Good knives are the unsung heroes of great cooking. After all, the most tedious part of cooking is often the prep: the slicing, dicing, trimming, etc. And with low-quality knives, that work becomes even more laborious. But grab a great knife, one with a super sharp blade and a perfectly-heavy-but-balanced handle and voilà! You’ll feel like a master chef. And you will never be able to use a cheap knife again.
We’ve selected three great sets at different price points — budget, mid-range, and luxury — if you're thinking of gifting one to the home cook on your holiday list (or to yourself!). Each once comes with knives made of high-carbon steel, which can be honed to a very sharp edge.
1. The Luxury Set
Bob Kramer is a renowned Master Bladesmith (yes, he actually passed tests to get that title). For those that don’t have the money or time to purchase one of his custom blades (it can take several months to make one), Kramer has partnered with German cutlery maker Zwilling J.A. Henckels to create this collection for Sur La Table. Kramer describes the knives as a fusion of Eastern and Western knife-making philosophies. We describe them as beautiful, a joy to use, and an investment that will last a lifetime.
2. The Mid-Range Set
Once you step up to high-quality knives, you may wonder how you ever cooked without them. This is a perfect set for the serious cook looking to balance cost and quality. The set includes 12 pieces made in Germany, each one from a single piece of high carbon steel and finished with a triple-riveted handle that feels sturdy and balanced in your hand.
3. The Budget Set
This is a beautiful set that looks much more high-end than the price tag. Sixteen pieces are stored in a sleek gray block with a built-in diamond sharpener. The blades are made of high-carbon German steel with full tang construction.
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