Best Knife Sets Without Steak Knives: High in Quality Yet Low in Cost!

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

If you think you need to upgrade your kitchen cutlery so it would match your newly honed prep and cooking skills, consider buying a knife set.

But if you aren’t too keen on getting a set because a whole lot of those in the market today have unnecessary pieces like steak knives, you came to the right place.

I’ve listed down several knife sets which have the basics and maybe a few must-have extras that can satisfy your needs.

Now, let’s take a look at them.

Then read on to know more about what you should look for when shopping for a great cutlery collection.

Best Knife Sets Without Steak Knives

* A Serious Contender *

DALSTRONG Knife Set Block - 5pc - Shogun Series X Knife Set...
  • Culinary Perfection: Combining expert and handcrafted woodwork with...
  • Unrivalled Performance: Included Shogun Series X 8” Chef Knife,...
  • Dalstrong Power: Featuring ultra sharp AUS-10V Vacuum Heat Treated...

Related: Top rated knife sets for your kitchen

What to Look For When Buying?

The Types of Knives in the Set

Culinary professionals agree that all you need in a set are the following: a Chef’s knife, an all-purpose utility knife, a serrated one for slicing bread, and another one for paring.

Of course, having special blades like a Santoku and extra accessories such as a honing rod are appealing.

The Type and Design of the Block Set

First, blocks should be made of sturdy material – like a mix of wood and resin – so they can last as long as the knives.

Second, the slots should be snug enough to safely keep the blades in place.

Finally, it shouldn’t be too bulky so it can fit in the small nooks and crannies of your kitchen.

The Material Used for the Blade

A good steel blend is the core of a decent knife to ensure its hardness, sharpness, durability, and longevity.

Top cutlery companies always make this particular information public because it matters.

The Construction of the Knife

Was the blade forged or stamped? Does it have a full or partial tang? Is the handle made of natural or synthetic materials?

Take note that the way the knife was designed and assembled has an impact on how it would feel once it’s in your hand.

Value for Money

There are premier knife sets from famous brands that cost almost a thousand dollars but are worth every penny and there are some which just don’t pass muster.

You’ll also find $30 ones which will help you slice and dice and julienne like a pro and there are some which is a complete waste of money.

When looking for a set, remember that the price tag should be proportionate to quality.

Reviews of the Best Products

AICOK’s Professional 6-Piece Set (Best Overall)

All the knives are precision-forged using German stainless steel (W-Nr. 1.4116).

Except for the serrated one, the belly of the blades slightly curves to the tip, perfect for chopping using that easy rocking motion.

The spine is quite thin at 2.5mm while the edge is sharpened at 17-degrees on each side.

All have full tangs and bolsters, are triple-riveted, and have black ergonomic handles.

The slanted pinewood block has five parallel slots on top.

Measuring about 3 inches in width and 8 inches in length, this a real space-saver in smaller kitchens.

The addition of the stainless steel retractable support rack gives this simple block a modern, sophisticated look.

The whole collection can be had for under $100 plus a lifetime warranty.

If you’re lucky, you might chance upon a discounted price, even.

Our scores:

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

Pros

  • Plenty of knife choices
  • Good edge retention
  • High-quality materials
  • Good design
  • Good price

Cons

  • Might need to practice to get used to all the knives

Homgeek’s 8-Piece Collection (2nd Best)

The knives are forged using high-carbon German steel (1.4116).

With an HRC around 57, this would be easy to sharpen if needed.

The spine has a 3mm thickness while the edges are hand polished to a razor-sharp 14-degree angle on each side.

Barring the Chef’s knife which has that Santoku-style indentations on the bevel, the rest have a smooth, planar surface.

All have full tangs (which extend to the butt) and bolsters.

The dark PakkaWood handle is triple riveted to the tang.

The shears’ PakkaWood detailing is in the inner part of the finger insert.

The block which is made of dark oakwood has two segments.

The slanted, main block has two columns of three slots for the knives.

Attached to it is a wedge that holds the scissors.

Our scores:

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

Pros

  • Easy to sharpen
  • Great knife selection
  • Razor-sharp blades

Cons

  • The block might get damaged by the knives if you’re not careful

Allwin-Houseware’s 8-Piece Series (Best for Balance)

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...

The knives, from tip to tang, are double-forged using high-carbon and stain and rust-resistant German steel.

All have full bolsters too, ensuring balance.

The edges are manually sharpened to 15-degrees on each side.

The handles, made of a black no-slip thermoplastic-type material, are gracefully ‘wrapped’ around the tang.

Three oblique-shaped rivets can be found at the end of the handle.

The handles of the scissors and the sharpener are also covered in the same TPE.

The dark-colored Rubber woodblock has two segments: the main, slanted one has three columns of two slots and the wedge has the slot for the shears.

The rubber pegs at the base of the block are a safety feature, keeping the block from sliding across kitchen surfaces.

Our scores:

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

Pros

  • Great balance
  • Good grip with the handles
  • Sharp edges

Cons

  • The short knives might not be as sharp

Rada Cutlery’s 7-Piece Starter Kit (Best for Easy Sharpening)

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...

This all-American company stamps their knives from surgical-quality high carbon stainless steel (T420) but sharpens the edges of the blades by hand.

The bevels are hollow for easy re-sharpening.

The handles are made of aluminum and given a silver, satin finish.

Although their blades do not have the desired full tang, Rada has a return policy in case the blade comes off the handle.

They don’t have bolsters too, but this is substituted with a finger guard instead.

Unlike the other sets in this list, Rada’s 7-Piece Starter Kit does not have a block.

