It is virtually impossible to make a dish without needing to use a knife. With the global kitchen cookware market reaching an estimated 4.6 billion USD by 2024, there are more than a few different types of knives available on the market now. If you are trying to be a regular cook, having a few different types wouldn’t hurt.
But, do you really need to shell out hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars if you want to get a functional knife set? Definitely not! You can easily find the best kitchen knife set under 100 dollars.
Don’t believe us? Then keep reading as I walk you through reviews of ten top knife sets and a buying guide. Let’s begin!
Buyer’s Guide: Knife Sets Under $100
Before you invest in a good knife set, you really should ensure that it is right for you specifically. We all have different cooking habits. With different cooking habits, the usage of knives and cutting techniques differs too. This is why my perfect knife set might not be your perfect one, too.
Here are some things you should consider when getting a knife set –
Every good set should have the three important core knives – a Santoku or chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife, and a paring knife. Many sets tend to miss the bread knife – don’t get them unless you already own a separate bread knife.
Utility knives can come handy for small jobs such as garlic, gingers, or cheese slices.
You will find a few different types of materials when browsing knives. Ever wondered what the difference between them is?
Blades made of stainless steel and carbon are very tough and hardy. Edge retention is excellent due to carbon. They are also quite easy to sharpen. These are very inexpensive too. The downfall is, they are susceptible to rusts & corrosion.
Ceramic blades can be made to be extremely sharp. They are great at resisting corrosion and they also hold stain really well. But, they become dull quicker compared to metal ones. Sharpening them is tough too. And they are rather lightweight and brittle which makes them prone to breakage.
This material is made of 88% steel and 12% chromium, although the percentage of chromium can go up. The added chromium prevents corrosion, giving you a knife that will never get rust. Stainless steel blades are also tough and stay sharp for a long time.
High Carbon Stainless Steel
This is basically the higher-end version of carbon steel. These are made with high-quality steel & carbon; which prevents the shortcomings of carbon steel. Japanese blades are usually made with this material.
It can be made with many different types of ingredients – plastic, metal, wood, steel, and composite. For the best durability as well as strength, go with composite or stainless-steel handles. Wood handles are widely popular too but require some maintenance.
Aside from material, you should also consider how easy they are to maneuver. Ergonomic handles in particular are the most comfortable for prolonged use. They should be lightweight and prevent any finger cramping. If you have exceptionally small or big hands, you should check the handle size too.
Number of Knives
You should not just go for the max number of pieces a set contains. Think about how, or if, you will use each knife.
For example, if you are from a culture that does not have the habit of cooking or eating steaks, chances are you do not make any by yourself at home. Or, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you do not eat steak.
In that case, it would be really wasteful for you to buy a set that contains 6 steak knives, fillet knives, and chopper knives. Similarly, you could be in the need of just two or three basic knives and may not have used for all the additional pieces at all.
Individual lifestyle and eating habits matter a lot. So, choose a knife set for you and your family accordingly.
Particularly in sets, you will always get a few accessories that may or may not be useful to you. Knife block or holder, peeler, sharpener, knife blade covers, kitchen scissors, etc. all fall under this category.
I enjoy getting a matching knife block and sharpener with the set. The block adds to the aesthetic of the kitchen.
Sharpeners help you with keeping the knives in good shape. Peelers and scissors can be really useful to have too, provided that they are good quality.
Weight & Balance
Balance is crucial for the safety and comfort of use. If either the handle or the blade is too heavy, the weight distribution will not be balanced. This will cause discomfort when using.
I know that I have emphasized heavily on weight in this article, but truth be told, it is totally my personal preference. Some people, especially beginners, may prefer lighter knives for easier handling. There is no correct weight for knives.
You should get what you prefer to use on a regular basis, be those lightweight knives or heavier ones.
It is important to factor in how much empty space you have on your kitchen counter when getting a knife set. For people low on counters, you should remember that you need to have some empty space in order to work.
You could get a big block of the set and move it when working, but that is not very convenient.
I would recommend either a magnetic wall strip designed to hold metallic utensils or a flat & narrow holder like the Home Hero set.
If you decide to just keep the knives in your kitchen drawers, make sure each of them has a plastic cover over the blade. Otherwise, they might chip by banging against each other or injure you when absentmindedly reaching for one.
It doesn’t hurt to know that the manufacturer has got your back in case something goes awry during shipment or the first few months of use. Besides, warranties also show that the manufacturer has enough faith in their product’s quality to back it.
