Generally, most of the knives we tested were nice and sharp out of the box and all were stainless steel grade or better, but from there they varied when it came to grip, build and weight, which affected performance. The three winners earned points for great maneuverability, aesthetics and included extras.
The knives stayed sharp through our multitude of tests, and we were big fans of the cushion-grip handles that kept them from slipping, as well as the classic look of the chestnut-stained wood block. If you’re looking for a complete knife set you’ll be proud of at a price that won’t put a dent in your savings account, this is the clear winner.
If you’d like to step things up a few notches, it’s hard to go wrong with the Willing Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set. Complete with four knives all forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, the precision-honed blades are extra-sharp, stylish and just feel really nice in your hand.
We were blown away by the sturdy construction, comfort of use and reliable execution that came with each piece in this all-inclusive set. At first blush, we didn’t think we’d like the poly padded handles, but they were actually extremely comfortable and kept the knives from slipping, even after they had just been hand-washed.
Plus, it is exceptionally sharp and took practically zero effort to drag through a few-days-old loaf of crusty bread, take the rind off a cantaloupe or slice berthing pieces from a tender tomato or peach, earning it more points than the Willing or Author versions. After plenty of chopping, slicing and dicing, the Chicago Cutlery knives remained as sharp as their brand -new counterparts.
When you’re seeking out knives that are super sharp, durable, ergonomic and will last a lifetime, we highly suggest you stop and give this standout set a good look. Heckles, which was founded back in 1731, also takes into account the benefits of both Western and Asian knife design.
For example, the chef’s knife blade has a broad curve to allow for a Western-style rocking motion, but a straight back that aligns with the Asian chopping style. They’re forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, making them harder and sharper than many other models.
Lasers are then used to angle the edges of the blades for precision sharpness, and the process seems to have succeeded. The chef’s knife, which was our favorite from the Willing set, for one, practically dropped through a head of lettuce, and easily sliced through carrots, onions, herbs and more.
It’s got history, a classic design and high-tech, high-quality craftsmanship that comes with a lifetime warranty (on workmanship and materials under normal conditions). Thinner than other knives we tested, the handles fit perfectly in a woman’s hand, but our male tester wished they were a smudge more substantial.
It glided through onions, potatoes and tomatoes, took the corn off the cob with ease and sliced through the tough rind of a pineapple like it was nothing. The paring and utility knives fit comfortably into our hands and easily sliced everything we tested them on: limes, oranges, strawberries, carrots, zucchini, radishes, you name it.
The serrated bread knife drew right through our baguette loaves, making us dream of a second career as an apprentice in a French boulangerie. We couldn’t suss out any difference in sharpness by touch, performance chopping up onions, carrots and tomatoes or from the paper test, of which both used and new Author knives made mincemeat.
We spent weeks testing these knife sets, comparing each model by the same criteria, including overall performance, build quality, added accessories and warranty, taking detailed notes on how specific knives functioned based on everything from sharpness and materials to heft and hand-feel to how they looked and the usefulness of any included extras. We ordered two of each set so that after spending several days slicing and dicing our hearts out, we were able to compare the used knive’s sharpness to their just-out-of-the-box twins.
As avid home cooks, we already spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen, but as our dining room table became overtaken with woodblocks filled with knives to test, we quickly found ourselves continually looking for things to chop. Chef’s knife: This standard tool is made to take on most of the bigger jobs in the kitchen.
Its weight makes it easier to chop uploads of ingredients in one go, say, for a big pot of soup or to roast a bounty of potatoes and vegetables. We tested chopping through meat, onions, carrots, herbs and more, noting the knife’s design, grip, weight and general feel.
We noted the ease of drawing the blade through different food items, and also whether the knife glided through paper or snagged. So, for this knife, we cored and peeled apples and tomatoes, and minced shallots and garlic to evaluate its performance and feel.
Too many items to list, including tomatoes, hard cheese, oranges, carrots and salami, were used to test how easily this knife could live up to its name. We looked at ease of cutting through difficult foods, as well as how thin we could slice something softer, such as a tomato.
Forged knives, for example, are typically stronger than stamped, which are cut from a flat metal sheet. Full tang, meaning the blade extends through the handle, helps create balance and overall heft.
Feel: So much of handling a kitchen knife rests on how it feels in your hand, so we paid special attention to the heaviness of the blades and handles, maneuverability, weight distribution and ease of sliding the knives in and out of their blocks. While we realize taste is subjective, we noted our general reaction to how nice they looked.
Build had a maximum of 35 points: quality (15); knife feel (10); room for knuckle clearance (5); appearance (5). Handcrafted in Semi, Japan, the durable, beautiful and razor-sharp Damascus stainless steel blades had us oohing and aching at their ability to perfectly slice through everything.
The paring knife, for instance, was so sharp that as we used it to core a tomato, we found it was shaving skin off our finger from the slightest touch. Admittedly, we thought the claim that the block’s built-in ceramic sharpeners would work with each use was a gimmick, but we were quickly impressed that the knives really did seem to get sharper every time we chopped and sliced.
As far as performance, the all-stainless steel, full-tang knives handled well and felt balanced, although they did feel overly heavy in our hands. We also appreciated the fact that the handles are labeled so you can quickly grab the correct knife.
These knives scored lower on performance than most models: They weren’t as sharp, the hollow metal handles felt too light, causing an imbalance, and they tended to get slippery when wet. Besides the value price, it features lightweight, dishwasher-safe stainless steel blades that will cover your cutting needs.
We must admit, when we unboxed this midnight black set noted by the company for its “menacing design,” we were prepared to be underwhelmed. Our aesthetic biases had us thinking these would prove to be more flash than performance, though we know some will dub the highly stylized look as awesome.
The geometric design of the military-grade G10 handles actually fit really comfortably into our hands and their slight texture made slippage a non-issue. The full-tang titanium nitride-coated German steel blades were razored sharp and excellent at chopping and slicing everything we threw at them.
The curved blade of the chef’s knife was helpful in chopping, but its thinness made it feel a bit light. In fact, the heavy handles, paired with thin blades, seemed to affect the balance of the knives.
And, at a rather hefty price, it includes just five knives (chef’s, paring, utility, serrated and Santos) plus a honing steel. Then again, if your home decor is Kylo Men meets Jacques Pepin, put these on your wish list immediately.
If you know a college student who has made the move from their dorm to their first apartment, this colorful set of kitchen knives would make a fine housewarming gift. They’re BPA-free and come with matching sheaths, so they can be easily stored in a drawer, saving precious counter space.
They didn’t feel especially sharp out of the box, our fingers smashed against the cutting board as we chopped and the blades felt heavy compared to the plastic handles, which threw off the balance of the knives in our hands. Its unique, vertical tempered glass block had one family member wrinkling his nose with distaste, two teenagers dubbing it “sick” (a good thing) and one who kept waffling between “so cool” and “trying too hard.” But whether you like the looks of the glass block, no one can argue that these are great knives.
Nice and sharp out of the box, they’re made using high-carbon German steel, a bolster for support and neoprene handles with full tang, offering fairly even weight distribution. With the set, you get five knives : 8-inch chef’s, 8-inch bread, 6-inch boning, 5-inch utility and 3 1/2-inch paring, plus that controversial holder.
Made of honed, stainless steel blades and plastic curved handles with full tang, the chef’s knife was our favorite, although it felt a bit light in the hand. Overall, the knives were sharp out of the box, look nice in their wood block and come with an affordable price tag when on sale (which seems to be most of the time at most retailers).
A quality knife block set eliminates the effort and guesswork involved in researching and picking each blade one by one. All celebrated cutlery brands offer versions of a block set, from German-made Willing and Author to Japan’s Global and Shun.
What’s more, the wooden, glass, and metal stands are not only a safer place to store our slicers but also a gorgeous statement on the countertop. From blade materials to cost to personal cooking style, there are tons of factors to consider when selecting a block set.
So to help you find the best one for your needs, we’ve done the research and combed through thousands of reviews from real shoppers who have tested out these sets for themselves. No matter if you’re looking for a compact collection for small spaces or a professional-level block filled with beautiful blades, these best -selling options have near-perfect ratings and rave reviews describing why they’re so great.
Then get ready to revel in the ease of chopping, slicing, and dicing in the kitchen with your new collection of blades. The people have spoken: With more than 7,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, this Cuisinart collection is the best -rated block set we found.
Shoppers love and respect the brand, which made its name by introducing the world to food processors back in the ’70s, but the high carbon stainless steel set stands on its own merits. Designed with hollow handles and precision-tapered ground blades, the knives are lightweight and easy to hold.
The sturdy, streamlined block contains 15 pieces, including six steak knives, kitchen shears, and a 7-inch Santos knife. Cooks of all stripes rave about this Cuisinart block, with some saying it’s a great step up from entry-level sets.
