While knives can be expensive, you don't need to shell out thousands of dollars to get a quality set — you just need to be a savvy shopper. When looking for the best knife sets under $200, there are a few key features that you'll want to consider:
- Weight: Although previous generations of knife sets consisted of heavier blades, it's now possible to have lightweight knives that are still incredibly sturdy. A more lightweight knife can reduce cramping and hand fatigue and make it easier to quickly cut malleable vegetables and meats, while a heavier weight is better for cutting thicker and denser foods.
- Balance: The balance of your knife should be evenly allocated between the blade and the handle. This provides a secure grip while simultaneously reducing cramping in your hand and arm.
- Material: A good knife can be made from a few different materials, including stainless steel, ceramic, and carbon steel. Although ceramic blades are sharp, they break fairly easily, which is why the knife sets below are made from either stainless steel or carbon steel blades. There are pros and cons to both materials. Carbon steel is easy to sharpen, but it rusts more easily. Meanwhile, stainless steel is more durable but harder to sharpen. Here, it comes down to personal preference.
A reliable set of knives can be the ticket to a hassle-free cooking experience. With one of the best knife sets at your fingertips, you can feel like head chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant — right in your own kitchen.
1. The Overall Best Knife Set Under $200
J.A. Henckels International Statement Knife Block Set
This 15-piece stainless steel knife set is the overall best for a few reasons. Each precision-stamped blade is made from durable, high-quality stainless steel with a satin finish, which allows for smoother cutting and helps the blades to maintain their razor edges for longer in between sharpenings. Each knife is lightweight and easy to maneuver, with a triple-rivet handle that provides secure balance and an ergonomic grip. Every knife in the set is also dishwasher-safe, so they’re not only easy to use but also easy to clean afterward.
2. The Best Budget-Friendly Knife Set
Chef Grids 12-Piece Premium Kitchen Knife Set
If you just want an affordable knife set that will get the job done without breaking the bank, this colorful one from Chef Grids is a smart choice. With this set, you'll have all the essentials: a chef knife, a bread knife, a slicing knife, a utility knife, and a paring knife. All the knives feature durable stainless steel blades that resist corrosion, and the set also comes with five protective sheaths, a safety glove, and a multi-peeler. Each knife is a different color to help avoid cross-contamination while cooking. The knives all have balanced handles for both comfort and security when cutting and dicing. And if you’re unhappy with the set for any reason, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.
3. The Best Self-Sharpening Knife Set
Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Cutlery Knife Block Set
If you don’t want to have to stop and sharpen your knives on a regular basis, this self-sharpening knife set is a great solution. This 12-piece set includes standard pieces, such as a chef’s knife, a serrated utility knife, a Santoku knife, steak knives, and kitchen shears. Ceramic sharpeners are built directly into the block and automatically sharpen the straight-edge knives each time they are removed and replaced. Each knife is made from high-carbon steel with a no-stain construction and features triple-riveted handles for a steady, secure grip. It's no surprise that this knife set has a near-perfect rating on Amazon.
4. The Best Large-Quantity Knife Set
AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set
With this 18-piece knife set from AmazonBasics, your kitchen will be fully equipped with a chef’s knife, a Santoku knife, a slicing knife, a bread knife, a utility knife, a boning knife, a paring knife, eight steak knives, kitchen shears, and an 8-inch sharpener. The blades are made from a high-quality stainless steel designed for long-lasting sharpness and smooth cutting. Although the blades come fully sharpened, the sharpener can be used as needed on all knives except for the steak knives (which require no sharpening thanks to their micro-serrated edges). Each knife is weighted for optimal balance and has a triple-riveted, ergonomic handle with a full bolster to keep fingers at a safe distance from the blade. One important thing to note is that this set is hand-wash only.
5. The Best Knife Set For Limited Counter Space
Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set
This sleek Mercer Culinary knife set will be a game-changer for anyone who wants the best tools possible no matter how small their kitchen may be. This six-piece set features knives made from a high-carbon, no-stain steel that’s designed to resist both rust and disintegration. The ergonomic handles provide a no-slip grip and are designed to withstand wide-ranging temperatures. These knives are precision-forged from a single piece of material, allowing for durability and long-lasting use. This set has almost 700 five-star reviews on Amazon, and one reviewer described it as both “elegant and practical.”
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