The 10 Best Kitchen Knife Sets of 2023 for Home Cooks of All Skill Levels

Our top pick is the Wusthof Classic 9-Piece Knife Block Set because of its versatility and durability.

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 Best Kitchen Knife Sets

Better Homes & Gardens / Kristin Kempa

Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned chef who loves nothing more than dreaming up delicious meals or a hesitant kitchen newcomer who’s still working on mastering the basics, it’s essential that you gather the right tools to help you on your cooking journey. In addition to items like sauté pans and silverware sets, you’ll want to get a great kitchen knife set that you can use for so many of your daily needs.

“A great kitchen knife set is first and foremost, safe and comfortable for you,” says chef and cookbook author Tracy Wilk. An ideal kitchen knife set, she says, should include knives that “fit in your hand, are not too heavy or too light, and don’t make you feel too intimidated.”

To help you find the best set for your needs, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites on the market, in a wide range of sizes, price points, and uses.

Our top pick is the Wusthof Classic 9-Piece Knife Block Set from Amazon, due to the knives’ sharp blades, sturdy feel, and handy storage block. Read on for more recommendations of the best kitchen knife sets.

Best Overall Kitchen Knife Set

Wusthof Classic 9-Piece Knife Block Set

Wusthof Classic 9-Piece Knife Block Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It’s a strong, sharp set of knives that comes with shears and a wooden block.

Keep In Mind: It’s a little pricey and the knives don’t fill the whole block.

For a strong and durable set of kitchen knives that you’ll be able to use for years on end, the Wusthof Classic 9-Piece Knife Block Set is our pick for the best kitchen knife set. Although it’s a bit pricier than some other sets out there, it comes with eight high-quality knives including a paring knife, a utility knife, an Asian utility knife, a serrated utility knife, a bread knife, a cook’s knife, a honing steel, and shears (unlike many knife sets that come without). It also comes with a gorgeous wooden block to store them all in.

These knives are made from top-notch tempered steel that resists discoloration, corrosion, dulling, and fading. They each have sharp, precise blades and a triple-riveted base, as well as a full bolster that’ll let you handle the knives safely.

And while the knives boast a lightweight and easy-to-hold feel, they’re sturdy and dependable. Just note that because the block has room for more knives than come with the set, you’ll need to buy a few extra on your own if you want to fill in those gaps.

Price at time of publish: $665

Product Details: Material: High carbon stainless steel I Number of Pieces: Nine I Block or Case: Block

Best Budget Kitchen Knife Set

Henckels Statement 15-Piece Knife Block Set

Henckels Statement 15-Piece Knife Block Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It’s a lightweight and stylish set of inexpensive knives.

Keep In Mind: The handles are a bit chunky compared to other knives.

Looking to keep your kitchen purchases under a tight budget? Consider opting for this affordable option from Henckels, which comes with 15 useful pieces: a paring knife, a serrated utility knife, a santoku knife hollow edge, a chef’s knife, a bread knife, six steak knives, honing steel, shears, and a hardwood knife block for storage.

In addition to its low price, this set boasts precise, fine-edge blades for all its knives, all of which are made from top-tier, stain- and rust-free stainless steel. They have a lightweight feel that makes it easy to hold and maneuver them, as well as curved handles that allow you to get a firm grip during use.

Plus, all of the knives and shears are dishwasher-safe, so cleaning up after cooking prep will be a breeze. On the downside, the handles are a bit blocky, so they won’t fit perfectly in everyone's hands. But if keeping costs down is your main priority, make sure not to miss out on this set despite those minor flaws.

Price at time of publish: $130

Product Details: Material: Stainless steel I Number of Pieces: 15 I Block or Case: Block

Best Splurge Kitchen Knife Set

Shun Hikari Knife Block, Set of 7

Shun Hikari Knife Block, Set of 7

Williams Sonoma

Why You Should Get It: The knives are handcrafted and made from high quality materials.

Keep In Mind: They require handwashing.

For shoppers that are able and willing to spend a bit more on their kitchen accessories, take note of this gorgeous and high-quality knife set from Williams Sonoma. Each of the five handcrafted knives (a paring knife, a utility knife, two chef’s knives, and a bread knife) are made from durable stainless steel and feature birch handles.

