The Best Self-Sharpening Knife Sets: Which One Is For You?

Proper maintenance and care for your knives are key in keeping your tools in tip-top shape.

But for a lot of home cooks, finding the time to regularly hone your blades can be tough, especially when going through a busy work week.

Luckily, there are knife sets out there that will allow you to use them regularly without having to worry about them losing their edge.

These are called self-sharpening knife sets, and they are one of the best options out there for busy home cooks who don’t have the time to sharpen each of their blades individually.

And in this article, we take a look at the best self-sharpening knife sets out on the market today.

We also included a buying guide at the end so read on to learn more!

Best Self-Sharpening Knife Sets (Updated List)

What Is A Self Sharpening Knife Set?

As the name implies, this is basically just a knife set that you don’t have to manually sharpen.

This could be because of a sharpener built into the slots in a knife block that will automatically sharpen your knives whenever you slide the blade in or out.

Other designs also include a sharpener built into the block as a separate slit so sharpening your set will be much more convenient.

These are ideal options for home cooks and hobbyists who need a convenient way of maintaining their blades.

However, serious cooks and professionals who care a lot about their gear are still advised to sharpen their blades at least once a year to make sure they are always in tip-top shape.

What To Look For When Buying

Materials Used

The first thing you’d want to check out when buying self-sharpening knives is the materials that they used in building them.

The best material for knife steel is high-carbon steel since it is hard enough to retain its edge for a long time and just soft enough so the blade isn’t brittle.

It’s best to stick to this material as it will perform much better in the kitchen as compared to blades made of other materials such as ceramic.

Aside from the blade material, you also have to look at what the handle is made of.

Generally, you would want a water-resistant and comfortable handle made of PakkaWood, PP, or other synthetic materials.

This is because while wooden handles look great, they aren’t the toughest or most sanitary option out there.

Another interesting handle to check out is the one made of pure stainless steel as they will have a unique feel to them as well.

Construction

This is basically the process used to build the blade and handle.

Generally, forged knives will have more toughness than stamped ones.

Blades that are forged in construction consist of a single piece of stainless steel that is forged and heat-treated to make a durable and sharp blade.

Stamped ones, on the other hand, will be laser cut out of a large sheet of stainless steel, which also makes for a quality blade, just not as durable as forged ones.

Ideally, you’d also want a product that is full-tang, meaning the blade runs throughout the entire handle since these knives will be much more balanced and easier to use in the kitchen.

Pieces Included

The number of knives and the kinds of blades that are part of a set are of the utmost importance.

Ideally, you want to get your hands on a set that includes all the main tools needed in the kitchen.

This includes a chef knife, paring knife, utility knife, kitchen shears, and a serrated knife.

These are all the essentials you’ll need, but it will also be helpful if the set comes with other pieces such as a santoku, steak knives, and a boning/slicing knife.

And if you don’t have a proper place to store it, a storage block would also come in handy.

Maintenance

If you have a nice set in your kitchen, you’re going to want to take proper care of it.

But it’s important to know that more premium collections and blades are going to require more maintenance.

For example, if you have a quality set of knives, you will want to hand wash it after every use, since the dishwasher can ruin good blades.

On top of that, any set of knives would have to be sharpened by a professional every so often, even if they come with a self-sharpening block.

So if you’re thinking of buying an expensive set for your kitchen, don’t be surprised if that also means having to do a whole lot of maintenance.

Price

The right amount of money to spend on a knife set will always depend on the person buying it.

If you’re a serious home cook or professional chef looking to invest in a collection that will last you many years, then you might have to expect to pay more.

After all, it’s just right that a premium product costs a premium price.

However, if you’re just looking for a simple, yet reliable set of kitchen cutlery that you can use in your day-to-day cooking, you won’t need to spend a lot of money.

In fact, you’ll probably be able to find a lot of quality options on the market today that you can get for less than $200.

Product Reviews

1. McCook MC29 15-Piece Set (Best Overall)

-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...

The first item on our list comes from McCook, and it consists of all stainless-steel knives that are tarnish and rust-resistant.

All the knives in this set are full-tang in construction. meaning the blade runs throughout the entire knife.

This makes for a very stable blade that gives off a balanced feeling when cutting, which is something that a lot of chefs look for in a blade.

It’s a 15-piece set that comes with all the essentials including a chef knife, slicing knife, santoku, a serrated utility knife, utility knife, paring knife, and six steak knives.

