What Is The Best Kitchen Knife Set Under $200 in 2018?

Our favorite kitchen knife sets under $200

Here Are The Best Kitchen Knife Block Sets for $200 or Less From JA Henkels, Chicago Cutlery, Wusthof, Zyliss and Cold Steel 

There are a lot of kitchen knife sets in the $100 – $200 price range, and it seems like more new sets are announced all the time. 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.  In this post we have highlighted a few of the best cutlery sets at the sub $200 price point. 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.

Modern manufacturing technology has made it possible for the kitchen cutlery companies to offer impressive quality and functionality at a budget price point. 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.

 

Best Block Knife Sets Under $200 Comparison Chart
Knife SetRating 1-10
(Our Pick)
Picture
J.A. Henckels
International CLASSIC 16
Full Review
9
(Top Pick)
One of the best kitchen cutlery sets under $200.
Wusthof Gourmet 10 Piece
Full Review
8
Zyliss Control Kitchen Knife Set 16
Full Review
8The Zyliss Control cutlery set is an innovative and well made kitchen knife block set.
Chicago Cutlery Insignia2 18 Piece
Full Review
7.5
(Budget Pick)
Cold Steel Kitchen Classics 12 Piece
Full Review
7The updated CLassic Kitchen Knife Set from Cold Steel are an excellent option at the sub $150 price point.

 

Chicago Cutlery Insignia2 18 Piece Block Set

 

Chicago Cutlery Kitchen Knife Kit

Specifications

  • Set Includes – one 3″ paring knife, one 3.5″ paring knife, one 5″ boning knife, one 5.5″ utility knife, eight 4.5″ steak knives, one pair of scissors, one eight inch bread knife, one 7″ santoku knife, one 8″ slicer, one 8″ chef’s knife and a hardwood block.
  • Weight – 13.3lbs
  • Size – 14″x12.7×7.5″

Pros

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Full Tang
  • Large set for this price point
  • Very sharp right out of the box
  • Knife sharpener built into the block

Cons

  • When this set was first released there were reports of some quality assurance issues, but they seem to have been addressed.
  • The large Chicago Cutlery logo detracts a bit from the overall aesthetic. (This is certainly subjective, and not a big deal for most potential buyers.)

This set has everything you need from peeling to slicing. If you want gorgeous looking, durable knives the Chicago Cutlery Insignia 18 Piece Set is the one for you. All blades are made with the exclusive “Taper Grind” edge that will keep these knives sharp for a long time. Made from carbon steel, these knives won’t rust or stain. All the knives in this kit have full tang blades which means the blade runs the length of the handle. This feature is really important from a durability standpoint.

The block that ships with this kit has a built in blade sharpener which makes sharpening really convenient, and should result in a more consistent sharpening schedule ensuring that you always have sharp blades. Another aspect of this set that we find appealing is the block itself. It sports a bold design that should look good on most kitchen counter tops making this set a great combination of form and functionality. Chicago Cutlery is an established brand that consistently delivers a good performance to price ratio.

 

Wusthof Gourmet 10 Piece Cutlery Set

Wusthof kitchen knife set

Specifications

  • Set Includes – one 2.25″ peeling knife, one 3″ paring knife, one 4″ utility knife, one 4.5″ utility knife, one 4.5″ serrated utility knife, one 8″ bread knife, one 8″inch cooks knife, one 9″ steel knife, one pair of scissors and on wood block.
  • Weight – 5.8lbs
  • Size – 15.5″ x 10.25″ x 4.75

Pros

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Full Tang
  • Holds an edge extremely well.
  • Very sharp right out of the box
  • Laser cut blades
  • Includes a sharpening rod

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe. (Really no kitchen cutlery is dishwasher safe, but that is especially true with this set.)
  • Relatively small set when compared to other sets in this price range.
  • More prone to rust than similar sets.

Wusthof Gourmet 10 Piece Cutlery Set is a straightforward knife set made by Wusthof of Germany and manufactured with precision stamped, high-carbon stainless steel. This set has a practical variety of the most used knives and it includes kitchen scissors and a sharpener.

This set should be hand washed and dried to ensure it doesn’t rust, because the high carbon steel used in these blades is a little more prone to oxidation than the other sets listed in this post. The benefit of the carbon steel used in these knives is that it helps them hold an edge longer than other cutlery sets at this price point.

Check out this knife set if you don’t need more than 5 steak knives.

