Cutlery Sets Buying Guide

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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
Sabatier
$99.99

Impress any guest with this Sabatier 14 piece stainless steel cutlery block set. It features high-carbon stainless steel blades, w...hich means it will hold an ultra-sharp edge. With weighted handles, the stainless steel handles house balance for optimal... read more

Lenox
$99.99

Profile Series knives feature top-quality German stainless steel blades that are taper ground from spine to tip and top to bottom ...and finished to fine edge for optimal blade sharpness and retention. The series features ergonomically designed, hollow... read more

Lenox
$99.99

Profile Series knives feature top-quality German stainless steel blades that are taper ground from spine to tip and top to bottom ...and finished to fine edge for optimal blade sharpness and retention. The series features ergonomically designed, hollow... read more

Sabatier
$99.99

Impress any guest with this Sabatier 14 piece stainless steel cutlery block set. It features high-carbon stainless steel blades, w...hich means it will hold an ultra-sharp edge. With weighted handles, the stainless steel handles house balance for optimal... 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

Farberware
$19.99 $16.99

Farberware cookware and kitchen necessities build on a proud tradition of quality. These Farberware steak knives are perfectly wei...ghted and balanced, with a full tang and triple-riveted handle for durability and sturdiness. Each knife measures... read more

Wusthof
$180.00 $119.95

Nested in a beautiful rosewood presentation chest, this steak set from the masters at Wusthof pairs eight sleek stainless steel st...eak knives with coordinating carving knife and fork. The set's elegant contemporary design is a tabletop asset, while the... read more

Wusthof
$168.00 $99.95

Known for its swirled and irregular grain and natural luster, plum wood partners beautifully with Wusthof's renowned high-carbon b...lades in this attractive and functional steak knife set. • High-carbon, stain-free steel blades • Plum wood • Hand wash •... read more

Crate&Barrel
$27.80 $24.95

Crafted in stainless steel with a brushed satin finish, this a la carte collection mixes seamlessly to create a custom setting or ...to supplement your existing pattern. Clean rounded forms shape a versatile collection, ranging from traditional designs to... read more

Wusthof
$658.00 $299.95

The heritage of Wusthof in an affordable, quality stamped construction. One of the most trusted names in cutlery, Wusthofr offers ...the perfect classic knife for every cutting, chopping and slicing job. Produced by skilled craftsmen in Solingen, Germany,... read more

Wusthof
$412.00 $199.95

One of the most trusted names in cutlery, Wusthof offers the perfect knife for every cutting, chopping and slicing job. The expans...ive Gourmet collection combines all the knives you'll need plus a honing steel and sheers stored neatly in a custom... read more

Wusthof Classic
$593.00 $299.95

Cut, chop and slice like the pros with this deluxe knife set from one of the most respected names in cutlery. Knives feature high-...impact synthetic handles that are comfortable to hold and more durable and sanitary than wood. A strong, long-lasting... read more

KitchenAid
$799.99 $299.99

Bringing the same eye toward quality, attention to detail and timeless design that distinguishes its iconic stand mixers, KitchenA...id introduces this set of professional-quality knives. Made of forged German high-carbon stainless steel, the knives hold... read more

Global
$845.00 $499.95

Crafted in Japan using a manufacturing method inherited from the Samurai sword, Globalr cutlery features distinctive modern design... with seamless, hygienic one-piece, stainless-steel construction, professional performance and a dramatic signature dimple... read more

Shun
$1,372.00 $949.95

These amazing razor-sharp knives are created in Seki City, Japan's 700-year-old center for samurai swords. Their "ripple" Damascus... rust-free finish is achieved by forging 34 layers of steel on each side. Flexible, stick-resistant blades are stamped,... read more

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