All knives are created equal, right? Well, not exactly. Not only are there a range of knives for every task in your kitchen, but there are varying levels of quality for each type of blade. When you’re shopping for a new knife or knife set, sharpness, durability, ease of handling should be on your checklist. Ideally, you want a knife that’s in your budget, doesn’t need to be sharpened constantly, and feels good in your hand.
If you’re an avid cook, versatility in your kitchen tool repertoire is... crucial. The slender blade of a paring knife can speed up the prep time of smaller ingredients, while larger chef's knives can take even the toughest meats to task. All of the knife sets in our listing include the three basics—a chef’s knife, paring knife, and serrated bread knife, along with a few others depending on the set. While knife sets aren’t the best choice for everyone, they are great registry items or housewarming gifts for those who are stocking their first kitchen. These six sets are the best the market has to offer.
01 of 07
Looking for an all-around solid knife set? Look no further than this consumer favorite, which is the reigning top seller on Amazon.
Built to withstand hours of chopping, its tough, 420-grade stainless steel blades won’t dent or tarnish easily—as long as they’re washed by hand. (The dishwasher is the kiss of death for a quality knife.) The set even comes with a small towel so you can dry the knives immediately after rinsing. Consumers have reported that these blades are so resilient, they haven’t... sharpened them even several months after consistent use.
The set includes three 8-inch blades—a carving knife, chef’s knife, and a bread knife—along with a 5-inch utility knife and a 3.5-inch paring knife. For easy storage it also comes with an acrylic stand. And as an added bonus, the stand keeps little hands away from sharp edges. Because the knives are forged from a single piece of stainless steel, you won’t have to worry about loose handles either.
02 of 07
When you’re ready to splurge or upgrade, check out this premium knife set, which includes an impressive 18 pieces—the basics: a paring knife, a peeler, a utility knife, a chef’s knife, a slicing knife, a bread knife, a Partoku knife, a Santoku knife, and extras like a sharpening steel, steak knives, and a wood block to hold everything.
These forged high-carbon blades are perfect for the serious cook who wants the best. And, thanks to the innovative Taper Grind Edge Technology, edges stay sharper,... longer. But if it does begin to dull, the included sharpener will make quick work of returning your knives to their full glory.
The elegance of the stainless steel blades, black handles, and warm wood storage block make this ideal for most kitchen designs. And the included steak knives stand out with their all stainless construction.
While this set is a bit of an investment, it does come with a lifetime warranty, which makes the price tag easier to stomach. A few reviewers have reported problems with the steak knives, saying that the blades are on the fragile side. But this rare occurrence is covered and easily remedied by the lifetime warranty.
03 of 07
Looking for a starter set or just don’t have a ton to spend? Either way, this basic 4-piece set costs less than $20, is FDA-approved, and is one of the top sellers on Amazon. Plus, the stylish black blades and handles look great in any modern kitchen.
The ceramic blades of this four-piece knife set, which comes with a bread knife, chef’s knife, utility knife, and paring knife, not only prevent foods from sticking, but they are also much lighter weight than traditional metal blades. That makes... them perfect for anyone without a lot of hand strength. Plus, they’re known for keeping messes to a minimum by warding off acids and oils with ease (slice tomatoes without souring them with a metallic aftertaste) and resisting germs and bacteria. A well-balanced grip maximizes comfort and prevents the knife from slipping.
04 of 07
Another solid set, this 14-piece cutlery array from Amazon Basics offers plenty of options so you always have the right knife for the job. In addition to the standards, a chef’s knife, a slicing knife, a bread knife, a utility knife, and a paring knife, it also comes with a set of six steak knives, a sharpening steel, and kitchen shears all housed in a simple wood block.
The variety and price point make this set ideal for anyone who needs to outfit their kitchen with new knives in one go.... Newlyweds or new college grads setting up their first kitchen will get the most use out of these knives.
The only complaint is that the knives don’t stay as sharp for as long as some of the other sets on our list. Thankfully, the included sharpening steel makes this an easy problem to fix. However, you just might have to spend some time watching video tutorials for how to sharpen a knife. As with all the sets on this list, wash all of these knives by hand.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
It’s no surprise to see Cuisinart, one of the most trusted kitchen tool brands, on our list. This 15-piece stainless steel knife set, housed in a sleek black holder, is the perfect choice for a modern kitchen. Not only does this cutlery look stylish, but it is also durable and easy to use. The hollow handle makes these knives lighter than many other knives making them easy to maneuver. You just might be able to dice and mince like a Top Chef yet.
The set includes an assortment of blades including... a chef’s knife, Santoku knife, slicing knife, paring knife, serrated utility knife, shears, six steak knives, and a sharpening steel. These blades are also covered by a lifetime warranty, so you can chop away without worry.
The only complaint with this set is that the edges of the slots on the knife block are a bit jagged. Not a deal breaker in our books, but something to keep in mind.
06 of 07
If you want a full set of cutlery with a super low price tag this is the collection to buy. The 14-piece kit, which includes six steak knives, a boning knife, paring knife, bread knife, chef’s knife, Santoku knife, kitchen shears, and a wooden storage block, might not be the top contender for strength, but it wins on affordability.
Although the stainless steel blades aren’t as durable and rust resistant as the (also) affordable ceramic alternative, they’re still built for the long-haul. And even... though they’re on the lower end of the price scale, the blades maintain an elegant aesthetic.
While this set is unlikely to last you forever, it is a great starter set or option for the kitchen in a weekend cabin or summer house where you might not need everything to be top of the line.
07 of 07
While ceramic knives can’t handle all of the same tasks as steel knives, they are ideal for making super-thin slices or for cutting foods that are prone to browning, like lettuce. They also stay sharper longer than steel knives.
This three-piece set includes a 6-inch chef's knife, 5-inch micro-serrated utility knife and a 3-inch paring knife, so they’ll be great for the most common kitchen tasks. The serrated knife is particularly good for tomatoes and similar foods, while the chef’s knife... can cut a head of lettuce or slice a roast with ease. The paring knife can handle potatoes, apples, or even peaches.
One downside to ceramic knives is that they are more brittle than steel knives and can chip or break if dropped. These knives have a lifetime warranty, so you can return a chipped or damaged knife for repair or replacement. Check the warranty for details.
While ceramic knives stay sharper longer, they still will eventually require sharpening. Many sharpeners designed for home users can not be used for ceramic knives, but as these knives become more popular, more sharpeners are available. You can also return your knives to Kyocera for professional sharpening.