Do you know which essential cutlery item makes the entire kitchen functional? You got it right; it is none other than a knife set comprising specialized paring, boning, bread, and chef’s knives. This detailed review will provide you insights about the top 5 best kitchen knife sets America’s Test Kitchen for 2021.
For both home cooks and professional chefs, knives serve a multi-functional role of chopping, dicing, cutting, trimming, and peeling. An essential knife kit includes the following knives for daily kitchen use:
- All-rounder utility knife (5 inches blade) – For general cutting
- Chef’s knife (9 inches blade) – For chopping, cutting, and dicing
- Paring or vegetable knife (3 inches blade) – For confectionery items
- Cleaver – For meat and herbs chopping
- Filleting knife – For fish and chicken fillet
- Carving knife – For thin meat slices
- Sharpening steel
OUR TOP PICK:
If you are looking for the best overall kitchen knife set Consumer Reports, we recommend the Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set with its distinct transparent glass block.
It’s a one-for-all and all-for-one kitchen set, including a chef, bread, boning, utility, and a paring knife. For the past 30 years, the Mercury Culinary is a specialist in designing premium-quality culinary tools. All the included knives are certified with NFC to ensure public health and safety.
The taper-ground edge of the blade adds to the stability and cutting efficiency of the knives. The non-slippery handle of the knives can withstand extreme temperatures without breaking or melting down.
Top 5 Best Kitchen Knife Set Consumer Reports for 2021 Reviews
1. Best Overall: Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set
This incredible Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set with Tempered Glass Block allows you to identify the blades of five knives through the glass block. There is a little to no difference in the handle size of the knives. Subsequently, we waste our time trying to take out the knife stand’s desired knife.
The triple-rivet construction of the handles allows you to hold them for hours without feeling any pain or discomfort. The tang blade is made with high-carbon German steel to make it resistant to rust, stain, or corrosion. The Mercer Genesis knives are top-notch sharp, requiring lesser honing than the rest of the competitive knife blades.
The bolster, joining the blade with a handle, is short in width. The logic behind the shortened bolster is to ensure full-length sharpening and cleaning.
The two removable screws on the upper size join the side panels of the tempered glass block. You can remove the screws for deep cleaning the block from inside out, ensuring perfect hygiene.
- Strong tang blades made with German steel
- Shortened bolster
- Tempered glass storage
- No sharpening tool included
- Not for dishwasher
2. Runner Up: Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-Pc. Cutlery Knife Block Set
The Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-Pc. Cutlery Knife Block Set is the perfect choice for you with its self-sharpening feature and versatile 15-pieces knife set. It includes paring, utility, serrated, santoku, chef, and steak knives. The knife set also comes with kitchen shears; however, it doesn’t contain any bread knife unlike the Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set.
The built-in ceramic sharpeners in the knife blocks allow this Calphalon knife set to outshine the rest of the best kitchen knife set in America’s Test Kitchen. The knife blade quality is similar to the Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set with high-carbon, no-stain forged steel material.
All the knives are labeled at the back of the handle to identify the wooden blocks’ knives quickly. This knife set comes with a full lifetime warranty by Calphalon, ensuring you a safe investment.
The handle ensures a strong non-slippery with its triple-riveted curved construction. The bolster is short in length, but there is no gap between the handle and the blade.
It isn’t a problem generally. However, you may accidentally touch the blade side at the bolster end, especially in the case of large-sized knives.
- Bar-riveted labeled handles
- Fully forged and tanged blade
- No-stain high-carbon German steel
- Best kitchen knife sharpener
- Prone to rust
- Not safe for dishwasher
3. Best High-End: Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set
If you want to invest your money in buying a high-end knife set, then you can go for the Wüsthof Classic 7-Piece Knife Block Set. The knife set is a perfect combination of modern style and culinary technology. Germany based Wusthof is one of the best kitchen knife brands renowned for its durable and diverse culinary products.
