The Best High End Knife Set to Gift Your Loved Ones This Holiday Season

Nowadays, knives are all the hype in the kitchen and owning the best has become the best thing you could do for yourself and your cooking skills. Owning the best knife set that money can buy may seem like not the best thing to do, but in fact it is the complete opposite.

The most expensive knife sets are expensive for a reason, because those knives are built with care and quality to ensure the best precision, sharpness and accuracy over any other knife available.

In this article we will go over the best functions, qualities and things to look for when purchasing the best knife set. We will also cover several of the best knife sets available for purchase on the market today and which one you should be aiming to purchase for yourself.

The main sets of knives we are covering are either Japanese made knives or German made knives, these are the best choices on the market to choose from when it comes to expensive knife sets.


How to choose the best knife set

When choosing a chef knife, many different factors can come into play during the selection process. Durability, hardness of the steel, sharpness of the edge and the overall ability to hold a sharp edge over time are just a few functions chefs tend to consider.

Most chef knives worth considering are either Japanese made steel or German made steel. Some would argue the difference in the two is dependent on the actual functionality or usage of the knife, which is true to an extent.

However, chef knives can be very costly, especially when buying the higher end models. Which is why you want to make sure that when you purchase an expensive knife set, you have to make sure that the set comes with not only a manufacturer guarantee but also a great warranty that will protect the knives over time. Many things could happen where they could get damaged or broken and the warranty will come in handy when you need to either refund, exchange or return your knife set. 

Make sure and do the research before you spring to buy an expensive knife set you may not like. Read most of the reviews and pay close attention to the details of each individual set. While it may not seem like it, all knives are different not just in their looks but mainly it the way they handle and their purpose or functionality. 


What are the benefits of owning an expensive knife set?

While you could go out to a Walmart or any other department store and purchase a cheaper knife set, chances are the knives will damage over time and will not hold up in the fashion you want them to.

When it comes to knives, you most definitely want to splurge for the money and buy the best there is to offer. The overall quality of the knives will surpass those of other knife sets. There is also a reason why they are so expensive and that is the amount of time and precision that goes into each knife.

Generally, the more expensive knife sets are hand-made while the cheaper sets are manufactured by machines and pumped out in high numbers which really doesn’t lend itself to the same level of meticulousness.


Address the controversy

Japanese made steel knives are designed to be more lightweight due to the blade tapering off in the handle as opposed to the full tang construction of German made steel knives. This enables the knife to be more front end weighted allowing for more controlled movements.

The edge of the Japanese blade is a clean 15 degrees meaning a sharper edge, while the German blades tend to be thicker. The fact of the matter really depends on what you are planning on using the knives for and how often you will be using them.

Otherwise, most people really have a preference from one or the other when it comes down to the smaller details and special features of each knife set.


How different are the materials that make up knives?

All knives are made from steel. Steel, as is commonly known, is a metal created from iron and carbon. Steel knives made with a higher carbon content tend to be much harder.

Traditionally, Japanese made steel Knives have a higher carbon content than the German made steel knives. This allows Japanese made steel knives to be thinner and have sharper edges.

However, with a lower carbon content, German made steel knives are softer, making them more durable as well as allowing them to hold a sharp edge longer without sharpening. Basically, German made steel knives are made to be the workhorse of the kitchen. They are used in commercial kitchens where they cut through bone, hard vegetables and ice.


How long do knives last?

When purchasing expensive knife sets, most likely this will be the last knife set you will ever buy because they are designed to last a lifetime. As long as you care for your knife properly and clean and sharpen it regularly then they will last forever.

There are many things to avoid doing to your knives to ensure they last longer. One should not let them fall on the ground or be exposed to extreme high or low temperatures. Also, when using the knives, always use a cutting board. Never cut on a surface that could potentially damage your knife in the long run.

 The most important thing to remember when caring for your knives, is to NEVER put them in the dishwasher. Always hand wash your knives and dry them immediately with a dry towel. Using a dishwasher will expose them to not only too much moisture for extended periods of time but also to drastically high temperatures that could warp and damage all parts of the knife.

With that being said, also never allow your knife to soak in liquids like soapy water as the same could happen to them.


We start our list off with this great set of German made stainless steel pressed knife set. While it is forged in Germany, it is finished in Switzerland.

This set of knives comes with a lifetime warranty, but only against defects from the manufacturer, which is kind of a letdown. However, it is one of the most affordable set of knives on our list.


The set comes with a 17-piece set and a wooden block to hold all the knives as well. The set includes: a boning knife, santoku knife, chef knife, bread slicer, paring knife, slicing knife, 6 steak knives, a sharpening steel and a pair of kitchen shears.

The knives all have a full tang to support the construction of the knife giving lasting durability. They are also triple riveted to ensure the hold is permanent. The ergonomically made handle is covered with hard plastic and weighted evenly to ensure even distribution throughout the knife as well as easy handling. This set of knives would be a great addition to any kitchen. 

Pros

  • 17- piece set of knives with every knife you would need in a kitchen included
  • Full tang for lasting durability
  • Triple riveted to prevent breaking or cracking
  • Agronomical shape to ensure easy handling

Cons

  • Lifetime warranty only covers manufacturer defects
  • Made in Germany but finished in Switzerland

This is the most expensive set on our list as it is the big daddy set of all knives. It hails from the Wusthof company, which is the most trusted knife makers in the world, because they have been doing it longer than anyone else. Also, this knife set comes with a lifetime warranty in case you need to return, exchange or want a refund on the set of knives at any time.

