The Best Knife Sets Under $100: Which Is The Right One For You?

Finding the right knife set on a budget can be a pretty tough task.

There are a lot of things that you need to consider as the materials used, the knives included, construction, along a lot of other things that can vary from person to person.

And with all the different brands and options out there, and weeding out the good ones from the bad ones is far from easy.

So tell help you out, I’ve compiled a list of the best knife sets for under $100 in the market today, as well as a buying guide at the end of the article.

If you’ve been trying to find a knife set on a budget, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more.

Best Knife Sets For Under $100 (Updated List)

What To Consider When Buying

Materials Used

This would be one of the first factors to consider when looking at just about any knife set out there.

You would ideally, want to get products made with high-quality materials so they will be razor-sharp right out of the box and last you a long time in the kitchen.

One material to really look out for is high-carbon stainless steel.

And while there are a lot of steel recipes that contain a lot of carbon, just about any one of them would make a great choice for knife steel.

This is mainly because the material is very hard, which makes the blades retain their edge longer, and if they don’t have too much carbon, they can also be soft enough so they aren’t brittle and fragile.

Aside from that, you would also want to take a close look at the material in the handle.

In the sub-$100 price range, it would be best to go for synthetic handles such as PP and PakkaWood.

While normal wooden handles have a nice rustic look, if they aren’t treated right they lose a lot of water resistance which could greatly diminish the durability of a knife.

Construction

The next thing to consider is how the blades in the set are actually built.

While there are a lot of different construction techniques used by different brands the main ones are forging and stamping.

Forged blades are forged out of a single piece of stainless steel and tend to be very tough and durable, however, knives made like this might end up costing you more money.

Stamped models are laser cut or “stamped” out of a large sheet of stainless steel which makes for a cheaper blade that isn’t as durable, but can still hold its own in most kitchens.

Another important factor in construction is the tang.

The tang refers to the end of the blade that isn’t seen or is inside the handle.

A full-tang knife would have the blade run throughout the entire handle, giving off a much more balanced feel, which is what most chefs look for.

Semi-tang knives, which have the blade only run through a bit of the handle are also available but don’t have as much of a comfortable feeling when slicing and cutting.

Pieces Included

The next thing to consider is the items that are actually included in the set.

The first thing to check for is if they have the essential knives.

These are the chef knife or santoku, paring knife, and a serrated bread knife.

These are the most important kitchen tools of any chef and would be your most-used blades in the kitchen.

Additionally, it would be nice for the set to include a utility knife, boning knife, honing steel, and kitchen shears as these are also very useful tools in the kitchen, but they aren’t exactly necessary.

Storage

If you already have a nice magnetic strip or a knife roll to store your blades in, then this shouldn’t be too much of an issue for you.

However, if you don’t, it might be beneficial to get a set with either a storage block or sheaths included.

This is because proper storage is key in maintaining your knife set and storing your tools away without much care can lead to them rusting or losing their edge.

So if you don’t have a proper place to store your tools yet, you might want to consider getting a storage block or sheaths for your blades.

Product Reviews

1. Home Hero 17-Piece Set (Editor’s Choice)

Home Hero 17 Pieces Kitchen Knives Set, 13 Stainless Steel...
  • All-in-one complete set – a specialized set of kitchen chef knives...
  • Professional quality at its best – the best materials to update your...
  • A multi-purpose kitchen décor must – a perfect mix of design &...

The first set on our list comes from Home Hero, and it’s a great budget set for anyone looking to start their kitchen collection.

It contains all the essentials and more since on top of the standard knives you’d need in any functioning kitchen, it comes with six steak knives, a peeler, kitchen shears, a two-stage sharpener, a pizza knife, and a cheese knife.

All the blades are made out of stainless steel with a non-stick coating on them so you won’t have to worry about ingredients getting caught on the blade when slicing.

They also have PP handles, which are a great budget option that’s water-resistant and very sanitary.

And if storage is a worry of yours, it also comes with a beautiful and modern knife stand that you can use to store the blades and also put them on full display for everyone to see!

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • A complete set for any kitchen
  • Comes with a beautiful storage stand
  • Contains all the essentials and more
  • The blades are all made of stainless steel
  • Comes with shears, a peeler, and a sharpener

Cons:

  • Not the most durable set on the market

2. Emojoy 15-Piece Set (2nd Runner-up)

If you are a fan of rustic designs and aesthetics, this could be the right set for you.

It features six premium blades: a chef knife, paring knife, utility knife, serrated bread knife, and a slicing knife.

On top of that, it also comes with kitchen shears, sharpening steel, six steak knives, and a beautiful wooden storage block.

Wooden storage blocks are ideal for high-quality knives as the material doesn’t damage or ruin the edge of the blades when stored.

