Having a set of high-quality razor-sharp knives can simplify and safeguard your time in the kitchen. Did you realize that dull blades are even more fatal? While many home cooks may get by with a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife, putting money in a set stored in a beautiful knife block adds versatility and, for true foodies, even delight to the process of preparing meals.
We’ve spent the last few weeks putting 11 of the most popular knife sets through their paces, so you don’t have to. We tested various blades by chopping, dicing, and slicing through multiple foods, including bread, fruit, meat, vegetables, herbs, and cheese. As a result, we settled on three products that are a notch above the rest and are sure to please even the most sophisticated home cook.
Our testing methodology
We put several different knife sets through rigorous testing over the course of several weeks, making careful notes on each one’s performance across a wide range of factors, from quality and materials to heaviness and hand feel to the utility of any included accessories and guarantee. We bought two of each set to assess the knives’ sharpness before and after we spent several days chopping and slicing like mad.
We spent a lot of time in the kitchen; when we started testing knives, the dining room table was soon covered with wood blocks. Who needs their apple quartered, cored, and sliced into little pieces? We have minced garlic and onions; what can we make with them? However, a choice had to be taken in the end. To better understand the results of our analysis, we compared the build, the overall performance, included accessories, and the guarantee.
This knife set was among the least expensive of the eleven we evaluated. For $129.99, it’s reasonable to assume they’re less high-quality than more costly alternatives. However, you’d be incorrect. Each component of this package impressed us with its solid build, user-friendliness, and dependable performance. Although most of the other sets we examined contained blades of superior quality and sharpness, the Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set emerged victorious when we factored in overall rankings, performance, and affordability.
The vast number of pieces included (17!) is a definite benefit. This set has a sturdy, traditional chestnut-stained wood block, eight four-1/2-inch steak knives, and sharpening steel. A chop assist, a chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife, a santoku knife, a utility knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, a paring knife, and a 5-inch santoku knife. All you need are kitchen shears, which you can get later by picking up a pair of OXO Good Grips Multipurpose Kitchen Scissors, for example.
The high-carbon stainless steel that is forged into blades is also rust-resistant. The ergonomic grips may not be large enough for some people’s hands, but they worked great for us. We were curious if we’d enjoy the poly padded handles. Still, we found them very pleasant to hold even after hand-washing the knives. Although it’s tempting to toss this set in the dishwasher, like the other knives we tested, it’s best to wash them by hand to ensure they last as long as possible.
Three of the four main knives we tested performed as well as the others when slicing through various vegetables, fruits, herbs, and other kitchen items. The Chicago’s serrated knife stood out from the different sets we checked. Because of its size, you may use it for a wide variety of tasks in the kitchen. Also, it is sharper than the Wüsthof or Zwilling versions and required almost no effort to drag through crusty bread, remove the peel from a melon, or slice ultra-thin portions from soft tomatoes or peaches.
These blades are also quite durable, so they won’t dull quickly. We tested the knives extensively and compared them against a brand-new, identical set. The Chicago Cutlery knives were as sharp as new even after being used for a great deal of slicing, chopping, and dicing. We also put the knives through the paper test, which involves slicing cleanly through a sheet of standard printer paper to ensure they are razor-sharp. These knives received top marks in every category.
Bonuses like these helped put Chicago first: Steak knives worked well, slicing down grilled filet mignon, while two santoku knives helped cut cheese, mince garlic, and clear the cutting board. (Santoku knives are very much like chef’s knives; however, they are narrower, lack a pointed tip, and typically feature tiny divots on the edges to prevent food from sticking. They include a large blade that makes quick work of chopping herbs, meat, vegetables, and cheese, as well as removing scraps from your cutting board.
This knife set is excellent if you care as much about value as you do about quality. While there are specific knives on our ranking that perform better, we were delighted by the quality and value of this set.
Suppose you’re in the market for a set of knives. In that case, you should look at this one because it stands out from the crowd in terms of sharpness, durability, ergonomics, and longevity. In addition to the 8-inch chef’s knife, 4-inch paring knife, 5-inch prep knife, an 8-inch bread knife, there are also shears, sharpening steel, and a 16-slot wooden bamboo block.
These knives are part of a set created in Germany by Zwilling J.A. Henckels, a company that has been around since 1731. As an illustration, the blade of a chef’s knife is curved broadly at the tip to accommodate a rocking motion typical in the West. Still, the back is straight to accommodate an Asian chopping technique.
The ice-hardened, finely-honed blades are the deciding factor for this set as our top pick. Thanks to their construction from a solid piece of high-carbon stainless steel, they are considerably more durable and sharper than comparable models. The blades’ edges are then angled using lasers for precision sharpness, which appears to have been effective. Our favorite knife from the Zwilling set was the chef’s knife; it sliced across a head of lettuce like nothing and made quick work of onions, carrots, herbs, and more. The fact that the chef’s knife was the set’s shining star demonstrates that Zwilling prioritized quality where it counts most: in the kitchen.
