Sometimes ago, we looked at whether or not knife sets are worth it at all.
In that piece, I gave arguments for why you should go with knife sets and reasons why you might be better off buying knives individually.
If you haven’t seen it yet and you are still conflicted on whether or not knife sets will deliver for you, I advise that you look at that resource before you continue here.
Once you are convinced that you need knife sets, though, you start wondering how much a nice one should go for.
A good knife set should cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. There are knife sets that cost under $100 but they are not of good enough quality to satisfy most kitchen needs.
It is, thus, preferred that you go for knife sets between the $500 – $800 range for a better shot at something made of good materials and that will last you for years to come.
How much do kitchen knife sets cost?
There are a series of factors that will go into what you should, can, and will spend on a set of kitchen knives.
That is why you would see some kitchen knife sets on Amazon going for under $100 – and others can run into the $1,000+ range.
For what it’s worth, never buy those that are lesser than $100, or even $300 for that matter.
That said, here are the factors that play into the cost of a knife set:
The number of knives
Knife sets are not designed to hold the same number of knives.
Some will have five (5) knives, others will have seven (7) knives and you can even have as many as eighteen (18) knives in a single knife set.
The more the knives, the more you should be willing to pay for the set. After all, you are getting other knives that you will most likely find a use for – and they would have costed more if you were getting them singly anyways.
The brand making the knives
If Cuisinart and another nameless brand were to make the same knife, I know that the one from the latter brand would be cheaper.
That leads most people to think that we are simply paying for the brand name on some of these well-known blades sometimes. That is not true.
You are also paying for the R&D that goes into the knives, the trust that the knives will work as advertised, and the fact that the brand will have your back when your knives need help.
All that is stuff you might not get from the nameless brand.
Materials of make
Even if two knife sets had the same number of knives in them, they could still not cost the same.
This could boil down to the materials that the knife set is made from.
For example, the Coolina knife set is not as expensive as the Shun knives, and you will observe that the Shun knives are much more well-made than the Coolina knives.
There are a ton of steel options that goes into knives: from the VG10 option to blue steel and high carbon stainless steel. They are expensive in varying degrees, and they are functional in varying degrees also.
When buying a set, makes sure you are not just paying for the aesthetics but quality knife blade materials also.
Where you’re buying from
Believe it or not, you could be paying more than usual for a good knife set because of where you are getting it from.
Some stores would mark up the prices very high so that they can make a huge profit on the sales. This is why I recommend getting your knife sets directly from the manufacturers or going via Amazon for a smooth experience and service.
The fact that you can compare prices when online, and they are usually better than offline prices anyway, is a good fit for me.
How long do knife sets last on average?
A good knife set can last for several years.
This is the reason why I don’t advise that you shy away from the investment in a good knife set.
After all, if you buy a knife set for $800 and it contains eight knives, lasting up to 5 years under good usage should be enough to justify that investment. That is an average of $100 per knife and $20 per year for each knife.
Maintained properly – especially if you follow this knife maintenance guide to heart – you should even get more than those five years on the knife set.
What are good knife sets to buy today?
If you are in the market for some good knife sets, I can recommend three picks from Dalstrong, Wusthof, and Zwilling.
- Zwilling (7-20) Piece German Knife Set – Best value for money
- Wusthof Classic 7 Piece Knife Set – Most premium knife set
- Dalstrong 18 Piece Colossal Knife Set – Most affordable pick.
If you’ve got more time to hang around, find out what makes each one of these knives sets special below.
Zwilling (7-20) Piece German Knife Set
Zwilling is one of those brands that I don’t need to spend too much time on.
If you don’t know them – or have any of their knives in your kitchen already – you’re wrong.
Using one of their special stainless steel builds, they offer this set in different configurations for you. From 7 pieces to 20 pieces, you have different customizations to choose from.
What I love about each set is that it comes with the basic chef knife, paring knife, bread knife, and smaller utility knife too. Depending on what you need, you can add more to the bunch.
If you are a fan of the in-drawer storage system, there is this Zwilling 7-piece knife block set with in-drawer storage block that you should pick up with your order.
Wusthof Classic 7 Piece Knife Set
The Wusthof 7-piece set is best suited for home cooks, students, and people just getting started with their knives.
Wusthof is also doing a good job in the knife niche and I love their German chef knife design, among other things. You could even choose to get this one, a bread knife and a paring knife alone from the brand, to start with.
Inside the knife set, you get all of a prep knife, shear, and utility knife alongside the above. The best part is that the knife set comes with the knife block, giving you an even better bargain for your money.
For a brand that swears by the high carbon stainless steel that it uses in its designs, it is surprising that they can keep the prices low like this. They have also been here for a long time with many good things said about them, so I trust that they use the right kind of steel.
Before you get this one, though, make sure you know how to take care of high carbon stainless steel knives. Otherwise, you are better off with the 7-piece set from Zwilling above, or you could consider the Dalstrong option below.
Dalstrong 18 Piece Colossal Knife Set
At 18 pieces, it is no wonder that they chose to go with the Colossal naming system for this one. That’s what I would call it too.
This is a little bit overkill for the basic home chef or if you were a student. Cos, at the end of the day, how many knives do you need to make one meal?
If you make meals for a living or spend a lot of time cooking a lot of food, though, you could get this set.
Besides the usual – the chef knife, paring knife, and serrated knife – you also get a santoku knife, a Kiritsuke blade, a boning knife, and honing steel, among other things.
If you don’t need all that but you want the appeal of having a Dalstrong knife anyway, there are smaller sets for this series to look at.
Dalstrong might not have the same premium appeal that you get from Zwilling and Wusthof, but they are no slouch either. Providing quality at some of the best prices on the market, you cannot go wrong with this guy.
Now, you know how much a good knife set should cost, what factors into the cost in the first place, and which ones you are better off spending your money on.
I assume you have gone through the guide on determining whether you are better off with a knife set or individual options up there also.
With all that in mind, I’m sure you’ll make the best decision here also.