Kitchen Knife Set Reviews
This page is dedicated entirely to pre-made kitchen knife sets. Though some people prefer to amass a collection of kitchen knives which suits their needs, many others prefer to select pre-assembled kitchen knife sets. Many people prefer this type of set because, in general, purchasing a pre-constructed set of knives is much more affordable than purchasing each knife individually. Also, pre-assembled knife sets often come with blocks and are usually uniform in aesthetic style. For those who prioritize style in the kitchen, this uniformity is welcomed as part of their interior design.
If you are interested in purchasing a knife set or would simply like to get an idea of what is out there, you have come to the right place. This article features a comprehensive list of today’s most popular, top-selling knife sets. In creating this list, I first analyzed sales statistics to determine the top-selling knives on today’s market. Next, I narrowed that list according to the reviews those knives had received by actual consumers so that I could bring you only the best of the best.
Top Three Choices
Of all the knife sets included in this list, I chose the following three sets as the “Top Three Choices” based on the specific pieces included in each set, their price, the construction of each piece, and the reviews these sets have received from actual consumers.
I will not lie – these choices were difficult. Some of the other Top Three lists on this website were easy to select; certain knives just jumped out at me as being superior to the others. In the case of knife sets, however, I found myself struggling to decide between one set and another for each of these categories. After a painstaking selection process, the following three sets have been chosen for inclusion in the Top Three Choices.
Please do not let this list stop you from reading further, however, because each of the sets on this page is incredibly impressive in its own way. I truly believe that the knife sets in the “Honorable Mentions” section will not disappoint you, either.
Best in Class
Chicago Cutlery Insignia Steel Knife Set with In-Block Sharpener
This 18-piece set features an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 5-inch utility knife, an 8-inch slicer, a 3.25-inch spear tip paring knife, a 3-inch bird’s beak paring knife, a 6-inch boning knife, eight 4.5-inch steak knives, a 7-inch santoku knife, a set of shears, and a wooden block with a built-in sharpener.
Each piece in this set features strong, rust-resistant fully-forged high-carbon stainless steel blades blended into hollow stainless steel handles. Specifications indicate, and consumers report, that these knives are extremely well-weighted for control during precision tasks.
No more fishing around in drawers full of loose blades. The wooden knife block effectively protects your knives, as well as your hands. The built-in sharpener allows you to quickly, safely and effortlessly slide the blade into the knife block and pull it back out for a perfectly sharpened knife.
I selected this set as Best In Class based not only on its sales and the satisfaction of consumers, but also based on the variety of pieces included and their construction. I must say that, although I do not personally use each and every piece included in this set, the variety it incorporates for its price is impressive when the quality of these knives is also considered. It would be one thing to have a lot of pieces in a decently-affordable set and create them from poor-grade stainless steel, glue them into their handles, and sit back while they fall apart and bend as people use them. It is an entirely different thing to include a large variety of quality pieces in a set for a decently-affordable price.
To read more about why I chose this set and what I find so appealing about the Chicago Cutlery 18-Piece Insignia Steel Knife Set.
AmazonBasics 14-Piece Set with Block
In my mind, best value is about much more than price. Finding a piece I consider to have the best value is about finding a piece which exists where quality and affordability intersect. A budget-friendly set constructed in a sub-standard fashion will not make the cut.
In all honesty, based on my usual criteria, I was expecting my selection for Best Value to actually be slightly more expensive than this AmazonBasics set. However, I found myself stunned by the quality and customer reviews for this set. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that this set does not even come close to comparing to or competing with our selection for Best in Class. In fact, it would have a difficult time competing with many of the sets on our Honorable Mentions list, as well. Still, for its price, this knife set is extremely incredible and would make an excellent addition to the kitchen of any new home chef who is still learning a thing or two about how to use his or her knives.
This set includes 14 pieces in total, with the block included. The other pieces are an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 5.5-inch smooth-edge utility knife, an 8-inch slicer, a 3.5-inch spear-tip paring knife, six 4.5-inch steak knives, one set of short-blade shears, and a knife sharpener rod. Each piece is constructed of high-carbon stainless steel and blades are full tang and triple riveted for extra strength.
