The Best Kitchen Knife Set: Top 5 Most Loved Sets Reviewed

The Best Kitchen Knife Set: Top 5 Most Loved Sets Reviewed

 

best_kitchen_knife_set_review

If you’re handy in the kitchen or would just like to have the right tools for every job, finding the best kitchen knife set to prepare meals is essential. There are so many on the market today with different types of blades, different types of blade steel and made from different materials. How do you choose? Another way to ask this question is: What is the best knife set for the money? With that in mind, taking a close look at user reviews and testing quality and performance over time, we’ve compiled this list of the top kitchen knife sets for you. Look ==>

Zwilling JA Henckels Twin Signature 19-Piece Block Setbest_kitchen_knife_set_review

 

This Zwilling JA Henckels 19 piece knife block set is hand forged in Germany using specially formulated steel and boasts precision stamped blades. The Friodur blades are made of a high carbon, no stain steel and are ice hardened to 57 Rockwell Hardness. Each one is hand polished and sharpened with a laser-controlled edge. There is a 15 degree angle on each side of the blade making them ideal for both left and right handed users. While they are dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended so they stay super clean and dry.

 

The Twin Signature series knives are held together by three rivets and have a fully visible tang. They also have a stylish curve that not only makes them more comfortable to hold but also gives them a more contemporary look and feel.

 

FAQs

What’s in the set?

  •         4.5” Peeling Knife
  •         4” Utility/Paring Knife
  •         4.5” Utility Knife
  •         8 – 4.5” Steak Knives
  •         5” Serrated Utility Knife
  •         6” Sandwich/Utility Knife
  •         8” Chef’s Knife
  •         7” Santoku Hollow Edge Knife
  •         8” Bread Knife
  •         9” Sharpening Steel
  •         Kitchen Shears
  •         Bamboo Storage Block

 

What’s the difference between the regular J.A. Henckels and Zwilling series?

The Zwilling series is made in Germany and is the Henckels top of the line in cutlery. They have a “twin” logo on each blade that looks like two little stick figures. The Henckels International series, while still quality, are manufactured in Asia and Spain and have a single stick figure logo on each blade.

 

Are the steak knives serrated?

No, they are a solid blade. Most high end chefs advise against using serrated blades to cut meat, as they actually tear through instead of cutting a clean line. Non serrated blades are also easier to sharpen and generally stay sharp longer than their serrated counterparts.

 

How do these knives compare with cheaper (less expensive) sets?

This set is hand forged in Germany, while many of their less expensive counterparts are stamped out of a lower quality metal that can easily break, rust or stain. The full tang on these also means the steel of the blade continues all the way through the handle, making them ultra-durable. Many users in their review say they’ve owned this set for over two years and they are still just as sharp as the day they were new, so they hold an edge better than most other kitchen knives on the market.

 

What is the blade angle?

These knives have a 15 degree angle on both sides. The Santoku blade is sharpened to a 10 degree angle on each side. The serrated utility and bread knives are not cut at an angle.

 

Are these true German steel?

Yes – This set is made in Solingen, Germany with a proprietary formula of high carbon steel with a no stain additive. They have a Rockwell hardness of 57.

 

Will a cleaver fit in the block?

Yes – There is room for a 7” cleaver to fit in the block if you’d like to purchase one separately.

 

What is forged vs stamped steel?

When you see that a knife is made from stamped metal, it has been cut out from one piece of steel. Forged blades, on the other hand, are made by hand. If you’ve seen old movies where a blacksmith is pulling a blade out of the fire and shaping it with a hammer, that blade was being forged. Forged steel is much stronger than stamped steel. Very few companies nowadays go to the time and effort to forge knife steel. Zwilling JA Henckels is one of the few.

 

Are these dishwasher safe?

You can put these knives in the dishwasher, however it’s not recommended by the manufacturer. Since they are expensive, you want to make sure they don’t suffer any damage and last as long as possible. Dishwashers can be unpredictable and occasionally toss items around or knock them against each other. They also take time to dry your dishes. For this reason, it’s best to gently wash and dry your knives by hand when you’re done using them. That way they don’t sit with food left to dry on them and they’re ready to use again right away.

 

Is there a warranty?

The manufacturer includes a lifetime warranty for this set.

 

How big are the steak knives?

The blade of each steak knife is 4.5” and the whole knife including the handle is 9”.