All the blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel and have a beautiful PakkaWood handle that gives off a very rustic and modern aesthetic.

The bolster on these products is forged, and all of them are full-tang in construction, which gives you a more balanced feel when using the knives.

So if you’ve been looking for a beautiful set that you can get on the budget, you might just want to consider this Emojoy 15-Piece collection.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • All knives are full tang
  • All blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel
  • Handles are made of PakkaWood
  • Beautiful rustic aesthetic
  • Comes with a wooden knife block

Cons:

3. McCook MC29 Set (Best for Design)

-34% Sale
McCook MC29 Knife Sets,15 Pieces German Stainless Steel...
  • HIGH QUALITY Kitchen Knife Set - Tarnish-resistant and rust-resistant,...
  • WORLD CLASS KNIFE SET - Exclusive taper grind edge technology provides...
  • EASY TO STORAGE - All knives store safely in the hard wood knife block...

Next up is this sleek and modern set coming from McCook.

The products in this set are all made out of stainless steel, including the handles, which is the reason it has such a sleek and classy aesthetic.

On top of that, stainless steel also serves a practical purpose, being a very sturdy and durable material that will make the knives last you a very long while in the kitchen.

This set has all the essential kitchen blades with steak knives and shears, but one of the main features of this set is the block that it comes with.

It’s a standard wooden storage block that won’t dull the edges of the blade when being used, but it also has a sharpener built right into it.

This makes sharpening, honing, and maintaining your blades much more convenient since the sharpener is right there with the storage block.

And since they’re made of stainless steel, cleaning is a breeze with these products, especially if you make sure to wash them right away after every use.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Balanced knives
  • Contains all the essentials
  • Sharpener built into the storage block
  • All knives are full-tang

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe

4. Cuisinart 12-Pack Set (Best for Convenience)

Cuisinart C55-12PCKSAM 12 Piece Color Knife Set with Blade...
  • High-Quality stainless steel slades
  • Nonstick coating for easy slicing
  • Color coding reduces the risk of cross-contamination during food...

Next up, we’re taking a look at this colorful and simple set from Cuisinart.

It contains six knives, all of which are essential in the kitchen.

These are the chef knife, slicing knife, bread knife, paring knife, utility knife, and a santoku.

All of these blades are color-coded and come with matching sheaths so you won’t get confused as to which blade is which in the kitchen.

This is a very simple set with blades made out of high-quality stainless steel and a non-stick coating.

That means that the edges on the knives will last you a fairly long time before you need sharpening, and you won’t have to worry about ingredients sticking to the face of the blades.

So if you’re looking for a very basic set that’s brightly colored and eye-catching, this could be the one for you!

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Colorful design
  • All the blades come with matching sheaths
  • Blades are made out of high-quality stainless steel
  • Non-stick coating
  • Comes with all the essentials

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a storage block

5. Faberware 22-Piece Set (Best for Multipurpose)

-5% Sale
Farberware 22-Piece Never Needs Sharpening Triple Rivet...
  • PERFECT SET FOR BACK TO COLLEGE: Best gift for new college students,...
  • OPTIMAL SHARPNESS KITCHEN KNIVES: Never needs sharpening blades have...
  • NON SLIP HANDLES: Handles are crafted triple riveted poly for strength...

Up next is a set that’s ideal for those who are building their kitchen tool kit from scratch.

This Faberware set comes with all the essential kitchen blades, steak knives, shears, a storage block, measuring spoons, and three spatulas.

This is a great foundation for any kitchen set-up, and since they are made with such high quality, they will also end up lasting you a long while.

The knives all have micro serrations along the edge, which gives them a lot more durability.

In fact, the brand claims that these blades will never need sharpening.

And while any knife will eventually need to be sharpened and restored, these products definitely have great edge-retention so you won’t have to worry about regular sharpening.

On top of that, including measuring spoons and spatulas in the set make them ideal for fresh grads, newlyweds, or even as a housewarming gift!

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Comes with all the kitchen essentials
  • The blades have great edge-retention
  • Razor-sharp right out of the box
  • Comes with a wooden storage block
  • The triple-riveted handle gives off a professional aesthetic and balances the blade very well

Cons:

  • Some customers have complained that the set has “too many” knives

6. Cuisinart C77SS-15PK 15-Piece Set (Best Bang for Your Bucks)

Cuisinart C77SS-15PK 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle...
  • Superior high carbon stainless steel blades for precision and accuracy
  • Strong, durable bolster for perfect stability and control. Lightweight...
  • Ergonomically designed stainless steel handle provides comfort

Next up is another set from Cuisinart, but this time, it features products with an all-stainless steel design and a hollow handle.

