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Best Kitchen Knives For

I have recently hit the shops to find the best kitchen knives I could buy within my budget.

This was purely out of frustration as I realized I do not own a Chef’s knife or any other knife apart from some serrated steak knives and some eating knives.

There is nothing so irritating than trying to cut a tomato with a blunt knife and after some finger cuts and nicks I decided it is time to invest in my new-found love of baking and cooking.

Then I hit a snag: I was not sure how to choose good quality knives. Purchasing a good set of knives is an investment and I wanted to choose wisely.

It was only once I have done some homework and read some reviews that I finally set my hart on an affordable, good quality knife set.

So let me first share with you what you should look for in a good quality knife:

The Best Quality Kitchen Knives – How To Choose?

It is not just quality I am looking for but also something that fits in my kitchen and looks good.

There are some colorful knives these days I quite like that can also spruce up your kitchen; making it look fun and funky. But it is also functional in preventing cross contamination.

You want a knife that is durable that fits your cooking style and needs. You can buy terrible knives that are expensive and you may find good quality knives that are cheaper and perhaps from a less popular brand.

This is why it makes sense to be able to pick out the best option for you.

Here are 4 basic things to consider:

First decide on your needs

Consider purchasing a set of knives that may work out cheaper than buying them individually.

In a basic set you want:

  • A serrated bread knife. Use it to cut tomatoes, cake, bread or fruit.
  • A Chef’s knife between 20-23cm (7.8–9 inches) long. This is used for mincing, cutting, dicing and chopping.
  • A paring knife about 8cm (3 inches) long. Use it for cutting, trimming and peeling of small food items that you can hold in your one hand.
  • A carving knife. You should use it to cut thin and even pieces of meat from roasts.
  • A utility knife about 13cm (5 inches). It has a wide range of uses and normally your ‘go to’ knife for most foods.
  • A honing steel or stone. This is used to hone your sharp knives to maintain a good edge.

Other knives and items to consider:

  • A filleting knife. This is ideal for filleting fish. Most people purchase already filleted fish but if it sounds useful to you, make sure to include it in your list of knives.
  • A meat clever. This is useful for cutting big chunks of meat and can also be used for chopping herbs.
  • Scissors. This is useful for snipping off some fresh herbs from your herb garden, opening food packets and cutting some meats.

Is the knife full tang or not?

A full tang carving knive

What does ‘full tang’ mean? Well it basically mean that the knife is made of one piece of metal which extends throughout the handle of the knife as well.

It is ideal if you can purchase a full tang knife as it is more durable and the handle is less likely to break with the strain of cutting some food items.

Cheaper knives will have a thin piece of metal that goes into a plastic handle or may have a handle welded to the knife. This does not mean that the blade is not good and it does not necessarily mean that it won’t last you a long time.

If you keep your blade sharp (as you should with every use), the strain on the handle will be less and the knife will last you longer.

The bottom line is that full tang knives will be more durable.

What is the knife made of?

A man grinding a knive blade

The handle grip should be made of durable material like a hard wood or plastic.

Soft woods or low density material should be avoided. For the knife’s blade, you do not want it to be fully stainless steel.

Fully stainless steel knives cannot maintain a good, sharp edge efficiently. You should consider a knife made of carbon steel.

Carbon steel maintains a sharp edge easier and it is easy to sharpen at home. The downside (and complaints of many) is that carbon steel knives rust easily.

So care should be taken when washing them to make sure they are dry before storing them in the knife block or your drawer.

Many knives are a mixture of stainless steel and carbon steel which means that it may still rust where the carbon is present but it will be much more resistant to rust across the whole blade.

A high-carbon stainless steel knife is ideal to buy.

If you are on a budget, a cheaper solid stainless steel knife is still a good choice.

Avoid knives claiming that they never need sharpening

If you see a knife that claims you never need to sharpen, it is probably one that cannot be sharpen and which is not very sharp to begin with. It will lose its edge and then your only choice is to dispose of it.

Those are the basics but here are some more tips:

If it is possible to handle the knife, then make sure it is balanced and fits nicely in your hand.

  • Avoid serrated chef’s knives. They are sold as an all-in-one knife but in all honesty, you may not be able to sharpen them and they may slip when cutting hard vegetables.
  • Keep your knives sharp by using a honing steel or stone before every use.
  • Carefully store your knives and make sure they are dry before you do so.
  • Look at some comments other people gave around a knife or knife set you are interested in.
  • Focus on quality rather than price

Armed with this knowledge: Below are the best quality kitchen knives I have short-listed.

This is a list of the best knife sets in its price range that still offers value with the emphasis of being affordable.

