Why is it important for every cook to own a quality set of knives? Outside of the basic safety measures of preventing slippage and cutting down on the friction that can lead to nasty wounds, a sharp knife can bring the joy back into cooking and thus improve your quality of life when eating at home–something a lot of us are doing much more of these days.
Sharpness is the key component to this quality, but also a blade constructed of sturdy material to hold that edge is key. You also want a variety of knife sizes and shapes for tackling different produce and meats: serrated edges are great for melons and steak, while a larger chef’s knife with a clean edge will make dicing onion or garlic a breeze.
When you’re talking quality, however, it’s easy to rack up a hefty price tag while browsing. Not everyone can afford to spend a cool thousand on cutlery right now, so we looked for the top-rated, best-selling, and overall raved about knife sets on the market that won’t cost you more than $200. Some are that price permanently and some are temporary deals, so keep reading to find your perfect budget set and get to chopping.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn a commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing, expert advice and our own research. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set, Tempered Glass Block
The glass exterior that shows off these knives’ blades is one of the hottest trends in kitchenware at the moment that makes choosing your knife easier than ever, but they also back up that style with plenty of razor sharp substance.
Ergonomic with a no-slip handle (even with wet hands!), the knives are forged from high carbon, no-stain German steel meaning they’ll stand the test of time, as backed by the lifetime warranty. An amazing 97% of reviewers give it a top-notch rating, with tags like “super sharp,” “high quality,” and “looks great” appearing frequently in the write-ups.
Edge of Belgravia Arondight 7-Piece Cutlery Set
The only thing you need to know about these knives is that they’re named for Sir Lancelot’s sword, and that is very cool.
In case that’s not quite enough information for you, they also come with a one year warranty and are crafted stylishly from stainless steel that will hold up to years’ worth of chopping, dicing, and washing. Every review collected so far gives these knives a solid five star rating, and one elaborates:
“This knife set is chic and functional. It would make a GREAT gift for friends and families. They function great–the blades are sharp, and the handles are very comfortable to hold. PERFECT for self or as a gift.”
J.A. Henckels International Definition 14-Pc. Self-Sharpening Cutlery Set
Reportedly one of the brands preferred by renowned chef (and grouch) Gordon Ramsay, J.A. Henckels’ 14-piece self-sharpening set is an absolute steal right now at Macy’s for just under $150–a full hundred off retail. The slots on the block contain built-in ceramic honing wheels to keep every blade in tip-top condition, and the versatile set provides every type of knife you’ll need to create masterful recipes in your kitchen.
Wüsthof Gourmet Large Studio 7-Piece Knife Block Set, Acacia
This Wüsthof will usually set you back more than $400, so we highly suggest jumping on it now while it’s more than half off if you want top-shelf quality in your block. The setup is fairly basic, but great for those living in smaller dwelling with less counter space, and it also makes an amazing gift for newlyweds, recent college grads, or anyone looking to build up an efficient but high-performance kitchen.
MAC Original 4 Piece Knife Set
You may only get four knives in this petite collection, but they earn their cost by being top of the line. Created with extra-hard high-carbon Molybdenum Vanadium alloy, these MAC originals are razor thin and have a rounded tip that protects the user and prevents breaking. A hanging eyelet in the blade itself makes them a cinch to hang, and the handles are elevated in design to allow for extra clearance as you use them. They’re made in Japan and come with a 25-year warranty, so purchase confidently knowing these will serve you well for life.
Stainless Steel Knife Set with Block - 17 Piece
By far the most affordable option, this 17-piece setup by Mueller Austria offers premium stainless steel blades with super sharp edges, ergonomic handles, and a wide variety of knife shapes that make a perfect starter set for anyone getting their first apartment or home, or even just rebuilding a collection. Thousands of reviews approve as well, such as one user whose lengthy write-up included the following passage:
“These are great knives, and very sturdy. They have a nice feel and balance to them, and are a great price. We’ve been needing some kitchen knives, and this set ticks all of the boxes! They’re razor sharp right out of the box -and let me add well packaged, too, to keep you safe from the sharp edges until you’re ready to safely handle them- and come with a really quality sharpener as well as a stylish acrylic stand, so they can take pride of place on your kitchen counter.”
TUO 8-pcs Kitchen Knife Set
Another set made with German High-carbon Stainless steel, these TUO knives are not only deathly sharp with a fantastic Pakkawood handle, they also come in an innovative block that allows for safe and attractive modern storage. Their guarantee is lifelong, and reviews near-universally shower praise upon them.
“Best knives I’ve ever used, or owned,” says one owner. “I took a chance on a brand I was not familiar with, and glad I did. These knives are SHARP! The construction is top notch and well sorted. The steel is German, flawless, and has held the edge excellently. The handles are real wood, smooth, and finished with a high quality coating. I do a fair amount of food prep, and I these are far above the usual quality of knives for this price.”