On top of that, it comes with kitchen shears and a storage block with a built-in sharpener.

You won’t have to worry about these knives going dull on you because they have a sharpener built-in to the storage block, which can make maintenance a lot easier.

However, it needs to be noted that these knives are not dishwasher-safe, and throwing them in the dishwasher could lead to the finish being ruined or the blades getting dull.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • All-stainless steel design is very eye-catching
  • Full-tang blades feel very balanced
  • Comes with a knife block with a built-in sharpener
  • Rust and stain-resistant
  • The storage block comes in a rustic walnut color

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher-safe

2. Elegant Life 15-Piece Set (2nd Best)

Knife Set, Elegant Life 15-Piece Kitchen Knife Set with...
  • 【VALUE SET】 14 pieces knife set includes: Chef Knife, Slicing...
  • 【SUPERIOR SHARP】The blade is forged with hand-polished edges and...
  • 【HIGH QUALITY】This knife set made from Superior High Carbon...

The next set on this list is one of the best sets for the money you’ll find on the market today.

It features all the essential kitchen knives including a storage block and honing steel, which are great tools you can use to keep your blades razor-sharp.

One of the best characteristics of these blades is their construction.

These are all knives forged from high-carbon stainless steel that will retain their edges for a very long time while also being very durable and tough.

They are all full-tang, which means you’ll get a very balanced feel when cutting and slicing in the kitchen.

On top of all of that, they also have a PakkaWood handle, which is real wood mixed in with resin which makes for a very tough sanitary material.

In its price range, there aren’t too many options like it, which makes this Elegant Life set one of the best on the market today.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • One of the best sets for its price
  • Comes with a beautiful storage block
  • Complete set of knives
  • Comes with a honing steel
  • All the knives are full-tang

Cons:

  • The sharpener isn’t built into the storage block

3. J.A. Henckels International Statement 14-Piece Set (Best for Edge Retention)

Henckels Definition 7-pc Self-Sharpening Block Set
  • Set includes: 3" Paring Knife; 5" Serrated Utility Knife; 6" Utility...
  • Stylish brushed stainless steel cap and stained ash wood base...
  • Tailor-made for the J.A. Henckels International Definition knife...

Next up is a very premium set from the Henckels brand.

This is one of the most respected brands on the market today, and this is one of their most affordable kitchen sets that doesn’t compromise at all for quality.

These are all stamped with brushed stainless steel, which is a very tough material with great edge retention.

It comes with all the essential kitchen knives with six steak knives and shears, which can easily complete any kitchen setup.

On top of that, it comes with a storage block that has sharpeners built into the slots, so you end up sharpening your knife every time it is taken out or placed inside the slot.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Comes from a very respected brand
  • Sharpeners built into the knife slots
  • All knives are full-tang
  • Very durable, especially for stamped knives
  • Labeled slots make it very easy to organize blades

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive sets on this list

4. Henckels Definition 7-Piece Set (Best for Versatility)

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...

One of the best things about the Henckels brand is the variety that they have in their products.

They have expensive premium options with hefty price tags, and they also have collections like this that are more budget-friendly.

The Definition 7-Piece Set comes with all the essentials: shears, a santoku, chef knife, serrated utility knife, utility knife, and a paring knife.

On top of that, it comes with a self-sharpening block with sharpeners built right into the slots.

These will ensure that your blades will always stay in tip-top shape and be ready to slice through just about any ingredients.

On top of that, it’s very affordable, making it one of the best knife sets that you can get for under $100 today.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Contains all the essentials
  • High-quality knives
  • All knives are full-tang
  • Sharpeners are built-in to the blocks
  • Labeled slots make it easy to organize the blades

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with steak knives

5. Calphalon Classic 15-Piece Set (Premium Choice)

-36% 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...

Next up is a set from Calphalon that has a very professional and simple look that will be a great addition to any kitchen!

It features all the essential kitchen cutlery including shears and steak knives, which makes for a very complete set that anyone can use as the foundation for their kitchen tool kit.

These are all forged full-tang knives that will last you for many years and retain their edge for a long time.

It has sharpeners built-in to the knife block slots, which makes this a true self-sharpening set.

