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The best knife set will be used in your kitchen each and every single day. It’s not a purchase to make lightly, but you can only tell the quality of a knife after prolonged use to see how well the blades last. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of reviewing the best knife sets on the market from Robert Welch, Zwilling, Ninja, Viners, and Zyliss, to bring you our thoughts.

We have also covered the best chef’s knives in a separate guide, which will be a great all-rounder in your kitchen for chopping veggies or carving meat. These come individually though, and often the best knife sets will come with a chef’s knife included, alongside a bread knife, paring knife, Santoku knife, and much more.

Below, we’ve covered the best knife sets you can buy for your money on the market right now. That includes premium sets that come in stylish blocks, and loose knives that have safety covers to keep them stored safely in your drawers.

Best knife set: our top 5

1. Robert Welch Signature Book Oak Wood Filled Knife Block

Best knife set overall 

Robert Welch Signature Book Knife Block

Best for: Most kitchens
Carving, Bread, Cook’s, Santoku, Kitchen, and Vegetable/Paring Knife
Lightweight and ergonomic knives, easy and sleek knife block
Reasons to buy:
• Flush design is great for small kitchens
• Unique, stylish block
• Next-level quality

Reasons to avoid:
• Pricey, but worth it

The Robert Welch Signature Book Oak Wood Filled Knife Block is a brilliant choice for any kitchen. It’s stylish and expensive, but we think it’s more than worth the money. The unique book block design is eye-catching, and will sit flush against kitchen walls without taking up too much space – perfect for those without the largest kitchen.

As with most high-quality knives, you’ll have to wash this set by hand. It comes with a carving knife (23cm), bread knife (22cm), cook’s knife (18cm), santoku knife (11cm), kitchen knife (14cm), and vegetable/paring knife (10cm). There’s a knife for every task, from carving meat to slicing baguettes, and the handles are ergonomic and make chopping pretty enjoyable.

Ideal Home rated 5 out of 5 stars

2. Zwilling Pro 7 Piece Ash Self Sharpening Knife Block

Best knife set for serious chefs 

Zwilling Pro 7 Piece Ash Self Sharpening Knife Block

Best for: Home chefs who want something serious
Five knives, shearing scissors, self-sharpening knife block
Self-sharpening design, scissors for tough tasks
Reasons to buy:
• Knife slots marked clearly
• Self-sharpening design
• Generous sizes

Reasons to avoid:
• Takes up a lot of counter space

We think Zwilling makes some of the best saucepan sets and best non-stick frying pans on the market, but the brand is perhaps best known for its knife blocks. The Zwilling Pro 7 Piece Ash Self Sharpening Knife Block is forged from special stainless steel in Germany. It has five knives: 1 larding / garnishing knife (10 cm/61 g), 1 universal knife (13 cm/66 g), 1 meat knife (16 cm/128 g), 1 chef’s knife (20 cm/214 g), and 1 bread knife (20 cm/135 g). There are also some multi-purpose scissors (21 cm) which have their own slot in the self-sharpening block.

The block itself is hardy without looking harsh. It is quite big, so set aside a bit of space to store it. It’s self-sharpening too, with V-edge sharpeners in each knife slot apart from the serrated knife. The handles are plastic, but they’re very grippy and are perfectly sized for your hands. Again, these are handwash recommended, but they’ll last a lifetime.

Ideal Home rated 5 out of 5 stars

3. Ninja Foodi StaySharp Knife Block with Integrated Sharpener

Best knife set for in-built sharpening

Ninja K32005UK approved

Best for: Those with plenty of counter space 
Five knives, a sharpening slot in the block
Large, grippy base, sideways storage
Reasons to buy:
• Excellent quality blades
• The block is great for grabbing
• Every kitchen task is covered

Reasons to avoid:
• Not the most stylish option

Ninja is a brand we usually associate with the best air fryers, not with kitchen knives. The Ninja Foodi StaySharp Knife Block with Integrated Sharpener is the brand’s first attempt, but it’s a great start. With its roots in American design, which typically comes with larger kitchens as standard, it’s not a surprise that this block takes up a lot of counter space. It’s the largest block we tested, coming in at 25.5 x 14.5 x 29.3 centimetres, but it is really good.

The blades arrive razor-sharp, with specific safety instructions on how to use the sharpening side of the block. Ninja recommends doing this every two weeks, and we found it easy to get to grips with. You simply put the blade into the slot, hold it there, and pull the lever to the side up and down fully. The handles have a traditional bolstered look, which we like, and have a good weight. There are five knives: 20cm chef, 20cm bread, 20cm carving, 13cm utility, and 9cm paring.

Ideal Home rated 4.5 out of 5 stars

4. Zyliss Comfort 6 Piece Knife Set

Best knife set without a block

Zyliss Comfort 6 Piece Knife Set IH approved

Best for: Those who don’t want a block 
Six colourful knives with storage sheaths 
Very sharp blades, colourful design, drawer-friendly
Reasons to buy:
• Dishwasher-safe
• Safe for drawers thanks to the covers
• Takes up very little space

Reasons to avoid:
• An unconventional look

We love a good knife block, but if you don’t have the space for one (or you already have one and want a new set to expand your collection) this Zyliss Comfort 6 Piece Knife Set will serve you well. There are six knives in total: an 18.5cm chef’s knife, 18.5cm Santoku knife, 13cm utility knife, 10.5cm serrated paring knife, 8.5cm inch paring knife, and 6.5cm inch peeling knife. Each comes with a cover that slides right on.

