The Best Knife Sets Under $100
Can you get a quality knife set for under $100?
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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 top budget pick, the Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set (available at Amazon for $55.49) but we actually found a few 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 under $100 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 an Airbnb rental property, and one set, in particular, is a great choice for on-the-go cooking like camping.
Here are the best knife sets under $100, in order:
- Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set
- Vremi 10-piece Colorful Knife Set - 5 Kitchen Knives with 5 Knife Sheath Covers
- Utopia Kitchen Premium Class Stainless Steel 6-Piece Knives Set with Acrylic Stand
- AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set
The Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet 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.
Includes a 5-inch Santoku knife
Knives not as sharp as other sets
How We Tested
Hi, I’m Lindsay Mattison, a trained professional chef and a serious knife enthusiast. I worked doubles for months during college to scrape together enough money to buy my first knife set. Then, when I went to culinary school, I did the same thing to buy the recommended knife kit! I know what it feels like to spend your hard-earned cash on a purchase like this and I want you to have all the facts before spending a lot of money on knife sets.
We selected 12 top-rated knife sets, at different price points, from most of the major knife manufacturers. Then, we got to work testing the knives to learn how the set performed as a whole. Usually, we test knives on an individual basis, but the pre-made set had to prove overall usability and performance to really provide good value. It was important that each set included the essential knives (which we’ll talk about in a minute) and it got bonus points for adding in usable extras. We also were looking for a set that was easy to store.
The tests were designed with that in mind, evaluating value, performance, and ease of storage. We chopped onions and thinly sliced basil with the chef’s knife, peeled apples and segmented citrus with the paring knives, and sliced bread and sandwiches with the serrated knife. Most of the sets came with a smaller utility knife, so we sliced tomatoes and hard blocks of cheese. If the set included kitchen shears, we tested those as well, cutting cardboard and gliding the blades through parchment paper. Along the way, we assessed the sharpness of each blade, the comfort of the handle, and the weight and length of the knife itself to ultimately determine if the set was worth its price tag.
Things to Know When Buying a Knife Set
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.
Other Knife Sets We Tested
The Vremi 10-piece Colorful Knife Set - 5 Kitchen Knives with 5 Knife Sheath Covers totally looks like a set of ceramic knives, but they’re actually made from stainless steel. They have a comfortable, soft-grip handle and they'll add a splash of color to your life! They’re not the sharpest knives on the block (or, rather, in the block), but they’re not exactly dull, either. Because each knife comes with an individual, hard plastic cover, this would be a great knife set for your camping box or to take on-the-go (any bartenders out there?).
This set includes five knives (a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a serrated bread knife, a utility knife, and a carving knife) with five hard plastic covers.
Comfortable, soft-grip handle
Great set for a camping box
Not very sharp
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