The Best Knife Sets For Under $300 – Which One Will You Choose?

* This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure here.*

If you’re ready to invest in a knife set – several blades with the pretty wooden block and all – get ready to shell out extra.

Sure, you can find a functional collection under a hundred bucks and we aren’t turning our nose up at those.

But if you’re going to invest in something that could last for a lifetime but won’t break the bank, the ones on the list below are must-sees.

So, let’s take a few minutes to scan through them.

And I’m sure you will find what you want soon.

Best Knife Sets For Under $300

* A Serious Contender *

-25% Sale
DALSTRONG Knife Set Block - 8 Piece - Gladiator Series -...
  • 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...

Related: Best kitchen knife sets

What To Look For When Buying

Pieces Included

This is probably the first thing you would want to consider when buying a set for your kitchen.

Most professionals will say that there are only three blades that are absolutely essential in the kitchen and these are the chef knife, paring knife, and serrated knife.

So before making any decisions, your set should at least have these basic components.

On top of that, it may be nice to also have a utility knife, slicing knife, kitchen shears, and a santoku included for more variety.

And if you’re looking for an even more complete set, we’d recommend getting collections that include steak knives for when you serve the food, a storage block, and honing steel.

If the collection you’re looking that includes all those pieces, you will have enough tools to complete any kitchen setup, and in this price range, it should be a requirement to have all these basic kitchen components included.

Construction

The next thing to consider is how the blades themselves were made.

Firstly, in this price range, you should expect a collection of knives that are full-tang.

The tang of a knife refers to the part of the blade that rests in the handle, and a full-tang product is one that has the blade run throughout the entire handle.

These products will be much more balanced and provide you with a more stable feel of the blade when in use.

On top of that, it would be best to get blades that are forged or have a Damascus construction, as these are premium blade-making techniques that result in highly durable and very sharp edges.

The alternative to that is a stamped construction, wherein the blades are laser-cut or “stamped” out of a large sheet of metal.

These options will be much more affordable, but you will be making a compromise when it comes to durability and toughness.

Materials Used

Lastly, you would want to look at the actual materials used in the construction.

Ideally, the blades will be made of high-carbon stainless steel.

There are a bunch of variations of this steel out there, but a high presence of carbon will result in a knife that has great edge-retention, while too much of the element might cause the steel to be brittle.

On top of that, you would want reliable handle material.

Ideally, you’d want a synthetic handle such as PP, PakkaWood, resin, or stainless steel.

These materials are durable, sanitary, and they can be shaped in a way that fits very nicely in the hand.

Product Reviews

1. iMarku 16-Piece Set (Best Overall)

-13% Sale
Knife Set, imarku 16-Pieces Premium Kitchen Knife Set,...
  • HIGH-QUALITY KNIFE SET: Knife set blades are made of German...
  • OUTSTANDING KITCHEN KNIFE SET: Handle are made of high-density...
  • PATENTED REMOVABLE KNIFE SET - imarku's patented design adds a...

Kicking things off is this very complete and highly functional set from iMarku.

This brand is known for being able to provide chefs all over with affordable, yet very high-quality knives, and this set does just that.

It’s a 16-piece set that contains all the essential tools for your kitchen including seven kitchen knives, six steak knives, shears, a sharpener a storage block.

The blades are all made out of high-carbon stainless steel and all the products have a PakkaWood handle, which is a combination of real wood and resin.

The result is a blade with great edge retention and a handle that can withstand a lot of use and abuse in the kitchen.

The products have a rustic and modern look to them, and the storage block they come with is made out of wood to match the handles very nicely.

All in all, this is a great pick for anyone looking for a starter set for their kitchen.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Packed with useful kitchen cutlery
  • The blades are made with high-quality steel
  • PakkaWood handles
  • Comes with shears
  • Comes with a sharpener and wooden storage block

Cons:

  • The blades have to be hand-washed after every use

2. KYOKU 5-Knife Set (2nd Runner-up)

KYOKU 5-Knife Set with Block, 8” Chef Knife + 8” Bread...
  • SUPERIOR STEEL - Manufactured with ultra-sharp, cobalt-added, and...
  • ERGONOMIC & WELL-BALANCED - Ergonomically designed, the narrow blades...
  • DURABLE HANDLE - The meticulously constructed, triple-riveted...

At first glance, it might seem like you’re paying more for less with this set since it only comes with five blades.

That is far from the case though since all these knives are made with close attention to detail and will perform very well in both home and professional kitchens.

The blades are made with high-carbon Japanese steel that has great edge retention and is very tough, so it will last you very long in the kitchen.

