Top 7 Best Forged Knife Sets: Do You Know Any Of These?

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Did you know?

The knife, one of the earliest tools ever made and used, was merely carved from wood or stone.

Soon, our ancestors figured out that placing a piece of metal in heat and hammering it to a thin edge results in a more efficient device.

The process of forging swords, machetes, sabers, or any cutting implement may have undergone improvements but the most rudimentary technique is practically the same.

And there is no doubt that this is still the best way to create the toughest, sharpest knives that can last a lifetime.

A bit more resolute about getting the best forged knife set? Read on.

Best Forged Knife Sets (Updated List)

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Buying Guide

Buying a knife set can be pretty arduous, especially if you want the best for your kitchen.

It also doesn’t help that there are numerous options to choose from nowadays.

So here are some factors you need to consider to make the selection process easier for you

Make sure they are actually forged

There are two quick ways to ascertain a forged blade.

First, it should be hard and heavy.

Japanese forged knives are thinner and lighter than Germans but it still has a substantial weight to it.

Admittedly, it’s hard to judge this when you’re shopping online, so try the second trait to look for: the bolster.

This is the thick mound at the junction of the blade and the handle, serving to balance the knife and as a protective finger guard.

Know the type of steel used

Whether the blade is high-carbon, stainless steel, or some almost-perfect blend of both, it would benefit you to know what this precisely is.

Top cutlery companies are always forthright about the materials they use and their manufacturing process.

Premium raw materials plus well-developed production mean superb end products.

If the company is quite vague about the type of steel (they only advertise ‘made from Japan’, ‘German steel’, etc.), move on to your next option.

Check for important design features

Aside from the bolster, forged knife sets worth your money should have full tangs, slightly thick spines, and extremely thin edges.

The handles, made from high-quality material, should be riveted to the tangs.

Save up on cash

Here’s the (slightly) bitter truth about the best forged knife set: it can be very expensive.

You might find discounted blocks with knives at a hundred or a couple of hundred bucks but do expect to pay more.

Then again, these are more than just ‘decent’ knives.

A real investment, you can even pass this on to your children when they’re older.

Product Reviews

Allwin-Houseware 8-Piece Premium Chef Knife Set (Best Overall)

Premium 8-Piece German High Carbon Stainless Steel Kitchen...
  • Natural rubber wood knife block, easy to store and protect knives.
  • Double forged Full Tang handle resist fading, discoloration, heat and...
  • High-quality German steel Tarnish-resistant, rust-resistant, and easy...

This company is not the first name that will come to mind when discussing forged knives.

However, this 8-Piece Chef’s set is such a wonder, you need to give this not-too-familiar brand a chance.

Double-forged using high-carbon steel from Germany, this set is one of Allwin-Houseware’s best.

The blades are manually given a 15-degree edge, making this incredibly sharp.

The black polymer material is asymmetrically wrapped around the handle, showcasing the complete tang and the thick, full bolster.

Three oblique slits near the butt distinguish this as an Allwin-Houseware item.

The square-ish front-slanting block is made of natural rubberwood and finished with a dark stain – truly a chic addition to any kitchen.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9/10
  • Handling: 9.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 9/10

Pros:

  • Contains all the basic kitchen knives
  • The steel used is made in Germany
  • The addition of the honing rod is a plus
  • One of the most affordable forged sets
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Shears do not come apart
  • Some have complained about the rusting on the handles
  • The knife is assembled in China – this is a turn-off for some

Dalstrong 18-Piece Gladiator Series Collection (2nd Runner-up)

DALSTRONG Knife Set Block - Gladiator Series - 18-Pc...
  • Outstanding craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, stunning design...
  • Incredibly razor sharp, full-tang, imported high-carbon German steel...
  • Famed design, with satisfying heft, premium materials and quality...

Although it is relatively new in the cutlery industry, Dalstrong has proven that it can match the quality of legendary brands with long histories of knife making.

Their 18-piece Gladiator variant – complete with classic western and traditional eastern blades – is proof of that.

All the blades in this Dalstrong set are made from high-carbon German-style steel (HRC 56), forged from tip-to-tang, and then hand-polished at 14-16-degrees on both sides.

