Kitchen Knife Set: How to Choose Knife Set

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Introduction to kitchen knife set

Are you looking for a professional knife set? Or if you are looking for best budget kitchen knife set, you are at right place. We have researched well to find out best knife set for you.

Our recommendations for the best knife set under 100 are based on a comparison of the most important criteria. The basis of the knife set comparison is formed by the data provided by the manufacturers. We have not tested the knife sets in practical.

How to choose a knife set?

When making a decision about which model to buy, you always need to consider specific things. You should select depending on your priority of uses.

The most important criteria to buy a knife set are the number of knives in the set, the material of the knives, the length of the largest knife and the length of the smallest knife. The following describes why these criteria are particularly relevant for knife sets:

Number of knives in the set: A good knife set always has more than one knife. It helps to cut different things optimally. You need different knives for different purposes. You hardly ever cut a tomato, a pumpkin or a loaf of bread with the same knife. Both the size and the type of blade are relevant with a knife.

If you have a large number of knives in a set, the probability is high that these knives differ so significantly that you can find a suitable knife for every type of cutting.

Material: For every kitchen appliance, the material is relevant. Checking material of the knife is important because different materials wear out at different rates. If your knife is made from durable materials, they will stay sharp longer or even never have to be sharpened afterwards.

The material does not only affect the sharpness, but also whether the knife is flexible or can break easily. The material specifies the type of cleaning. The material should be examined very carefully as part of a professionally performed knife set test.

Wear and Tear: The examiners in a best budget knife set test must examine the wear and tear of the knives carefully. It makes sense to make at least 1000 cuts with the knives. On the one hand, the knives have to be tested on different foods but also on different surfaces.

Cleaning: Of course, it is important whether the knife sets are dishwasher safe. The test of the knife sets should include 100 rinsing cycles. If damage to the knives is visible afterwards, this must be noted in the test.

Biggest knife: The size of the knife in the narrower sense relates to the length of the blade. If you want to cut a pumpkin, for example, it is obvious that this is easier to do with a long knife than with a short one.

Bread knives are also usually very long. It is advised to have one with a very long blade as the largest knife.

Smallest knife: Just as important as the largest knife is the smallest. You need a fairly short knife if you want to effectively chop mushrooms or even dice cloves of garlic.

A large knife would be impractical here and, in the worst case, could even lead to injuries if you cut yourself with the excessively long blade. It is always very practical to have the smallest knife with a blade that is only a few centimeters long.

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German Stainless Steel Knife Set
German Stainless Steel Knife Set

Frequently asked questions about knife sets:

Components of a knife:

A knife is not just made of the blade. Even if the blade and the handle are sometimes made of one piece of metal, they still fulfill very different functions and should be considered separately.

Handle: The handle of a knife is the part by which you hold it. As a rule, the handle is made of a different material than the blade and is clearly distinguished in terms of both color and shape.

There is a transition between the blade and the handle which, for hygienic reasons, should be designed to be as fluid as possible. At the same time, you also need a kind of stopper between the blade and the handle. So, even if you slip off the handle, you don’t reach into the blade directly and injure yourself.

Engraving: A knife is usually engraved on one side of the blade, and in rare cases on both sides. Here you can usually find information such as the brand of a knife or special quality seals.

The engraving can sometimes contain your own name, so that you don’t confuse the knives with those of other people when you meet for a picnic or to cook together.

Blade: The blade is the heart of every knife. It enables the knife to be used in the first place. Because, after all you cannot do anything with a knife that does not cut. The blade can have various forms. It is interesting in what way the cutting surface of the blade is designed.

This varies greatly depending on the area of application of the knife. A bread knife, can be recognized by its characteristic corrugation, while an all-purpose knife has a very smooth blade. The material of the blade is also relevant for a knife.

Non-stick coating: A knife usually has a non-stick coating on the blade. It prevents anything from sticking to the blade. You do not have to constantly wipe it off.

On the one hand, this takes time and, on the other hand, it is dangerous, as you can easily cut yourself on the blade if you move the wrong way. The non-stick coating on the blade of a knife is often colorless. But it can also have a color, especially if the knives in a set are differentiated by different colors anyway.

Master Maison German Stainless Steel Cutlery With Knife Sharpener & 8 Steak Knives

Knife Set With Wooden Block
Knife Set With Wooden Block

Advantages & disadvantages of knife sets

Advantages:

  • Often cheaper than buying individual knives.
  • All knives of the same quality.
  • A well-put together basic equipment with knives.
  • Optical matching of the knives.
  • Often contain useful accessories such as a knife block.

Disadvantage:

  • You may not need all the knives in a set.
  • Not all knives that you personally need are included.
  • A poor quality knife set is expensive to replace.

Suggested Read: Knife block to buy

Important key figures of best kitchen knife set

While reading various articles, you may have stumbled upon various metrics that you couldn’t do anything with. We have also used some of the key figures to compare the devices in our product comparison. We explain the most important ones below:

Size and strength: The size of a knife has already been discussed above. Only the length of the blade is relevant so you can cut large and small comfortably. It is often the case that a longer blade also has a deeper cutting edge. This can have purely practical reasons, so things with a large volume can be cut more comfortably.

Weight of a knife: The weight of a knife is also relevant for the daily use. If you have a very heavy knife, the problem often arises that it does not fit well in the hand. At the same time, you also want to have a knife that weighs a certain amount of weight. This gives you a little more resistance when cutting and you can generally enjoy a slightly more pleasant feeling.

Suggested Read: Best knife set under $50

Blade hardness: The degree of blade hardness is probably the key figure that causes the most problems to understand someone who is not a specialist. It is important to know the unit HR (Rockwell hardness). There are different scales, whereby the C scale is mostly used for knife steel. The hardness of knives are given in HRC.

The maximum hardness that a knife can achieve on this scale is 100. The harder the knife, the closer to 100 the value moves. Most knife blades have a hardness of 55-65 HRC, although higher and lower values are possible.

Sharpness Angle: It is about the angle at which the blade is beveled on the cutting surface. Like any other angle, the sharpness angle is also specified in degrees. So you can read from the angle how sharp the knife is in the best case. The sharpness angle is also closely related to the cutting edge angle.

Dishwasher safe: Cleaning knives is always a nuisance for many people. Knives are usually easy to clean, but you can quickly cut yourself once and then the detergent will bite into the wound. Hence, most of the people prefer to clean their knives in the dishwasher.

However, this is not recommended for every material. The chemicals in the dishwasher can accelerate the wear and tear of the knife. Every manufacturer gives a recommendation when buying a knife.

Material: It is the heart of every knife. If the material is of poor quality, it is very likely that it will show some wear and tear after a short time. The knife loses its sharpness very quickly and no longer cuts as well.

It can also become blotchy and simply no longer look beautiful. Only in very few cases, the material is so sensitive that a knife breaks during daily use. Let’s check out materials that used to make knives:

  1. Ceramics: Ceramic knives are the only alternative to a knife with a metal blade. They are made of zirconium oxide and are often indistinguishable from knives with a metal blade at first glance. The knives with ceramic blades convince with a precise cut and low wear, because they are very hard and hardly cause any friction on the material we cut. Ceramic does not rust and is always neutral in taste. The material can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher.
  2. Stainless steel: Stainless steel is a broad category that encompasses many types of steel. However, some things are common to all types of stainless steel. So they are always particularly pure. Stainless steels can be alloyed or unalloyed. Steels are not always corrosion free. Steel is often alloyed with chrome or cobalt if you want to make knives out of it.
  3. Damascus steel: Damascus steel has long been used for knives and weapons. In the manufacturing process, hard steel with a high carbon content and soft steel with low carbon content are forged onto one another. Then the mixture is folded thinly so that you get an infinite number of thin layers of steel on top of each other. Damascus steel is characterized by the fact that it is very hard and flexible and unbreakable, and also impresses with its special look.
  4. Special blade steel: For someone who is familiar with knives or steel in general, special blade steel does not denote special steel. The term is used by the companies WMF and Rösle, among others, to describe the steel they use for the blades of their knives. According to the manufacturer, this steel should be hardened, which is why the knives should stay sharp for a long time. According to WMF, this steel is resistant to both rust and aggressive acids.
  5. Friodur ice-hardened blade: The Friodur ice-hardened blade is made of a certain type of steel. It is mainly used by the Zwilling company. This is a chrome steel that also contains plastic to a certain extent. Zwilling claims the blade with the brand name Friodur is hardened with the help of ice. According to the manufacturer’s information, the material should not rust, cut precisely and also offer the user good flexibility.
  6. Special stainless steel: Just like the special blade steel, the special stainless steel is by no means clearly defined. The only thing that is certain is that it is a steel – as already explained above, the term steel encompasses a large number of materials. The term “special stainless steel”, is mainly used by the Zwilling company. Some models even have the predicates “special stainless steel” and “Friodur ice-hardened blade”, which is why one can speculate whether it is the same thing.
  7. German Steel: There are many German knife steels. They usually contain chromium and only have a low carbon content, which is why they cannot rust. However, German knife steels are quite soft and therefore have a low Rockwell hardness.
  8. Zirconium oxide: Zirconium oxide is an inorganic compound that, like aluminum oxide, is used in many cases as the basis for ceramics. The full chemical name of the ceramic material is often not given, but simply pointed out that it is a ceramic made of zirconium oxide.
  9. Armored steel: Armored steel were previously used to protect tanks from projectile impacts. These steels are characterized above all by their remarkable hardness. However, armor steel is usually very heavy, a knife made from it could be heavy in your hand after a while.
  10. Chrome steel: Chrome steel is a special form of stainless steel that only becomes stainless steel when it is alloyed. Chromium is very popular as an alloying element because it makes the steel corrosion-resistant and gives it a shiny appearance. Chrome makes the steel extremely heat-resistant.
  11. Carbon steel: It contains only iron, apart from 0.5-1.5% carbon. One problem with carbon steel is that it is not rustproof. On the other hand, blades made of carbon steel are very hard and sharp for a long time – they just have to be well cared for.

