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The 4 Best Kitchen Knives of 2024

We sliced, diced, chopped, and minced food with kitchen knives from Henckels, Wusthof, Zwilling, Amazon and more to find the best options for your home
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Best Kitchen Knives Review
Credit: Bradley Nichols
By Bradley Nichols ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2024

The Best Kitchen Knives for 2024


The allure of a beautiful wooden block of kitchen knives on the counter is undeniable. But choosing the right set for your home can be hard. We've tested the best kitchen knives for many years, to bring you this lineup of the top 12 most-promising options. We're here to help you answer questions like how many knives you really need, if a hone should have a place in your set (yes!), and what really is the difference between a slicer and a santoku? We tested these models side-by-side, chopping up pounds of onions, potatoes, steaks, and bread. We've put them through the wringer to help you determine which set is right for you and your kitchen.

Upgrading or setting up your kitchen? We've tested hundreds of the best kitchen gadgets to help you design your perfect setup. Whether you're looking for a new top-rated cutting board to go with your new knives or you just want to upgrade part of your set with a new chef knife, bread knife, or kitchen shears, we've got you covered.

Editor's Note: This review was updated on April 29, 2024, with an all-new testing plan and a full re-testing of all the kitchen knives in our lineup.

Top 12 Kitchen Knives - Test Results

Displaying 1 - 5 of 12
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Awards Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $429 List
$369.95 at Amazon
$600 List
$399.95 at Amazon
$595 List
$399.95 at Amazon
$255 List
$299.99 at Amazon
$485 List
Check Price at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Great selection of tools, room for expansion, high-quality steel, sharp, precise, holds an edgeJapanese quality, unique looks, razor-sharp performanceExceptional sharpness and hardness, beautiful Damascus pattern blade, comfortable handleSharp and precise, holds an edge very well, reasonably priced, many options availableGreat quality blades, block with room for expansion, attractive block
Cons Could be more comprehensiveLooks are polarizing, can be too lightweight for some handsExpensive, blade can be brittle if used too hardHandles are unflattering, knives sit awkwardly in blockSet selection is poor, with no bread knife or utility
Bottom Line A high-quality set with all the essentials needed for most home kitchensUnique design and high-quality blades make this set stand outA high-end knife set beautifully made and supremely functional for the consumer who desires the bestThis set combines great performance with an attractive price, even if it's a bit inelegant to look atA good starter set for the consumer who wants a lot of customization
Rating Categories Zwilling Profession... Global 7 Piece Takashi Shun Classic 5 Piec... Victorinox Classic... Wusthof Classic 6-P...
Practicality and Set Utility (30%)
9.5
8.5
6.5
9.5
6.0
Cutting Performance (30%)
8.7
9.2
9.5
8.0
8.0
Ergonomics (25%)
8.7
7.7
9.0
7.7
8.8
Build Quality (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.5
7.5
9.0
Specs Zwilling Profession... Global 7 Piece Takashi Shun Classic 5 Piec... Victorinox Classic... Wusthof Classic 6-P...
Types of Knives Included 4; chef, utility, paring, bread 5; chef, utility, paring, bread, santoku 3; chef, utility, paring 5; chef, paring, bread, filet, slicing 3; chef, serrated utility, paring
Steak Knives No No No No No
Hone Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Kitchen Shears Yes No No Yes Yes
Blade Material Sigmaforge (proprietary) Cromova 18 (proprietary) VG-Max Stainless steel X50CrMoV15
Construction Method Forged Stamped Forged Stamped Forged
Handle Material Polymer Dimpled metal Pakkawood Nylon Polymer
Country of Origin Germany Japan Japan Switzerland Germany
Reported Steel Hardness (HRC) 57 57 60.5 56 58
Unique Features None Ceramic honing rod Damascus pattern blade Chunky nylon handles None
Dishwasher Safe? Dishwasher safe, hand wash reccomended Hand wash only Hand wash only Dishwasher safe, hand wash reccomended Hand wash only
Expandable Set? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Best Overall Kitchen Knives


