A few items in the kitchen are as important to a chef as the best kitchen knives set. It is an integral tool for preparation of food, and the best kitchen knives set are durable, meaning with proper maintenance, they last for years.
Most guides on the web favor individual pieces over a set of knives, but there are no demerits in investing in a quality set of knives. They come in handy for new kitchens, and if chosen wisely, they add to the overall décor of your home.
A set of knives is a great option for new cooks, who may not have the time to research and purchase blades separately. I mean, buying a set of knives is fast, easy and convenient.
However, like is the case with almost any cookware, there are numerous manufacturers of kitchen knives and each is claiming to be the best. Even worse, when it comes to the best kitchen knives sets, a brand’s popularity doesn’t mean it’s giving you the best knives. It’s common to find a manufacturer selling his 3rd line knives at high price, hoping his or her brand popularity will drive the sales.
Just so you don’t hit the market blindly, there are three general types of kitchen knives that a set should contain:
Paring knife – a short knife mostly used for more precise and sophisticated cutting than the chef’s knife. It is nearly the same size as the steak knife, but with a thicker and short blade.
Chef’s knife – it is the crucial all-purpose knife for chopping, cutting, and dicing. And it features a curved blade and straight spine.
Serrated bread knife – it is ideal for cutting into something with a soft inner and hard outer layer, like sausages, bread, and fruits.
Tough and Durable Knife Bag -There is a saying that a good and sharp knife is a chef’s best friend so it should be kept and well protected.
This tough and durable knife bag is well-made with waxed canvas and leather prevents your knives from getting scratched, dinged, or damaged during transport or storage. It has 10 slots that can accommodate knives of up to 18 ½ inches, with room to spare.
Be it for chefs, students, or knives collectors, it will be very convenient to transport as it has leather side handles and adjustable shoulder strap with padding.
In this buying guide, we review the top 10 best kitchen knives sets that give value for money by making your meal prep easy and fun. But first, let’s look at the dos and don’ts of kitchen knives:
Our Favorite Kitchen Knives Sets
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A kitchen’s knife should be able to handle 90% of cutting chores, such as chopping lettuces and herbs, slicing scallions and onions, and breaking down vegetables.
Also, it should handle easy meat cuts, such as slicing chicken into strips or cubing beef for stew.
However, only a few brands live to this expectation. With that said, we used a few metrics to evaluate various online products and select the best. These include:
- Knife Sharpness
- Blade Range
- Comfortable Handle
- Knife Balance
- Knife Edge
- Maneuverability and Smooth Cut
To effectively do all the kitchen chores, your knife needs to be sharp. On a minimum, it should cut through papers and tough materials such as meat smoothly.
We all hate to work with products that keep on hurting our hands. Therefore, it makes sense to buy a knife that is comfortable in your hand. In our case, we evaluated the shape and the size of these knives to determine how comfortable they would be in your hand. After that, we looked at the knuckle clearance. You don’t want to bang the knuckles on your board while you are chopping.
Knife balance will depend on the individual taste. The handle, blade, and bolster all contribute to the product’s weight distribution. Some individuals like a blade-heavy unit, while others like a balanced one (handle and blade should be the same).
To determine this, we found that a bolster-less or half-bolster knife is heavier, while a full bolster has more weight in the handle.
Another criterion that we used to evaluate our products is the knives’ edge. Here, we turned the knives over to examine their edges.
The best knife shouldn’t reflect right when you look at them. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy a knife because it reflected light; it might just be a factory edge which you can sharpen out later.
Maneuverability and Smooth Cut
Finally, we tested the maneuverability as well as how smooth these knives cut through hard material.
Here, we diced onions, thinly sliced scallion greens, and made classic French cuts with carrots. We wanted to test whether the knives could handle delicate chores by cutting these materials and observed whether the herb’s edges turned black or bruised.
Kitchen Knives Dos and Don’ts
Don’t leave your knife in your kitchen sink – This is not only risky for the person who will wash your dishes but also bad for your knife. The blade might get scratched or even worse, the tip might bend. As soon as you are done with the knives, wash them, dry them, and put them in a safe place.
Don’t store your knife in your utensil drawer – Storing your knives in the utensil drawer is one of the unfortunate things you can do. The blades might get scratched and bend from being thrown around the drawer each time you open/close it.
Wash your knife by hand – Your dishwasher might be handy, but there is a high possibility that the blade might get dinged. Hand washing knives is always the best option.
Sharpen the blade – There are hundreds of ways to sharpen your knives: use a knife stone, honing steel, or send them to a professional.
Always chop on chopping boards – Don’t chop on your countertop – don’t try. Granite, marble, or any other surface might bend your knives (it is too hard for the blades).
Treat your knife right and it will reward you with delicious meals.
Here is a short question and answer section to help you understand the kitchen knives better.
Q. A lot of kitchen knives look the same. Why are some brands cheaper than others?
The majority of knives look similar, but it’s the construction of the unit that determines the price and quality. The forging process, the steel, the balance, and the weight are what make a knife less or more expensive.
Q. Should I buy individual kitchen knives or a knife set?
Q. What set of kitchen knives is ideal for me?
With thousands of options to choose from, it might hard to pick the perfect set of knives. First, you need to set your budget. Determine how much you wish to spend and modify your search to that budget. In most situations, the quality of a knife is directly related to the cost; a cheaper knife will use less-durable material and rust in the near future.
Q. What are the most used blade materials?
The three main materials include carbon steel, stainless steel, and ceramic.
Carbon steel knives are used often by professionals, amateur, as well as frequent knife users. They are frequently used due to their extreme sharpness and edge retention ability. On the negative side, they rust easily.
Stainless steel kitchen knives are famous for their corrosion resistance ability, but they don’t have sharp edges. This is especially true for the majority of the cheap knives on the market today, but there are also high-end alloys units on the market.
Ceramic knives are new in the market. They are pretty hard and features amazing edges but they might also be sensitive to chipping or breaking, and you cannot sharpen them using an ordinary sharpener. These products aren’t recommended for a commercial use.