Top 8 Best Knife Sets For Professional Chefs: Which One Would You Choose?

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If you’re a professional chef, your most important tools are your knives.

These are what you’re going to use to do most if not all of your prep work in the kitchen, so you have to make sure you have a good set.

But with all the different brands and options out there, figuring out the right one for you can be pretty tough.

That’s why, to make things easier one you, we’ve compiled the best knife set for professional chefs on the market today.

We’ve included some of the most high-quality collections out there because if you’re working in a professional kitchen, you have to have heavy-duty tools.

We’ve also included a quick buying guide at the end to help you out further, so keep reading to learn more!

Best Knife Sets For Professional Chefs (Updated List)

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Related: Best kitchen knife sets

What To Look For When Buying

Construction

The first thing you need to look at when shopping for kitchen cutlery is the construction of the knives.

Ideally, professionals should use forged full-tang knives.

This basically means that the blades are forged from a single piece of stainless steel which makes them very durable.

Another good construction technique is the Damascus tradition which involves layering multiple sheets of stainless steel over a tough core to make a sharp and durable blade with a beautiful swirly aesthetic on its face.

Full-tang knives are basically products where the blade runs all the way through the knife to the end of the handle.

These will be very stable and comfortable to use in the kitchen, which is why they are recommended for professionals.

Materials Used

Next, you’re going to have to pay close attention to what the knives are made out of, as that dictates how sharp they can be, how balanced they will feel, and how well they can retain their edge.

Generally, it would be ideal to have high-carbon steel blades as this material is very hard and can hold its edge for a very long time but not too hard that the steel becomes brittle.

On top of that, it’s important to have comfortable and durable handles made out of materials such as PakkaWood, resin, PP, or Stainless steel.

Pieces Included

One very important aspect of any kitchen cutlery set is the pieces that are included.

When shopping for professional sets, sometimes you will come across collections that only have two blades, and that’s because shopping in this range usually means looking at specific blades for specific tasks.

However, any basic set should first include a chef knife, paring knife, and serrated knife as these are the most important kitchen tools for any chef.

From there, it would also be nice for the set to have a slicing, utility, santoku, and a nakiri.

Furthermore, if you don’t have a place to store the blades, it could be useful if the set came with sheaths, a knife roll, or even a storage block.

Product Reviews

1. Homgeek Kitchen Chef’s Knife Set (Best Overall)

First off we have this simple set from Homegeek.

It only contains two knives, an 8” chef and a 7” santoku.

This doesn’t give you that much variety, but these are two very versatile kitchen tools that you can use for just about any task, which makes this a great set to start your collection with.

The blades are forged out of German stainless steel with 15% chromium, so they will not rust, especially if you take care of them and maintain them right.

They also come with a beautiful PakkaWood handle that gives a very rustic aesthetic while also making the knives very comfortable to grip.

On top of all that, the edges are sharpened to a 14-degree angle on each side, giving you superior sharpness right out of the box.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • A great starter set
  • The blades are made of high-quality stainless steel
  • Comfortable PakkaWood handles
  • Razor-sharp right out of the box
  • Great edge retention

Cons:

  • Only comes with two knives

2. Elegant Life Professional 5-Piece Set (2nd Runner-up)

This set comes with a chef’s knife, two santoku blades (7” and 5”), a paring knife, and a slicer.

With these tools, you can accomplish just about any prep job you can imagine.

They are constructed in a style that combines Japanese and German knife-making traditions, which makes for a very sharp and durable blade.

The face of the blades features a beautiful swirly pattern that is reminiscent of Damascus knives.

That being said, these knives only have the Damascus pattern and are not true Damascus knives.

They do have blades forged out of high-carbon stainless steel that is sharpened to a very sharp 14-degree angle.

These blades also come with triple-riveted, non-slip ABS handles, which make them great picks for any chef.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Razor-sharp
  • Great edge-retention
  • Has a unique swirly pattern on the blade
  • Comes with five knives
  • Full-tang

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a serrated blade

3. Chef’s Vision Cosmos Kitchen Set (Budget Choice)

This very affordable set from Chef’s Vision is ideal for chefs on a budget looking for knives with a unique aesthetic.

These blades feature beautiful colorful blades that have images of the universe printed on them, which makes them one of the most unique picks on the list.

The blades are made of durable stainless steel that is honed to a very sharp edge, which will make them razor-sharp right out of the box.

On top of that, the print on the blades also serves a functional purpose.

The print is made out of a non-stick coating so no ingredients will get stuck on the blade while you’re slicing and prepping food in the kitchen.

The set comes with six different blades including a chef knife, utility knife, paring knife, serrated knife, and a santoku, making for a very complete set fit for any chef.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Complete 5-piece set
  • Has a non-stick coating
  • Unique aesthetic
  • Razor-sharp
  • Comes in a beautiful gift box

Cons:

  • Not the most durable set out there

4. Slitzer Germany 7-Piece Set (Best for Design)

If you’re looking for a sleek and professional-looking set of German blades, this might be the right pick for you.

It features five different blades, honing steel, and a knife roll so you can easily store your blades and bring them with you wherever you need to go.

All the blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel, so you can expect great edge retention and durability from them.

They are all full-tang in construction and the blades are all connected to sleek and comfortable handles that will give you a very stable feel when prepping in the kitchen.

The set comes with very useful blades that you will use a lot in the kitchen, especially if you find yourself doing a wide variety of prep work.

It should be noted though that while they have German designs, these are knives that are made in China, which makes the set very affordable while still being of very high quality.