10 Best Kitchen Knife Set Under 100
Just because our picks are affordable does not mean they are bad by any means. In fact, you would be surprised at the quality of some of these. Let’s start with the reviews first. I have taken actual buyer’s experiences well as my own into account when reviewing these sets.
KitchenAid KKFSS14BO Kitchen Knife Set
The name KitchenAid does not need any introduction. If you know anything about mixers, then you definitely know how KitchenAid mixers have a huge following of their own. But mixers and mixer attachments are not the only products worth getting from them. Exhibit A: this knife set.
A regular problem with cheaper knives is the handle & blade attachment. The knife handle coming off is dangerous and annoying. This is why I especially loved this knife set so much. KitchenAid has forged the handle and blade to make a unified whole knife. Say goodbye to loose handles!
The chef’s knife in this set is of superb quality. It checks every box – nice weight, good balance, exceptional build, can slice through almost anything with no effort at all. All the other knives and scissors are equally as good. I have enjoyed each and every one of them.
However, the santoku knife handle may feel a bit awkward; especially if you have large hands. It might feel small and off-putting to some people. I myself have small hands and had no problem with it.
The wooden block the set comes with looks great. It will be a good piece to have on display on your kitchen counter. As a cherry on top, it also has a diamond grit sharpener. So, any time you feel like one of your blades are getting dull, just sharpen it up quickly using the sharpener.
One user pointed out that the steak knives are serrated. But the product photos online show them smooth and non-serrated. Nonetheless, they worked great. So I have no complaints. Just keep this in mind if that is something important to you.
Elegant Life Kitchen Knife Set With Wooden Block
This next set comes with a rather unique finish on the knife blades. I like the dark wood color of the box and the handles. Just like the name of the brand suggests, this set looks very elegant.
If you are going through this list with hopes of finding a good housewarming or wedding gift – I will highly recommend this set. Anyone would be delighted to unwrap such a beautiful set of knives that also work very well. They are weighty; feel nice to hold and work with.
Cutting through squishy tomatoes has never been easier. Elegant Life has ensured sharpness by polishing, tempering, and sharpening each blade by hand. Moreover, if rusting knives is an issue you often face, then you should look for sets that contain carbon in the blades.
This set, for example, has been made with a fusion of high carbon and stainless steel. Say no to rust! That being said, it is not 100% immune to rust. If you leave the knife wet after washing or use, it might get rusty over time. So, you need to be extra careful. Always wipe the knives dry after wash.
Also, do not leave them without washing after use.
Thanks to the ergonomic handles, I really enjoyed how the knives felt in my hand. I am satisfied with working with them.
One downside is that this set is a bit high maintenance. It is advised that they are hand washed. You cannot leave them in your dishwasher; there are risks of damaging them that way. And as I have already mentioned before, you should dry them each time after washing.
So, if you are lazy and would rather have something that requires less effort, look for something else.
Emojoy 15 Piece Kitchen Knife Set
Believe it or not, our third pick costs under 50 bucks! And for the price, you cannot beat the value you will get. This standard set from Emojoy packs all the features you would want at an amazing price tag. For a regular kitchen, you really do not need anything more.
This set includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 5-inch utility knife, an 8-inch slicing knife, a 7-inch Santoku knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8-inch bread knife, 6 x 5-inch steak knives, and a knife sharpener. As you can see, it includes everything you may need to cook up almost any dish.
The handles are sturdy and comfortable with the right size and ergonomic design. They are practical and with the right care, will serve you for a long time. Sharpness is about what you would expect from a set like this; works well for most cases.
I personally am not a fan of the black color on the handles. Because I feel like the wooden block and the black handles do not make a good contrast. But this is totally a personal preference. Someone else could very well be a fan of this design.
Emojoy has gone down the lightweight route with this set which is something I do not enjoy. I prefer my knives to have a bit of weight. But I can see how some people would dislike having too much weight on their knives – this set would be perfect for them.
Emojoy 15-Piece Kitchen Knife Set with Wooden Block
Up next is another slightly pricier Emojoy knife set with a beautiful blue finish. Much like the previous one, this set contains 15 knives in almost the same sizes with the exception of the Santoku knife which is 8-inches in this one.
If you own a kitchen with a dark modern interior decoration theme, this set will go perfectly with it. Unless you have an accent color that clashes with the blue, that is. I much prefer this set from Emojoy than the previous solely because of the looks.
Coming to the knives, the manufacturer promises professional quality. These knives are made with copper, stainless steel, and carbon for the perfect durability, precision, rust & stain resistance.
Now let’s take a minute to talk about the handles. They have been carefully designed to be easy on the user. With prolonged use, you will not be getting any finger cramps or aches. That makes this set perfect for small chefs who are just starting out and do not need professional knives yet.