They’re designed with a full tang and taper-ground edges for extra stability and feature easy-grip Hubbard handles that won’t slip when wet. But don’t let the low price fool you; the knives are made from professional-quality stainless steel and feature a full bolster to protect fingers while slicing and dicing.
The set boasts a wide variety of blades, like a 6-inch boning knife for breaking down poultry, a 7-inch Santos for mincing, and eight micro-serrated table knives for slicing steaks. The AmazonBasics Premium Block Set is so popular that it’s earned an excellent 4.6-star rating from more than 2,300 reviewers who say it’s durable and a great price.
Designed by the first Master Blade smith to specialize in kitchen cutlery, the collection is a true blend of Eastern and Western craftsmanship. Each of the ice-hardened blades is formed from a powerful core of FC61 steel that is then covered in 100 layers of nickel and stainless Damascus.
Additionally, they feature comfortable D-shaped Lakewood handles outfitted with a decorative pin handcrafted in Kramer’s Washington workshop. Reviewers on the manufacturer’s site gush over the set’s beauty and balance, saying it is an heirloom that will last generations.
“The one-of-a-kind Damascus detail on the incredibly sharp blades paired with the unique comfortable handles are like no other.” As one of the largest and oldest manufacturers of cutlery and cookware, Willing is famous for its classic designs and razor-sharp edges.
Part of the brand ’s success comes from its proprietary Sigma forge process, in which each blade is precision-forged from a single piece of ice-hardened stainless steel. This block set is part of Willing's Four-Star line, which was designed in collaboration with professional chefs to bring expert-level tools into home kitchens.
The German-made knives also have virtually indestructible handles with just enough texture to guarantee a stable grip. One drawback of many block sets is that the beautiful blades are sheathed inside solid wood.
The sleek stand is pared down to the bare essentials, giving teasing looks at the gorgeous blades inside. Made from high-alloy Swedish steel, the full-tang blades go through a multi-stage heating treatment to ensure stability and durable, keen edges.
While slightly softer than its Japanese counterpart, it holds its edge longer and is easy to sharpen. That makes the Western-style knives ideal for heavy-duty tasks like splitting bone-in chicken breasts or hacking through a squash.
Outfitted with five hand-honed high-carbon steel blades and precisely balanced handles, the knives undergo the brand ’s unique sharpening process for an even longer-lasting edge. This Author block set is popular with Amazon shoppers, earning a 4.8-star rating and reviews saying how sharp and well-balanced its knives are.
“We never knew how much difference a quality knife can make, but now I apologize to my wife constantly for not buying these sooner,” a customer wrote. Japanese knives are typically thin and delicate, perfect for precise cuts that preserve and enhance a dish’s flavor.
This handcrafted set includes five blades, notably a 5.5-inch Nair knife designed to chop and slice vegetables, nestled inside a bamboo and stainless steel block. Global’s knives are constructed from a single piece of stainless steel, and the edges are sharpened with a 50/50 symmetrical bevel for extra-thin cuts.
The hollow handles are dimpled for easy gripping and filled with sand to keep the knives balanced yet lightweight. You’ll find tons of happy customers who’ve left reviews on SUR La Table, including one who said, “I really appreciate the clean lines of the knife block and the great quality of the knives.
Whether you’re cutting into seared steak, roasted vegetables, or comforting baked pasta, a sharp table knife is essential. This stainless steel set comes in a beech wood box and features slightly curved blades with serrated edges to cut effortlessly through meat.
For the perfect gift for anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, and holidays, opt for Material’s Iconic set. Users love their Material Iconic set for its versatility and high-quality build, saying it’s a “game-changer.” It’s no wonder it’s earned a cult following in just over a year.
No matter if you’re tight on kitchen space or don’t want to clutter your countertop, this streamlined block set is a great get. Additionally, the stainless steel slicers have a nonstick silicone coating for easy cleaning and are designed with weighted handles to keep the blades from touching your work surface.
Anyone who loves to cook understands how important a good knife set is. Like a lot of luxury items, though, this isn’t the case, and now you can get a superb set of knives for a reasonable and highly affordable price.
Just like stone frying pans, garlic pressers, pasta makers, and kitchen torches, a great set of knives can enhance your culinary experience like you never thought possible. These knives comprise high-quality stainless steel and boast a professional satin finish to ensure durability and a sleek, stylish appearance.
They are lightweight and the full tang and single-piece blade design means they feel secure in your hand no matter what you are preparing. With dishwasher safe parts, plenty of slicing and dicing options, and an elegant design, it will blend perfectly into any kitchen whether you want to cultivate something traditional or go all out for a more modern appearance.
Here, you get knives for chopping, cutting, and slicing, but there is also a pizza knife tool, scissors, and bonus vegetable peeler, while the honing kit means you can keep these knives sharp for years to come. The stand isn’t as stylish as the wooden block which may hinder your hopes of having the best -looking kitchen in the country, but it’s still attractive enough to fit in nicely with most kitchen decors, and it’s also easy to retrieve the knives from without knocking it over or causing a scene.
Another sleek, stylish, and traditional option, the Emo joy Kitchen Knife Set is a substantial 15-piece set to cover all your kitchen knife needs regardless of whether you’re an expert, intermediate, or are still learning how to chop an onion (the trick is not to cry). Unlike other knives we’ve selected, these are easy to care for, but they’re also strong and durable, so it’s more likely they’ll look after you than the other way around.
The Lakewood handles are secure and classy, while the blades are forged using high-carbon stainless steel for a fine and sharp edge and superb performance. The Cuisinart Triple Rivet Collection is a 15-piece set complete with robust, sharp, and reliable high-carbon stainless steel blades and a safety bolster to prevent any unfortunate accidents in the kitchen.
They are also one of the most comfortable knives we’ve identified, and the ergonomic handle feels natural in your hand to make that Sunday dinner food prep much more natural so you won’t feel strained any longer. The storage block follows the stable tradition of other examples, and the angled design means the knives are easy to pull out whenever the task demands it.
Overall, it’s a superb set, but we wish the steak knives continued the wooden-handle design instead of relying on plastic. This 12-piece collection provides the basic essentials with some bonus treats to give you a comprehensive knife set ideal for any kitchen regardless of skill level or experience.
These knives are also dishwasher safe to save you a mammoth cleaning job. Of all the knives we’ve selected, these are some of the best looking around, but it’s more than simple style over substance, they do the job you expect them to, also.
Our guide to the best sushi knives features more quality blades for your kitchen, so be sure to check them out. The elegant wood handle is easy to grip and comfortable for extensive chopping sessions, while the whole set overall is a dream to look at.
The stand is good -looking, but if you have any low-hanging kitchen cupboards, it might make it a little tricky to position properly. Another issue is safety, as the knives are easier to retrieve compared to blocks, keep out of reach of any children.
The blades are stainless steel with a smooth, clear grain finish, while the handles bubbled for easy gripping to prevent slipping and injury. To ensure longevity, you’ll also get a knife sharpener included to keep the edge fine and honed no matter how long you keep them.
However, you’ll need to sharpen them straight out of the box if you want the best results, which is a little inconvenient, but you’d need to learn sometime, anyway. If you’re looking for a simple kitchen knife set that still offers excellent quality, then this could be the ideal choice for you.
Brand Home Hero Model Knife set Weight 2.55 pounds This offers precise cutting, while the hollow handle makes them lightweight and easy to control, although this could affect the durability, especially if you’re lax on sharpening them.
They are easy to clean, and even dishwasher safe, while the lifetime warranty ensures you can overcome any issues you encounter with a (hopefully) simple email to the manufacturer. The precision tapered blades mean excellent performance, and the ergonomic handle is comfortable for anyone to use.
Like anytime you deal with something that is entirely metal, though, there’s the risk of rusting, especially if you do not dry them properly after washing them, either by hand or in the dishwasher. As long as you remember to dry them thoroughly, though, you’ll enjoy years of superb slicing with no need to break the bank to buy them.
While all of these knives are great and most offer fantastically affordable regardless of needs, the Cuisinart Color Knife Set is our choice for the best value option around. It’s a 12-piece set with a color-coded to prevent cross-contamination for big meal preparation, and they also add something unique to your kitchen accessories, too.
The non-stick coating makes it easy to chop and move sliced onions, mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini, while the professional grade steel ensures a high-quality performance every time. There’s also a spectacular safety aspect, because while there’s no block or stand to store them, there are covers which protect the little ones (and the big ones, too) from cutting themselves.
Find more amazing kitchen tools by checking out our guide to the best electric knives. The block is compact enough to slide gracefully onto any kitchen counter, and overall, you get some fantastic value for money, even though it’s one of the more expensive options around.
Some of these may be affiliate based, meaning we earn small commissions (at no additional cost to you) if items are purchased. They’re an invaluable tool for the daily preparation of your meals, and decent ones are an investment that should last for years, with proper care and maintenance.
Or, if you’re just not interested in taking the time to research and buy each blade separately, a set is an easy and convenient option. It’s not uncommon for companies is to sell their second or third line products in a high-priced set, hoping the brand name alone will be enough to make a sale.
Another trick is to load the set with slight variations in size of the same style, making it seem like you’re getting lots of blades when what you’re really getting is a bunch of repeats. In this guide we’ll cover the basics of how to choose a set that will provide good quality and value, and make your prep work easier and more enjoyable.
Bolsters are not a necessary component for quality, and will be found more often in Western style knives than those of Japanese design and origin. This spot is essentially the fulcrum and takes the brunt of the stress exerted when cutting, so make sure the transition area is well-joined with no gaps.
Composites and stainless steel offer the best qualities in terms of strength and longevity while wood can become soft and rot, and bone will dry out over time, becoming brittle. Comfort and safety are also important in a good handle (and for preventing nasty accidents in your kitchen in general).
This gives a greater range of motion for different cutting techniques, and is essential for proper honing and sharpening. For safety purposes, and to maintain a sharp edge, knives should never be stored loose in a cutlery drawer.
Now, to help with your decision-making, here are reviews of five different sets with varying price points that meet most, if not all, of the components needed for quality and value. From Messermeister, we have their superbly functional, efficient, and handsome 9-piece set in the San Moritz Elite line, complete with a wooden block.
The San Moritz Elite blades are constructed from the traditional one-piece, hot-drop forging technique, and hammered from a single billet of high-carbon German steel. Using the X50CRMOV15 stainless steel alloy, they provide top quality stain resistance as well outstanding sharpness, edge retention and ease of sharpening.
This provides outstanding weight, balance, and torque for cutting through challenging pieces such as large winter squash, or sticky starches and proteins. And the San Moritz Elite line comes with the distinctive name plate at the butt-end of each handle so you can personalize your set with etched initials.
The quality of construction and craftsmanship is another highlight, with the beautiful balance, control, and stability consistently getting top marks, as does the hand-finishing. The chef’s knife is truly a work of art, ideal for rock-chopping due to the angle of the blade, the large sweet spot, and the ultra-sharp edge.
While not quite as versatile as the chefs’ blade, the tip will quickly chop through large mounds of vegetables with a minimum of effort. While not really a complaint, several users have commented on the weight of the Elite blades as being heftier than many other brands, and may not be appropriate for those who appreciate lighter-weight tools.
Summary The San Moritz Elite knives in this set are built to professional standards that will please the most discerning of cooks. With outstanding fit and finish, the quality is top-notch, but it’s the edges that really elevate their value, placing them head and shoulders above competitors’ pieces in the same price range.
Sturdy and durable, and with Messermeister’s awesome sharpening and refurbishing program, these knives will truly last a lifetime. Every blade is constructed of high-carbon stainless German steel for superb rust and corrosion protection, and stain-free performance.
Each taper-ground edge is hand polished and offers long-lasting sharpness and easy honing, as well as increased efficiency for all slicing, cutting and chopping functions. The black Neoprene handles combine the characteristics of vulcanized rubber and thermoplastics, and are ergonomically designed for superior comfort and a secure non-slip grip, even when hands are wet.
The sleek glass block presents a beautiful and functional display for the knives, adding a unique, stylish touch to your kitchen. What Others Are Saying At the time of writing, this set is ranking very favorably with purchasers for construction, quality of materials, ease of use, and their swanky appearance.
They have a well-balanced feel that covers all the basic cutting tasks, and are encouraging some to cook more often, just for the sheer pleasure of handling them. The knives have a good heft with nice sized handles for easy and comfortable gripping, and they arrive with a very sharp edge that is easily maintained with regular honing.
Well-made from quality materials by an established company, they offer at-home chefs a great alternative to higher priced tools. From Victorinox, the makers of the original Swiss Army Knife, we have this functional and attractive eight-piece set of the most commonly used kitchen cutters.
The star of this set is the 8” Fibrous chef’s knife, known as the “Swiss Classic” for its outstanding performance in consumer market testing. Each blade is crafted from stamped high-carbon stainless steel and is hand finished by the skilled craftsmen at Victorinox in Switzerland.
The formula for this alloy is x50CrMoV15, with 15% chromium (Cr) for high levels of stain resistance, plus molybdenum (Mo) and vanadium (V)for hardness. They also provide a low maintenance sanitary surface by minimizing crevices that may trap food particles and bacteria, and they are NSF certified.
The slots are angled for quick access and provide a safe environment to keep edges sharp. Light in weight, it’s strong with a nice bit of flex to the blade, and gives fatigue-free performance over long periods of prepping.
Summary While this set is not top of the line in terms of price or aesthetics, they offer well-crafted performance and very good quality for daily use. If you don’t need a designer label (or price tag), then the Victorinox 8-piece knife block set will give years of reliable operation to beginners and advanced cooks alike.
Precision forged in Germany using Willing’s Sigma forge process, the blades are crafted from high-carbon stainless steel and ice-hardened, then tempered to 57 HRC on the Rockwell scale. This produces a stain and corrosion resistant steel with exceptional hardness, flexibility and toughness, optimal sharpness, and blades that are virtually unbreakable.
The molded handle is constructed of polypropylene and permanently bonded to the three-quarter tang, and it has just the right amount of texture for a comfortable, non-slip grip. And the finely balanced classic bolster/finger guard transitions seamlessly to the handle, easily accommodating all of your favorite cutting grips.
What Others Are Saying At the time of writing, the Heckles Four Star essentials set has very good reviews for quality of craftsmanship, sharpness and versatility. Summary A bare-bones set with no storage block, these three knives cover the essentials for most kitchen work.
Overall a good option for a starter set, or to replace the three elementary pieces most commonly used for prep work. With a slender footprint on the counter and measuring only 9.5 × 3.5”, the block is crafted from your choice of six different woods in a modern style which adds to the striking profile of the Author blades.
Each knife is precision forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel (X50 Cr Move 15) to a Rockwell hardness of 58 and tempered in production to ensure sharpness, enduring toughness, and ease of sharpening. The bolsters are perfectly weighted for optimal balance and performance, and the full tang provides extra stability and safety.
This provides exceptionally keen initial cutting performance, longer edge retention, and the full usage of the blade from the point of the tip to the finger guard. The handles are triple riveted through the tang and constructed of tough and long-lasting polyoxymethylene (POM), a thermoplastic polymer known for its strength and hardness that has excellent resistance to fading and discoloration.
From Global, the well-known makers of fine Japanese knives, we have this exquisite 6-piece block set from their G Series featuring elegant design, excellent cutting performance and sleek one-piece construction. The large and prominent edge can be seen extending up the blade for a quarter of an inch or more, which allows for cleanly slicing through foods while maintaining the integrity of ingredients.
Unique in their construction, every knife is stamped from a single, seamless piece of steel without bolster or tang. Filled with a precise amount of sand for exquisite balance, they still retain a light weight that provides comfort, and reduces hand fatigue during extended use.
And their smooth contours and seamless construction eliminate hiding spots for food and dirt, resulting in the highest levels of safety and hygiene. The stylish stainless steel block has been designed with a diagonal profile to help protect the blades, as well as for ease of removal and storage.
What Others Are Saying There aren’t a lot of reviews in for this set yet, but those customers who have written are head over heels in love with the high-caliber construction and performance of these blades. The textured handles are ergonomic and comfortable, making long sessions of food prep virtually effortless and fatigue-free for fingers, hands, wrists and forearms.
The Damascus stainless steel not only protects and supports the extremely hard cutting core, it also improves stain resistance. Lighter, thinner, and sharper than European blades, the 16° edge is exceptionally sharp and long-lasting, making it more efficient at cutting and offering consistent, precision performance.
And the wide blade is perfect for scooping food off the cutting board when transferring it to a pan or dish. Molded in a D-shape for optimal comfort, and a sure and steady grip, they’ve been fitted over a full composite tang for impressive balance and stability.
The combination honing steel has two surfaces to smoothly realign the edges of your blades, prolonging the knife’s sharpness. Not only do they cut impressively with the superb Shun edge, they also have a built-in nutcracker, jar opener, and lid lifter, a bone notch, and two screwdriver tips.
Constructed of tough and durable stainless steel and a full tang, they’re fitted with molded handles that provide stability, comfort, and a secure, nonslip grip. This essential set come to its own laminated bamboo block, with a few extra slots so you can continue to expand your collection as desired.
Bamboo provides easy-care performance that doesn’t shrink or swell like hardwoods, which makes it ideal for storing kitchen accessories. What Others Are Saying Once again, Shun gets top marks for the quality of their forged blades, creating tools that are a pleasure for home cooks to use.
A few reviewers have emphasized that learning how to use the included honing steel correctly will help to retain those super-sharp edges between actual sharpening. And the design aesthetics are another highlight, with the Damascus blades and composite wooden handles having a very attractive appearance that is retained even with repeated usage.