 

What are the handles made from?

The handles are made of a strong polymer resin that grips well whether they’re dry or wet. They are also more durable than wood handles as they won’t absorb moisture, food particles and germs.

 

How big is the block?

The dimensions of the block are 16” x 17” x 7”, and the shipping weight is 11.4 pounds. Each knife comes individually wrapped when shipped. There are two empty slots in the block if you wish to supplement the set with extra knives. One of the slots is large enough to fit a meat cleaver and the other will fit any spare chef’s knife.

 

Pros

  •         Very sharp
  •         Well made
  •         Durable

 

Cons

While this set is well loved in reviews, getting 4.5 out of 5 stars, a few users wish the knives were just a little bit heavier. While some chefs appreciate a lighter weight blade, some like a heavier one that comes down harder on whatever they’re cutting so they don’t need to apply as much pressure. The lighter weight actually makes chopping a lot easier on your wrist if you’re going to be doing it for a while.

 

Conclusion

The Zwilling JA Henckels 30792-000 Twin Signature 19 piece set, while expensive, is a really great value and investment. It has a lifetime warranty. So it’s likely going to be the only set you ever buy. It comes with a variety of useful components that will do just about everything you might need to do in the kitchen when preparing meals, and it has extra slots in the block if you’d like to make any additions. Overall, it makes an excellent give for you or someone else. And deserves to be included on the list of best kitchen knife set.

 

There’s More:

Wusthof Classic 7 Piece Slim Set

 

The Wusthof Classic slim knife block set contains seven different pieces in an ultra narrow block made to fit even the smallest countertop space. With a 9.5” x 3.5” footprint, this acacia wooden knife block set is a true showpiece.

 

The blades themselves are forged with a full tang, meaning the blade is one piece all the way through the handle, and they’re made form a stain resistant high carbon steel and bolster. The handles are triple riveted and are made of a very durable polyoxymethylene, which is a synthetic material that resists any fading and discoloration.

This video shows a larger block. To see the Wusthof Classic 7 piece Slim Set on Amazon and check prices click here.

FAQs

 

What comes in the set?

  •         3.5” Paring Knife
  •         5” Serrated Utility Knife
  •         6” Kiritsuke Prep Knife
  •         8” Bread Knife
  •         8” Chef’s Knife
  •         Kitchen Shears that come apart for cleaning
  •         6 Slot Acacia Wood Knife Block

 

What is acacia wood?

The block of this set is made of acacia, a highly durable, smooth and water resistant wood derived from trees that are native to Australia but can also be found in Africa, the Pacific Islands, Asia and in more limited quantities in North and South America. There are more than one thousand different types of Acacia trees, and their hard wood is often used in products that are made to last including housewares and high end furniture.

 

What do owners think of these Wusthof knives?

In user reviews, people who use these knives on a daily basis love them for both home and professional use. One user says they slice right through a tomato with no effort at all. Another reviewer says they’re the best knives she’s ever owned and they’re well worth the cost.

Since the blade extends through the handle, there is no risk of the blade breaking off. Home chefs love them because of their safety, durability and ability to hold an edge. Another set that gets high marks is the wusthof classic 8-piece knife set with knife block, for similar reasons.

 

How is the balance?

One man in his review comments that he can easily balance the largest knife on one finger, and the balance on all of them makes him feel like a professional chef. The sturdy bolsters also make them very comfortable to use when cutting.

 

What about sharpening?

While all knives require maintenance, these require less upkeep than most. Occasional use of sharpening steel will keep their edges razor sharp. Most users say these stay sharp longer than any other knives they’ve owned. One woman says she’s had the set for about five months and so far has only used a ceramic honer instead of steel to keep them sharp.

 

What’s the difference between the Wusthof Classic and Gourmet versions?

Classic is Wusthof’s higher end brand, while the Gourmet series is lower in budget and slightly lower in quality. Both incorporate a rust resistant, high carbon stainless steel with 58 Rockwell hardness and are made in Solingen, Germany, but the Classic series has a 14 degree edge as opposed to 18.5 of the Gourmet knives. The biggest difference is that the Gourmet series uses stamped steel instead of forged, so they’re not quite as strong or durable.

 

Are there extra slots in the block?

This block holds five knives plus the kitchen shears, so if you wanted to add any other knives from your personal collection, you’d have to remove one of the included blades.

