Jul 14, 2023
The 10 Best Knife Sets Of 2023, Tested & Reviewed
Delish editors handpick every product we feature. We may earn commission from the links on this page. With sharp knives and some handy extras, these expert-approved sets are an instant kitchen
Delish editors handpick every product we feature. We may earn commission from the links on this page.
With sharp knives and some handy extras, these expert-approved sets are an instant kitchen upgrade.
Whether you’re a beginner home cook or seasoned chef, quality knives are absolute kitchen essentials. And while you can technically buy a bunch separately, a great way to stock up on everything you need is by investing in a knife set. These can house up to 15 pieces or so, from steak knives to kitchen shears, but at a minimum, the set you choose should have at least a chef's knife, serrated knife, and paring knife.
“A chef's knife can be used for basically everything: chopping, slicing, mincing, etc.,” explains award-winning chef, author, and TV host Priyanka Naik. “Its utility is peak compared to any other knives. Meanwhile, a serrated knife is essential for breads, tomatoes, or anything with a more delicate or soft exterior. And a paring knife can be used for mincing or cutting small amounts, peeling, coring, and more,” she adds.
To help you find just the right set to fit your needs, we’ve consulted experts for the 10 best knife sets they've tested, so you'll be slicing and dicing in no time.
To find the best knife sets, we tapped Naik for her top picks. We also gathered insight from Nicole Papantoniou, the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances & Culinary Innovation Lab and her team of on-staff experts—which includes all types: engineers! data analysts! registered dietitians! They rigorously put everyday products to the test (and then more and more tests) in their New York City-based labs to determine which ones you can trust. They assessed a range of kitchen cutlery based on factors like the grip and handling comfort of each knife as well as how easily they cut foods like onions, whole chickens, and cooked steak. After compiling all their notes and recommendations, we’ve determined that these are the best knife sets you can shop in 2023.
All-Clad’s 12-piece forged knife set delivers on quality. It comes in a sleek wooden block, and unlike other bulky knife sets, the Good Housekeeping Institute “found all items in this set to be useful”— from the chef's knife to Santoku knife to kitchen shears and steak knives.
In fact, the team included this German stainless-steel set in its 2022 Kitchen Gear awards. They found that of all the knives submitted, these earned the highest overall scores in tester surveys assessing how well they cut various hard and soft ingredients, their ergonomics, and more. The experts even said that “testers would continue using these knives” after the review process ended.
This Victorinox knife set doesn’t include common extras like sharpening or storage tools, but it does come with three key stainless steel knives for less than $100. Papantoniou especially loves this set as it features the brand’s popular chef’s knife, which she calls “large, lightweight, and inexpensive.” Good Housekeeping Institute testers also like how safe it feels to use. They mention that the “plastic handle fits comfortably in your grip” and “helps keep your fingers away” from the blade, which they mention is "nice and sharp" to cut foods like cheddar cheese and steak.
It’s never too late to start experimenting in the kitchen, and Material’s trio of knives are here to help. Papantoniou says this “pretty” set is “really approachable” for beginner chefs, as it's reasonably affordable, effective, and promotes an easy grip. In total, you get an 8-inch chef’s knife, 6-inch serrated knife, and 4-inch paring knife, all made of Japanese high-carbon and stainless steel. Bonus: The magnetic wooden stand they come with doubles as a stunning way to display each item. The Good Housekeeping Institute tested the chef’s knife in particular and mention that it “offers some heft but is still lightweight compared to the Western-style knives” they tested. The experts add that the piece is similar to Japanese-style knives thanks to its thin, rounded handle, but is beneficial for new cooks since it “feels sturdy and natural in the hand." Additionally, they mention the set doesn't require much sharpening and that it cuts everything from onions and tomatoes to fresh mozzarella with ease.
Looking for a basic, reliable knife set? Consider Shun Kanso's five-piece collection. “It houses everything you need to cook a complete meal in your kitchen,” Naik says. “I used it for five years in my home before expanding my knife set!” The included 3.5-inch paring, 7-inch Santoku, and 6-inch utility knives have alloy steel blades and are adaptable enough to tackle different prep tasks.
