A good cutlery set is an essential thing for both professional chefs and home chefs. Especially the knives. Without proper cooking knives, it will be impossible to carry out precise cutting on the foods.
That said, there are quality knives available on every budget. But when you consider affordable knives, you will be thinking about getting the best knife set under $500. And thanks to loads of average kitchen knives, getting a set such as that can become pretty challenging.
However, the good news is that you have nothing to worry about. We know the ins and outs of knives, thanks to years of professional kitchen experience. And with our expertise, we will make choosing a professional knife set seem like driving a hot knife through butter.
#List Of The Best knife set under 500 – Our Editor’s Pick:
|1||Knife Set, 15 Pieces Chef Knife Set with Block for...||927 Reviews||Check Price On Amazon|
|2||Cuisinart C77WTR-15P Classic Forged Triple Rivet,...||7,738 Reviews||Check Price On Amazon|
|3||McCook MC21 Knife Sets,15 Pieces German Stainless...||16,762 Reviews||Check Price On Amazon|
|4||Home Hero 17 pcs Kitchen Knife Set - 13 Black...||32,264 Reviews||Check Price On Amazon|
|5||Amazon Basics 14-Piece Kitchen Knife Set,...||18,903 Reviews||Check Price On Amazon|
How we have tested knife set under 500
Before we review the knives that we found worthy of the money, we would like to discuss the essential things that need to be in your mind before making a purchase. These points will make it easier to scrutinize the options and allow you to get something that will offer stellar overall performance.
First and foremost, check the blades that come with the set. Many will offer more than 20 knives, while some will only come with ten or less than that. However, you need to make sure the set comes with all of the essentials. And the essentials include chef’s knife, steak knife, slicing knife, utility knife, and paring knife.
The quality of the blades will play an important role. Most of the brands will opt for steel. However, some will utilize stainless steel, while others will opt for forged steel or carbon steel. No matter what the material is, you need to make sure that it is of high quality, or else the durability level will be poor.
Your hand will reside on the handle when you are holding the knives. For that reason, you need to prioritize the handle quite a lot. It needs to have a comfortable design. If the handles are not comfortable to hold onto, you will not be capable of operating the blades properly. That would result in inaccurate slices.
Riveted handles would be our recommendation in this case. However, there are other ergonomic designs available too.
Balance and Control
If the knives can not provide a good amount of balance and control, operating them will be a nightmare. You will even face fatigue while trying to work with them for an extended amount of time. And for this case, we would recommend the ones that have a full-tang design. Those usually offer a great level of control and balance.
All of the knife sets will include some sort of block with the package. And in most cases, the block will be made of wood. So, first, consider the quality of the wood. If it is not of sturdy wood, the storage block will not be long-lasting. Then, you would need to source a different storage place for the blades.
Secondly, consider the overall design. It should be easier to take the knives off and put them back in the slot. Also, if there is no label on the handle, ensure that each of the slots has a label. Without any label, you would need to take the knives off the slots just to check which knife it is.
Finally, look for additional features. Some of the sets will include a block with a ceramic sharpener. That ceramic insert will be capable of sharpening the edge every time you drag a knife out and place them back in. Also, some of the other sets might even have a label on both the handle and block.
10 Best Knife Set Under $500
We know what professional chefs look for in knife block sets. Through that knowledge, we secluded a couple of options that are worthy of the money. Want to know all about them? Continue reading!
1. Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening
You can easily find a set that comes with very sharp blades. However, the razor-sharp knives will usually lose their edge pretty quickly for most. But this set is not one of them.
The first thing that makes it a good pick for the best knife set is that the storage block comes with ceramic sharpeners. So, each time you take out or put the kitchen knives into the knife block, you will be sharpening the edge.
That said, the knife set comes with a 4-1/2 inches paring knife, 6 inches utility knife, 6 inches serrated utility knife, 7 inches Santoku knife, 8 steak knives, and 8 inches chef’s knife. Yes, you will get all of the essential knives in this knife set.
Additionally, the triple-riveted handles of all the knives have a label. And the full-tang design of these good-quality knives will make it easier to get a proper balance and strength.
- The wooden block has ceramic sharpeners
- Comes with incredibly sharp blades
- Includes a serrated utility knife
- Sports a full-tang design
- All the knives have a label on the triple-riveted handle
- Does not include a bread knife
- The forged blades are not resistant to rusting
This knife set comes with razor-sharp knives that can hold their edge for a long them. There is a ceramic sharpener inside the knife block for sharpening the steel of the blades.
