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A wooden knife block filled with assorted kitchen knives on a wood counter next to a plastic cutting board and chopped produce. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Best Knife Sets of 2022

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A wooden knife block filled with assorted kitchen knives on a wood counter next to a plastic cutting board and chopped produce. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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Editor's Choice Product image of Wüsthof Classic 8901 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set
Best Overall

Wüsthof Classic 8901 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set

This set contains five essential knives that are sharp and comfortable to use, and the included knife block is ultra-slim to maximize counter space. Read More

Pros

  • Sharp blades
  • Comfortable handles
  • Slim-design wooden block is storage-friendly

Cons

  • None that we could find
2
Editor's Choice Product image of Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set, Tempered Glass Block
Best Value

Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set, Tempered Glass Block

We can see why Mercer is a common supplier of culinary school knife kits. Because of its performance and low price, it's easy to choose as our Best Value pick. Read More

Pros

  • Performs as well as more expensive sets
  • Great balance

Cons

  • Doesn't include honing steel or shears
3
Editor's Choice Product image of Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set
Best Knife Set Under $100

Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set

We’re impressed that this set bundles so many knives for such a low price. The chef's knife has a great balance and a nicely-shaped handle. Read More

Pros

  • Great value
  • Good design
  • Includes a 5-inch Santoku knife

Cons

  • Knives not as sharp as other sets
4
Product image of Misen Essentials 5-Piece Knife Set

Misen Essentials 5-Piece Knife Set

This 5-piece knife set has everything a beginner cook needs to get started, but the well-designed, sharp knives will also satisfy experienced cooks. Read More

Pros

  • Designed for performance
  • Thin, sharp blades
  • Easy to grip

Cons

  • Doesn’t include a storage block
5
Product image of Global G-835/WS 6-Piece Knife Set with Block

Global G-835/WS 6-Piece Knife Set with Block

If price isn’t an issue, these ultra-sharp, super-light knives are a perfect choice. Read More

Pros

  • Sharpest knives we tested
  • Super light weight
  • Good for wedding registries

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Doesn't include honing steel or shears

The best kitchen knife sets include all the basics, while also saving you time and money because you don’t have to build your own collection.

To find the best knife sets you can buy, we looked at performance, value, and ease of storage. We also considered blade sharpness, handle comfort, and the weight and length of each knife to determine if the set was worth its price tag.

Whether you’re setting up your first kitchen, buying a wedding gift, or looking to upgrade your knives, we’ve included knife sets at different price points, so you can find one that’s perfect for you.

Editor's Note

The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.

Five knives and one pair of scissors fanned out across a wooden cutting board.
Credit: Reviewed / Lindsay Mattison

The Wüsthof Classic 7-Piece Slim Knife Block Set is the best knife set we've tested.

Best Overall
Wüsthof Classic 8901 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set
  • Blade material: High-carbon stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, 6-inch Kiritsuke utility knife, 8-inch serrated bread knife, 5-inch serrated utility knife, 3.5-inch paring knife
  • Storage: Ultra-slim wooden block (9.5-by-3.5-inches)

The Wüsthof Classic 7-Piece Slim Knife Block Set has everything we look for: sharp edges, comfortable handles, and the right knives for a starter kitchen, all for a great value and a promise of longevity.

Relatively lightweight for German-steel knives, these precision-forged blades are made from a single piece of continuous high-carbon stainless steel, so they’re super sharp and won't rust easily. The full-tang blade is seamlessly attached to a comfortable polypropylene handle that won't slip your hands, even when wet.

Each knife is a joy to use, and we appreciate the weight balance around the handle. The bolster is also protected at the bottom by a layer of unsharpened steel, making it easy to grip the blade on the butt edge without the risk of cutting into your supporting fingers.

The chef’s knife is super sharp and easily maneuverable as when chopping vegetables or slicing through delicate herbs. The paring blade is perfectly lengthed for on- and off-the-cutting board tasks, like peeling apples or segmenting oranges.

The Kiritsuke utility knife (shaped like a santoku but with a curved edge to facilitate rocking) has no problem slicing soft tomatoes and hard cheese alike, and the two serrated knives both tear through crusty baguettes like butter. As a bonus, the kitchen shears are a highly-ranked pair that we already love.

