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Last updated: February 14, 2021
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A professional knife set can cost well over $1000 but not everyone needs or can afford such high-end pieces. For those looking for cheaper options, you need to choose carefully to ensure you’re still getting quality knives without the high cost. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you, picking the best knife sets under $200 for our reviews. All you need to do is decide on a favorite.
For the 7 sets in our reviews, we looked at pieces that included some specific features. All of the sets are of the highest quality available at this price range, ensuring they’ll last for years. Some of them include self-sharpening slots for easy knife maintenance. We also added sets with varying knives, so you can choose the perfect one to meet your cooking needs. If you’re in the market for the best knife set under $200, check out our detailed reviews and handy buying guide for more information.
If you’re looking for the best knife block set under $200, this may be the right one for you. The Calphalon Classic Cutlery Knife Block Set comes with a variety of durable, high-quality knives in a gorgeous blonde rubberwood block, with a decent price that fits into any budget.
This set includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, a 6-inch serrated utility knife, a 5-inch Santoku, a 4.5-inch paring knife, and 6 steak knives. There is also a pair of kitchen shears in the set that fits nicely in its own spot at the front of the block.
These knives are all made using forged, high-carbon steel that won’t stain, no matter what you’re cutting. They also have a full tang design that extends the metal of the blade into the handle for higher strength and better balance. The handles have triple-riveting, with a contoured shape that fits nicely in your hand while maintaining your grip. Labels on the end of the handle make it easier to choose the right knife when they are in the block.
Another handy feature is the ceramic sharpeners built into the block. This sharpens the blades every time you pull one out.
What we liked: The knives in this set are made of forged steel, with a full-tang design and labels on the handles. The built-in sharpeners keep them ready to use at all times.
What could be better: Though there is a bread knife available that matches this set, it must be purchased separately.
If you’re looking for the best kitchen knife set under $200, the Henckels International Modernist Knife Block Set is a good one to try out. This set is well-made using one solid piece of quality German stainless steel, making it more durable than knives made up of separate handles and blades.
As well as being sturdy and strong, these knives have some special features, including the lightweight handle with a sandblasted texture to help you maintain your grip as you use it. There is a fully forged bolster between the handle and the blade, balancing your cutting while protecting your fingers. On the end cap is an embossed logo for a unique touch that adds some extra aesthetic appeal that catches the eye.
There are a wide variety of knives in this set, including a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a Santoku knife, a paring knife, 2 utility knives, one of which is serrated, 4 steak knives, plus kitchen shears and a sharpening tool to keep those blades as sharp as possible. The black knife block is sleek, contrasting the shining steel color of the knives beautifully.
What we liked: These knives are made of high-quality German stainless steel with one-piece construction and easy-grip handles for fewer accidents in the kitchen. They are also lightweight, with a sleek style that looks great in any kitchen.
What could be better: Though the manufacturer claims that this set is dishwasher safe, it is best to hand wash them and dry them immediately afterward to avoid rusting.
Getting a set of quality steak knives doesn’t have to cost a fortune, as the Cangshan V2 Series Steak Knife Set proves. This set contains 8 serrated steak knives, forged using high-alloy German steel using a multi-step ULTRA6 heat treatment process to increase their durability and maintain their edge, with ice-hardened blades that help improve the sharpness as you use them.
These blades are also hand-polished and hand-sharpened, with precise craftsmanship and excellent quality to ensure they respond well and perform as they are supposed to when you use them in your kitchen.
The handles on these steak knives have a classic design, with a curved ergonomic grip and an angled bolster for a stronger knife. There is also a full-tang design, with the metal of the blade reaching to the end of the handle to reduce wear and increase the knife’s strength.
As well as the high-quality steak knives, this set also includes a solid Acadia wood block for safe and organized storage. The block is handcrafted, each one with a unique grain for a one-of-a-kind look.
What we liked: The Cangshan V2 Series Steak Knife Set is handcrafted using German steel with an ice-hardened blade, a full-tang design, and a classic handle that adds style to any kitchen.
What could be better: These knives don’t resist stains as well as some other sets. To avoid this, you need to hand wash and dry them as soon as possible after use to prevent stains from discoloring your knives.
The best knife sets under $200 are high-quality pieces that make your work in the kitchen as easy as possible. The Henckels International Graphite Block Set contains a variety of durable and stylish knives in a sleek block that keeps them all organized and ready to use.
The knives in this set are made of German stainless steel, with a lightweight, ergonomic handle, and a fully-forged bolster in between them. There is a seamless transition from the satin-finished blade to the polymer-coated handle, helping balance the knife perfectly for consistent cutting and chopping. The end caps are embossed for a unique touch.