Best Small Set
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Knife Set
Not everyone requires a large knife set. Some people prefer to stick to only a few tried and true blades. Others prefer to purchase certain blades separately, or from different companies. Personally, I have a favorite set of steak knives which are not available for purchase in a larger knife set. I will never need to purchase a set which includes steak knives, because I will never stray from the ones I currently own. Honestly, once this set has run its course, I will purchase it again, if it is still on the market. I am also rather picky when it comes to my bread knife. I like a bread knife with a certain amount of flexibility. My bread knife is, however, the only one of my knives I prefer flexible. I like all of my other knives strong, sturdy, and unbendable.
For the reasons listed above as well as many others, I felt it was important to include a small knife set in this Top Three Choices list to appeal to those people who are only looking for a small set of very basic knives. Of all the knives I reviewed, a couple of small sets surfaced, but this Mercer set rose high above the rest. It features five pieces, including the stylish knife box which, if you ask me, is more like a display case. In addition to the block, this set includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 5-inch utility knife, a 3.5-inch spear-tip paring knife, and a 6-inch boning knife.
Each piece in this set features a full-tang blade, single-riveted into the no-slip santoprene handle. The blades are forged from high-carbon stainless steel, meaning that they are incredibly strong, durable, and will hold a sharp edge for an very long time.
It would be unbelievable if the three knife sets I listed above were able to satisfy the needs of each and every person who came across this page in search of advice. In all honesty, I believe that it would be rather impossible for such a thing to happen. With so many knives in the world, constructed in so many ways, how could three sets manage to cover the entire gambit of what people may be searching for? I truly do not think they could, especially if you consider the many different combinations of knife types one could include in a set.
I created this list of honorable mentions so that I may bring you more of today’s most popular, top-selling kitchen knife sets. If my suspicions are correct, someone out there needs more options than the three listed above. I am confident that one of these next seven knife sets should meet your needs. If not, or if you are happy with one of the three listed above, consider this information important in the sense that it gives you something to compare with other sets.
Chicago Cutlery Belden 15-Piece with Block
This Chicago Cutlery set features 15 pieces, including a cherry wood knife block, one 8-inch chef’s knife, one 8-inch bread knife, one 5.5-inch utility knife with microserrations, one 8-inch slicer, two spear-tip paring knives, one bird’s beak paring knife, six 4.5-inch steaks knives, and one set of shears.
Each piece in this set is more than simply full tang. The rust-resistant, stainless steel from the blades extends through the non-slip handles and flares out at the end, forming the end caps. With both a bolster and an end cap, each of these knives is well-balanced in terms of weight, bringing control away from the blade and into your hand. The metal bolsters are perfectly sized and shaped to serve three major functions. Not only do they offer weight balance, they also offer finger protection and allow you to grip them for extra precision.
This incredibly diverse set is one of the few which made me second-guess my choice of Best in Class. I was impressed at the variety of knives offered in this set as well as the incredibly versatile microserrated utility knife. I could not, however, look past the facts that the shears did not have as many functions as many other sets of kitchen shears and that this set did not include a knife sharpener. I was also put off by the two identical spear-tip paring knives. In my mind, incorporating an extra piece is wonderful. I simply would have preferred if that piece were a sharpener or a straight-edge utility knife, as opposed to a second paring knife.
Wusthof Classic 3-Piece Kitchen Knife Set
Remember that I told you I had incredible difficulty selecting my top three for these knife sets? I wasn’t lying. I must admit that I strongly considered placing this set in the Top Three Choices as the Best Small Set. Despite the fact that I found this set quite appealing, I found that it was missing a couple of important pieces which I believed many people would want in their base set of knives. If these pieces hadn’t been missing, however, this set would have rocketed its way up into our Top Three Choices rather easily.
