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The Greatest Knife Set for 2021

Most cooks and meals professionals will let you know it’s greatest to purchase kitchen knives one after the other, cherry-picking every for particular duties. However when you’re a house prepare dinner seeking to outfit a whole kitchen in a single swoop or begin contemporary with out months of buying, think about the knife set. It’s the best path to dicing onions and slicing meats easily, and infrequently less expensive, too.  

Most begin with the important trinity— chef’s knife, paring knife, and serrated knife— however some broaden onward and upward to incorporate useful instruments like poultry shears and engaging knife blocks. Learn on for our expert-sourced information to one of the best knife units for each kitchen.

Our High Picks

Greatest General: Victorinox 10-Piece Swiss Military Basic Knife Block Set

Victorinox’s 10-piece chrome steel providing is the Toyota Camry of knife units: not too fancy, well-made, and well-suited for on a regular basis use. The wallet-friendly set consists of paring, chef’s, utility, boning, and bread knives. There’s additionally a honing metal to maintain knives straight and sharp, kitchen shears for snipping duties, and a hardwood block for secure storage. No person will ooh and ahh over the plain black plastic textured handles and non-forged metal, however the 4.7 out of 5 star score (from 779 Amazon opinions!) speaks for itself.

Greatest Worth: Saveur Selects 17-Piece Knife Block Set

Generally extra is simply extra. Should you’re on the lookout for a set with much more chops than our greatest decide above, the 17-piece Saveur Selects set (designed by yours really) has an armory of choices worthy of a Recreation of Thrones episode. And thank goodness this assortment comes with its personal bamboo block as a result of that’s plenty of knives to maintain saved. Every full-tang knife—a knife made with one steady piece of metallic that extends from the tip of the blade and all the way in which to the butt of the deal with—is crafted from extraordinarily onerous and sturdy German metal, which has been hand-sharpened to a 16-degree edge. With care, this set ought to final a lifetime. And with this many knives at your disposal, let’s be sincere, you’ll seemingly by no means want to purchase one other knife ever once more.

Greatest for Small Kitchens: World Basic 3-Piece Knife Set

These had been the primary legit knives we bought a long time in the past, and we nonetheless personal the identical set at the moment. World knives are simply identifiable, because of a singular stainless-steel building spanning from the tip of the blade all the way in which to their dimpled handles as a single steady form. The long-lasting design has remained unchanged since its introduction in 1985. We’ve at all times cherished World knives for his or her dependably sharp edge, comfy textured grip, and nice steadiness. This 3-piece set is priced as a wonderful starter equipment that features the necessities—6-inch Chef’s Knife, 6-inch Serrated Utility Knife, and 3-inch Paring Knife—every at lengths pleasant to be used and storage inside small kitchens.

Greatest Japanese Metal Set: Shun Premier Blonde 5-Piece Knife Block Set

Shun knives carry a sure cachet. They’re undeniably stunning, with mild blonde Pakkawood handles capped in an embossed stainless-steel cap that subtly proclaims your discriminating style in kitchen devices. Every Japanese knife additionally exhibits off the tell-tale indicators of tsuchime, hand-hammered dimpling throughout the size of every solid blade. Shun’s proprietary VG MAX metal leads to a barely tougher and extra sturdy edge in comparison with different high-quality Japanese fashion knives. Shun knives usually value a fairly penny, so this 5-piece William Sonoma unique is a decent discount (that even features a free in-store knife sharpening).

Greatest German Metal Set: Messermeister Olivia Elite 5 Subsequent Degree Block Set

Messermeister nonetheless crafts every blade utilizing a standard (and time consuming) hot-drop and hammer forge approach that actually kilos items of metal into submission all the way down to the molecular degree. The ensuing hand-forged blades are heavier, stronger, and higher balanced than their machine stamped counterparts. You’ll discover the distinction each time you decide up a Messermeister, with its thicker backbone operating alongside the complete tang blades. And might we speak about that placing angled storage block? It’s a press release piece that’s each trendy and utilitarian—and would possibly earn much more consideration than the knives themselves.