2. imarku Japanese Knife Set
While looking for the best knives in this budget, you might want to get your hands on Japanese-style knives. In that case, consider this offering from Imarku.
This knife block set comes with 16-pieces of kitchen knives. That includes a Santoku knife, paring knife, chef’s knife, utility knife, serrated knife, slicing knife, and a couple of steak knives and kitchen shears.
When it comes to the build, the brand has utilized premium german standard steel. As all the knives have a touch of Japan, these kitchen knives have much better durability than any average German knives.
Even the wooden block is of sturdy wood. Also, the razor-sharp nature of all the blades will ensure that you can show off your professional cutting skill with the chef’s knives and other knives.
- Comes with a high-quality storage block
- Includes paring knife, chef knives, kitchen shears, and serrated knives
- Sports a good build quality
- The blades are razor-sharp
- Exceptionally durable
- Does not have a non-slip grip on the handle
- The knives can not resist rust that well
The knife set comes with a Santoku knife, chef’s knife, kitchen shears, and utility knives. All are high in quality. Also, the included storage block is of durable wood.
3. ZWILLING Twin Signature
Having too many knives is good and bad at the same time. What’s the bad side? Well, carrying out the cleaning process with the hand wash technique will take a long time. But you will not have to worry about that with this knife set.
All of the units of this knife set are dishwasher-safe. So, you will not have to carry out the hand wash if you do not want to. As these integrate precision edge technology, you will not have to worry about edge retention as well.
Another thing that makes this set the best knife set is the lightweight nature of the units. Combined with the triple-riveted handle, you will surely have a comfortable grip.
Furthermore, the set includes a paring knife, chef knife, utility knife, steak knives, and other essential units that a professional chef might need. Also, these have a Rockwell Hardness rating of 57, which makes them highly durable.
- Utilizes triple-riveted handle
- Offers a comfortable grip
- Made of high-quality stainless steel
- The edge retention is pretty praiseworthy
- Does not come with a boning knife
- Some knife sets might not have all of the advertised steak knives
All of the knives that come with this knife set are exceptional. Most importantly, they are dishwasher safe.
4. imarku 16-Piece s Premium
We have got yet another offering from imarku. If you were looking for something that comes with an easy-to-use storage block, check this knife set out.
As mentioned, the storage block of this knife set has a pull-away mechanism that will make the inserting and removal process much more manageable. Along with the knife block, you will find a paring knife, chef knife, bread knife, Santoku knife, utility knife, and many more.
On that note, the Santoku knife and other knives of this knife set are of high-quality stainless steel. And each of the stainless steel blades has an HRC56 rating. So, they will be long-lasting.
Additionally, the handles are of durable wood. The design is ergonomic and can offer a comfortable grip. And the premium looks of the knife set will surely make it look apart from other knife block sets.
- Includes an easy-to-use knife block
- Made of sturdy stainless steel
- Has an HRC56 rating
- Boasts ergonomic handles
- Features razor-sharp edges
- The edge retention is not that praiseworthy
- Included knife block scratches pretty easily
The knife block is the main star of the show in this knife block set. It utilizes cutting-edge technology to make both the inserting and removal process easy.
5. Cangshan Z Series 1024180
On the lookout for a knife block set that offers an option regarding the color of the handle? Check out what Cangshan has to offer here.
The knife block set comes in two color options for the handle. But that is not all. It comes with a solid wood block. The walnut finish on the knife block surely makes the steak knives and other knives of the set look elegant.
Unlike other average knife sets, the blades are of high-quality German precision forged steel. Each of them has gone through six stage heat treatment, which increases the durability level.
Furthermore, you will find the honing steel included with the knife block set. That will help you to keep the bread knife, chef’s knife, boning knife, and other knives sharp. Also, the units have an ergonomic handle, including the honing steel.
- Offers two color options for the handle
- Comes with a honing steel
- Includes an elegant looking block
- The blades have gone through heat treatment
- Integrates ergonomic handles
- Can not resist rust
- Does not include a Nakiri knife
The knife block set comes in two color options. And it includes honing steel that will allow each sharp knife to have stellar overall edge retention.
6. HENCKELS Statement 20-pc
Quality design and quality manufacturing are a combination that we do not see in most of the knife sets that are available at this price point. So, when we stumbled upon this knife block set, we were pretty amazed.
As mentioned, this knife block set utilizes high-grade stainless steel blades. The single-piece construction of those blades will enhance the overall durability and make this knife set last long.