Unlike any of the best knife sets we’ve mentioned so far, the Zyliss Comfort 6 Piece Knife Set is dishwasher-safe. It’s also covered for five years by a manufacturer’s guarantee. These knives are made of Japanese steel and thoughtfully designed with a finger guide on the blade to hold the knife with balance, as well as a finger indent on the handle.

Ideal Home rated 4.5 out of 5 stars

5. Viners Assure 5 Piece Knife Block Set

Best knife set for safety features

Viners Assure 5 Piece Knife Block Set

Best for: Safety-conscious shoppers on a budget
Five knives, and a block
Safe and shark design, easy to use block
Reasons to buy:
• Fibre rod block
• Safe, rounded edges
• A small and chic look

Reasons to avoid:
• Hand wash only

With a 20cm chef knife, 20cm bread knife, 20cm carving knife, 12.5cm utility knife, and 9cm paring knife, this knife set is pretty unconventional. It has a block with fibre rods that will store your knives safely, no matter where you place them. Another thing that stets it apart is the safety squared tip, which will mean that your knife doesn’t have a point at the end. It will still cut brilliantly, and they’re a little shorter because of this.

We really enjoy the non-stick coating on the blades of the Viners Assure 5 Piece Knife Block Set, which matches the ergonomic soft-touch handles and black storage block. This block is also pretty compact, and we think it would be great for students, casual cooks, or those on a budget.

Ideal Home rated 4 out of 5 stars

How we reviewed the best knife sets

All of the best knife sets we tested

We reviewed each and every one of the best knife sets in this guide hands-on. In fact, our Small Appliances and Cooking editor Millie Fender tried each and every block herself in her own kitchen for months to give every knife set a fair shot.

There’s only one way to review knives, and that’s to use them. We chopped tricky items like butternut squash, mango, pineapple, meat, and more when testing, making sure that each knife block was integrated into everyday life.

Things we took into account included the experience of holding the knives, the look and layout of the knife block, the style and dimensions, the cleaning process, and the sharpness over a prolonged period of time.

What to know when shopping for the best knife set

Nobody knows knives like the pros, which is why we spote to Wilson, Product Specialist at Robert Welch, to ask for top tips on how to shop for and look after knives.

Is it ok to put knives in the dishwasher?

Robert Welch Signature Book Knife Block

There’s no denying that putting things in the dishwasher is a lot easier than hand-washing, but most knives need to be washed by hand. Robert Welch’s Product Specialist told us “I always say good quality knives are like owning a Rolls Royce, you wouldn’t want to put it through a car wash. Kitchen knives can be easily rinsed after use and dried for maintaining the edge. Placing knives in the dishwasher is not terribly detrimental but will have an effect.

Firstly any contact of the blade in loading and unloading the dishwasher can damage the fine edge or at least dull it slightly, the fact that ALL kitchen knives are hardened means they are naturally magnetic meaning any NON stainless steel items in your dishwasher such as cast iron pans, sieves, utensils etc can cause rust migration. That’s when microscopic particles of non stainless steel metals fly around the dishwasher and are attracted to the knives surface which will oxidise in the humid conditions and cause rust marks. These can be polished off but then if you are going to do that you may as well have washed it by hand.”

How can I extend the life of my kitchen knife set?

When shopping for a kitchen knife set, it’s possible that you’ll be spending upwards of £200, so it’s worth knowing how best to care for your knives to help them last. “Store them correctly, minimising all contact with the blade. Our Robert Welch book block” (the one we tried and loved) “saves space and allows your knives to hang without there ever being a chance of contact with the blade edge.”

What knives do I need for everyday cooking?

“If you would have only one knife in the kitchen you would want it to be a Chef’s knife (also known as a Cook’s knife) whichever size is comfortable for you, Chef’s knives have a straight enough blade to satisfy the choppers and the curved front edge works for those of you who are rockers.

If you were having two knives you’d want the second to be some sort of paring knife, the Robert Welch Signature 8cm is my most favoured knife, great for peeling, turning vegetable and for all fruit and salad preparation.

The third knife I feel is a personal choice, if you eat a lot of home-cooked bread then a bread knife is a good shout, but if you cook a roast every week you’d be better off with a carving knife. This is great for large or small roasts, but excellent for slicing cakes and bakes too as well as large fish prep like whole salmons.”

How do I prevent my knives from rusting?

Viners Assure 5 Piece Knife Block Set

We spoke to the experts at Viners to find out how to prevent kitchen knives from rusting. “It is important to care for your knives properly and the best way to prevent rust spotting is to avoid moisture sitting on the blade for long periods of time. There are several tips to consider:

  1. After washing your knife, dry the piece straight away before placing back into storage.
  2. Avoid leaving your knives to dry naturally.
  3. Avoid cleaning your knives in the dishwasher, as they remain in the water longer then when hand washing, this helps maintain a longer life span.”

The post Best knife set 2021: reviews of knife blocks for every kitchen appeared first on Ideal Home.

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