 

Pros

  •         Razor sharp
  •         Flawless finish
  •         Great balance
  •         Comes with the most essential knives for any kitchen

 

Cons

The only con we could find from users reviewing this set is that the logo is actually a decal sticker on the handle of each piece. While most users have had the set for a long time and say the decals are still on, there is some concern that they will fall off over time. However, this won’t affect the blade performance at all.

 

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best of the best in kitchen cutlery and don’t need a huge variety of knives for different tasks, this seven piece set includes the very highest end essentials. While there aren’t a lot of pieces, there is plenty of variety to chop, dice, julienne, debone or do any other cutting jobs you need done around the kitchen. While it is pricey, this set should be considered an investment that will last a lifetime and save you the hassle and constant upkeep and sharpening you’ll need to do with lesser quality blades.

 

That’s Not All:

Calphalon Contemporary Self Sharpening 20-Piece Set

 

If you’re looking for a big kitchen knife set with a lot of variety for many different jobs around the prep area, the Calphalon Self Sharpening may provide exactly what you need. The steak knives are made from stamped steel, but the other pieces are made from high quality forged high carbon German steel treated with a stain resistant coating.

The handles are contoured to be ergonomic, and they’re labeled so you know exactly where to put them back in the block. The block has the additional benefit of having sharpeners built in, so your knife gets sharpened every time you pull it out or replace it. As an added benefit, this set comes with a lifetime warranty.

 

FAQs

 

What comes in the set?

  •         4.5” Paring Knife
  •         5” Santoku Knife
  •         5” Boning Knife
  •         5.5” Bagel/Tomato Knife
  •         6” Fork
  •         7” Santoku
  •         8” Slicer
  •         8” Bread Knife
  •         8” Chef’s Knife
  •         8 Steak Knives
  •         Kitchen Shears
  •         Maple Wood Knife Block

 

Where are these knives made?

This set is made in China from high carbon stain resistant German steel.

 

Can these go in the dishwasher?

While some higher quality cutlery sets can go in the dishwasher, this isn’t one of them. The manufacturer recommends hand washing only to maintain the quality and prolong the life of the blades.

 

Are there extra slots?

After putting in all the knives that come with the 19 piece set, there are no extra slots available. If you purchase the 15 piece set, there are two extra slots. Both are non-sharpening and will fit a knife that’s about one inch wide.

 

What is the warranty?

This set comes with a lifetime warranty.

 

Are the handles rubber or plastic?

The handles on this set are made of plastic and wear fairly well. One thing that can make them change color is putting them in the dishwasher, so it’s not recommended to do so. Users in their reviews say the handles do not get tacky or sticky over time like some plastic or rubber handles.

 

Are there rivets?

There are no rivets that show on the handles. Instead the handles are fully fitted over the metal tang.

 

Is there a full tang?

Yes, the blade metal extends all the way to the end of the handle.

 

Are these stainless steel?

While these are not stainless steel knives, they are made from a high carbon German steel blend which according to reviews does not rust over time. Again, hand washing is recommended to prevent rusting.

 

Do all the slots have sharpeners?

All of the knives with straight blades have sharpeners built in, but the serrated ones do not. So, the ones with sharpeners are the paring, santokus, boning, slicer and chef’s knife. The ones without sharpeners are the steak knives, the bread knife, bagel knife, fork and the kitchen shears.

 

Can I remove the sharpeners?

Unfortunately, since the sharpeners are built in, they cannot be removed.

 

Is the sharpening block worth it?

In review after review, when asked if it’s worth the extra money to get the block with the built in sharpeners, users seem to love it as it saves them from ever having to worry if the knives are sharp. In fact, people who have owned this set for six months or more say the knives are just as sharp as the day they were purchased.

 

Do the sharpeners make a noise?

Some people wonder if the noise of the knife pulling through the sharpener every time it’s removed will bother them. Users who have owned the set a while say as long as the blades are clean and dry, the sharpeners don’t make any noise at all.

 

Is there a fillet knife included?

This block has just about everything else you could want and even has a boning knife, but it does not come with a fillet knife.

 

Do the shears come apart for cleaning?

Unlike the Wusthof set above, the kitchen shears included in this set do not separate for cleaning.

 

Are the steak knives serrated?

