Best Knife Set under $100: Affordable Knife Sets

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I've tested some of the best knife sets under $100. My top pick? The Cuisinart Classic Stainless Steel 17-Piece Knife Block Set.

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A quality knife set is non-negotiable for an experienced home cook. The right blades can not only get the best results, but they can also cut prep time in half. No pun intended.

But is it absolutely necessary to go broke to purchase the best knife block set? Actually, it’s not.

That’s why I prefer the Cuisinart Classic Stainless Steel 17-Piece Knife Set. This kitchen knife set has some of the sharpest knives for the price. They have a sleek appearance and include all the essential pieces.

But there are several other options out there that might be just as appealing. Some are ceramic knives that are non-stick, while others have storage meant for saving space.

What is the best knife block set under $100? Keep reading to learn more.

Note: At the time of writing, all these knife sets were under $100. However, that is subject to change, so please check the current price before buying.

Best Knife Set Under $100: Product Reviews

Cuisinart Classic Stainless Steel 17-Piece Knife Block Set: Best Overall

Cuisinart is known for making affordable, high-quality cookware and kitchen tools. This Cuisinart Classic Stainless Steel Knife Set is substantial, coming with the following 17 pieces:

  • 8-inch (20 cm) chef knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) slicing knife
  • 7-inch (17.8 cm) Santoku knife
  • 5.5-inch (14 cm) serrated utility knife
  • 3.5-inch (8.9 cm) paring knife
  • 2.75-inch (6.7 cm) bird’s beak paring knife
  • Eight 4.5-inch (11.4 cm) steak knives
  • Kitchen shears
  • Sharpening steel
  • Acacia wood knife storage block

This Western-style kitchen knife set includes all the basic knives, as well as some specialty pieces, like the bird’s peak paring knife. The eight steak knives have a micro-serrated edge for easy cutting.

The high-carbon stainless steel blades are forged for superior strength and durability.

The true bolster allows for ultimate control and a safe grip, while the ergonomic knife handles provide precise handling and control. They feature a hammered stainless steel design for a sleek, unique look in the kitchen.

You need to hand wash this kitchen knife set, but it will help these blades stay extremely sharp. In fact, this is actually a sign of quality!

This set is right at $100, which is always subject to change. However, the value, performance, and size of this set make it our best overall pick when it comes to knife sets under $100.

Pros

  • Forged blade
  • Slip-resistant handle
  • Superior edge retention
  • Hammered stainless steel handles

Cons

  • Hand wash only

Henckels Everedge Plus High-Carbon Stainless Steel 13-Piece Knife Block Set: Best Value

J.A. Henckels is among the top names in kitchen knives, and the brand is responsible for high-quality, and expensive blades. But this Henckels Everedge Knife Set is surprisingly affordable. It comes with the following 13 pieces:

  • 2.75-inch (7 cm) paring knife
  • 5-inch (12.7 cm) serrated utility
  • 5.5-inch (14 cm) boning knife
  • 6-inch utility knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) bread knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) chef’s knife
  • Six 4.5-inch (11.4 cm) steak knives
  • Black hardwood block
Henckels Everedge Plus 13-pc Knife Block Set

This 13-piece knife set features blades of high-quality German stainless steel. Each blade is stamped and has a full tang so it extends the full length of the handle.

The contoured handles are santoprene with a stainless steel backing. They have an ergonomic design and a soft grip for extra comfort and control.

The blades have a micro-serrated edge. Henckels claims that these knives never have to be sharpened. Several customers said they used theirs for up to 10 years without sharpening, but I can’t verify that they would never need sharpening.

Cleanup is a cinch with these knives. They are dishwasher-safe, although hand washing is preferable. After cleaning, it’s easy to store these blades in the black hardwood block.

Users were happy with this knife set. They liked the six steak knives, as well as the essential knives. The look, the performance, and the comfortable handles were all high positives for this Henckels 13-piece knife set.