But their blades will stick to a magnet, in case that’s what you currently have at home or if that’s what you plan to purchase in the future.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9/10
  • Handling: 8.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 9.5/10

Pros

  • Easy sharpening
  • Attractive design
  • Comes with finger guards for added protection
  • Great packaging

Cons

  • The knife handles might be short for some people

Emojoy’s 6-Piece Set (Best for German Style)

All of Emojoy’s knives are made with the highly preferred German steel X50CrMoV15, guaranteeing the longevity of sharpness and rust resistance.

This steel is the very same type that big-name German brands use in their blades so you can be assured of durability.

Fully forged from single solid steel, these feature a full-tang that extends to the butt and full bolsters.

Add to that the slightly thick spine, Emojoys are a bit on the heavy side.

However, these are well-balanced so chopping board chores aren’t such a challenge.

On top of that, the edges are sharpened between 16 to 18-degree angles on each side, making these extremely sharp.

The handles, riveted twice to the tang, are made of PakkaWood as well to match the block.

The slanted PakkaWood block has two rows of slots on top and a short wedge at the bottom which keeps it stable.

Our scores:

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

Pros

  • Great durability
  • Ergonomic pakkawood handles
  • Good design and color choices
  • Sharp edges

Cons

  • The vertical knife slots might not suit everyone

Cutluxe’s 8-Piece Block (Premium Choice)

CUTLUXE 8-Piece Knife Block Set – Forged of High Carbon...
  • THIS 8-PIECE KNIFE SET INCLUDES: 10” Bread Knife, 9” Carving...
  • PREMIUM GERMAN STEEL – Precisely forged of high-carbon German steel...
  • FULL TANG ERGONOMIC DESIGN - Luxury pakkawood handle that is...

Cutluxe uses X50CrMoV15, the first-class German stainless steel that is guaranteed to last longer and won’t rust or stain.

Many expensive cutlery brands also have this particular steel in their knives.

German-style knives tend to have a thick spine, full tangs, and half bolsters, making these slightly heavy.

However, the hand-sharpened edges are so sharp (at least 14-degrees on each side) that you won’t have trouble slicing, dicing, or chopping.

The handle is made of black PakkaWood and is triple-riveted to the tang.

The asymmetric tapered block has only one row of slots so it’s easy to find the knife you need.

And unlike others, this is slender and would easily fit in tight spaces.

Our scores:

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

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Strong full-tang construction
  • Razor-sharp edges

Cons

  • The knife block might be too high

Royal Doulton’s Gordon Ramsay 6-Piece Collection (Best for Brand Recognition)

-31% Sale
Royal Doulton Gordon Ramsay Block Knife Set, 6 Piece, Grey
  • Kitchen Knife collection by Gordon Ramsay for Royal Doulton
  • Professional knives for everyday use. This comprehensive range of...
  • Classic black ABS Handle, 3CR13 Blade.

Royal Doulton collaborated with world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay to come up with a highly efficient and ultra-chic series.

The blade precision-forged using 3CR13, a low-cost but high-quality stainless steel that is hard, keeps its edge well, and is resistant to wear and corrosion.

It has a full tang and thick half bolsters, providing that much-needed balance.

The handle, made of black ABS which is a special thermoplastic, is triple-riveted to the tang.

The narrow, cylindrical handle is easy to grip so you can let the knife do the work on the chopping board.

Royal Doulton’s vase-like filament block is one of the safest and most versatile knife containers.

It doesn’t have individual slots like the others but it keeps the blades perfectly secure even when you move them around.

Our scores:

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

Pros

  • Great look and feel
  • Sharp blades
  • Strong full-tang knives

Cons

  • The tall block might not fit all kitchen area

FAQ’s

Does the set come with a block or a magnet?

Cutlery companies only offer either a block or a magnet per set, not both.

All the sets above, except Rada, include a block.

What is the block made of?

Most knife blocks are made of natural wood treated with resin for durability.

Only Royal Doulton offered a filament block in the list.

Are there extra tools (e.g. honing steel, whetstone, strop, etc.) that come with the set?

Most brands offer just the blades in their basic blocks.

Cutluxe has a honing rod, Allwin Houseware and Homgeek have sharpeners and shears, and Rada compensates for its lack of a block with a peeler and tomato slicer.

Are the knives dishwasher safe?

Knives made from high-quality steel should never be placed inside a dishwasher.

Is the knife block easy to clean?

Yes. But remember not to put a wet knife inside the slot to prevent bacterial contamination.

Where are the knives made?

Except for Royal Doulton (England) Cutluxe and Rada (United States), most are made in China.

Does the set have a lifetime warranty?

Most sets have lifetime warranties except for Homgeek which offers a total of 30 months of product protection.

Conclusion

Looking for a decent knife set – one that contains all the basic tools (and maybe a few extras) but wouldn’t be too hard on your budget – is admittedly quite hard.

It’s even impossible for some who think that a high price is equivalent to high quality.

But you need not look far because the seven products listed above can upgrade anyone’s kitchen and may improve any newbies’ slicing and dicing skills.

Rada’s 7-piece starter set is a great collection for amateur home cooks. Made from stainless steel from tip to tang, this includes the four basic knives, a serrated tomato slicer, a larger pare-r, and a vegetable peeler. It’s also quite affordable at less than a hundred bucks.

Another set under $100 is the 8-piece set from Allwin-Houseware W. Aside from the five must-haves, this also comes with a honing rod and a pair of shears.

Cutluxe’s 8-piece set is quite similar to those already mentioned in terms of the type of knives included. But many like this because of the long and narrow acacia wooden block it comes with.

Similar to those already mentioned in terms of the type of knives included. But many like this because of the long and narrow acacia wooden block it comes with.

To be honest, these ones almost at-par with German or Japanese brands.

You only need to give them a chance.

Last Updated on September 23, 2021

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Kitchen Knives
  4. »
  5. Best Knife Sets Without Steak Knives: High in Quality Yet Lo...

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.