Zwilling Professional S 7-Piece Block Set


90
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Practicality and Set Utility 9.5
  • Cutting Performance 8.7
  • Ergonomics 8.7
  • Build Quality 9.0
Included Knives: 8-inch chef's, 5.5-inch prep, 4-inch paring, 8-inch bread | Accessories: Knife block, kitchen shears, steel hone
REASONS TO BUY
Great essential knife selection
High-quality steel is sharp and holds an edge
Expandable with room for extra knives
REASONS TO AVOID
The chef's knife has an unusually rounded blade

The versatile Zwilling Professional S 7-Piece is our top choice for a well-balanced overall kitchen knife set. We found it to have the best selection of knives to get any consumer started. Additionally, Zwilling left several empty slots for additional knives so that you can customize this knife set further based on your specific needs. It also has room for six steak knives. We found that all of the included knives are high quality, sharp, durable, and comfortable. The knife block is attractive and looks right at home on any kitchen counter. The all-important chef's knife scored highly in all of our tests, making it a great primary tool in your kitchen. The utility knife has a partial gyuto shape with a larger blade area, which our testers found to be by far the most usable and versatile of this style of knife. The bread knife was one of our favorites we tested. The included hone will keep your knives sharp and feels safe and comfortable to use.

The Zwilling Professional S 7-Piece comes as an incomplete set, with several empty spots for additional knives (see our tip about this below) and a set of steak knives. The chef's knife, while being high quality and extremely sharp, has a particularly steep curve at the end of the blade. This felt awkward at first, but most of our testers were able to adjust their cutting style without too much issue. The chef's knife also does not feature a full bolster. This differs from the traditional German style and is, in large part, purely a preference issue among users. We also found the included kitchen shears to be just average. They performed adequately in our testing but felt cheap compared to the knives. Overall, the Zwilling is a compelling option for anyone in the market for a quality knife set. It has everything to get you started, as well as room for expansion and customization. If you are looking to take a much more customized approach to your kitchen knife set, the Wusthof Classic 6-Piece is another great option. Although we felt there were too many holes it's lineup, the quality of the knives included is unassailable and would be a great starting set for the DIY'er.

Empty Slots in Your Block?
Many knife sets on the market include knife blocks that purposely come with empty slots. This is important to note because those who desire the finished look of a full knife block may have to make supplemental purchases. However, this will also allow you to customize your knife block to fit your specific needs. Most manufacturers produce knives that match your set and will fit right in. Eat a lot of fish? Perhaps a filet knife is a perfect addition. Cook a lot of veggies? A nakiri knife would fit in beautifully.

kitchen knives - we found the zwilling to have the best selection of items for a...
We found the Zwilling to have the best selection of items for a knife set.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

Best Upgraded Kitchen Knives


Shun Classic 5 Piece Starter Block


85
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Practicality and Set Utility 6.5
  • Cutting Performance 9.5
  • Ergonomics 9.0
  • Build Quality 9.5
Included Knives: 8-inch chef's, 6-inch utility, 3.5-inch paring | Accessories: Knife block, steel hone
REASONS TO BUY
Exceptionally sharp and precise
Damascus pattern blade
Excellent balance
Attractive acacia wood storage block
REASONS TO AVOID
Very pricey
No bread knife

The Shun Classic 5-Piece is an attractive and capable knife set and is our upgrade pick for a premium set. This set contains Shun's chef knife, which we loved so much in our chef knife testing, in addition to a matched paring and utility knife. These knives are the sharpest we tested and held an edge longer than any other in our testing. They were equally as capable of cutting delicate herbs as they were of thick butternut squash. We found all three knives included in this set to be very ergonomic, and all our testers consistently rated them near the top for in-hand comfort. The wonderfully contoured Pakkawood handle and the Damascus pattern on the blades are eye-catching and represent their unique manufacturing process. In short, we found the Shun knives to excel at nearly every task in the kitchen.