This set is a huge 26-piece set which has all the knives mentioned above plus a straight edge utility knife, a serrated utility knife, a peeling knife, an extra paring knife, a carving fork, 2 extra steak knives and a wonder knife.

The knives are also constructed of high-carbon stainless steel with a hardness rating of 58 on the Rockwell scale. All the knives also have full tangs and are triple riveted to ensure a strong construction to protect against wear and tear over time.

The handles are also finished with a pressed synthetic product and the blades are equipped with PEtec technology to gain an extra 20% sharpness to the edge. These knives are hard to come up with downfalls because this knife set has it all!

Pros

  • 26-piece high carbon stainless steel knife set with wooden block for holding
  • PEtec technology for an extra 20% sharpness added to the blade’s edges
  • Triple riveted, synthetic press product handles and a full tang construction
  • Lifetime warranty for all exchanges, returns and refunds

Cons

  • Most expensive set on the market, but worth it
  • Extra knives may be unnecessary in the long run

Here is another great set of knives from Wusthof. The only difference from this one and the one above is it is much cheaper but also contains more knives!

This 36-piece set comes with every knife imaginable and also has a lifetime warranty to protect the set from any damages that may occur while owning them.

They have the PEtec technology for blade sharpness, are triple riveted for construction support and have a full tang to ensure durability as well. The knives are also made of a high carbon stainless steel that will not break over time as well as hold a sharp edge.

The set contains all the same knives as well as 2 cheese knives, 4 cook's knives, a straight meat fork, a cleaver, a super slicer, an extra bread knife, a tomato knife and a trimming knife.

This is a huge set with a beautiful finished wood block to hold them all, although it may take up some counterspace with all the knives it contains.

Pros

  • 36-piece high carbon stainless steel knife set with wooden block for holding
  • PEtec technology for an extra 20% sharpness added to the blade’s edges
  • Triple riveted, synthetic press product handles and a full tang construction
  • Lifetime warranty for all exchanges, returns and refunds

Cons

  • Many extra knives may be unnecessary in the long run
  • Very large and will take up extra counter space

These knives are the step up in the Wusthof collection in terms of performance and technology. They contain all the same great qualities of the other Wusthof knife sets as well as the perks that come with them.

The only difference these knives have that set them apart from the others is the blade construction. The steel is pressed several more times to create a much harder steel and they are laser tested to ensure you will never need to sharpen them as long as you take care of them.

The set comes with: Paring Knife, Utility Knife, Eight Steak Knives, Serrated Utility Knife, Hollow Edge Santoku, Boning Knife, Utility Knife, Cook’s Knife, Hollow Edge Santoku, Bread Knife, Hollow Edge Carving Knife, Cook’s Knife, Steel, Come-Apart Kitchen Shears and a 22-Slot Block which makes the set just a little bit cheaper than the last set mentioned. 

This is great set of knives and is widely used by many professional chefs in the industry today.

Pros

  • 22-piece extra pressed high carbon stainless steel knife set with laser optimization
  • PEtec technology for an extra 20% sharpness added to the blade’s edges
  • Triple riveted, synthetic press product handles and a full tang construction
  • Lifetime warranty for all exchanges, returns and refundsTriple riveted, synthetic press product handles and a full tang construction

Cons

  • Higher quality of knives may not be necessary for everyday home cooks
  • Higher price for a smaller number of knives compared to other sets

This is the best set of Shun knives available on the market and while they are similar to the Wusthof brand of knife sets, they differ greatly in the production value and overall construction. These knives also come with a lifetime warranty to protect you from any damages and ensure refunds, and exchanges over time.

The set comes with all the basic and some essential knives you would find in any knife set coming to a total of 21 knives. They are also triple riveted, full tang construction and have an ergonomically made handle for even weight distribution and easy handling as well.

They are constructed of vg-10 stainless steel clads with 32 layers of high-carbon stainless steel creating a look of Damascus steel with ultra-sharp 16-degree blade angle and incredible blade edge retention. The vg-10 construction is the of the sharpest edges of any blade on the market, no other blade will match up to its precision.

Most chefs use these knifes for accuracy while the Wusthof are meant to hold up to a lot of cutting action. They are also made in Japan and nowhere else on the planet. If precision and accuracy are a concern to you, then this is the set or brand name to spring for.

Pros

  • 21-piece vg-10 stainless steel clads with 32 layers of high-carbon stainless steel
  • The sharpest edge and highest retention of any knife on the market
  • Lifetime warranty for all exchanges, returns and refunds
  • Very cool Damascus pressed steel look on the blades

Cons

  • Built for precision and accuracy, not for large amounts of cutting throughout the day
  • Thinner blades which are sharper but more prone to chipping or breaking

Conclusion

When it comes down to picking the best expensive knife set out there, it really is just splitting hairs between all of them. Because frankly, all of these knife sets would be great choices for a new addition to your kitchen, but it really depends on what you are looking for exactly.

Make a list of your wants and needs and do the research over all the knifes you find interesting. Then, cross reference the knife sets with your list of wants and needs to find the best expensive knife set thatto best suits your needs. Maybe ask some chefs which youthey prefer to better find out an answer.

In the long run, you can't go wrong with Wusthof or Shun because they are well known knife makers for many years and come highly recommended by any chef.

This post was most recently updated on December 6th, 2018

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