Greatest Starter Set: Our Place Knife Trio

You might have already seen this Instagram-favorite cooking model in your feed, however we had been pleasantly stunned to find Our Place’s three knife set isn’t a case of fashion over substance. Made with German chrome steel, these full-tang blades have delicate indented grips which can be pleasant for smaller arms. The light-weight, beginner-friendly set is ideal for a university commencement or housewarming present.

Greatest Skilled Grade: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Meiji 7-Piece Block Set

Of all of the instruments in our kitchen, there’s nothing we attain for greater than a 6-inch chef’s knife designed by American bladesmith Bob Kramer, “broadly thought-about the best American knifesmith working at the moment.” Our Kramer-crafted knife retains its edge twice so long as anything we personal, with an unequalled steadiness throughout blade to deal with that at all times makes the knife really feel like an extension of our hand, whether or not we’re chopping potatoes, slicing fish, or dicing onions. Kramer’s “East-meets-West design” places Japanese aesthetics right into a Western-style curved blade form that’s simpler to maintain sharp than a standard Japanese blade and in addition means that you can rock your knife whereas chopping. It’s made with a metal core clad in 100 layers of nickel and carbon metal, completed with a particular whirled Damascus forge sample.


Chrome steel. Ceramic. Excessive carbon metal. Every materials delivers a wickedly sharp edge when model new. However a knife isn’t judged by its sharpness, fairly by how lengthy it retains that sharp edge with common use. Excessive carbon metal is taken into account one of the best of the three relating to protecting an edge. Chrome steel blades are a number of levels much less sturdy, however rust resistant. Ceramic knives are extraordinarily sharp and fully resistant to rusting, but in addition extra brittle.


Do your self a favor: Promise that you simply’ll by no means put any knives into the dishwasher or toss them loosely in a drawer the place the sting can chip or break. Retailer them safely in a knife block, or higher but, hooked up to a magnetic picket strip.


Until you want tomatoes smushed as an alternative of sliced, be taught learn how to use a sharpening metal or whetstone to maintain your knives honed. The satisfying shhhhhk-shhhhhk sound whereas sharpening metal will make you’re feeling like a complete professional.

Should you’re scared to DIY or must carry a critically dulled blade again from the brink, assist is straightforward to enlist. Head to a neighborhood knife store, sharpener, or use a mail-in sharpening service. It ought to value anyplace between $10-$45 relying upon knife measurement, fashion, and the diploma of effort required to revitalize the sting.

Ask the Consultants

How lengthy will my knife set final?

You actually get what you pay for relating to knives. Purchase a top quality solid knife made with excessive carbon metal or chrome steel, and it’s not unreasonable to count on to be slicing and dicing for many years or perhaps a lifetime with diligent care. An inexpensive kitchen knife doesn’t simply lose its edge shortly; it may additionally flex and even snap due to the lesser high quality supplies.

How do I look after my knife set to lengthen its life?

Identical to protecting your pores and skin wholesome, knives deserve a multi-step care routine to maintain them trying and dealing their most interesting. It’s best to at all times clear your knives instantly after each use with heat soapy water with a delicate material or sponge. It’s particularly essential to scrub and dry knives after chopping acidic substances like onions, tomatoes, and citrus; the acid from these meals can corrode metal over time (making ceramic blades an excellent possibility for these substances). Keep at bay corrosion from moisture with a protecting layer by making use of a little bit of impartial oil after drying.

What knives do cooks use and advocate?

Cooks are sometimes very specific about their knives and the knife makers they declare allegiance to. However one factor most cooks are likely to agree upon is that the typical family solely wants three knives within the kitchen: a 6-8-inch chef’s knife for chopping meat and slicing or dicing greens, a paring knife for peeling vegetables and fruit, and a serrated knife for slicing bread and tomatoes. Every thing else is a “specialty knife.” 

Each product is independently chosen and vetted by editors. Belongings you purchase via our hyperlinks might earn us a fee.


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