Top 10 Best Beginner Knife Sets 2020

Best Beginner Knife Set

Who needs a Beginner Knife Set?
Anyone who has ever gone to study in a new city or experienced moving into a new house or apartment has faced the same problem: starting from scratch with a bare kitchen. Upgrading old and dull knives that have been collecting in the drawer over many years is another common reason for looking for a quality basic knife set. The term “beginner” here doesn’t necessarily mean new to knives/kitchen tools, but rather a starting point for anyone interested in acquiring their own basic set of quality knives.

So – is there such a thing as the best beginner knife set? Is it better to buy the knives individually or is it possible to find the best beginner knife set from the collections offered by the manufacturers? A considerable amount of research and knowledge is helpful in answering these questions, so that’s the origin of this post about finding the Best Beginners Knife Sets out there. Though selecting individual knives for a beginner’s set is by far the more difficult option, keep in mind that you can always upgrade any individual knife in any of the sets below if you discover a better alternative.

Some of the sets on this page are more economical than others but they are all very good quality for what you spend on them. A bit surprisingly, we found a few selections for our Best Beginner Knife Sets page that are available for under $100. If you are looking for even more options in the economical price range, be sure to check out: Knives below $10 and Top 10 Kitchen Knives and Kitchen Knife Blocks for under $100.

Mundial 5100 Series Black 3-Piece Knife Starter Set

Mundial 5100 Series 3-Piece Knife Starter Set

The Mundial 3-piece full tang cutlery set includes the most used knives in the kitchen. Instead of a typical Chef knife, they have included a 7-inch Santoku knife which is ideal for chopping, dicing and slicing any size or type of food. Mundial made the Santoku blade with a series of air pockets in the blade or “Granton edge” to ensure smoother, thinner slices as well as prevent food from sticking to the blade while cutting. The 6-inch serrated utility knife is great for slicing softer foods such as tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, bread or bagels. Of course, you can use it for harder foods such as carrots or beets as well. The included 3-1/2-inch all-purpose paring knife is great for peeling/paring veggies, fruits and other small tasks. All knives are fully forged from high-carbon chrome-molybdenum stainless steel and feature a durable polyacetal handle in the traditional three-rivet style. They are well balanced with ergonomic handles that feel great in the hand. If just the essentials are required, this set does the trick.

Included in the Set:

  • 3-1/2-inch Paring Knife
  • 6-inch serrated Utility Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife with Granton edge

Each knife undergoes Mundial’s computerized blade grinding and polishing process to create a precise taper from tip to bolster. Additionally, every Mundial knife is hand sharpened and individually tested before leaving the factory. Lifetime guarantee ensures this set will last well beyond any initial kitchen phase.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Knife Set

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Knife Set

Most will recognize the iconic Swiss Army Knife from Victorinox but the company makes much more just pocket knives. The knives in this set are designed to handle both small and large kitchen tasks. Crafted with high carbon stainless steel, each knife is conical ground and ice tempered to ensure long-lasting sharpness. Designed with a bolsterless edge that allows for easier sharpening, the entire blade can be effectively used for chopping, mincing, slicing and dicing. The ergonomic Fibrox Pro handles are textured with a non-slip grip to ensure constant control and stability, even when wet. The knives are weighted and balanced for easy handling. The Utility Knife and Chef Knife both have long, sloping curved blades that can be used to “rock chop” for effortless mincing and chopping. Some might know them under the former importer’s name “Forschner” but all Victorinox products are known for their quality and durability.

Included in this set:

  • 8-inch Chef Knife
  • 10.25-inch Bread Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 4-inch Paring Knife

The handles are dishwasher safe but we highly recommend washing all your knives by hand. The knives meet the strict National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards for public health protection. Despite the label of “pro” included in the name, this economical set is equally useful to both pro and beginner kitchens and includes a lifetime warranty.

Cangshan Y2 Series Knife Block Set

Cangshan Y2 Series Knife Block Set

Cangshan uses high-alloy X50Cr15MoV German Steel with HRC 58° +/- 2 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale for his Y2 knife series. Every Cangshan blade goes through an ultra-precise 6 stage heat treatment to ensure that the blades stay sharp for a long time and are easy to resharpen. Each blade is sharpened to a 16-degree edge. The full tang knives achieve an ideal balance due to the combination of bolster and cap on the end of each handle. Nothing beats a well-balanced knife and this set includes a lot of them.

