Best Kitchen Knife Sets Under $200 – 2022 Update

The Are A Lot Of Great Kitchen Knife Sets Under $200 In 2022. This Article Will Help You Find The Top Set For Your Needs

There are a lot of great kitchen knife sets in the $100 – $200 price range in 2022, and it seems like more new sets are announced constantly. While it is nice to have a lot of choices it can be tough to figure out which cutlery set is best for your needs.  We update this article regularly as we test new kitchen knife set series and sets, so our recommendations may change as new products are released.

All of these sets are well designed and durable, but they all have their own strengths and weaknesses which we have listed to make your knife block set shopping decision easier. We have seen fewer knife releases than normal the last few years, but there are still a lot of great knife sets available in 2022. We are seeing a lot of new sets with built in sharpening systems being released, so we will spend a lot of time testing those sets this year.

A two image collage showing Buck and Ninja Foodi 32009 knife sets in action. These were two of our favorite knife sets under $200 in 2022
The Buck Knives 4-Piece and The Ninja Foodi K32009 knife sets are very different, but they were two of the best knife sets we tested under $200.

Modern manufacturing technology has made it possible for the kitchen cutlery companies to offer impressive quality and functionality at a budget price point in 2022. While it is true that kitchen knife sets at the sub $200 price point are not on the same level at high end knife sets, the quality gap is not as big as it used to be, and it really is possible to get a great kitchen knife set that will last for many years for less than 200 bucks especially if it is properly cared for.

At the end of this article we highlight the types of knives available in most of these sets and describe their purpose. This may help you pick the best product for the type of cooking and food prep that you do. If you think you may want to pay a little more for a quality bump check out our article on the best kitchen knife sets under $300. Or if you just want pure budget options you can read our post on the best knife sets under $100.

Here are our top picks for the best kitchen knife set under $200 in 2022:

Buck Knives 4-Piece Set (best American made set)
Mercer Genesis 7-Piece Set (Top Pick)
Ninja K32009 Foodi 9-Piece Knife Set (best self sharpening storage block)
Misen 3-Piece Knife Set
Cangshan H1 Series 10 Piece Kitchen Knife Set
Cold Steel Kitchen Classics 12-Piece Knife Set
Calphalon Classic 15-Piece Knife Set
Zwilling JA Henckels Now S 6-Piece Knife Set
J.A.-Henckels International Modernist 14-Piece Set (best large set with self sharpening block)
Victorinox Fibrox 8-Piece Knife Set

Buck Knives 4-Piece Cutlery Set

The two different versions of the Buck four piece cutlery knife set shown inside their storage blocks on a white background.
Specifications
Weight:8 lbs
Size:15″ x 5.1″ x 11.5″
Pros
The grind helps push off food trimmings
Full tang
Very sharp right out of the box
Made in the USA
Forged not stamped
Comfortable handles
Easy to maintain and hone
Cons
No steak knives
No honing rod included

Set Includes – one 8″ chef knife. one 4″ paring knife, one 8″ slicer, and one rubberwood storage block.

Buck Knives is known primarily for their hunting and pocket knives, but they also make great kitchen cutlery. The knives all have excellent fit and finish and are covered under Buck’s forever warranty.

Buck Knives 8 Inch Chef Knife
The Buck Chef knife included in this set does a better job of preventing food stick than any other chef knife we have tested.

Buck kitchen knives are all made with their 420 HC steel. We normally wouldn’t recommend kitchen knives with 420 steel, because it is a little soft, but the Buck Paul Bos heat treatment really makes their 420HC steel a step or two above almost all other 420 steels from other knife companies. It has decent edge retention, and it is easy to sharpen.

If you are the type of person that hates food sticking to your knife this set may be your best option. The deep hollow grind of the chef knife does a pretty good job of shedding food pieces such as tomato slices or onion dices. That is not to say that food never stick s to it, but it does a better job of shedding food pieces than any other chef knife we have tested.

The handles of this set have an ergonomic shape that is comfortable even when used for long periods of time. They are not quite as grippy as some of the more rubber handles used by other knife sets in this article, but they are durable and comfortable for all hand sizes.