They also have Japanese-style handles that allow you to have a very comfortable grip, which is a requirement since these knives are very sharp and can cut through just about any ingredient with ease.

On top of that, the handles are made out of PakkaWood, which is a material that looks great, feels great in the hands, and can withstand a whole lot, so durability will not be a problem at all with this set.

The collection comes with a beautiful acacia storage block, which is designed to keep your blades safe from getting dull, as well as put them on full display for everyone to see.

These are some of the best blades you can get your hands on in this range, and would make a very good set for anyone that cooks a lot of Japanese and Asian recipes.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Very high-quality products
  • Razor-sharp right out of the box
  • Comes with a wooden storage block
  • PakkaWood handles
  • Japanese-style knives that are very precise and easy to use

Cons:

  • Only comes with five blades

3. J.A. Henckels International Statement 14-Piece Self-Sharpening Set (Best for Convenience)

J.A. Henckels International Statement 14-pc Self-Sharpening...
  • Stylish brushed stainless steel cap and stained ash wood base...
  • Tailor-made for the J.A. Henckels International Statement knife...
  • Self-sharpening slots that sharpen each time a knife is removed or...

Following up the last entry is a very convenient collection from a very trusted brand.

This set comes with six essential kitchen knives, six steak knives, shears, and a storage block.

But what’s most attractive is the special feature that the block comes with, which is a built-in sharpener in each slot that will maintain and sharpen your blades every time you stick something in or pull something out.

On top of that, all the blades are stamped out of high-carbon stainless steel, are full-tang, and come with a very comfortable synthetic handle.

This is a great pick for anyone looking for high-quality German cutlery set on a budget.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Comes from a top-tier brand
  • Self-sharpening
  • Full-tang
  • All blades are made with high-carbon steel
  • Comes with all the essentials

Cons:

  • Not the most durable Henckels collection out there

4. Nanfang Brothers 15-Piece Damascus Set (Best Damascus Design)

Kitchen Damascus Knife Set, 15-Piece Kitchen Knife Set with...
  • ALL-IN-ONE COMPLETE SET - Professional Damascus Knives set includes 8"...
  • QUALITY DESIGN - Knives are crafted with VG10 steel core 67 layers...
  • DURABLE & EASY TO CLEAN - The integrated design of the blade and the...

The next item on our list consists of Damascus-style blades, comfortable handles, and a beautiful storage block.

Damascus knives are made by layering multiple layers of stainless steel on top of a tough core to create a very sturdy and sharp blade that has a beautiful swirly pattern on the face.

So not only will you be getting a durable and sharp set, but you’ll also be getting one with a unique aesthetic.

The blades are constructed with a VG-10 core, which is one of the most sought-after knife steels on the market today because of its toughness and has 67 layers of stainless steel hammered on top of it.

On top of that, it comes with a storage block made out of natural oak, which will keep your blades safe from rust while also making sure the edges don’t get dulled out over time.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Damascus blades
  • VG-10 Core
  • Contains all the essential kitchen tools
  • Comes with a storage block
  • Razor-sharp

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher friendly

5. Cangshan S Series 12-Piece Set (Premium Choice)

WÜSTHOF Gourmet Twelve Piece Block Set | 12-Piece German...
  • WÜSTHOF GOURMET SERIES – 12 Piece Knife Set with triple riveted...
  • RAZOR SHARP – High Carbon Stainless Steel Blades, precisely cut with...
  • WÜSTHOF KNIFE SET – Includes 2 1/2" Paring Knife, 3" Spear Point...

Next up, we have a very professional-looking set from Cangshan.

It features blades made of high-carbon German Steel with a Rockwell hardness of 58.

This results in great edge-retention, while not being too hard that the blade will become brittle.

On top of that, they are full-tang, forged, and come with a very ergonomic handle design, to make for very comfortable work in the kitchen.

The set also comes with shears, a storage block, and honing steel so you can easily complete your entire kitchen set up with it!

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Professional design
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Great edge retention
  • Very durable
  • Razor-sharp out of the box

Cons:

  • Might be too tall to store under the counter

6. Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 15-Piece Set (Best Design)

Cangshan S Series 60140 12-Piece German Steel Forged Knife...
  • Hand crafted full tang knives forged from tight grained, X50CrMoV15...
  • Each blade goes through an (ultra6) stage heat treatment ensuring...
  • Set Includes: 9' carving knife, 8" chef's knife, 8" bread knife, 7"...

If you want a sleek and modern-looking set, this collection could be the pick for you.

