The Most Recommended High Quality Kitchen Knife Sets

Published on 10/29/2023 · 8 min readSlice through the clutter of choices with our carefully curated list of the most recommended high-quality kitchen knife sets!
Jacob Lewis, Kitchen Expert
By Kitchen Expert Jacob Lewis

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A set of high-quality knives is a chef's most prized possession – the foundation upon which they craft their culinary masterpieces. From versatile chef's knives to precision paring knives, each blade is designed to excel in its unique role, including how the handle grips, the quality of the steel, and the sharpness of the blade. In this article, I explore some of the most recommended high-quality kitchen knife sets available, equipped with everything from durable steak knives to versatile utility blades spanning across the whole world from Japan to Germany.

Choosing the Best Knife Set

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Selecting the perfect knife set is an art in itself, and I truly believe there are few sets out there that perfectly match anyone’s specific needs. It's not merely about the blades; it's about finding a set of knives that suits the demands of your culinary style, and many styles change between each knife shape. So, while the best knife sets offer a variety of blade types, from the versatile chef's knife to the precision of paring knives, it’s common that even such a variety doesn’t quite match the needs of a skilled chef. I typically encourage people to accept that building your perfect knife set might be decades in the making; it sure has been for me.

But in the meantime, it’s good to start somewhere. I always recommend folks spend as much as they can on above-average, mid-range knives because, with proper maintenance and sharpening, they’ll last for many years. Quality begins with the blade, typically made from stainless steel or high-carbon steel, to resist rust and maintain sharpness. When exploring cutlery options, home cooks often seek a set that includes essential knives like the chef’s, paring, and the bread knife for slicing rustic loaves. But maybe not a boning knife for chicken unless that’s something you know you’ll be using frequently.

Durability is a top priority, ensuring that your good knives remain sharp and efficient, but it’s also good to know that all knives need regular sharpening. A full tang design and a comfortable handle enhance the grip and comfort, but they also add weight. Overall, a knife should feel comfortable for your wrist, and you might not know this until you’ve used a knife for months or longer.

1. Global Takashi 10-Piece Block Set

Global knives are high-quality, Japanese-style knives designed for precision in slicing and dicing and are blended with modern and practical uses. The 5.5-inch vegetable knife in this set is like a hybrid Nakiri/Santoku – compact with a slightly arced blade and razor-sharp, perfect for chopping vegetables. This set also includes an 8” chef's knife, a pair of all-metal kitchen shears, and a flexible boning knife for versatility or specialty tasks. For overall versatility, this set ranks as one of my top choices. All that it could be lacking for general prep is a slicing knife, but the chef’s knife does just fine as well.

2. Wüsthof Classic 9-Piece Block Set

Anything Wüsthof is a classic in the culinary world. This high-quality set includes an 8” chef's knife and a paring knife for peeling and precision work, but it voids a set of steak knives, leaving space in the block for you to choose your own. The full tang design and German-crafted honing steel ensure these knives maintain their sharpness over time, but you’ll still need to get them properly sharpened once in a while. When it comes to being timeless and practical, the full-bolster design of these knives ranks higher for durable tasks for meat lovers. Yet the most unique knife in the set is the 5.5” Asian utility knife that’s perfect for prepping veggies.

3. Schmidt Brothers Jet Black 7-Piece Set

An exceptional starter set for home cooks looking for a versatile collection, the Schmidt Brothers all-metal design is easy to clean, and the jet-black material coating further prevents staining rust (great for humid environments where even the most expensive knives will rust!) This 7-piece set includes two Asian-style chef’s knives (one is a Santoku and the other is a hybrid Kiritsuke), several utility knives, including a 6” serrated tomato knife, and a bread knife. The magnetic storage block takes up minimal counter space and protects the blades, yet it might be a little finicky until you learn how to use the block smoothly.

4. Miyabi Artisan 10-Piece Block Set

If you're in search of a knife set that combines the best of both worlds, the Miyabi Artisan line offers Japanese-style blades with hammered Damascus steel yet integrates Western knife design as well with larger and more ergonomic handles. You can count on loving each of these knives because they’re all essential yet hold their own with minimal overlap – from the slicing knife down to the compact chef’s and utility blades. This set is unique due to the wooden handles having a drooping belly and the hammered finish of the blades. It’s good to know that these finishing touches add quite a bit to the price.