“I used the 6-inch chef’s knife as my all-purpose knife to slice, dice, mince, and smash (like garlic against a cutting board), and outside of my chef's knife, I required minimal other gadgets because it was so versatile,” Naik adds. “I used the serrated knife for breads, tomatoes, and other soft ingredients.”
According to Naik, the contoured tagayasan wooden handles are also lightweight. “When the weight of the handle is lighter, I have to do minimal work to get a precise cut,” says Naik. “Since I'm vegan, I'm cutting a ton of produce all the time, so this characteristic of the weight and weight distribution is super important.”
The Hedley & Bennett Chef's Knife Trio set comes in “pretty colors” and is “really high quality,” says Papantoniou. The chef's knife in this set has not only been used at the Kitchen Appliances Lab since it first came out, but many Institute pros also have it in their home kitchens as well. Alongside the chef's knife, which the team says is great for cutting around bones with its sharp tip, the set includes a 5.6-inch utility knife and 8.6-inch bread knife.
Papantoniou says these knives were designed “with chefs in mind,” as the company tapped professionals to craft “the sturdy yet lightweight” Japanese and German steel blades. The pieces “feel really good in the hand” and are “very approachable,” especially when it comes to the utility knife, she adds. This knife is longer than a typical paring knife, so you can use it for more food prep tasks.
No one likes a kitchen knife that dulls easily. The Good Housekeeping Institute says Ninja's 14-piece knife block set has all the “super sharp” knives you’ll need and comes with an innovative self-sharpening block. The team gave this set a 2021 Kitchen Gear Award since testers say these are the “sharpest knives they ever used” and stay sharp. They also note the knives “have heft to them but feel balanced in the hand” and include “comfortable sizes,” including an 8-inch chef's knife and a 5-inch Santoku knife. Additionally, the suction cups on the bottom of the block help it stay in place.
With an average 4.9-star rating and over 4,400 reviews, this best-selling Made In knife set is beloved for its full-tang build and knife variety. Papantoniou says the four knives included—a chef's, nakiri, bread, and paring knife—“feel balanced in the hand,” calling them “light enough” to hold while still having "heft" for efficient cutting. Papantoniou says the nakiri knife is especially helpful for “transferring food from a cutting board to a plate” thanks to its straight edge. She also recommends this knife for vegetarians because it’s “really good for chopping veggies” like celery and onions. Other perks: These knives are available in a handful of vibrant hues, feature “cute packaging,” and include helpful instructions, she adds.
Henckels knife block set has a little something for everyone. “You have your chef's knife for people who are more advanced and in tune with cooking, but there are also shorter knives that are a little more approachable,” says Papantoniou. She notes that the German stainless steel knives are full-tang, which gives them a more stable and well-balanced feel in hand. The Good Housekeeping Institute notes that the 8-inch chef's knife does an "ace job" at "blitzing parsley, dicing onions, and deboning a chicken."And just in case you need any more convincing, this set is also a number one best seller on Amazon. Customers rave about how sharp the knives are and how easy they are to maneuver.
This premium Wüsthof designer knife block set is a stunning and sturdy option, says Naik. While it's on the pricey side, she loves that it’s “customizable in terms of color and is very personality driven. Plus, it has all the essentials you can imagine,” she says. Included is a 3.5-inch paring knife, a serrated and traditional utility knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, two different-sized chef's knives, a 9-inch double-serrated bread knife, and a two-tone wooden storage block. The steel alloy blades are “durable for everyday use,” notes Naik, as they get the job done even in moist conditions. “I'm cutting washed herbs, wet vegetables, and the like constantly, so I need knives that can hold up to a wet environment, which these do,” she mentions.
Each knife handle is also made of a vibrant, triple-riveted synthetic material, called POM. “In this case, the handle is not wood (which is my preferred), but the weight of the handle is just as optimal, not to mention beautiful,” she adds.
The Good Housekeeping Institute gave these “beautiful HexClad knives” a 2022 Kitchen Gear Award for how sharp and versatile they are. Made of Damascus steel, the set comes with six pieces that are durable and recognizable for their “patterned appearance.”
Since the set comes with a chef's and Santoku knife in nearly the same size, the experts say you can “choose the one you prefer to use” for different kitchen tasks. Plus, they mention the “utility knife stands out for having numerous uses.” One tester who doesn’t usually use big knives felt like all of these were “wonderfully balanced” and “made it easy to cut quickly and safely” on a range of foods, from potatoes and carrots to tomatoes, meats, and crusty bread.