Yes, they are serrated so you will need to sharpen them separately, as the serrated knife slots in this block don’t have sharpeners built in.

 

Pros

  •         Self-sharpening slots
  •         Contemporary look
  •         Knives feel good in the hand

 

Cons

Some users don’t like this set because they don’t hold up well if you put them in the dishwasher. The manufacturer clearly points out these knives are not dishwasher safe and the handles can discolor if you put them in even the top rack. However, even though some of the best kitchen knife sets are advertised as dishwasher safe, it’s best to wash good cutlery by hand if you want it to last.

 

Conclusion

If you’re on a budget yet want a wide variety of knives to choose from when cooking and doing your prep work, the Calphalon Contemporary Self Sharpening 20 piece set is a good choice. Most of the components are made from high quality forged steel (with the exception of the steak knives and shears) and will last a good long while. If you think you’ll use all these different types of knives in your kitchen, this set is a worthwhile investment, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. For all these reasons, this deserves a place on our best kitchen knife set review.

 

 

JA Henckels International Forged Premio 18-Piece Set

 

The 18 piece JA Henckels International Premio set is another good option for chefs who like a lot of variety in the kitchen. The main pieces are forged with the steak knives being stamped (like the Calphalon set above), and they come in a hardwood block.

 

Each piece has a full tang for strength and balance and the handles are ergonomic and held together with three rivets. The metal is a satin finished stainless steel, and the metal endcap has the Henckels logo stamped in.

 

FAQs

What’s included?

  •         3” Paring Knife
  •         5” Serrated Utility
  •         5” Boning Knife
  •         6” Utility
  •         7” Hollow Edge Santoku
  •         8” Chef’s Knife
  •         8” Bread Knife
  •         9” Sharpening Steel
  •         8 Steak Knives
  •         Kitchen Shears
  •         Hardwood Block

 

Where is this set made?

The eight steak knives are made in Thailand, and all other pieces are made in China.

 

Are they dishwasher safe?

JA Henckels recommends not putting these knives in the dishwasher because it can make the handles fade.

 

Is there a warranty?

Yes, a limited lifetime warranty comes with the set. That means it is fully guaranteed against defects in workmanship but doesn’t cover wear and tear from normal use of damage because the knife was used a way that wasn’t intended.

 

Are there extra slots?

Yes, there are two extra slots in case you’d like to add other knives to the set.

 

What are the bolsters like?

With the exception of the steak knives, they all have a thick heavy bolster, and they are seamless. The bolsters have a smooth transition from the handle to the blade and are integral with the blade and tang. The heavy bolsters contribute to the good balance of the components of this set.

 

Do these knives rust?

If you keep these knives clean and dry and away from the dishwasher, you shouldn’t have any problems with rust. The best way to keep them in tip top shape is to clean and dry them thoroughly right after use, then store them back in the knife block.

 

Are the steak knives serrated?

Yes, all the steak knives in this set have serrated edges. It’s a fine serration that does a good job at cutting through meat.

 

Are there extra slots in the block?

Yes, there are a few empty spaces in the block. There is room for two smaller knives like paring knives and one larger knife like a carving or chef’s knife.

 

Pros

  •         Beautiful design
  •         Hold an edge
  •         Good variety of knives for the price

 

Cons

The only complaint with this set seems to be that the knives are a bit close together in the block. This just means you need to be more careful when putting them back in place so they don’t bang against the other knives.

 

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a good quantity of different types of knives for your kitchen and you’re on a budget, the JA Henckels Forged Premio is a good set to consider as a best knife set. It has a knife for just about every job you can imagine, and the components are both attractive and solidly made. While the steak knives aren’t of the highest quality (the other blades are solid forged steel), for the price, this set might be the best option for you.

 

 

Mercer Culinary 6-Piece Forged Genesis Setbest_kitchen_knife_set_review

 

This set may is not only a best seller, but it may fall well within your budget and let’s face it – it just looks really cool. It has five forged knives that seem to suspend in a glass block with a very modern and clean feel. The knives themselves offer ergonomic handles made of santoprene and have a non-slip texture whether your hands are dry or wet.

 

As for the blades, they are created from no stain high carbon German steel that is designed to resist discoloration, corrosion and rust. They have a full tang with superior balance and a tapered edge that gives more stability and are easier to hone than most others available.

