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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
$149.99 $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

Ginsu
$55.99
at Target

Find cutlery open stock and sets at Target.com! This set of ginsu knives stays sharp without ever needing to be sharpened.?? made ...from stainless steel, it includes an 8 slicer, 7 santoku knife, 6 chef knife, 5 tomato knife, 4.5 utility knife, six 4.5 steak knives, paring knife, kitchen shears, and a storage block. . ?? . Number of pieces: 14 . ?? . Includes: 8 slicer, 7 santoku knife, 6 chef knife, 5 tomato knife, 4.5 utility knife, six 4.5 steak knives, paring knife, kitchen shears, and storage block read more

Farberware

Find cutlery open stock and sets at Target.com! This farberware 4-piece stainless steel steak knife set is an ideal addition to yo...ur table setting. The high-carbon stainless steel blades have razor sharp edges, while the stainless steel handles provide a comfortable grip. Knives are perfectly weighted and balanced for control. Hand-wash with warm water and a mild detergent; rinse and dry immediately. read more

Topchef
$90.99
at Amazon

Like those used on Bravo's top-rated Top Chef program, these knives features an ice-tempered stainless steel blade with precision ...cut sharpened cutting edge, hollow ground to reduce sticking and a full steel handle with seamless bonded and polished bolsters. Stainless Steel BBQ Set Product Features: Each Grill Tool is Made of Rust Resistant 420 Stainless Steel Parts for Long Lasting Durability, Aluminum Handles are Hollow Formed to Maintain a Comfortable, Working Temperature and Light Weight Spatula features a Bottle Opener, Serrated Edge and Tenderizer 19-inch Tong, 19.5-inch Spatula, 19.5-inch Fork, 17-inch Knife, 7-inch Santoku Knife, 5-inch Satoku Knife, 3.5-inch Paring Knife, Sharpening Rod, Nylon Carry Pouch, 5-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set Features:- 7-inch Santoku Knife, 5-inch Satoku Knife, 3.5-inch Paring Knife, Sharpening Rod, Nylon Carry Pouch. 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
Crate & Barrel
$99.95 $210.00
at Crate & Barrel

Cut, chop and slice like the pros with this convenient prep set from one of the most respected names in cutlery. Every knife featu...res a strong, long-lasting blade of hand-forged, tempered and hardened high-carbon steel with a long-lasting, V-ground edge that's easy to sharpen. In a process that involves 38 separate steps of hammering, shaping, refining, sharpening, buffing and polishing, a solid sheet of steel is transformed into working art that will hold its edge and maintain its shape. Each cutting edge is hand-ground by skilled craftsmen in Solingen, Germany-the knife-producing capital of the world. Perfectly balanced, the comfortable, triple-riveted molded handles are high-impact and more sanitary than wood. -Forged of tempered and hardened steel -Long-lasting, V-ground edge -Full tang -High-impact, triple-riveted synthetic handles -High-carbon, no-stain blades -Blades have a 14-degree edge angle -Easy to sharpen -Hand wash -Made in Germany read more

Crate and Barrel W??sthof ?? Classic 2-Piece Prep Knife Set
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
J.A. Henckels
$17.19 $21.49
at Target

Find cutlery open stock and sets at Target.com! Make your knives as good as your steak. The j.a. Henckels 4 piece steak knife set ...is the perfect choice for your kitchen. Each serrated knife is shaped and sharpened so that it gives you a clean, even cut. The basic black handle is attractive and easy to match with any cutlery set. read more

J.A. Henckels 4 Piece Steak Knife Set
J.A. Henckels
$127.99 $159.99
at Target

Find cutlery open stock and sets at Target.com! The henckels premio knife set contains every knife you need for your kitchen. Ther...e are 13 knives and a set of shears, all made from stainless steel. Each one is stain, corrosion and rust resistant. read more

Henckels Premio 14-pc. Metal Cap Knife Set
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional S
$329.95 $600.00
at Hayneedle.com

The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional S series known as Pro S, delivers outstanding cutting performance and used worldwide by pr...ofessional & home chefs. This entire collection features precision forged knives made from a single piece of Zwilling J.A. Henckels exclusive high-carbon stainless steel. As a result, the knives have improved quality consistency, lasting sharpness, and perfect geometry. In addition, the steel blade goes through a special ice-hardening process called Friodur. This process changes the molecular structure of the steel improving the cutting properties providing a remarkably sharp blade and ensures a long lasting cutting edge. Each knife is precision honed and laser controlled to assure the cutting edge is accurate along the full length of the blade. The blade is enhanced with a traditional 3-riveted comfortable handle. Made in Germany, Lifetime Warranty. read more

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional S Knife Block Set
Ross-Simons
$360.00 $540.00
at Ross-Simons

This beautiful cake knife & server set will make the event one to remember. The Giorgio pattern adorns this 2-pc. set. Sterling si...lver hollow handles with stainless steel forged blades by Wallace. Comes in an elegant gift box, & luxurious storage bag. Cake Knife 12 1/2"L. Cake server 10 7/8"L. Made in the USA. read more

Wallace "Giorgio" 2-pc. Bridal Knife & Cake Server Set
Chicago Cutlery
$76.99 $129.00
at Wayfair

Chicago Cutlery Fusion 15 Piece Knife Block Set Fusion collection has professional high carbon stainless steel forged blades with ...black comfort grip poly handles. These professional performance knives are perfect for the everyday cook that is looking... read more

Chicago Cutlery Fusion 15 Piece Knife Block Set 1109956
Rada Cutlery
$67.95 $97.74
at Wayfair

Rada Cutlery 6 Piece Creative Cuts Oak Block Knife Set Amazing selection of knives to support your favorite creative cook. (Slicer..., carving fork, tomato slicer, utility/steak, heavy duty paring and granny paring) Features: -Hand made razor sharp... read more

Rada Cutlery 6 Piece Creative Cuts Oak Block Knife Set S42
Zwilling J.A. Henckels
$89.95 $115.00
at Wayfair

Zwilling JA Henckels Twin Gourmet 8 Piece Steak Knife Set with Decorative Box No kitchen is complete without this 8 Piece Twin Gou...rmet Steak Set. Perfect geometry, high precision and improved stability of the blade and steel structure allows you to... read more

Zwilling JA Henckels Twin Gourmet 8 Piece Steak Knife Set with Decorative Box 39123-850
Zwilling J.A. Henckels
$79.95 $160.00
at Wayfair

Zwilling JA Henckels Twin Four Star 3 Piece Utility Knife Set Features: -Set includes 1 kitchen shear, 1 cutting board and 1 serra...ted/utility knife.-Hand sharpened and polished.-Edge angle 15 on each side.-Laser controlled edge.-Classic full... read more

Zwilling JA Henckels Twin Four Star 3 Piece Utility Knife Set 35737-000
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