 

J.A. Henckels International CLASSIC 16-pc Knife Block Set

One of the best kitchen cutlery sets under $200.

 

Specifications

  • Set Includes – one 4″ paring/utility knife, one 5″serrated utility knife, one 7″ fork, one 8″ carving knife, one 8″ chef’ knife, eight 4″ steak knives, one sharpening steel, one pair of scissors and a hardwood block.
  • Weight – 8.5lbs
  • Size – 15.25″ x 8.75″ x 5.25″

Pros

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Full Tang
  • Forged not stamped (except for the steak knives)
  • Holds an edge extremely well.
  • Very sharp right out of the box
  • Includes a sharpening rod
  • Made in Spain
  • Includes a large fork

Cons

  • Steak knives are not up to the quality level of the rest of the set, and will probably not last as long as the other knives in the set.
  • The block ships with 3 empty slots. (This could be a welcome feature  for those who want to add knives to the set as needed)

This high quality, classic set from J.A. Henckles was made in Spain except for the steak knives which were made in Thailand. There is a significant quality difference between the forged large kitchen knives made in Spain and the stamped steak knives from Thailand. However, the set is still a great quality to cost option at the sub $200 price point. Two of the stand outs from this set are the popular 8 inch Chef’s knife and the 4″ paring/utility knife which is a well made, versatile knife that deserves far more accolades than it gets.

The inclusion of the a carving fork is unusual for a cutlery set at this price point, and it may make it a good option for those who grill a lot of meat. The satin finished blades look great, hold an edge extremely well and are fairly rust resistant, but we highly recommend hand washing them rather than putting them in the dishwasher. The kitchen shears are much more durable than most scissors in cutlery sets at this price point. Overall this is an excellent knife set that should last for many years, and the fact that the block ships with empty slots is nice for those of us who like to add to a set as our needs change.

 

Zyliss Control 16 Piece Kitchen Knife Set

The Zyliss Control cutlery set is an innovative and well made kitchen knife block set.

Specifications

  • Set Includes –  one 4.5″ paring knife, one 4.5″  serrated paring knife, one 5,5″ utility knife, one 8″ carving knife, one 8″ chef’ knife, 5″ santoku knife, one 8 bread knife”, six steak knives,  one pair of scissors and a hardwood block.
  • Weight – 7lbs
  • Size – 10.75″ x 8.46″ x 14.76″

Pros

  • 25 Year Warranty
  • Full Tang
  • Forged not stamped (except for the steak knives)
  • Holds an edge extremely well.
  • Very sharp right out of the box
  • Antibacterial handles
  • Universally sized knife slots
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Set does not include a honing rod
  • Made in China

The Zylus Control set has some innovative features like antibacterial, removable block slots and an indention on the blade of some knives called a “touchpoint” that helps with control when rocking the knife. This set is also one of the few on the market that is actually dishwasher safe. It is made of a high quality but low carbon German steel called  x50CrMoV15. The downside of this steel is that it does not hold it’s edge quite as well as the other knives on this list, but if you need knives that really are dishwasher safe then the Zylus Control set is a great way to go.

The best feature of these knives is the handles. They are by far the most comfortable handles of any set on this list. The finger and thumb rest is a nice feature that is more than a marketing gimmick and the non slip grip sections of the handle make the knife feel really secure when you are cutting. The handles are contoured in a way that seems to work well for all different hand sizes, and the sloped castors make the pinch grip feel comfortable and natural.

Overall this is one of the most well designed sets at any price point. It is obviously not at the same quality level as the more expensive high end kitchen knife sets, but it is a great bargain at the sub $200 price point and should provide many years of use.

 

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

  • Set Includes – 1 boning knife, 1 bread knife, 1 chefs knife, 1 paring knife, 1 slicer, 1 utility knife, 1 wood block and six steak knives
  • 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

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.

Obviously we would not have included the Cold Steel set on this list if the Zy-Ex core handles were it’s 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.

 

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 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 cutting 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 I that is is a multi purpose blade, but it tends to be better at chopping, an 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 make 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 thin blade knife designed to debone meat, poultry and fish. If you are a vegetarian this is a knife you do not need to worry about getting a set with a boning knife.

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

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2018-08-10T19:24:50+00:00

About the Author:

Picture taker and occasional blog writer who spends his time outdoors trying to break tactical, bushcraft and hunting knives and his time indoors trying to break kitchen knives.
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