The hollowed-out handle makes it much lighter and easier to cut and slice with these knives, and since the blades are crafted out of high-carbon stainless steel, it’s easy to be accurate and precise in the kitchen.

It comes with all the kitchen essentials including steak knives and shears, and it also has a beautiful knife block that serves as a great contrast to the blades themselves.

This is one of the best budget sets out there, so if you’re looking for a bang for your buck, this might be the right option for you.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Ultra-sharp out of the box
  • Comes with a storage block
  • Stainless steel handles are easy to clean
  • Comes with shears and a honing steel

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe

7. Farberware Stamped 15-Piece High Carbon Set (Best for Beginners)

Farberware Stamped 15-Piece High-Carbon Stainless Steel...
  • High quality blade: Each blade is expertly crafted from superior...
  • Comfort grip: Featuring a satin finish, the handles are crafted from...
  • Perfect set for back to college: Best gift for new college students,...

Wrapping up our list is another all-stainless steel set, this time coming from Farberware.

These blades are all made out of high-carbon stainless steel, so they will have great edge retention and be razor-sharp right out of the box.

On top of that, it also comes with all the essential kitchen tools including shears, honing steel, and a storage block.

The stainless steel handles have a smooth satin finish, so you can easily have a very comfortable grip on the knives and slice with accuracy and precision.

This is a great set for fresh grads, newlyweds, and people moving into a new space since it contains all the things you’ll need to build a functional kitchen tool kit!

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Smooth finish on the handles
  • Sleek and modern design
  • Razor-sharp right out of the box
  • High-carbon stainless steel gives the blades great edge retention
  • Comes with a storage block

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe

Maintenance Tips

If you want your set to last you years on end, then you have to make sure you’re taking care of it properly.

There are many ways to do this, but the first step is to keep your blades clean and dry.

After every use, it’s important to wash all residue off your blades and use dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge to clean it.

And once you rinse it with water, make sure to dry it as quickly as possible to avoid rust and corrosion.

Remember to never put your blades in the dishwasher as the wash cycle has the tendency to bang knives around and damage them in the process.

It’s also important to have your blades sharpened at least once a year depending on how much you use them to keep your tools in tip-top condition.

FAQ’s

1. What Is A Good Inexpensive Knife Set?

Our top pick for a knife set on a budget is the Faberware 22-pack set as it includes all the essential pieces to building a kitchen, from knives all the way to spatulas.

On top of that, all the knives in the set have micro serrations that will keep the edge as sharp as possible for a very long time.

A great, all-in-one set that would be fit for anyone starting their kitchen collection.

2. How Much Should I Spend On A Knife Set?

This will largely depend on your means and needs in the kitchen.

If all you’re looking for is an affordable and reliable set that doesn’t require too much maintenance, then you’ll be fine getting one within the sub-$100 range.

But if you’re looking for a more premium option, then we recommend looking at products from a higher range.

3. Are Expensive Knife Sets Worth It?

Yes, especially if you’re a professional or a home cook who is very particular with their gear.

However, if you aren’t too fixated on the small details of a blade and don’t exactly need the most expensive knives on the market, then you might be better off getting budget-friendly sets.

4. Why Are Good Knives So Expensive?

This is because a lot of time and effort is spent crafting these products, not to mention the very premium and expensive materials used in the construction of the blades.

5. What Knives Stay Sharp The Longest?

Knives with blades made of high-carbon stainless steel tend to have the best edge retention because of the carbon in the material, which makes it much harder and tougher.

6. Are Japanese Knives Worth It?

Yes, especially if you need a blade that can slice and cut very precisely, which will be needed if you plan to get into Japanese and Asian cuisine in general.

7. Is It Worth It To Sharpen Cheap Knives?

One of the best ways to up the value of a cheap blade is to have it professionally sharpened.

This will instantly and drastically change the quality of the knife and will make it much more functional and usable in the kitchen.

8. What Is The Hardest Knife Steel?

Most steel recipes that are high in carbon are very hard, which is why they are regularly used as knife steels.

9. Do I Need To Spend Money For A Good Knife?

If you’re looking for a professional-grade tool, then yes, you will have to spend money.

But if all you’re looking for is a budget-friendly and reliable chef knife for home use, you won’t have to bust the bank.

10. What Brands Do Professional Chefs Use?

Most professionals are seen using brands that have been around for a while and are trusted by the cutlery community.

They are often seen using brands such as Wusthof, Shun, Mac, and Cangshan, just to name a few of the brands.

Conclusion

So there you have it.

This is our comprehensive list of the best knife sets for under $100 on the market today.

All of these collections would be a great way for anyone to start their kitchen cutlery collection.

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

And sooner or later, you’ll find that your slicing and dicing away in the kitchen using your very own budget-friendly knife set!

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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.