There are three handle options available: Slate Paperstone, Rosewood Dymalux®, and Elk Bone. Only the Slate Paperstone handle version is available in a set for under $200.

Close-up of the Buck 932 slicer knife with rosewood handle scales slicing through tri-tip.
The Buck 932 slicer is a standout performer in this set. We liked it for both indoor food prep and outdoor barbecue tasks.

The 8″ carving knife included in this set is one of our favorite slicers on the market, and my personal go to for the barbecue. Sharpening can be a bit problematic with this knife, because it is serrated, but I have been using it for almost a year, and it is still slicing well. Buck does offer a professional sharpening service that would be a good option for this knife when it does begin to dull.

Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Set

This set from Mercer is small, but it knives are all well made, and the blades are constructed of quality steel.
Specifications
Weight:8.0 lbs
Size:13″ x 5″ x 15″
Pros
Lifetime Warranty
Full Tang
Holds an edge extremely well
Very sharp right out of the box
Great steel for this price point
Very comfortable handles
Blades are forged not stamped
Cons
Not dishwasher safe. (Really no kitchen cutlery is dishwasher safe, but that is especially true with this set.)
Set does not include steak knives

Set Includes – one 8″ chef knife, one 8″ bread knife, one 4″ boning knife, one 5″ utility knife, one 3″ paring knife, and a storage block.

The Mercer Genesis 8 inch chef knife on a cutting board with a tomato to show scale and blade profile.
The Mercer Genesis 8 inch chef knife is one of the best budget chef knives I have ever used.

Mercer Culinary is a 30 year old company that has been turning out some great cutlery sets lately. The Genesis series of knives featured in this set are full tang, well balanced and the blades are made of German X50CrMoV15 stainless steel which is usually found on more expensive knife sets. Mercer kept the price of this set down by not including steak knives, but that is common with with the higher quality sets at this price point.

A close-up of a Mercer Genesis series chef knife slicing a tomato to show the high performance of the knives in this set.
The excellent blade geometry and ergonomic handle of the Genesis series knives make them an excellent option for busy home cooks who need affordable kitchen knives.

The ergonomic handles of this knife set are incredibly comfortable, so if you are looking for knives that won’t cause discomfort during long food prep sessions this set is a good option. The handles are made of Santoprene which is a pretty durable rubber-like material that is easy to grip even when the knife is wet.

The Mercer Genesis paring knife peeling an apple to show it's great cutting and peeling ability.
The Mercer Genesis series paring knife has a super comfortable handle that helps to make difficult cuts easy. It outperformed several paring knives that cost considerably more in our tests.

The Genesis set ships in a glass case that offers a more modern look than the wood blocks that are usually included with knife sets. However, the storage block is not angled, so the knives may be difficult to remove if they are stored under a low cabinet.

Overall this is an excellent set at the under $200 price point that should offer exceptional performance  for many years.

Ninja K32009 Foodi 9-Piece Knife Set With NeverDull Block

The Nija 32009 Foodi 9-piece knife set with the NeverDull sharpening system on a white reflective background.
Specifications
Weight:8 lbs
Size:14.37″ x 7.45″ x 12.63″
Pros
Better storage block sharpening system than competitors
Full tang
Very sharp right out of the box
Quality German steel
Made in China
Forged not stamped
Comfortable handles
Cons
Relatively small set
No empty storage block slots

Set Includes – one 8″ chef knife, one 7″ santoku knife, one 3.5″ paring knife, four steak knives, one storage block with the NeverDull sharpening system.

Testing the sharpness of the Ninja Foodi K32009 knife set with self sharpening block.
The Ninja Foodi K32009 Knife Set has one of the best built-in sharpening systems we have tested.

Their are a lot of kitchen knife sets under $200 with self sharpening storage blocks. The downside of these systems is that they reduce the lifespan of the knives, because they sharpen the blades even when they don’t need it. The Ninja Foodi system circumvents this problem by not building the sharpening mechanisms into the separate knife block slots. The NeverDull sharpening system is still built into the block, but it only needs to be used when the knives begin to dull.

