Looking for great cooking knives to replace old ones? This is my blog about the best kitchen knives and knife sets to buy, and having been a personal chef for many years, I guess I can say I know what is the best knife set to buy.
- Best Kitchen Knives
- Best Knife Sets
- Best Chef Knives
- How to Choose the Best Kitchen Knives
- The Important Kitchen Knives to Get
- Best Kitchen Knives Brands & Reviews
- Top Japanese Kitchen Knives
- Top German Kitchen Knives
Personally I collect some really good kitchen knives, some of the best, actually, so I would love to share my kitchen knives reviews with you if you’re looking for the best knife or best knife set. Here are some of the best kitchen knives and best knife sets to buy for the coming year.
Best Kitchen Knives
Best Knife – Wusthof Classic Chef Knife
Best Kitchen Knife 2016
A classic to the core, this chef’s knife from the top German knife producer Wusthof is the one knife everyone should try once in their lifetime. The Wusthof Classic chef knife has impressive ergonomics and balance on top of heft and sharpness.
Any hardcore cook will love the ease of handling this knife as it feels like an extension of the hand. You can chop, slice and dice bags of carrots and potatoes without tiring out. Made of durable German steel, this forged knife has the quality to last a lifetime, and indeed it comes with a lifetime warranty. If there’s one downside, it’s that there’s no quality that doesn’t come with a price.
Best Budget Knife – Victorinox 40520 8-inch Chef Knife
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Not everyone is willing to spend a fortune on one knife, however professional that knife may be, which is why I’ve also picked a good chef knife that is affordable for most. The Victorinox 40520 is a well-rated and popular Swiss chef knife for over a decade. This knife, although a stamped one, is named one of the best chef knives by Cooks’ Illustrated in 2004 and one of the top 10 kitchen knives of all time.
The handle is a really good grip and the blade, like all stamped knives, is sharp and keeps its edge well. Another good thing about this knife is that it’s very light and easy to handle. It may surprise you that this budget knife also comes with a lifetime warranty, so you’re not getting something shoddy for a-third the price of a Shun.
Best Japanese Knife – Shun Classic Chef Knife
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If you love beautiful knives like I do, you’ll love this Japanese chef knife to bits. This is a gorgeous knife that is as sharp as it looks. No photo does it justice. If intricate cuts and paper-thin slicing is what you intend to do, get this Japanese knife and you’ll be impressing everyone in no time. The sharpness of the Shun Classic allows you to cut fish slices that are so thin that they’re semi-transparent.
The VG-10 blade is a thinner and harder steel than the Wusthof and will require a more careful handling. Like any beautiful lady, you wouldn’t want to treat this baby roughly. Use it to pry cans or bones and you’ll soon find a dangerous broken tip in your food.
Best Santoku Knife – Kershaw Pure Komachi 2 Santoku Knife
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Other than a chef’s knife, you may also like a Santoku knife that is handy for the prepping tasks. The Kershaw Pure Komachi 2 is the best you can get. For one thing, it’s a true Japanese knife (even though the company is from US they specialize in Japanese knives), which is what a Santoku should be – super sharp and cuts effortlessly.
The dimples on the sides keeps food off the blade, and the food-safe color code is to remind you not to cross contaminate foods while prepping veggies and raw meat.
Best Knife Sets
Best Professional Knife Set – Wusthof Classic 8-Piece Knife Set with Knife Block
Best Knife Set 2016
If you’re getting a whole set of kitchen knives for your home and looking for a good professional knife set that will meet your cooking skills, look no further than the Wusthof Classic set of 8 that includes all the kitchen knives you need in a nicely crafted oak block. This knife set will be the last you’ll ever buy, the forged German steel blades with full tang, triple-riveted handles are so durable they even come with a lifetime warranty.
Best Chef Knife Set – Wusthof Classic 3-Piece Knife Set
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While this is the bare basic set of three most important knives in the kitchen, it is by no means cheap in worth or price. The Wusthof Classic line of kitchen knives is the best in the market, sporting durable German steel that will last you for generations. This chef knife set includes a chef’s knife, a utility knife and a paring knife. The chef knife in this set is well known for its superior balance. Coupled with the heft and sharp edge, you can easily drop this knife through vegetables and meat without effort. All three knives are forged to be sharp out of the box. Watch those fingers!
Best Value Knife Set – Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature 19-Piece Knife Set with Block
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German knives lovers absolutely should not miss this great set of value. The Henckels’ kitchen knives are famed for quality though like all knife makers they have different ranges to choose from. This 19-piece knife set from their medium range comes for $350, and that averages to less than $20 per piece! These stamped knives are made in Germany. They come really sharp and keep their edges for a long time, so do always watch out when you hand wash them.
Best Knife Set under $100 – Ginsu 7108 Chikara 8-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Block Set
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Any college student can afford to cook healthy meals for themselves with this decent set of Japanese knives. This knife set is a no-frills, stainless steel set that makes the cut for simple cooking and lasts long enough for the wallet to recover. This is a good knife set as it has all the important knives you’ll need; the chef’s knife, 7-inch Santoku and 5-inch utility knives are useful knives, and the paring knife, honing rod and shears make up the whole set neatly contained in a beautiful bamboo block.