The blade of this paring knife is 4 inches long, making it significantly longer than other models, and the knife is larger than average. It looked more like a utility knife, and its big blade, while sharp, made it challenging to slice a tomato or hull a strawberry. Conversely, the utility knife was sharp enough to slice up apples and avocados easily, albeit it wasn’t quite as precise as the paring knife. Additionally, the serrated knife was our least favorite and was the most difficult to use for cutting bread.
The package boasts that the knives’ “professional pinch grip” (where the thumb and index finger rest on the blade for safer cutting) is made possible by the design’s innovative ergonomic and curved bolster (the position where the blade touches the handle). While chopping, we read this aloud and checked to ensure we were holding the knife correctly. You should expect to spend extra for this level of quality because of the care put into the design and the convenience it provides the user.
What was it that eventually prevented this product from being our top choice? For such a high price, it only comes with four knives, and the extras (a pair of shears and a sharpening steel) are awkward to use and don’t seem to go with the rest of the kit (worse quality). The high standard of construction of the knives and grips ensures that this set will be a worthwhile investment in the long run.
Stylish, classy, user-friendly, and razor-sharp. This hand-made knife set from Germany comes with the essentials for any home chef: an 8-inch chef’s knife, a three 1/2-inch paring knife, a 6-inch utility knife, an 8-inch bread knife, and more, as well as detachable kitchen shears, a 9-inch honing steel, and a 15-slot cherry block. This knife set is complete and stylish. It’s been around for a while, looks timeless, and has been expertly crafted with cutting-edge technology and a guarantee that lasts a lifetime (on materials and craftmanship under regular conditions).
The blade is a single piece of metal from tip to handle, a feature called “full tang,” The triple-riveted polypropylene handles are durable and attractive despite regular use. The knives’ double bolsters also contribute to their superior balance. The grips are thinner than those of other knives we tried, making them a good fit for a woman’s hand but disappointing our male reviewer.
Furthermore, the blades are what set this set apart from the others. Indeed, they are made of high-carbon stainless steel that has been tempered so they won’t rust or corrode. In our testing pool, a few more sets are similar. They claim to be “20% sharper with twice the edge retention” because robots sharpen the knives on a whetstone to a consistent and precise edge.
The cook’s knife (or chef’s knife, as Wüsthof likes to call it) has a substantial weight, making it an excellent option for chopping a wide variety of foods. It sliced through onions, tomatoes, and potatoes like butter, quickly removed kernels of corn from the cob, and made quick work of the hard rind of a pineapple. We found that the paring and utility knives were easy to hold and made short work of slicing through various fruits, citrus, and vegetables. Since the serrated blade of the bread knife easily sliced through our baguette loaves, we began daydreaming about being an artisan at a French boulangerie.
How do they compare to brand-new blades in terms of cutting ability? The new and old Wüsthof knives easily sliced through a sheet of paper, and we could not tell them apart based on feel, cutting performance, or the paper test results.
Wüsthof has been making knives for over 200 years, and the company’s headquarters have always been in Solingen, Germany, the steel manufacturing hub of the world. The fact that there are just four knives in the set and that it costs $450 prevented it from becoming either our top pick or runner-up. However, we believe that the traditional, exquisite collection will appear like a crown gem on your countertop and proceed to enchant it for a lifetime if you have the financial means to invest in it. Don’t be shocked when you regularly look for new items to chop.
Compared to other models, these knives performed poorly because they weren’t as sharp. After all, the hollow metal handles were too light, making them unbalanced and slippery when wet. However, we can understand how this 15-piece knife set would still appeal to someone on a tight budget and settling into their first apartment.
It’s a great buy because of its low price and its blades made of stainless steel that can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher and meet all your cutting requirements. This set includes a chef’s knife, a slicer, a santoku knife, a utility knife, a paring knife, a bird’s beak paring knife, sharpening steel, some scissors, and a block to keep everything in.
These bright kitchen blades would be a great housewarming present for a college freshman who has graduated from the dorm and moved into their first apartment. It’s best to start with compliments, as that student may have learned in a leadership class. These blades are as lovely as they are helpful. They’re colorful and lively, perfect for sprucing up your kitchen with a kaleidoscope of tones. In addition to being BPA-free, these tools also have matching sheaths, making them easy to store away in a drawer and freeing up valuable worktop space.
There’s a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a carving knife, a serrated knife, and a utility knife; all are nonstick and made of stainless steel. What about in terms of efficiency, though? They are reasonably priced and do the job. They weren’t particularly sharp right out of the box; our fingers banged up into the cutting board as we sliced, and the knives’ weighty blades felt out of proportion to their light plastic handles. We had to work hard to overcome obstacles like crusty bread, tomatoes, and more. As a whole, they do well enough to pass, but only just.
