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Cut to The Chase! The Best Kitchen Knife Set for The Money

Since the dawn of time, man has been trying to create tools that will help them in preparing their food. And ever since, humans have been trying to forge the best steel mixture to create the best knife. From slaughtering carcasses to thinly slicing carrots, knives are the most important tools in a chef’s arsenal.

I will never forget the first knife set that was given to me by my mother. Though some of the pieces are missing now and some were borrowed and never returned (I’m looking at you next door neighbor!), I always take pride in it and swear it was the best knife set ever.

Today I decided to do a little research about knife sets. I got this itch after watching a documentary where a chef is so enamored by his knife. He talked about it like it was one of his kids. It made me think about my poorly beaten to the hilt knives and wanted to get one. Budget is a bit tight today so I had to choose the best kitchen knife set for the money.

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Important tips to consider when buying a knife set

- Make sure your knife set possess the big 3 (Chef’s knife, serrated knife or bread knife, and a paring knife)

- Make sure you feel the knives before purchasing it. Have the salesperson open the box and have a good feel if the knives are well balanced where the blade and handle meets. You should be the best judge of which knives suit you best. Some cooks love heavier knives while others prefer the lightweight ones.

- The best knives are a full tang, meaning that the knife was made using one piece of metal where the. Knives with a half tang (Where the blade in the handles are shortened unlike the full tang) tend to have poorer balance.

- A perk of buying a knife set is the usually beautiful storage blocks they come with. It’s definitely up to you if you want to buy magnetic strips, or a wood/steel block. Choose whatever floats your boat.

How to take care of your knives

Knives are the workhorses of the kitchen; you can thank them by giving them a little extra loving care. Here are some tips on taking care of your kitchen partner.

- Do not use a dishwasher. The high heat of the dishwasher can cause the blade to warp.

- The best methods are the simplest ones. Just use some mild soap and water and carefully wash it by hand. Always keep that sharp blade pointed in the opposite direction!

- Always dry your knife after each cleaning session. This way the blade won't have a chance to form rust

The best knife set for the money

1. Chicago Cutlery Belmont 16-Piece Block Knife Set (Best stainless steel knife set)

Stainless steel knives have a bit of advantage over carbon steel blades. First, they are able to combat rust and corrosion much better than their carbon counterpart. They are also easier to sharpen because of their higher malleability. The Chicago Cutlery Belmont 16-piece block knife set is a solid option for a good priced stainless steel knife set.

The set includes

  • 7.75 Inch chef knife
  • 8 Inch bread knife
  • 3.5-inch pairing knife
  • 5-inch utility knife
  • 3-inch peeler knife
  • Eight 4.5 inch steak knife
  • Shears
  • Sharpening Steel
  • Wood block (Espresso colored)

Pros & Cons

As you can see this set features a multitude of knives besides the essentials. I prefer a slightly larger chef’s knife but the knives full tang construct is both light and well balanced. The stainless steel is obviously of very good quality and cuts vegetables and meats with ease. The handles are of good construct but look a bit too plastic like for my taste. Overall a very good set and the espresso wood block adds a nice classy display for your knives.

Pros


  • Great value for a 16 knife set 
  • Stainless steel used is high grade
  • Elegant looking wood block

Cons


  • Plastic look of handles
  • Steak knives are a bit on the flimsy side

2. Paula Deen 14-Piece Knife Block Set (Best carbon steel knife set)

Carbon steel knives have the upper hand to stainless steel in terms of durability and sharpness. The also have the advantage in edge retention so you do not have to sharpen it as much as a stainless steel blade. Some chefs are die-hard devotees of good quality carbon steel knives.

On the flip side, it doesn’t have the anti-rust and corrosion prowess of its stainless steel counterpart. So cleaning it immediately after every use and drying it is a must. The Paula Deen 14 piece knife block set is a good example of a good quality carbon steel knife set that is quite right for the price.

The set includes

  • 8-inch chef’s knife
  • 8-inch slicer
  • 6-inch utility knife
  • 8-inch bread knife
  • 3 1/2 –inch paring knife• Kitchen shears
  • 8-inch sharpening steel
  • Six 5-inch steak knives
  • Acacia hardwood block

Pros & Cons

The blade in this set’s knives is made of high-quality carbon steel that cuts almost anything you need majestically. The salesperson told me that these knives would last a lifetime and I had no reason to not believe him, just looking at these knives scream absolute great craftsmanship.