Most of our complaints have to do with its utility as a set. Although the knives are undeniably great, it lacks versatility. There are no kitchen shears and no bread knife (although we found that the Shun chef knife was often sharp enough to cut bread even without serrations), and only one extra slot to expand your repertoire. The Shun Classic 5-Piece also has the highest price per knife. That said, we feel that there is still good value given the fantastic quality of the Shun knives. They just don't give all the capabilities that people often think of when buying a knife set. The Shun 5-Piece should be a top choice for anyone looking for the highest-quality knife. Its beauty and performance are sure to attract attention in any kitchen. If you are looking for a more extensive knife selection, the Global 7-Piece Takashi is another great option. These knives offer good cutting feel and blade quality, but they come in a larger set that gives them more versatility.

kitchen knives - the shun classic 5-piece costs more per knife, but if you value...
The Shun Classic 5-Piece costs more per knife, but if you value high-quality items, you'll love the knives you get in this set.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

Best Kitchen Knives on a Budget


Victorinox Classic Cutlery Block 8-Piece


83
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Practicality and Set Utility 9.5
  • Cutting Performance 8.0
  • Ergonomics 7.7
  • Build Quality 7.5
Included Knives: 8-inch chef's, 6-inch boning, 4-inch paring, 8-inch bread, 10-inch slicing | Accessories: Knife block, kitchen shears, steel hone
REASONS TO BUY
Exceptional value for money
Comfortable nylon handles
REASONS TO AVOID
Knife handles don't rest straight in the block
Nylon handles look and feel cheap

The Victorinox Classic 8-Piece is our top recommendation for the best budget knife set. It's made by the same company that manufactures the famous Swiss army knife with a reputation for quality at a reasonable price, and this 7-piece set is a shining example of that. These knives are sharp, comfortable, and eminently capable of performing any task in the kitchen. The blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel and employ a unique nylon-formed handle. We found these handles to be very comfortable for the most part and allowed us to always have a firm grip, wet or dry. The blades themselves were sharp, precise, and held their edge reasonably well throughout our testing. As with the Zwilling 7-Piece, the Victorinox 8-Piece set comes with two empty knife slots so you can expand your collection based on your needs. For those who want more, Victorinox also sells a larger 22-piece knife set that includes steak knives.

The Victorinox 8-Piece doesn't come with a utility knife. Instead, it includes a filet and a ten-inch slicing knife. Although a utility knife is more versatile, we feel it's an acceptable trade-off here and doesn't drastically impact usability. Another nitpick would be that the knives don't sit perfectly straight in the block and are noticeably lopsided. This doesn't affect performance at all, but those who care about looks should take note. Our testers also found the handle quality to be inconsistent across the knife set. The nylon handle that was comfortable on the chef knife felt awkward on the smaller paring knife included in the set. If this Victorinox set isn't a good fit for you, we also loved the budget-friendly Mercer Genesis 6-Piece. It combines a similar performance and price with a more traditional rubber handle and an attractive wood and glass knife block. Overall, the performance and price of the Victorinox make it a compelling choice for any consumer on a budget who still needs good-quality knives.

kitchen knives - the classic 8-piece set from victorinox is an excellent combination...
The Classic 8-Piece set from Victorinox is an excellent combination of price and performance despite its less elegant appearance.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

Best Budget Kitchen Knives that Includes Steak Knives


Henckels International Statement 12 Piece


71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Practicality and Set Utility 7.5
  • Cutting Performance 7.5
  • Ergonomics 6.3
  • Build Quality 7.0
Included Knives: 8-inch chef's, 7-inch santoku, 3-inch paring, 8-inch bread, six 4.5-inch steak | Accessories: Knife block, steel hone
REASONS TO BUY
Extraordinary sharpness and precision
Premium quality
Includes a set of quality steak knives
REASONS TO AVOID
Finishing on knives is poor, with sharp edges and unpolished handles
Expensive

The Henckels Statement 12-Piece is our second kitchen knives budget pick for those who want a set that includes steak knives. We found this set to be a great value for those who want to buy a knife set that includes quality knives and a set of steak knives. We've found that Henckels tends to make very good value knives that perform well — which is definitely the case here. Each knife's cutting performance was good and by far the best in its price range. The steak knives that were included were a tester's favorite, as we found them to be sharp enough to cut through any sort of meat while still being delicate enough not to feel out of place at the holiday dining table. It includes a great assortment of knives for nearly any task.