The set includes:

  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 5-inch serrated Utility Knife
  • 3.5-inch Paring Knife
  • Acacia wood Knife Block

Please do wash these knives only by hand and never in a dishwasher. The knives meet the strict National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards for public health protection. Also available in both smaller and (much) larger sets via the link below.

Global Knife 3 Piece Set

Global Knife 3 Piece Set

Global Knives are very possibly the first choice for anyone searching for flexible blades. The unique molybdenum/vanadium Cromova 18 high carbon stainless steel blades are super thin, yet still with a high hardness rating of 56-58° Rockwell. These are quite different than traditional German-style blades. The handles have stainless steel molded dimples for a safe grip. The whole knife is from one piece of metal. What really sets this knife apart is that the handle is filled with just the right amount of sand to create the perfect balance. A final unique feature is that the blades are sharpened to a fine edge rather than beveled (like most common knives) which means that further sharpening of the knives is easily achieved. Think razorblade!

Included in this Set:

  • 7-Inch Hollow Edge Asian Chef’s Knife
  • 5-Inch Prep Knife
  • 3.5-Inch Paring Knife

Take note of the knuckle clearance offered with the Chef’s Knife as well as the hollow edge feature which prevents food from sticking to the blade. This remarkable set is made in Japan and includes a lifetime warranty.

Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set

Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set

For this exceptionally stylish set, Mercer Culinary uses a high carbon, no-stain German X50 Cr Mo V15 cutlery steel which resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration. The knives are forged for strength and durability with a full tang that runs the entire length of the handle for superior balance. The blades are finished with a taper-ground edge which ensures easy honing and long-lasting sharpness with increased efficiency for cutting and chopping. The ergonomic Santoprene handles are especially well known for offering a comfortable and non-slip grip, even with wet hands.

One of the nicest features of this set is the included glass block. Being able to easily select the desired knife from the see-through block saves times and looks great too. The only possible disadvantage is that you might have to clean the glass from time to time.

The set includes:

  • 8-Inch Chef Knife
  • 8-Inch Bread Knife
  • 6-Inch Boning Knife
  • 5-Inch Utility Knife
  • 5-Inch Paring Knife
  • Glass Knife Holder/Block

Mercer Culinary gives a limited lifetime warranty for their knives. They should be washed by hand and not in a dishwasher. The knives meet the strict National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards for public health protection.

Rada Cutlery Kitchen Knife Starter Sets

Rada Cutlery came up with a nice idea of combining many of their best knives into two very different Beginner Knife Sets. The 2 sets together form an impressive “full set” but either set would be a great choice for yourself or others as a gift for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. You can not go wrong with either of these Rada Cutlery Starter Knives Gift Sets as they are often priced quite economically. For the blades, Rada uses high carbon surgical-quality stainless steel. All knives are hand sharpened before being packed. The handles are made from brushed cast aluminum. They are quite thick and feel great in the hand.

The knives in both of these sets are rather lightweight and thus require less effort to use than heavier options. For those that feel a lighter knife makes lighter work, these sets will be a great choice. Rada Cutlery Knives are Made in the USA since 1948.

Rada Cutlery Starter Knives Gift Set 1

Rada Cutlery S38 Stainless Steel Kitchen Knives Starter Gift Set

This is the first Rada Cutlery Set to complete Set 2 (listed below).

The set includes:

  • 7-inch Slicer Knife
  • 6.25-Inch Cook’s Knife
  • 6-inch Bread Knife
  • 4.375-Inch Super Parer Knife
  • 5-Inch Tomato Slicer Knife
  • 1.75-Inch Vegetable Peeler Knife
  • 3.25-Inch Regular Paring Knife

Rada products are covered by the Rada lifetime guarantee. These knives are not dishwasher safe so please remember to clean them by hand. Also available with black resin (dishwasher tolerant) handles via the link below.

Rada Cutlery Starter Knives Gift Set 2

Rada Cutlery Starter Knives Gift Set

This is the second Rada Cutlery Set to complete Set 1 (listed above).

The set includes:

  • 7-inch Serrated Slicer
  • 5.375-inch Stubby Butcher Knife
  • 4.75-inch Cook’s Utility Knife
  • 4.875-inch Utility/Steak Knife
  • 3.25-inch Heavy Duty Paring Knife
  • 2.375-inch Granny Paring Knife
  • 5.25-inch Cheese Knife

Rada products are covered by the Rada lifetime guarantee. These knives are not dishwasher safe so please remember to clean them by hand. Also available with black resin (dishwasher tolerant) handles via the link below.

