Having a high-quality set of knives is a must for any chef, but you may assume a good set will cost you hundreds of dollars. However, that isn’t the case. There are many affordable knife sets that are exceptional and offer great strength and performance. Check out these five great options that we took from Cut it Fine, yeah you can already guess it, a site dedicated to reviewing knife sets and we aimed to summarize it all in one post.
Winner – Top Chef by Master Cutlery Knife Set
The Top Chef is an incredibly affordable 9-piece knife set. It features ice-tempered stainless steel blades, and the handles are non-slip. It is one of the most expensive sets on this list, but with the Top Chef seal of approval, you know these knives are durable and quality. The set includes a wooden block to hold the knives, so you can keep them on your counter for easy access. Plus, the wooden block has a sleek, modern look. There is a slightly more expensive option with 15 pieces (and a cheaper set of five), but for any home chef, the 9-piece set is perfect.
All the knives and the block have the Top Chef logo, which may be a good thing if you enjoy the show, but for some people, it may seem a little tacky. The blade of the knives are all precision-sharpened, and the set contains a honing blade to help you maintain the edge of the blade. The knife handles also have a unique, elegant design that is full steel with black coating. The knives are dishwasher safe, making them easy to keep clean. They are sturdy and cut well with the serrated knife being able to cut through meat and bone well.
First Runner-Up – Ginsu 7108 Chikara
The Ginsu 7108 set contains eight pieces, so you get a little less than the Top Chef set. This set does not include a large serrated knife. It does include an 8-inch chef’s knife, 7-inch santoku knife, 5-inch utility knife, 5-inch serrated utility knife, 3 1/2- an inch paring knife, 8-inch honing rod and kitchen shears. It also comes in a beautiful bamboo block with the Ginsu logo. The Ginsu set is one of the most expensive on this list, but the knives are durable and feel good in your hand.
The entire blade is formed from one piece of steel, which is why they are so strong and well balanced. The Japanese-style handles are rounded and made from a heat and water-resistant resin. The blades are exceptionally sharp, which is why they slice and dice so well. However, it is recommended you use the honing knife before each use to ensure perfect cutting. You may also want to purchase a whetstone as it is suggested to periodically sharpen them with one. Finally, these knives are not dishwasher safe, so you’ll need to wash them by hand only.
Second Runner-Up – Rada Cutlery
One of the least expensive sets on this list, the Rada knife set gets incredible reviews. The set only includes seven knives, and there is no honing rod or shears. The set includes a cheese knife, granny paring knife, heavy duty paring knife, utility knife, cook’s utility knife, stubby butcher knife, and a serrated slicer. The knives are American made with silver brushed aluminum handles. You can choose between two styles: silver handles or black handles. The silver handles have a uniform, stylish look, but the black handles make the knives look a little cheap. They are durable and cut extremely well, making them a great and inexpensive option for any chef.
The set does not include a storage block, so you’ll have to store them in a drawer. Also, it’s suggested to hand wash them. This is because the aluminum handles tend to quickly darken after a few dishwashing cycles. Even if you hand wash them, they may begin to darken, depending on what is in your drinking water (salt, chlorine, iron, magnesium, etc.). If you don’t want that to happen, simply choose the black handles. You won’t get that unique look that the all silver knives have, but it’s better than knives with dingy-looking handles.
Third Runner-Up – Oceanstar Contemporary
The Oceanstar knife set is the cheapest set on this list, but it also has the most pieces: 15, including the block. The set includes a 3-inch paring knife, six 4 ½-inch steak knives, 5-inch utility knife, 6-inch boning knife, 7-inch santoku knife, 8-inch slicing knife, 8-inch chef’s knife, honing rod and shears. Despite the low price, these knives are strong. The blade is crafted from high-carbon stainless steel, and they have sharp edges for great precision. The handles are triple riveted, ensuring it has a powerful attachment. The set also includes a black hardwood block, to keep them safe and easy to reach.
The santoku knife, which the Ginsu set also features, has air pockets, which allows the food to quickly release, making it an excellent option for chopping. The knives have a full tang, meaning the stainless steel blade stretches all the way through the handle, adding strength. The knives are not the most attractive on this list. The handles are ergonomic but they don’t have any flair. Neither does the block, so it may not look exceptional in your kitchen, but they get the job done for cheap. It is recommended that you hand wash the knives because this will prolong the life of the blades. It’s best to use warm water and a mild detergent. Make sure to dry them completely before placing them back in the block to prevent bacteria.
Fourth Runner-Up – Pure Life Ragalta
Another affordable option, the PureLife Ragalta set contains 13 pieces, including a beautiful finely grained wooden block to protect and allow easy storage. As with the other knives, these have a full tang, so you don’t need to worry about them breaking during cutting. This set is dishwasher safe, but you may still want to hand wash to ensure the blades last a long time. Most of the knives are straight edge, but the bread knife and steak knives are serrated. They are also forged from high carbon stainless steel, which gives them a sharp edge for easy cutting and slicing.
Like the Oceanstar set, these have black handles with three rivets to create a stronghold. They are also ergonomically designed, but the handles are more attractive than the Oceanstar set with a more unique and appealing style. This set does not include a honing rod or shears, but there are plenty of different types of knives. To ensure the edges are always sharp before cutting, you may want to purchase a honing rod separately. There are some minor flaws in the appearance of the handles, but you can only spot them on close inspection, and they don’t affect the performance of the blades.
Stop struggling with your old, dull and weak knives because you think you can’t afford a good set. Any of these sets are affordable and quality-made. If you are ready to start cutting with ease, consider buying the Top Chef set today.