Best Kitchen Knives

UPDATED DECEMBER 2018

This cooking tool should be the first investment you make in your kitchen.

BEST KITCHEN
KNIVES 2018

BOTTOM LINE

No matter what you love to cook, you can use this set to make all your favorites. Not only do you get a wood block made from real walnut wood, but you also get a wide range of blades and tools.

PROS

As the most comprehensive set around, this knife block provides you with all the tools that you need. All the blades are sharp and feature a durable handle that won’t break.

CONS

This is one of the more expensive knife sets around and may not fit your budget. Some shoppers dislike the color of the walnut stand and how much space it takes up.

BOTTOM LINE

The modern look of this set carries over from the knife block to the individual blades, which all have sleek and contemporary metal handles. Chicago Cutlery forged each product to ensure that it feels balanced in your hands.

PROS

Thanks to a built-in knife sharpener, this block set makes it easy to keep your blades ready for prep work. You get a set of matching steak knives and other tools like a serrated knife and utility shears.

CONS

Some customers had problems using the knife sharpener. Others found that the knives weren’t as good as those that come with other sets.

BOTTOM LINE

With this set, you get a number of blades like a bread knife and a utility knife as well as a sharpener and kitchen shears. All those tools fit inside the wood block, which has a neutral design that blends into your kitchen.

PROS

This budget set fits the style of most kitchens today because it comes with black handles on the blades and a simple wood block. The manufacturer made each blade from a single piece of metal for added stability.

CONS

We spotted some reviews that claimed the blades on this set weren’t quite as sharp as customers wanted. Some customers also found that the blades rusted over time.

BOTTOM LINE

Those looking for a modern and affordable knife block set might like this DEIK set. The ergonomic design of each handle reduces discomfort as you slice and chop.

PROS

The set comes with an included wood block that has a modern design and a non-slip base, which keeps it from sliding across your counter. It also comes with six blades that are suitable for different jobs.

CONS

You only get six knives with this set, which may not meet all your cooking needs. It also comes with a limited warranty that won’t cover all types of damage.

BOTTOM LINE

A nonstick coating added to each blade ensures that you can cut through anything without the blades sticking to your food. Cuisinart gives you guards that match the color of each blade too.

PROS

Each of these six blades features a different color, which helps you grab the right one for the right job. You also get guards that slip over each blade for safe and convenient storage.

CONS

These blades aren’t sharp enough for some types of prep work. The set doesn’t come with a sharpener either, which means that you’ll need to purchase one separately.

Shopping Guide for the Best Kitchen Knives

Cutting with a dull or rusty blade is not worth the risk. All it takes is one slip for you to cut your hand and wind up in the emergency room. The best kitchen knives help you prep ingredients and get dinner on the table quickly without injuring yourself. While you can always purchase individual knives for the work that you do, you can save money with a set of knives. The best kitchen knives for 2018 come with multiple tools that you can use for a variety of jobs. You can look at our list of sets of kitchen knives for 2018 to find one that comes with all the tools that you need.

Kitchen knife sets go by a few different names. Many call them block sets because of the included block. Usually made from wood, the block has individual slots on the top that help you store and organize your tools. You’ll also find sets that come with steak knives, which you can pass out before serving steaks and other cuts of meat. Sets may also come with poultry or kitchen shears too. Using our shopping guide will help you find all the kitchen knives that you need.

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Shopping Guide for the Best Kitchen Knives

Selection Criteria

Finding a good set of kitchen knives will help you stay safe in your kitchen. In addition to preventing accidents, you can also feel confident as you cut. You may even develop better knife skills. If you ever tried chopping vegetables before and watched as those pieces came out with jagged edges and in different sizes, you might want to take a look at your blades instead of blaming yourself. When you have a sharp blade, there are very few things that you cannot chop or cut through.

To find the top products for our readers, we headed to the web. Using Amazon, which is the largest online retailer in the world, helped us find which sets rank the highest among shoppers. We then looked at the reviews that they posted to find out which sets were worthy of a spot on our list.

Instead of just naming the most expensive sets, we found products for all types of home cooks. You’ll find sets that will make you feel like a pro and cheaper sets that will fit your budget. After looking at our product reviews, you can find out more about shopping for and using kitchen knives.

Selection Criteria

For Serious Chefs: Dalstrong Gladiator Series Knife Set

If you ever wanted to feel like a gladiator when chopping and prepping ingredients, this Dalstrong knife set is the right one for you. Designed for serious chefs, it comes with all the tools that you need to feel like a pro in your kitchen. The eight steak knives have sharp edges and points that let you slice through a piece of meat like it was a stick of butter. You also get a variety of knives suitable for dicing and other prep work. An included knife sharpener makes it easy to keep those blades sharp too. All the included knives and tools will fit inside individual slots on the walnut block, which has a rich and warm finish.