Summary The Shun Classic 7-piece collection is a popular choice for high-end Japanese knives that have been crafted with quality and precision. This lovely line features Damascus cladding, and each blade bears the signature hand-hammered “touching” finish.
The proprietary VG-Max alloy has more chromium for wear and corrosion resistance, enhanced levels of cobalt for greater strength, and increased tungsten for a very fine-grained steel capable of achieving an extremely fine and sharp edge. Each knife has a full composite tang, and contoured ambidextrous Lakewood handles that nestle nicely into the palm.
The kitchen shears are made of durable stainless steel with a notch on the blade for cutting through thin poultry bones, and they fully separate for easy cleaning. The interlocking screw can easily be adjusted, to change the tension to suit your personal cutting preference.
Incredibly thin and sharp blades with stylized detailing, the Premier line of knives from Shun provides exceptional cutting performance, making them a joy to handle. And they will, if mishandled even a little, betray their delicate nature with chips, breaks, and bent tips.
Recently retired as a costume specialist in the TV and film industry, Lorna now enjoys blogging on contemporary lifestyle themes. A bit daft about the garden, she’s particularly obsessed with organic tomatoes and herbs, and delights in breaking bread with family and friends.
As a bonus, we rounded up our favorite collection of knives to create the ultimate à la carte set. You can save time and money by simply purchasing a premade knife set.
The potential downside to this is that you can end up with a cheap collection of knives that serve better as a decoration than for cutting. Your knives are the backbone of your kitchen, and they deserve careful consideration, especially since a good knife should basically last forever.
My background is as a kitchen professional, restaurateur, and an avid home cook since childhood. This gave me the opportunity to work with some very talented chefs, and spend years in a hands-on role in my own kitchens.
As a result, I have the benefit of tapping the opinions of some pros when it comes to longevity of use and knife characteristics. Looking at how a knife will perform when you have a twenty-five pound sack of onions to chop, versus preparing dinner for four, is a big difference.
Right out of the box, we graded the first look; aesthetics, grip, feel and weight. Those last three, along with the edge, the spine, flex and grip texture were part of the deeper calculations.
In addition to dicing onions we chopped carrots, which because of their taper make you move them closer to your hand as you cut. To test the boning knifes we took the meat off the split breast pieces.
Having some of these knife brands in my personal set for literally decades also helps the value equation of up-front cost versus longevity. These are the tools of our trade, regardless of the cost, you always hand wash and dry your knives even if they say dishwasher safe.
Overarched KnifeBlockOther Items 220.127.116.11.5 As soon as you pick up these knives you will notice the weight and balance. Even fine work, testing the edge of the chef’s blade after chickens and squash, you could peel paper thin slices of onion.
The set is an excellent selection covering almost all the basics of style, and does have a pretty sharp looking block. Overarched KnifeBlockOther Items 18.104.22.168.2 These are a stalwart knife in the industry, and you will find their basic models in many kitchens.
Running restaurants makes you very frugal, and the base knives from Mercer are durable enough to survive the lazy cook that throws them in the dishwasher, then hold an edge with endurance, delivering the value of longevity. The ‘Culinary’ line jumps only slightly in price from the base models, and certainly look nicer at this level.
The handles are comfortable, in the soft grip style, they do well when wet and in most working conditions. All forged with bolsters, full tangs and end caps, even the steak knives, at this price point…there must be a problem.
Sure, a couple unneeded knives, and we established that I prefer longer slicing and bread blades. The slicer made fine work of a pork loin and the boning knife was downright impressive with shape size and flex.
While we didn’t score this aspect, Emo joy did a good job of matching handle scale to the blade. Obviously we couldn’t speak to how they will look in five, ten, or twenty years, but they are pretty darn good right out of the gate.
They got first billing not because it was the most expensive set, but because my 30-year-old Author chef’s blade still holds up against the new ones. During this testing I realized that I lean toward a traditional handle shape with a center bulge and end tip.
Our favorite scissors, these are a come apart style with metal teeth in the gripper section and the weight to snip small bones. The block with this set is good-looking, and has additional slots as you grow the collection to the blades that you need.
15 degree bevels, full tangs and riveted handles deliver functionality with the longevity of high carbon steel. It worked to bone some chicken, but is ideal for paring an apple or peeling veggies.
Tip: The twins indicate the American made collection, while a single guy indicates a Chinese manufactured knife. Overarched KnifeBlockOther Items 22.214.171.124.8 These are probably the best looking knives in the test group, with a continuity of style through the 3 blades included in the set.
The end results are very resilient blades that are lighter and more flexible than their western counterparts. The knife performed very well, the slender profile and great edge made short work of removing the fibrous skin and slicing the fruit.
Combine that with almost no taper, and they do not serve you well for hours of knife work, hand fatigue becomes a factor. They will make the actual work part easier with speed and maneuverability from their lighter weight.
Overarched KnifeBlockOther Items 126.96.36.199.3 I’m a big fan of Clifton cookware, so I was excited to sample their knives. Don’t let the middle of the pack ranking scare you away, it speaks more of the competition than the quality of this set.
Overarched KnifeBlockOther Items 188.8.131.52.3 This is a good-looking set from an established company that has evolved to cover a spread of price ranges. A stylish block, sideways slots for the kitchen knives, and with steak knives that match the design of the set.
The steak knives also have a straight edge which means they can be sharpened easily. The tapering grips are going to favor a smaller hand, and they have a nice rubberized texture.
Disappearing into the rubberized grip, it is impossible to tell the weight and strength of the tang as it extends through to the end cap. Overarched KnifeBlockOther Items 3.23.744.2 I so wanted to love this set, I’ve passed along my decades old blades of this brand, and they’re still being used.
It is a perfect assortment of blades in great sizes like a 10” slicer and 3.25” paring knife. Even though the spine is not the heaviest of our group, the chef’s blade performed well and all the knives held a good edge.
Out of the box the Rosewood had a typical aroma of stained wood in an enclosed space, not a long term problem. Compared to the sculpting available in contemporary knives, these handles seemed boxy and bulky, even with fairly big mitts like mine.
From experience the Rosewood will age well and maintain a good look with minimal attention, the blades too, but for heavy daily use the grips become problematic. Overarched KnifeBlockOther Items 3.83.444.3 This set scored the same as the Emo joy, but they got the higher ranking due to a better assortment of blades.
Overarched KnifeBlockOther Items 3.644.53.8 Hollow handled knives have always seemed cheap and potentially a problem. When making hard cuts you can keep a good hold on the knife, contrary to smooth hollow handles.
No slicer, only a 5.5” serrated utility knife, and the mediocre black handled shears looked out of place. Their Santos knife showed off great though, tall enough to chop well against your guiding hand, it held a good edge as did the other knives.
This ends up being a good-looking set in a nice block with a little more form over function and some unrealized potential. Overarched KnifeBlockOther Items 2.83.743.7 AmazonBasics has done a great job of building a brand known for quality and value, so this set had good expectations.
Out of the gate the chef’s blade has a good feel, solid grip and a sharp edge. The boning knife, which was nice to see, had a good edge, slightly long blade and was very stiff.
It also had a handle almost the same size as the chef’s blade making it a bit awkward to maneuver. Peripherally, the steak knives are pretty nice, good heft, full tang and service for eight.
The shears come apart for cleaning, have a shallow notch for catching a bone to cut, and metal grippers. Generally it is a good idea to store knives on their side instead of the blade on the bottom bearing the weight.
This set, with forged bolsters and full tangs throughout, has so much going in the right direction, it just fell a little short on some execution. Yes, the knives are lightweight, handles are composite, and it is unlikely the tang goes more than a couple inches deep.
This is also a smart blade assortment with a surprisingly good slicer and bread knife. A college kid I know bought the deluxe set with veggie peelers, pizza cutter and more.
In that context, this is a pretty good starter set that certainly gives value for the low price point. You might not be a cookware junkie like me with four chef’s knives, but everybody eventually expands their knife collection.
Here, we’re mostly looking at knives in the European tradition that are commonly found in American homes. An 8” blade is normal for home cooks, though chef’s knives come in a wide range of sizes up to comically gigantic.
The key feature of the chef’s knife is the slight curve of the blade that allows the continuous rocking motion for easy chopping. Usually carrying a 34” blade, the paring knife is for fine work like peeling and shaping vegetables.
Unfortunately, a lot of these knives feel like throw-ins to bulk up the size of a knife set, and often have the quality to match. The edge is flat (or very slightly curved), so you use a different cutting motion, and the tip is more rounded off.
I pull mine out when I’ve got a roast because it carves perfect thin slices. A good pair of kitchen shears will go through chicken bones with ease and accuracy.
A carving fork also lets you keep your off hand farther away from the slicing knife’s blade. In between sharpening, a honing steel realigns the edge of your knives to maintain your sharpness.