Included in the set are a chef’s knife, bread knife, Santoku, 1 regular and 1 serrated utility knife, a paring knife, 6 steak knives, and kitchen shears. This gives you a knife for every situation.
The knife block is stained ash wood with a brushed stainless steel cap for a sleek, modern look. There are labeled knife slots, all of which include a built-in knife sharpener, except for the serrated steak knife slots.
What we liked: These knives have a one-piece design, with a fully forged bolster that offers a seamless transition between the blade and handle. The shelf-sharpening block includes labeled slots for simple organization.
What could be better: Though the handles on these pieces are nice quality and have a good grip, they are a bit wider than handles on other knives, making the bigger knives a bit too thick for some hands.
Those who want every knife they’ll ever need all in one set will love the Chicago Cutlery Insignia2 Knife Block Set. There are 16 knives in this one, including an 8-inch chef’s knife, an 8-inch slicer, a 7-inch Santoku, a 7-inch serrated bread knife, A 5.5-inch utility knife, a 5-inch boning knife, 3-inch and 3.5-inch paring knives, and 8 4.5-inch forged steak knives, plus a pair of handy kitchen shears.
These knives are all made of forged high-carbon stainless steel, with a full tang, heavy-duty bolster, and ergonomic polymer handles with triple stainless steel rivets to hold all those pieces together. These knives are durable and strong, with sharp edges and a sleek look.
The block to hold all of these knives is also well-made using maple wood, with rubber feet on the bottom to keep it positioned securely on your counter. As well as slots for all of the knives in the set, there is a built-in blade sharpener that can be used to keep those knives sharp and ready for every cutting need.
What we liked: These knives are great for any home kitchen, with stainless steel blades and comfortable, ergonomic handles. The in-block sharpener is convenient and easy to use. The lifetime warranty also ensures these knives last as long as you do.
What could be better: This set includes decent knives that work well in your home kitchen but aren’t as high-end as some other brands at this price-point.
The Cuisinart C77WTR-15P is a great knife set for those who like to cook but don’t want to spend a fortune on their knives. These pieces are of decent quality, with high-carbon forged stainless steel blades for improved precision and accuracy during use, and durable ergonomic plastic for the handles.
There are a variety of knives included in the culinary set, including a chef knife, slicing knife, Santoku knife, utility knife, paring knife, and Bird’s Beak paring knife. These knives are all full-tang, with 3 stainless steel rivets for added strength and extra-wide bolsters that keep your fingers safe when using the knives. The tapered ground blade design narrows as it goes down, for a fine edge that retains its sharpness.
Also included with this stylish set are 6 steak knives, a sharpening steel, and all-purpose household shears for easily cutting herbs or other food items during your meal prep. All of the pieces in this set fit nicely into the wooden knife block. This set also comes in white or black, so you can easily match it to your other kitchen décor.
What we liked: The knives in this set are quite sharp, with extra-wide steel bolsters on the culinary pieces. Both black and white sets come with a compact wooden block that fits well in any kitchen.
What could be better: Though the culinary set is high-quality with a full-tang design, the steak knives do not have this feature, with only plastic used for the handles.
The NANFANG BROTHERS Kitchen Damascus Knife Set is a quality Japanese product without the extremely high price tag associated with knives of this type. These knives are all durable, with great edge retention, plus are easy to clean when you’re done with them.
Included in this set is an 8-inch chef knife, an 8-inch slicing knife, an 8-inch bread knife, a 7-inch Santoku knife, a 5.5-inch utility knife, and a 3.5-inch paring knife. There is also a set of ambidextrous kitchen shears and a knife sharpener to keep the knife blades honed to perfection.
These knives are all made well, with Japanese VG10 steel for the core and 67 layers of Damascus steel for the blades, with HRC 60-62 hardness. Together, these materials increase the precision and accuracy, with consistent edge retention and sharpness. The handles are non-slip ABS with an ergonomic, full-tang design and triple riveting.
To keep your knives organized, there is a stylish block included with the set. It is made of natural beechwood, which is durable and looks great, with hollow knife seats that make it easy to remove and replace the knives as they are used.
What we liked: We loved the consistent edge retention and non-slip handles of the blades, the ambidextrous scissors, and the sleek, durable beechwood block.
What could be better: This set is under $200 but on the high side of this price, plus it leaves out the steak knives, making it one of the more pricey options in our reviews.
Things to Consider
Choosing knives can be a tricky decision. There are several different types of knives available, made of varying materials, with different looks and weights to choose from. Unless you’re a knife expert, you may not know which ones are the right ones to buy. If you’re trying to choose the best knife set under $200 but aren’t sure which is the right set for you, check out our buying guide below to sort out all the features and details these knives have to offer.
