These knife sets are essential for any kitchen

Check out these sharp choices.

The single most important tool in your kitchen is your knife. Slicing, chopping, skinning, boning—the humble knife can do it all. While many chefs prefer to pick out each of their knives individually, knife sets provide a convenient way to get all the basics at once.

Most sets include larger chef’s knives, serrated bread knives, paring knives, utility knives, and some larger sets will also throw in shears, santoku knives, and even a set of steak knives. Sets come with a variety of storage options, from wood or tempered glass blocks that sit on a countertop to individual covers that make it easier to store the knives in drawers.

Good kitchen knives can be made from high-carbon steel, which holds an edge longer but is more likely to rust; stainless steel, which doesn’t rust but can go dull faster; or hybrid alloys that pull the best from both worlds—but often at a higher price tag. Which knife set works best for you often depends on your kitchen experience and the types of food you like to make.

Total package: Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17 Piece Knife Block Set

For The Chef Who Wants It All

Classy and sleek design. Amazon

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This set of 17 high-carbon, stainless-steel knives includes every cutter you might possibly need, including a 7 3/4-inch chef knife, 7 3/4-inch serrated bread knife, 7- and 5-inch santoku knives, a 5-inch utility knife, a paring knife, and eight 4.5-inch steak knives. The forged set features cushioned handles, and a 26-degree edge. The wooden knife block also holds an included sharpening steel and chop-assist tool.

See your blades: Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-Piece Forged Knife Block Set

When You Just Want The Essentials

Show off your goods. Amazon

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These German-forged blades feature comfortable Santoprene handles, and their taper-ground edges provide extra stability while chopping. The set includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, 8-inch bread knife, 6-inch boning knife, 5-inch utility knife, and a 3 1/2-inch paring knife. The set is housed in a sleek, stylish tempered-glass block that helps you quickly find the knife you need.

Most personality: Amazon Basics 12-Piece Colored Kitchen Knife Set

For Chefs With Whimsy

Bright blades with matching guards. Amazon

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They might look a little like toys, but this bright, fun, multi-colored set includes all the knives for a well-stocked kitchen, including a paring knife, utility knife, Santoku knife, carving knife, chef’s knife, and a bread knife. The stainless steel blades have a non-stick coating for easy slicing, and each knife comes with its own matching blade guards. Costing just a fraction of the price of other sets, these are perfect for beginners, students, or casual cooks on a budget.

Secure grip: Calphalon 321, 12 Piece Set

For The Time-Conscious Chef

Features ceramic sharpeners. Amazon

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With built-in ceramic sharpeners, this set’s cleverly-designed storage block keeps your knives’ edges in perfect shape. This six-piece set includes an 8-inch chef’s knife, 6-inch utility knife, 5-inch santoku knife, 3 1/2-inch paring knife, and kitchen shears. The forged, high-carbon stainless steel blades also feature triple-riveted handles with labels for easy identification when in the block.