Anyone who used cheap knives before found that the blades came loose from the handles or that they just felt inferior in their hands. The manufacturing process used to make this set ensures that you get good quality knives that won’t break. Each blade uses tempered steel and has a stain-resistant design. The handles are just as durable. Dalstrong even gives you a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee when you purchase this set.

For Serious Chefs Dalstrong Gladiator Series - Knife Set

Types of Kitchen Knives

The main reason that we recommend kitchen knife sets is because they come with so many different blades that you can use when prepping ingredients. If you think that you can use the same blade for all your cutting needs, think again. Using the right knife for each prep job ensures that you do not cut yourself and that you have complete control over the blade. Larger sets may come with more tools like poultry shears and a blade sharpener, while smaller sets come with just the basics. We’ll go over some of the different types of kitchen knives and what you can do with each one.

Chef’s Knife

One of the more important tools in your arsenal is a chef’s knife. Also called a cook’s knife, it is one of the largest knives in a set. It features a durable handle on one end and a blade that tapers down to a sharp point. Chef’s knives will have either a flat or a serrated edge. You can use one to slice through tougher and tender ingredients, including fresh vegetables and meats.

Utility Knife

Though you can use a chef’s knife for almost everything, you may prefer the control that you get with a utility knife. Designed to look just like a cook’s knife, a utility blade is a little smaller. As long as you keep the blade sharp, it will cut through any of your ingredients.

Paring Knife

When you need to remove the peel from an apple or a potato, you’ll like having a paring knife. These knives are so small that you can use it with a single hand. The sharp tip lets you break through the peel and find your starting point. These blades are often flexible and will slip under the peel too.

Bread Knife

Cutting into a loaf of freshly baked bread with the wrong knife will leave behind uneven slices. That blade may even crush the bread. A bread knife is a great tool for cutting delicate items. It features a serrated blade that lets you use a back and forth motion to slowly cut the bread. Serrated utility knives have a similar design.

Boning Knife

Whether you hunt and fish or just have a favorite butcher shop, you need your own boning knife. A boning knife has a long blade with a sharp tip. The blade itself is slightly flexible, which helps you get as close as possible to the bone inside a cut of meat. You can remove both larger bones and tiny pin bones with one of these knives.

Carving Knife

If you frequently invite guests over for dinner or host holiday dinners at your home, you may need a carving knife. Many knife sets come with both a carving knife and a meat fork. You insert the fork into a cut of meat to keep it steady as you cut thin and even slices from the meat with a carving knife.

Meat Cleaver

Meat cleaver and butcher knife are two words that describe the same type of kitchen tool. This knife features a large piece of metal attached to a handle. You can use one to split open bones to get access to the marrow or to cleave through large cuts of meat.

The main reason that we recommend kitchen knife sets is because they come with so many different blades that you can use when prepping ingredients. If you think that you can use the same blade for all your cutting needs, think again. Using the right knife for each prep job ensures that you do not cut yourself and that you have complete control over the blade. Larger sets may come with more tools like poultry shears and a blade sharpener, while smaller sets come with just the basics. We'll go over some of the different types of kitchen knives and what you can do with each one. Chef's Knife One of the more important tools in your arsenal is a chef's knife. Also called a cook's knife, it is one of the largest knives in a set. It features a durable handle on one end and a blade that tapers down to a sharp point. Chef's knives will have either a flat or a serrated edge. You can use one to slice through tougher and tender ingredients, including fresh vegetables and meats. Utility Knife Though you can use a chef's knife for almost everything, you may prefer the control that you get with a utility knife. Designed to look just like a cook's knife, a utility blade is a little smaller. As long as you keep the blade sharp, it will cut through any of your ingredients. Paring Knife When you need to remove the peel from an apple or a potato, you'll like having a paring knife. These knives are so small that you can use it with a single hand. The sharp tip lets you break through the peel and find your starting point. These blades are often flexible and will slip under the peel too. Bread Knife Cutting into a loaf of freshly baked bread with the wrong knife will leave behind uneven slices. That blade may even crush the bread. A bread knife is a great tool for cutting delicate items. It features a serrated blade that lets you use a back and forth motion to slowly cut the bread. Serrated utility knives have a similar design. Boning Knife Whether you hunt and fish or just have a favorite butcher shop, you need your own boning knife. A boning knife has a long blade with a sharp tip. The blade itself is slightly flexible, which helps you get as close as possible to the bone inside a cut of meat. You can remove both larger bones and tiny pin bones with one of these knives. Carving Knife If you frequently invite guests over for dinner or host holiday dinners at your home, you may need a carving knife. Many knife sets come with both a carving knife and a meat fork. You insert the fork into a cut of meat to keep it steady as you cut thin and even slices from the meat with a carving knife. Meat Cleaver Meat cleaver and butcher knife are two words that describe the same type of kitchen tool. This knife features a large piece of metal attached to a handle. You can use one to split open bones to get access to the marrow or to cleave through large cuts of meat.

