The 17 Best Knife Sets—Including One That’s Ina Garten-Approved

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)
·10 min read

Whether you’re a regular Iron Chef or you just figured out how to make a grilled cheese (congrats!), the truth remains: You need a few knives you can depend on. We narrowed down countless options to find the 17 best knife sets on the internet—and discovered that there truly is something for everyone. Now, let’s cut to the chase.

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1. Henckels 1895 Refined 15-Piece Knife Block Set

Best for honing your knife skills

This pick has nearly 300 five-star reviews on Bed Bath & Beyond for good reason. The stainless-steel set includes lightweight, high-end tools ranging from a paring knife to a bread knife and even an eight-inch chef’s knife. You’ll also score two Santoku knives, famous for their flat blades that stay still and steady when in use (think cleaver meets chef’s knife), along with a handy sharpening steel and a pair of kitchen shears. The full tang design (meaning the tang of the knife is visibly sandwiched between two halves of the handle and extends the full length of the grip) makes the knives super easy to maneuver and allows for more force to be applied to the blade. Did we mention they’re dishwasher safe?

Buy it ($216; $150)

2. Cuisinart Classic Stainless Steel 17-Piece Knife Block Set

Best for frequent hosts

This Cuisinart set boasts ergonomic handles and durable, long-lasting blades made from high-carbon stainless steel. It’s loaded with the basics—all constructed with forged blades—like a serrated utility knife, paring knife, slicing knife and bird’s beak paring knife, plus accessories like kitchen shears and a sharpening steel. If you have company over to eat regularly (especially during barbecue season), you’re in luck since you’ll also have eight new steak knives at your disposal.

Buy it ($100)

3. SALT 5-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Block Prep Set

Best value

This one goes out to all those with minimal counter space and modest culinary aspirations. If you have no use for a giant bread knife or fancy cheese slicer, this set hooks you up with exactly what you need—and nothing more. It does include chef, Santoku, utility and paring knives with durable, stainless-steel blades and ergonomic, easy-to-hold handles. All four have straight cutting edges and a full tang design. And since the handles are hollow, they’re all super lightweight. You’ll have to wash each knife by hand, but it’s worth the elbow grease: Odds are they’ll last longer and stay sharper if they stay out of the dishwasher.

Buy it ($20)

4. Chicago Cutlery Rustica 7-Piece Knife Block Set

Coolest design

Sure, these forged high-carbon stainless steel knives are durable, easy to control and fitted with triple-riveted wooden handles. But the real reason we fell for this set is the open wood knife block. It’s secure yet so much sleeker than bulky Western-style knife blocks, and it will definitely look très chic on your kitchen counter. The set includes paring, produce, utility, Santoku, bread and chef’s knives, all with a full tang design and Signature 26-Degree Taper Grind edges that allow for maximum precision and easy sharpening. The knives also have great edge retention, meaning they’re coated to protect against both corrosion and rust.

Buy it ($104; $90)

5. Tools of the Trade 15-Piece Cutlery Set

Best for beginners

Consider this a solid middle-of-the-road option. It’s reasonably priced and a great compromise between splurging on an over-the-top set and settling for a cheap one that won’t last. It comes with the essentials, including a paring knife, chef’s knife, Santoku knife and shears, as well as the unique addition of a tomato knife. Each handle is balanced and weighted, which provides strength to your cuts and makes the knives easy to handle. The set also comes with six steak knives that’ll come in handy during dinnertime. We also love that the knife block is black instead of typical wood—it might just fit your kitchen’s color scheme like a glove.

Buy it ($70)

6. Shun Kanso 6-Piece Cutlery Set

The splurge

Fans of Japanese-style knives: Look no further. These full tang beauties are made from quality, high-carbon Japanese steel and have razor-sharp edges that can handle any culinary challenge you throw their way. The contoured handles, made from tagayasan wood native to Southeast Asia, allow for full control and optimal balance. The set also comes with a paring knife, Santoku knife, utility knife and chef’s knife, but the block has four spare slots, should you decide to add more to your collection. Imported from Seki City, Japan, the knives will maintain their sharp edges way longer than the average blade, but if yours gets dull after a while, don’t worry: Every purchase includes free sharpening for life.

Buy it ($670)

7. Cuisinart 10-Piece Ceramic-Coated Cutlery Set

Best for cramped kitchens

No space for a knife block? No worries. These cuties (styles include chef’s, slicing, Santoku, serrated utility and paring knives) can be stored in a drawer instead of on the counter thanks to their protective blade guards. Not only are the vibrant colors easy on the eyes, but they also help you keep track of your mise en place and avoid cross-contamination. The ceramic coating ensures the blades are nonstick, so they’ll slide right through veggies, meat and whatever else you need to prepare.

Buy it ($40)

8. Farberware 22-Piece High-Carbon Stainless Steel Cutlery Set

The fan favorite

Not only does this knife set have nearly 4,000 rave ratings on Amazon, but Farberware claims these blades never need sharpening. We know, we know: How is that even possible? Well, the knives are designed with micro-serrations that make slicing a breeze. In addition to being super sharp, they’re equipped with nonslip, triple-riveted handles that are equal parts durable and maneuverable. We like this set for newbies (or new homeowners), since it comes with a slew of other basics, including three rubber spatulas, measuring spoons, six steak knives and kitchen shears.