To check prices and any available discounts on Amazon for Mercer 6 piece Genesis Set, please click here.

FAQs

 

What’s in the set?

  •         3.5” Paring
  •         5” Utility
  •         6” Boning
  •         8” Bread Knife
  •         8” Chef Knife
  •         Tempered Glass Block

 

What’s the difference between Genesis and Renaissance?

The Mercer Company offers two different lines – the Renaissance and the Genesis. Both use the same steel but the design is slightly different in one vs the other. Handles on the Renaissance blades have three rivets while the knives in the Genesis line have no rivets showing. Essentially, that means there aren’t as many places for food to get stuck or bacteria to collect.

 

The handles of the Renaissance collection are made of Delrin (also known as polyoxymethylene or POM), and the Genesis are made from Santoprene. Both are high end resinous plastics designed to wear well over time.

 

The other difference is one of personal preference. If you prefer a fuller bolster, go with this Genesis set.

 

Will this set fit under my upper cabinets?

With the knives in place, this set measures just about 14.5” tall, so it should fit under most kitchen cabinets.

 

Is there a warranty?

Yes, Mercer includes a limited lifetime warranty with this set.

 

Can I clean the inside of the block?

Since the block is glass, anything that falls down inside of it is going to show. Luckily, the design of the tempered glass block lets you easily take it apart so you can thoroughly wash it inside and out. There are two thumb screws at the top that are easy to remove, then the two pieces of glass slide apart.

 

Do these knives have a full tang?

Yes – the blade steel goes all the way through the end of the handle.

 

Do the knives sit in plastic sheaths?

They come with plastic sheaths, but those are intended just for shipping purposes. When you store them in the block, it’s not recommended to keep them in the sheaths. Store them in the glass block just as you would in any other knife block.

 

Will they rust?

The steel of this set is designed to resist corrosion or rust of any type. That said, how you care for your knives is a huge factor in how well they will wear. It’s best to clean your knife by hand right after using it and before any food can dry or become stuck on it. Dry the blade and handle thoroughly with a clean towel before placing it back in the holder.

 

Is the metal of the holder shiny or dull?

The metal holding the glass block in place is has a brushed silver appearance.

 

Where are they made?

While these blades are all made of a high quality German steel, the set itself is made in Taiwan.

 

Are there extra slots?

No – there is an individual slot for each knife that comes in this set, so there isn’t room for any extras in the block.

 

Are they difficult to sharpen?

Actually, in user reviews, most people who have owned this set over a year have never had to sharpen any of the blades (even when they use them on a daily basis). A gentle honing is a good place to start if you notice one of the blades feeling not quite as sharp as it used to be.

 

What is the steel?

The steel used in this set is a high carbon no-stain German X50 Cr Mo V15 steel designed especially for cutlery. It is blended to resist corrosion, rust and any type of discoloration.

 

Will the block tip over?

The block is about 3.25” deep, so it’s wide enough to be stable. If you’re concerned, just make sure you pull the knives straight up when you take them out. In review after review, users say the block is very sturdy and they’ve had no problems with it being unstable or tipping over.

 

Pros

  •         Holds an edge
  •         Nice balance
  •         Clean modern look

 

Cons

The only concern with this set is that the blades need to go in vertically, whereas most knife blocks sit the knives at an angle. This configuration doesn’t damage the knives in any way, but if you have the block sitting under your upper cabinets, you’ll probably need to slide it out so you have enough clearance to remove the knife you want.

 

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a high end essential  best kitchen knife set that not only looks great on your countertop but also performs extremely well, the Mercer Culinary Genesis set is a great one to pick. It comes with five of the most popular and best selling Genesis knives and has plenty of variety to do any chopping, dicing or deboning you need.

 

The tempered glass block is striking and is designed to make it look like the blades are floating in midair.

 

If there’s any question about the quality or durability of the block or any pieces in this set, remember Mercer supplies many major cooking academies with cutlery and is now bringing these professional tools to the home chef. You’d be lucky to get this set!

What’s the real story?

How big of a set do I need?

 

This is a question up for some debate, and it really depends on your personal preference and cooking style. If you do a wide variety of different types of cooking and love to experiment with new tools, a larger set is probably your best bet. However, if you prepare pretty much the same type of food all the time with a more limited menu, you can get away with less and may not use all the knives that come with a large set.