Best for the Money: Chicago Cutlery Insignia Steel Knife Set

Though we highly recommend the Dalstrong set for serious chefs, Chicago Cutlery makes the best set of knife for most cooks. One of its best features is the built-in knife sharpener. Instead of figuring out how to hold the sharpener and use it with your knives, you can simply insert the blade into this slot and give it a strong pull. The sharpener inside will sand down the edge to give the knife the sharpness that you need. Other slots located on the top of the wood block help you organize the kitchen shears, steak knives and other included blades.

This set comes with standard knives, including boning, bread, paring and utility knives. You also get a peeler and kitchen shears. All the tools have a contoured and ergonomic handle that fits comfortably in your hand. Made from forged steel, the knives have a good balance that helps you make cuts without losing control. The design also keeps the blades from separating from the handles. We think that this set is well worth the money because its included blades and tools have the same designs as those found on more expensive sets.

Best for the Money Chicago Cutlery Insignia Steel Knife Set

Signs You Should Replace Your Old Knives

Many people think that kitchen knives are expensive and that they cannot afford a new set. If you’re one of them, you might use the same old knives longer than you should. You can take a look at the signs that you need a new knife set before deciding whether to make that investment yourself.

  • Separation: Some knives have a handle that wraps around the blade with small rivets holding the wood together. At the first sign of the rivets breaking off or the handle separating from the blade, you should stop using that knife and replace it.
  • Jagged cuts: When you cut a piece of meat or thin slices of a vegetable, you expect that your cuts will leave behind smooth edges. If you have problems making even cuts or notice slices with jagged edges, it’s time to replace your knives.
  • Flimsy feel: Replace any knives that have a flimsy feel, which is common in cheaper knives. Those blades require more effort on your part when you cut, which can make it hard for you to control your knives. Injuries are more common among home chefs who use flimsy knives.
Signs You Should Replace Your Old Knives

Best for Traditional Kitchens: J.A. Henckels International Statement Knife Block Set

Our choice for traditional kitchens and those who want a basic set is the J.A. Henckels set, which features 15 different pieces. The three-inch paring knife has both a sharp edge and a sharp tip that helps you remove the peel from fruits and vegetables. You also get a serrated utility knife that is perfect for getting even slices from a loaf of fresh bread and a chef’s knife that can handle most of your cutting jobs. Also included is a sharpener that helps you keep the blades as sharp as you need. Individual slots on the wood block accommodate each blade and tool. This keeps the blades from wearing down.

We like that this set features both forged blades and stamped blades. The blades go all the way through the handles to ensure that they never loosen, no matter how often you use the set. Small feet added to the base of the wood block lift it off your counter and keep the wood from scratching that surface. This block uses natural wood, which has a neutral design to fit the style of your kitchen.

Best for Traditional Kitchens J.A. Henckels International Statement Knife Block Set

Benefits of New Kitchen Knives

  • Even cuts and slices: The biggest benefit to replacing your old kitchen knives is that the new blades will help you make even cuts and slices. New blades can cut through a range of different materials and ingredients.
  • Increased safety: You’ll also increase your safety when you replace your old knives. Old knives can have chips in the handle that keep you from holding one properly. You may find that the blade is so dull that you need to push down on the handle to use it too. New knives help you make the cuts that you want without the risk of you cutting yourself.
  • Better organization: No matter how often you clean and organize your kitchen, you may still find yourself tossing knives in a drawer. Sets that come with a block help you better organize your kitchen. You can also keep track of all your knives too.
  • Nice look: Many people invest in new knife sets simply because they want to improve the look of their kitchens. A nice knife block placed on your counter can make your kitchen look nicer and more expensive.
Benefits of New Kitchen Knives

Best for Modern Kitchens: DEIK 6-Piece Knife Set

If you have a modern or contemporary kitchen, you may not like some of the other knife blocks on our list because those sets have a fairly traditional design. DEIK makes this modern set for those who want something a little different. Instead of using a natural wood block, this one comes with a wood block that has a black finish with some red accents. The six individual slots on the top have a waterproof design that lets you put your blades away without worrying about any moisture on the knives damaging the block. It also has a non-slip base that keeps it from sliding across and scratching your counters.