The other things in the drawer, including your fingers, stay safer when they don’t come in contact with the knife edges. Whether that means you are starting from scratch or moving from your prior knives, change is about to happen.
Buying a set gives you the continuity of your chosen brand ; edge quality, feel, durability and such. We will also have an economical line up of workhorse knives, which you can easily have for decades with a little care and attention.
It checks all the boxes of build quality, known for a sturdy spine on the blade, this knife will be the backbone of your collection. From cutting your apple for lunch to making strawberry fans, this knife will be exceptional.
Heckles Professional S Flexible : Your boning knife is the most likely to get wet during use, including the grip. So the polymer grips of this knife will be resistant to juices that can ultimately damage real woods.
Add the flex of the blade and a solid bolster to keep your grip in place, and this knife will serve you well. Santos Shun Cutlery Premier : This is an exceptionally functional work of art that will probably be passed on to your children.
Shun also uses a slightly more ergonomic grip in this line than the extremely traditional tapered cylinder of many blades. Starting with good steel, a heavy blade and an NSF rating, the handle is built out to offer a bolster that is comfortable to grip.
This brand is still migrating from the commercial back of the house to the public spotlight based on durability and great value. Boning Knife Mercer Culinary Millennia : The grip is made of two materials, both waterproof and durable, making for a solid feel in your hand.
Santos Heckles Statement Hollow Edge : Not a name expected on a value list, this is a better than decent knife. The blade is a bit light, which works for this knife, giving it a nice balance and feel.
Another affordable option here is to look at the ceramic Santos knives we tested and reviewed. For drawer and travel, our friends at Mercer make a complete array of knife sheaths that are sturdy and reasonably priced like their Mercer Culinary Knife Guard, 8 Inch x 1.5 Inch.
If you are travelling extensively guards are recommended even when the knives are inside many rolls or cases. Slicer I pull this one out maybe half a dozen times a year, but it’s amazing for gliding through a pork roast or separating cake layers.
If you’re a keen home cook or aspiring professional chef, a wonderful -quality set of kitchen knives can really improve your results in the kitchen ! A top-rated kitchen knife set will equip you with the right tool for every slicing and dicing task that you undertake.
Investing in a good set of kitchen knives will make food preparation a pleasurable breeze; and should last you a lifetime too! All the kitchenknivessets we’ve reviewed in this guide can be great options, whether you are cooking Paleo or any other type of popular cuisine.
Chef’s or Cook’s knife: This is a wide blade that is used for chopping and slicing a variety of foodstuffs, from chicken breasts and cold meats to vegetables. The blade of the best quality chef’s knife should be slightly curved to provide a rocking motion as it cuts.
The Santos has a curved end, rather than a pointed one, making it ideal for the chopping and slicing tasks that are integral to Asian cuisine. In the long run, it’s always best to buy the very highest quality knives that your budget will stretch to, as these will last you longer and perform better.
Stainless steel is popular due its anti-corrosion qualities, although it does need more frequent sharpening than other materials in order to keep the cutting edge sharp. Standard stainless steel tends to be the material of choice that is used in the manufacture of cheaper kitchen knife sets, although price doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of the product is inferior.
Although it is usually more expensive than standard stainless steel, it contains a higher proportion of carbon, meaning that your blades will retain their sharpness for longer and will also be harder wearing. Carbon steel is very rust and corrosion resistant and produces a consistently sharp blade, even after repeated sharpening.
Investing in a kitchen knives set made from carbon steel should mean that you never need to replace them, and they should give efficient service for their lifetime. However, ceramic knife blades do tend to inflict considerable damage on wooden chopping boards and you cannot use them in a twisting motion that would be necessary for some tasks.
A standard knife steel simply will not do the job, and you will need to send your titanium knives away to a professional company to have them re-honed. For safety reasons, the choir should be smooth and not pointed backwards, as this could injure your forefinger when you apply pressure to the knife.
It is usually thicker than the rest of the blade in order to prevent your fingers from slipping forward and sustaining injury. However, bear in mind that a bolster that is too large will make it difficult to sharpen the full length of the blade.
Balance is an important consideration when choosing a chef’s knife, and we’ll look at this in more detail later in the guide. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that knives washed by hand usually stay sharper for longer.
Some are designed to completely sheath the knife blade within the block, leaving only the handle or bolster sticking out, whereas others allow the knives to hang down between two clear tempered glass or acrylic plates. Also, be sure to choose a block that allows plenty of space between the knife handles for ease of use, especially if you have manual dexterity problems.
The second option allows you to see the knife blade, making it quick and easy to select the right one, which is essential if you work in a busy kitchen. Additionally, airborne bacteria can quickly gather on exposed blades, presenting a hygiene issue.
This handy feature can save you a lot of time and labor and is also much safer to use than a sharpening stone or steel. A good -quality knife block should be heavy enough to keep it stable on a smooth kitchen work surface.
As there are plenty of kitchens knife sets available that offer a wide and comprehensive choice of blades, it’s usually more practical to buy one of these. Rather than using a knife block, you could opt to store your kitchen knives on a magnetic strip attached to the wall or to the inside of a cupboard door.
Although this would save counter space in a small kitchen and allows you to clearly see which blade is which, it is not an ideal storage solution. The knives will be left exposed to the steam and airborne grease in your kitchen environment, potentially leaving the blades vulnerable to corrosion and trapping bacteria.
We’ve compiled this list of kitchen knife sets reviews to help you choose the best one for your needs. Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set, ... Ergonomic Neoprene handle offers... High carbon, no-stain German X50 Cr Mo...
Mercer Cutlery provide high-quality kitchen knives to many cooking academies and are the choice of many professional chefs. The Genesis collection of kitchen knives is designed for comfort, efficient cutting, and durability. The knives are forged from single-piece, high-carbon, no-stain German steel.
The collection of kitchen knives is housed in a stylish, contemporary tempered glass block that’s designed to stand upright on your kitchen counter. All the knives and the shears are housed in a stunning slant-style hardwood block. The high-carbon, stainless steel knife blades are hand finished in Switzerland.
A special tempering process is employed to produce a blade edger than can be re-sharpened throughout its life, ensuring that the original sharpness is retained. The knife handles in this best cutlery set are ergonomically designed to provide a natural, comfortable fit and reduce wrist tension. The handles are also cleverly designed with minimal crevices that could harbor bacteria, improving the hygiene of the knives.
Author knives have been hand-crafted in Germany since 1814, and the superior quality and workmanship in every knife collection reflects this experience. The blades are precision-forged from durable stainless steel, featuring a full tang for strength and a bolster for added balance and weight. The unique 14 degree dual-edge tapered cutting edge ensures reduced drag when slicing through food, producing effortless, seamless cutting every time. The knife handles are triple-riveted for strength and are made from extra-durable synthetic polyoxymethylene for fade and discoloration resistance.
The block’s ultra-slim design allows you to maximize your kitchen counter space. The knife set comes with a lifetime guarantee. Global G-835/WS-6 Knife Set with Block, 6 Piece, Silver Thin blades for precision slicing Face-ground with long taper so edge... Blades made of high-tech Promote... Light weight and perfect balance reduces... Stainless-steel handles are molded for...
The knives are stored in an attractive stainless steel counter top block. The knife blades are thin and razor sharp, providing zero drag and easy slicing through any foodstuff. The Promote 18 stainless steel that is used to make Global knife blades is a forged from a blend of 18% chromium for excellent stain resistance, plus vanadium and molybdenum for longer edge retention. Superior knife balance is provided via a trademark, sand-filled hollow handle design.
The stainless steel knife handles are molded for comfort and feature a unique darkened dimple texture to give a non-slip grip. The Heckles International Statement knife block set is packed with all the tools you will ever need to efficiently and easily tackle your kitchen tasks and offers one of the best sets of kitchen knives for the money.
Made from hygienic, high-quality stainless steel, the blades’ single-piece stamped construction makes these knives comfortably lightweight. The handles are curved for improved comfort and feature a stainless steel end cap for style and balance.
Day’s high-quality kitchen knife blades are made only from high carbon content stainless steel for super-sharp, precision cutting and longevity. A smart hollow handle design delivers excellent weight and balance to prevent your hand from becoming strained during long periods of food preparation.
This newly designed Cuisinart kitchen knife set is made from superior high carbon stainless steel for longevity and stain resistance. The one-piece design ensures that there are no cracks or crevices where the handle joins the knife blade, which could harbor bacteria or trap dirt.
The knife handles are hollow, making the knives well-balanced and comfortable to use, even during long sessions of food prepping. Each blade is designed to be easy to clean, and they are all precision-tapered to gradually narrow into an extremely sharp, fine edge, ensuring easy, smooth cutting with no annoying dragging or tearing. The Cuisinart knife set is presented in a smart black acrylic block and comes complete with a useful sharpening tool.