Features to consider when choosing a knife set under $200
When choosing a knife set under $200, you may be unsure of what to look for in a decent set. The following sections cover all of the features these types of knives have to offer, making your decision a bit easier for the best choice possible to meet your needs.
How many pieces are included and what they are
Knife sets come in varying sizes, ranging from 4 to 18 pieces, depending on the type of set. Not everyone needs every single knife in a large set but all of these knives do have their uses in the kitchen, so you need to choose the right set to meet your meal prep needs. To help you choose the right set, the first step is knowing what each of the knife options is for.
The chef’s knife is an all-purpose piece that can do almost anything, including slicing meat, chopping veggies, and mincing garlic and other herbs. It is included in almost any type of knife set since it is the most versatile knife around.
The Santoku knife is another handy piece that is similar to the chef’s knife in terms of versatility. This one is better for slicing than chopping since it lacks the curved blade of the chef’s knife and can’t give you the same type of rocking motion as you use it.
A utility knife is another handy piece in any set. Like the chef’s knife, it is an all-purpose knife for those jobs that don’t require a blade as large as the one on the chef’s knife, like slicing cheese or cutting up smaller pieces of meat. Utility knives come in both serrated and non-serrated options, though not every set includes both pieces. The Calphalon Classic Cutlery Knife Block Set is one of these, including only the serrated utility knife.
A carving knife isn’t as versatile as some other knives. Its main purpose is to slice thin, even pieces of meat, which is why this knife is a favorite for carving your holiday turkeys or slicing chicken. Of course, you need to eat a lot of meat for this knife to be useful, so vegetarians and vegans can probably leave it out of their sets.
The bread knife is another specialty knife, used only for slicing bread. If you only buy pre-sliced bread from your local grocery store or are gluten-free, with no bread in your house, you may not need this one.
A paring knife is another small one, designed for slicing and peeling vegetables and fruit. It can also be used for making intricate cuts on small items, like creating radish roses or other specialized designs. This knife is common in knife sets, sometimes with more than one size included, like the 3 and 3.5-inch paring knives in the Chicago Cutlery Insignia2 Knife Block Set.
A boning knife has a very thin blade and is used to debone fish, meat, and poultry. This may not be one you`ll need very often unless you eat a lot of bone-in meats, so consider how often you`ll use it before buying a set with this piece.
Steak knives are used for exactly what their name suggests, cutting steak. They are also great for pork chops, chicken breasts, or other large pieces of meat served to you. They can either be serrated or non-serrated, depending on the set you buy. Not every knife set will include steak knives and the ones that do can have anywhere from 4 to 8 of these in the block. You can also buy steak knives separately, as the Cangshan V2 Series Steak Knife Set shows.
The best knife set under $200 for you may not be the right set for someone else. You need to consider which knives you need and which you`ll likely never use. There is no sense in buying an 18-piece set when you`re only going to use half of them since the larger set will take up more counter space and the unused knives will just collect dust. Pick the knives you need and buy a set that has them all.
Blade and handle
When choosing a new knife set, some important features to look for are the materials used for the blade and the handle and how they are put together. The blade should be made of durable, high-quality materials or it may break as you try to cut or chop your food prep items. High-carbon steel, like the material used for the blades included in the Calphalon Classic Cutlery Knife Block Set, is the best option. This type of steel lasts for years and maintains its sharp edge for much longer than other metals would.
If you can`t find high-carbon steel in your price range or a set with the knives you`re looking for, any type of stainless steel is a good replacement option. These knives can be made of all stainless steel or have a stainless steel coating on the blade. Stainless steel is best for knives since it is corrosion-resistant, plus it won`t stain as easily as other metals. It also has a lovely shine to it that increases its aesthetic appeal, catching the eye as you use it.
The handle should be made of quality material as well since this piece is handling a lot of the pressure when you`re cutting. Some knives are made of wood, though this material isn`t as strong as some others, plus it needs some kind of coating or reinforcement to prevent water damage.
Synthetic material, like the ABS used on the NANFANG BROTHERS Kitchen Damascus Knife Set, is also a good choice since it is a bit cheaper and can`t be damaged from water, even when used and washed every day. Some knives extend the stainless steel from the blade to the entire handle, like the Henckels International Graphite Block Set. These are one solid piece, which adds strength to the knife since there aren`t several pieces attached.