And if it is not clear already, I am a big fan of the turquoise blue finish on the handles. It is very elegant if you ask me. As a cherry on top, they are labeled too, so you will not accidentally mix them up.
While handwashing is recommended to retain quality, dishwashing is not discouraged with this set. So, you can occasionally get away with playing the lazy card.
Be aware to dry them well. Otherwise, you can find them getting rusty, as one user claimed.
McCook MC21 Kitchen Knife Block Sets
McCook specializes in developing sharp sturdy knife sets. When a brand specializes in making just one thing, you know they mean business. This one is no different. You will love our 5th choice!
To ensure each and every customer gets the best quality knives possible, McCook checks each knife a minimum of 5 times before they are approved for shipping. I liked the variety of wooden boxes they offer. All three versions look stylish enough to be a part of any type of kitchen style.
The handles and the blades are made of the same material. As I have mentioned before, having the handle and blade joined like this comes with perks.
The user is not exposed to the dangers of having a handle get loose all of a sudden. The shiny metallic handles do give a standard dinner knife vibe but look cool nonetheless.
But the metallic finish does come with some limitations. It will easily get water spots if you are not careful with drying the entire knife – blade and handle – after each use. I have not used these for long enough to test but high shine metallic surfaces almost always dull down with prolonged regular use.
The quality is top-notch. They can easily be used in culinary schools. Many users have raved about how sturdy and sharp they are. However, they are not quite heavy enough to give you the premium feel.
I also did not like how the high shine handle comes with high maintenance. You have to hand wash these knives, then dry them top to bottom each time after use. Otherwise, they might lose the gleam and even get rusty.
Emojoy 15-Piece Kitchen Chef Knife Set
Yet another entry by Emojoy, this set would be right at home in a kitchen that focuses on dark woods such as Mahogany. It is a bit more premium than the previous two, so you will be getting the same Emojoy quality with some added perks.
The material of the blades is called X50Cr15. You do not have to get into chemistry to understand it. Just know that it is German steel popular for making good quality knives. This particular steel is known for its resistance to corrosion and rust.
It also has high carbon content in the steel, making the blades even harder. Additionally, carbon also allows for better edge retention on knives. Each of the knives on this set has a full tang, a bolster, and a handle that is triple-riveted. The pretty dark wood finish is timeless and would look good anywhere.
But looking good is not the only plus of having a pakka wood handle. It is naturally durable and thus, a great addition to this amazing set of knives.
The built-in sharpener does not actually sharpen the knives. But it hones them well, so it’s not a useless addition.
One issue a few users pointed out is that the scissors that come with are not as high of a quality as the knives are. This is a bummer, considering how great the rest of the set is.
While the cherry color finish is lovely, I would have loved to see a few more finishes of wood in this set. Not all of us have dark rich wooden decoration. The set might look a bit out of place in a modern minimalist light-colored wood kitchen.
Marco Almond KYA27 Rainbow Kitchen Knives Set
This set by Marco Almond is my personal favorite from our top ten list. It is stunning, it is fun, and it is dishwasher safe! Call me lazy, but I really appreciate this feature. What’s there not to like?
The design and aesthetics get a 10/10 from me. When you look at the set, you see a gracefully modern black and turquoise knife set. Pull a knife out, and you will be surprised with a colorful rainbow!
That’s right – each of the blades is coated with Titanium for an eye-catching oil spilled effect. I can’t get enough of it!
If you want the rainbow to take the center stage, you can opt for the all-black version with black handles and titanium blades. Don’t want splashy colors? Then you can get the black titanium versions with graphite or a walnut holder. You get four different options to choose from; which is a lot.
For the previous few sets, I had a consistent complaint – none of them were dishwasher safe. I am a very busy person. While I do love to take good care of my things, I do not always have enough time to spend caring for them. This is why I really appreciate that these have a dishwasher safety tag.
That being said, the titanium needs to be dried off after each wash to maintain its dazzling finish. Otherwise, they will most definitely get water spots and dull down. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Marco Almond KYA32 Kitchen Knives Set
Japanese stainless steel is a popular knife material because they stay sharp and rust-free for a prolonged period. If you are leaning towards Japanese stainless-steel knives, this set by Marco Almond is worth checking out.
Marco Almond has been a professional knife manufacturer for more than a decade. So, I expected nothing but the best from them. And boy did they deliver!
The first thing that you notice immediately when you try out this set is how mighty sharp the knives are. They promised sharpness – and they delivered it. Cutting through anything – by anything, I mean tough meat and bones too – will be a breeze with knives from this set.
