Best American Made Kitchen Knife Sets: Which One Would You Choose?

Did you know?

Many people will swear that Germans are the best bladesmiths in the Western world and the Japanese are crowned the king of knives in the East, but that doesn’t mean that American-made blades are not up to scratch.

Germany and Japan have a longer, more extensive history of cutlery making on their side but US knives are just as functional and beautifully designed.

When you are thinking of getting a knife set any time soon, try not to overlook the craftsmanship that American artisans have to offer.

You’d be surprised at what they have in store for us all.

Best American-Made Kitchen Knife Sets (Updated List)

What to Look For When Buying?

Shopping for a knife set is not easy.

Aside from figuring out the specific details about the collection, you also have to make sure it’s within your budget.

To come up with a smart decision, here are some questions you should ask yourself…

What’s in the set?

Professional cooks will tell you that four knives are invaluable in any kitchen: Chef’s, paring, serrated, and boning.

It would also be great if the set comes with honing steel since sharpening your blade before use is a must to get precise cuts.

The rest are great add-ons but, to be honest, you’re OK with those mentioned.

What is the knife made of?

Knowing the steel blend that was used is of note because a good knife should have a balanced measurement of metals to be hard but flexible, sharp but resilient, and long-lasting but with very few flaws.

How was the knife made?

Stamping and forging create different results.

Machine-polishing and hand-finishing produce varying outcomes.

One may be better than the other, but what matters is that you know the process so you have a better understanding of the knife you’re getting.

Does it have important design features?

Tangs. Bolsters. Rivets. Bevels. Spine and edge thickness.

These are only some of the design features which you need to consider when shopping for a set because these dictate the functionality of your tool.

Is the set worth your money?

Some sets are dirt cheap at $50 while others cost an arm and a leg.

Don’t just go for the cheapest because that’s what you can afford and don’t go for the priciest because you think it’s high quality.

Settle for the brand which gives you value for your money.

Product Reviews

Rada’s 7-Piece Starter Gift Set

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Rada Cutlery Knife 7 Stainless Steel Kitchen Knives Starter...
  • PERFECT STARTER KNIFE SET – Everything you need to cook up a great...
  • NO BETTER GIFT IDEA – Give a loved one, friends or newlyweds a gift...
  • BRUSHED ALUMINUM HANDLES - The handles on the knives in this starter...

Knives included in the set: 7” Slicer, 6.25” Cook’s, 6” for Bread with mini-serrations, 5” Tomato Slicer, 4” Super Parer, 3.25” Regular Parer, and Vegetable Peeler with a total measurement of 7.25”

The steel used for all Rada knives is called T420, a low-carbon but high-chromium stainless steel composite that is often used for surgical equipment.

This blend won’t rust ever and is quite sharp when it gets to you.

However, it may need re-sharpening as time goes by and if used often.

The blades in this set are stamped and don’t have the often-desired full tang or thick bolster.

They added a finger guard on the handle for protection from accidental nicks.

Speaking of the handle, this takes after the simple lines of octagonal or cylindrical Japanese knives for easier grip.

Instead of the traditional wood used for the handle, this is made of silver-painted aluminum.

It is better to hand wash this than put it in the dishwasher.

Rada has been creating their low-cost yet high-quality knives, as well as various cookware, in Waverly, Iowa since 1948.

Rada Cutlery 15-Piece Ultimate Collection

Cutco 21 Piece Kitchen Knife Set with Cherry Finish Oak...
  • America's #1 Brand in Quality Cutlery for Over 50 Years
  • 440A High-Carbon Stainless Steel with Full Tang, Triple Rivet, and...
  • American Made Products, Manufactured Entirely in the USA by American...
.

Knives included in the set: Cook’s, Serrated for bread, Serrated Slicer, Plain Slicer, Stubby Butcher, Utility (for steak), Cook’s Utility, Tomato Slicer, 4 kinds of Paring knives (Granny, Heavy Duty, Super, and Regular), Cheese knife, Vegetable Peeler, and a Sharpener

This is another favorite from the all-American Rada Manufacturing Company and, for some, even better than the 7-Piece Starter Kit described above because it has more knives and additional kitchen tools.

With several slicers, paring knives, and honing steel, this is a real treat for home cooks.

Like most products in the Rada line, the knives in this collection are also stamped from the same T420 steel sheet.

It has partial tangs and no bolsters since the silver brushed aluminum handles are ergonomically-designed with protective finger guards.

Other Rada variants are dishwasher-safe but this particular set is better hand-washed.

The lack of a full tang may be an inconvenience for some since partially tanged knives tend to get detached from the handles.

In case this happens, you’ll be glad to know that all knives manufactured by Rada can be returned for fixing or replacement.