Pros

  • German stainless steel
  • Full tang blades
  • Comfortable grip
  • Holds an edge for a long time

Cons

  • No knife sharpeners included

Cuisinart Triple Rivet 15-Piece Cutlery Knife Block Set: Best Cuisinart Alternative

If you like the Cuisinart brand but prefer the traditional black riveted handles of Western-style knives, this Cuisinart Triple Rivet 15-Piece Knife Set is a good option. It comes with the following pieces:

  • 3.5-inch (8.9 cm) paring knife
  • 4.5-inch (11.4 cm) utility knife
  • 5-inch (12.7 cm) Santoku knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) slicing knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) chef’s knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) serrated bread knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) sharpening steel
  • Six 4.5-inch (11.4 cm) steak knives
  • Wood knife block

These knives feature a fully-forged blade made with high-carbon stainless steel. The full tang means the blade goes all the way to the end of the handle. The extra-wide bolster provides ultimate safety and grip.

The six steak knives do not have a serrated blade, which is unusual for a steak knife. They also lack the full tang and bolster of the other knives in the set.

The handles are ergonomically designed and feature a black plastic construction with triple rivets for extra durability.

Users were pleased with these knives. They said there was a great selection of knives included in the set. The scissors and honing rod were nice additions, as well.

Some people wished the steak knives were serrated to make cutting steak easier. But the biggest complaint was rust: Several users had issues with the blades showing rust after a short time.

These steel knives have a high carbon content, so they are more susceptible to rust. Washing them by hand and drying them immediately will help prevent some of those issues.

On the flip side, customers did say that these knives were quite sharp. They were able to keep them sharpened with the honing steel.

Watch this manufacturer video to see a short demonstration of this set:

Pros

  • High-carbon stainless steel blade
  • Fully-extended tang (except steak knives)
  • Triple-riveted handle
  • Includes honing steel

Cons

  • Hand wash only
  • Reports of rust

Chicago Cutlery ProHold 14-Piece Nonstick Knife Block Set: Best Non-stick Knife Set

Have you ever had potatoes stick to your blade while slicing them? I hate it when that happens. This Chicago Cutlery ProHold Non-stick Knife Set aims to solve that problem. It comes with 14 pieces, including:

  • 8-inch (20 cm) chef’s knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) bread knife
  • 5-inch (12.7 cm) serrated utility knife
  • 5-inch (12.7 cm) Santoku knife
  • 3.5-inch (8.9 cm) paring knife
  • 3.25-inch (8.3 cm) peeler
  • Six 4.5-inch (11.4 cm) steak knives
  • Two wood knife blocks
Chicago Cutlery Prohold 14-Piece Nonstick Knife Block Set Black

Each knife in this set features a stainless steel stamped blade with a non-stick coating on the blade for food release. The handles are ergonomic and texture for slip-resistance, allowing for maximum control.

One of the more unique features of this knife block set is the wooden block. Or should I say, wooden blocks. There are actually two blocks that nest within each other and separate.

The smaller block contains six steak knives, so it’s easy to safely carry them to the dinner table.

As far as cleaning? This set is not safe for the dishwasher. Hand washing will preserve the non-stick coating.

You can snag this set for around $90, although that is always subject to change.

Customers were overall pleased with this knife set. They liked the sharp edge and the sleek design. Some complained that the edge was not smooth, while others had issues with the non-stick coating wearing off after a while.

The reality is, a non-stick coating is not going to last forever. These knives are good value, but they will most likely need replacing after a few years. If you can live with that, then this set is an ok pick.

Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t buy this set. Why? Well, I don’t find food sticking to knives to be enough of a problem to warrant a non-stick coating. This set is for those that do.

This short manufacturer video highlights some of the features of this 14-piece knife set:

Pros

  • Detachable wood block for steak knives
  • Non-stick coating for food release
  • Stainless steel blade

Cons

  • Not as durable
  • Reports of coating coming off
  • Hand wash only

Our Table 18-Piece Triple Rivet Knife Block Set: Best Budget Knife Set

Our Table’s 18-piece knife set is the largest set on the list. It comes with the following pieces:

  • 3-inch (7.6 cm) birds beak paring knife
  • 3.5-inch (8.9 cm) paring knife
  • 5-inch (12.7 cm) utility knife
  • 5-inch (12.7 cm) serrated utility knife
  • 7-inch (17.8 cm) Santoku knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) serrated bread knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) chef’s knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) sharpening steel
  • Eight 4.5-inch (11.4 cm) stamped steak knives
  • Kitchen shears
  • Wood knife block
Our Table 18-Piece Triple Rivet Knife Block Set Black

This set swaps out a carving knife to include two paring knives. That’s a trade-off that depends on personal preference.

