A person cutting food on a plate

Best Inexpensive Kitchen Knife Set

If your kitchen is typical, it is likely furnished with a few pots and lids that don’t necessary match; a stack of baking and roasting pans that may or may not be the right size for the task at hand and a drawer crammed with utensils in a variety of conditions and configurations (some of which you don’t know how to use but some day you might) and several knives none of which are sharp enough to be of much good.

A person cutting food on a plate, with Kitchen and Hand

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I believe the ideal kitchen should be furnished minimally. By that I mean it should contain an adequate supply of excellent quality, highly useful pieces of cookware and utensils.

If that doesn’t describe your kitchen, it’s time to take inventory and dejunk your cupboards and drawers so that each piece of equipment you decide to retain is used often, performs adequately and has its own place. That’s the kind of simplicity that has a beauty all its own.

With that in mind, today I want to offer a little knife advice together with some points to follow when you’re ready to purchase for yourself or as a gift. 

The best knives are high-carbon stainless steel, finely honed, perfectly balanced and expensive—a single chef’s knife can easily run $500 or more! While investing in knives should be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, I think it’s a mistake to spend a lot of money on a knife. It’s more important to invest in knives that can be sharpened and then determine to keep sharp whatever knife you do buy. You can get the best chef’s knife but if you don’t maintain it, there’s no point in buying it. A dull knife together with the amount of force necessary to make it do its job is an accident waiting to happen.

An excellent knife starter set that will handle all of your needs is a 3-inch straight-edge paring knife for peeling fruits and vegetables and cutting small items; a 5-inch utility knife for slicing small items like cheese, fruits or sandwich ingredients and an 8-inch chef’s knife for slicing, chopping and mincing. A long serrated knife is a luxury and you’ll be glad you have one when it comes to slicing French bread, fresh tomatoes or a prime rib roast because they have a gripping quality that allows one to lie paper-thin if necessary.

BEST INEXPENSIVE BASIC KNIFE STARTER SET Wusthof PRO 5-Piece Starter Knife Set. Made in Solingen, Germany, Wusthof is a highly respected brand of high-carbon steel cutlery, and considered top of the line by professional chefs. Includes cook’s knife, paring knife, bread knife, steel and 8-pocket knife storage roll. This basic set may be all the knives you ever need. This is beautiful basic set of knives. About $95.

BEST INEXPENSIVE HOME KNIFE SHARPENER: Wusthof Precision Edge 2 Stage Knife Sharpener. Good knives should be sharpened professionally once every year or two. Between sharpenings, however, you will want to keep those blades honed to a razor’s edge. Safe and easy to use, this two-stage knife sharpener requires nothing but a few easy strokes to keep blades that sharp. Its V-shaped cutting head with two crossed carbide blades puts a quick edge on knives. About $20.

The Wusthof basic starter set with the knife sharpener would make a perfect gift for any home cook—or aspiring young chef.

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5 replies
  1. Michele Phillips says:

    I have many Rada cutlery knives. I never want any other. I can buy them at local Amish stores or have a fundraiser catalog party with them. We use it as a fundraiser for our church. People actually ask us when we’re having our next party. I can buy as few or as many as I want. I love the bagel, bread, tomato, chef, paring, butcher, etc. knives and peelers. I use their sharpener to keep the knives sharp. People who visit and help out when we’re making a meal, ask about where to buy them.

  2. George Blogger says:

    Very helpful points Mary. If I can add something to the discussion, like with almost anything crucial which we buy – it really depends on person’s budget and purpose of use. Carbon steel is very cheaper and playing an important part in kitchen and it’s a chef choice. A well cooked person having 3 to 4 knives to maintain a kitchen as well.

  3. Pat says:

    I love german products. I worked for Rowenta as a teenager and made coffee cups and irons. German companies used to make really good products but some have gotten sloppy over the years and use plastic parts which are inferior (but cheaper) making products not last as long as they used to. Every time I go home to see my mother I am always bringing new things back with me.. I really miss the pots and pans. They are metal with a ceramic coating.

    • PatriotPeg says:

      we went to the xmas markets in germany several yrs ago. most of the stuff was from china!!!! luckily we were forewarned by a german friend. still went to the market but only purchased food and drink.


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