The Ninja K32009 Foodi knives are made of German X50CrMoV15 steel, which is a pretty typical higher quality steel for kitchen knives (it is mostly what Wusthof uses). These knives hold an edge well compared to most other budget friendly knife sets, but they fall short of the more premium sets. However the edge retention is not a huge issue since the Ninja NeverDull system is quick and easy to use. The downside of this built-in convenience is that no built-in sharpening system (not even the Ninja NeverDull) can match the sharpness achieved by a whetstone or guided sharpening systems.

This knife set is relatively small, but it is still a surprisingly good deal considering the overall quality and performance of the knives and the effectiveness of the built-in sharpening system. The storage block included in this set is plastic, and it feels a little cheap, but it has a nice modern look. If you are in the market for a self sharpening knife set, the Ninja K32009 Foodi is tough to beat.

Misen 3-Piece Set

Misen Kitchen Knife Set 1
Specifications
Pros
8″ Blade
Full Tang
AUS10 Japanese Stainless Steel
58 Rockwell Hardness
TPE Handles
Lifetime Warranty
Hand Sharpened To A 15-Degree Double Bevel
8.9oz
Pros
Tough steel
Free lifetime factory sharpening
Comfortable handles
Great fit and finish
Excellent customer service
Cons
Small set
Storage Block Sold Separately

Set includes – 3.5″ paring knife, 9.5″ bread knife an an 8″ chef knife. Wood storage block sold separately.

If you are looking for a knife set with great steel that will last for many years, this set from Misen is almost certainly the best option under $200 for looks and durability. The blades of this set are made of  AUS-10 steel which is a tough Japanese steel that is used in a lot of hard use pocket knives and fixed blade survival knives.  Misen makes some bold claims in their marketing that didn’t totally ring true from a performance standpoint when we tested these knives, but they absolutely proved to be true from a toughness and durability standpoint.

The contoured TPE handles of the Misen knives are comfortable, durable and remain grippy even when wet.

Pinch Grip On The Misen Chef Knife

Obviously the the high end raw materials used in the manufacturing of the knives in this set wouldn’t matter if the overall design were bad. Fortunately the design is quite functional and the knives look great. Misen went with a Gyuto design that is reminiscent of the Tojiro DP series of cutlery which is considered by many to be the the best of the relatively affordable Japanese knife designs on the market.

The biggest downside to the Misen 3-Piece set is that the wood storage block has to be ordered separately, but Misen makes that really easy to do on their user friendly site, and the total price is still just under $200.

Misen offers free lifetime sharpening for all their knives through their Stay Sharp program. This is a super rare service for knives at this price point, so if you hate sharpening Misen is a good way to go.

If you want to learn more about the overall performance and durability of Misen knives, check out our in-depth review of the Misen 8 inch knife.

Cangshan H1 Series 10 Piece Kitchen Knife Set

The Cangshan S1 10 piece knife sets is one of the best cutlery sets under $200. It is shown here with the knives both inside and outside the storage block.
Specifications
Weight:11.6 lbs
Size:17.2″ x 5.2″ x 15.7″
Pros
Lifetime warranty
Full Tang
Forged not stamped
High quality steel
Very sharp right out of the box
Great looking block
Set includes a 3 stage knife sharpener
Cons
Block has no empty knife slots
No steak knives
Full bolsters

Set Includes –  one 2.75 peeling knife, one 3.5″ paring knife, one 5″  serrated utility knife, one 5″ utility knife, one 7″ hollow edge santoku knife, one 8″ chef’ knife, 8″ bread knife, one 9″ slicing knife, one pair of scissors, one 3 stage knife sharpener and an acacia wood block.

Cangshan is a relatively new cutlery company, but they have developed a reputation for value in a short period of time. I am personally a big fan of the X50Cr15MoV German steel they use to make their blades, because I think it offers decent rust prevention an good edge retention.

Visually this 8-piece S1 series knives set themselves a part from the completion. However, that would be meaningless if they did not perform well. The practical design and great balance of these knives combined with the excellent cutting edge of the blades check the necessary performance boxes.

The tapered handles are a comfortable hybrid of Eastern and Western styles that make them easy to grip. The blades hold an edge well and are fairly rust resistant.

