7 Knife Sets That'll Turn Anyone Into A Master Chef (Well, Almost)

by Lisa Fogarty

You can be the most creative cook on the block, but just as a great artist requires a solid set of paintbrushes, owning one of the best knife sets for your cooking needs and lifestyle is only going to bring you one step closer to being the best cook you can be.

There are knife sets to suit every budget, culinary skill level, and even kitchen type. If you live in an apartment and want to maximize as much kitchen counter space as possible, there are a slew of smaller knife set blocks that will still leave you plenty of room to prep a meal, as well as knives that come in zip-up cases you can store. Most sets feature the basics — chef, bread, utility, and butcher knives, plus a parer — but there's nothing stopping you from investing in a quality stainless steel 23-piece set that includes everything from boning knives to a double melon baller.

Knives are so much more than kitchen gadgets — they are fundamental cooking tools. A great knife kit with super-sharp blades and ergonomic handles can do more to help you whip up a Thanksgiving feast than culinary hacks and cooking lessons (though no one would knock those, either). These seven knife sets address different cooking styles and your home décor needs.


The 18-Piece Cutlery Knife Block Of Your Dreams, At An Incredible Value

Chicago Cutlery Fusion Forged 18-Piece Knife Block Set, $94, Amazon

Some cooks are happy with one or two good knives, but if you don't adhere to that way of thinking and want all of the knives you can get, well, you can't do much better than this 18-piece cutlery knife block. There's a lot of value here for the price. This stainless steel set includes a parer, peeler, utility knife, chef, slicer, bread, partoku, santoku, stainless sharpening steel, and eight steak knives. The black comfort grip poly handles make it easier for you to hold these knives steadily as you chop and dice and Taper Grind technology provides a more precise, sharp cut that's a breeze to sharpen.

One happy reviewer raves that their "weight and balance feel great in your hand, and these knives are super SHARP!" and that the wooden block looks great in their kitchen.


A 23-Piece Knife Set Made For Culinary Students That Comes In A Portable Case

Mercer Culinary 23-Piece Millennia Culinary School Kit, $222, Amazon

Culinary students need great knives that are also portable — if that sounds like your idea of cutlery heaven — or if you really just want an extensive knife set that you can pack away in a drawer — this 23-piece culinary kitchen school kit is perfect. Made from quality stain-free Japanese steel with ergonomic handles, you'll get a slicer, chef's knife, bread knife, paring, and boning knives (all with knife guards), as well as a cut ruler, offset spatula, seven-inch fork, one-inch double melon baller, four decorating tips, and even a pastry bag. When you're finished using your tools, wrap them up in this durable nylon knife case, which boasts an adjustable shoulder strap for portability.


A 10-Piece Colorful Knife Set For Creative Chefs

Vremi 10-Piece Colorful Knife Set, $18, Amazon

Not content to follow the crowd, you're always on the look out for creative home solutions — like this gorgeous, rainbow-colored 10-piece knife set. This stainless steel set comes with a chef knife, butcher knife, utility knife, serrated knife, and a paring knife, as well as five BPA-free colored sheath covers. The food-safe color coating is non-toxic and these lightweight knives can be stored in a drawer to give you back your counter space.

More than 1,200 reviewers mostly rave about the quality and look of these stylish knives. "These knives are awesome!" one reviewer writes. "They each come with an individual sheath, which is good because they are SHARP. I have been having fun cutting tiny slices of veggies with no work at all, they are that sharp."


A Seven-Piece Knife Set For Small Kitchens That Won't Hog Up All Of Your Counter Space

HULLR 7-Piece Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife Set With Wooden Block, $15, Amazon

If you have a small kitchen, you need all of the counter space you can get. This seven-piece stainless steel kitchen knife set boasts a compact design that won't take up a lot of room, yet it still manages to give you everything you need to prepare a meal. You'll get an eight-inch chef knife, eight-inch carving knife, eight-inch bread knife, five-inch utility knife, a pairing knife, and kitchen shears — all of which are made with high quality stainless steel blades.

"The block itself was a bit smaller than expected but that turned out to be a good thing considering how much counter space you end up saving," one reviewer writes. "The knives are good quality, especially for the price. Very sharp and will last a while."


A Knife Set That Comes With An Alternative Display, If You Dislike Wooden Blocks

Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel 6-Piece Knives Set, $28, Amazon

Not only are these stainless steel knives high quality tools that will last a lifetime, but their display and storage design is a space saver that shares nothing in common with typical wooden blocks. These five knives — an eight-inch chef knife, eight-inch bread knife, eight-inch carving knife, five-inch utility knife, and paring knife — come in an attractive acrylic stand that provides a convenient, unorthodox storage solution. Another winning quality about these knives: The same steel is used throughout, from handle to blade, which means there's no chance that the handle will suddenly come apart as you're chopping an onion.

Reviewers love the sleekness of this knife set and one said, "Knives are nice and sharp and work great. The presentation in the holder is very modern and attractive. The packaging is great; all knives are covered and wrapped, the holder is wrapped in a separate box. Very quality product!"


The Best Knife Set With A Built-In Sharpener

Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 6-Piece Knife Block Set, $125, Amazon

There's no need to wait months (or even years) to remember to sharpen your knives when you own this self-sharpening knife set, which features built-in ceramic sharpeners that allow you to freshen knives after each use. Each set comes with an eight-inch chef's knife, six-inch utility knife, five-inch Santoku knife, a parer, and kitchen shears. The beautiful block is made from blonde rubberwood and each contoured handle is labeled so that you can identify each knife while it's stored in the block. The sharpeners are actually built into each holding slot so there's nothing to think about or remember — your knives will stay consistently sharpened each time you use them to whip up a meal.


The Absolute Best Knife Set For Beginners

Ross Henery Professional Eclipse Premium Stainless Steel 9-Piece Starter Chef's Knife Set In Case, $130, Amazon

One of the biggest misconceptions about starter cooking tools is that you should buy the cheapest you can find since you're probably not deboning chicken ballotines just yet. But a dull set of knives will set you back, whereas this high carbon stainless steel nine-piece knife set provides everything you need in a portable zip-up carry case. You'll get a 14-inch chef's knife, 14-inch carving knife, 12.5-inch utility knife, eight-inch paring knife, 12-inch boning knife, 13-inch bread knife, meat cleaver, carving fork, and 12-inch sharpening steel. Most of the knives are slightly bigger than you might expected, which makes them easier to work with.

One reviewer, who is studying cooking at night, calls these the "Perfect Set for cooking school."

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