Again the handles are a bit too generic looking for me but at least it has a good ergonomic lift to it. The knife block is made of a much more rustic looking acacia wood which gives it a slight edge to me compared to the Chicago Cutlery set.

Pros


  • High-grade carbon steel blades cut meats and vegetables beautifully
  • With proper care, these knives would last a lifetime
  • Good price for a high-quality carbon steel knife set
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Nice ergonomic handles

Cons


  • Carbon steel blades are known to rust quite easily. Proper care requires immediate cleaning and drying after each use
  • A bit heavier that the stainless steel knives of Chicago Cutlery

3. Moichef Knife Set and Block (Best ceramic steel knife set)

Ceramic knives are known for their ability to cut through food quite easily. It also is more hygienic to use that it’s steel counterparts. It also does not transfer odors unlike steel and cannot have rust. Ceramic knives also are more lightweight than both stainless steel and carbon steel. So it is a good choice for those chefs that prefer less weight when wielding their knives.

With all those advantages you will be hard pressed not to go for ceramic right away. But it does have a couple of things that does not go its way. First of all being an extremely hard material does not equate to indestructibility. Ceramic is fairly brittle and can break when used with hard ingredients. The Moichef Knife set and block do a fairly good job at representing team ceramic knife.

The set includes

  • Red 6-inch chef’s Knife
  • Green 5-inch utility knife
  • Yellow 4-inch fruit knife
  • Blue 3-inch paring knife
  • 4 white blade covers

Pros & Cons

If simple slicing is the only basis of knives, then go for these ceramic types as they can slice on fruits and meat like butter. Extremely lightweight and easy to handle these knives would have no problem for those who absolutely has a hard time operating with heavy knives.

The knives are color coded for easy identification, which seems like a stretch to me since it's pretty obvious, which knife is which. But hey, those bright colors are eye-popping nonetheless.

Pros


  • Extremely lightweight
  • Great for slicing
  • Colored handles are a nice touch
  • No corrosion and rust
  • Ceramic blades do not contaminate food

Cons


  • Not as versatile as its steel counterparts. Despite its great talent for slicing, do not use ceramic knives for chopping and deboning.
  • Obviously not as many varieties of knives as the others on this list

4. Premium class Stainless Steel Kitchen 12 Knife Set by Utopia Kitchen (Best overall-Our Choice)

When I choose the knife set I want I tend to look at five things; Cutting precision, ease of handling, durability, value for my buck, and beauty. This knife set by Utopia Kitchen officially ended my search by possessing all of these traits. Let us start first with what is inside the box when you purchase it.

The set includes

  • 8-inch chef’s knife
  • 8-inch bread knife
  • 5-inch utility knife
  • 8-inch carving knife
  • 5-inch paring knife
  • 6 pieces of 4.5-inch steak knives
  • Acrylic stand

Let's start first with cutting precision and durability, the chef, bread, carving and an impressive 2.5mm blade thickness that just tells you how well this babies could slice through anything. With that type of thickness and a high-grade stainless steel on a full tang knife you can be assured of it’s long lasting durability.

The handle is contoured beautifully for easy handling when preparing your meals and lessens the chances of any accidental slips. The weight is in the middle of not being too light but not heavy enough to cause any noticeable discomfort. Like all top-notch knives, you cannot use a dishwasher to clean it. But its one-piece body makes it the easiest knife set to clean and maintain on the list.

Pros & Cons

As for the value, it has all the essentials that I really need plus a few added extra steak knives and a nifty utility and carving knife. When it comes to appearance, I love the fact that it is just one beautifully forged metal instead of the plastic looking handles of the other knife sets on the list. The cherry on top is it’s modern and sleek looking acrylic stand that gives the knives the appearance of floating on your kitchen table.

Pros


  • Beautiful one body craftsmanship
  • Good balance between handle and blade
  • Durable and thick blades
  • Easy to clean
  • Great looking acrylic stand

Cons


  • I really like the acrylic stand but I have to say I love the wooden ones more plus it’s a little bit on the flimsy side

So if you are in the market for a new knife set that not only performs well but also won’t break your budget then I hope my list was a good guide for you. If you have any stories or comments feel free to write them below.

Mia Chambers
 

I'm Mia. I love cooking because it makes me feel closer to my family and my friend. In my early years, I was spent hours cooking alongside my mom. I really grateful and love the time in her kitchen. And the memories inspire me to get an apron & whip up something incredible.

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