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Kitchen & Cooking

10 great knife sets for Canadian kitchens

A quality knife set can make all the difference in the kitchen

Credit: Reviewed /Betsey Goldwasser

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Should you save up and buy individual knives over time to create the ultimate set, or do you simply purchase a pre-packaged set that instantly has everything you need? It’s a question we have asked ourselves more than once. There are pros and cons to both, but for most people, a pre-made set makes the most sense financially.

A good knife set should include a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated bread knife. Of course, many sets go beyond that and add in boning knives, peeling or tourne knives, honing stones, kitchen shears, or a built-in sharpener.

We chopped, diced and sliced our way through 10 knife sets to see which ones cut their way through the competition.

1. Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set with tempered Glass Block

The Mercer knife set
Credit: Reviewed /Lindsay D. Mattison

The Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set is not only our best value pick, but it's a favorite among culinary students.

While Mercer may not be a common household name, it is certainly held in high regard in the culinary world. This New York company is well known as the common supplier of culinary school knife kits.

This six-piece knife set has all the essentials for the everyday kitchen including an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 5-inch utility knife, plus a bonus 6-inch boning knife. All the knives were sharp, had nice grips and great balance. The set is also quite stylish. The thin tempered glass block gives it a unique look, and could easily become a showpiece on any countertop.

We loved the overall value of this set. It’s affordable and yet performs just as well as more expensive sets, which makes it a great choice. Just keep in mind it does not include honing steel or kitchen shears.

Get the Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set at Amazon Canada

2. Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Knife Set with Walnut Block

The Wüsthof Classic Ikon knife set.
Credit: Wusthof

The Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Knife Set with Walnut Block almost rivals our top pick.

The Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Knife Set with Walnut Block was almost our top pick, but it dropped in the ranking due to the fact that it only comes with four knives. That being said we loved how well the knives performed, acing all of our tests. The utility knife stood out in the group with its long semi-flexible blade.

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This set includes four knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, and a 6-inch utility knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, and a large, wooden block. If you just need basic knives for the kitchen, then you can’t go wrong with this set.

Get the Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Knife Set at Crate & Barrel

3. Zwilling Gourmet 10-Piece Knife Block Set

The Zwilling Gourmet knife set.
Credit: Zwilling

The Zwilling Gourmet 10-Piece Knife Block Set offers a ton of super-sharp knives at a great value.

You certainly get a lot for what you pay for with the Zwilling gourmet 10-piece knife block set. Seven knives are included, along with “bonus” knives like a peeling/tourne knife, a vegetable knife and a slicing knife. Overall, a great value.

The knives are all well-balanced, with comfortable handles and sharp edges. However, a couple of knives fell short of expectations. The long paring knife proved awkward for off-the-cutting board tasks like peeling apples, and the serrated utility knife had a weird wavy edge, which made it difficult to cut through dense items like cheese. It wasn’t as functional as most of the utility knives we tested in other sets. If this set had a regular utility knife, this set would have ranked higher.

This set includes seven knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 6-inch slicing knife, 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 4-inch paring knife, a 3-inch vegetable knife, and a 2.75-inch peeling/tourne knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, and a large, wooden block.

Get the Zwilling Gourmet 10-Piece Knife Block Set at Bed Bath & Beyond

4. Miyabi 34010-000 Knife Block Set

Miyabi 34010-000 Knife Block Set.
Credit: Miyabi

The Miyabi 34010-000 Knife Block Set combines elegance with razor-sharp edges.

Crafted in Japan, these knives have been polished to a mirror finish. The ice-hardened blades are extremely durable and razor-sharp! We loved the feel of the handles.

This set comes with a Chef knife, Santoku Knife, paring knife, bread knife, kitchen shears and honing steel. The Knife block also has slots for additional knives so you can add to your collection.

The biggest drawback to this set has to be the price. It’s not cheap, especially if you want to expand your set and fill up the entire knife block.

Get the Miyabi 34010-000 Knife Block Set at Bed Bath & Beyond

5. Zwilling 30707-000 Twin Signature 7-Piece Knife Block Set

The Zwilling 30707-000 Twin Signature 7-Piece Knife set.
Credit: Zwilling

The Zwilling 30707-000 Twin Signature 7-Piece Knife Block Set fell flat compared to some of the other sets.

Sharp blades with a reasonable price tag. We loved the lightweight chef’s knife, and the paring knife was one of our favourites, but other than that this set lacked value.