 

Take a look at the following types of knives to see if you think they’re something you’ll really use. Then you can get a better idea of the type or size of set you need.

 

Chef’s Knife

A good chef’s knife can be the most widely used tool in your kitchen. Professionals generally use one that is eight to ten inches in blade length, but you may find a shorter version works better for you depending on the size of your hands and your techniques when prepping food. A slightly longer blade may seem uncomfortable at first, but having a longer cutting edge actually makes the knife more efficient and versatile. In other words, the longer the blade, the more work the knife can do for you.

 

Chef’s knives are great for dicing and slicing vegetables, fruits, meat and fish.

One thing you won’t want to use this knife for is carving or butchering poultry or taking the skin off from large vegetables like a butternut squash, as it doesn’t offer enough precision for these tasks.

 

Paring and/or Peeling Knife

A paring knife is one of the essential tools in any kitchen. Blade sizes range from 2.5” – 4”, and this knife is essentially used for everything the larger knives are too large to cut. You’ll find they work best for mincing and slicing things like strawberries, shallots or garlic. A paring knife is also what you want to use when detail is important, such as if you’re creating a radish rose.

 

You won’t want to use a paring knife to cut really hard vegetables like parsnips, celery root or carrots, as this little knife doesn’t have enough weight to slice through them easily. If you try this, you’ll be tempted to tighten your grip and increase pressure. This can cause the knife to slip. If you ever find you’re putting a lot of pressure on your knife, you either need to switch to a larger one for that job, or if it should handle that job, make sure the blade is sharp.

 

Bread Knife

You don’t need to use a bread knife just for bread. The serrated edge can make this a useful tool for many jobs. Serrated blades work great on just about anything with a waxy surface like pineapples, tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppers and watermelons. You will find this tool works well on cabbage, as well. It makes chopping cabbage for cole slaw a breeze. The jagged edge grips well to penetrate those slippery surfaces. If you used a straight edge blade on these foods, it would be more likely to slip around rather than cut straight through.

 

Overall, you’ll want to use serrated knives (bread knives included) for slicing, not chopping. To use them most effectively, use a sawing motion that let the teeth grip, and then cut through the food. A serrated knife should never be used for tiny jobs like slicing garlic, berries or fresh herbs.

 

Serrated Utility Knife

While the paring knife has a very short blade, a utility knife usually has a blade between four and seven inches long. It looks a little like a shorter bread knife, and it’s great for slicing through delicate vegetables and fruits without tearing their skin. It’s also great for slicing bagels and the fixings for just about any sandwich. Since it does have a serrated blade, it also works well for tomatoes without having the unwieldy length of a bread knife.

 

Boning Knife

Boning knives are best used for cutting up any type of poultry, meat or fish. Whether it’s anchovies or a side of pork, a good boning knife can be your best friend. Boning knives differ from other knives in that the blades are generally more flexible, so they are designed to cut around cartilage, rib cages and joints.

 

There are different types of boning knives, distinguished by the flexibility of the blade. Stiffer blades are meant to cut tougher meats like beef and pork. Since the meat itself is denser, a stiffer blade prevents it from slipping around and bending when the meat is tougher.

 

A more flexible blade is intended for use on thinner cuts of meat that are easier to debone. Some good examples of this are chicken or salmon. A more flexible blade allows you to more easily maneuver around the bones in these types of meat.

 

One thing to know is that just because it’s called a boning knife, it should never be used to cut through bones. Instead, it’s intended to cut around them. This type of knife works a lot like a jigsaw, so it’s designed to separate meat from the bones. You can use it to slice through cartilage and joints, but if you need to cut through meat bones, use a cleaver.

 

Fillet Knife

The most distinguishing feature of a fillet knife is its shape. The blade has a much stronger curve than a boning knife, and the blade will be flexible as it is intended to make navigate the fine bones of a fish to make fillets.

 

Fillet knives are usually thinner than boning knives because the slimmer profile makes it easier to navigate more tender and delicate cuts. They have an extremely sharp point for piercing flesh, and most often the blade will be between four and nine inches in length. Somewhere in the middle works best for most people, as about 7.5” gives you a good amount of control while still being long enough to get the job done in one smooth cut.

