Few utensils can make or break a recipe quicker than a knife.
That's why any good chef knows the value of having the best knife set available. If you're looking to replace your current knives, do your homework. After all, there's a lot of difference between any two sets.
An inexpensive mass produced set from the local department store might get the job done -- for a while. But if it's not crafted perfectly and made of the finest materials, it could rust, dull and otherwise become ineffective. And that can be both frustrating and dangerous in the kitchen. So keep reading for a description of a few brands we think could be the best knife set for you.
The Best Knife Set for All Your Upscale Cooking Needs
So which knives are right for you? Some of that has to do with your cooking style and preferences. The best knife set could have just a few pieces to it if you won't be using the specialty knives. Or you might want a much larger selection to really access your mise en place potential.
Either way, though, you'll want the knives to be expertly designed and constructed. Choose products shown to remain sharp and resist rust. They should also be comfortable and easy to use. Whether in a traditional block or by other means, you should also have a way to safely store your set. We feel each of the products listed below meet or exceed those requirements.
1. J.A. Henckels International Forged Premio 19-piece Knife Set with Cherry Block
The J.A. Henckels company has long established a reputation as one of the world's finest knife makers. And if you're looking for a complete set of traditional favorites, this might do the trick. Start with an eight inch chef's knife and eight serrated steak knives. You'll also find two paring knives, a serrated utility knife, a boning knife and a six inch utility knife. There's also a seven inch hollow edge Santoku knife and an eight inch bread knife.
These products will reliably arrive sharp and stay sharp. But the set also comes with a sharpening device meant to maintain your blades after heavy use. There's also a great pair of kitchen shears. And it all comes in a simple wood block with an upscale cherry finish.
All of the large knives are made of forged metal and are expertly balanced for great control. The handles have three rivets and everything fits together precisely. And the stamped metal steak knives are perfect for cutting through any entree. Add to all that a lifetime warranty and you can count on performance for years to come.
2. Cangshan Cutlery N1 Series German Steel 22-Piece German Steel Knife Block Set
Whether you've heard of Cangshan or not, this might be the best knife set to display its mastery. For starters, the company has perfected the straight edge design that keeps knives exceptionally sharp. The hollow handles of the N1 series are uniquely beautiful and elegantly simple.
But it is one of numerous handles the company offers to match the style and substance of any kitchen. We think this design is sleek and modern while retaining the precision and balance Cangshan is known for. With 17 knives in the beautiful block, you'll have access to anything you might need.
In addition to their beauty, these knives are also supremely functional. You can tell from handling them that they are built to last with no gaps or misalignment to be found. The German alloy steel will give you consistent strength and longevity. They rank among the very top in testing for sharpness and edge retention. Through a perfected finishing process, these knives are up to the toughest tasks and they're easy to keep clean. Better still, they look great in against the backdrop of almost any modern luxury kitchen.
3. Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Magnetic Board Knife Set
Looking for something a bit different than the traditional block? Here's a unique take on the magnetic storage board. It features an elegant design to keep the small set safely displayed when not in use. The angle of the board itself makes the knives easy to retrieve the one you need.
As for the five knives that come with it, they are among the finest available. Forged German steel make them extremely tough. And they are designed with a tapered edge for a long life to their sharpness. All of them attach securely to the board and offer an elegant look that will complement your kitchen.
4. Wusthof Classic 16-piece Acacia Knife Block Set
Here's another large selection in a more traditional package. Wusthof once again demonstrates a clear understanding of excellent knife construction. And with a range of options in this 16 piece collection, it is easy to find just the right one for the task.
Get a trio of utility knives, a paring knife, chef's knife and bread knife. Then there is the incredible 8 inch Wunder knife with a hollow edge design. Keep everything at its sharpest with a steel sharpener. There's also a great set of easy to dismantle shears in the knife block. And six high quality steak knives finish out what might be the best knife set for your needs. Even these are fully forged and made of powerful steel that is easy to maintain and clean.
5. Victorinox 24-Piece Gourmet Knife Set, Black Fibrox Handles with Attache Case
Here's a large selection of kitchen essentials, including a wide range of professional quality knives. And if you don't necessarily want to display your set in a box, it's got a different storage option. The upscale attache case keeps everything safe and secure when it's not being used.
Open it up to find all the knives you'll likely ever need. They include a chef's knife, paring knives and fillet knives. You'll also get a shaping, boning and butcher knife with the set. And beyond that, the bakers out there will have some useful tools in the case. Find a forged cake decorating knife. Along with that, you'll get 10 icing funnels and 10 decorating tips to create the perfect look. And finish it all up with a set of stainless steel kitchen shears. Tempered steel and expert construction means these tools will stay sharp for a long time to come.
6. Cangshan S1 Series German Steel Forged 17-Piece Knife Block Set
Another entry from Cangshan gives you a different look at the company's masterful construction. These minimalist designs give you superb performance with a timelessly beautiful presentation.
Whatever you're looking for in the best knife set for your kitchen is probably within this block. Using the same high quality materials as the N1 series, the S1 set is a bit smaller. But they will continue to perform at the same high level with the expertly forged German steel construction. And these are attractive knives delivered in a luxurious home for display and safe keeping.
7. Global 7-piece Ikasu Knife Block Set
Few knife blocks provide such a great way to display the blades themselves. And what a great set of blades these are. Global has created a fine selection of products to create one of the best knife set options on the market. Find the typical options, including a paring knife and a 4.5 inch utility knife. A pair of chef's knives give you two sizes to tackle whatever you're preparing. There's also a Nikiri knife and an 8 inch bread knife to finish up the selection.
Each knife is supremely sharp and created with a symmetrical bevel to reduce the impact of frequent use. They stay sharp and come with a comfortable, balanced grip. All of these items fit perfectly inside the bamboo knife block. The transparent sides give you a clear look at all of your blades held safely inside.
8. Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-pc. Cutlery Knife Block Set
Our final entry proves the best knife set might not be the most expensive. This Calphalon collection is filled with the most common options and made with great attention to detail. Of course, at this price point you won't get quite the performance of some other brands. But all aside from the steak knives are made from properly forged steel to resist dulling or breakage.
You'll get a range of knives -- pretty much everything you could ask for other than a bread knife. They are all labeled on the handles so you won't have to wonder which is which. Handles are secured with three rivets to make sure they won't fall apart. And the block itself contains sharpeners so you'll never have to remember.
Choosing the best knife set for you depends on your kitchen needs.
A small set or a different method of storage might be best for a small space. But if you've got plenty of room and lots of entertaining to do, opt for a larger and more diverse set. Either way you go, we hope our guide has helped make the decision a little easier.
If so, share this article with the upscale cooks in your life. And leave us a comment below if you have any final thoughts or questions.