This set only consists of four knives, one of which is a peeling/tourne knife, which most people won’t have much use for. It would have been a more ideal set if it included a bread knife. As a result, we found this set lacked value since it only provides three useful knives for the common cook.

Get the Zwilling 30707-000 Twin Signature 7-Piece Knife Block Set at Bed Bath & Beyond

6. Cangshan Thomas Keller Signature Collection 3-Piece Knife Block Set

The Cangshan Thomas Keller Signature Collection knife set.
Credit: Cangshan

This set doesn’t include as many knives as most of the sets on this list, but it definitely excels when it comes to performance.

There aren’t many knives included in this set, but the two that are included are extremely versatile and well built.

The 8-inch chef’s knife can easily create paper-thin apple slices and is well balanced and comfortable to use while chopping up veggies like onions. The paring knife was just as impressive when it came to off-the-cutting board peeling. We also loved the stylish open walnut block in which the knives are stored.

This knife set is one of Oprah’s favourite things, but...she can afford it. It’s very pricey considering you only get two knives. If you do end up splurging, you won’t be disappointed,

Get the Cangshan Thomas Keller Signature Collection 3-Piece Knife Block Set at Amazon Canada

7. Victorinox Fibrox Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set

Credit: Victorinox

We wished Victorinox Fibrox Pro set came with a serrated bread knife

A great starter set for any home chef. This set offers a variety of Swiss-made blades, which are easy to sharpen. The handles are made from non-slip Fibrox with an ergonomic design to minimize wrist tension.

This set contains a 3 and a half-inch paring knife, 4 and a half inch tomato and bagel knife, 8-inch chef's knife, 5-inch mini chef's and utility knife, sharpening steel, and kitchen shears (which come apart for easy cleaning).

The block comes with two extra slots, so you can finish off the set at a later date, or add a couple of your own knives. Disappointing to see the wooden block isn’t finished as it can easily absorb moisture.

Get the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set at Cookstore

8. Victorinox Swiss Classic 5-Piece Kitchen Knife Set

The Victorinox Swiss Classic Kitchen Knife Set.
Credit: Victorinox

The Victorinox Swiss Classic Kitchen Knife Set is a good value set but does not come with a traditional chef's knife.

These light knives sliced and diced their way through our test kitchen with ease but we did notice something unusual. Instead of including a classic wide-blade chef’s knife, this set included a long, thinner carving knife. While it does perform all the essential functions of a chef’s knife, we prefer a wider blade for chopping tasks. It comes down to personal preference.

This set includes five knives (a carving knife, a bread knife, a serrated tomato and table knife, a serrated paring knife, and a straight-edge paring knife). Important to note you do not get a storage block with this set.

Get the Victorinox Swiss Classic 5-Piece Kitchen Knife Set
at Amazon Canada

9. Calphalon 1924554 Classic Self-Sharpening 6-Piece Knife Block Set

The Calphalon 1924554 Classic Self-Sharpening 6-Piece Knife Block Set.
Credit: Calphalon

As far as beginner knife sets go, you could certainly do worse than the Calphalon 1924554 Classic Self-Sharpening 6-Piece Knife Block Set.

Another great set for beginner cooks. Although the blades were sharp right out of the package, we loved the fact that the block has a built-in sharpener which takes the guesswork out of how to properly use a honing steel.

This set includes four knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 5-inch santoku knife, a 6-inch utility knife, and a 3.5-inch paring knife) along with kitchen shears, The knives did feel on the heavy side compared to other sets we tested, and we found it unusual for a beginner set not to include a serrated bread knife.

Get the Calphalon 1924554 Classic Self-Sharpening 6-Piece Knife Block Set at Wayfair Canada

10. AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set

The AmazonBasics knife set.
Credit: Amazon

You get a startling number of knives for a great price with the AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set.

Great price with mediocre performance. These knives are reminiscent of what you would expect to use at a vacation rental property. They get the job done, but they’re not nearly as sharp as other sets, which will drive some of the more “seasoned” chefs crazy over time.

This set includes seven knives, including an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 7-inch Santoku knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 5.5-inch utility knife, a 6-inch boning knife, and an 8-inch slicing knife with a honing steel, and kitchen shears. You also get eight steak knives as an added bonus. All fit in the included wooden block.

Get the AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set
at Amazon Canada

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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