 

Santoku Knife

The word “Santoku” comes from the Japanese language as the concept of these knives originated in Japan. A Santoku is a general purpose knife with a blade typically between five and seven inches long. It has a flat edge with hollows in it. These hollows create air pockets between the blade and food you are slicing. The purpose of the hollows is to make food slide off the blade rather than sticking to it.

 

In comparison with a traditional Western chef’s knife, the design of a Santoku is thinner, lighter and shorter. These blades also have a more extreme angle on their cutting edge than traditional Western knife blades. Santoku knives typically have a chisel tip sharpened on one side. Santoku blades have been described as being a combination of a short chef’s knife and a small cleaver, making them very versatile.

The santuko, like the nakiri, is often used for chopping vegetables. If you are vegetarian or vegan and find yourself preparing rice and vegetable dishes, you may want to visit our Best Stainless Steel Rice Cooker review by clicking here.

Many chefs say their Santoku is their second go-to blade (in second place to their longer chef’s knife), and it’s ideal for slicing bread, boning a chicken, paring, peeling and even carving turkey.

Many people prefer to use a nakiri instead of a santuko. Which is better? The answer is whichever one fits your hand with comfort and balance. Never try and force a blade.

For more information about the nakiri knife, go to our Shun Nakiri Review by clicking here

Kitchen Shears

If you’ve never had a good pair of scissors just for use in your kitchen, you’ve been missing out. It’s amazing how versatile a good pair of shears can be once you get in the habit of using them. Seen by many as an afterthought, shears can be extremely handy and handle many jobs faster than either your chef’s or paring knife.

 

Some of the most obvious uses for kitchen shears are snipping herbs, breaking down poultry and opening packages. However, a good pair with teeth in the handle also work as a bottle opener and can help you unscrew stuck caps from food and drink containers. Many people don’t know the teeth in the handle can also be used as a nutcracker or used to crack open crab legs.

 

While many of the best kitchen knife block sets come with shears, it’s best to get the kind that easily come apart for cleaning. If they come apart, it’s much easier to remove food particles. It’s also much easier to get the parts dried thoroughly so rust doesn’t form around the hinges.

 

Steak Knives

Let’s face it – if you prepare or eat meat in your home, you need a good set of steak knives. However, it can be hard to choose a good set because there are so many available. It seems like they’re all the same, but they’re really not. While this is not, strictly, part of the best kitchen knife set review, many of the best knife sets include steak knives. So, we thought we’d include them in our over all review.

 

First, if these knives are going to sit on your table, you want them to look good. You want them to look and feel elegant. You’ve gone to all the work to prepare that beautiful steak; it would be a shame to present it with a cheap looking knife.

 

The second (and perhaps most important) thing to consider is the edge. Unlike regular kitchen knives, steak knives are going to be used against a hard plate rather than a cutting board. Cutting boards are much more forgiving.

 

That said, there are a few different types of edges you can choose. You can get straight, micro serrated or fully serrated edged varieties. Smooth blades are preferred by many as they don’t tear the meat at all, and a good sharp one will cut through it like butter. On the other hand, serrated blades are easier to use with tough cuts of meat, and they’re generally cheaper in price.

If you want more information on steak knives, please go to our ‘Best Steak Knives’ by clicking here.

 

Honing Steel

This is another essential tool you’ll want to keep around your kitchen. Using a good honing steel ensures your expensive knives stay nice and sharp. Honing steels are made to keep your knife at the peak of its sharpness for as long as possible. If you have any high quality knives in your kitchen, you’ll want to also have a good honing steel to keep them nice and sharp.

 

How to use a honing steel? Running any knife along the steel will realign the fibers (also called teeth) on the blade. This leads to a cleaner cut because the edge will be sharper. You don’t have to hone the knife every time you use it but a few strokes every once in a while can do wonders. Since honing doesn’t actually sharpen the blade, you may still want to have your knives professionally sharpened on occasion, but honing will prolong the need for it.

You can use a honing steel for any straight (not serrated) blade, like any paring or chef’s knife. Don’t use it for serrated edges because the teeth won’t glide along the steel shaft.

Whichever knives you choose to include in your kitchen, make sure they’re ones you think you’ll actually use. It’s a waste to have them sitting and collecting dust on your kitchen counter. If you’re a versatile home chef, go for a big set. However, if you have limited cooking techniques and/or skills, a good high quality set with just the basics might get you by. Either way, get the best you can afford, and you’ll have much more fun prepping and cooking food for your family.

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