The black ABS polymer handles have a luxurious look and feel with its triple rivets, the middle one slightly larger and engraved with the Dalstrong logo.

The rectangular, front-slanting walnut woodblock is interestingly unique and will suit both traditional and modern-looking kitchens.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9/10
  • Handling: 9/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10

Pros:

  • Has all the essential kitchen knives
  • Has three of the most basic Asian-style knives
  • Comes with 100% satisfaction or money-back guarantee
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • A bit too pricey
  • Dalstrong’s whole manufacturing process (from steel manufacture to assembly) is in China

Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Set (Best for Durability)

-39% Sale
Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set,...
  • Ergonomic Santoprene handle offers superior comfort and a non-slip...
  • High carbon, no-stain German X50 Cr Mo V15 cutlery steel resists rust,...
  • Precision forged construction for better strength and durability with...

When it comes to kitchen knives, this brand has almost perfected it all.

And this 6-piece collection is proof of that.

Fully forged from premium X50CrMoV15 stainless steel from Germany, this is one of Mercer’s pride and joy.

It has full tangs, wide up-to-the-heel bolsters, and exceedingly sharp edges – reasons why professional chefs love this brand.

The black Santoprene handle feels smooth and soft but won’t slip from your hands easily.

They embellished this with the recognizable Mercer logo in silver.

The most interesting element here is, without a doubt, the tempered glass block that allows you to see the knife that you need.

It is unobtrusive in size but visually stunning by design.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 8.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 9.5/10

Pros:

  • Consists only of the essentials – and that’s a good thing
  • Precision-forged from real German-made steel
  • Relatively affordable for its amazing quality
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • The ultra-modern knife block may not suit all kitchen interiors, in terms of design

Cuisinart C77TR-15P (15-Piece Triple Riveted) Collection (Best for Beginners)

-42% Sale
Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet Collection 15-Piece Knife...
  • Superior high-carbon stainless steel blades for precision and accuracy
  • Precision-tapered ground blades that narrow gradually to an extremely...
  • Forged durable extra-wide safety bolster for perfect stability and...

When it comes to kitchen appliances for home and professional use, Cuisinart is the go-to brand.

You’ll be glad to know that they have complete cutlery sets now as well!

All the knives in this set are forged using a high-carbon stainless steel blend from tip to tang.

The thick bolster provides balance for the blade and protection for the user while the black handle is triple-riveted, ensuring that this won’t just come off.

The block, finished with a light wood stain, has that traditional slanted design that anyone will like.

Cuisinart is not that well-known for their knives but, with this set, they are proving that they can successfully branch out and be a worthy competition to older, more familiar brands.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 9/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8/10

Pros:

  • Has all the essential pieces and a bonus blade that is the Santoku
  • This is another low-cost forged set

Cons:

  • No specifics about the raw materials used (blade’s steel, polymer handle, etc.)

KitchenAid KKFSS14BO (14-Piece) Classic Forged Series (Best for Home Cooks)

-6% Sale
KitchenAid KKFSS14BO 14 Piece Classic Forged Series Brushed...
  • Included Components: 14-Piece Brushed Stainless Steel Cutlery Set

KitchenAid, another popular kitchen appliance manufacturer, also has a cutlery line!

And this remarkable array of forged blades is just as wonderful as the brand’s other offerings.

Except for the steak knives (made from 3CR13) and the shears (made from Japanese high-grade stainless steel), all the pieces in this set are forged from premier stainless steel made in Germany.

The handle (brushed silver) and the blade (not just the tang) are forged as one so expect that this will last you a long time.

The light-colored bamboo block will look perfect in any kitchen.

But the best part is the #600 Diamond grit sharpener attached to the upper right part of the block.

With this, sharpening the blades are faster and easier.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 8.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10

Pros:

  • Includes the basics. The Santoku is a great addition!
  • Revealed all the types of steel used for the different tools in the set
  • The integrated sharpener is a smart idea
  • Reasonably priced

Cons:

  • Knife manufacture is not Cuisinart’s specialty

Calphalon Classic 15-Piece Self-Sharpening Set (Best Design)

-18% Sale
Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15 Piece Cutlery Knife...
  • Kitchen knife set includes: 4 1/2 inch Paring Knife, 6 inch Utility...
  • Built in ceramic sharpeners automatically sharpen chef knives and...
  • Forged, high carbon, no stain steel (steak knives made from stamped...