Exclusive taper grind edge technology... High carbon stainless steel creates a... Care Instructions: Do not put knives in... 3.25" parer, 3" peeler, 5" utility, 8... Although these knives are not as expensive as other comparable sets, you can still enjoy the experience of a professional chef thanks to their quality and craftsmanship.
Soft, comfort grip poly handles provide you with perfect balance and control, even when your hands are wet or greasy. This kitchen knife set is presented in an attractive stained pine wood block that will grace any countertop. Full tang construction guarantees excellent strength and the curved design fits easily into your hand for comfortable grip, even during long food prepping sessions.
Forged design for increased weight and... Hand washing recommended Full Lifetime Warranty. The knives are housed in an attractive solid wood block with a handy in-block sharpener. The knife blades are fabricated from professional-grade forged high-carbon stainless steel, tapering to integral stainless steel handles, which are contoured for comfort and ease of use.
Chicago Cutlery’s exclusive taper grind edge technology ensures that each blade gives maximum sharpness to ensure precise, seamless cutting with no snagging or tearing. The forged design gives the knives better balance and increased weight for stability and ease of use. High-carbon stainless steel is renowned for its ability to resist rust, pitting, and staining, ensuring that your kitchen knife set will last you a lifetime.
The full metal tang extends from the knife tip into the handle, providing superior strength, control, and balance. A forged bolster prevents wet or greasy fingers from running onto the blade. To keep the knives in superb condition, they should be hand-washed. Chicago Cutlery offer a lifetime warranty on this top-quality product.
Always store your kitchen knives in a block so that they don’t become damaged amid clutter in a drawer. Kitchen knives should feel well-balanced and comfortable in your hand, especially if you undertake long sessions of repetitive food preparation tasks.
Kitchen knives with an integral handle design are easier to keep clean and are less likely to trap dirt and bacteria. Manufacturers of the best professional chef knife sets always offer a lifetime warranty, illustrating how confident they are in their product.
Established in 1731, the company that would become J A Heckles has had plenty of time to get its knife building right. They bring German engineering precision to bear on creating strong, dense blades and substantive overall construction.
We also like that they’re committed to paying fair wages to their staff in all countries and have a strong human rights presence around the world. Author is another German brand famed for superb kitchen knives and the quality of its forged steel.
Author has married top of the range technology to their old school traditional processes and the kitchen knives they create are true works of art. The Kai Corporation is a massive conglomerate and it wouldn’t surprise us if it launched even more knife brands in the years to come.
Both brands benefit from Japanese attention to detail and engineering standards. The American company Chicago Cutlery lets the knives do the talking; they’re notoriously shy of seeking out the spotlight of publicity but have been in the business for a very long time, indeed.
About 9 inches long A paring knife which is used for vegetables about 3 inches long A bread knife (serrated edge) for bread and cakes A cleaver (maybe, how much meat will you be chopping?) We’d recommend that if you need a lot of these things at one time that you seek out a set which will be cheaper than buying individually.
Welding or worse, glue, marks are a sign that your knives are less likely to last and may break during use. It will take the majority of the strain when you’re cutting and low quality, thin, plastic hilts are likely to disintegrate.
Light wood, cheap plastic and even old school bone will disintegrate over time. Stainless steel, which many knives are made out of, isn’t as good and it will go blunt fast and take a long time to sharpen.
Choosing good knives takes a little time and a decent budget but it’s not the most challenging of tasks as long as you pay attention to the details. Even for those who find cooking to be a chore, a quality chef’s knife might make the task feel easier.
Selecting a chef’s knife has a lot to do with personal preference, but we’re confident that the Mac Mighty MTH-80 is one of the most widely appealing knives out there. Its razor-sharp edge, comfortable handle, and agile blade make chopping tasks much easier, which in turn cuts down on meal-prep time.
Thanks to its extremely sharp edge, super-hard steel, quality construction, and affordable price, this model is one of the best values in Japanese-made knives. The Tojo knife is thinner and more brittle than our top pick, so its edge is more vulnerable to microscopic chips when you use it on dense vegetables like butternut squash.
Compared with the other forged German knives we tested, the Classic Iron’s thinner blade cut more smoothly through butternut squash and carrots. We liked how easily it maneuvered around curves when cutting away butternut squash skin and citrus rinds.
But the Classic Iron’s blade is made of softer steel than that of our top pick, the Mac MTH-80, which means it will dull faster. It’s a favorite of several food publications and budget-conscious home cooks, and it has an ergonomically shaped plastic handle that appeals to most people.
The factory edge isn’t as sharp as that of our other picks, so in our tests it left us with split carrots and unevenly halved butternut squash. However, most testers preferred the Victorinox for its maneuverability and comfortable feel, compared with the other budget knives we tried.
Collapse all Over the course of my two-decade (and counting) culinary career, I’ve cooked in fine-dining restaurants, brewpubs, small cafés, private homes, and test kitchens. I’ve also covered knives for this site for more than two years, racking up over 120 hours of research and testing.
Tens of thousands of pounds of vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish have crossed my cutting board over the years. I’ve either owned or used every major brand of chef’s knife, as well as a good number of artisanal blades.
A Japanese auto (top) has a flatter edge, and the classic German knife (bottom) has a more pronounced curve. Photo: Michael Session This is the most widely recognized style of chef’s knife in the West.
Full bolsters add weight to the knife and require a professional sharpening service to grind away the extra steel at the heel of the blade. German knives generally weigh more and have thicker blades than their Japanese counterparts, making them great for tough jobs like breaking lobsters and splitting bone-in chicken breasts.
Their blades have an even bevel (meaning both sides are ground to the same angle) and tend to be made of softer steel, so they can lose their edge more quickly. Guts generally have thinner blades with flatter belly curves than German knives, and they taper to a very sharp tip.
You’ll never find a auto with a full bolster that extends to the edge (unlike with German knives). Because guts are thinner and made of hard carbon steel, their edge takes a much more acute bevel angle, and they tend to stay sharper longer than German knives.
For this guide, however, we focused on guts with even bevels, which are easier for home cooks to sharpen and maintain. In 2020, we tested the 8-inch chef’s knife from Food52’s Five Two Essential Knives collection, and we retested our new budget pick, the .
We’ve ruled out any small-batch blade craters, since forging a knife by hand is time-consuming, costly, and usually a custom-order affair. You also won’t see Santos knives in this guide; Santos have shorter blades, generally 6 or 7 inches, that limit their ability to slice through large vegetables with one cut.
And because a chef’s knife is an essential piece of kitchen equipment, we wanted to keep our picks accessible for most budgets. A chef’s knife is the main workhorse in your kitchen -cutlery arsenal, tackling 80% to 90% of cutting tasks.
Your knife should remain sharp through moderate use for six to 12 months, as long as you hone it regularly, wash and dry it by hand after each use, and store it so the edge doesn’t get dinged up. You don’t have as much control with a dull edge, which increases both your prep time and your chances of cutting yourself.
Good edge retention relies on a combination of steel composition and hardness, blade thickness, and bevel angle. When a blade is thin and made from a hard steel, the edge can take and hold a tight angle.
We think an 8-inch knife is the perfect length for most people because it’s long enough to halve large vegetables but still manageable for most home cooks. Most mass-produced Western-forged knives are drop-forged, meaning the manufacturer heats a blank of steel to an extremely high temperature and then uses a high-pressure hammer to pound it into the shape of a blade.
Stamped blades, as the name suggests, are punched out of sheet metal before further refinement and sharpening. The quality of stamped blades varies widely, from the flimsy knives found at grocery stores to our and runner-up pick.
Knife makers like Mac and Tojo heat-treat their blades to make them just as strong as forged steel. Chad Ward argues in An Edge in the Kitchen that a full tang is unnecessary since knife balance is largely a personal preference.
We think this design is so common because the full tang has stood as a benchmark of quality among both knife makers and cooks. Knife makers claim the air pockets keep food from sticking to the blade.
Even though our top pick has a Grafton edge, we don’t find dimples to be very effective at keeping food from clinging to a knife. We couldn’t test all the possible contenders that fit our criteria, so we’ve focused on popular, widely available knives.
Since we first published this guide in 2013, we’ve tested 23 knives that all had an 8-inch blade, carried a price tag of $200 or less, lacked a full bolster, and came with recommendations from experts and trusted editorial sources. Senior staff writer Lesley Stockton explains the difference between full and half bolsters.
Senior staff writer Lesley Stockton explains the difference between full and half bolsters. For the 2017 update of this guide, we invited six friends and colleagues of all culinary stripes to our test kitchen to participate in a chopping panel.
We sliced, diced, julienne, peeled, and chiffonier a pile of butternut squash, onions, carrots, apples, oranges, sweet potatoes, and fresh herbs to gauge the knives versatility with foods of varying textures. We then sent the top-performing knives to the kitchen at Le Cocoa in New York City (the James Beard Foundation’s Best New Restaurant of 2017), where the cooks used them for prep and during service.