Cutco 21-Piece Set with Oak Block

Rada Cutlery 15 Pc Gift Set Ultimate Collection, Piece,...
  • Handcrafted in USA
  • Extra sharp high carbon stainless steel blade
  • Comfortable solid cast brushed aluminum handles

Knives included in the set: 7” Santoku, 8” Santoku-like Carver, 10” Santoku-like Slicer, 10” Santoku-like Trimmer with a sheath, 4” Gourmet Paring Knife, Gourmet Prep Knife, Cheese Knife, Vegetable Peeler, Turning Fork, 8 Table Knives, Sharpener and an Oak Block

Like Rada, Cutcos are stamped rather than forged.

But because the steel used for these knives is the surgical-grade 440A stainless, you can expect that it has a razor-sharp edge that can hold longer and is stain-resistant.

The blades have a Double-D edge or tiny serrations.

While this is great for slicing vegetables, it may create tiny nicks on meat. Also, honing serrated knives is a bit of a challenge, although they offer re-sharpening services.

It is full tang and triple-riveted, although it doesn’t have a bolster.

The grooves along the thermo-resin handle allow you to wrap your fist around it with little tension.

Cutco, made in Olean, New York, offers a Forever Guarantee.

If you aren’t happy with your knife’s performance or if a mishap happened and damaged your knife, it will be corrected or replaced.

They also have a 15-day money-back guarantee.

Case Household 8-Piece Cutlery Knives

CASE XX WR Nine Piece Case Household Cutlery Block and Knife...
  • Blades: A Must For Every Kitchen
  • 9 Piece Set
  • Great everyday pocket knife for projects around the house, the...

Knives included in the set: 8” Chef’s, 9” Slicing, 8” Serrated for Bread, 7” Santoku, 6” Boning, 6.5” Tomato Slicer, 3” Paring, 10” Sharpener, and a knife block

Case is known primarily for their beautiful and razor-sharp sports and hunting knives.

Several decades later, they launched their kitchen cutlery line, including this wonderful set.

The steel they use for their kitchen knives is the trademarked Tru-Sharp, high-carbon stainless steel mixed with different metal alloys for hardness, sharpness, and corrosion resistance.

Although these are stamped, it has a full tang and is riveted to the narrow, dark-colored walnut handle.

It does have design flaws, though.

The heel of some knives (Chef’s and Santoku) is a bit straight and, without the protection of a thick bolster, can cause accidental nicks.

Some also complained about the coarse handle which needed extra sanding and oiling.

But overall, the walnut handle is charming in its rusticity.

Also, the addition of a Santoku, a boning knife, the sharpener, and the storage block make this a great buy.

Case is based in Bradford, Pennsylvania, and has been making all their products there for over a century.

Dexter Russell i-Cut 8-Piece Cutlery Set

Dexter i-Cut Stainless Steel 8 Piece Cutlery Set
  • High-carbon, stain-free steel blades are very durable and long lasting
  • I-Cut Pro Cutlery 8 piece knife set contains diamond sharpener and...
  • Santopropene handles are safe to use and easy to grip

Knives included in the set: 10” Chef’s, 10” Slicer with a pointed edge, 8” Bread slicer with scallops, 7” Santoku, 6” Boning, 3.5” Paring, 10” Diamond Sharpener, and a Cutlery case.

All Dexter Russells are made of stainless steel with grades 400 and up, ensuring strength, flexibility, and resistance to wear and corrosion.

While they offer stamped knives, this particular set is forged from Japanese steel.

This is evident in the full tang which extends out of the handle and the thick bolsters which extends down to the heel.

The handles are made of thermoplastic Santoprene, providing a comfortable and safe grip.

The iCut line was designed for professional use, hence the inclusion of the black nylon cutlery case and the Sani-safe sharpener.

This special sharpening tool helps to create a new edge, in case it breaks off.

If you’re not confident in doing this, send your knives back to them so they can give it that factory-finish once more.

Dexter Russell’s manufacturing factory is based in Southbridge, Massachusetts.

FAQ’s

Are the knives dishwasher-safe?

No. It is best to hand wash all these knives.

Does the set come with blocks or magnets?

No, except for Case and Cutco. Dexter Russell’s iCut set comes with a nylon case.

Does the set have honing steels and whetstones for re-sharpening?

Except for Rada’s starter cutlery kit, all have sharpening tools.

Are these knife sets actually made in the United States?

Yes.

Do these sets have lifetime warranties?

Yes. But you must read the companies’ individual guidelines about this.

Conclusion

All these American-made knife sets have the four essential blades which, as discussed earlier, are important in a well-functioning kitchen.

Again, except for Rada’s 7-piece gifting set, all have honing steels.

And this carries a whole lot of weight for those who can’t abide a blunt knife.

Your specifications on what you’d like to see in and how you’d like to feel a knife will help in finalizing your decision, of course.

But you can be assured that all brands named above – Rada, Cutco, Case, and Dexter Russell – manufacture decent knives at a relatively good price.

Any of these sets will prove to be an asset for you.

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.