$20 at Amazon

9. Home Hero Stainless Steel 17-Piece Knife Set

Most unconventional

How cool and futuristic is this funky knife stand? Complete with 13 knives, kitchen scissors, a peeler and a two-stage knife sharpener, this set will have you slicing and dicing everything from meat to bread with ease. The blades have ergonomic handles and are coated with nonstick paint, so they slide through food easily and won’t rust over time. In addition to the usual suspects, like a chef’s knife, carving knife and utility knife, it also comes with blades especially for steak, cheese and—wait for it—pizza.

$50 at Amazon

10. Wüsthof Classic 6-Piece Knife Block Set

Best for aspiring chefs

If they’re good enough for Ina Garten, they’re good enough for us. These German gems hail from the steel manufacturing capital of the world, Solingen, and are designed with unique Precision Edge Technology. That’s a fancy way of saying the knives’ edges are created from a computer-controlled, laser-guided method that makes them 20 percent sharper and twice the edge retention than the average blade. (No wonder the Barefoot Contessa recommends them.) Treat yourself to the paring, bread and cook’s knives, along with a honing steel and kitchen shears. Your inner Ina will thank you.

Buy it ($508; $300)

11. KitchenAid 14-Piece Triple Rivet Cutlery Set

Most practical

Your KitchenAid Stand Mixer is lonely. And its soulmate just might be this knife set made of German stainless steel. You’ll get chef, slicer, utility, Santoku and paring numbers, equipped with razor-sharp edges and serious durability. Unlike a lot of knife sets on this list, they’ve been tested to withstand your dishwasher (although handwashing is always safer). Our favorite part? The knife block’s built-in diamond grit sharpener. It makes sharpening so convenient that you’ll…well, actually remember to do it.

$130 at Amazon

12. Global Classic 5-Piece Knife Set with Magnetic Bar

The space saver

Want to chop it up in the kitchen like the late Anthony Bourdain? Start by using his favorite knife. In addition to the Global Classic chef’s knife, you’ll also get the paring, vegetable and flexible utility knives, plus a magnetic storage bar that affixes to your kitchen wall, making this the ultimate space saver. It keeps your knives from being improperly stored (read: tossed haphazardly in a drawer), which can lead to unnecessary dulling of their blades. The quarter-inch edges also have impressive retention, due to being ground to a point for extra sharpness.

Buy it ($633; $350)

13. Marco Almond Rainbow Titanium Knife Set

Most Instaworthy

We owe Selena Gomez and her HBOMax Show, Selena + Chef, big time for this tip; the singer uses this shimmery set in just about every episode of the cooking show. If you’re thinking they’re too pretty to be high quality, think again: One of the guest chefs on the show made Gomez slice through a sheet of paper with it to prove her knife was the real deal. The stainless-steel blades—chef’s, slicing, bread, Santoku, utility and paring knives, plus six steak knives—are coated in rust-proof titanium, so they’ll stay beautiful forever. If the oil slick/turquoise combo doesn’t speak to you, we also love the look of the luxe golden titanium blades with black handles. They’re just begging to be shown off on your food blog.

$71 at Amazon

14. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Gourmet Self-Sharpening 7-Piece Block Set

The two-in-one

We love a multitasker. Every time you store these knives in the wood block, you’ll also be sharpening their edges, thanks to sharpening steel being built into each of the block’s slots. The bread, chef, Santoku, paring and fine-edge prep knives are made of maneuverable, lightweight high-carbon steel and are precision-stamped. The three-riveted handle and full tang design make them comfortable to hold and will help you keep a steady hand. Bonus? There’s storage space for eight more steak knives.

Buy it ($250)

15. Cangshan S1 Series 6-Piece Steel Forged Knife Block Set

Most modern

Made from German steel, these blades have the durability of European-style knives with all the precision and sharpness that Japanese models are known for. The steel is highly stain-resistant, so it’ll stay sleek and shiny for the long haul. The Santoku, chef’s, bread, utility and paring knives have a rating of 58 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, meaning your blades will definitely maintain those sharp edges over time. We love the one-of-a-kind crème-colored handles, too.

$150 at Amazon

16. Nanfang Brothers Kitchen Damascus 9-Piece Kitchen Knife Set

Best affordable Japanese-style set

OK, so $180 isn’t exactly a bargain. But Japanese knife sets can be way more expensive (we’re talking into the thousands), so this is actually one of the better values out there. These Damascus steel blades with Japanese VG10 steel cores have hardness ratings as high as 62, meaning they’re pretty damn sharp and are primed to stay that way…like, forever. No worries if you think they start to lose their edge though: The set includes a sharpener for easy maintenance, along with a chef’s knife, bread knife, slicing knife, Santoku knife, utility knife and paring knife.

$180 at Amazon

17. Forte 13-Piece Knife Block Set

Most stylish

Who knew knives could be this elegant? This set is honestly like jewelry for your kitchen counter. And we’re suckers for the magnetic storage block, which is like a hybrid between a traditional knife block and a magnetic wall bar. The high-carbon stainless steel blades are copper titanium-plated, which protects them against damage and dulling. They’re nestled in soft-grip ergonomic handles complete with counterweight end caps. The set includes a few steak knives, essentials like a chef’s knife and bread knife, plus a bird’s beak, prime for peeling and slicing soft fruits.

Buy it ($175; $115)

RELATED: 7 Kitchen Essentials Every Cook Needs, According to Ina Garten

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