This set from Calphalon almost has it all – the basic blades, steak knives, kitchen shears, and even a Santoku.

And although it doesn’t have a bread knife, it is replaced by a serri-form utility blade.

The Classic knives are fully forged from high-carbon, no-stain steel from the tip to the tang, with hefty bolsters running from its spine to the sharp edge.

However, the steak knives do not have bolsters.

And compared to the Chef’s and Santokus, these smaller ones aren’t labeled.

The sleeker and narrower handles are triple-riveted to the tangs.

The steak knives have the same design.

The best part of this set is its block since it features a steel plate with ceramic sharpeners inside the individual partitions.

This edges the knife when you pull it out of the slot.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 9/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8/10

Pros:

  • Has an extra Asian-style knife
  • Has the SharpIN technology
  • Backed by a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Lacks the serrated knife for bread
  • A bit pricey although this is the most affordable Calphalon knife set.

J.A Henckels International Self-Sharpening 20-Piece Set (Best for Multipurpose)

HENCKELS Statement 20-pc Self-Sharpening Knife Set with...
  • SET INCLUDES: 3-inch Paring knife, 4-inch Paring knife, 5-inch...
  • QUALITY DESIGN: Stylish brushed stainless-steel cap and stained ash...
  • SELF SHARPENING: Self-sharpening slots that sharpen each time a knife...

One of the most well-known cutlery companies in the world, J.A. Henckels is under the bigger umbrella of Zwilling J.A. Henckels that has deep roots in Germany’s City of Blades – Solingen.

This particular set is, without a doubt, one of their best.

With 18 knives (inclusive of all the essentials plus a few Japanese basics) and a pair of shears, this collection may be considered more than complete.

Fully forged using their very own blend of German steel, all the knives have full tangs, full bolsters, and incredibly sharp edges.

The handles, also made from stainless steel, are given a satiny, mirror-like finish.

The block, made from quality hardwood, a beauty.

But it’s also very functional, thanks to the integration of ceramic rods inside the slots for quick sharpening.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 8/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8/10

Pros:

  • Has all the knives which you may need in the kitchen
  • Innovative self-sharpening tool in the block
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Authentic German steel, made in Solingen
  • Offered with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • A bit pricey

FAQ’s

Is a complete set of knives really necessary?

Definitely. While a Chef’s knife or a Santoku is considered versatile, it really can’t function well for paring, filleting, slicing bread, and so on.

Are the knives dishwasher safe?

Some of the knives in the list like J.A. Henckels are advertised as safe to put in the dishwasher. However, it’s best to manually wash and dry your blades just to be safe.

Do these require daily honing and/or sharpening?

Honing your blades right before use always helps straighten the edge and give you accurate slices. Sharpening doesn’t have to be done often if your knife is made from high-quality steel and underwent a proper forging process.

Are the blocks easy to clean?

Yes. But try not to get the whole thing wet. The narrow slots are difficult to dry and may harbor bacteria that will transfer to your knife and, naturally, your food.

Where is the company based?

Some are US-made, one is from China, and another is from Germany. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter where your knife is from. Just be sure that these are made of superb materials and remarkably constructed.

Can I return damaged blades for repair or replacement?

If that is part of the warranty deal, then yes. It’s best to go over the fine print before purchasing anything; especially now that most shop online and can’t see the item firsthand.

Can I get a refund if I’m not happy with the set?

Some manufacturers of the aforementioned sets do offer “100% satisfaction or your money back”. Again, always review the fine print so you won’t feel cheated when you think things didn’t go your way.

Conclusion

Owning a fully forged and hand-finished knife set is the dream.

Imagine preparing a feast at home with ease and not worrying about lacking the right tools for the job.

And imagine doing that every day for the rest of your life! See, that’s how long honest to goodness decent knives will last.

Lucky for you (and us all), some forged knife sets are well-designed and acclaimed but are easier on the pocket.

If you can’t swipe your card for a Zwilling or a Mercer yet, try the more affordable ones first.

You can always save on and graduate to those brands in a year or two.

Last Updated on August 17, 2021

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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.