Whether you’re stocking your first kitchen or you’re looking to upgrade your knives without breaking the bank, finding a quality knife set under $200 might prove difficult. Some of the knife sets we picked in our overall roundup cost upwards of $500. One set costs $400 and only includes three knives! Not all of us have the money (or desire) for such high-end sets, which is why we've rounded up the best knife sets under 100.
High-priced knife sets are often made from high-quality steel that will likely last over a decade. They tend to stay sharper for longer and usually look pretty sleek, too. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that less expensive sets are made from poorer-quality materials. We've proven in previous knife roundups that inexpensive knives often rival much more expensive knives when it comes to performance. So, we were determined to find a few knife sets under $200 that could stand up the more expensive sets, both in quality and in value.
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.
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 doesn't include a honing steel or shears. Ultimately, we find it 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. To top the cake, the serrated knife is one of our favorites in the group.
After testing the knives, we can see why the Mercer brand is the common supplier of culinary school knife kits. Due to performance and low price, it's easy to choose the Mercer Culinary Genesis as our Best Value pick.
This set includes five knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 5-inch utility knife, and a 6-inch boning knife) which are stored upright in a thin, glass case.
While we loved the sharp blades on the knives in the Zwilling 30707-000 Twin Signature 7-Piece Knife Block Set, we felt it fell flat compared to other sets. We appreciate the price tag that comes with a smaller set, but this one doesn’t come with a serrated bread knife, providing the less-useful peeling/tourne knife instead. Most home cooks don’t have any use for this knife; a paring knife can do everything a tourne knife can do, and more. We love the lightweight, sharp chef’s knife, and the paring knife was one of our favorites. But, in the end, we think this set lacks value considering that it only provides three useful knives. We wouldn’t be opposed to looking at a larger knife set in Zwilling Twin Signature line that included a serrated bread knife, like this 11-piece set
This set includes four knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, a 4-inch paring knife, and a 2.75-inch peeling/tourne knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, and a large, wooden block.
Henckels International 35342-000 Classic Knife Block Set
While knives included in the J.A. Henckels International 35342-000 Classic 7-Piece Knife Block Set didn’t lack anything in the sharpness department, we found this set generally lacking. The chef’s knife was a touch on the heavy side in an unbalanced way, making it a little awkward to use. The edges on the handle weren’t as rounded as other knives, so it wasn’t very comfortable, either. What we love about this set is the paring knife, which is effortless to use as well as comfortable to hold. We're also fond of the santoku knife, which has a better handle and improved balance compared to the chef’s knife. In the end we think these knives are a touch pricey considering the contents and the fact that this set doesn't come with a serrated bread knife.
This set includes four knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, a 5-inch serrated utility knife, and a 4-inch paring knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, and a large, wooden block.
There are no complaints to be made when it comes to the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set. The Swiss Army owned company is well known for making great knives at a value price. What we don't love about this set, though, is the lack of a serrated bread knife. The chef’s knife performs incredibly well, and the super minimalistic paring knife is one of our favorites. Unfortunately, the set includes a small serrated knife instead of a larger bread knife, which we find to be a grave oversight.
This set includes 4 knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, a 4.5-inch serrated tomato/bagel knife, and a 5-inch utility knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, and a large, wooden block.
Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Riveted Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set
While the Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Riveted Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set can't rival some of the super expensive sets when it comes to sharpness, it makes up for it in value and design. The chef’s knife has great balance and a comfortable, nicely-shaped handle. It is well suited for chopping tasks and takes down onions with ease. In addition to the full-sized chef’s knife, the set also includes a 5-inch Santoku knife, which could come in 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. Because it meets our quality standards, we would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a knife set under our target price.
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, six steak knives, and a large, wooden block.
While we wished 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 were happy with how light these knives were, and they were 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 aren't impressed with the performance of the knives. They aren't as sharp as the other knives, and their lightweight construction isn'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.
The only bonus is that 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.
We love the vintage look of the three-piece Five Two Essential Knives set. The soft-touch handles are available in several colors: Smoked Salt, Nordic Sea, Maple, and Rhubarb, and each one has a gorgeous washed-out appearance. These triple-riveted, forged, Japanese steel knives are a little on the heavy side, but they have great balance that makes them easy to use.
Where the set loses the most points is in the sharpness department. They just aren't as sharp as other knife sets. The set only contains three knives, too, so it isn't able to keep up with similarly priced sets that come with more styles (like santoku blades, utility knives, and kitchen shears).
This set includes three knives: An 8-inch chef’s knife, a 9-inch serrated bread knife, and a 3.5-inch paring knife.
Calphalon 1924554 Classic Self-Sharpening 6-Piece Knife Block Set
As far as beginner knife sets go, you could certainly do worse than the Calphalon 1924554 Classic Self-Sharpening 6-Piece Knife Block Set. For starters, these knives are as sharp as some of the more expensive knife sets, and we love that the block has a built-in sharpener, which is great for beginner cooks—it takes the question mark out of how to use a knife sharpener or honing steel.
This set’s major downfall is the lack of a serrated bread knife (something we think is essential in a good starter set). We also think the knives are a little on the heavy side, and the chef’s knife has a very long handle, which can throw off the balance and make it difficult to use for extended periods of time.
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, and a large, wooden block.
Henckels International 35309 Statement 12-pc Knife Block Set
For the price, the J.A. Henckels International 35309-000 Statement 12-Piece Knife Block Set isn’t a terrible deal. The knives themselves are lightweight and sharp enough to tackle any kitchen job you can throw at them, but the handle design gets in the way of making this a stellar set. The handles are a little clunky for our liking, making them awkward to hold.
We also didn’t love the paring knife, which features a wide blade and thick handle, making maneuverability difficult. That said, if you’re looking for a budget knife set that comes with steak knives and you prefer getting a santoku knife instead of a utility knife, this would be a fine starter set for most kitchens.
This set includes four knives (an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, an 8-inch serrated bread knife, a 3-inch paring knife) along with a honing steel, kitchen shears, six steak knives, and a large, wooden block.
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 set should also include a honing steel for keeping your edges sharp and a pair of kitchen shears always come in handy. 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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