The downside to this set is that it does not ship with steak knives, but Cangshan does make an 18 piece version that includes steaks knives, but costs a little more.

Cold Steel Kitchen Classics 12 Piece Block Set

The updated CLassic Kitchen Knife Set from Cold Steel are an excellent option at the sub $150 price point.
Specifications
Weight:4.5 lbs
Size:10″ x 7.5″ x 6″
Pros
Comfortable, easy grip handles
Sharp blades right out of the box
Ice tempered, cryo-quenched stainless steel blades
Great Rust Resistance
Cons
Blades don’t hold their edge quite as long as other similarly priced cutlery sets
Not as aesthetically pleasing as similarly priced cutlery sets. (subjective)
Doesn’t ship with a sharpening rod or kitchen shears

Set Includes – one 4.5″ paring knife, one 6″ serrated utility knife, one 9″ bread knife, one 8″ chef’s knife, one 9″ carving knife, one 6″ boning knife, six steak knives and one maple wood storage block.

This image shows the versatility of the carving knife included in the Cold Steel Kitchen Classics knife set.
The carving (slicer) knife included in this set does a great job with meat, but we found it to be a good option for skinning and slicing up a pineapple.

It may seem strange to include a cutlery set manufactured by a company that primarily makes tactical knives, but the Kitchen Classics set from Cold Steel has the most comfortable and easy-to-grip handles of any knife set in this price range or just about any price range. This set is growing in popularity with people who suffer from hand discomfort when using standard kitchen knives, and it is also growing in popularity with people who just love the way the handles feel.

This set may not look as good as most of the other sets on this list, but looks wont matter much when you are actually using the knives for their intended purpose, because this set really is fun to use for food prep.

The Cold Steel Kitchen Classics Chef Knife slicing easily through a tomato to show the readers it's ability to cut through a tomato without smooshing it. .
The Cold Steel Kitchen Classics chef knife slices well, and has a very comfortable handle.

Obviously we would not have included the Cold Steel set on this list if the Zy-Ex core handles were its only impressive feature. The Kitchen Classics set is well designed, durable and offers impressive corrosion resistance. The main drawback of this set is that the knives do not hold their edge quite as well as the other knives on this list, but if handle comfort and grip are a top priority this set is a great buy.

For a more information check out our review of the Cold Steel Kitchen Classics Knife Set.

Calphalon Classic Self Sharpening 15-Piece Knife Set

The Calphalon Classic 15 piece knife set with self sharpening block. Shown here with the chef knife outside the storage block on a white background.
Specifications
Weight:4.7 lbs
Size:6″ x 12″ x 15″
Pros
Knives are labeled
Sharp blades right out of the box
Lifetime warranty
Self sharpening block
Full tang
Cons
No built in sharpening for steak knives
Chef knife is heavier than most competitors (not necessarily a bad thing)

Set Includes – one 8″ chef knife, one 7″ santoku knife, one 6″ serrated utility knife, one 4.5″ paring knife, eight steak knives, one pair of kitchen shears, and a blonde rubberwood knife storage block.

Calphalon has not been making knives as long as some of the more established brands in this article like Wusthof and Zwilling, but they have developed a good reputation in a relatively short period of time. The SharpIN™ technology they developed and patented has really made an impact. Especially with people who do not like to sharpen knives.

Every time you pull a knife out of the block it automatically sharpens the blade. Each slot has a custom sharpener for the exact knife that fits in that slot. Fortunately the designers at Calphalon had the bright idea to label the handles of each knife to help ensure they go back in the correct slots.

Calphalon definitely helped make knife maintenance easier, but that really wouldn’t matter if the quality and performance of the knives was lacking. Fortunately that is not the case. The high carbon stainless steel blades hold their edge well and are fairly stain resistant. However, they should be hand washed and never put in the dishwasher.

The knives are full tang and forged rather than stamped which means they should last for many years. This knife set is fairly impressive at the sub 200 dollar price point, but it is not perfect. The steak knives are stamped rather than forged, and they are made from a lower quality steel than the rest of the set.

