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Cutting-Edge Kitchen Knife Block Sets

The most important tool in your kitchen isn’t your cast iron pan, your wifi-enabled oven, or even your beloved mixer. Nope: the most important tools in your kitchen are your knives. It’s important to keep a great set of sharp knives on hand, and kitchen knife block sets make it easy to upgrade your cooking game in one fell swoop.

What Comes in a Knife Set?

There are a few different kinds of knife sets. The most popular—especially as a housewarming gift—is a combination kitchen knife set. These sets are a simple way to stock a kitchen with steak knives (usually for about 6 diners) and matching prep knives.

Popular knife blocks commonly include a chef’s knife, carving knife, and paring knife alongside your steak knives. Larger sets may also include a curved Santoku knife, kitchen shears, or a sharpening steel to keep your knives sharper for longer. Some items, like butcher’s knives or boning knives, may be a key part of the kitchen for someone on a meat-heavy diet, but aren’t featured in most entry-level knife sets.

Chef’s knives and sharpening steels are some of the longest items in your kitchen, so consider buying a knife set that includes both to save space in your drawers!

Forged vs Stamped Knife Sets

A great place to start looking for the best kitchen knife set for your needs is to base your selection on how the knives are made, not what the set includes.

Forged knives, made from a single piece of heated and hammered steel, tend to be thick and heavy, with a hard blade and a full tang. That makes them a great choice for people who cook every day. Their more expensive price point will translate into lifelong use, saving you money and hassle over time.

Stamped knives, on the other hand, are cut out from larger sheets of steel and then hardened and finished. They’re a lighter, more affordable type of knife that will likely need to be replaced with time. Look for a long tang in a stamped knife to indicate its quality: full-tang stamped knives are generally made better, and will last longer.

Do You Need a Knife Block?

The perfect knife set isn’t cut and paste. It’s different for every household and diet. Steak knives are essential for those who love to cook for others, but may not be necessary if they were included in your cutlery set; bread knives are nice to have for some, but may be an absolute must for enthusiastic bakers.

Look for a knife set that comes with a knife block to start a new kitchen. These will be the most comprehensive options available to you, and will offer the best deals. To enrich your current kitchen, however, more curated knife sets (for instance, Santoku knife sets and paring knife sets) will work to enrich your current kitchen setup with high-quality tools.