It’s one of the more expensive sets on this list but would make a very great investment for just about any home cook out there.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Well-designed knives
  • All blades are forged
  • All knives are full-tang
  • Comes with a beautiful knife block
  • The sharpener is built into the knife block slots

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

6. Farberware 13-Piece Set (Best for Home Cooks)

-13% Sale
Farberware Self-Sharpening 13-Piece Knife Block Set with...
  • EDGEKEEPER TECHNOLOGY: Each primary slot features a built-in knife...
  • HIGH-QUALITY BLADES: Each knife features a high-carbon, stainless...
  • ELEGANT HANDLES: Each handle is ergonomically designed for a...

Farberware is a brand that is known all around as a great budget option for home cooks.

This set consists of blades made of high-carbon stainless steel that has a very sharp cutting edge that will last you a while.

On top of that, it also makes for a beautiful classy finish on the face of the blade.

That pairs up really well with the matte brushed finish on the stainless steel handle, which offers a very comfortable grip.

So if you find yourself doing a bunch of prep work in the kitchen on a regular basis, this could be the set for you.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • Elegant finish
  • Razor-sharp knives
  • Contains all the essentials
  • The sharpener is built into the storage block
  • All blades are full tang

Cons:

  • Not the most durable set

7. Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel 15-Piece Set (Best for Multipurpose)

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...

If you enjoyed the features of the last Calphalon set featured on this list but aren’t the biggest fan of the aesthetic, this could be the set for you.

It has all the same features as the last set, but this one comes in an all-stainless steel design.

These forged knives offer a very sharp and classy look to them, and in the right kitchen, could really brighten up a room.

On top of that, the storage block it comes with has a beautiful rustic finish that contrasts the knives very well.

And while it may be on the more expensive side, it is well worth it considering the quality of knives you’ll be getting by investing in this set.

Our scores:

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

Pros:

  • All blades are forged
  • Full-tang
  • Comes with a storage block
  • Ceramic sharpener built into the block
  • Classy aesthetic

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive

FAQ’s

1. What Is The Best Self-Sharpening Knife Set?

Our personal pick for the best self-sharpening knife set is the J.A. Henckels International Statement 15-Piece set.

This is because it comes from a very trusted brand and is made with top-quality materials, resulting in a product that can last you years in the kitchen, even with regular use.

2. What Brand Of Knives Do Professional Chefs Prefer?

Most chefs around the world opt for brands that have been around for a long time and have a reputation for providing great pieces of kitchen cutlery.

These brands include Zwilling J.A. Henckels, Wusthof, Shun, Mac, and Global, just to name a few.

3. Are Cutco Knives Worth It?

These are great options for home cooks since you can have your knives sharpened or get a replacement product for free because of the brand’s Forever Guarantee.

That being said, professionals tend to avoid this brand as they are not the sharpest or most durable tools on the market today.

4. How Often Should You Sharpen Your Knives?

It’s recommended to have your knives sharpened at least once a year for a “tune-up”.

However, if you use your knives a lot, you might have to get them done twice a year depending on how much they are worn.

5. Are German Or Japanese Knives Better?

This depends on your own tastes and preferences.

But from a general perspective, Japanese blades will be sharper and hold their edge better because of how they’re made, but they will also be more susceptible to chipping and breaking.

German knives use softer steel, making for more durable blades, but they will not hold their edge as long.

6. How Do Professionals Sharpen Knives?

This depends on what blade is being sharpened, however, professionals are usually seen using a series of whetstones to sharpen blades.

They use a variety of techniques that take a lot of time and practice to get right, which is why it costs a fair amount to have your knives professionally sharpened.

7. Is It Worth It To Sharpen Cheap Knives?

One of the best ways to make the most of a cheap blade is to have it sharpened or sharpen it yourself.

This will make the knives much better to use in the kitchen, and maintaining them with regular sharpening can also be a great way of keeping them in tip-top shape for years to come.

8. Do You Push Or Pull When Sharpening A Knife?

This will depend on the type of knife you’re sharpening and what tools you use.

However, generally, you are not supposed to pull a knife when sharpening as you might risk damaging the edge.

It is recommended to push the blade away from you, keeping the edge pointed in the same direction as your stroke.

9. Should You Wash A Knife After Sharpening?

Yes, this is very important to make sure everything is kept as sanitary as possible.

It’s recommended to hand wash and dry your blades right after washing to avoid the development of rust.

10. Are Expensive Knives Worth It?

Yes, these knives may cost some money, but you’ll be paying for razor-sharp tools that will last you years in the kitchen.

Conclusion

And with that, our list comes to an end.

All the sets featured in this article are designed for different cooks.

Some feature very high-quality knives and cost a hefty price, while others are more budget-friendly with simpler features.

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

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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.