Kitchen Knife Sets – How to Select the Best One for Your Needs

Knife set block

Why does it make sense to think about a kitchen knife set?

1. It is very likely that knives bought in a set will be cheaper than the same knives bought individually.

2. The set may contain a storing system for your knives. There may be a wooden, stainless steel, glass or plastic block with a slot for each knife, which is a wonderful way to store your knives. Some sets even have blocks with free slots for extra knives. You may fill these slots later, with, for example, a pair of steak knives.

Wooden block with a slot for each knife
Wooden block with a slot for each knife

With a glass or transparent plastic block, you can see the blades of your knives, which makes it easy for you to find the one you want, when you want it. Alternatively, the storing system may be a case or a box made from aluminum or wood. Such a set is a good variant in case you are a cook and move from place to place, because it offers a safe way of transporting your knives.

3. The set may contain a honing steel. This is a necessary tool for keeping your knives sharp.

When you buy the steel together with the set, you can be sure that they are from one and the same manufacturer and that the firmness of the honing steel conforms to the firmness of the blades of the knives from the set.

4. The set may contain scissors that you can use for different purposes. For example…

  • to open packets with food
  • to cut kitchen paper
  • to snip spices, vegetables or dried fruit…

5. Kitchen knife sets are also a wonderful idea for a present, for example to a newly married couple.

Types of kitchen knife sets

Different sets contain different types of kitchen knives, to cater to various needs and different culinary skills. If you are an experienced cook, you’ll probably have a very good idea of what knives and accessories your set should contain. For example, there are sets with 23 pieces, enabling you to perform just about every kitchen task.

If you cook mainly Asian food, choose a set of Asian knives. There are some sets in which the chef’s knife is replaced by its Asian counterpart, the Santoku. The paring knife, another main knife, has a straight cutting edge and is also suitable for Asian food.

Set of two Asian knives
Set of two Asian knives

But if you are a beginner in the culinary arts, a good set for you would be this one, containing only the main knives…

  • a chef’s knife
  • a paring knife
  • a bread knife
  • just one extra knife at most, for example a utility knife, in case you don’t find a set with only the first three knives

With this set you will meet most of your cutting needs. This is a better option for you than taking a set with a great assortment of knives, without knowing whether you will ever use some of them. It is also a cheaper variant.

In time, when you have a better idea of what knives will best serve your particular cooking needs, you can add other, more specialized knives to your set. For example…

  • a utility knife
  • a boning knife
  • a carving knife (you can find this knife as a separate set in an elegant box together with a fork)
  • a cleaver
  • steak knives (you can also find these knives as a separate set in a wooden block or a box)
  • Asian knives such as Santoku, Deba Knife, Usuba, Fish Knives
  • special kitchen knives for cheese, fruit, tomatoes, seafood…


1. You will use your kitchen knives constantly, so select a set with the best knives you can afford. Some of the highest quality kitchen knife brands are the German J.A. Henckels and Wusthof.

2. No matter what set you select, you may always buy knives individually. This might be the case when you want…

  • to restore a lost or damaged knife from the set
  • to duplicate a given knife from the set if you and someone else will work in the kitchen
  • to have a smaller version of existing knife from the set. For example, this might be the case if your hands are small and, in order to work more comfortably, you want a six-inch long chef’s knife instead of the eight-inch one from the set

3. The starter sets, i.e. ones that contain only basic knives, may not include a storing system plus honing steel. Choose a slightly bigger set if necessary, if it has these two useful extras. Click here for the best deals on kitchen knife sets


6 thoughts on “Kitchen Knife Sets – How to Select the Best One for Your Needs”

  1. Christine Simiriglia

    A good, cared for, set of knives is essential to good cooking. Storage is an important issue as well.

  2. I wanted to buy a kitchen knife set, and I was wondering which the best is. Wusthof, Henckels or Dexter-Russell?

  3. Hi Alex,

    As mentioned above, some of the highest quality kitchen knife brands are the German J.A. Henckels and Wusthof.



  4. Japanese Chef Knives

    From my personal opinion, I think that those chef knives made by the Japanese are the most durable and high quality among them all.

  5. I agree that the Japanese knives are very durable. However, some German knife sets are very good as well. I use Henckels knives a lot. I have noticed that the more expensive they are the better they tend to be.

  6. Knife blades can be manufactured from a variety of materials, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. Carbon steel, an alloy of iron and carbon, can be very sharp, hold its edge well, and remain easy to sharpen, but is vulnerable to rust and stains.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *