You may have a book shelf spilling over with cookbooks. You can be that friend everyone calls to walk them through how to poach an egg. But without a decent set of knives, you can't go the distance in your kitchen. The best knife sets under $100 prove there's no good reason to spend a ton of money (unless, of course, you want to) on a chef's knife, serrated bread knife, Santoku knife — any of it. As this list will show you, high-quality knives come in all price ranges — and even in a few cheery, vivid colors, if that's what floats your boat.
And the knives themselves aren't the only thing to consider when buying a proper chef's set. Some are situated in classic hardwood blocks, while others rest in blocks with self-sharpening slots that make it possible to never, ever have to manually sharpen your knives again. The sleekest, most modern option is an acrylic block that lets you stand your knives straight up. At first glance, it may look like an odd kitchen product, but it's actually genius. Anyone with a small kitchen and next to no countertop space will appreciate the fact that these knife blocks won't hog up all your prep room.
The one thing all of these chef's knife sets share in common is stellar reviews by both amateurs and professionals alike. No matter your budget or need, you'll find an incredible option below.
1An 18-Piece Set That Includes Everything You Need To Become An Amazing Chef
If you have major cooking goals, a knife set like this one — which has 18-pieces — has every type of knife you need to whip up any meal. Each knife is made of stainless steel, features a soft-grip handle, and is set in a stained pine wood block you can display on your countertop. Reviewers say the blades are incredibly sharp and that, even when your hands are wet or oily from cooking prep, you can maintain a solid grip on these knives. The set comes with eight steak knives and an 8-inch slicer, and it even has a lifetime warranty.
2...Or This 15-Piece Set For Almost Half The Price
What's the use of owning a cutlery set if you can't keep a tight grip on its handles? This 15-piece knife set boasts ergonomically designed handles that fit right in your hand and won't slip. It's made of durable high carbon stainless steel and comes with a chef knife, slicing knife, Santoku knife, serrated utility knife, paring knife, bird's beak paring knife, sharpening steel, shears, and six steak knives. If you're tired of staring at the same old wooden block, you'll appreciate the kick your kitchen will get from this sleek black block. Considering it comes with a whopping 15 pieces, it's a steal at under $50.
3A Budget-Friendly, Rainbow-Colored 12-Piece Knife Set For Beginners
Perfect for first time homeowners or students who have just moved away from home, this 12-piece knife set comes in a rainbow of shades — but the quality of its cutlery is just as impressive as its vivid hues. You'll get six knives: a chef's knife, serrated bread knife, slicing knife, Santoku knife, utility knife, and paring knife, as well as protective knife covers. The blades themselves are made of stainless steel and the variety of colors actually serves a purpose (in addition to looking great): it reduces the risk of cross-contamination while you're prepping foods. And, seriously, you can't beat the price.
4A Sleek And Modern 14-Piece Knife Set In An Acrylic Stand That's Perfect For Small Spaces
A 14-piece stainless steel knife set that chops and slices through anything with ease, this stand-up knife set offers another modern take on the classic chef's block design. Reviewers are most impressed with the sharpness of these knives and the scissor (which isn't always the sharpest in other sets) and say the simple, yet elegant acrylic block stand has won them scores of compliments from guests. Considering the sturdiness of these knives, it's shocking to find they are so lightweight and easy to maneuver.
5A Genius Set Of Knives That Sharpens Itself After Each Use
Forget having to ever sharpen individual knives again: This 12-piece knife set does the work for you. Each knife slot contains a built-in knife sharpener that sharpens your knives after each use. You'll get a chef's knife, slicer knife, chef's knife with kullens, fine-edge utility knife, paring knife, six steak knives, and a storing block. Each knife is made of high carbon stainless steel and is resistant to stains and rust.
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