On the negative side, we found the handles to feel a bit clumsy. Although we wouldn't call them uncomfortable per se, they have a very unfinished feel and are distinctly utilitarian. The detailed finishing of the set was also second-tier. We found many small blemishes and imperfections that, while they wouldn't detract from their ability to prepare food, definitely make them stand out in a less attractive way. The Henkels 12-Piece also lacks a set of kitchen shears or even a place for one in the block. Despite its minor drawbacks, the Henckels is a great choice for anyone who wants a reasonably priced kitchen knife set that delivers nearly all the tools needed for their kitchen in one go. Another option that includes a set of steak knives would be the Chicago Cultery Fusion 17-Piece. Although their cutting performance isn't quite on par with the Henckels, they still performed fairly well in our tests, and we found them to be pretty comfortable in hand. Additionally, the Chicago 17-Piece came with more steak knives than the Henckels, as well as a filet knife.

kitchen knives - solid performance coupled with a great set of steak knives made this...
Solid performance coupled with a great set of steak knives made this set a favorite amongst our testing team.
Credit: Carissa Stanz

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
90
Zwilling Professional S 7-Piece Block Set
Best Overall Kitchen Knives
$429
Editors' Choice Award
86
Global 7 Piece Takashi
$600
85
Shun Classic 5 Piece Starter Block
Best Upgraded Kitchen Knives
$595
Top Pick Award
83
Victorinox Classic Cutlery Block 8-Piece
Best Kitchen Knives on a Budget
$255
Best Buy Award
78
Wusthof Classic 6-Piece Starter Block
$485
73
Mercer Culinary Genesis 6 Piece Forged
$182
71
Henckels International Statement 12 Piece
Best Budget Kitchen Knives that Includes Steak Knives
$120
Best Buy Award
68
Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17 Piece
$140
59
Ginsu Gourmet 8 Piece
$110
53
Cuisinart 15 Piece Stainless Steel
$80
48
McCook Stainless Steel 15 Piece
$130
40
Amazon Basics 14 Piece
$36

kitchen knives - we verify all manufacturer claims with our scientific equipment.
We verify all manufacturer claims with our scientific equipment.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

How We Tested Kitchen Knives


We've been testing kitchen knives since 2020, and with every update, our process begins with research to find out what are the best, the most popular, and the most interesting kitchen knives on the market. We dug deep to find what others were saying about their performance and which features are essential to a good knife. We selected the top sets and purchased them all at market price, then got to work cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing, and you better believe — eating! With this latest update, we headed back to the kitchen to conduct new side-by-side tests on the original lineup and some sharp new contenders (pun intended). We cut pounds upon pounds of food to test sharpness and precision, closely examined craftsmanship and quality, found balance points, assessed handle ergonomics, and even considered the style and function of each storage block. Never one to believe what we're told, we then took them to our lab to confirm many their specific details including steel hardness (HRC), blade sharpness, and chef knife blade angles. Finally, we combined all the data we gathered and selected the best options available to bring you the ideal kitchen knives for your cooking, serving, and eating styles.

Checking the sharpness of chef knife blades.
Checking the sharpness of chef knife blades.
We used our benchtop Rockwell hardness tester to verify the...
We used our benchtop Rockwell hardness tester to verify the manufacturer's claims.
Using a goniometer to see the precise angles of each chef knife...
Using a goniometer to see the precise angles of each chef knife blade we tested.
From the kitchen to the lab, we tested and evaluated each set of kitchen knives extensively.

Our testing of kitchen knife sets is divided into four mutually exclusive testing metrics:
  • Practicality and Set Utility (30% of overall score weighting)
  • Cutting Performance (30% weighting)
  • Ergonomics (25% weighting)
  • Build Quality (15% weighting)

We took our knives from the kitchen to the lab to verify manufacturer claims and see how they hold up in the real world.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Why Trust GearLab


Our testing of kitchen knives is led by Review Editor, Bradley Nichols, who has always loved finding and making delicious foods. Brad is curious by nature, spending large amounts of time asking questions and researching answers and methodologies. Combined with his passion for traveling and trying new things, his kitchen is often full of the smells of experimental dishes bubbling away on the stovetop and baking in the oven. Over the decades, Brad has become the chef for all family gatherings and get-togethers with friends, and his advice on what kitchen gadgets are worth buying is sought by everyone in his social circle. Whether he's perfecting his brownie recipe or sous viding steak for the holidays, Brad is always tinkering in the kitchen and sets a high bar for all his implements and tools. It's this level of scrutiny that he applies to his kitchen knife testing, putting every set of knives through a battery of tests and in a wide variety of other people's hands to learn which is the right set for your home.