Even the storage block is of high-quality wood. It integrates a sharpening block, which will sharpen up the chef knife, paring knife, bread knife, and other knives automatically.
Additionally, the knife set block has a labeled guide on each slot. For that reason, it will be easy to place the knives back in the slots. Also, thanks to the triple-riveted handle, you will have the right balance while handling the units.
- Sports a quality design
- The construction is of high-carbon stainless steel
- Features a self-sharpening mechanism
- Comes with a durable block
- Each of the slots has a label on them
- Blades can not resist rust that well
- Might ship with damaged blades
The knife set contains a bread knife, paring knife, chef’s knife, and other standard high-carbon stainless steel knives. Also, the block has a self-sharpening mechanism that will keep the blades sharp.
7. Cangshan S Series 1026054
Usually, the knife sets that go through the hand-crafting manufacturing process have an excellent overall build. And a proper example of that would be this knife set that is from Cangshan.
To start with, the manufacturer has opted for German high carbon steel for the blades. That makes them achieve a higher durability and stain-resistance level. The edge retention of these high carbon steel is reasonably high too.
Additionally, the blades have gone through a six-stage hea-treatment process. That strengthens the edges further. Thanks to the ergonomic handle, it will be easier to get a good grip on the knives.
The included knife block is high in quality as well. It will even come with sharpening steel that will let you keep each sharp knife sharp for an extended amount of time.
- Made of premium steel
- Highly durable
- The edges retain sharpness pretty well
- Comes with sharpening steel
- Includes a high-quality block
- Does not include a Nakiri knife
- The wooden block does not have that much of an elegant finish
The fact that this knife set is hand-crafted makes it a great pick for the best knife set. Also, it utilizes high-quality steel, and the blades are exceptionally durable.
8. Calphalon Contemporary SharpIN
Wouldn’t it be great if a knife block set had an easy release mechanism along with a self-sharpening technology at the same time? Well, Calphalon is offering something exactly like that.
The knife block set will come with a block that features an easy release mechanism. That will make it easier for you to take the knives out. Also, there is a proper nonstick coating on the blades to make the foods come off quickly.
Talking of which, the brand has opted for forged steel for the overall construction. There is a sharpening mechanism on the block too. As a result, you will not have to worry about blades losing their edge that quickly.
In order to make it easier to take the knives out, there are labels on the handles. And for the contemporary design, this knife block set will blend exceptionally well with the other stainless steel cookware that you might have in your kitchen.
- Sports an easy release mechanism
- The blades have a nonstick coating
- Made of forged steel
- Features a sharpening mechanism inside the block
- Each handle has a label on it
- The blades can not resist rust
- Some packages might come with damaged knives
This knife block set integrates a self-sharpening mechanism in the block. Also, there is a nonstick coating on the blades.
9. Mercer Culinary M23500
One of the things that most of the brands will skimp at is the handle. However, Mercer is not one of them.
Unlike the other knife sets, each knife of this set will have a riveted handle. The ergonomic shape will make it easier to get a comfortable grasp on these. Also, the one-piece, forged steel construction will offer more control and balance.
Moreover, the taper-ground edge of the blades will increase the overall stability. You will get full efficiency while chopping and cutting foods. And as the blades are of high-quality German steel, they will have a long lifespan too.
On that note, the steel of the blades is resistant to rust and corrosion. They can even resist staining and discoloration exceptionally well. So, you can expect to get an extended service out of the knife set.
- Utilizes an ergonomic design for the handle
- Comfortable to hold onto
- Offers taper-ground edge
- Sports great amount of balance
- The blades are resistant to rust and corrosion
- Does not include a standard wooden block
- Comes with just six knives
You will be pretty impressed with the ergonomics of the handles. And the design of the knives will also offer optimal control and overall balance.
10. ZWILLING Twin Signature
Want to get your hands on a knife set that comes with honed blades? Well, we have found exactly what you were looking for all this time.
Instead of opting for low-grade stainless steel, the brand has opted for high-quality carbon for the construction of the blades. That makes the knives achieve a higher level of hardness.
Thanks to having a higher hardness level, the knives will have a sharp edge for an extended amount of time. Also, you will be pretty impressed at how sturdy and durable these units are.
In addition to that, the honed blades can offer a maximum level of control to the cutting process. The balance will be just right too. Even the handle is capable of providing a comfortable grasp.