The polyresin handles of the 15 piece Classic set are really comfortable and fairly easy to grip. However, they are not as grippy as the Cold Steel knives mentioned above. The handles of this set are triple riveted and they feel sturdy. The Classic series has been available for several years, and it has established a good reputation for long term reliability.

The knives included in this set are not dishwasher safe, and they should always be hand dried immediately after washing to avoid rust spots.

Zwilling JA Henckels Now S 6 Piece Knife Block Set

This small kitchen knife set is perfect for those who want quality over quantity.
Specifications
Weight:6 lbs
Size:9.8″ x 5.2″x 16.8“
Pros
Sharp right out of the box
Better quality steel than most budget knife sets
Extremely comfortable handles
The set includes a sharpening steel
Made in Germany
Cons
No steak knives included
Not full tang

Set Includes – one 8″ chef knife, one 4″ paring knife, one 8″ bread knife knife, one 8″ sharpening steel,  one pair kitchen shears.

The Zwilling Now S series is a fairly new product line from J.A. Henckels. They are much lighter weight than the higher end knives from this company, and they ship with a wood block that sits straight up rather than the conventional slanted style that is found on most knife blocks. The lighter weight of the knives is due to the fact that they are not full tang, and the blades are slightly thinner than than most other kitchen knives from Zwilling Henckels

In spite of their thinner size the blades of these knives are still very capable thanks in part to the fact that they are made from a higher quality steel than most other budget knives. The fact that they are not full tang definitely makes their long term durability questionable. and the balance a little off. However the ergonomic polypropylene handles are very comfortable and easy to grip.

The knives and wood blocks are available in a variety of colors, so you have some choices if you are concerned with how this set will fit in with your kitchen decor. The blocks of the “Now S” sets sit straight up which can make it difficult to easily grab a knife if you intend to store the block on a part of the counter that is under a cabinet. Overall the Now S knife set is a good option for anyone that wants quality steel at a good price, and doesn’t need a large knife set.

J.A. Henckels International Modernist 14-pc Set With Self Sharpening Block

The 14 piece modernist set ships with a block that sharpens the knives.
Specifications
Weight:9 lbs
Size:15.5″ x 5″ x 11.5″
Pros
Lifetime Warranty
55-58 HRC
Large set for this price point
Very sharp right out of the box
Labeled sharpeners built into the block
Cons
Not full tang
Reports of rust spots (These knives should always be hand dried)

Set Includes – one 3″ paring knife, one 3.5″ paring knife, one 5″ serrated utility knife, one 6″ utility knife, one 7″ santoku knife, one 8″ bread knife, one 8″ chef’s knife, six 4.5″ steak knives and one ash wood self sharpening block.

The Modernist line of knives is one of J.A. Henckels newest products. They have become extremely popular in the relatively short time they have been on the market. I have avoided adding them to this list, because they are not full tang. However JA Henckles seems to have found a way to create a durable knife with a 3/4 tang. JA Henckles is not the first company to pull this off. The Swedish cutlery company Morakniv has been making excellent 3/4 tang knives for years.

The design of the Modernist line is really nice for this price point. The aggressive styling is a nice change from the classic look of most of JA Henckels other products. The knives are well balanced, and the 7″ Santoku knife is especially pleasant to use. The contoured stainless steel handles are not as comfortable as the Pakkawood or Micarta handles found on high end knife sets, but they are far more comfortable to use than most other knife product lines with stainless steel handles.

Obviously the real standout feature of this set is the self sharpening block. Most people hate sharpening knives and put it off until the knives become dull. I really appreciate that the knife slots are labeled to ensure the right knife is put in the slot that is designed to sharpen that particular knife. If you are looking for a good looking, durable, self sharpening set this one is hard to beat.

Victorinox Fibrox 8 Piece Set

The Victorinox Fibrox 8-Piece Block Set shown qith the knives shown both in and out of the wood storage block.
Specifications
Weight:12.6lbs
Size17.38″ x 9.25″ x 6″
Pros
Lifetime Warranty
Lightweight
Very sharp right out of the box
Made in Switzerland
Handles are easy to grip
Cons
Blades are stamped rather than forged.
Knives are not full tang

Set Includes – one 4″ paring knife, one 6″ boning knife, one 8″ chef knife knife, one 8″ bread knife, one 10″ slicing knife, one 10″ sharpening steel, one pair of kitchen shears,  and a slant hardwood storage block.