Made up of only three pieces, this set includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 3.5-inch spear-tip paring knife, and a 6-inch utility knife. While these are, arguably, three of the most important knives in the kitchen, I found myself asking, “Why is there no serrated blade in this set?” As someone who often works with both soft and crunchy baked goods, I require a serrated blade rather often in my kitchen.
I can understand a base set without shears – who needs them, really? Shears are more of a convenience and some of the best shears are made by companies who do not even create knife sets or even knives, for that matter. I can understand leaving out some of the specialized paring knives and a boning knife. As someone who gets little use out of a santoku knife, I can definitely understand leaving one of them out, as well. Steak knives are another of those things which may be best purchased on its own. Even a bread knife may be best purchased separately so that you can find one with just the right amount of flexibility.
That all sounds wonderful, but what if someone isn’t able to go out and purchase those extra knives? What if someone is looking for a small, easy-to-store set which meets all of their needs? I suppose that what baffles me here is that, although Wusthof included a utility knife, they chose not to give it any form of serrations. Even microserrations would have made this piece much more versatile and would have increased the overall appeal of this entire set.
Chicago Cutlery Fusion Forged Block Set
This incredibly large 18-piece set features high-carbon stainless steel blades designed for strength, durability, and endurance. Though these blades are not recommended for dishwasher cleaning, they are supposed to be rust-resistant. Unfortunately, consumers have complained that this is not the case. On the up side, these blades will hold their sharp edges for a considerably long time, rarely requiring you to use the 8-inch rod sharpener which comes with the set.
Aside from the sharpener and the wooden block, this set includes a 7.75-inch chef’s knife, a 7.75-inch bread knife, a 5-inch utility knife, an 8-inch slicer, a 3.25-inch spear-tip paring knife, eight 4.25-inch steak knives, a 7-inch santoku knife, and a 5-inch partoku knife. In case you are wondering, a partoku knife is a signature piece from Chicago Cutlery which is a hybrid knife existing somewhere along a continuum between paring and santoku.
Though this set is of a rare size, I doubt that many people will even make use of half of the knives it includes. Aside from top restaurant chefs, I know few people who regularly make use of santoku knives, much less partoku knives.
Unfortunately, the chef’s knife included with this set does not feature much of a curve. The lack of a curve will make it difficult for you to perform certain chef’s techniques, such as the rocking technique, greatly limiting its function.
AmazonBasics Premium Knife Set with Block
Despite claiming that an 18-piece knife set is rare, here I am reviewing yet another one of them. This set from AmazonBasics features blades stamped from stainless steel. Despite the apparent rust-resistant nature of stainless steel, the manufacturer suggests not placing these knives in the dishwasher. While I, personally, believe that all knives should be hand washed, if this were high-quality stainless steel I would expect that the company would say dishwashing them would be perfectly acceptable.
This set features an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 5.5-inch utility knife, an 8-inch slicer, a 3.5-inch spear-tip paring knife, a 6-inch boning knife, eight 4.5-inch steak knives, one set of kitchen shears, a sharpening rod, and a wooden knife block.
The blade of each knife is full tang and triple riveted into the hard, ergonomically-shaped polypropylene handles for extra durability and strength. The handles themselves feature uncomfortable square edges, but are thick enough that they should not flip around in your hands. The metal bolsters on each of these knives offer a good weight distribution as well as finger protection.
The bread knife features soft, round scallops which are great for soft foods but will probably encounter difficulties when trying to bust through hard crusts. The shears are a good length and feature both a pop-top bottle opener and a nutcracker that doubles a screw-top opener.
Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Set
This 15-piece set from Cuisinart includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 5.5-inch serrated utility knife, an 8-inch slicer, a 3.5-inch spear-tip paring knife, a 3.5-inch bird’s beak paring knife, a 7-inch santoku, a set of shears, an 8-inch sharpening rod, and a black plastic knife block.