We're surprised at how sharp and precise the edges on these blades are, too. There's very little drag when slicing through both delicate and dense foods. Most German-steel knives are sharpened to a 20-degree edge, but these have a 14-degree cutting edge, giving them the sharpness of a Japanese-style knife with the durability of German steel.

With proper care, we have every reason to believe this Wüsthof set will last for a long time. Add in Wüsthof’s limited lifetime warranty, and these high-quality knives impress us enough to be named our Best Overall.

Pros

  • Sharp blades

  • Comfortable handles

  • Slim-design wooden block is storage-friendly

Cons

  • None that we could find

A 5-piece knife sett in a thin glass case against  a subway tile kitchen backsplash.
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.

Best Value
Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set, Tempered Glass Block
  • Blade material: Carbon steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, 8-inch serrated bread knife, 5-inch utility knife, 6-inch boning knife
  • Storage: Tempered glass block

It's easy to like the Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set with Tempered Glass Block. The set provides the essential knives plus a bonus boning knife, although it's one of the few that doesn't include a honing steel or shears.

Still, it’s hard to complain considering you’ll receive five impressively sharp knives that perform as well as sets three times the price. In addition to the sharp blades, each knife has a great balance and we love the grip of the handles. The serrated knife is one of our favorites in the group.

Mercer is a major supplier of culinary school knife kits. Because of its performance and low price, it's easy to see why we chose this set as our Best Value pick.

Pros

  • Performs as well as more expensive sets

  • Great balance

Cons

  • Doesn't include honing steel or shears

Credit: Reviewed /Lindsay D. Mattison

For those looking to spend less, this well-designed Cuisinart Triple Riveted 15-piece makes up in value.

Best Knife Set Under $100
Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Riveted Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, 5-inch santoku knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, 8-inch serrated bread knife, 4.5-inch utility knife, 8-inch slicing knife,six steak knives, honing steel, kitchen shears
  • Storage: Large, wooden block

While the Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Riveted Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set can't rival some of the super expensive sets for sharpness, it makes up for it in value and design.

The chef’s knife has great balance and a comfortable, nicely-shaped handle. It’s well suited for chopping tasks, taking down onions with ease. The 5-inch santoku knife is handy for chopping vegetables or for those with smaller hands.

We’re impressed that this set bundles so many knives for such a low price.

If you're looking for additional budget options, see our guides to the Best Knife Sets Under $200 and best under $100.

Pros

  • Great value

  • Good design

  • Includes a 5-inch Santoku knife

Cons

  • Knives not as sharp as other sets

Product image of Misen Essentials 5-Piece Knife Set
Misen Essentials 5-Piece Knife Set
  • Blade material: High-carbon stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, 7.5-inch santoku knife, 9.5-inch serrated bread knife, 5.5-inch utility knife, 3.5-inch paring knife
  • Storage: Block not included

If you want everything you need to start cooking without breaking the bank, check out the Misen Essentials 5-piece Knife Set. In addition to the basics, you get a santoku knife that’s perfect for chopping vegetables and a smaller utility knife that can tackle smaller foods like shallots. Each knife has a sloped bolster, which means it’s easier to learn how to properly grip the knife on the blade instead of by the handle.

We love the Japanese-style, 15-degree edge on these knives. Combine that with the blades’ thinness, and you get a sharp knife that doesn’t snag when it cuts through food. The serrated bread knife is sharp enough to cut through crusty baguettes without having to apply firm pressure, and it won't snag on harder parts of sandwiches- like bacon in a BLT. We love that the paring knife is comfortable to use both on the cutting board and when hovering above to peel apples, too.

While the set is great for beginners, that doesn’t mean it’s not also a good fit for more experienced cooks. They’re sharp enough to tackle heavy-duty cooking, and the high-carbon stainless steel is lightweight enough to use for extended periods.

The double-riveted handles (available in black or blue) are a little on the heavy side, but they work with the lightweight blades to create a nice balance while you use the knife. The set doesn’t come with a storage block, so you'll need to source one separately if you want it.

Pros

  • Designed for performance

  • Thin, sharp blades

  • Easy to grip

Cons

  • Doesn’t include a storage block

Product image of Global G-835/WS 6-Piece Knife Set with Block
Global G-835/WS 6-Piece Knife Set with Block
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Included: 7-inch Asian-style chef’s knife, 4-inch paring knife, 8.75-inch serrated bread knife, 5.25-inch utility knife, 8.25-inch carving knife
  • Storage: Low-profile, metal block

The Global G-835/WS 6-Piece Knife Set with Block is absolutely our pick if you're looking to upgrade.

It doesn’t have every extra piece like a honing steel or shears, but it is absolutely the sharpest set of knives in the group. The chef’s knife feels like an effortless extension of your arm, and the serrated bread knife slices through crusty baguette surprisingly easily.

If price isn’t an issue, these ultra-sharp, super-light knives are a perfect choice. They make a great upgrade set and would definitely be on my wedding registry if I had one in the near future.

Pros

  • Sharpest knives we tested

  • Super light weight

  • Good for wedding registries

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Doesn't include honing steel or shears

Product image of Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Block Knife Set
Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Block Knife Set
  • Blade material: High-carbon stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 6-inch utility knife, honing steel, kitchen shears
  • Storage: Large, wooden block

The Wüsthof Classic Ikon 7-Piece Knife Set almost rivals our top pick, but it only comes with four knives plus shears.

The sharp, easy-to-use knives aced our tests. The utility knife’s long, semi-flexible blade makes it stand out in a set we already love.

If you don't need the extra knives, you should consider this set from Wüsthof.

Pros

  • Sharp

  • Easy to use

  • Best utility knife we tested

Cons

  • Only includes 4 knives

Product image of Zwilling 38449 Pro 7-pc Knife Block Set
Zwilling 38449 Pro 7-pc Knife Block Set
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, 8-inch serrated bread knife, 5.5-inch utility knife, 4-inch paring knife, honing steel, kitchen shears
  • Storage: Large, wooden block

There was a lot to like about the Zwilling Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set—and a few things we disliked.

For starters, these knives are very sharp and basically aced all kitchen tasks. The chef’s knife makse quick work of dicing onions, and the bread knife cleanly cuts through thick-sliced bacon on BLT sandwiches. The utility knife’s wide blade is versatile enough to slice through both dense items (like a block of hard cheese) and tender-skinned foods like tomatoes.

While we loved the handle design and grip, the knives are heavy and not particularly well-balanced, so they wore out our hands after extended use.

Our major complaint, though, is the price-to-value ratio on this set. It’s one of the more expensive sets on the list, but it only comes with four knives.

Pros

  • Comfortable grip

  • Very sharp

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Heavy

  • Not well-balanced

Product image of Zwilling 36131 Gourmet 10-pc knife block set
Zwilling 36131 Gourmet 10-pc knife block set
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, 8-inch serrated bread knife, 6-inch slicing knife, 5-inch serrated utility knife, 4-inch paring knife, 3-inch vegetable knife, 2.75-inch peeling/tourne knife, honing steel, kitchen shears
  • Storage: Large, wooden block

The Zwilling Gourmet 10-Piece Knife Block Set offers a ton of super-sharp knives at a great value. You’ll get seven knives with this set, including “bonus” knives like a peeling/tourne knife, a vegetable knife, and a slicing knife. The knives are well balanced and relatively lightweight, with comfortable grips and sharp edges.

While the long paring knife isn't our favorite for off-the-cutting-board tasks like peeling apples, the set comes with two shorter knives that accomplished the task just fine.

Our major complaint was the weird, wavy edge on the serrated utility knife. It wasn’t as functional as other utility knives, and have trouble cutting dense items like hard cheese. If the knife set had included a regular utility knife, we might rank this set higher.

Pros

  • Comfortable

  • Lightweight

  • Great value

Cons

  • Paring knife is unwieldy for some tasks

  • Utility knife not great for dense items

Product image of Zwilling J.A. Henckels / Miyabi Evolution 7-Piece Knife Block Set
Zwilling J.A. Henckels / Miyabi Evolution 7-Piece Knife Block Set
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, 5.5-inch santoku knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, 9-inch serrated bread knife, honing steel, kitchen shears
  • Storage: Large, wooden block

Japanese-style knives have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and for good reason. The Miyabi 34010-000 Knife Block Set combines elegance with razor-sharp edges, coming together to give you a beautiful showpiece set that’s incredibly functional.

We have no complaints with any of the knives, although the kitchen shears are a bit heavy and aren't as good as some others. We love the small santoku knife, a low-profile alternative to the large chef’s knife.

Overall, the knives were light and well-constructed, albeit a little expensive for a smaller set of knives.

Pros

  • Japanese-style knives

  • Elegant

  • Razor sharp

  • Includes a Santoku knife

Cons

  • Kitchen shears are heavy

  • Expensive

Product image of Made In Knife Set
Made In Knife Set
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Included: 8.5-inch chef’s knife, 6-inch Nakiri knife, 3.8-inch paring knife
  • Storage: Block not included, but set comes with hard plastic sheaths for safe storage

We loved the Made In 3-Piece Knife Set as soon as we saw it.

Each knife comes in an adorable package complete with one bandaid per knife, instructions on how to use each knife, and details about how and why the blade was designed.

These fully-forged knives are very sharp, and the double-riveted handles are available in red, black, and wood.

The three-piece set comes with a good variety of knives for any starter kitchen. The curved blade of the long chef’s knife is ideal for cutting in a rocking motion (as you would when chopping garlic or herbs). It’s also long enough to tackle large items, like butternut squash or pineapples.

The Nakiri knife is a good alternative to santoku knives that come in most knife sets. Designed for chopping vegetables, It has a rectangular shape and a thinner blade. The set also includes a paring knife for smaller tasks, like peeling apples or deveining shrimp.

We wish this set included a serrated knife for slicing bread, but our major complaint was the weight of the knives. They are on the heavy side, which makes it easier to get through dense food but tire hands when used for extended periods.

Pros

  • Sharp blades

  • Comfortable to use

  • Includes plastic sheaths for storage

Cons

  • Heavy handle

  • Doesn't include a serrated knife

Product image of Günter Wilhelm 6 Piece Cutlery Knife Set with Large Wood Block
Günter Wilhelm 6 Piece Cutlery Knife Set with Large Wood Block
  • Blade material: High-carbon stainless steel
  • Included: 7-inch santoku knife, 10-inch carving knife, 10-inch offset serrated bread knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, honing steel
  • Storage: Large, wooden block

Overall, we're pleased with the performance of the Günter Wilhelm 6-Piece Premier ProCut Knife Set.

These German steel knives were sharp and precise, and cut through onions and segment citrus without issue. The triple-tang design is neither lightweight nor too heavy, creating a balance that makes them easy to use for any task.

The knife’s appearance is pleasing, too, with smooth, shiny wooden handles that stand out against the bright steel.

The set only includes four knives, but its large, wooden block has 13 slots, leaving you plenty of space for expansion. Of course, that capacity also means this block is twice as large as a standard knife block (and almost three times as big as the slim block that comes with our top pick, the Wüsthof Classic 7-Piece Slim Knife Block Set).

Pros

  • Sharp blades

  • Mid-weight

  • Well-balanced

Cons

  • Storage block is large and bulky

Product image of Victorinox 7-Piece Knife Block Set
Victorinox Fibrox Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, 4.5-inch serrated tomato/bagel knife, 5-inch utility knife
  • Storage: Large, wooden block

Victorinox, owned by Swiss Army, is known for making great knives at value prices. The Victorinox Fibrox Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set is no exception.

The chef’s knife performs incredibly well, and the super minimalistic paring knife is one of our favorites in the group.

Unfortunately, the set includes a small serrated knife instead of a larger serrated bread knife, which feels like a grave oversight and knocks it down a few rungs in the scoring.

Pros

  • Favorite paring knife we tested

  • Good performance

  • Good value

Cons

  • Doesn't include a bread knife

Product image of Material Trio
Material Trio
  • Blade material: High-carbon stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef’s knife, an “almost 4-inch” paring knife, 6-inch serrated knife
  • Storage: Block not included, but magnetic stand and knife guards available as extras

If you’re specifically looking for a three-knife set, you won’t be disappointed by this set. We love Material products for their balance of function and beauty, and these knives would pair perfectly with its plastic cutting board (one of our top picks, in fact).

These knives are absolutely gorgeous. The round handles are not only comfortable to hold while chopping, but their matte, ivory finish looks stunning (especially when stored in the optional block). The stainless Japanese steel has a Damascus steel finish at the ends, making these both elegant and functional.