These knives are of excellent quality overall. An eight-inch chef’s knife, an eight-inch bread knife, a six-inch utility knife, a seven-inch santoku knife, a three-and-a-half-inch paring knife, eight steak knives, and kitchen shears are just some of the cutting instruments you’ll find in this set. The self-sharpening block, with its sleek, contemporary wood finish, is another highlight. The notion that the block’s integrated ceramic sharpeners would improve the knives with each usage initially seemed like a marketing ploy. Still, we were immediately delighted with the actual results.
The all-stainless, full-tang blades performed admirably, and they felt balanced in our hands despite their heaviness. We liked how the knife handles are numbered so you can quickly identify which one you need. So, what went wrong with this set? The rubber and wooden-handled sets on other options were far more pleasant to use than the metal ones. They were slippery in hand, making it challenging to maintain a firm hold.
Whether or not the glass block appeals to your sense of aesthetics, there is no denying the quality of these blades. German high-carbon steel is used in their construction. They come pre-sharpened with a bolster for added stability and santoprene handles with complete tangs for a reasonably balanced feel.
They performed admirably throughout the board; however, they have a lightweight feel. The set includes a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a boning knife, a utility knife, a paring knife, and a holder some may find divisive. The cutters range in length from 8 inches to 3.5 inches. Our ultimate verdict: while the glass block looks neat since it gives the impression that the blades are hovering in the air, the fact that you have to raise the knives vertically every time you want to use them is not ideal. Furthermore, only five blades were included (one of them was a boning knife, which is rarely used), and the tiny rubber handles weren’t very ergonomic.
This simple but functional 18-piece set is a good choice if you value diversity in your cooking but are on a tight budget. For $70, you get an above-average set that includes eight knives (a chef’s knife, a santoku knife, an eight-inch slicing knife, an eight-inch bread knife, a five-and-a-half-inch utility knife, a six-inch boning knife, a three-and-a-half-inch paring knife, and eight steak knives), kitchen shears, a sharpener, and a rubber-wood storage block.
There are ergonomic, triple-riveted handles that complement the full-tang stainless steel blades. While the chef’s knife, in particular, required more effort from us than our high-end versions, we were nonetheless pleased with the results. In conclusion, this is a good option for those just dipping their toes into the knife set pool, but dedicated chefs will want something more precise.
There has never been a set of blades so razor-sharp in our possession. We couldn’t stop marveling at the Damascus stainless steel blades handcrafted in Seki, Japan, due to their incredible strength, beauty, and sharpness. For example, when we tried to remove the core from a tomato using a paring knife, we discovered that even the slightest touch resulted in skin removal. We were also impressed with how the blades felt in our hands; despite the heft of the pakkawood handles, the blades were well-balanced.
For what reason why did this not make the top list? All you get in this costly set is a chef’s knife (which is 8 inches), a paring knife (which measures three and a half inches), and a santoku knife (which measures seven inches). We appreciated the supplied dark wood knife block, but the honing steel and shears seemed an afterthought. If you’re looking for sheer sharpness, look no further. Without a doubt, Shun comes out on top.
This reliable and flexible set came in about midway. We gave it high marks for having a variety of helpful accessories, such as sharpening steel, kitchen shears, and a hardwood block, in addition to the 15 pieces that comprise it (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 3-inch paring knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, an 8-inch bread knife, six 4-1/2-inch steak knives, and so on).
The chef’s knife is our preference, despite its lightweight feel due to its curved plastic handles and sharpened stainless steel blades. When on sale, the knives are reasonably priced, look well in their wooden block, and are already sharp. We weren’t blown away, but neither were we left feeling cheated.
Although the company boasted that this all-black set had a “menacing design,” we were expecting to be underwhelmed when we opened the box. Even though the highly stylized appearance will be deemed exceptional by some, our aesthetic preferences led us to believe that these would be more show than go. Our preconceived notions were utterly incorrect. These handles, built from military-grade G10, were surprisingly comfortable to hold thanks to their ergonomic shape and light textured surface. The German steel blades with titanium nitride coatings were extremely sharp and easily cut through whatever we threw at them.
So, what did we find unappealing about it? Even though the chef’s knife’s curved blade assisted in cutting, the blade was so thin that it seemed flimsy. The knives’ thick grips made them feel unbalanced compared to their relatively thin blades. Aside from the honing steel, the set only comprises five blades (a chef’s knife, paring knife, utility knife, serrated knife, and santoku knife) with a high price tag. Put them on your Christmas list right now if, on the other hand, your taste in home furnishings is more along the lines of Kylo Ren than Jacques Pépin.
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