Step Up Your Cooking Game: The Best Knife Sets In 2022
Anyone who loves to cook understands how important a good knife set is. A quality set of knives is more effective, easier to use, and even safer than bog-standard blunt knives you can find at any supermarket. Typically made from wood or acrylic, the best knife stands and blocks will not only keep your most-used blades in one safe, neat place, but they can also make for beautiful countertop statements. Not a fan of fancy knife stands? No problem, there are plenty of quality knife sets without blocks or stands.
Whatever your style or budget, we recommend looking for a knife set that contains at least these three kitchen essentials: a chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife, and a paring knife. If you can afford and have the room, we also recommend adding a santoku knife, cleaver, utility knife, boning knife, and kitchen shears to your culinary arsenal.
Just like stone frying pans, garlic pressers, pasta makers, and kitchen torches, a great set of knives can enhance your culinary experience like you never thought possible. Whether you’re carving a chicken, prepping for dinner, or slicing an apple, a set of quality, sharp knives will get the job done quickly and efficiently. With that, it’s time to see what knives have made the cut.
- Best Overall: J. A. Henckels International Statement Knife Block Set
- Best Clear Block: Home Hero Stainless Steel Knife Set Acrylic Stand
- Best Value Set: Cuisinart Triple Rivet Collection Cutlery Block Set
- Best German Steel: Wusthof Classic 7 Piece Slim Knife Set
- Best with Magnetic Block: Mercer Culinary Genesis Magnetic Knife Board Set
- Best Basic Knife Set: Global 3-Piece Knife Set
- Easiest to Clean: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set
- Best without Block: Cuisinart Color Knife Set
- Most Comprehensive Knife Set: Dalstrong Gladiator Series Colossal Knife Block
The Best Knife Set
Leading the way for our pick of the best knife set is the J. A. Henckels International Statement Knife Block Set. With it, you get 3 paring knives, a serrated knife, a utility knife, a Santoku knife, a chef’s knife, a bread knife, and 5 steak knives along with a pair of kitchen shears. In other words, it’s got everything to cover your basic and not-so-basic cooking needs. Equally important, these knives are made of high-quality stainless steel and boast a professional satin finish to ensure durability and a sleek, stylish appearance. Even though they’re stamped and not forged, the full tang blade design means they feel secure in your hand no matter what you are preparing. And since they’re stamped, they’re also quite lightweight – ideal for home cooks.
The block makes them easy to store, but it’s a little too horizontal, which makes it difficult to retrieve the knives quickly. This is the only real issue we encountered, though. With dishwasher-safe parts, plenty of slicing and dicing options, and an elegant design, it will blend perfectly into any kitchen decor whether you want to cultivate something traditional or go all out for a more modern appearance.
For more quality blades like this, check out our guide to the best meat cleavers.
15-piece knife block set
High-quality stainless steel
Professional satin finish
Stamped, lightweight full tang design
Triple rivet handle
Dishwasher safe but hand wash recommended
- BrandZWILLING J.A. Henckels
- Weight8.6 Pounds
Comprehensive set for all your cutting tasks
Durable and shape blade
Great value set at a budget-friendly price
Block is a little too horizontal
The Home Hero Stainless Steel Knife Set Acrylic Stand is a 17-piece knife set that offers everything you could possibly need (13 chef knives!) while also coming at a spectacularly affordable price. Here, you get knives for chopping, cutting, and slicing, but there is also a carving knife, pizza knife tool, scissors, and a bonus vegetable peeler, while the honing kit means you can keep these knives sharp for years to come.
These are solid quality knives, made from stainless steel with a nonstick coating for easy cleaning. The stand may not be as stylish as the wooden block which may hinder your hopes of having the best-looking kitchen in the country, but it’s still attractive and fits in nicely with modern kitchen decors. It’s also easy to retrieve the knives from without knocking it over or causing a scene. There’s also a money back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied, but that seems unlikely, and with such a great value knife set, you’ll be able to become the master of your kitchen as soon as you pull these out of the box. Just be careful of your fingers.
17-piece kitchen knife set
Made from stainless steel
Clear, acrylic stand
- BrandHome Hero
- ModelKnife set
- Weight4.55 Pounds
All-in-one set includes everything a home cook needs
Plastic stand is not as stylish as wooden block
The color is not baked so it can scratch over time
If you’re looking for a comprehensive knife set at an affordable price, look no further than this Cuisinart Triple Rivet Collection Cutlery Block Set. This is a 15-piece set complete with sharp and reliable high-carbon stainless steel blades and a safety bolster to prevent any unfortunate accidents in the kitchen. The set includes six steak knives, a chef’s knife, a santoku knife, a paring knife, a honing steel to sharpen the edges, kitchen shears, and more.
