17 best kitchen knife sets for sharpening your culinary skills

A kitchen is never complete without a good set of kitchen knives. Whether the job calls for slicing, dicing, peeling or carving, a good knife is a must-have item.

But, with so many different knives on the market and each one possessing its own special purpose from the nimble paring knife to the versatile chef’s knife, what knife to opt for can be a tough choice.

But that’s where knife sets can help, they take the guesswork out of what knife you need by providing a range of basics as well as being more cost-effective than buying them individually.

Whether you’re a kitchen novice or seasoned pro, there are a few things you need to look out for when choosing a knife set. The size and shape of the handle is one big thing to take into account as you need to make sure it’s comfortable to use and has a good grip.

Also what kind of storage it has is another, does it have a block or if loose, do the knives have sheaths to keep them protected in your drawer.  Some knife sets even include in-built sharpening tools which are needed to maintain a sharp edge over time.

How we tested

When looking for the perfect knife set we chose ones that had at least three of the most basic knives you need in your kitchen, that’s a chef’s knife, paring knife and bread knife. We tested each set over a three-week period putting it through its paces with a range of chopping and cutting tasks.

We chopped, sliced and peeled a range of items of varying toughness to really see how well these knives handled the job in hand. We also looked at how comfortable they were to use and how much space they took up in the kitchen.

The best kitchen knife sets for 2023 are:

  • Best kitchen knife set overall – Kuhn Rikon colori®+ 4PC set: £39.96, Kuhnrikon.co.uk
  • Best budget kitchen knife set – Viners assure 4 piece knife set: £13, Dunelm.com
  • Best stainless steel knife set – ProCook Japanese knife set: £20, Procook.co.uk
  • Best knife set with a sharpener – Ninja food staysharp knife block: £169.99, Ninjakitchen.co.uk

Ninja food staysharp knife block

Ninja products seem to be the staple of any kitchen at the moment, especially with the brand’s range of air fryers, but this knife block with built-in sharper definitely deserves high praise. Constructed from forged German stainless steel, these knives have been made to last. This set includes an 8in chef’s knife, 8in bread knife, 8in slicing knife, 5in utility knife and a 3.5in paring knife, so there really is something for every job.

The brilliant thing about this set is that the block comes with a built-in sharper on the side, which means you’ll always have super-sharp knives with little effort. Now, this is quite a hefty block, so you’ll need to have enough kitchen counter space, but if you can carve out the space, it’s well worth it.

During testing, we found these knives really easy to use. They had a good grip, felt light, and the super-sharp blades glided through everything we cut. The chef’s knife was particularly impressive, handling hard fruits and vegetables, such as melon and celeriac, with utter ease. Sharpening the knives was also a really easy task – the knife just needed to be inserted into the sharpening slot and a few pulls of the lever left them super sharp. Ninja states these knives will stay sharp for up to 10 years with regular sharpening.

While this set is out of stock at the moment, the brand has assured us it will be available soon – just sign up for the email notification.

Kitchen knife sets FAQs

What are the three most common knives in the kitchen?

When it comes to kitchen knives, there is seemingly no end to the different types you can purchase. That said, if you simply want to make sure you’ve got the essentials covered, you really only need three: the serrated knife, the chef’s knife and the paring knife.

The serrated knife, commonly used for fruits and bread, has small, grooved edges that mean it can tear through food easily.

The chef’s knife, which usually has an 8in or 10in blade, is by far the most popular in all types of kitchen, as it can be used for everything from chopping melons to carving roast chicken.

Lastly, the paring knife is small, sturdy and nimble with a sharp, angled point, which makes it best suited for deveining shrimp or segmenting citrus fruits for your gin and tonic.

Are expensive knives worth it?

From novices to kitchen whizzes, a decent knife is always worth it. But, most importantly, you should take care of your knives and make sure they are sharpened, so they can perform at their best.

The verdict: Kitchen knife sets

A good set of knives go a long way to enjoyable food prep. The colori+ four piece set covers every base. They are super sharp and really nice to handle. They come with matching knife sheaths so they’re safe to store in the cutlery draw.

The signature book oak knife block set by Robert Welch also ticked all our boxes. The solid oak knife block sits flush against any wall making it ideal for those who have smaller kitchens or don’t want to lose valuable counter space. It also comes with a good selection of knives to cover a range of chopping jobs.

For those on a budget, the viners assure four piece knife set is perfect. These knives stay sharp even after a lot of use and they’re lightweight and comfortable to work with. But if you are going to splurge, then the kyūkyoku set from Tog Knives is definitely worth a look. These knives offer professional quality for home use.

For more kitchen accessories, read our review of the best salt and pepper mills and the best slow cookers

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