Testing a paring knife by cutting &quot;in the hand&quot;
Testing a paring knife by cutting "in the hand"
We tested steak knives by serving our friends and family a hearty...
We tested steak knives by serving our friends and family a hearty steak dinner.
We tested how knives handled small, challenging cuts.
We tested how knives handled small, challenging cuts.
We tested every knife in every set and evaluated them on their performance — as well as what key components they may be missing.

Analysis and Test Results


We tested each kitchen knife set with a series of carefully constructed tests evaluating four mutually exclusive metrics. These tests were designed to give an overall score based on a combination of practicality, utility, comfort, and value. In the following section, we will break down the specific metrics and tests and discuss the details of how each set performed.


Value


As we tested these knife sets, we found that there was a strong correlation between price and performance. In essence, more dollars per knife spent will generally get you better quality knives. The higher-end knives started sharper and required much less frequent sharpening. The less expensive sets tended to contain many more knives, but we found them to very often be of low quality.

kitchen knives - the global is a great choice for your kitchen... if you can find it...
The Global is a great choice for your kitchen... if you can find it at a good price.
Credit: Natalie Kafader


The Global 7-Piece Takashi is one of our favorite overall sets. The knives we tested were beautiful, made with quality, and amazingly sharp. However, the price of this set varies far too much for us to give them a firm recommendation. However, if you are willing to wait on a good sale, they are worth picking up. The Victorinox Classic 8-Piece is also a standout for value, although this was no surprise given the brand's reputation. If you can deal with the sub-par looks, they will get you the most knife for your money.

More Isn't Always Better
Picking up a set of kitchen knives is almost always a budget-conscious decision. While it's tempting to grab a set large set of knives for a very cheap price — like the almost absurdly inexpensive Amazon Basics 14-Piece set we tested — some low prices really are too good to be true. This particular set impressed us with its exceptionally poor cutting performance and we do not recommend it to anyone, on any budget.

The Mercer Genesis 6-Piece is another set that we loved. It surprised us with how high quality it felt, and it even comes with a unique-looking knife block style. It scored just below the Victorinox 8-Piece in that particular price range, but if you want a beautiful glass knife block on your countertop, it's worth considering.

kitchen knives - the mercer set features this beautiful glass-framed knife block.
The Mercer set features this beautiful glass-framed knife block.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Practicality and Set Utility


What makes a good kitchen knife set? You need a variety of different tools to complete most kitchen tasks comfortably. Of course, a good chef's knife is the starting point, but adding a few more tools will make cooking in your kitchen much more enjoyable. This metric is our most subjective rating, but we will walk through our logic so that you can make your own judgment on knife selection.


We judged each set by their selection of tools included. A low score here doesn't mean that the knives are low quality, but that the set may not include all the tools needed in the average home kitchen and may require supplementary purchases. What we look for are these core items that can handle almost any job you'll want to accomplish at home:
  • Chef Knife — A proper chef knife is almost a must-have for any knife set. This is the first knife most people reach for and a jack-of-all-trades in the kitchen.
  • Paring Knife — A small, 3-4 inch blade that is perfect for delicate tasks like coring a tomato or cutting the top off of a strawberry. Ideal for cutting things held in your hand.
  • Utility Knife — A utility knife is larger than a paring but smaller than a chef. Useful when you need more finesse. Also, it is great as a spare knife when you have helpers in the kitchen.
  • Bread Knife — A long (8-10 inches) serrated knife used primarily to cut bread products. The large teeth along the blade help to cut cleanly through everything from a hard, crusty load to a soft white bread.
  • Kitchen Shears — Used for everything from cutting sheets of parchment to cutting through ribs on a chicken carcass.
  • Hone — Indespensible in the kitchen, and used to keep your blades sharp and safe.

Other knives, such as a filet, tourné, or slicing knife, are useful to have but very situational, specific, and not useful for all home chefs. Steak knives are another popular addition to many sets, which we, of course, tested with a classic steak dinner for the whole family.