These are also one of the most comfortable knives we’ve identified thanks to the ergonomic handle that will make that Sunday dinner food prep easier. The storage block follows the stable tradition of other examples, and the angled design means the knives are easy to pull out whenever the task demands it. They are also well-balanced to allow for controlled cutting, and the block isn’t too bulky. Overall, it’s a superb set, but we wish the steak knives continued the wooden-handle design instead of relying on plastic. It’s not a big deal, but it does make them feel a little cheaper and less durable compared to other options.
15-piece cutlery block set
High-carbon stainless steel blade
Durable safety bolster
Stainless steel rivets
Stable storage block
- Weight8.4 Pounds
Stable and controlled cutting
Lots of cutlery at a great price
Includes honing steel
Some reviewers dealt with rust so avoid the dishwasher
Not as durable as pricier knives
Looking for the best of the best? Wusthof it is, then. Beloved by professional chefs (including Gordon Ramsay), Wusthof has over 200 years of expertise in creating the perfect blade, so you can be certain you’re getting a top-of-the-line set. This is German forged steel, so it’s both sharp and easy to sharpen, making it ideal for tough kitchen tasks. The Wusthof Classic 7 Piece Slim Knife Set includes every knife a home cook needs in his or her culinary arsenal: 8″ chef’s knife, 6″ prep knife, 5″ serrated utility knife, 8″ bread knife, 3.5″ paring knife, plus kitchen shears.
Each knife in this set is fully forged, full tang high-carbon stain-resistant stainless steel with bolster that helps add balance and weight. Wusthof use new Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) to ensure the edge of the blade is precise and uniform from the tip to the heel, and this same tech also gives a 20% sharper blade and promises double edge retention. As for the block, it is made from acacia wood and has a small footprint to maximize your counter space. Whether you’re looking for professional knives for culinary school or for home use, this is one of the best knife sets around and one we think is worth the splurge.
Our guide to the top sushi knives features more quality blades for your kitchen, so be sure to check them out.
7-piece slim knife set
High carbon stain-resistant stainless steel
Fully forged, full-tang triple-rivet handle
58 Rockwell hardness
14-degree cutting edge on each side
- Weight8 Pounds
Ultra-sharp, durable blade
Keeps the edge for long and is easy to sharpen
Beautiful, space-saving wood block
One of the more expensive knife sets
Once you try the best, all other knives will seem dull and subpar in comparison
If you’re of the opinion that you know your way around a kitchen and want the best of the best choices for your chef knife set, the Mercer Culinary Magnetic Knife Board Set is the only one you should ever consider. While this set may not be as comprehensive as others (it only contains 5 knives), it still demands attention, and is a perfect choice if you’ve already got the basic knives but would prefer higher quality for special occasions. Additionally, Mercer is one of the few brands accepted in culinary schools, so you know they’re the real deal.
The blade is precision forged for ultimate quality while the angled construction ensures a sharp and fine blade even after months of use. The elegant wood handle is easy to grip and comfortable for extensive chopping sessions, while the whole set overall is a dream to look at. However, we’d only recommend this set if you’ve got the space for it. The stand is good-looking, but if you have any low-hanging kitchen cupboards, it might make it a little tricky to position properly. Another issue is safety: the knives are easier to retrieve compared to blocks, so keep the set out of reach of any children. Overall though, this is one of the best knife sets on the market, so whether you’re looking for quality blades for culinary school or a set to enhance your cooking experience at home, this is a fantastic option.
For cheese lovers, we have prepared our selection of the best cheese knife sets, so check them out.
6-piece magnetic knife board
Precision-forged German steel blades
Taper-ground to stay sharper longer
Elegant leaflet acacia wood
Lifetime limited warranty
- BrandMercer Culinary
- Weight13 Pounds
Well balanced with great bolsters
Sharp and holds the edge well
Attractive and modern looking
Tricky to position if you have low cupboards
Made in Japan, Global knives are some of the finest knives in the world, and we mean this both figuratively and literally. These are thin, delicate and ultra-sharp knives that excel at precise cuts. This Global 3-Piece Knife Set, in particular, includes a 7″ hollow edge Asian chef’s knife, a 5″ prep knife, and a 3.5″ paring knife, making it a fantastic basic knife set everyone should have in their kitchen.
Crafted from Cromova 18 high carbon stainless steel and sharpened on both sides, these blades make short work of any cutting tasks in the kitchen. The chef’s knife is ideal for meat and fish as well as vegetables, the versatile paring knife is perfect for peeling, cutting and garnishing fruits and vegetables, while the prep knife excels at slicing and chopping smaller fruits and veggies. We’re also fans of the hollow edge on the chef’s knife as it prevents food from sticking from the blade. If you’re looking for a simple but top-quality kitchen knife set and you prefer Japanese steel, this is a fantastic set. We only wish it also included a santoku knife.
