Knives are arguably the most important tool in any kitchen. A good chef should have several sharp steel blades that each serve a specific purpose. Of course, the humble home cook may find it difficult to differentiate between a paring knife and a santoku, let alone decide which blades to buy. That’s where knife sets come in.
These curated collections feature all the blades one needs in their arsenal and take the guesswork out of knife shopping. Sets vary from brand to brand but the lineup typically includes a paring knife, a serrated utility knife, a standard chef’s knife and a santoku. This will allow you to slice and dice pretty much any ingredient you desire.
The very best knife sets also come housed in a block that can sit atop your kitchen counter for easy access. Certain blocks also have knife sharpeners built-in so that you can hone each blade each time you remove it or replace it. Here, we’ve selected a few such knife sets to add to your kitchen setup.
1. J.A. Henckels International Knife Set
Henckels has been catering to the home chef’s needs since 1895 and is synonymous with quality. This knife set is finished to the highest standards and showcases superb craftsmanship. Each knife is forged from premium stainless steel and satin-finished to further highlight the bevels of the blade. They’re also full tang and triple riveted for added control while cutting. The seven-piece set includes a 3-inch paring knife, a 5-inch serrated knife, a 6-inch utility knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, an 8-inch chef’s knife and some handy kitchen shears. The razor-sharp family lives in a self-sharpening block that’s crafted from stained ash wood. The block also has labeled slots so nothing gets lost.
2. Styled Settings Copper Knife Set
Copper cookware is all the rage at the moment and these knives will complement it perfectly. Designed by Styled Settings, the seven-piece set features copper accents on each individual knife, as well as the block itself. Crafted from high-quality stainless steel, every knife features a full-tang blade that’s triple-riveted to the Pakkawood handle for unbeatable balance and leverage. The bolsters have also been ergonomically engineered to stop your fingers from sliding and help you cut away safely. What’s more, each knife’s scalpel-like edge will stay nice and sharp thanks to the block’s built-in sharpening technology.
3. Sabatier Self-Sharpening Knife Set
Perfect for the meat-loving Ron Swanson’s in the mix, Sabatier’s set includes a dozen extra-sharp steak knives that will slice through a t-bone like butter. You’ll also get a couple of chef knives, a slicer knife, a fine edge utility knife and a paring knife for good measure. Each blade is expertly handcrafted crafted from high carbon stainless steel for maximum sharpness and edge retention. What’s more, every time you return a knife to its slot the built-in sharpener will automatically hone the blade to ensure it’s razor-sharp when you go to use it again. All knives are, of course, triple riveted to give you more control and better maneuverability.
4. Calphalon Silver Knife Set
If you’re after variety, opt for Calphalon’s 12-piece set. It’s by far the most versatile on our list and includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 6-inch serrated utility knife, a 5-inch santoku, a 4.5-inch paring knife, half a dozen steak knives and some heavy-duty kitchen shears. Basically, everything a budding home chef needs. Each full-tang blade is forged from high carbon stainless steel that is resistant to both stains and corrosion. They’re also triple-riveted to give you better balance when chopping. The handles, meanwhile, are contoured to encourage a nice secure grip. The block features a built-in ceramic sharpener along with labeled slots to ensure your knives are always within reach and razor-sharp.