Instead of giving you steak knives that you may rarely use, DEIK gives you six knives that you can use on a daily basis. You get a carving knife and a utility knife as well as bread and paring knives. The included cook’s knife will make quick work of any ingredients that you need to prep. All the blades use real German steel that has a high hardness rating. The blades work with the handles to give you the balance that you need.

Best for Modern Kitchens DEIK 6-Piece Knife Set

Kitchen Knife Safety Tips

  • Use the right knife: Staying safe requires using the right knife for the right job. Using a knife that is too large or too small can result in injuries.
  • Keep your knives sharp: Never use a dull knife when working in your kitchen. While some people worry about injuring themselves because they used a sharp knife, injuries are more common when you use a dull blade.
  • Work on a flat surface: No matter what you need to cut or slice, always work on a flat surface. If you notice any wobbling or find that ingredients roll, you need to move to a different spot.
  • Hand wash knives: Most knives are not safe for cleaning in your dishwasher. Washing the knives by hand will extend the life of the blades. You also reduce the risk that you might cut yourself when reaching into a sink full of soapy water.
Kitchen Knife Safety Tips

Best Budget Set: Cuisinart Color Knife Set

One of the more colorful sets that we came across is this one from Cuisinart, which we think is best for home cooks on a budget. The smallest product in the set is a 3.5-inch paring knife that helps you remove apple cores and peel any vegetable. You also get a smaller 6.5-inch long utility knife that you can use for different tasks. You get knives designed for specific types of jobs like slicing meats and cutting through bread. This set also comes with two all-purpose knives that can handle both complicated and basic cutting jobs.

Many customers like this set because each knife features a different color. This helps you know which knife to use based on the task at hand. Some shoppers also use those knives to reduce the risk of cross-contamination because they use one color for meats, one for vegetables and one for seafood. You also get a set of guards that slide down over the top of each blade. Those guards prevent accidents when you reach inside a kitchen drawer and will make the blades last longer.

Best Budget Set: Cuisinart Color Knife Set

Features to Consider

  • Construction: Stamped knives are often more affordable than forged knives. Manufacturers cut the blades from large sheets of metal. With forged knives, manufacturers use molten steel to create the blades. Forged blades are more durable and will last longer than stamped blades.
  • Metal: You can choose knives based on the type of metal used. Stainless steel is the most popular material because of its low cost, but serious chefs prefer carbon steel because it lasts longer.
  • Included knives and tools: As you look at the different sets available, think about the blades and tools that you want and need. If you don’t need every tool under the sun, you can purchase a smaller set for less money.
Features to Consider - WITH TEXT

How Much Do Kitchen Knives Cost?

When it comes time to replace your old kitchen knives, one of the biggest questions on your mind is exactly how much it will cost. The cost actually depends on the type of set that you buy. Dalstrong makes one of the more expensive sets that we found, which retails for around $400. This is definitely a buy it for life product though. You’ll get so much use out of it that you may never need to replace your knives again.

Chicago Cutlery makes a similar set that comes with 18 pieces too. That set retails for around $150. We like the J.A. Henckels set too because it offers so many tools. You get 15 different pieces that you can use around your kitchen for right around $100.

Some people might warn you against buying a budget set because they claim that those sets won’t last very long. Depending on how often you cook and the type of dishes that you make though, you might get years of use out of a cheaper set. Cuisinart and DEIK both make sets that come with multiple knives and cost less than $50.

How Much Do Kitchen Knives Cost

Frequently Asked Questions

A: A tomato knife is a type of unique knife designed for cutting and slicing tomatoes. It has a sharp end with two points that help you remove the stem and the harder white part from the tomato. The serrated edge lets you cut thin slices without leaving behind torn or jagged areas. You can also use a tomato knife with certain fruits like lemons and limes.

A:  When using a kitchen knife, you want to maintain a thin and sharp edge on the blade. You’ll want to sharpen your blades at least once every four times that you use it. If you use the blade on harder vegetables and meats, you may want to sharpen it more often.

A: Electric knives come with several blades that you insert into a piece that has a motor inside. A handle on the end lets you keep on hand on the tool. Electric knives rely on either a rechargeable battery or work with a power cord that you plug into an outlet. These knives are great for cutting through a roast or a larger piece of meat or poultry.

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