These knives are sharp and effective, with micro-serrations designed to reduce friction and help the knives last for years on end. They all have comfortable grips thanks to polished bolster, and moisture- and bacteria-resistant handles can be used by both left- and right-handed chefs. 

The storage block, also made from birch, has eight slots for various knives as well as the included honing steel. Hone your knives once a week, and sharpen them yearly using a whetstone or knife sharpener.

To help prevent rusting, be sure to hand wash these knives and avoid using bleach or citrus extracts. Still, this is an excellent set of knives for anyone who isn’t shopping with a tight budget and wants a top-level collection of kitchen tools.

Price at time of publish: $1,280

Product Details: Material: Stainless steel, birch wood I Number of Pieces: Seven |  Block or Case: Block

Best Magnetic Kitchen Knife Set

Schmidt Brothers Bonded Ash 15-Piece Knife Set

Schmidt Brothers Bonded Ash 15-Piece Knife Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It features extra safety and easy storage for your knives.

Keep In Mind: It’s not magnetic on both sides.

Magnetic knife blocks can be super helpful in keeping all your knives safely secured when not in use, and we’re particularly fond of this option from Schmidt Brothers.

It comes with 15 pieces (a bread knife, a slicer knife, a chef’s knife, a Santoku knife, a double edge utility knife, a fine edge utility knife, a paring knife, six steak knives, a knife sharpener, and an ash wood knife block), all of which are sturdy, durable, and meant for long-lasting use.

These steel-made knives feature sharp blades and unpolished handles, which help ensure a strong grip and reduce the risk of slipping during use. And then there’s that slidable magnetic block, which keeps each knife tightly stored yet easy to access whenever you need to grab one. 

It’s a space-saving and convenient accessory that will undoubtedly make a big difference in your cooking prep routines. Just keep in mind that the block is only magnetic on one side, and that you’ll need to wash and dry these knives carefully to avoid rusting. 

Price at time of publish: $400

Product Details: Material: Stainless steel I Number of Pieces: 15 I Block or Case: Block

Best Kitchen Knife Set with Block

Zwilling Pro 7-Piece Knife Block Set

Henckels Pro 7-Piece Block Set

Sur La Table

Why You Should Get It: It includes six essential knives and an acacia wood block for storage.

Keep In Mind: There are more open slots than there are knives.

Having a solid knife block is key to keeping your kitchen knives organized and easily accessible, and we love this pick from Zwilling. In addition to featuring six quality stainless steel tools (a bread knife, a chef’s knife, a fine-edge prep knife, a paring knife, shears, and honing steel), it also comes with a two-stage sharpener as well as a 16-slot block made from stylish and sturdy acacia wood.

The wooden block will keep your knives securely stored when not in use while also adding a sophisticated touch to your kitchen, thanks to its stand-out, elegant design. As for the knives themselves, they’re sharp, durable, and corrosion-resistant, and you can use the sharpener to maintain their edges as needed.

Each knife has a comfortable pinch grip and an ergonomic, curved-bolster look, so you can hold them with ease. Just make sure to note that you’ll need to fill in the knife block with extra knives if you want to avoid the look of empty slots, which can add up the costs and cause some hassle if you weren’t expecting it.

Price at time of publish: $350

Product Details: Material: High-carbon stainless steel I Number of Pieces: Seven I Block or Case: Block

Best Kitchen Knife Set with Case

Ross Henery Professional 9-Piece Chef Knife Set

Ross Henery Professional 9-Piece Chef Knife Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It’s ideal for people who don’t have a lot of kitchen space and prioritize convenience.

Keep In Mind: It can’t be displayed on a counter.

A wooden block isn’t the only storage option for a set of kitchen knives—you can instead opt for a case, like the one included in this nine-piece Ross Henery knife set. The set comes with a carving knife, a chef’s knife, a fileting knife, a bread knife, a cleaver, a boning knife, a paring knife, a meat fork, and sharpening steel. All of the knives and tools can be safely and securely stored in a compact, roll-up canvas carrying case. The knives all come with protective sheaths, too, for extra protection.

