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Cutlery Sets Buying Guide

A good set of knives is a key component to a cook's kitchen. As with many kitchen items, this category can become overwhelming without doing a bit of research before shopping. A basic cutlery set can sound simple, but the choices are many.

Types of Cutlery Sets

Types of Cutlery Sets

Too many knives in a kitchen can be unproductive. Unless you're a commercial chef, an abundance of knives won't get used in a home kitchen. Start with a basic cutlery set and work your way toward a larger collection, one knife at a time. Cutlery sets can range from three knives to 40. Start small, and be sure to include a knife sharpener as part of your purchase to maintain the set.

The Essentials

A paring knife, utility knife, chef's knife, serrated/bread knife, and kitchen scissors round out the bare essentials of a cutlery set. Each has a distinctive role in food prep, so having each at the ready is a good rule of thumb.

Steak Knives Included

Some, but not all, cutlery sets include steak knives. This is a nice option for a starter cutlery set, but if you already have steak knives, opt for a set with different tools.

Nice-to-Have Knives

Once you have the basics covered, knife shopping gets fun. A boning knife is good addition to your collection. Its uses include cutting around and removing the bone in a cut of meat. A santoku knife, featuring hollowed-out impressions, is a Japanese-style knife with a thinner blade than a chef's knife; it cuts easily through dense vegetables. A carving knife is another useful extra for slicing meats.

Japanese Knives

Traditional Japanese cutlery is handcrafted in Japan in the tradition of samurai swords. Typically Japanese knives feature quality steel and a single beveled edge, and they are known for their meticulous craftsmanship.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

There are likely many kitchen gadgets you can live without, but a good set of knives is nearly invaluable. Consider it an investment you'll maintain through periodic sharpening and hand-washing only. When it's time to buy knives, be sure to test a couple of options to know how the handle fits your hand, and look for stainless-steel blades.

Steel

High-carbon stainless-steel blades are an absolute must when choosing knives. The quality of steel blades will go up with price. Determine your price point for a cutlery set featuring stainless steel, and let the variety be your guide.

shop Steel
Chicago Cutlery Insignia Steel
$219.99 $249.99
at Kohl's

Chicago Cutlery Insignia Steel collection is constructed of high-carbon stainless steel blades featuring our exclusive Taper Grind... edge which is extremely sharp and enables precision cutting. The forged bolster provides balance and safety while ergonomically designed stainless steel handles combine comfort and safety with sleek, contemporary styling. High-carbon stainless steel blades feature our exclusive Taper Grind edge technology for optimum sharpness, edge retention and easier resharpening. Heavy-duty blade with full bolster add safety and balance. High-carbon stainless steel blades resist rust and stains for lasting beauty. Ergonomically designed stainless steel handles combine ergonomics and safety with sleek, contemporary styling. Contemporary satin finish provides an elegant appearance. read more

Wusthof
$119.95 $180.00
at Hayneedle.com

This Wusthof Stainless Steel Steak Knife & Carving Set is constructed of 18/10 stainless steel. Full tang extends through the poli...shed handles for balance. The steak knives & carving knife feature a serrated edge for easy slicing. A wood presentation box with latch provides storage and protects the steak knives & carving set. This simple but elegant design will fit any flatware or table setting decor and makes a perfect gift. Made in Germany; Lifetime Warranty. read more

Messermeister

Get a steal of steel when you pick up the 3 Piece Knife Gift Set by Messermeister. The set includes two great blades capable of do...ing the bulk of meal prep including chopping, slicing, dicing, read more

Blade Construction

The overall construction of the knife will dictate its durability. If the blade is full tang, extending from the tip to the end of the handle, it increases the overall durability of the knife.

Handles

Choose knives that feel balanced and comfortable in your hand. Beveled, curved, and rounded handles all have a different feel, so make sure you hold a knife from the set you're buying to make sure it is well-suited for your grip.

Number and Variety of Knives

Shop for a good basic cutlery set, with or without steak knives, and then do the rest of your knife shopping a la carte. If you find a brand you like, stick with it. But no one says all your knives need to be from the same brand family.

Specialty Sets

Oftentimes a manufacturer will package two or three knives together as a gift set. The sets are usually competitively priced, so this is a nice way to start a set or add to an existing set.

Storage

When buying a set of knives, consider where you plan to store them in your kitchen: on the counter in a wooden block, on a magnetic strip, or in a drawer storage unit. Some cutlery sets are sold with a storage unit. If a storage unit is not part of the set, make sure to purchase one—proper storage extends the life of the knives.

Kitchen on sale
The Company Store

Set of cheese knives. Crafted with nickel-plated finish. Handles are shaped like leafy branches, bringing a lovely botanical theme... to your entertaining. Set of 3 knives is suitable for hard and soft cheeses. Coordinates with our Branch Cheese Board, Salad Bowl and Salad Servers (sold separately). Fo read more

Knife Set, OS - The Company Store
Wine Enthusiast
$99.99 $149.95
at Wine Enthusiast

- Laguiole Olivewood Wine and Steak Set. One of the best possible gifts for the gourmet. Set of 4 steak knives and a waiter-style ...corkscrew hand-carved from butter-smooth olivewood and packaged together in a wooden gift box.. Great gift for wine lovers. read more

Laguiole Olivewood Five Piece Wine Opener and Steak Knife Set
Wine Enthusiast
$199.99 $299.95
at Wine Enthusiast

- Laguiole Mixed Wood Steak Knives Handcrafted of rare and beautiful woods. Designed for beauty engineered for balance inspired by... a sleek 19th c. shepherd's tool. Set of 6. One of each wood handle including wenge olivewood juniper oakwood bubinga and palissander. . Great gift for wine lovers. read more

Laguiole Mixed Woods 6 Piece Knife Set
Wusthof
$239.95 $380.00
at Crate & Barrel

Wusthof's tempered and hardened hollow-ground blade in high-carbon steel glides through steaks and chops with ease and precision. ...V-ground edge maintains its shape and sharpness. Well-balanced knives have riveted handles and durable full-tang blades. More Wusthof?? available via special order. Please contact your local store. -Tempered and hardened steel -Blade has a 14 degree edge angle -Riveted synthetic handles -Full-tang blades -Hand wash -Made in Germany read more

Set of 4 W??sthof ?? Classic Hollow Edge Steak Knives
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