Each knife in this set is created from one seamless piece of stainless steel, making it much easier to clean than knives whose handles and blades are separate pieces of material. You will never have to worry about water, rust, or bacteria forming in the joints of these knives, because the joints simply do not exist. The steel is formed into bolsters at the base of the handles to protect your fingers as you work, and this provides a well-balanced tool. An unfortunate downside to this all-steel construction is that the handles of these knives are likely to grow rather slippery while you are using them, which may jeopardize your safety.
I must admit that I was taken aback by the fact that this set does not include a bread knife. Who includes a santoku knife in addition to a chef’s knife, as well as a slicer, but neglects to include a bread knife? Though the utility knife is serrated and would, thus, be rather useful for the task of cutting into small baked goods, at 5.5-inches, it simply is not long enough to easily cut through a loaf of bread or a large cake. I suppose that you could always purchase your bread knife separately, which many people often do when purchasing sets, but this knife block does not allow you space to store that knife once you buy it.
J. A. Henckels International Forged Premio with Block
This impressive 18-piece set features just about every knife you could ever possibly need in your kitchen. This was yet another of the many sets which came very close to making it into our Top Three Choices for kitchen knife sets. The following items are included in this set: an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 6-inch straight-edge utility knife, a 6-inch serrated utility knife, a 3-inch spear-tip paring knife, a 5.5-inch boning knife, eight 4.5-inch smooth-edge steak knives, a 7-inch santoku knife, a basic set of kitchen shears, a 9-inch sharpening rod, and a wooden block.
Each knife included with this set features a full tang, stainless steel blade which is triple riveted into the squared polypropylene handles for strength and longevity. Despite the fact that these handles are squared, they appear thick enough to allow you to grab with a decently comfortable and strong grip. Each knife features a steel bolster, designed to add a counterbalance to the weight of the blade and to protect fingers.
The chef’s knife included with this set is one of its nicest pieces and is part of what nearly pushed this set into the first place position in the Top Three Choices of kitchen knife sets. This chef’s knife features a beautiful, sweeping curve which is perfect for many of the intricate techniques for which people often use this type of knife. It also features a nice flat point near the bolster, which will allow you to chop with ease. Of course, chopping with your chef’s knife will not be necessary since this set comes with a santoku knife.
Also impressive in the chef’s knife is its bolster. Not only will the bolster protect your fingers and offer a counterbalance to the weight of the steel blade, it is perfectly shaped as if it has been pinched, which will allow you a precision grasp for more difficult tasks.
J. A. Henckels International Statement 15-Piece Set
This J. A. Henckels 15-piece set of stainless steel knives is built with full-tang blades which have been triple riveted into the tough polypropylene handles for extreme durability and strength. I doubt that these knives are perfectly in balance, as they do not feature end caps or steel bolsters. Still, the full tang of the blade and the weight of the polypropylene handles should be enough to offer a decent balance to this set.
In addition to the basic wooden knife block, this set comes with an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 3-inch paring knife, six 4.5-inch serrated steak knives, a 7-inch santoku knife, a 5-inch santoku knife, a basic set of shears, and a sharpening rod.
Yet again, as with many of the other sets on this list, I was let down by the selection of knives included with this set. In a set as large as this one with its own dedicated knife block, I would expect to see a slicer, more than one type of paring knife, a boning knife, or more steak knives before I would expect to see two different santoku knives. I suppose, though, that those people who are huge fans of santoku knives will be extremely pleased with this selection.
The Final Decision
I hope that the information and opinions included on this page have been helpful in your search for the perfect kitchen knife set. If you have reviewed each of these high-quality popular sets and still have not found the right set for you, it may be time to consider purchasing each piece separately and creating a set of your own. This website features pages about each type of knife included in each of the sets listed on this page.
I suggest checking out our individual buying guides on Steak Knives, Chef’s Knives, Kitchen Shears, Paring Knives, Bread Knives, Utility Knives, Boning Knives, Slicing Knives and Santoku Knives, as well as our buying guide for Knife Sharpeners. I have also included reviews of particular top-selling knives in each of those categories to assist you in selecting individual knives.