All the knives in this knife set feature a high carbon stainless steel blade that is taper ground for extra sharpness. The blade has a bolster for maximum control and a safe grip.

The full tang blade extends in the triple-riveted handle, which sports a resin construction and an ergonomic design. The main knives have a stainless steel end cap, but the eight steak knives do not. The knives are serrated for the sawing motion needed to cut steak.

The wooden block is a light color and space-efficient. Customers commented on how the wooden block didn’t take up much room, especially considering how many pieces this knife set has.

The manufacturer does recommend washing these blades by hand. This knife set also requires sharpening. Fortunately, the sharpening steel has its own slot in the block for easy access.

Users liked how sharp these knives were, as well as the kitchen shears. Several liked the look of this set, as well. Some were disappointed that this knife set is not dishwasher-safe, but that’s fairly common.

A couple of users had issues with rusting, as well as dull edges. It’s unclear if this was a defect or user error. In spite of that, this large set is available at a fantastic price, making it my top pick for those on a tight budget.

Pros

  • Large set
  • Space-saving wooden block
  • Full bolster, full tang knives
  • Inexpensive
  • Includes sharpening tool

Cons

  • Hand wash only

Blue Diamond Sharp Stone Knife Set: Best Small Knife Set

You might recognize Blue Diamond cookware from “As Seen on TV,” but this brand also has a line of cutlery that utilizes the same non-stick technology. This Blue Diamond Sharp Stone 4-Piece knife set comes with the following knives:

  • 3.5-inch (8.9 cm) paring knife
  • 5-inch (12.7 cm) serrated utility knife
  • 7-inch (17.8 cm) Santoku knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) chef’s knife

There is no block included, but there are sheaths for each of the knives. Users said the sheaths were pretty much useless, however, so you will probably want to invest in another form of storage.

This knife set features rust-resistant stainless steel blades, with diamond-cut edges for the ultimate sharpness and precise cutting.

Blue Diamond Sharp Stone 4-Piece Knife Set Black

Each blade has a non-stick coating and a diamond texture that works with the coating to prevent sticking. Customers confirmed that nothing stuck to these blades, not even stickier foods like potatoes and tomatoes.

The blade has a partial tang, so it doesn’t extend all the way through the handle. Speaking of handles, these knives have ergonomic Bakelite handles for superior comfort.

User reviews liked the comfortable handles, although several did say they can get slippery. Others also complained that the shimmery blue coating on the handles is prone to scratching.

You can put these knives in the dishwasher, but the manufacturer does recommend washing them by hand. Several customers were able to successfully wash their knives in the dishwasher without damage.

Finally, this knife set is available at a great price. You can snag a set for around $40, averaging out $10 per knife.

Not the set I would get, but it’s a nice, cheap, easy-to-use set for someone with little space.

Pros

  • Non-stick, diamond texture blade
  • Attractive blue finish
  • Ergonomic Bakelite handles
  • Dishwasher-safe (hand washing recommended)
  • Affordable

Cons

  • No storage block included
  • No knife sharpener included
  • Complaints of slippery, easily scratched handles

Gordon Ramsay by Royal Doulton 6-Piece Knife Block Set: Best Splurge

Gordon Ramsay is among the top celebrity chefs and is known for his high standards and brutal, if not entertaining, honesty. This 6-piece knife set includes a block and five knives:

  • 8-inch (20 cm) cook’s knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) serrated bread knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) carving knife
  • 5-inch (12.7 cm) utility knife
  • 3-inch (7.6 cm) paring knife
  • 8-inch (20 cm) filament knife block

All the knives in this set are fully forged from high-quality stainless steel. The plastic, triple-riveted handle provides excellent balance and control. The full-tang knives have a full bolster to provide safety and help with the proper grip.

