, although it’s still inexpensive compared to most professional knives.
- This set does not include a bread knife.
All in all, this is a very good quality home knife set that provides everything you need to start cooking.
Having the right set of knives can make cooking a pleasure. The ten sets on this list provide excellent quality and utility at any price point.