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Japanese Knife Set
Japanese Knife Set

Best knife set brands

Zwiling: Zwilling is a very popular and long-established brand from Germany. At Zwilling you can currently get a total of 26 different knife sets. Good quality has brought the Zwilling company so far.

WMF: WMF is probably even better known as a brand than Zwilling. The name stands for top quality kitchen appliances from German production. You can find your best German knife set at WMF. Currently WMF has nearly 50 different type of knife sets.

Tupperware: Tupperware is primarily known for the colorful plastic jars in all shapes around the world. Not everyone is aware that the American company also offers other kitchen appliances with its unusual sales strategy. The selection of knives is not large – only six different ones are offered.

AMC: The name AMC is also known to everyone who has been dealing with the best cooking utensils for a long time. AMC mainly sells pots and pans as well as roasting pans. It also has a range of knives. In the AMC professional knife series Pure1 you will find five different knives as well as a matching knife block and a diamond sharpener.

Jamie Oliver: Jamie Oliver more known as a cook and possibly a cookbook author than as a distributor of cookware. However, a long time ago he teamed up with well-known brands to bring his own cookware onto the market. The knives can only be bought from Amazon.

Victorinox: Victorinox is a Swiss company that serves its customers with a wide range of products from bags and watches to perfumes to kitchen and pocket knives. You will find a very large selection of kitchen knives here. 45 of these are declared as chef’s knives, a large selection of knives for professional use is also available.

Güde: Güde is one of the knife manufacturers from Solingen. The company has been in business for four generations and its name stands for knives of the highest quality. Güde currently offers its knives in seven series, each of which has one design.

Tim Mälzer Knives: Tim Mälzer, the star among German chefs, has set up his own shop, which his father personally takes care of. There you can find the Kai-Shun and Kai-Shun Premier knives for the kitchen. The knives in both series are made of Damascus steel, which, according to the manufacturer, is also corrosion-resistant.

Giesser: Giesser, like WMF, Zwilling and Güde, is a German knife manufacturer. The company is based in Winnenden and mainly targets the catering and food processing industries with its products. Giesser has numerous kitchen knives, most of which are sold in sets.

Wüsthof Knives: Wüsthof is a German knife manufacturer that has been around for more than 200 years. The company is based in Solingen, where the best German manufacturers of knives crowd into a small space. The wide range from Wüsthof includes over 300 different knives for the kitchen, including numerous knife sets.

Fissler: When it comes to kitchen appliances, Fissler is as well known as WMF and Zwilling, all of which offer a wide range for the kitchen, dining table and more. Fissler currently offers its customers around 50 different knives and matching accessories such as knife blocks, which are divided into six series according to their design. Fissler even has electric knives.

Cuisinart C55-12PCKSAM 12 Piece Color Knife Set with Blade Guards

Cuisinart Knife Set with Blade Guards
Cuisinart Knife Set with Blade Guards

Where to buy cheap knife sets?

Many grocery stores have knife sets available from time to time. Recently, we saw “hawkers” are selling knives from supposedly very well-known brands at exceptional special prices out of the trunk. These goods often look good at first glance, but are poorly made and only poorly serve their purpose.

For many people, Amazon has now become the first address for shopping when they are not looking for groceries. Here you can find everything from books to clothing to technical devices. These are offered in large numbers on Amazon, so that you can easily compare different products.

Kitchen knife types / variants

Not every knife is equally suitable for all areas of application. There are knives in many different shapes and with different cut surfaces on the blade. Following are the most popular types of knives:

Bread Knife: The bread knife is usually got a very long blade. This is provided with a coarse serrated edge. This special cut is intended to prevent the bread slices from flaking when they are cut. Most of the time, the bread knife is only sharpened on one side, so that it can be suitable for either right-handed or left-handed people.

Boning knife: A boning knife is usually used to remove the bones and skin from meat and poultry. This knife has a very long, thin blade that can be used to achieve anything. The blade can be designed to be both rigid and flexible (that is, slightly bendable).

Coloured Knife: The colored knife is also known under the name colored cutting knife or Demidoff knife. Its cutting edge is characterized by a wavy or zigzag pattern. Such a knife is used to cut cooked or raw fruits or vegetables in a decorative way.

Filleting knife: The filleting knife is completely called filleting knife. Its shape is very thin and long. Such a knife is usually used to fillet meat or fish before serving. The blade can be both rigid and flexible, so that you can avoid bones or bones.

Chef’s knife: A chef’s knife is a very heavy utility knife with a very long blade. It looks a little different depending on where you are. In the Chinese form, it is visually very reminiscent of a cleaver. The Japanese and German chef’s knives hardly differ optically, but the Japanese chef’s knife Santoku has a sharper blade.

Carving or meat knives: The carving or meat knife is a knife that is about as long as a chef’s knife, but has a significantly narrower blade. In addition, the blade of a carving knife is often bent upwards, resulting in a slight moon shape. As the name suggests, it is usually used to cut meat.

Chef knife bag you can buy

Chef Knife Bag
Chef Knife Bag

Equipment you need with a knife set

A few knives are not enough for most people. After all, the cutting tools need to be kept safe somewhere, and you need a mat for cutting and you need to maintain the knives.

Knife block: A knife block is usually made of wood. It is usually specially designed for a knife set – other knives may not fit perfectly into the knife block. Therefore, before buying, you should always find out which knives the knife block is designed for.

Bag: Especially those who travel a lot are happy to have a pocket for their knives in which they can be easily transported. In such a pocket, each knife often finds its own place, so that you don’t have to dig for a specific knife. A bag is particularly practical for chefs. But even when camping, a knife bag always fits well.

Magnetic strip: A magnetic strip for knives fulfills its purpose exactly and looks good too. Here you have to note that the magnetic strip is only suitable for knives with metal blades. Ceramic knives don’t stop here. Last but not least, it must be taken into account that it is very difficult to transport your knives with a magnetic strip.

Cutting Board to buy

Cutting Board
Cutting Board

Cutting board: A cutting board should not be missing in any kitchen. As a rule there are even several so that, for example, vegetables and meat can be cut and prepared separately for a meal. There are cutting boards made of many different materials and in different shapes. Wood and plastic are particularly popular.

Grindstone: A whetstone is effective in sharpening knives after they have been used for a long time and they are slowly losing their sharpness. However, it is only financially worthwhile if you have quite expensive knives. With relatively inexpensive knives, it can be cheaper to simply replace the knives, especially if you do not attach great importance to the sharpness and use them for a long time.

Knife Case: A knife case basically serves the same purpose as a bag, except that it looks a bit more stylish. For this, a suitcase usually needs more space than a bag. Here, too, every knife often has its own place, although there is still some space for loose dishes.

Blade protection cover: A blade cover is included with many knives when they are purchased. It is usually made of plastic and is slipped over the blade. Usually it covers the entire blade. It is seldom the case that it only temporarily renders the tip of the blade harmless.

How many knives belong in a knife set?

It cannot be said in general how many knives belong in a knife set. But you are well advised with a bread knife, a paring knife and an all-purpose knife – so you need at least three.

Which knife set is good for cooking training?

A somewhat better set of knives is sufficient for training as a chef than in a private household. So you need five to six well-chosen knives of slightly better quality than the normal household.

How much does a knife set cost?

It is not possible to say in general how much a knife set costs, as the manufacturers determine this themselves for each model. You can get cheap knife sets from around 20 dollars, while most models cost around 50-60 dollars. However, many variants also cost well over 150 dollars. Check our guide to best knife set under $50.

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