This knife set comes with a sleek filament storage block that allows the knives to be stored vertically, saving precious counter space. And since it uses filament instead of solid wood, you can insert the knives without trying to find the correct slot for each knife.

As far as cleaning, hand washing is recommended. Be sure to immediately dry these knives, as well, to avoid the possibility of rust.

It is one of the most expensive sets on our list, especially considering the smaller size. This knife set will sit right at $100 when there’s a discount applied.

However, the reviews for these knives were glowing. They loved the quality and sharpness of these knives, as well as the space-saving storage. One customer praised the filament block, especially.

Several users did complain that the knife block is not the same color as shown in the listing photos. The block shown is black, and the description says it’s a dark gray. However, most people received a light gray block. If this matters to you, be forewarned.

Still, if you value quality over quantity, this knife block set is one of the best options.

Pros

  • Sharp, great performance
  • Filament storage block
  • Full bolster, full tang blade
  • Stainless steel blade
  • Triple-riveted handles

Cons

  • Smaller set
  • Block is lighter gray than shown
  • At the top end, price-wise

Best Affordable Knife Set: A Buying Guide

What Are the Most Essential Knives?

This largely depends on each person, but most people benefit from having one or more utility knives for slicing tomatoes and trimming meats. A paring knife is useful for small jobs like peeling fruit, and a chef’s or Santoku knife is best for chopping vegetables.

Beyond that, bread knives and carving knives are also quite common, and some sets include steak knives for the dinner table.

As far as accessories? Steel sharpeners and built-in sharpeners are popular, but you can only use them with straight edge blades. A serrated knife cannot be sharpened with a regular knife sharpener. Serrated knives require specialty sharpening.

Many knife sets also include a block for storing.

Sharpening even straight-edge blades yourself is not always a good idea. It’s important to preserve the angle of the blade–something a professional service will know how to do.

Kitchen knives hanging from a knife rack

What to Look for in Kitchen Knives

Blade Material

The most common blade material for western-style knives is high carbon stainless steel. The carbon content gives the blade a sharper cutting edge and makes it corrosion-resistant.

Carbon is more susceptible to rust, however, so it’s essential to avoid leaving wet carbon steel knives laying around. Dry them immediately after washing to prevent rust.

A stainless steel blade does not have as much carbon, so it’s softer and not as sharp. But it is more flexible and resistant to rust. Steel knives need frequent sharpening to stay sharp.

Both high carbon and stainless steel blades are popular and can work well in the kitchen.

Forged vs. Stamped Blades

All kitchen knives come with either forged or stamped blades.

Forged blades are heated and hammered out of a single steel rod. These knives offer better balance and strength. They also keep a sharp edge for a longer time.

On the other hand, stamped blades are cut out (i.e. “stamped”) from a flat piece of steel. A stamped knife will not offer the same durability or sharpness as forged knives.

Knives with forged blades are generally more expensive than sets with stamped blades. Most knife sets under $100 feature stamped blades, but there are some forged blades on the list.

Handles

The best knife sets will have handles that are comfortable to hold and secure. Many handles are triple-riveted, so the blade is attached at three separate points. Some handles are glued to the blade, which is a less secure method.

As far as handle materials, most are some type of polypropylene or composite material. Wooden handles are also common, as well as steel handles.

Tang

Tang refers to how far the blade goes into the handle. Full tang knives mean the blade extends all the way through the handle, whereas partial tang knives only extend part of the way into the blade. A full tang knife is sturdier than a partial tang knife, but it will generally cost more money.

This one factor of many, though, and you can find high-quality partial tang or low-quality full tang.

Best Knife Set under $100 : The Final Verdict

What is the best affordable knife set? My recommendation is the Cuisinart Classic Stainless Steel 17-Piece Knife Block Set. These are high-quality knives with a beautiful design and top performance.

For an alternative pick, I also like the Henckels Everedge Plus Knife Set. These are among the sharpest knives for this price range, making them an excellent value.