The Best Quality Kitchen Knives – The Short List

1. Cuisinart Advantage 12 Piece Knife Set

Price At The Time: $19.95

If you are in the market for a quality low budget knife set, then the Cuisinart C55-02 Knife set is the one you should consider.

The reason I say this is because they are good quality steel knives with a great edge at a real good price.

They also make good gifts most will love and enjoy.

This 6 piece stainless steel knife set does not only look pretty and fun but they are also very functional.

My favorite feature is that the knives are color coded to help prevent cross contamination while preparing food.

In other words: If you used a knife on some raw meat (as example), you want to keep it away from already cooked food to prevent harmful bacteria spreading to it.

Like that is not enough, the knives also have a nonstick coating to make cutting even smoother.

This knife set includes:

  • 8-inch Chef Knife with Blade Guard
  • 8-inch Slicing Knife with Blade Guard
  • 8-inch Bread Knife with Blade Guard
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife With Blade Guard
  • 6.5-inch Utility Knife with Blade Guard
  • 3.5-inch Pairing Knife with Blade Guard
  • Lifetime Warranty

There are literally thousands of people that love this knife set. So you do not have to take my word for it.

Just have a look at what others have say on Amazon about this knife set here:

2. Home Hero 13 Piece Kitchen Stainless Steel Knife Set

Set Of 5 Home Hero Knives In Clear Block

Price at the time: $39.99

The Home Hero knife set is absolutely worth the money and at a budget price.

If your budget allows for a bit more than the Cuisinart knife set above but less than $50, then this is the knife set I will recommend.

Apart from being affordable, sharp and good quality you also get 6 steak knives included a peeler, scissors and a see through acrylic stand that really looks fabulous and ergonomic in the kitchen.

I love the fact that it also comes with a cheese knife and that the knife block stands firm and steady even without any knives in the block.

Now if you think this is where the value stops, then think again! Home Hero aims for 100% satisfied customers and therefore offers a 100% money back guarantee.

So if you are on a budget of around $50 then there is simply no reason not to get this knife set.

Home Hero 5 knive blades

Here are some of the knife dimensions:

  • Chef knife: 330x41x1.5mm (13 inch)
  • 1 Piece bread knife: 330x31x1.5mm (13 inches)
  • 1 Piece carving knife:330x28x1.5mm (13 inches)
  • 1 Piece utility knife: 235×21.5×1.2mm (9.2 inches)
  • 1 Piece paring knife:205x22x1.2mm (8 inches)

Also Included:

  • 100% Money Back Guarantee
  • Kitchen Scissors
  • Peeler
  • Modern Knife Stand
  • 2-Stage Knife Sharpener
  • 6 Serrated Steak Knifes

Have a look at what other customers have to say about this knife set:

3. Farberware 12-Piece Multicolored Cutlery Knife Set

Price at the time: $22.84

Another excellent choice when on a low budget is this Farberware cutlery knife set.

It is easy to clean, nonstick, knives got a sharp edge and they are color coded. This Farberware knife set is affordable and comes with a plastic cover for each knife to store safely in your drawer.

They are good for the ordinary cook. To get the best results, they should be run over a honing steel before every use, washed by hand and dried thoroughly.

There are much worse choices for its price range but it seems that the cover for the Santoku knife is not a good fit and hard to sleeve and take off.

It is best to get a knife block for this set or consider the Cuisinart Advantage in the number 1 spot of this article.

This knife set includes:

  • 8 inch Chef Knife With Blade Guard
  • 8 inch Slicing Knife With Blade Guard
  • 8 inch Bread Knife With Blade Guard
  • 7 inch Santoku Knife With Blade Guard
  • 5-1/2 inch Serrated Utility Knife With Blade Guard
  • 3-1/2 inch Paring Knife With Blade Guard

Having said all the above, there are many that are happy with this knife set.

Have a look at what other customers have to say about the Faberware 5183157 knife set:

4. Wanbasion Blue Professional Kitchen Knife Set

Wanbasion Blue Professional Knife Set

Price At The Time: $25

The Wanbasion Blue Professional Kitchen Knife set has a cool blue shine to them which I find quite appealing and you may appreciate it too. It just looks stylish.

Not going purely on looks and it being a bit different, this knife set is affordable and actually a great starter knife set for you to own.

Each knife is protected by a perfectly fitting sheath which makes it easy to take along when camping or storing them in a drawer.

My favorite feature is that these knives have a Titanium coating which makes it more durable and resistant to rust and scratching where most other colored knives have a ceramic coating.

