Here at the Strategist UK, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about kitchen essentials before — including the best rice cookers and the best toasters — here, we’ve rounded up the best knife sets, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated overall knife set
Amazon’s own knife-block set, part of its basics range, came out as the best-rated overall. It has 2,756 reviews in total — that’s more than double that of the next-best rated — with 79 percent of those being five stars. The nine-piece set features eight tools (the block itself is considered a piece), including a knife sharpener. The knives can handle any job; the set includes a 20.3 cm chef’s knife, a 17.8 cm santoku knife (an all-purpose Japanese-style blade), a 20.3 cm slicing knife (also known as a carving knife), a 20.3 cm serrated bread knife, a 15.2 cm boning knife, a 12.7 cm utility knife (a midsize blade), and an 8.9 cm paring knife. Thirty-one customers wrote about the sharpness and quality of the knives, with a further 25 saying the wooden block was good quality. The knives are hand-wash-only but care for them with caution — one reviewer said they nearly sliced a sponge in half running it over the blade. Not only is this set highly rated, it’s also one of the cheapest, making it a great all-purpose starter set. [Editor’s note: This product is currently out of stock.]
Best-rated (less expensive) knife set
Sixty-two reviewers said this five-piece knife set from appliance brand Hecef, which costs just £14.99, offered good value for money. It has 1,426 reviews total, with 81 percent of those being five stars. Hecef say its lightweight, ergonomic knives are easier to hold and use for repeated slicing due to the plastic moulded handles, which ten reviewers said allowed them to cut tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers with surgical precision. Like the Amazon set, it comes with a chef’s knife, a bread knife, santoku knife, utility knife, and paring knife, and as there’s no knife block, each one comes with its own protective cover. Twenty people said the blades were easy to clean (note: Though they are dishwasher safe, the manufacturer suggests hand-washing after the first use).
Best-rated three-piece knife set
Not everybody has the space (or the need) for a large set of knives, and this three-piece set by Orient is the best-rated all-rounder, featuring three knives total. It comes with a chef’s knife, a utility knife, and a paring knife, which will cover most chopping, slicing, and mincing needs in the kitchen. One in seven reviewers said the blades, made from German single-layer stainless steel, were razor-sharp and great quality. Ten reviewers also said the knives felt well-balanced in their hand, thanks to the ergonomic, contoured handle. The set would make a great gift — it comes in a handsome display box — and each knife also comes with a plastic guard for extra protection.
Best-rated knife set (steel block)
With larger knife sets, it’s sensible to invest in a knife block so the blades can all be stored safely (several knives jostling in a drawer will cause the blades damage). Morphy Richards’s five-piece stainless-steel knife block has 1,332 reviews, with 81 percent of those being five stars. 88 reviewers said the quality of the blades was excellent, while a further 76 reviewers said the stainless steel was easy to clean and well-made too. The knives slot into the block in a single row, so this is also a neater option for smaller spaces, and Morphy Richards sells it in other colours, including copper, red, steel, and titanium. It’s also great value — 48 reviewers wrote favourably about the price.
Best-rated knife set (acrylic block)
If you’re wanting a more modern option, this acrylic knife block is set at an angle and is made from clear plastic so you can see the knives inside. The set has 317 reviews, with an average review of 4.7 out of 5, and comes with a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a carving knife, a utility knife, and a paring knife. Not only do one in 10 customers say the stainless-steel blades are sharp, but 12 customers also said the knife block, which helps keep things tidy, was more modern and stylish than wooden or steel options. The blade design features nonstick grooves that help prevent food from sticking to the blades, though the manufacturer says this means the knives should only be hand-washed. This model also comes with a ten-year guarantee.
Best-rated knife set (wooden block)
French specialist Sabatier has been making blades for over 200 years, and this five-piece knife set, like the Tower one above, features a paring knife, utility knife, carving knife, bread knife, and chef’s knife. The wooden block, made from acacia wood, has 36 positive reviews from customers — which is almost one in five of all reviews written — and was highlighted as being sturdy and aesthetically pleasing by many reviewers. The blades themselves also got commended in 99 reviews — including their grip, sturdiness, and weight. One reviewer bought them for a friend with an autoimmune condition that makes gripping heavy objects difficult, and said these knives had been a lifesaver. These come with a five-year guarantee and are classed as dishwasher-safe, but the manufacturer suggests washing and drying by hand to prolong their shelf life, as excess water can cause rust.
Best-rated colour-coded knife set
These colour-coded knives help prevent cross contamination between meat, fish, and vegetables. The set, by Nouva, has 265 reviews in total, with the five-piece set including a chef’s knife, bread knife, carving knife, a multipurpose knife, and a paring knife. Several customers wrote that the clear plastic knife block made identifying knives easier. And 18 reviewers said they found the colour-coding made choosing the right knife for the job really easy. The set is currently half price, which makes it good value, too.
Best-rated eight-piece knife set
If you’re looking for a more substantial knife set, consider one like the eight-piece set by Homgeek. It currently has 460 reviews in total, with a staggering 88 percent of them being five stars. It features a chef’s knife, slicing knife (also known as a carving knife, for meat), a serrated bread knife, utility knife, and paring knife. It also includes a knife sharpener and a set of kitchen shears, which also functions as a bottle opener (the eighth piece is the block itself). Of the many positive reviews, one customer wrote that they now had every knife they could ever need for their kitchen, while the scissors were also commended in 18 reviews. Though it wasn’t as highly rated as the Sabatier set, the wooden block was also popular among customers, with 24 reviewers saying the natural oak was smooth, sturdy, and good quality.
Best-rated 14-piece knife set
Comprised of the same eight pieces in the Homgeek knife set above, this 14-piece set by HOBO also comes with six stainless-steel steak knives. It has 889 reviews in total, 76 percent of which are five stars, and 25 reviews specifically highlight the serrated steak knives as a selling point. According to 21 reviewers, the handles, also made from stainless steel, are easy to hold and comfortable for anyone making food. The manufacturer says these can be put in the dishwasher, but they need to be dried as quickly as possible to prevent rusting.
Best-rated 15-piece knife set
This set from Homgeek features all the knives in the HOBO set, but also comes with the Japanese-style santoku knife typically used for slicing, chopping, and dicing (the name means “three uses”). It has 706 reviews in total, with 85 percent of those being five stars. Fifty-three reviewers wrote about the good quality of both the blade and the block itself, with the discreet inscriptions on the blades coming up several times as a helpful way to determine which knife was which. One reviewer said the santoku blade was their most used of the set, adding that due to being shorter than the chef’s knife, it was lighter and better suited for general tasks. The handles are made from Pakkawood, a heat-and-water-resistant resin that looks like wood, meaning they’re designed to last. Someone also pointed out that the scissor blades can detach and be used as bone saws for small bones like the ones in chicken thighs.
Some other Strategist-recommended knives
No less than five chefs recommended this £5 knife to us, when we did a deep dive on the best knives. According to Arbinder Dugal, Masterchef semifinalist and founder of Dalston’s Attawa, “it’s great for day-to-day use,” he says. “But it’s especially good when you need to get down to the nitty-gritty, such as the fine chopping of garlic and green chile.”
For a dishwasher-safe knife set, Ioannis Grammenos, executive chef at Heliot Steak House, recommends knives from German manufacturer Wusthof. “I use the straight blade for slicing filets,” he says. “It’s very nice and cheap, and it’ll go very easily through your dishwasher.” Wash it on the lowest level, in the basket, not grouped with other cutlery, and Grammenos says you won’t notice a difference in sharpness next time you use it. “Water won’t damage it, because the blades are made to be resistant,” he explains.
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