Not Ready to Commit?
Don't have the budget to buy an entire knife set? We recommend checking out our chef's knife review and buying just one solid budget-friendly chef's knife. You will be much happier with one or two good knives rather than ten poor-quality ones.

Using this as a guide, we found that the Zwilling Professional S 7-Piece contained exactly what we wanted in a kitchen knife set. Seven pieces, giving you just what you need with no extraneous knives and still leaving room for expansion with extra slots. The Victorinox Classic 8-Piece also contains all these pieces as well as a filet knife.

kitchen knives - the zwilling professional s set has all the essentials and room to...
The Zwilling Professional S set has all the essentials and room to grow.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

The Henckels 12-Piece has an excellent selection, swapping a santoku for a utility but lacking kitchen shears. The Global 7-Piece Takashi also has a great selection, again only lacking kitchen shears but adding a santoku.

The Shun 5-Piece contains three of our favorite knives from this test as well as a hone, but it lacks kitchen shears and a bread knife. The Mercer Genesis 6-Piece contains every knife we wanted to see but, surprisingly, is missing a hone and kitchen shears. Chicago Cutlery 17-Piece includes a good selection that we liked, including all the basics and a few extras, such as a whopping eight steak knives.

Buying a Honing Steel
If you happen to pick up a set without a hone, we highly recommend adding one. They're typically not very expensive, and just about any metal honing rod will do. You'll get far better performance from all your non-serrated knives by using this inexpensive tool regularly.

Some larger sets, such as the McCook 15-Piece and Cuisinart 15-Piece, come with multiple extra knives such as slicing, tourné, and santoku. Although we appreciate having options, we found having too many knives dilutes the quality of the set and adds extra maintenance and cleaning that we did not like.

kitchen knives - this durable and sizable knife storage blocks matches the knives...
This durable and sizable knife storage blocks matches the knives they house.
Credit: Carissa Stanz

Cutting Performance


A knife just isn't a knife unless it's sharp and can cut what you want it to. We have a battery of tests that measure the sharpness and resiliency of these knives. We start by slicing a fresh tomato as thinly as we can. One of the best tests for any knife as it can be a challenging fruit to cut cleanly. Then we put the knives through the wringer, slicing onions, potatoes, peppers, and citrus. We challenge them with large and small cuts, delicate jobs, and heavy-duty ones. Then, we go back to the tomato and find out how well the knife has held an edge and how much it deteriorated.


The Shun 5-Piece knives excelled here, winning top marks for their razor-sharp edge and ability to create Michelin-level precision. Close behind it were the Whustof 6-Piece and the Global 7-Piece. They are very different sets of kitchen knives, with the former being an excellent German style and the latter a lightweight Japanese set, but they both proved to have excellent cutting performance and precision.

kitchen knives - the shun classic excels at finely dicing an onion.
The Shun Classic excels at finely dicing an onion.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

The Zwilling 7-Piece and Victorinox 8-Piece were just behind those sets, delivering excellent overall cutting performance, but finding the edges didn't last quite as long as the above. The Mercer 6-Piece rated highly as well. Just below the Victorinox but still a very sharp set of knives.

kitchen knives - the victorinox classic chef knife is a great all-rounder in the...
The Victorinox Classic chef knife is a great all-rounder in the kitchen.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

Honing Your Knife
One of the best things you can do to keep your knives sharp is to hone them before each use. As you use your knife, small, microscopic serrations get bent, making your knife feel duller. Honing is the process, different from sharpening, by which the microscopic serrations along the edge of a knife are all realigned in the same direction. The legendary Jacques Pepin has a great guide to how to hone your knives.

We also ran separate tests for serrated blades. We tested their ability to cut bread, both hard crusty loaves as well as a tender croissant. Some sets lacked a full bread knife and only included a small serrated utility knife — and we tested those, too. Although situationally useful for cutting things like tomatoes, we found them much less suitable for cutting bread products.

