You might think it’s impossible to find a quality knife set for under $100. If I’m being honest, I’ve bought single knives that cost more than that! So, how could it be possible to find a budget set that is easy to work with and also won’t break the bank?
Spoiler alert: we not only found one set—our favorite knife set under $100 is the Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Riveted Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set (available at Amazon for $55.28) —we actually found a few budget picks that would be a worthy addition to your kitchen. While we can’t speak to the longevity of these sets, it's safe to assume that they may not last as long as higher-priced sets (some of the sets we tested in our full best knife sets roundup cost upwards of $500). But, we can say that these knife sets meet our high standards for performance while also providing a great value in their contents.
Any of these sets would be perfect for your first kitchen or stocking a rental property.
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.
Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Riveted Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set
The Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Riveted Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set is an excellent choice if you’re on a tight budget. The chef’s knife has great balance and a comfortable, nicely shaped handle. It was well suited for a variety of chopping tasks and took down onions with ease. In addition to the full-sized chef’s knife, the set also includes a few bonus knives, including a 5-inch Santoku knife. That smaller, wide-bladed knife always comes in handy for quick-prep items or for those with smaller hands.
We’re impressed that this set bundles so many knives for such a low price. Because it meets our quality standards, we would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for an affordable knife set.
This set includes six knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 5-inch Santoku knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 4.5-inch utility knife, and an 8-inch slicing knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, 6 steak knives, and a large, wooden block.
While we wish the higher-rated Victorinox Fibrox Pro set came with a serrated bread knife, we found ourselves yearning for a chef’s knife with this Victorinox Swiss Classic 5-Piece Kitchen Knife Set. Instead of the classic wide-blade chef's knife, this set comes with a long, thinner “carving knife.” While it does perform all the essential functions of a chef’s knife, we like a wider blade for chopping tasks. On the other hand, we're happy with how light these knives are, and they're definitely sharp. You can’t go wrong with the price, either, although we’re not sure why they decided to provide two paring knives–one serrated and one straight-edge blade. It’s also important to keep in mind that this set doesn’t come with a wooden block, so you’ll have to find your own storage solution.
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).
Cuisinart C77SS-15PK Stainless Steel Hollow Handle 15-Piece Cutlery Block Set
We liked that you get a lot of bang for your buck with the Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set, but we weren’t impressed with the performance of the knives. They weren’t as sharp as the other knives we tested, and their lightweight construction wasn’t very well balanced when using the knife. We like that this set comes with a large storage block, but it’s heavy and it takes up a lot of space on the countertop.
As a bonus, this set come with six steak knives. Considering the sheer number of knives and the bonus steak knives, the price makes this a great starter set for a beginner cook or for stocking a rental property.
This set includes seven knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch slicing knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, a 5.5-inch serrated utility knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, and a 3.5-inch tourne knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, six steak knives, and a large, matte black block.
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. 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 blades 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.
Before buying a knife set, ask yourself this question: What kind of knives do you like? You may not know yet, but it's worth exploring before you spend money on a set. For example, I know I have a proclivity towards Japanese-style knives (like Shun and Global) while I know a great number of chefs who prefer German steel (like Wüsthof and Zwilling J.A. Henckels). I even know a chef who only buys inexpensive ceramic knives and replaces them every three months when they get dull. So, it’s impossible for us to know what your personal preference is and we tried to keep that in mind as we ranked and rated. At the same time, there are a few steadfast rules to follow when looking for a knife set.
First of all, it needs to include the three core knives: a chef’s or Santoku knife, a paring knife, and a serrated bread knife. The Shun and Victorinox sets we tested got major points taken off for not including that all-important bread knife. The set should also include a honing steel for keeping your edges sharp and a pair of kitchen shears always come in handy (although, almost half of the sets we tested didn't include shears). If the set comes with a utility knife, that’s good–you may find this smaller knife handy for slicing cheese or small vegetables. I consider boning knives, carving or slicing knives, smaller serrated knives, tourne knives (often called peelers), or steak knives as bonus items.
Finally, you’ll need some way to store these knives. Most sets come with a block, but that may not be important if your kitchen is short on counter-space like mine. In which case, I can’t recommend a space-saving magnetic wall strip enough. 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.
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