The Wusthof Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) is a prominent feature of this knife set, guaranteeing a 20 percent sharper blade. Not only that, the company takes pride in the doubled blade edge retention of the knives.
The knife set comes with a paring, a utility, a cook’s, and a serrated bread knife. Other included pieces are honing steel, pull-apart shears, and a 15-slot storage block. Like the rest of the best kitchen knife sets, it comes with a triple-riveted, fully tanged handle to ensure comfort and balance.
- Forged full tang blade
- PEtec knife-edge
- Slim and stylish knife block design
- Lifetime warranty
4. Best Japanese Kitchen Knife Set: Best: Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set
If you like to cook Japanese cuisine every other day, then the Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set is an apt choice for you. You can fulfill your Japanese culinary requirements with the 7-inches Santoku knife included in the knife set in addition to the paring and chef’s knives.
The Shun knife set is crafted with a state-of-the-art VG-MAX cutting core with 34-layers on each side of the blade. Additionally, the knife blade comes with a stainless Damascus cladding for enhanced protection against rust or stain. The knife set is famous for its hand-sharpened Japanese double-bevel knife blade.
The knife set’s downside is that it contains only three types of knives—however, the knife set is one of the best knife sets due to its meticulous crafting of the blades with bead blasting to create layered steel patterns.
The knife set comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure a safe one-time investment.
The D-shaped construction of the ebony PakkaWood handles ensures a firm grip and easy handling.
You can wash the knives gently with dish soap and then dry them with a clean cloth. This step reduces the chances of rust due to trapped moisture in the knife slots.
- VG-MAX cutting core
- Stainless Damascus cladding
- Double-bevel blade
- D-shaped ebony PakkaWood
- Made in Japan
- Lifetime warranty
- Only three knives
5. Best Budget: Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set
If you are looking for a good pocket-friendly knife set containing 15-pieces, then you should immediately go for the Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set. The knife set allows you to cut, slice, dice, or chop all types of vegetables, fruit, and meat with its stainless-steel knives.
In addition to the six essential knives, the Cuisinart knife set contains six steak knives. These knives are perfect for facilitating a large household. The regular knives include paring serrated, santoku, slicing, and chef’s knife.
Unlike the rest of the best knife sets discussed above, the Cuisinart knives handle is made with stainless steel. It’s a slight disadvantage of these knives because they could get slippery at times. Other than that, the knives are slim and relatively light in weight.
- Stainless steel blade
- Best kitchen knife sharpener
- Looks crowded
What to Look for When Buying a Knife Set
As we have discussed, most of the knife sets include the basic paring, utility, and chef’s knives. The next important thing is to check the material of the blade. The stainless-steel blades are preferable over the ceramic blades because they are rust, dust, or stain proof.
A non-slippery curved plastic handle ensures a firm grip as compared to a steel handle. The size of the bolster plays a make or break role in the overall construction of the knife. It shouldn’t be of the same size as the handle because it will hinder the blade sharpening. Neither should it be two short of disturbing the overall stability of the knife.
You should also check the size of the knife. A heavy steel blade knife will do no better because it will affect your slicing and cutting speed.
It’s better to check the overall balance of the knife by placing it on the kitchen counter. You should place the knife in an old-school fashion with the cutting-edge down on the surface to see if the knife balances its weight equally at the blade and handle side.
This review’s central theme is to categorize the best kitchen knife set based on the features such as rust-resistance, comfortable grip, knife sharpness, and block storage capacity.
There is a trade-off between selecting the quantity and quality of the knives included in the knife set. The Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set contains fewer knives than any other knife sets. Yet, the blade quality and construction are simply unmatched.
The Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set with Tempered Glass Block is the most distinguished because of the transparent glass block. The Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-Pc. Cutlery Knife Block Set comes with self-sharpening ceramic slots to enhance the lifetime of the blades.
The Wüsthof Classic 7-Piece Knife Block Set is a huge one-time investment, yet it combines both style and quality.