This Wanbasion Blue Kitchen Knife Set Includes:

  • 8 inch Chef Knife
  • 8 inch Slicing Knife
  • 8 inch Bread Knife
  • 7 inch Santoku Knife
  • 5 inch Utility Knife
  • 3-1/2 inch Paring Knife

Also Includes:

  • 100% After-sales Service

Even though it states that they are dishwasher safe (and this goes for any knife) rather wash it by hand with warm soapy water and dry them immediately.

You can have a look at what other customers had to say about the Wanbasion knife set here:

5. Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set

Cuisinart C77SS 15 Piece knife set with block

Price AT The Time: $79.95

Now this Cuisinart 15 piece set is the ‘ideal’ knife that we talked about earlier in the sense that they are all high carbon stainless steel knives.

These make for excellent blades and I approve of the steak knives not being serrated; although it seems they were serrated originally. It is a bit more maintenance keeping them sharp, but it will always have a beautiful edge if maintained properly.

The weakest part of this set (which is not that weak at all) are the hollow stainless steel handles. So if that is the worst, then this is a definite buy

The Cuisinart 15-Piece Knife Set Includes:

  • 8 inch Chef Knife
  • 8 inch Slicing Knife
  • 8 inch Bread Knife
  • 7 inch Santoku Knife
  • 5-1/2 inch Serrated Utility Knife
  • 3-1/2 inch Paring Knife
  • 3-1/2 inch Bird’s Beak Paring Knife

Also Included:

  • 8 inch Sharpening Steel
  • All-Purpose Household Shears
  • Knife Block
  • Lifetime Warranty

Please remember:

Do not put good knives like these in a dishwasher even if it states that it is dishwasher safe.

Please wash them by hand and immediately hand dry them before storing them in the block.

Regularly hone the sharp knives’ edge to maintain it.

They look great, it is stainless steel from tip to bottom, very sharp and affordable.

For less than $100 you can own a great set of kitchen knives. Just have a look what other customers have to say:

6. Emojoy 15-Piece Kitchen Knife Set

Emojoy 15 Piece Knife Set With Block

Price At The Time: $64.98

Still under $100 this is an impressive set for the price range. The reason I say this is: Not only are these high-carbon stainless steel knives, but the knives are also full tang with matching steak knives.

For a forged set of knives, this is real good value and they look fantastic too.

This certainly ticks more boxes for having a good quality knife.

Durable Pakkawood is triple riveted to the metal which forms the handle.

Emojoy also offers a lifetime warranty.

I cannot stress this enough:

Good quality knives like these cannot be washed inside a dishwasher. It will cause chipped blades, quick fading of the wood and rust.

These knives will give you joy for a lifetime if you care for them and hone the sharp knives before each use.

This Emojoy knife set includes:

  • 8 inch Chef Knife
  • 8 inch Slicing Knife
  • 8 inch Bread Knife
  • 8 inch Santoku Knife
  • 5 inch Serrated Utility Knife
  • 3-1/2 inch Paring Knife

Also Included:

  • Kitchen Scissors
  • Knife Sharpener
  • 6 Pieces of 4.5” Steak Knives
  • 100% Money Back Support

Now look at what other customers have to say about the Emojoy 15-piece knife set:

7. McCook MC36 16 Pieces Knife Set

Price At The Time: $69.97

There is a lot of motivation in purchasing this McCook’s knife set.

It falls in the same price bracket as the Emojoy above but it offers some useful extras:

  • It has a built in knife sharpener
  • A very welcome bamboo cutting board.
  • Serrated utility knife
  • A bird’s peak parer perfect for decorative cuts.

These are good knives and offers excellent value for money for what you get.

I give this McCook knife set full marks for value and durability.

Here is the full list of what is included in this McCook knife set:

  • 8 inch Chef Knife
  • 8 inch Slicing Knife
  • 8 inch Bread Knife
  • 5 inch Santoku Knife
  • 5-1/2 inch Serrated Utility Knife
  • 3-1/2 inch Paring Knife
  • 3-1/4 inch Bird’s Beak Paring Knife

Also Included:

  • 6 4-1/2 inch Steak knives
  • Kitchen shears
  • Bamboo cutting board
  • A self-sharpening knife block
  • 100% Satisfaction guarantee

It is a beautiful set of good knives, offers great value, full tang knives with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Look at what other customers say regarding the McCook MC37 knife set:

8. The Pioneer Woman Cowboy Rustic 14-Piece Forged Cutlery Knife Block Set

Pioneer Woman Cowboy Rustic 14 Piece Knife Set With Knife Block

Price At The Time: $62.77

The Pioneer Woman Cowboy Rustic knife set is another good set for under $70.

It sports full tang stainless steel blades and is beautiful to look at. They also come in a range of colors.

There is no warranty that I can see but it cuts well and have everything you need in a knife set.