Rust- and corrosion-resistant, their blades will stay sharp for a long while, but you can use the included sharpener to hone their edges as needed. They each have a knurled grip to keep your hands steady during use, so you don’t risk slipping while preparing your food.

Because these knives have a case, not a block, there’s no way to display them nicely on your kitchen counter, if that’s something you were hoping to do. Still, having such a handy way to keep them stored makes up for the issues.

Price at time of publish: $150

Product Details: Material: Stainless steel I Number of Pieces: Nine I Block or Case: Case

Best Kitchen Knife Set with Scissors

Henckels Graphite 20-Piece Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set

Henckels Graphite 20-Piece Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set

The Home Depot

Why You Should Get It: The knives are dishwasher safe.

Keep In Mind: The top of the block features a stainless steel look on top of wood, which may not match certain kitchen styles. 

If you frequently find yourself needing a pair of scissors while cooking, the Henckels Graphite 20-Piece Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set is the best kitchen knife set for you. The 20-piece set comes with two paring knives, a serrated utility knife, a prep knife, a utility knife, a boning knife, a santoku knife, a bread knife, a carving knife, a chef’s knife, eight steak knives, and a pair of kitchen shears. All of the knives and tools can be safely placed in the self-sharpening wooden knife block.

These carbon knives and scissors are all razor-sharp and have fine-edge blades, as well as triple-rivet, lightweight handles for an easy grip. The block is made from elegant ash wood and comes with labeled guide slots, so you can easily know where each knife is supposed to go. Additionally, the self-sharpening feature automatically hones the knives whenever they’re stored or taken out.

Unlike many knives on our list, these are dishwasher safe so you won’t have to spend extra time washing and drying your utensils. Keep in mind that the top of the wooden block does feature a stainless steel-looking cap, which may not match your exact kitchen aesthetic. However, if you’re indifferent toward the look, this is the best kitchen knife set with scissors to add to your countertop. 

Price at time of publish: $280

Product Details: Material: Carbon stainless steel I Number of Pieces: 20 I Block or Case: Block

Best Small Kitchen Knife Set

Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Set

4.7
Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: It’s perfect for beginner chefs who aren’t doing a lot of fancy cooking.

Keep In Mind: The glass may need to be dusted occasionally.

If you have a small kitchen, the Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set pairs a quality knife set with convenient storage. Because this set also has all the essentials, it’s also ideal for a beginner home cook who is honing their basic knife skills.

The five knives (a paring knife, a utility knife, a boning knife, a bread knife, and a chef knife) all live in a compact block made from wood and tempered glass. Not only does it take up less space than other knife sets, but it also has a natural and minimalist look that matches many different kitchen styles. 

The high-carbon German steel knives are durable and highly effective, with ergonomic handles and non-slip grips to help make cutting easy and comfortable. To avoid rust, wash the knives with mild soap and warm water, and make sure they are completely dry before storing them. Washing them by hand (instead of the dishwasher) will help ensure the knives will last for years to come. 

Because the block features glass, it may occasionally need to be dusted or wiped clean. Even so, though, this is a beautiful and convenient knife set great for smaller kitchen spaces.

Price at time of publish: $159

Product Details: Material: Alloy steel I Number of Pieces: Six I Block or Case: Block

Best Large Kitchen Knife Set

Calphalon Contemporary Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set

Calphalon Contemporary Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set

Williams Sonoma

Why You Should Get It: The storage block is self-sharpening and the pieces are all labeled for easy identification.

Keep In Mind: The handles are plastic.

If you cook often or are looking to upgrade to a larger set, the Calphalon Contemporary Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set has everything you need. The 20-piece set includes a paring knife, a boning knife, two santoku knives, a tomato/bagel knife, a utility knife, a fork, a bread knife, a chef’s knife, a slicing knife, eight steak knives, and kitchen shears. The set also includes a 19-slot storage block with a walnut finish. 

The storage block is self-sharpening, so you can keep your knives ready to go at all times. The high-carbon steel knives are sturdy and easy for chefs of all skill levels to maneuver, with precise blades and bolsters. Also, each piece features an end cap labeled with its name and size so you never lose track of which knife is which.