We found the Zwilling Professional S and Global Takashi to be our favorite bread knives from the sets that we tested. They were sharp, with clean looks and impeccable performance. They had slightly offset blades to aid hand position in cutting, and the serrations cut easily through both the hard and soft pieces of bread we threw at them.

kitchen knives - the zwilling professional s came with our testers favorite bread...
The Zwilling Professional S came with our testers favorite bread knife.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

The Victorinox Classic and Henckels International Statement also had excellent bread knives. We found them to be sharp and very capable of making the slices we asked of them. However, they had a more traditional straight-blade shape and lacked anything that wowed us. The Mercer Genesis and Chicago Cutlery Fusion bread knives were a bit more average, still. They proved able to slice through bread as easily, but we found the cuts to be coarser by a small margin.

kitchen knives - ww cut through delicate pastries to test each set&#039;s bread knife.
Ww cut through delicate pastries to test each set's bread knife.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

Ergonomics


Is each knife comfortable in many different sizes and shapes of hands? Can it be used for prolonged periods of time without blistering your hands? As these are very important aspects of your longterm happiness while using kitchen knives, we sought to answer these questions through our comprehensive, crowd-sourced ergonomics testing.


We tested every knife in each of these sets by having a variety of people of different sizes, shapes, and skill levels cut produce in our kitchen and rate the knives against each other to find which were the most comfortable overall.

kitchen knives - we tested many difference cutting styles, including those who love a...
We tested many difference cutting styles, including those who love a paring knife in the hand.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

The Shun Classic set stands out again as one of the most consistently comfortable and ergonomic knives we tested. Its deceptively simple-looking Pakkawood handle fits very comfortably in your hand. We found that among our testers, there were no complaints, and several picked it as their favorite.

kitchen knives - the shun pakkawood handle is a joy to hold.
The Shun Pakkawood handle is a joy to hold.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

The Zwilling Professional S and Wusthof Classic also have very ergonomic handles and are both great examples of German-style knives. They are heavy blades but exceptionally well balanced, and almost everyone said the weight felt good in their hand and aided the cutting motion. They also tend to make knives with full and half bolsters, giving you the opportunity to purchase the shape you like the best.

kitchen knives - the wusthof classic chef knife makes short work of even the...
The Wusthof Classic chef knife makes short work of even the slipperiest tomatoes.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

The Chicago Cutlery Fusion set gets some recognition here. Despite its shortcomings, we found these knives to be some of the most comfortable we tested. We found the Global Takashi knives to be well-balanced and easy to hold in most hands. Although odd at first and very lightweight, most testers grew to appreciate their svelte cutting motion.

kitchen knives - the chicago cutlery fusions&#039;s rubber handle was liked by many testers.
The Chicago Cutlery Fusions's rubber handle was liked by many testers.
Credit: Carissa Stanz

Build Quality


Looking at the build quality was the first and last test we did with every knife. We began by inspecting each set for flaws in the manufacturing process or other blemishes. Next, we took two blades from each set — the chef and paring — and performed the paper cut test. Here, we took a single sheet of paper, held it at the top, and drew the knife down through it. We noted if and how well each knife could slice through it.


Finally, after the entire testing process, we inspected each set again to see how well it held up to the wear and tear we put it through, noting any damage that appeared. We also took every one of these kitchen knives to our lab to confirm the specifications manufacturers claimed about them, including their steel hardness (HRC) and the sharpness and blade angle of every set's chef knife.

kitchen knives - we looked closely at every knife we tested in search of defects like...
We looked closely at every knife we tested in search of defects like this uneven blade.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

The Shun Classic set stands apart in build quality. We found the machining to be immaculate on all of the blades. The Zwilling Professional S, Wusthof Classic, and Global Takashi were up there as well, being made practically flawlessly and coming out of the box with perfect edges.

kitchen knives - the global takashi boasts a seamless metal handle filled with sand...
The Global Takashi boasts a seamless metal handle filled with sand for perfect balance.
Credit: Bradley Nichols

The Victorinox Classic, Henckels International Statement, and Mercer Genesis were all very well made, but with some small flaws that made them look and feel less finished or refined. That said, we didn't feel this adversely affected their overall performance.

kitchen knives - the curves and hook on the butt end of the henckels international...
The curves and hook on the butt end of the Henckels International kitchen knives enhance their ergonomics.
Credit: Carissa Stanz

Conlusion


Choosing a knife set for your home can be daunting. With the array of configurations and options available on the market today, everybody will have their own personal sweet spot. We hope our article helps you make a decision that will keep you and your loved ones fed for years to come.

Bradley Nichols