The construction of the blade and the handle are also something to look into. Most of the knife sets in our reviews have a full tang design, which means that the metal of the blade goes all the way through the handle instead of ending where the 2 pieces meet. This adds strength to the knife, ensuring the blade won`t snap off with too much pressure. There should also be quality pieces holding the knife handle to the blade, like stainless steel rivets. This keeps the knife from falling apart, even with daily use.
Another feature to look for when checking out the handles is an ergonomic design that fits comfortably in your hand. Those who are prepping veggies and meat for soups know that there is a lot to chop up for a healthy-sized batch. A knife that doesn`t feel good when you hold it will feel even worse after half an hour of chopping.
There should also be some type of non-slip grip on the handle. This could be added as a non-slip coating in this area or some sort of texturing to keep your hand firmly in place for the entire time you`re using the knife. This will help prevent injuries in your kitchen.
Self-sharpening technology/separate sharpener included
A dull knife won`t cut well, if it cuts at all, which is why every knife set includes some type of method for sharpening the blades. There are a couple of options when it comes to sharpening methods, depending on the knife set you buy.
The traditional sharpening method is the separate sharpening tool, like the one included in the Cuisinart C77WTR-15P. These tools allow you to manually drag the steel along the blade of the knife, sharpening it whenever needed.
There are also many models with self-sharpening technology built right into the knife block. Some models have the sharpeners in each knife slot, similar to the design of the Henckels International Graphite Block Set, which sharpen the knives every time they are inserted or removed from the block. Some models include a single built-in sharpener, which you can use whenever the knives begin to dull.
Both of these self-sharpening options are easy to use, with little manual strength and dexterity on your part. They do have their downsides, though, since they could get clogged with metal shavings after a while, which could damage your knives if not cleaned out regularly.
The dimensions of the knife block are usually determined by the number of knives it holds. A block with only 8 knives in it will be much smaller than an 18-piece block, especially if the larger one also includes a single built-in sharpener. The dimensions also reflect which types of knives are in the blocks since larger knives, like chef`s knives or Santoku knives, will take up more space than utility or paring knives.
The bigger the block, the more room it takes up on your counter, so if you have limited space, be sure to measure the area you have available and buy a knife set that will fit without sacrificing the pieces you need. You can also buy separate sets, one for a counter-top culinary knife set and a separate set of steak knives that can be stored in a drawer.
You`ll likely use at least one of your knives every day, so having a set that lasts for at least a few years is a must. If the knives are not living up to your expectations or are easily damaged, a good warranty will prevent you from spending even more of your hard-earned money on a replacement set. All of the sets in our reviews include full lifetime warranties, so if your knife set isn`t living up to your expectations, you should have little trouble getting a replacement set or a refund from all of the brands we`ve recommended.
You should sharpen the blades on your knives every 2-3 months, depending on how frequently you use each knife. Some knives get used a few times a day, while others are only used for certain instances. You should also consider what you’re using your knives for. A bread knife only cuts soft items, while some other knives get used for harder foods, so may dull faster. It is also recommended to have your knives professionally sharpened every year or 2 if possible.
Self-sharpening block slots are effective at keeping your knives sharp since they do sharpen them every time you remove and replace the knife in the block. Though this is enough to help maintain their sharpness when the knife is used infrequently, it isn’t a replacement for traditional sharpening on knives used more often. The knives you use every day for prepping your meals will still need to be sharpened using a sharpening tool or a professional sharpening once in a while to maintain their edge and stay as sharp as you need them.
No, you should never put stainless steel knives into a dishwashing machine, even if the included instructions say it is safe to do so. The high-pressure water jets can knock the knives into the racks or other utensils in the dishwasher, reducing the blade’s edge. The hot water and chemicals in the detergent can also stain the steel. Hand washing the knives and drying them immediately is the best way to preserve their integrity.
The best knife set under $200 should have every knife you’ll need without costing you a fortune. Though all the sets in our reviews are high-quality options, we do have a few favorites.
Our top choice is the Calphalon Classic Cutlery Knife Block Set, which is a 12-piece set in a blonde rubberwood block with built-in ceramic sharpeners. These knives are made of high-carbon, forged no-stain steel, with a full-tang design, triple-riveted, contoured handles, and labeled end caps.
The Henckels International Modernist Knife Block Set includes 12 pieces made of German stainless steel, with lightweight sandblasted handles, a fully forged bolster, and a polished endcap with an embossed logo. The black knife block is sleek and sturdy.
The Cangshan V2 Series Steak Knife Set is a set of 8 steak knives, all of which use high-alloy German steel that is heat-treated and ice-hardened and have a classic ergonomic handle design with an angled bolster. These hand-sharpened, hand-polished knives are also full tang, with a stylish Acacia wood block for storage.