This is a great pick for just about any chef out there looking for a quality collection on a budget.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Sleek and modern design
  • Razor-sharp
  • Full-tang
  • Comfortable handle design

Cons:

  • The blades are stamped, not forged

5. Top Chef 5-Piece Set (Best for Convenience)

The next pick on our list would be a great set for a chef looking for their first cutlery collection.

This is because it comes with three essential knives, a chef’s, santoku, and utility knife.

With these tools, you can accomplish just about any prep job you can think of.

On top of that, it comes with a knife roll and honing steel so you can easily bring the blades around and maintain their sharp edge.

The blades are made out of high-carbon steel, which will give them great edge retention, which is a great plus since they arrive razor-sharp right out of the box.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Comes with a honing steel
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Razor-sharp right out of the box
  • Great edge retention
  • Full-tang

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a serrated knife

6. Ross Henery Eclipse 9-Piece Set (Best Starter Set)

If you’re looking for a set that comes with all the tools you would need when learning the ropes of the kitchen, this is a great pick for you.

It comes with six knives, a meat cleaver, honing steel, a carving fork, and a solid carrying case.

All the blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel and are tiple-hardened, which gives them very good edge retention, so you won’t need to sharpen the blades too much.

They are also full-tang in construction with very ergonomic stainless steel handles, which makes for very comfortable blades that you can use for a long time in the kitchen without getting strained.

And since it comes with a solid carrying case, you can bring this set with you anywhere you need, whether that’s to work, culinary school, or even just to a friend’s house because you’re in charge of making dinner that night.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Comes with a honing steel
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • High-carbon stainless steel blades
  • Great edge-retention
  • Ergonomic handles

Cons:

  • The boning knife it comes with isn’t that comfortable

7. Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature Set (Best for Sharpness)

Next up is a very basic set from one of the premier brands in the market today.

It comes with three essentials blades: a chef knife, utility knife, and paring knife.

While this isn’t the widest collection, it comes with tools that will handle most of the kitchen prep jobs a professional chef will encounter.

These are one-piece precision-stamped blades, which are both affordable and very light, which will make using them in the kitchen very easy.

On top of that, they are ice-hardened which will make the edge last much longer, which is a huge plus since the Zwilling brand sharpens their blades to a very fine edge so they’ll be razor-sharp right out of the box.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9.5/10
  • Handling: 8/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8/10

Pros:

  • Made by a very trusted brand
  • Durable blades with great edge-retention
  • Full-tang
  • Comfortable handle
  • 57 Rockwell hardness rating

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case

8. XYJ Stainless Steel 8-Piece Set (Best for Damascus Style)

Our last pick on this list takes inspiration from Japanese knife-making styles, so you can expect razor-sharp and very comfortable blades.

It’s an 8-piece set that comes with all the knives and tools you will need in the kitchen.

On top of that, all the blades come with sheaths that keep the edge sharp when stored and a knife roll so you can easily bring your tools around with you.

The blades themselves are very sharp and feature a Damascus-style swirly pattern that gives it a unique aesthetic.

They also have beautiful handles that are lightweight and very comfortable, making them a great pick for just about any professional chef.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Comes with all the essentials
  • Comes with a knife roll
  • The blades have a Damascus-style swirly pattern
  • Great for any kitchen prep job
  • Razor-sharp

Cons:

  • Not the most durable blades on the market

FAQ’s

1. What Knife Does Gordon Ramsay Use?

Professionals like Gordon Ramsay are usually seen using chef knives for all-around tasks, but they will also use a varied and specific set of tools for various tasks.

These chefs are usually seen using the most trusted brands out there such as Wusthof, Henckels, Shun, and Mac, just to name a few.

2. What Is The Most Often Used Knife In A Professional Kitchen?

The chef knife is seen as the most-used tool in a professional kitchen because it’s versatile and can be used for just about any prep job you can think of.

3. How Much Should A Good Knife Set Cost?

If you’re looking for a basic everyday set for home use, then you can easily find one in the $100-$200.

However, if you’re a professional looking for professional-grade tools expect to spend anywhere between $300-$1000 for a quality set.

4. Are German Or Japanese Knives Better?

This depends on your tastes and preferences.

Generally, Japanese blades will be sharper and harder, giving them more edge-retention and precision, but are fairly brittle compared to German ones.

While German-style knives are still very sharp, they don’t have the same edge as Japanese models, but they are more durable than their Asian counterparts.

5. What Knives Should Every Chef Have?

Most professionals will say that you will at least need to have a chef knife, paring knife, and serrated knife in the kitchen.

In fact, with these tools, you can accomplish just about any kitchen prep task you can think of.

6. Which Is Better Santoku Or Chef Knife?

This all depends on your own personal preferences.

Santoku blades are smaller than standard chef knives and are generally sharper, so they are more fit for more precise tasks such as slicing fish and small vegetables, however, they are still a viable all-around tool for any chef.

7. Are Japanese Knives Worth It?

Yes, especially if you’re looking for razor-sharp blades that allow you to slice with a lot of precision.

That being said, since these knives are harder, they are a bit more brittle than German ones, which is a compromise that will have to be made.

Conclusion

And that ends our list of the best knife sets for professionals.

This list features premium options and budget-friendly options since everyone has different preferences and needs when it comes to kitchen cutlery.

And if you think you found the right set for you on this list, then all that’s left for you to do is head out and get one for yourself!

Just remember, the best knife set for you is one that you’re comfortable with and enjoy using on a regular basis.

Last Updated on August 18, 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.