The knives also have plastic handles, which ensure a secure and ergonomic grip. To clean these knives, hand wash with a mild soap and warm water, and dry immediately. Avoid using bleach, citrus cleaners, or the dishwasher to help your knives last longer. 

Price at time of publish: $330

Product Details: Material: Alloy steel I Number of Pieces: 20 I Block or Case: Block

Best Professional Kitchen Knife Set

Shun Premier 8-Piece Professional Knife Block Set

 Shun Premier 8-Piece Professional Knife Block Set

Crate and Barrel

Why You Should Get It: The knives glide super quickly and have minimal drag.

Keep In Mind: It’s on the higher end price-wise.

Need a set of kitchen knives that are professional quality and designed for chefs? The Shun Premier 8-Piece Professional Knife Block Set is the best professional kitchen knife set. It comes with eight pieces: a paring knife, a santoku knife, a utility knife, a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a slicing knife, honing steel, and an 11-slot honey-colored bamboo block to store them all in safely.

These elegant handcrafted knives are made in Japan and are expertly designed to reduce drag. This helps create a smooth, gliding cutting experience during use. The knives are made from 34 layers of stainless steel, which makes them strong and durable. They also have an ultra lightweight feel despite their significant heft, so it’s easy to hold and maneuver them as you work in the kitchen. 

With proper care (avoid washing them in the dishwasher), you can expect them to last for years. That said, because they are professional grade, they are notably pricier than many other sets—if you are on a budget, this may not be the best option for you. 

Price at time of publish: $1,000

Product Details: Material: Stainless steel I Number of Pieces: Eight I Block or Case: Block

The Bottom Line

We recommend the Wusthof Classic 9-Piece Knife Block Set for home chefs of all skill levels, thanks to the versatility and effectiveness of these high-quality knives and accompanying wooden block. For a more affordable option, the Henckels Premium Quality 15-Piece Knife Set with Block offers quality at a more budget-friendly price point.

What to Know About Kitchen Knife Sets Before Shopping

Material

Most kitchen knives are made from stainless steel, as it’s a durable and usually affordable option compared to most other materials. However, you can instead opt for carbon steel, which can be especially sharp and distinctive looking but is a bit pricier.

You could also choose a high-carbon stainless steel option, which is known for its rust-resistant quality and is a favorite of professional chefs; however, it’s more expensive than both stainless steel and carbon steel. For most regular home cooks, stainless steel is a reliable way to go.

Number of Pieces Included

Kitchen knife sets come in a variety of sizes, typically ranging from just six to eight pieces to upwards of 20 or 30. If you’re a low-key cook who just wants enough knives to handle daily kitchen duties, you’re likely fine with a set on the smaller size.

However, if you’re someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, opt for a set with 12 or more pieces. Don’t forget, though, that the block or case is usually counted as one of the pieces in a set.

Block or Case

Many knife sets come with their own wooden storage blocks, which usually take up ample room on a countertop but provide easy access to each item. If you’re low on space, don’t like the look of a big block, or want to take your knives on the go, opt instead for a carrying case. With this, each knife will have a designated spot and can be rolled up for compact carrying or storage.

Your Questions, Answered

What are the three knives everyone should have in their kitchen?

Wilk recommends that all home cooks, regardless of experience, should own these three knives: a chef knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife. “I won’t go anywhere without these three,” she says. “With these three options, I can do anything I need to do in a kitchen.”

You can use a chef knife for everything from mincing herbs to carving meats, while the smaller, versatile paring knife is ideal for tasks like peeling and scoring. A serrated knife is typically used for cutting into bread and sweets.

Wilk adds that steak knives and kitchen shears are also practical tools to have available. 

What is the best way to care for kitchen knives?

The number one rule, Wilk says, is to avoid the dishwasher and hand wash your knives, instead. “The dishwasher will make the blade dull,” she says. Washing knives in the dishwasher could also potentially cause rust.

Instead, Wilk recommends cleaning your knives with hot, soapy water and allowing them to dry completely before storing them. 

Who We Are

This article was written by Rachel Simon, a writer for Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, The New York Times, and many other publications. She frequently covers home products and did significant research on kitchen knife sets for this story, including speaking to chef and cookbook author Tracy Wilk.

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