Best Design Knife Set – Mercer Culinary Renaissance 6-Piece Glass Block Set
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If any knife block set is an equivalent of a runway model for knife sets, this Mercer Culinary set is it. German steel blades encased in a rectangular block of glass, with classic triple riveted black handles, what could be more flashy than that? Showcase these kitchen knives on your kitchen counter top and get admiring looks from dinner guests. But these knives are more than looks. They are some of the best cooking knives with high quality forged blades, great balance and sharp edges. It’s right to look good while making dinner.
Choosing the Best Kitchen Knives
Kitchen knives come in a wide range of quality. At the very low end you can find cheap kitchen knives bulk-made in factories, with plastic handles and low grade material. On the other hand there are carefully crafted beauties that gleam with premium material and workmanship such as these Japanese knives and German knives.
Price vs Quality
You may be sure that the price also differs greatly with the quality of the kitchen knives. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find a good knife set among the cheap ones. In fact, I have picked several cheap knife sets that are pretty good for their price, such as this best knife set under $100. The highest rated kitchen knives are not always the most expensive ones too. Remember to read the knife set reviews in my blog for more recommendations.
Kitchen Knives Set vs Single Knife
You may buy whole sets of kitchen knives that usually come with a knife block. You may buy your knives separately. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, so we’ll look at the pros and cons here:
Buying your kitchen knives in a set
- Usually cheaper than getting them individually
- All the knives will have the same design and handles
- Most knife sets come with a block, kitchen shears, and sometimes a honing steel
- You may not use all the knives in the entire set
Buying your kitchen knives separately
- You can buy only the types of knives that you need, selected from the top kitchen knives
- You can optimize your budget, i.e. invest more in one best kitchen knife that you use regularly
- You can add extra knives to your collection only when you need them
- You may have to find a suitable knife block or seek other means to store your kitchen knives
Both methods are simply personal preference, and you should also choose according to your budget. Remember to go through my best kitchen knife set reviews before you decide!
- Best Kitchen Knives Set – Here’s my review on a good knife set that will last as long as you live.
- Top 10 Kitchen Knives – All the chef knives and the handy utility knives that made it to the top ranks.
The Important Kitchen Knives to Get
Just so you know, not every kitchen knives set comes with the same types of knives. There are certainly a basic few that come with every knife set, while the rest are additions that may be helpful in your cooking.
The most important kitchen knives that a kitchen must have are the chef’s knife, the utility knife and the paring knife. This is why you can often see these three kitchen knives sold together as a basic set. You may also replace the utility knife with a santoku, which is a Japanese style utility knife. The techniques for using different styles of knives may be different though.
The Chef Knife
The chef knife or chef’s knife, is perhaps the most important knife to any cook. It is the workhorse of the kitchen because it is able to perform many types of cuts on a large variety of ingredients. The chef’s knife is the best knife to buy if you’re buying only one knife. I know people who own more than one chef knife and I myself am one of them.
The chef knife is such a personal knife that the size of the chef knife must be suited to the particular cook using it. The 8-inch chef knife is the standard size that most cooks will find themselves comfortable with.
Taller cooks will need a longer chef knife and vice versa. Chef knives from high range brands will come in different sizes (normally 6 to 10-inch) to choose from.
- Best Chef Knives – Read this review to find the best chef knives I picked for different styles and budget.
Other Types of Kitchen Knives
Here is my list of all the best kitchen knives for each type.
Best Santoku Knife
If you prep a lot of vegetables, you’ll love the Japanese style utility knife.
Best Carving Knife
Getting the best carving knife, whether electric or manual, will make slicing those large roasts easier.
Best Paring Knife
When paring fruit, mincing herbs or filleting those finger-sized fish, you’ll need a really sharp and maneuverable paring knife.
Best Bread Knife
No knife slices bread like a bread knife. A good bread knife must be able to cut both hard crust and soft crust well.
Best Cheese Knife
Attractive and functional cheese knives are what you need when serving cheese platters to guests.
Best Boning Knife
Find out what type of boning knives hunters use.
Best Sushi Knife
Use proper sushi knives or sashimi knives to slice fish and see immediate improvement to your sushi-making skills.
Best Steak Knives (coming soon)
Utensils rather than tools, steak knives should be affordable, abusable and able to cut meat cleanly.
Best Kitchen Knives Reviews
As I’m always on the lookout for the best knife sets and the top rated kitchen knives, here are some knife reviews that I have written. More kitchen knife reviews will follow in my blog.
Other things you’ll need:
- Best Knife Sharpener – For keeping your kitchen knives sharp and functional.
- Best Cutting Board (coming soon) – Find out what types of cutting boards to use with your kitchen knives.
Buy Good Knives
Without doubt, a good knife will help tremendously in your cooking, while a bad knife gives nothing but trouble. The best knives to get are sharp and durable, and remember to find the best chef knife that suits you.
By April 12, 2016