In a Nutshell
- The best kitchen knife set is the Wüsthof Classic 8-Piece Knife Set with Block. This knife set from the well-known cutlery brand feature blades that are precision-forged from a single piece of high carbon steel; full tang; and triple-riveted handles.
- A less expensive but still high-quality alternative is the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature 7-Piece Knife Block Set. These knives are made from special formula steel and have been hand-sharpened and polished. The ergonomic design features a full tang and triple-riveted handles.
Consistently named a top pick from culinary and consumer product review magazines and websites, the Wüsthof Classic Knife Set is German craftsmanship at its finest. With proper care, these high-quality, durable knives will easily last a home cook or professional chef a lifetime of use.
The set includes a paring knife, 4.5-inch and 6-inch utility knives, 8-inch bread knife, 8-inch chef’s knife, kitchen shears, 9-inch steel sharpening rod, and 17-slot knife block made of beechwood, measuring 10.5 inches long, 4.5 inches wide, and 8.5 inches tall.
The blades are precision-forged from a single piece of carbon stainless steel, and have been heat tempered to a hardness rating of 58 Rockwell. High-quality kitchen knives typically receive a Rockwell hardness ranking of between 56 and 62; the higher the number the harder the steel, and therefore the ability to hold an edge and stay sharp. Furthermore, Wüsthof uses robotic precision edge technology to create an edge that is 20% sharper and maintains double the edge retention than a blade that has been sharpened by hand.
The knife blades have a full tang, or extension, to the end of the handle. The full tang allows the weight of the knife to be evenly distributed throughout in order to maximize precision control and comfort, which is important when dicing or chopping for an extended period of time. In addition, the knife handles, which adhere to the tang via three strong rivets, feature a full bolster and finger guard, and are made from comfortable and highly-durable black polyoxymethylene, a synthetic material that resists fading and discoloration.
Wüsthof offers a limited lifetime warranty on its products, which covers defects in workmanship and materials under normal use and conditions.
Note: If you love this set but do not care for the beechwood knife block that comes with it, Wüsthof offers a deluxe version, which includes the same classic eight pieces with your choice of wood, such as cherry, walnut, acacia, and bamboo. Deluxe knife sets are available from Amazon and other sellers starting at approximately $400.
The Wüsthof Classic 8-Piece Knife Set is available on Amazon starting at $379.90
A Less Expensive Alternative
Zwilling J.A. Henckels has been producing quality German cutlery since 1731. The company has many lines of varying quality. Twin Signature is a mid-range line, offering high-quality, durable, and sharp knives at a more affordable price point.
The seven-piece set includes a 2.5-inch peeling knife, 4-inch paring knife, 5-inch serrated utility knife, 8-inch chef’s knife, kitchen shears, sharpening rod, and 10-slot knife block, made of hardwood and measuring 7.2 inches long, 4.5 inches wide, and 10.8 inches high.
The blades are precision stamped from a single piece of Zwilling special formula steel, and have been ice-hardened to a hardness rating of 57 Rockwell. The ice-hardening process further strengthens the steel and prevents discoloration. Each blade is hand polished and sharpened with the help of precision lasers that angle the edge to a perfect 15 degrees on each side.
Similar to the Wüsthof set, the knife blades feature a full tang. The ergonomically-designed handles are made from polymer and are triple-riveted to the tang for strength and durability.
Zwilling offers a lifetime warranty on its products, which covers defects in workmanship and materials.
The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature 7-Piece Knife Block Set is available on Amazon starting at $149.99.