It features very sharp blades with an all-stainless steel design, including the handle.

This results in a modern aesthetic, but also makes the knives very comfortable and easy to clean.

The set comes with all the kitchen essentials including steak knives, shears, a storage block, and honing steel.

It’s also a set that comes with forged blades, which can be hard to come by in this price range, so if you’re looking for durability and a modern design, you might have just found it with this collection.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Sleek and modern look
  • Comes with all the essentials
  • Full-tang
  • All blades are forged
  • Comes with a storage block

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher safe

7. Wusthof Gourmet 12-Piece Set (Best for Professionals)

-33% Sale
Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Stainless Steel 15-Piece...
  • Full stainless steel knife construction
  • Full tang. Knives stay sharp for a Lifetime
  • Built in ceramic sharpeners automatically sharpen knives with every...

Last on our list is this great set from Wusthof that features a bunch of well-crafted knives that will suit any kitchen!

These full-tang models come with high-carbon steel blades, very tough synthetic handles, and a beautiful storage block to match the professional-looking designs.

This is a great set for anyone who is particular about their gear because Wusthof pieces are known to be some of the best blades on the market today.

That being said, these blades are hand-wash only and have to be washed and dried after every use to avoid rusting and damage to the blades.

That’s a small sacrifice to make to maintain these quality blades, and if that wasn’t enough, this is also relatively affordable compared to other Wusthof sets.

So if you’re looking for German cutlery set on a budget, this could be the right pick for you.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9/10
  • Handling: 9.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8/10

Pros:

  • Made by a top-tier brand
  • Relatively affordable
  • Comes with all the essentials
  • HIgh-quality and razor-sharp blades
  • Full-tang

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher-safe

FAQ’s

1. What Is The Best Knife Set For The Money?

Our pick for the best knife set for the money is the Wusthof Gourmet 12-piece block set as it sits in a comfortable and affordable price range while still being a high-quality set of kitchen cutlery fit for both professional and home kitchens.

2. What Knife Set Does Gordon Ramsay Use?

Gordon Ramsay has been known to use German-made knives in his kitchen.

He is typically seen using brands such as Wusthof and Henckels, which are some of the top German kitchen cutlery brands today.

3. What Brand Of Knives Do Professional Chefs Prefer?

Professional chefs are known to choose brands that have already made a name for themselves and have consistently supplied kitchens with high-quality blades.

These brands include Shun, Wusthof, Henckels, Mac, and Global, just to name a few of them.

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

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

Generally, the $200-$300 range will be ideal for home cooks since products in this price range will be made with premium materials and be great kitchen tools.

But if you want to save some money, you can always find great collections for under $200 in today’s market, especially if you look hard enough.

5. Are German Or Japanese Knives Better?

This depends on your priorities in the kitchen.

Japanese knives will be sharper, lighter, and more precise than German ones, but they will be more fragile, making them more ideal for delicate recipes and prep.

However, if you want a more durable piece and are willing to sacrifice a bit of the blade’s sharpness, then German-made knives might be the better option for you.

6. What Is The Best Knife For Cutting Meat?

If you’re cutting up meat in the kitchen, you can always use your trust chef knife or a slicing knife for more precision cuts.

But for work that is more heavy-duty, it’s recommended to invest in a good butcher’s knife or a quality cleaver that can be used for large chunks of meat and bone.

7. Are Expensive Knife Sets Worth It?

Generally, yes these knives will be of the highest quality and be very much worth the investment, especially for serious cooks.

That being said, if you’re a home cook looking to save some money, budget-friendly knife sets are still a very viable pick for everyday use.

Conclusion

And that caps off our list of the best knife sets for under $300.

As you can probably tell, there are a lot of options out there in this price range, and finding the right one for you can be pretty tough.

Imarku, a Chinese cutlery brand, has been coming up with high-quality knives made from German-made steel. Their 16-piece Japanese-style knife collection, for instance, has all the basic blades you’ll need in the kitchen and more. And you can get this for a little over $250.

Kyoku is another knife-maker from China that has been making Japanese-style knives. Their 5-piece set with a wooden block is the epitome of simple elegance. And you can have this set at a little over $100 – an awesome deal!

But if you want a set that denotes the quality, try the 14-piece self-sharpening collection from JA Henckels International.

Backed by hundreds of years of excellent German engineering, this stamped set is a good buy at under $200.

Hopefully, this list and the buying guide we included will make things easier for you.

And if you found a set that meets all your needs and requirements on this list, then all that’s left to do is get one for yourself!

Last Updated on September 23, 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.