And functional they are, the knives are sharp enough to cut through everything you might throw at it, and the paring knife feels like an extension of our hand when used to peel apples above the cutting board. We worried that the 6-inch serrated knife wouldn't be long enough to tackle a large, crusty baguette, but it takes them down without a single snag.

The only reason this set isn’t higher up on the ranking is because it doesn’t come with as many knives as similarly priced sets. That said, if you don’t need the extras, this would be a fantastic set for any home cook.

Pros

  • Gorgeous appearance

  • Sharp edges

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Limited set

Product image of Cuisinart C55-12PCKSAM 12-Piece Ceramic Coated Stainless Steel Knives
Cuisinart C55-12PCKSAM 12-Piece Ceramic Coated Stainless Steel Knives
  • Blade material: Stainless steel
  • Included: 8-inch chef knife, 8-inch slicing knife, 8-inch serrated bread knife, 7-inch santorum knife, 6.5-inch utility knife, 3.5-inch paring knife
  • Storage: No storage but all knives have blade guards

While this ceramic-coated knife set from Cuisinart might not last you a lifetime, they are a great pick for people looking for a good set at a great price.

These knives are extremely sharp, with an array of colors that represent each knife, reducing the risk of cross-use during food preparation. Most customer reviews mention how sharp they are, making it easy to cut through anything in the kitchen. But upon further research, we think this set might be better for those with bigger hands, as the handles are said to be a bit large, and the knives are long.

This set comes with the following: an 8-inch chef knife, 8-inch slicing knife, 8-inch serrated bread knife, 7-inch santorum knife, 6.5-inch utility knife, and 3.5-inch paring knife. All of the knives include blade guards.

Pros

  • Sharp

  • Great price

  • Color coded

Cons

  • Scratch easily

What to Consider When Buying a Knife Set

The Essentials:

A knife set should include the three core kitchen knives: a chef’s or santoku knife, a paring knife, and a serrated bread knife. It also should include a honing steel (also called a sharpening steel) for keeping edges sharp. A pair of kitchen shears is also a great addition.

Bonus Knives

If the set comes with a utility knife, that’s good. This smaller knife is great for slicing cheese or small vegetables. Boning knives, carving or slicing knives, smaller serrated knives, tourne knives (often called peelers), or steak knives are bonus items, as you don’t need them for everyday cooking, but they are handy.

Blade Material and Style

I prefer Japanese-style knives (like Shun and Global), which are sharp but quite fragile. Many other chefs prefer hard German steel (like Wüsthof and Zwilling, and J.A. Henckels), because they don’t chip as easily and are easy to sharpen. I even know a chef who only buys inexpensive ceramic knives and replaces them every three months when they get dull.

Storage

Most sets come with a wood block, but that may not be important if your kitchen is short on counter-space. If that’s the case, you may want to consider a magnetic (knife strip). Please, whatever you do, don't just throw your knives in a drawer unless they have a plastic cover. They could bang against each other and chip, or worse you might hurt yourself when reaching for one.

Size of Knife Set

Larger sets are perfect for people building a starter kitchen, or for anyone who knows they want every type of knife in the set, since sets are usually cheaper than individual knives. For a serious home cook, a five-knife set will typically have useful extras without being overwhelming.If you don’t cook a lot, or your meal prep isn’t very complicated, you can absolutely get away with a three-piece set.

Price

Some of the inexpensive sets are great for rental properties or anyone with a budget. Meanwhile, many big name-brand knife sets can get quite pricey, so you’ll want to be sure you’ll actually use each knife to make it worth the cost.

How to Care for Knives

Knives, especially ones that you spend a lot of money on, should not go in the dishwasher. Instead, you should hand wash them.

Also, knives work best when they are sharp, so you sharpen them. Some knife sets include a built-in knife sharpener. If a set doesn’t, you may want to consider purchasing a knife sharpener.

If you don’t want to mess with sharpening your own knives, you can find businesses online that will do it for you—because a dull knife is a dangerous one.

Meet the tester

Lindsay D. Mattison

Lindsay D. Mattison

Professional Chef

@zestandtang

Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef, food writer, and amateur gardener. She is currently writing a cookbook that aims to teach home cooks how to write without a recipe.

See all of Lindsay D. Mattison's reviews

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