You may also like some of the quality carving forks from our list, so check them out.
3-piece knife set
Cromova 18 high carbon stainless steel
Hollow edge on chef knife
56-58 Rockwell rating in hardness
- Weight1 Pounds
Top-quality basic knife set
Lightweight and comfortable to hold
Delicate so prone to chipping if you’re not careful
The 15-piece Cuisinart Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set is another solid choice for those looking for a reasonably priced option but still chasing the excellent quality you need from a kitchen knife set. These blades offer precise cutting, while the hollow handle makes them lightweight and easy to control, although this could affect the durability, especially if you’re lax on sharpening them.
They are easy to clean and even dishwasher safe, while the lifetime warranty ensures you can overcome any issues you encounter with a (hopefully) simple email to the manufacturer. The precision tapered blades mean excellent performance, and the ergonomic handle is comfortable for anyone to use. Like anytime you deal with something that is entirely metal, though, there’s the risk of rusting, especially if you do not dry them properly after washing them, either by hand or in the dishwasher. As long as you remember to dry them thoroughly, though, you’ll enjoy years of superb slicing with no need to break the bank to buy them.
You may also like some of the most reliable butcher knives from our list, so be sure to check them out.
15-piece knife block set
High-carbon stainless steel blades
- Weight8.11 Pounds
Fantastic value knife set
Six steak knives and sharpening steel included
Sharp right out of the box
Easiest to clean
Prone to rusting if not dried correctly
Handles on steak knives could be longer
While all of these sets are great and most offer fantastically affordable knives for home use, the Cuisinart Color Knife Set is our choice for the best budget option around. It’s a 12-piece color-coded set that can help prevent cross-contamination for big meal preparation and it includes everything you could possibly need for any cutting tasks in the kitchen (aside from the cutting board).
Made with stainless steel with a non-stick ceramic coating, these knives chop and slice your fish and meat, onions, mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini with ease. While there’s no block or stand to store the knives, each knife has its own blade guard to help protect the little ones (and the big ones, too) from cutting themselves. They are very sharp straight out of the box, which is obviously a good thing, however, this means that unless you’re careful, it’s a little too easy to cut yourself. Bear in mind that like most kitchen knives, these are not dishwasher safe; in fact, you should be careful and gentle when washing and drying them to preserve the paint.
Find more amazing kitchen tools by checking out our guide to the most sought-after electric knives.
Color-coded 12-piece knife set
Stainless steel with non-stick coating
Each knife has its blade guard
Lmited lifetime warranty
- Weight2.17 Pounds
Complete set at an affordable price
Very sharp blades cut effortlessly
Colorful and fun design will brighten up any kitchen
A little too easy to cut yourself
Paint coating can flake off if you’re not careful with washing and drying
If you’re looking for a comprehensive knife set that offers excellent quality and high-end performance for pro chefs and busy home cooks, we highly recommend this Dalstrong Gladiator Series Colossal Knife Block. Crafted with high-carbon German steel that is precisely tempered and stain-resistant, these knives will last a lifetime. The 18-piece knife block set set includes a bread knife, slicer knife, Kiritsuke knife, santoku knife, chef’s knife, nakiri knife, paring knife, utility knife, boning knife and more, making it a kitchen workhorse.
Precision-forged from a single piece of German steel, these knives are sturdy, ultra-sharp, with excellent wear and stain resistance. The knife handles are triple-riveted and made from ABS polymer, providing a comfortable grip. The handmade acacia wood block looks gorgeous on any countertop, but is, of course, large so it takes up quite a bit of space. We’re huge fans of the Dalstrong Cimitar Butcher Knife (read the in-depth review here) and we’ve no doubt that this comprehensive knife set is just as good.
18-piece knife block set
High-carbon German steel
Hand polished edge at 16-18 degrees
Triple-riveted ABS polymer handles
56+ Rockwell hardness
Hand-made acacia wood block
- Weight21 Pounds
Fantastic value for the price
Has possibly the best steak knives out there
Perfectly weighted and extremely sharp
Makes for a great centerpiece to any kitchen
Extremely sharp, so treat them with respect
Why Trust Us
We firmly believe that knives are the most important tools for cooks, professional chefs and home cooks included. So, to give you the very best knife sets, we spent over 18 hours researching the market, comparing the best sellers, and reading customer reviews. We also included a variety of knife sets so whether you're looking for a basic three-knives set or a comprehensive 18-piece one, you're guaranteed to find it here.
Who This Is For
This guide is for anyone looking for great-quality knife sets. Whether you're a home cook looking to upgrade your cutlery or a professional chef on the lookout for the newest and greatest knives, we've got you covered.
How We Picked
We chose knife sets based on the blade material, the number of knives included in the set, brand reputation and customer reviews, and of course, the price. We included a variety of knife set recommendations for all types of cooks and all budgets.