Taking good care of them and not washing them in a dishwasher or air dry them, will give you many years of good service.

I see the value in these knives because they are forged and not stamped.

Forged knives are usually harder and less flexible but also easier to sharpen and keep their edge longer.

Forged knives have a bolster, that I prefer where stamped knives don’t. A fillet knife obviously needs to be more flexible and a stamped knife will probably work better.

Because stamped knives are ‘cut’ from a steel sheet, they are usually less expensive.

This 14 piece forged knife set includes the following knives and items:

  • 8 inch Chef Knife
  • 8 inch Bread Knife
  • 8 inch Nakiri Knife
  • 5 inch Utility Knife
  • 3-1/2 inch Paring Knife

Also Included:

  • 8 inch Sharpening Steel
  • Scissors
  • Knife Block

Have a look at what customers have to say about the Pioneer Woman Cowboy Rustic knife set:

9. J.A. Henckels International 13550-005 Knife Set

J.A. Henckels International 15 Piece Knife Set With Knife Block

Price AT The Time: $117.99

In spite of the J.A. Henckels International knife set being stamped and not forged, it has a very good rating amongst the community.

They are light, sharp, made of German steel and easy to use.

It has wood handles that are triple riveted to the knife which is full tang.

They keep their edge surprisingly well for stamped knives but the durability is less than some cheaper options.

One of the complaints is that there is a knife missing because there is an empty slot in the block. The knife is not missing but rather it is a space holder for an extra knife you can buy separately which is the meat cleaver.

The confusion is that it is listed as a 15 piece set, but there are only 14 knives. The reason is because the knife block is also counted as a piece.

This 15 piece J.A. Henckels knife set includes:

  • 8 inch Chef Knife
  • 8 inch Bread Knife
  • 7 inch Santoku Knife
  • 5 inch Serrated utility Knife
  • 3 inch Paring Knife

Also Included:

  • 8 inch Sharpening Steel
  • Kitchen shears
  • Knife Block

Loads of customers are in love with this J.A. Henckels knife set. Just have a look:

10. TUO 8 Piece Cutlery Knife Set

TUO Cutlery Knife Set With Knife Block

Price At The Time: $199.95

The TUO knife set is gorgeous to look at and the blades are made from German steel. It has a comfortable handle made from durable Pakkawood wood.

This 8 piece forged steel blades includes a meat cleaver that most simply loves.

At around $200 dollars, this is the most expensive set in my budget knife set range yet. The TUO cutlery knife set will last you a long time if you take good care of it and the razor sharp edges are easy to maintain as well.

Here is a list of everything that is included in the set:

  • 7 inch Vegetable Cleaver Knife
  • 7 inch Santoku Knife
  • 9 inch Bread Knife
  • 8 inch Chef Knife
  • 4 inch Paring Knife

Also Included:

  • Shears
  • Honing steel
  • Bamboo Wooden Knife Block

Click the button to look at what other customers have to say:

11. Calphalon Self-Sharpening 15-Piece Knife Set

Calphalon Contemporary Self Sharpening Knife Set

Price At The Time: $199.97

This is a very good quality set and with a self sharpening block included.

Note: There are two empty slits in the block for you to purchase two additional knives separately to complete the set.

The two knives I will recommend are:

  • The 3.5″ pairing knife
  • Tomato / Bagel knife

The Calphalon Contemporary knife set is of full tang design with comfortable poly-resin handles. The 8 steak knives are serrated and the sharpening block is made to only sharpen the straight edged knives.

Other plus points are that these are forged -, high carbon, German steel knives with the name of each knife edged on the end.

The steak knives; however, are stamped knives from Asian steel.

You also get a lifetime warranty on the knives.

Below is the list of knives included:

  • 8 inch Chef Knife
  • 8 inch Bread Knife
  • 7 inch Santoku Knife
  • 6 inch Utility Knife
  • 4-1/2 inch Paring Knife

Also included:

  • 8 Steak knives
  • Kitchen shears
  • Self-sharpening Knife Block

Click below to see what other customers have to say:


When choosing the best knives for your kitchen it is often cheaper to purchase a whole set than individual knives.

Buy only what you are going to use or see a need for especially if you are on a budget. Knives that are forged and having a full tang is often more durable as well as having a high-carbon stainless steel blade.

Look at quality rather than price or brand name and please take care of your knives by ONLY hand washing them and imediately dry them to keep them in good shape even if is says that it is dishwasher safe.

Hone the knive blades regulary with a honing steel to avoid getting it to the point where they actually need to be sharpened.

Please let me know, in the comments below, your thoughts and tips on choosing a good knife set and which knives were your best set ever.

Thank you for reading The Best Kitchen Knives For 2020!

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