As mentioned above, the blades are made of Japanese stainless steel. So, you can expect them to stay sharp like this for a long time. The built-in sharpener is great for honing these knives, too. Use it from time to time and the set will serve you for a long time.
When buying knives that have wooden handles, you should always look for triple-riveted ones. They are the best balanced and longest-lasting knives comparatively. I was delighted to get this feature at a very affordable price point.
However, Marco Almond seems to be cutting the cost at the wooden block. I do not like it – neither did many other users. It is cheaply built; which shows. The knife slots are simply cut out in the block without any internal coating inside.
This may result in getting some wood shavings or dust out every time you pull a knife out. That could be dangerous to have in your food. So, you have to be careful to clean them before each use. Additionally, the wood quality is also bad. It is prone to getting cracks.
But you should definitely get this set for the quality of the knives themselves. My advice would be to get rid of the block altogether and store the knives in your kitchen drawer. Or, you could buy a block separately.
Home Hero Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife Set
This set by Home Hero by far has the most pieces of utensils on our list. Clad in all black and looking stylish as ever, this set is a truly multi-purpose one!
Aside from the basic knives you get in a typical set like this, I really enjoyed the added accessories they provide. More often than not, sets that include accessories like kitchen scissors do not put much thought into the quality of them as they are freebies anyway.
I am happy to report that this is not the case at all with Home Hero. The scissors and peelers are of excellent quality. They are a great addition to the set; one that I appreciate & use a lot. I like the coordination among everything including the peelers. The aesthetic of everything coordinating speaks out to me.
While a knife block with a knife set looks great and adds to the decor of any kitchen, many people may not have enough counter space for keeping one.
Moving the storage block around when you need free counter space is not exactly convenient either. I would suggest a storing holder like this set’s in this case.
It is not bulky like most knife holders are. Rather, it is wider on one side and flatters on the other. This can easily be kept along the wall on a counter. It would leave enough space to work at the front.
You need to be extra careful when cleaning and sharpening these knives. The paint coating may chip off if you are being too harsh with them.
Global 2 Piece Kitchen Knife Set
The last set on this list is the polar opposite of the previous one – it has the least number of knives. It is also the priciest one in this list costing just barely under $100. But quality-wise, this set is very superior.
Global, as a brand, has been well-loved by chefs for many years now. Originating from Japan, Global uses the best materials and revolutionary designs to make some of the best high-end knives in the market.
The Japanese superior craftsmanship and latest engineering techniques produce knives that appeal to at-home gourmet cooks and professional chefs alike.
Because of the brand name, I had high expectations from this set. It contains a fluted 7-inch chef’s knife and a small 3-inch paring knife. I have tested a lot of knives, among which Global’s were one of the sharpest.
They achieve this by making a straight edge all the way from the back of the knife to the tip. Essentially, a sidewise cross-section of a Global knife looks like a really long triangle. Compared to that, a standard beveled knife looks like a long pentagon.
The result of such different make is exceptional sharpness. Seriously, you have to use one of these to know just how sharp they are. Yet, such design comes with downfalls. Because these knives are thinner than regular ones, they get dull faster.
Nevertheless, they can hold up their sharpness for at least 6-7 months’ worth of daily use. I would advise you to sharpen or hone these on a knife sharpener regularly to preserve the quality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the basic maintenance of a knife set?
A: You should store the knives in such a way that they are not in contact with other metals, to prevent chipping. Try to rinse and dry the knives off immediately after use. This will prevent rust and water spots. Sharpen them from time to time.
Q: How thick should my knife be?
A: This depends on personal preference. Generally, 3.5 mm thickness is the best for any knife.
Q: Will the dishwasher damage my knives?
A: Usually, even for dishwasher safe knife sets, using a dishwasher regularly is not recommended. Dishwashing detergents might be too harsh. The cleaning process might be harsh as well, especially for brittle blades such as ceramic.
Q: What does the term ‘full tang’ mean?
A: Full tang means the knife and the blade both are made with the same material, therefore being joined strongly.
Q: Is it necessary to sharpen my knives?
A: Even with the best maintenance, knives can and will get dull over a long period. This is why it’s best if you sharpen them every few months or so. There are several different types of sharpeners available. Sharpening rods made with diamond or ceramic is the best for gentle and smooth performance.
This is where I say goodbye. If you ask me, the Home Hero set provides the best value and the Marco Almond KYA27 set is the one I’d personally choose. You should make a list of things you want from the set you will buy and then check which set from our list checks every box.
That’s all! Hope I was of use in your quest to find the best kitchen knife set under 100. Cheers!