Sky Light Kitchen Knives Set

Sky Light Kitchen Knives Set


The blades on the Sky Light knives are composed of a single piece of fully forged premium no-stain German X50CrMoV15 steel. The high carbon content allows the knives to be sharpened easily, maintaining the edge while resisting stains and discoloration. After tampering, the knives are nitrogen cooled for enhanced hardness, flexibility and corrosion resistance.
The full tang construction provides added strength and balance for exceptional slicing, chopping, and dicing. Triple rivets in the high polymer handle ensures a long-lasting kitchen tool. The knives are each hand-polished with a 15°angle per side. The blades are double-sided, so all the 3 knives are suitable for right or left-handed users.

Included in the set:

  • 8-inch Chef Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 4-inch Paring Knife

Sky Light provides a lifetime warranty against material and workmanship.

15-Piece Emojoy Knife Set with Rose Wood Block

Emojoy Knife Set

The first thing you might notice about the massive 15-Piece Emojoy Knife Set are the beautiful triple-riveted Pakkawood handles. Together with the fully exposed tangs & forged bolsters, these knives definitely look good – but their performance is equally impressive. Each of the larger knives is made from German X50Cr15 high-Carbon stainless steel with a hardness rating of HRC 55° +/- 2 on the Rockwell scale. The strong bolster ensures stability & easy control of the knife while making precise cuts. The included shears are especially useful with clasp design and groove in the blade.

What is in the box:

  • 8” Chef Knife
  • 8” Slicing Knife
  • 8” Santoku Knife
  • 8” Bread Knife
  • 5” Utility Knife
  • 3.5” Paring Knife
  • Kitchen Scissors
  • Knife Sharpener
  • 6 4.5” Steak Knives
  • Wood Knife Block

Considering a staggering total of 15 pieces: 6 high-quality knives, 2 especially functional kitchen tools, 6 steak knives + a great looking wooden knife block – this set offers incredible value and exceptional quality. The knives should never go in a dishwasher, especially considering the beautiful wooden handles. The set comes with a full money-back guarantee from EMOJOY.

Chicago Cutlery 14-Piece Damen Knife Set

Chicago Cutlery 14-Piece Damen Knife Set

Chicago Cutlery calls this set the Damen collection and they say it is Asian-inspired. If you look at the handles you can see what they mean. The Damen collection features high-carbon stainless steel forged blades with a triple rivet polymer handle. The full tang adds strength, balance, and control for better cutting. This is a nice beginner set that is attractively priced and includes the following:

  • 7.75-inch Chef Knife
  • 7.75-inch Bread Knife
  • 4.5-inch Utility Knife
  • Two 3.5-inch Parers
  • Six 4.5-inch Steak Knife
  • Sharpening Steel
  • Shears
  • Pine Wood Block

The Damen line is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

McCook 14 Piece Knife Set

McCook 14 Piece Knife Set

Another interesting knife block set made from one piece of metal is this 14 Piece Knife Set. The McCook MC29 German Stainless Steel Knife Set with a very unique built-in in-slot sharpener in the block. McCook has its own taper grind edge technology which provides a very good sharpness for precise cutting. With the built-in sharpener, they are especially easy to re-sharpen anytime. The ergonomic handles provide a safe grip. The knives are very well balanced to ensure comfort and stability while using for prolonged periods. All the knives are FDA approved.

Included in this set:

  • 8-inch Chef Knife
  • 8-inch Slicing Knife
  • 5-inch Santoku Knife
  • 5.5-inch serrated Utility Knife
  • 5-inch Utility Knife
  • 3.5-inch Paring Knife
  • Six 4.5-inch Steak Knife
  • All-purpose Kitchen Shears
  • Knife Block with built-in sharpener

McCook offers a 45 days free exchange or money-back guarantee. Remember – the knives should never go into the dishwasher.

The Sets That Almost Made it into the Best Beginner Knife Sets

After researching so many options for this list, it was not easy selecting just 10 for the best. In case any of the selections above are out of stock or for anyone just looking for further options, the following are good quality for the price.