- Constructed of durable carbon steel
- Boasts higher hardness level
- The edge retention capability is pretty high
- Sturdy and reasonably durable
- Offers great control and
- Might ship with scuffed blades
- The block is not that high in quality
The set includes perfectly honed blades that will let you carry out precision cutting tasks pretty effortlessly. Also, the knives are exceptionally durable and sturdy.
Top 10 Knife Set Under 500 Comparison Table
Number of Pans
Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening
Ceramic, Alloy Steel
Imarku Japanese Knife Set
High Carbon Stainless Steel
ZWILLING Twin Signature
imarku 16-Piece s Premium
High Carbon Stainless Steel
Cangshan Z Series 1024180
high-alloy German Steel
HENCKELS Statement Self-Sharpening Knife Set
Cangshan S Series 1026054
Calphalon Contemporary SharpIN
Mercer Culinary M23500
ZWILLING Twin Signature
Types of Knife Sets
At this price point, you will find four types of sets. The type will mainly depend on the material of the construction. That said, let us give you a brief idea regarding them to widen your understanding a bit more.
The most popular sets in the market tend to be made of stainless steel. These will have higher overall durability and will resist rust and corrosion. Usually, the alloy will have an iron and carbon base. It will also have chromium, which will repel stains.
This type of material will mainly have carbon and iron. However, just like stainless steel, the material has a mixture of chromium. The thing that makes it stand apart is a higher level of rigidity and strength.
The ceramic blades will be made of hardened zirconium dioxide. This material will be non-magnetic and non-metallic. When the manufacturing process is done right, these blades will even have a higher overall durability level.
The material Damascus steel is mainly of two or more alloys. These alloys will be hammered together to forge a strong still with a wavy pattern. And this pattern is precisely what makes the Damascus knives different.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best knife set for the money?
According to us, the knife set that comes with all of the essential blades, includes a good block, has knives of good-quality material, and is sharp are proper picks. Also, the ones that provide additional features such as a sharpening ceramic inside the wooden block would be great picks too.
How much should a good knife set cost?
From our research and experience, we found that a good knife set should cost somewhere between $300 to $500. However, it does not mean that the sets that are pricier than that are not worthy of the money. Sometimes, hand-crafting, unique elements, and features can raise the price quite a lot.
Are expensive knife sets worth it?
If the sets are expensive for convenient features, they will undoubtedly be worth it. However, you need to consider whether the price you are paying for the extra feature is worth it or not. For example, some of the sets will ask a higher price than usual for a unique design. Those are not worth the price, at least according to us.
What are the essential knives in the kitchen?
The must-have knives include a paring knife, chef’s knife, serrated knife, steak knife, and utility knife. But along with these, most of the sets will consist of other blades. It would be better to pick one of those because you can not have too many knives.
Talking of which, some of the sets will even come with a scissor and honing steel. These two extra elements can surely come in handy, especially the honing steel.
Are German or Japanese knives better?
Both the German and Japanese knives are good for what they can offer. However, if you put both of them head-to-head, the Japanese blades will have a slight edge. That is, in terms of holding the edge, of course. That said, both of them will be capable of lasting for an extended amount of time.
On that note, the edge of the Japanese ones will have a slim blade. That would make them achieve a lightweight trait. And some of the home chefs are not comfortable with lightweight knives. So, we would recommend getting a hand-feel before picking them up.
What knives do chefs recommend?
Usually, chefs would recommend Japanese knives. They can hold the edge better than the others, which means you would not have to go through the hassle of sharpening the blade that often. Also, thanks to the higher overall durability, the chances of chipping and breaking will be reasonably low too.
Is it worth it to sharpen cheap knives?
The knives that are cheap sometimes have a build of high-quality steel. To keep the cost low, some of the brands would skimp on the edge. For those, sharpening the knives would be totally worth it. However, if the blades are of flimsy materials, we would not recommend sharpening them. Instead, opt for a good set.
What makes a good knife set?
Proper build, higher durability, comfortable handle, better edge retention, good balance, and a large number of must-have knives are the things that make an offering a good set.
Does Zwilling J.A Henckels offer good sets?
Yes, the brand, Zwilling J.A Henckels does offer good sets. The value proposition is really good for some of the offerings. In fact, we have covered a couple of offerings from Zwilling J.A Henckels. So, if you are interested in the brand, we would recommend checking them out first.
You will find yourself among tons of options while trying to find the best knife set under $500. But we hope that after going through this article, you will know which sets are actually worth the money and which are not.
That said, each of the sets you found in this review has met the crucial criteria. And they have all excelled exceptionally well in our intensive tests too. So, you can pick any without thinking twice.