I tested two knives in my home kitchen, cutting butternut squash, tomatoes, onions, and carrots. The Mac Mighty MTH-80 is our favorite knife because it’s crazy sharp and will stay that way longer than most other knives.
We found it had the best weight and balance; it felt more agile than the German models and more durable than the thin Japanese guts. The MTH-80’s blade shape strikes the perfect middle ground between German and Japanese chef’s knives, curved just enough for rocking but still straight enough for push-pull choppers.
Out of the box, this Mac model sliced straight through paper, which is something our budget pick, the Victorinox Fibrous Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, couldn’t manage. It also made straight cuts through the thick center of butternut squash, which, again, the Victorinox couldn’t do.
The Mac Mighty MTH-80 was one of the few knives in our test group to cut straight through the center of a butternut squash. The heftier drop-forged German knives fell somewhere in between, causing only a moderate amount of bruising and oxidation to the basil.
The daytime kitchen crew at Le Cocoa used the MTH-80 for prep and during lunch service for a week and praised its outstanding performance on vegetables, herbs, and fish. Scott Horowitz, sous chef at Le Cocoa, said, “ was the favorite of all the cooks.
The MTH-80’s blade shape strikes the perfect middle ground between German and Japanese chef’s knives. Because the Mac’s stamped blade is made of very hard steel (it has a Rockwell hardness of 59 to 61), it will keep its sharp edge longer than softer blades, such as those of the Victorinox Fibrous Pro and Author Classic Iron, which are hardened to 56 and 58 HRC (PDF), respectively.
This means it’s less likely to chip (which the Tojo DP F-808 did after we used it to cut hard butternut squash). The blade geometry is unique in that the edge curve is more articulated than on a classic auto but not quite as extreme as on a German knife.
Even testers with larger hands found that the handle gave plenty of knuckle clearance. Photo: Michael Session 6.6 ounces, the Mac MTH-80 is lighter than a German drop-forged knife but heavier and sturdier-feeling than many guts.
The Mac MTH-80 has dimples on both sides of the blade to reduce the chances of food sticking to the knife. In our tests, the dimples were merely mildly effective, and we noticed the difference only when cutting butternut squash.
Though Amazon links out to this warranty in its product information section, the knife is available only through these specific Amazon vendors: Cooking Depot, Cutlery and More, The House of Rice Store, Trading, Urban Living, Whittle Workhorse, Yokohama Gifts, and Yokohama USA. If the Mac MTH-80 isn’t available, or if you want to add a Japanese auto to your collection, the Tojo DP F-808 is an exceptional knife for the price.
This classic auto has a flatter belly curve than our top pick, a design best for people who use a push-pull cutting style. Testers liked chopping vegetables with the Tojo because of its sharpness, control, and easy handling.
The Tojo DP F-808 is shaped like a classic auto, with a straighter edge, no bolster, and a pointed tip. Like the Mac Mighty MTH-80, the Tojo DP F-808 has more heft than lighter knives, such as the Global G-2 and Topiary Molybdenum.
Tojo’s steel core is harder than the surface material; that hardness helps the blade hold a better edge, but it appears to be more brittle than Mac’s homogeneous construction. We found a tiny, almost microscopic nick in the Tojo knife’s blade after cutting butternut squash.
As it turns out, the company’s website recommends the knife not be used for cutting pumpkin (or frozen foods), because the hard vegetable can chip your blade. But because this Tojo knife’s core has the hardest steel of all our picks, its edge retention is exceptional for the price.
Testers with smaller hands found the Tojo DP F-808’s handle comfortable and didn’t have any issues with their knuckles hitting the cutting board. Senior staff writer Michael Sullivan has been using the Tojo at home since 2017 and said that, as of late 2020, “It continues to hold its razor-sharp edge with minimal sharpening.
Compared with other German knives we tested, the Classic Iron has a thinner blade, a more comfortable handle, and a more manageable belly curve for better leverage and control. In our tests, the Author Classic Iron cut smoothly through butternut squash and onions, although carrots did split slightly.
Like the other drop-forged German knives we tested, it caused moderate bruising to cut basil. Compared with the , this Author knife was less agile and sharp when peeling the skin from butternut squash.
Many testers liked the Classic Iron’s smooth, rounded handle, which fit nicely into the palm. Heckles Willing Pro and Author Classic Uber, by comparison, had such aggressively curved blades that they made simple cutting tasks feel awkward.
One advantage the Classic Iron has over the Mac MTH-80 is that its softer stainless steel blade is more durable. If you drop a Author into a sink or wait to clean it after cutting acidic foods, it shouldn’t chip, stain, or corrode.
On the other hand, that soft stainless steel also means that the edge of this Author model will dull faster and require more regular sharpening. Former Wire cutter deputy editor Michael Zhao told us that he loves the Classic Iron, but he noticed the difference between its softer steel and the harder Mac MTH-80.
We wouldn’t go so far as to call the Victorinox a “beater knife,” but the polished stainless steel blade and ergonomic plastic handle can withstand more abuse than, say, the Tojo DP auto. The Victorinox’s gentle curved edge is good for any chopping style, and its wide blade lets you easily scoop and transfer food from the cutting board.
The Victorinox’s stamped blade is made from the same steel (an alloy called X50CrMoV15, known for its durability, edge retention, and rust resistance) as most German knives, including the drop-forged Author Classic Iron. Comparatively, the Fibrous Pro has a slightly thinner blade and feels lighter in the hand than the Classic Iron.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s still pretty sharp, and it allowed us to dice onions, julienne carrots, and halve a butternut squash with relative ease and accuracy. But if you’re replacing an old dull knife or buying your first kitchen blade on a budget, the Victorinox won’t disappoint.
Most testers agreed that the Fibrous handle offered the most comfortable and secure grip of all the budget knives we evaluated. It’s not too bulky for folks with small hands, and our larger-handed testers had enough knuckle clearance from the cutting board.
Victorinox covers the 8-inch Fibrous Pro knife with a limited lifetime warranty that excludes normal wear and tear, misuse, or abuse. Hold the handle with the edge facing downward and look along the spine to make sure the blade is perfectly straight.
Video: Michael HessionGerman knife blades are curved and designed for a rocking chopping motion. In this motion (shown above), the tip of the knife mostly keeps contact with the cutting board, and you raise and lower the heel while your guiding hand pushes food underneath the blade.
Although steel is a classic choice for honing rods, sometimes the material is softer than your knife, rendering it useless. As you watch a chef whipping a knife down the rod toward their hand at lightning speed, it’s easy to see yourself taking a thumb off.
Video: Michael HessionThe key with both styles of honing is to make sure the edge bevel is flush to the rod. Video: Amado Dialogue way most pros do it is to point the tip of the rod up and pull the knife down toward the handle.
If you’re investing in a quality, expensive knife, like, we still believe that a whetstone used properly will provide the sharpest, smoothest edge. In our tests we found that well-designed ones worked nicely, causing minimal wear to knives while creating a fine edge.
And their convenience encourages people to use them regularly, which makes for safer chopping and a happier kitchen experience. The composition of most German knives (including our also-great and budget picks) is X50CrMoV15, which roughly translates to 80% iron, 0.5% carbon, and 15% a combination of chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium.
Chromium protects against corrosion and is what makes the knife stainless, while molybdenum and vanadium increase and wear resistance, and refine the grain. This stainless steel is usually hardened to 56 HRC, softer than Japanese knives but capable of taking a beating well and withstanding up to a certain level of mistreatment.
In An Edge in the Kitchen, Chad Ward writes, “I wouldn’t make garbage can lids out of 420J or 440A, but some manufacturers do use them for kitchen knives.” These types of steel are low carbon and highly corrosion-resistant. In short, annealing relieves the steel of inner stress and prepares it for shaping and grain refinement.
It would’ve been one of our top picks, but our testers were split down the middle: People either loved the Global for its lightweight and razor-sharp edge, or hated it because of its dimpled steel handle, which could get slippery in wet hands. Chad Ward praises this Topiary model in An Edge in the Kitchen, but we think the blade is too thin and delicate for hard vegetables.
It lacks the weight and the smooth transition from blade to handle, though, and we found that it simply wasn’t as comfortable to use. The HB-85 offers a good price-to-quality ratio, but our testing panel overwhelmingly chose the Tojo DP F-808 as the better chef’s knife for the price.
The Risen couldn’t make a straight cut down the middle of a butternut squash, and it split carrots instead of cleanly slicing through to the board. But we saw one big problem with the 8-inch Classic Uber 4583-7/20: Its belly curve was much more articulated than those of other Author chef’s knives.
Heckles Willing Pro, we found the Author Classic Uber awkward to use because of the extremely curved belly. In our tests, the drop-forged blade of the Meridian Elite E/3686-8 was sharp enough, but not as smooth as that of the Mac MTH-80 or the Author Classic Iron.