Features To Look For In Knife Sets
Whether you’re a professional chef or just someone who loves to get creative in their home kitchen, knowing what features to look for in the best knife sets will give you a great idea of which knife block set is the right for you. While novices may not notice the difference, those in the know understand what makes a good knife but also what makes a great one. Ultimately though, the most important thing to consider when buying a knife set is whether or not it suits your own cooking style.
Quality of steel - High-quality steel means the blade will stay sharp for longer and also make it easier to cut food. High carbon stainless steel is the most common, even in some more expensive knives, but there are other options including precision-forged German steel, which helps the blade maintain its edge.
Weight - A well-weighted knife makes it easier to control, especially if you’ve neglected to sharpen it recently. This also makes it less prone to slipping and therefore much safer to use. If you’re cutting a lot of food to prepare for a big meal, a well-weighted and balanced knife is easier on the wrist, too.
Sharpening - Most knives arrive sharp out of the box, so that’s one thing you need not worry about after ordering your knife set. However, they will not stay sharp forever, regardless of how excellent the blade is. Some knife sets come complete with a sharpening tool (some may have built-in ceramic sharpeners while others may include just a honing steel) to maintain a sharp and safe edge, but not all of them do, so you need to decide whether you want to invest in perhaps cheaper knives with a sharpener or buy a quality one separately.
Type of knife set - While you can technically use any type of knife for any type of food, this is something professional and experienced chefs would gasp at. A well-rounded kitchen knife set provides options for all types of food, so you never need to overuse one when preparing food. As a general rule, wide blades are more suitable for cutting fruit and vegetables, whereas thinner blades are better for meat and fish. Novices may not feel like this is a big deal, but it will make their chopping endeavors much more enjoyable and puts less strain on the knife.
Number of knives - Maybe you cook all the time, maybe you only cook for a special occasion. You can think about this when choosing the number of knives in a set. There’s no point in spending money on knives you’ll never use, so consider that when looking for the perfect knife set for you. Of course, if you want to start cooking more, then buying a 15-piece set over a 6-piece set may encourage you to get going.
Price - It’s always tempting to buy the best and most expensive of anything, or alternatively, the cheapest of anything. But this could end up being a waste of money in the long run. Think about how often you will use the knives and decide what is an appropriate amount to spend from there.
Cleaning - Keeping your knives clean is crucial to ensure their longevity and prevent cross-contamination. Some knives are dishwasher safe, but not all of them are. In fact, we don't recommend washing your pricy knives in a dishwasher, ever. Unless stated otherwise, wooden handles are not suitable for the dishwasher, but metal or plastic can be. Whatever way you choose to wash your knives, be sure to dry them sufficiently to prevent the blade from rusting.
Types Of Knife Sets
Block - A knife block is the classic type of knife set you’re most likely to find on the market. It has stations for all the knives you’ll need and is often compact enough to fit on the countertops. Most of the time, the block is angled to make it easier to retrieve the knives whenever you need them.
Stand - Acrylic stands are more common in smaller knife sets, and they are see-through to ensure you pick out the most suitable knife each time. While some might say they look cheap compared to wooden blocks, this is really more about preference than anything else.
Magnetic board - A magnetic board looks modern and minimalist. It also offers the best of both worlds: it's stylish like the block, but also makes the knives easy to identify. While magnetic boards undoubtedly look cool, there are some concerns about safety if you have kids.
Knife Set FAQ
Q: How do you care for your knives?
A: To keep your knife set in tip-top shape for as long as possible (ideally for a lifetime), it's important to hone and sharpen each knife regularly, wash them properly and dry them immediately after washing. While some manufacturers claim their knives are dishwasher safe, we always recommend hand washing your knives to ensure their longevity. A little soap, warm water and a non-abrasive sponge/cloth is all you need. Also, you should always make sure you're cutting your food on wooden cutting boards.
Q: How many knives do you really need?
A: This depends on your needs and cooking style! Some folks only need three knives - a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife - while others cannot imagine functioning without at least 10 knives in their kitchen. Regardless of what and how often you cook, we recommend getting a set of at least three knives.
Q: Where should I store my kitchen knives?
A: Ideally, in the block or stand the knives come in. If you don't have a knife block or stand and cannot afford to purchase one at the moment, we recommend getting sheaths or blade guards for your knives. The last thing you want is to keep your knives loose in a drawer.
Q: How often should knives be sharpened?
A: Most experts recommend sharpening your knives every few months, depending on how often you use them. However, to keep a straight edge on your knives, you should hone them after every two to three uses. It's also recommended that you have your knives professionally sharpened once a year.
Q: Should you wash a knife after sharpening?
A: To remove any excess metal shavings after sharpening your knife, you can quickly rinse it and then immediately dry it with a soft towel. Make sure you thoroughly dry your knife after rinsing!