When it comes to being or becoming a master chef, there is nothing quite like that perfect block set of knives. Even if you are not planning to become the next Gordon Ramsey or Nigella Lawson, if you take pleasure in your cooking, you should invest in a good set of knives. Of course, not everyone can afford those $2000 block sets used by the five-star experts. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a perfectly good set of knives to carve up something gourmet for that holiday dinner with the family. Here is a list of the top 12 best knife block sets that you can get for less than $100, starting with the cheapest.
1. Oceanstar KS 1194 15-Piece Knife Set
This gorgeous set from Oceanstar features high carbon stainless steel knives with strong handles. The block itself is made of hard wood, allowing for safe and careful storage for each knife. The fifteen knives that come with it include a paring knife, six steak knives, a utility knife, boning knife, santoku knife, a slicing knife, and a chef’s knife. The stainless steel sharpener and the shears complete the set. The handles are plastic over molded (POM), designed with ergonomic grips, and are triple riveted for your safety. The entire set has a sleek and clean look and comes in a fully black theme.
2. Kruger Ceramics Knives Set
This set actually comes only with eight knives, including a paring knife, utility knife, three santoku knives, a bread knife, two chef’s knives, and the knife holder. The blades are made from zirconium oxide ceramic, and Kruger, the manufacturer, claims that they are 50 percent harder than metal. The non-porous material used is claimed to prevent bacteria build up and be unaffected by food acids and other corrosion or rust causing agents that it may be exposed to. These blades are also 50 percent lighter than their metal counterparts. The handles are also ergonomically designed and made from non-slip fiber resin. It should be noted that ceramic knives can break or chip if used on materials other than boneless meat, fruits, vegetables, and breads. They are not meant as alternatives to stainless steel, but rather as additive.
3. AmazonBasics Premium 9-Piece Knife Block Set
The wooden block set comes with stainless steel knives, including a chef’s knife, santoku knife, slicing knife, bread knife, boning knife, utility knife, paring knife, and a knife sharpener. These knives are weighted for better control and balance. The blades are curved for rocking motion during speedy chopping. Wider blade surfaces allow for easier transference of chopped items. The handles are ergonomically designed for comfort and are triple riveted for your safety. This knife can be used daily, but are not recommended to be placed inside a dishwasher.
4. LivingKit Knife Block Set 8-Piece
This block set comes with a rubber wood block and neatly fitting knives. Knives included are a peeler, utility knife, chef’s knife, slicer, bread knife, paring knife, and shears. The unique design offers convenient and easy access to each item. The lightweight blades are made from high grade stainless steel that are resistant to both stains and rust. The ergonomic handles are designed to be comfortable and are made from anti-slip polymers. These knives should not be washed by machine either, and should be cleaned immediately after use.
5. Pure Komachi 2 Series 9-Piece Knife Set
The set comes with a fully clear acrylic storage block and multicolored knives for color coding, which the manufacturer suggests will prevent cross contamination. The knives in the set include two chef’s knives, a bread knife, a cheese knife, citrus knife, paring knife, sandwich knife, and utility knife. The blades are made from high carbon stainless steel, and the colors are made from food-safe resins that have been approved by the FDA. A resin coating that is non-stick and resistant to corrosion covers the knife blades. The handles come with ergonomic contouring for easier and more comfortable gripping.
6. Chicago Cutlery 14-Piece Block Set
This block set comes with a hardwood storage block and a set of knives that include two paring knives, a utility knife, a chef’s knife, eight steak knives, and a steel knife sharpener. The baldes are made from high carbon stainless steel and are resistant to stains and rust with their chromium coating. The full tang wood handles with brass triple riveting has comfortable grips and balance. These knives are best washed by hand.
7. Sharper Image 9-Piece Cutlery Set
The Sharper Image block set comes with a chef’s knife, carving knife, serrated bread knife, santoku knife with cullens, a serrated sandwich knife, a utility knife, a paring knife, and kitchen scissors. The blades are made from steel and are coated in titanium for reduced friction and sharp edges. The handles come with double riveting, and feature ergonomically designed grips with angled bolsters. The bamboo storage block has the added benefit of labelled slots for each knife for easy storage, and has a brushed stainless steel stand as well. These are not recommended for dishwashing machines.
8. Hampton Forge HMC01B550G 10-Piece Block Set
The Hampton Forge Tomodachi set is yet another colorful but sleek-looking block set. The block includes four steak knives, a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a santoku knife, a paring knife, and a slicing knife, each of which are color coded and labelled for easier storage and preventing mix ups. The block comes in a sleek, elegant black theme to make the colorful knives stand out. The knife blades have a titanium coating to prevent sticking, corrosion, and bacterial build up. These knives are dishwasher safe.
9. Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Block Set
The Cuisinart block set comes with an incredible lifetime warranty. The set includes a slicing knife, paring knife, chef’s knife, bird’s beak paring knife, santoku knife, a serrated utility knife, a steel knife sharpener, and a pair of all-purpose shears. The block comes in a black and steel theme that looks classy and modern. The high carbon stainless steel blades come with ergonomically designed handless, also made from stainless steel. It is recommended to handwash these.
10. OXO Knife Block Set, 10-Piece
These knives come with an angled wooden block for space efficiency and easy and convenient access while cooking. The lightweight Japanese blades are made from stainless steel, and the knife set includes a santoku knife, bread knife, serrated utility knife, a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and four steak knives. The handles have comfortable and soft grips with non-slip silicone. It is advised that you wash these knives by hand.
11. Top Chef 9-Piece Knife Set
This very classy looking knife set comes with a modern, curved wooden block, and is the same one used on the popular television series Top Chef. The logos of the television show are laser-etched across the blades and the block! The stainless steel blades are ice-tempered and come with non-slip handles, also made entirely from steel. This official set from the show includes two santoku knives, a fillet knife, a paring knife, shears, a bread knife, a chef’s knife, and a knife sharpening stick. These knives are dishwasher friendly.
12. Ross Henery Professional Knives, 8-Piece
At just under a hundred bucks, this is the most futuristic and minimalistic set of knives on the list. The design of the acrylic storage block or stand comes with a 360 degree rotating base and has a chrome finish. The knife blades are stainless steel and the handles are made from matte black rubberized grips. The knives included are a chopping knife, a chef’s knife, bread knife, paring knife, utility knife, a peeler, shears, and a steel knife sharpener. These knives can be washed by machine.
Each of these knife sets are full tang and all come with their own block storage. They all come from top-rated brands and are bestsellers worldwide. Though each of these sets has their own unique look and advantages, it is important to make your purchase based on your needs. If you are looking to become a professional chef, then you will need a wide and varied “toolkit” to work with, and may need to make somewhat of a significant investment. If you are mostly looking to hone your cooking skills at home, or if you only prepare vegetarian dishes, some of these sets may be better suited to you than others.