Blades: Knife sets are typically made of German or Japanese steel. Choosing between the two styles typically comes down to what you plan to cook and personal preference. Papantoniou says that German-style blades are usually “bulkier, stronger, and have more durable wear.” Meanwhile, Japanese-style knives have thinner and more delicate blades “to ensure a sharp and precise cut (think about how Japanese sushi and sashimi are cut!),” says Naik.
Handles: Most knife handles are composed of wood, steel, or proprietary synthetic materials. Naik prefers a wooden handle, as they are typically lighter in weight and have comfortable grips. Look for knives with ergonomic handles and that are full tang. The latter feature will help the knife feel more balanced, since the blade starts at the tip of the knife and runs through the entire handle length.
Knife type: Knife sets can include pieces like a paring knife, utility knife, Santoku knife, chef's knife, bread knife, and steak knives. When choosing the right set for you, it’s important to assess which pieces will help meet your cooking needs and level of expertise. For example, a Santoku knife is “good for chopping food, and it's usually a little bit smaller than a chef's knife,” she says. And while most sets usually come with some sharp knives to cut meats, she says that one with numerous steak knives will always come in handy.
Knife size: Knife sets comes with knives of different lengths, so make sure to choose sizes based on your comfort level. If you are a beginner or have smaller hands, it could be helpful to have a set of shorter knives. “My chef's knife is 6 inches versus the standard 8 inches because it's easier for me to control and is lighter weight in my hand,” says Naik.
Sharpeners: While some knife block sets come with built-in sharpeners, others may feature a honing steel for sharpening knives routinely. Naik recommends using honing steel every week to keep your knives in good cutting condition. And once a year, she suggests taking your knives, especially those that are Japanese-style, to a specialized knife shop for professional sharpenings.
Storage: Knife sets often come with blocks or roll-up sheaths with individual slots. Blocks are oriented vertically or horizontally and often made of wood or steel. Naik prefers storing knives in a wooden block, which “helps preserve the knives' integrity and looks beautiful.” She typically uses a roll-up sheath when traveling since they are portable.
There are also magnetic storage options, which allow you to attach the knives right on the block. "This makes knives easily accessible, and they are usually easy to pop on and off," Papantoniou says.
Knife sets can be a great deal, especially if you're looking to stock up on multiple pieces. These bundles are typically cheaper than if you were to buy each knife separately, and they come with convenient (and often stylish) storage. If you're looking for the absolute best bang for your buck, larger sets tend to offer the steepest savings.
Nicole Papantoniou is the director of the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Kitchen Appliances & Culinary Innovation Lab.
Priyanka Naik is an award-winning chef, author, and TV host.
Nashia Baker is a commerce editor at Hearst covering the latest and greatest products across the home and lifestyle categories. Throughout her career, she has interviewed chefs and food experts to learn about top trends in the culinary world and has also personally tested a handful of knife sets.
Nashia Baker is a commerce editor at Hearst Magazines; she covers all things home and lifestyle across brands such as Oprah Daily, Cosmopolitan, Delish, and Esquire. Before joining Hearst, she highlighted small business owners, creatives, and the best shoppable content.
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The 5 Fastest Ways To Chill A Bottle Of WineAll-Clad’s 12-piece forged knife setNumber of knives included: Storage: Blade material: Sharpening: Victorinox knife setNumber of knives included: Storage: Blade material: Sharpening: Material’s trio of knivesNumber of knives included:Storage: Blade material: Sharpening: Shun Kanso's five-piece collectionNumber of knives included:Storage: Blade material: Sharpening: Hedley & Bennett Chef's Knife TrioNumber of knives included: Storage: Blade material: Sharpening:Ninja's 14-piece knife block setNumber of knives included:Storage:Blade material: Sharpening: Made In knife setNumber of knives included:Storage: Blade material: Sharpening: Henckels knife block set Number of knives included: Storage: Blade material: Sharpening:Wüsthof designer knife block setNumber of knives included:Storage: Blade material: Sharpening:Number of knives included: Storage: Blade material: Sharpening:Blades: Handles: Knife type: Knife size:Sharpeners:Storage: