Best 10 Kitchen Knife Sets
As Of December 2021
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Best Kitchen Knives Set for Honing Your Culinary Skills
You do not have to be a professional chef to need a high-quality set of kitchen knives on your kitchen counter. Our everyday kitchen activities require the best knives- from dicing large chunks of meat to slicing bread, boning, cutting veg or even use one to open a tin if you don't have an opener. While the chef’s knife can take care of all your cutting needs, having a set of specialised kitchen knives provides you with more versatility, ideal for home cooks.
Most kitchen knife sets will include knives for other activities, like a utility knife, paring knife, carving knife, among others. When shopping for a good knife, the best thing to do is shop from a physical shop so you can have a feel at its handle and blade. But we are here to help you choose so you can get them delivered to your doorstep, saving you the hassle of jumping from one store to the next.
So, our shopping guide is here to fill that gap - to provide you with all the necessary information you need from the best selection of kitchen knives so you can buy one from the comfort of your home.
Why buy a kitchen knife set?
Buying one knife, as long as it sorts all your kitchen activities, is what most people need. But a set of knives? It might seem like it doesn’t matter but it does. A set of knives gives you an array of knives for particular cutting activities. With a set, it also gives you a storage place for the knives, like guards or a knife block. While you might not need a lot of knives, but a set of about three basic knives that will enable you to cut hard foods and soft foods is needed.
How to Choose a Chef’s Knife
A chef’s knife also referred to as a cook’s knife is one of the most essential knives to have in our kitchen. It is quite versatile, allowing you to use it for just about anything. But there are two different types of chef’s knife you need to know to help you choose the best chef knife that suits your needs and style.
With German knives, the bolster, the meeting point between the blade and the handle, is thicker and heavier than Japanese knives. These thicker blades are mostly curved and made from softer German steel. This makes it easy to use German knives on everything, evening boning and cutting chicken bones. However, the soft German steel style means that you have to hone it regularly.
Japanese-style knives have thinner blades, straightened cutting edges and are more lightweight than the German knives. They are also sharper, which gives you more precision for cutting thin slices of veggies, fruits, and soft or small foods like tuna, watermelons, pork, and cucumbers. Japanese cook’s knives are usually made from hard steel, allowing them to last longer between any sharpening. Ideal as this is, it also makes them more prone to cracking or chipping than the German counterparts.
Choosing the best kitchen knives is an overwhelming endeavour, but the experience gets more friendly if you know what to look for. So, when you are narrowing down from a wide selection, it is important to consider these features:
The four main materials to consider when buying a set of knives are carbon steel, stainless steel, ceramic and Damascus steel. The material determines the functionality, durability and the price of the knife. If you are looking for a fancy and expensive knife for irregular usage, the Damascus steel material is suitable, while carbon steel is best if you are going for durable knives.
There are two types of constructions- forged and stamped. A forged knife is made of one single steel bar, from the handle to the blade. It is made by heating the steel and pounding it into shape. On the other hand, a stamped knife is made of two parts, a separate handle and a stamped blade. The stamped blade is usually cut from a huge steel sheet, honed, and treated using heat to enhance its durability. Forged knives retain the blade longer, are heavier and more expensive than stamped knives.
No particular weight is ideal for a knife. It all narrows down to personal tastes and preferences. When you hold the knife, does it feel heavy on your hand when working? Is the weight ideal for your work, or does it ache your hand? The bottom line is to get a knife that is comfortable in your hand and does not strain your wrist.
The handle of any knife is the determining factor on the control, precision, and comfort of the knife. The heavier the handle, the less comfortable your grip and the less control you have. Heavy handles are ideal for heavy jobs, like boning or cutting hard foods like carrots and butternut squash. For the light and quick jobs, you are better off with smaller handles.
Handles come in different designs and materials. Some knives have plastic handles, while others have stainless steel or wooden handles. A plastic handle is smoother and a bit textured for better grip. You need to keep these away from the heat, or the handle will burn. Wooden handles will need oiling to keep them looking new. Stainless steel makes the knife heavier but is more slippery than other handles, which can be dangerous.
Some handles will be rubberised to give you more grip while others are moulded for better fitting on your hands. While each of these has its pros and cons, some will combine the best of both rubberised and moulded handles. Some knives have a bolstered handle, a section between the handle and the blade that adds its durability and strength. It also gives you an area to rest your forefinger when working, giving you more balance and control over the knife.
Ease of Cleaning
Is the knife machine washable or just hand washing? While most knives are hand washable, some are designed for machine washing, too. However, manufacturers with machine washable knives still recommend hand washing them, so the blade stays sharper for longer. It is also important to consider whether the blade is non-stick as it makes cleaning the knife much easier.
This is the unexposed and unsharpened end of the blade extending to the handle. There are three main types of tangs, full, half and rat-tail tang. A full tang covers the whole handle, and it is the strongest. With this, you can handle most if not all, cutting jobs, but it is also heavier. The half tang blade covers half of the handle. It is both lighter but not strong enough to handle heavy jobs. With a rat-tail tang, the blade gets narrower as it runs through the handle. They are cheaper, lighter but tend to break loose often.
What else does the set include that makes it better than the rest? Are the knives colour-coded so you can tell which one is best for bread or boning without removing the knife from the protective guard or the knife block? Does the set include a sharpener, protective sheath, knife block, or a pair of scissors?
What types of knives does a set include?
Some sets come with three knives while some have four or five knives. The number of knives in a set depends on the manufacturer, so there is no specific number for any set. When choosing the best set of kitchen knives, you need to know the different types of knives available in the market. The bottom line, though, is to go for a set that includes the basic kitchen knives one needs: a chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife.
This is an all-rounder knife that handles a wide range of cutting jobs, from chopping hard vegetables to dicing and boning. The blades on the cook's knife range from 15cm to 36cm. The chef’s knife is one of the most versatile knives to own in your kitchen.
Santoku knives are Japan-styled knives made for dicing, slicing, and chopping. The difference between these and the chef’s knife is their blunt end while the chef’s knife has a pointed end. The blade of the santoku knife also features dimples that enable one to cut thin slices without having the food sticking on the blade.
This is best used in paring fruits or peeling vegetables. Paring knives are smaller in size, with a short blade and lightweight. The blades are simple, sharp and precise. It is not ideal for slicing meat or bread.
This is also referred to as a tomato knife or bread knife and has serrated or toothed edges. It is best for peeling fruits, cutting bread or slicing thin slices of tomatoes. The toothed edges ensure the blade has a firm grip when slicing or peeling. Serrated knives are 9 inches to 10 inches in length.
Carving knives are long, with blades ranging from 8-inches to 15-inches. The blade is usually bevelled or smooth and large for carving through meat and filleting fish in just one sweep. If you barbecue a lot, you will need a carving knife for slicing the roasts into thin slices.
How important is the metal type?
The metal type of the blade is very important because, at some level, it determines the versatility and durability of the knife. The cheapest blade is the stainless steel blade, which is solid with a sharp edge but gets blunt faster than other types. Carbon steel blades result in an expensive knife.
The carbon steel metal is much easier to hone and keep the knife sharp, but it is prone to rusting than the rest. It is also a bit more price than stainless steel ones with high maintenance. Ceramic blades are not that common and are harder than blades made from carbon steel. They are also lighter with a fancy and fancier look, though they tend to chip a lot.
Another metal type is the Damascus, which are a combination of carbon steel core with layers of hard and soft stainless steel. A Damascus metal also leads to an expensive knife with a sharp edge that’s hard and sturdy.
How Much Should You Spend On A Kitchen Knife?
With everything you buy, it is always best to stick to your budget and the necessary functionalities that matter to you.
An expensive knife is not necessarily the most functional one, making fancy knives like the Damascus steel knives more of aesthetic kitchen equipment. A budget of around £20.00 can get you a nice and durable set of kitchen knives.
If you are willing to spend more for high-end brands and models, you need a budget of £100.00 and more on brands like Victorinox Fibrox, Robert Welch, and Wüsthof Classic. It is also possible to buy one knife, making it possible for you to buy the basic kitchen knives from these high-end brands.
How can I Keep My Knives Looking Like New?
First, it is best to hand wash your knife using warm soapy water with no abrasive sponges. Dry the knife immediately after washing using a paper towel or an absorbent towel. If the knife is machine washable, ensure you do not leave it soaking in the water. Although some brands are machine washable, it is still ideal for hand wash the knife for durability.
When clean, ensure you store the knife in a dry place, on a knife block or covered in a sheath or cover guard. It is also ideal for storing the knives separate from other cutlery if you do not have protective sheaths. This ensures the blades do not get scratches.
Honing your knives regularly to keep it sharp also helps make the knife look as good as new. Honing is different from sharpening, where sharpening deals with removing material from the blade of the knife. Knives with stainless steel need honing every 2 or 4 uses. All you have to do is slide the knife vertically through the honing steel, which most knife blocks have.
Others may need sharpening with the use of a sharpener or a whetstone. Advice the manufacturer’s guidelines before honing or sharpening your knives just to be safe.
Are you set to buy yourself a set of kitchen knives? With our guide, you can choose the best ones to meet your needs from a collection of the best kitchen knives. As long as you know what material, size, and weight to look for, getting the perfect knife set will be easier.
Now that you have all the information you need don’t waste any more time. Choose your kitchen knife set and feel the difference in every kitchen task you have. Make cooking prep a walk in the park!