This 8 piece set from Victorinox is incredibly popular, and it has been for several years. At first glance this seems surprising, because the blades are stamped rather than forged which can often result in a lower quality blade. However, Victorinox has perfected their stamping method to such a degree that I have no qualms about recommending their stamped knives. Any skepticism I had about Victorinox’s stamped blades disappeared after using a few of their butcher knife sets which can handle some extremely hard use.

The functional design and basic look of the Victorinox Fibrox set is no surprise from a company that has has been making knives for hunters, butchers and the military for years. This set will not win any beauty awards, but these knives perform at a high level. The 8 inch chef knife is the hero of this set. It slices, dices, and rock chops like a much more expensive knife.

The handles of this set are made of a textured thermoplastic that is extremely easy to grip even if your hands are wet, and the ergonomic shape makes the handles comfortable even when the knives are used for an extended period of time.

The knives in this set are not full tang, but that doesn’t seem to have a negative effect on their durability. The lifetime warrant makes me think Victorinox is not worried about this set’s durability either.

Popular Kitchen Knife Types That are Often Included in Knife Sets and What They Are Used For

Kitchen Knife Types and their uses to help shoppers find the best options for their needs.

One of the most important considerations when choosing the ideal knife set under $200 is how big of a set you need. If you are a little unsure about the purpose of a santoku or utility knife it is possible that a small cutlery set will meet your needs.

This is important, because you can get better quality knives for your $200 budget if you need fewer knives than the standard set contains. You may even want to consider creating a custom cutlery set with the best knives of each type for your needs regardless of brand.  The downside of this set-building option is that the knives will not match, but if you value performance over aesthetics the custom knife-set-building option may be ideal.

Here is a list of popular kitchen knives and their intended purpose to help you pick out the ideal kitchen knife set under $200 for your needs.

Chef Knife –The chef’s knife is the all purpose workhorse of any cutlery set. It excels at slicing meat, chopping vegetables, and mincing garlic or just about anything else that doesn’t require a small blade. The chef knife is the cornerstone of any good kitchen cutlery set, and it is important for it to be the highest quality knife in the kit.
Santoku Knife – The Santoku knife is similar to the chef knife in that is is a multi purpose blade, but it tends to be better at chopping, and not quite as good as slicing especially if you are partial to using a rocking motion when cutting.
Carving Knife – The carving knife is designed to slice thin, uniform cuts of meat from larger pieces. This is often the knife used to carve a turkey or a chicken. If you and your family do not eat a lot of meat this may be a knife you can skip.
Utility Knife – The utility knife is an all purpose knife designed for jobs that require a blade smaller than the chef knife blade but larger than a paring knife blade. Kitchen knife sets often include both a serrated and non serrated versions. Utility knives are great for road trips or camping, because they are small and multi-purpose.
Bread Knife – Obviously a bread knife is for cutting bread, so if you and your family are gluten free this may be a knife you don’t need in your set.
Paring Knife – A paring knife is designed for making intricate cuts on smaller items or for slicing and peeling fruit or vegetables. If you eat a lot of tomatoes or often use them in your cooking you may want to consider getting a ceramic paring knife as well as the the stainless steel version that is include in most sets.
Boning Knife – A boning knife is a thin-bladed knife designed to debone meat, poultry and fish. If you are a vegetarian you probably do not need to worry about getting a set with a boning knife.

Hopefully this knife-type list helps you find the perfect knife set for your needs and within your budget.

 


Browse Related Categories

Ben started a twenty year commercial photography career after a blurry stint in the navy. He spent a lot of time losing and breaking knives and other EDC gear on location shoots before starting Nothing But Knives. He has reviewed and tested hundreds of both outdoor and kitchen knives over the course of the last six years, and he was mostly sober while testing and reviewing.

Leave a Comment

Get the NBK Newsletter

Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy here.