Chicago Cutlery Essentials 5-Piece Knife Set

Chicago Cutlery Essentials Knife Block Set

The Chicago Cutlery Essentials 5 Knife Set comes with stainless steel blades that are sharpened for precision cutting. Triple-riveted, contoured handles are easy to grip making it easy to cut everything from fruits and veggies to cheeses and meats. Full metal tang provides added strength, balance, and control for precise cutting, with added safety and stability.

For a very economical price, you really can not expect too much from this basic set. If budget is the most important factor, sharpening these knives after every few uses makes them quite usable.

Includes in this set:

  • 3-1/2-inch Paring Knife
  • 4-3/4-inch Utility Knife
  • 5-inch Partoku Knife
  • 6-inch Chef Knife
  • 4-slot Wooden Block

Chicago Cutlery’s Essentials 5-Piece Knife Set comes with a full lifetime warranty. Hand washing is recommended.

AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set

AmazonBasics Premium 18-Piece Knife Block Set

The AmazonBasics Premium Set is made from professional-quality stainless steel with precision-honed blades. Each knife has an ergonomically designed handle to ensure a secure, comfortable grip, as well as a full bolster to help keep fingers a safe distance from the blade. The triple-riveted full-tang construction achieves well balanced knives, making them very easy to use. One notable feature of this set is the inclusion of two different large knives – both the Chef knife and Santoku knife. The Chef knife has a curved blade more suitable for rocking motions (rock-chop) compared with the Santoku, which has a more straight blade that works better for up and down chopping. The included eight steak knives each feature micro-serrated edges that never require sharpening.

Included in this set:

  • 8-inch Chef Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 8-inch Slicing Knife
  • 8-inch bread Knife
  • 5.5-inch Utility Knife
  • 6-inch Boning Knife
  • 3.5-inch paring Knife
  • 8 x 4.5-inch Steak Knives
  • 8-inch Kitchen shears
  • 8-inch Sharpener
  • Wood Block

Chicago Cutlery Essentials Stainless Steel Knife Block Set

Chicago Cutlery Essentials Stainless Steel Knife Block Set

Chicago Cutlery has compiled a great essential set of knives which contains two sizes of Santoku knives in place of the more typically included Chef knife. All knives in this Chicago Cutlery Essentials 15 Piece Knife Set are made with stainless steel blades that are sharpened for precision cutting. Each knife features a 25 Degree Taper Grind edge for excellent sharpness in precise cutting right out of the box while also ensuring easier re-sharpening in the future. Triple-riveted, contoured handles are particularly easy to grip – perfect for cutting everything from fruits and veggies to cheeses and meats. The full metal tangs provide added strength, balance, and control for precise cutting, with added safety and stability.

Includes in this set:

  • 3-inch Peeling Knife
  • 3-1/2-inch Paring Knife
  • 4-1/2-inch serrated Fruit Knife
  • 4-3/4-inch serrated Utility Knife
  • 5-Inch Santoku Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 8-inch Scallop Bread Knife
  • Kitchen Shears
  • six serrated Steak Knives
  • Wood Block

Chicago Cutlery’s Essentials 15-Piece Knife Set comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defect. Hand washing is recommended.

AmazonBasics 14-Piece Kitchen Knife Block Set

AmazonBasics 14-Piece Kitchen Knife Set

This extremely economical AmazonBasics 14-Piece Kitchen Knife Block Set features high-carbon stainless-steel blades with sharp edges. Each knife in the set comes equipped with an ergonomically designed, triple-riveted POM (plastic over-molded) handle for a secure, comfortable grip and enhanced control. Each knife’s triple-riveted construction securely attaches the handle to the stainless-steel tang, which runs from the blade through the end of the handle. The knives are noticeably light, so they are especially easy to work with. As would be expected with most knives in this price range, the blades require sharpening a bit more often with the included blade sharpener to maintain a sharp edge for safe and efficient use.

Keeping the price in mind – for the money you pay, this set is a steal!

The set includes:

  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 8-inch Slicing Knife
  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 5.5-inch Utility Knife
  • 3.5-inch Paring Knife
  • 6 x 4.5-inch Steak Knives
  • 8-inch Kitchen Shears
  • 8-inch Sharpener
  • Pinewood Block
Filed under: Ultimate Guides

Ivan

I'm Ivan - living and recently working in Southern California as a sous chef at various leading hotel chains. I’ve been fascinated by knives since my childhood in the Rocky Mountains. My career has made me passionate about all aspects of knives and I love sharing what I discover.

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