But we found the handle uncomfortable due to the sharp edges on the spine, which kept digging into our forefingers. Stamped from American stainless steel scraps, this knife couldn’t make straight cuts in our butternut squash or our carrots.
Shinji Nagasaki, cook, Le Cocoa, New York City, in-person interview, August 8, 2017 Lesley Stockton is a senior staff writer reporting on all things cooking and entertaining for Wire cutter.
Minimal design meets quality and assurance in Cambridge Silversmiths Cali Mirror 30-piece silverware set. Complete with a sleek mirror finish, this medium set for six offers a timeless design that lives up to the Cambridge Silversmith trademark promise.
There’s no copied or tired patterns here, just quality silverware protected by a 25-year warranty with all return shipping costs paid by Cambridge. This assurance makes spending a little extra worth it for a family set that is resilient enough for everyday use, and fine enough for special occasion dining.
It’s dishwasher safe, but hot water hand cleaning is preferable for optimal upkeep and shine. Though they are not exceptionally sturdy or for families, they still hold up well over time and resist corrosion and rust.
A sleek mirror finish and 18/10 steel allow it to blend in seamlessly with other sets of higher grade flatware. Though it is dishwasher safe, avoid washing with harsh detergents, which may break down the fine finish of the flatware.
Mirrored finishes are prone to dishwasher spotting, and this set, in particular, suffers from color fading over time. For best use, hand wash after meals with mild detergents before special occasion settings to achieve an optimal shine.
Heavier utensils tend to tip over jars or fall out of bowls when paired with lightweight service ware, which is something to be aware of. The finish doesn’t quite live up to standards for everyday use as it is prone to rust with improper washing.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of time caring for flatware, then avoid this set for everyday use. This pairing of practicality and sturdiness make it a lasting investment that can be trusted for generations to come.
The serving set includes a tablespoon, pierced tablespoon, cold meat fork, butter knife, and sugar teaspoon so that the whole table can enjoy a uniform service design. All the pieces are fairly well-matched to industry standard sizing though we did find the forks to be on the longer side.
Each piece is brandished with decorative swirls forming a floral motif on the handles to bring added style, albeit dated to the flatware. The thick rounded handles provide balanced weighting preparing them for everyday use, but they lack modern design sensibility.
We found the concave design to be a bit uncomfortable for cutting harder items like meat and salads but were over-all impressed with the weighting of the utensils. Midas’s Cocoa Blossom set is composed of 18/10 stainless steel with 18 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel added to the steel alloy to bolster resilience and strength.
The rust-resistant construction makes it dishwasher safe for easy everyday use without annoying spotting or rusting. For shiny and solid elegance, the Midas Cocoa Blossom 65-piece flatware set is hard to beat.
The only downside is the large set size isn’t for everyone, especially those living in small spaces where storage is limited. The New Star Food service Slimline Pattern 60-piece set proves that timeless design and quality don’t always have to come at a high cost.
Ideal for casual dining outlets or simple home gatherings that don’t want to compromise on professional-grade materials, this flatware proves it’s possible to have the cake and eat it too. However, the similar sizing of both the dinner and salad forks make distinguishing between the two more challenging.
But for casual home dining with professional materials that hold their own over time, it’s a bargain buy. A flashy option for those with a taste for the unconventional, Berg lander’s 20-piece Titanium Gold Plated Stainless Steel Flatware set is a trendy head turner.
Be prepared for the oohs and AHS of dining guests yet to come with this innovative flatware that plays on luxurious color palettes. Slim, minimal design with delicate necks and edges make this flatware resemble art more than utensil.
With medium to lightweight makeup and smooth cutting performance, Englanders show they are masters in stainless steel design and manufacturing. Another quirky design feature is the soup-spoon circular shape of both the dinner spoon and the teaspoon.
Following trends can be risky business and may not lead to a lasting set of flatware used for generations to come. However, at this price point and quality, indulging at the moment seems less risky than refreshing for updated contemporary design.
For a sculpted linear design that’s as simple as it is practical, the Heckles flatware set offers industry headlining performance at an uncompromised value. Known worldwide for knife performance, J.R. Heckles is a leader in all grades of professional cutlery.
This set is no different and is furnished with impeccable medium-weighted flatware that holds true to the brand ’s cutting precision. The sleek mirrored pieces blend masculine touches in the form of straight lines and hint at performance capability.
Excellent serration in the knives likewise aids in a cleaner-cutting dinner knife well-equipped to handle anything that lands on your plate. Its attractive design is lightweight, and forks and spoons are a bit concave, but this doesn’t disrupt overall balance or stability.
Utilizing the same 18/10 steel grade as industry leaders such as Midas, Cambridge, and Leno, Heckles flatware comes out of the dishwasher with the same smooth mirrored finish. For superior craftsmanship and lifetime use, this set of Heckles flatware beats out name- brand competitors with higher performance and design adaptability.
Perfect for wedding registry gifts, families who entertain and legacy sets, it’s smooth lines, and unparalleled performance make it a dependable choice for flatware. Smooth grooved curves at an affordable rate distinguish Litany 40-Piece Silverware Set from basic competitors.
The added serration on the table knife further set this flatware apart from other affordable cutlery and assures professional performance. With service for eight people, the resilient and rust-resistant pieces of the Litany set work best for growing families or those that enjoy entertaining.
Characterized by teardrop-shaped handles and balanced weighting, the flatware pieces offer ergonomic gripping well suited to the whole family. There’s no steel grade information provided with this set, which means only time will tell the longevity of the flatware.
Typically, when brands conceal this information, it is because the steel grade is not up to industry standards. Further inconsistencies include uneven edges that disrupt the ease of use and issues with rusting after several months of use.
Cambridge Silversmiths Blossom Sand 20-Piece flatware Silverware set may be small and weight, but it cuts no corners when it comes to quality construction and design. Differentiated with stainless steel brushing and etched leaf detail, the four serving sets add naturalist character to any table they adorn.
Each set uses 18/10 stainless steel grade to curb corrosion and protect the flatware for long-term use. There’s no need to polish, simply avoid astringent dish soap as you would with any fine silverware for best use.
For excellence, you can count on and attention to detail that elevates everyday flatware, we highly recommend this set. Amazon uses an 18/0 steel grade similar to other mid-level flatware sets and protects against rust.
The contoured handles are fit with pearl edging that mimics classic cutlery design. Low-key design meets functionality and helps promote lasting performance derived from the examination of the best brands in the industry.
Each knife is labeled with the Amazon basics logo along with the common bold proclamation, “Made in China.” This gives off a different feeling than the J.A. At its affordable price point, it is in reach of those hoping to outfit their first apartments, college houses, or vacation homes with highly usable flatware.
Leno is commonly recognized as an industry leader in fine home embellishment, from flatware to dishware. There’s a notable difference in holding well-balanced cutlery to a basic functioning piece of metal, that some consider flatware.
Leno combines 18/10 stainless steel with the convenience of tarnish-resistant coating to offer durability and ease of cleaning. The well-known brand was founded over 100 years ago and has made a name for themselves developing timeless flatware and home decor.
The Tortola line is characterized by the flared bases of the handles with a dainty beaded channel. Inconsistent manufacturing tends to lead to more design quirks, and in this case, the stainless steel quality is lacking.
With a clear-cut shape, mirror polish, and average performance, it’s well suited for first apartments, dorm rooms, and other casual spaces. Though the knives are dishwasher safe, they were susceptible to showing spots and blemishes straight out of the machine.
To retain their pristine, just out-of-the-box shine, be prepared to put in a little elbow grease and polish with a dishcloth. Despite being one of the least expensive cutlery options, this well finished shiny exterior keeps its price hidden.
The quality here is higher than the Amazon Basics, but the sizing of the flatware makes it stick out a bit. We wouldn’t recommend it as a gift set or for a large family, but makes a solid choice for basic household functionality.
Gibson Sensations 16 piece stainless steel flatware has been around long enough to become well known for its retro design and functionality. Begging for a breakfast table with a checked tablecloth, the white plastic handle offsets the simple style of this cutlery.
However, the dainty exterior extends to the quality, and this set is plainly not up for everyday usage and handling. For starters, they are exceptionally hard to clean due to the thin stainless steel forks, and heavily serrated knife blades.
The plastic handles may make for lightweight design, but it’s prone to breakage and bending. This isn’t it and certainly won’t pass any ice cream test, though we don’t recommend this as a standard measure of strength.
If you’re thinking of investing in some portable or temporary flatware, this set could do the trick for someone getting a first apartment or dorm. They’ll last longer and incorporate better with other sets of silverware as time passes.
The grade of steel, composition of utensils, and distributor all play a part in creating a set of flatware that lives long enough to see you through a variety of stages of life and needs. …which seamlessly unites outstanding craftsmanship with medium-weighted flatware that holds its own in a variety of spaces.