5. Cangshan Thomas Keller Signature 7-Piece Set

To the casual eye, there’s little about this set that might stand out. Yet, after looking at the specs, you’ll notice that everything is stretched out. The 10” chef knife challenges a new skillset for anyone used to a shorter 8” chef knife, and the same goes for the extra-long 7” utility. Everything about this set is begging for a skilled user. That said, this set could still work for a beginner, but I say so with caution: these knives are heavier than average. The high-carbon Swedish Sandvik stainless steel blades ensure longevity and precision in your dicing endeavors, while the comfort grip handles are a pleasure to work with – larger than average and ideal for anyone with big hands, whether you're chopping vegetables or carving a chicken.

6. Messermeister Olivia Elite 8-Piece Block Set

A prime example of a high-quality set that inspires exploration, this Messermeister knife set focuses on elegance and comfort. Specialized for meat lovers with a fork and slicing knife, this set also has a prong-tipped cheese blade, leaving four essential knives for prep. For minimalists who love to venture out, this set will be luxurious. For vegetarians, there might be better sets to check out. Also, this set is ideal for home cooks who don’t mind taking extra care of their tools. The beautiful wood handles have been sealed and protected but still require extra care to avoid prolonged exposure to moisture.

7. Shun Classic 8-Piece Student Set

While I typically recommend that food-service workers spend less on the equipment that they bring to work (because all kinds of accidents can happen in high-speed kitchens), this Shun set is a staple for professionals who seek high-quality blades and a versatile storage tote. Sets like this are also great for home cooks who already have a knife block that could house these and save a little money on the block. These knives are all essential and built with Japanese Damascus steel, so the most unique one here is the Honesuki boning knife for chicken preparation with its short-curved blade that comes with a fine tip.

8. Steelport 3-Piece Essential Gift Set

Steelport is a rising contender for “the best knives ever made.” These high-quality carbon steel blades are intended as a gift set but will serve well to your own selfish desires just the same. All of these blades have been soaked in coffee to create a rust-preventative patina on the carbon steel, but that’s just the icing. These ice-hardened blades are currently tipping the scales as an industry leader for the sharpest and highest-rated quality of steel. Beautifully so, they blend Japanese knife designs from the Santoku and Kiritsuke into the chef’s knife while giving the bread knife a rare double-bevel for even-slicing. The handles have been vacuum-sealed with resin to make the hardwood effectively inert, so there are no worries about swelling, splitting, or cracking of the wood finish.

9. Forge to Table Pro Set

An essential yet comprehensive collection of high-quality knives, Forge to Table has this lovely set of four unique knives that each fulfill their own need in the kitchen. My personal first choice in this set is the Nakiri because it’s just fun to hold and safe to use for articulated slicing while still having a rolled tip that invites a little bit of chopping as well. Fashioned with an iron forge, these hammered blades also carry a classic Japanese look that blends perfectly with the wooden handles. It’s good to know that this set does not include storage or any serrated blades (but they do have a great 10” Serrated Knife!)

10. Viking True Forged 10-Piece Block Set

Newer to the knife arena, Viking has been making higher-quality cookware for decades and now has these true-forged knives as a welcomed option for anyone seeking mid-range affordability. While this set might not be the highest quality on the list, it’s definitely one of the best values. Using some of the same materials as more expensive options, these knives take notes from the classics and make them their own. Notably, the handles offer a little more belly for ergonomic handling than a comparable Wüsthof knife. Overall, for anyone seeking the best on a budget, this is a top contender.

Find the Right Knife Set for You

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From razor-sharp blades that effortlessly slice tomatoes and onions to the comfortable grip that ensures precise chopping, the best knife sets offer a culinary experience like no other, and yet there are so many different options to consider that could all potentially check these boxes. Whether you're an aspiring home cook or a seasoned professional, I’ve tried to include something in this list for everyone, but that doesn’t mean I was able to nail your specific needs. So, just in case you’re still looking for that aesthetic or shape of a knife that instantly speaks to you, it’s worth having a chat with one of our Kitchen Experts here on Curated for free, personalized advice!

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