The Best Knife Set You Can Buy Right Now

What's the best knife set out there? Check outThe Knot’s picks and find the best knife set to buy or put on your wedding registry.
by The Knot
  1. Best chef and steak knife set

    If you spend a significant amount of time preparing food, you know how important it is to have the best knife set that you can afford. Knives are precision instruments that require top-notch manufacturing technology and craftsmanship.

    What is a knife set?

    A knife set is a collection of two or more knives of different types and sizes for food preparation. Most people tend to agree that a knife set must consist of the following at a minimum:

    • Chef’s knife: This is the essential all-purpose knife for cutting, chopping and dicing. It has a straight spine and a curved blade. The most popular lengths are 8 and 10 inches.
    • Paring knife: This is a short knife for more exact and intricate cutting than the chef's knife. It's similar in size to a steak knife with a thicker, shorter blade.
    • Serrated utility knife or bread knife: You'll need one or the other, if not both. A bread knife is longer and more serrated than a serrated utility knife. The serrated blade is for cutting into things with a hard outer layer and soft inner, such as bread, sausages, tomatoes and fruits.

    Here at The Knot, we're bringing you the best knife set picks to help you make the best choice for your home. We looked at cutting force and sharpness of the blade, quality of build and material, feel and balance of the grip and motion, price and value, and typical sharpening interval when curating our list.

    In this Article:

  2. Best All-Around Knife Set

    The best knife set should include just enough but no more than the necessary number of blades for a working kitchen. In addition to the three main knives listed above, it's our opinion that the best kitchen knife set should include a Santoku knife, a pair of kitchen shears and a few steak knives.

    The Santoku knife is the Japanese interpretation of the Western chef's knife. The spine of a Santoku knife curves down to meet its straight blade at the tip. The sides just above the blade are scalloped to prevent food sticking. The combined feel and command of the Santoku knife are an improvement over the chef’s knife in certain slicing and chopping actions, which explains its popularity with celebrity chefs on various cooking shows.

    A good pair of kitchen shears rounds out a quality knife set simply because they're so useful, and steak knives are a bonus since you won't have to search elsewhere for a good set.

  3. Wusthof Classic Ikon 11-piece best knife set

    We found that this professional-looking black and silver Wusthof knife set meets all our specifications. The Classic Ikon is the more affordable version of the legendary German knife-maker's high-end Ikon series, and you won't want to settle for anything less after getting your hands on the Ikon. It's the best Wusthof knife set out there.

    Wüsthof Classic Ikon 11-Piece knife set, $800,

  4. Henckels International classic 15-piece best knife set

    Henckels is the other famous German knife-maker. The best Henckels knife set is a solid runner-up to the unparalleled Wusthof brand. Henckel is now manufactured in two divisions; Zwilling Henckels in Germany and Henckels International in other countries. We like this Henckels International Classic series for its value—the quality is on par with the higher-end Zwilling and Wusthof. We found it impossible to find a better knife set at this price point.

    Henckels International classic 15-Piece knife set, $300,

  5. Best Chef Knife Set

    Chef knife sets are simply streamlined versions of regular knife sets. They typically include a paring knife, a serrated utility knife and a chef's knife. An accomplished chef wouldn't need a cleaver, which is the tool of a butcher. He also wouldn't need a boning knife, a bread knife, or a carving knife, because the chef would have a line cook to do all those types of cutting. For the best chef knife set, we opted for quality over quantity.

  6. Global classic 6-piece knife block set

    Global knives are made in Japan by Yoshikin of Japan (made of Japanese steel). This is their highly-acclaimed series made with CROMOVA 18 steel, a proprietary stainless steel alloy that's high carbon and tough, meaning the blades and razor-sharp edges stay sharp for a long time. We found this to be the best chef knife set for the serious chef who can do it all. It comes with the three main knives plus a boning knife, a bread knife and a carving knife.

    You'll love how comfortable they are to grip as well—each knife's handle is contoured and dimpled for a perfect balance and grip. 

    Global classic 6-piece knife block set, $400,

  7. Shun Fuji 3-piece best chef knife set

    Shun Cutlery is the most revered maker of high-performance knives in Japan. This minimalist Fuji collection is the best professional knife set, coming with just the three main knives: a 3.5-inch paring knife, 6-inch serrated utility knife and an 8.5-inch chef’s knife (each one of them handcrafted with Damascus steel in Japan). It might be on the pricier side, but this is the best chef knife set for an accomplished chef—this top-rated knife set is a minimalist masterpiece. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty. 

    Shun Fuji 3-piece chef knife set, $800,

  8. Best Knife Set Under $100

    Of course, not everyone wants to shell out a car payment on a set of knives. That's why we’ve rounded up several of the best knife sets under $100 that are still the best of the best, because you definitely shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality to get an affordable knife set.

  9. Lenox L-22514 6-piece best knife set

    The surprisingly well-built Lenox L-22514 is the best affordable knife set on the market. In addition to the three main knives, this set includes a Santoku knife, a bread knife and a pair of kitchen shears (and all the slots are labeled, making this the best starter knife set). The set feels luxurious despite its low price—the knives are made of German steel and the knife block is crafted from beautiful inlaid bamboo. Plus, the bolster (or metal joint) of the blade and handle is a forged design for safety, making it safe-to-use for all family members. 

    Lenox L-22514 6-piece knife set, $60,

  10. Zwilling Henckels Twin Signature 6-piece best knife set

    This is the best affordable knife set from a major brand. These knives from the German division of Henckels were precision stamped from a single piece of German steel with their trademark TWIN process. This set includes the three main knives plus the sharpening steel and a pair of shears.

    Zwilling Henckels TWIN signature 6-piece knife set, $100,

  11. Best Knife Set Under $200

    If you’re looking for a middle-of-the-road knife set that gives good quality and a larger number of knives, then look no further. We’ve included several of the best knife sets under $200, which strike a balance between quality and quantity, with a slight tilt toward more pieces in the set.

  12. Wusthof gourmet 7-piece starter knife block set

    Precision-stamped from high-carbon German stainless steel, this 7-piece knife set provides sharp, effortless slicing, and the natural maple stain will look aesthetically pleasing on any countertop. Plus, the matted, slip-resistant handles are ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use. 

    Wusthof gourmet 7-piece starter knife block set, $150,

  13. Best Steak Knife Set

    A great steak knife should be able to handle even the thickest cut of meat with ease. We recommend stainless steel over carbon since stainless is more durable against a hard dinner plate. And most chefs agree that serrated or plain edges are both suitable for the best steak knives—it’s a personal choice. We tested out two top-rated steak knife sets for your consideration.

  14. Messermeister Avanta 4-piece best steak knife set

    The top-rated Messermeister Avanta steak knives are among the best steak knife sets you can buy. Made of top-class German stainless steel with a strong, firm triple-riveted handle, these knives can easily handle any cut of meat. Plus, the set comes with a lifetime warranty. 

    Messermeister Avanta 4-piece steak knife set, $50,

  15. Shun Shima 4-piece best steak knife set

    Williams Sonoma’s magnificent Shun Shima steak knives are the best quality knife set for the true steak aficionados out there, made of top-grade AUS8A Japanese high-carbon stainless steel. Named after the famous Shima Steakhouse in Tokyo that serves the most exotic marbled beef, all well-heeled steak lovers should probably own a set of these. And they're definitely worth the splurge—all blades are stylishly curved with precision 16-degree razor sharp edges, outfitted with super luxurious and comfortable handles. 

    Shun Shima 4-piece steak knife set, $200,

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, some of which may be sponsored by paying vendors.

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