Most knife experts will tell you to never buy a knife set. I’m here to say that a proper knife set is a cook’s best friend and kitchen’s best asset. Here’s how to decide if a knife block is right for you, find the perfect knife set, and maintain it for a lifetime.
The sort of person who really gets the best out of a knife set is someone who loves to prepare nice meals from fresh ingredients, who has a kitchen that they adore and who really basks in how homey and comfortable or sleek and stylish it is. A knife block works great for someone who is very busy, and who doesn’t mind making dinner, but knows that in order to make it more enjoyable, they need to make the prep work run smoother. If they had more time, or if it were easier to prepare it, they would use fresh produce in every meal. A knife set is best for someone who doesn’t have very much time to do research and wants to find new tools efficiently.
The other argument that most knife experts make is that sets are loaded with “filler knives that you’ll never use,” or that “all you ever need is a chef knife.” I’m going to say it once and for all. Yes, you can eek by with just a chef knife, and yes, you will use your chef knife more than any other knife that you have. But try to use your chef knife to carve a pumpkin, remove the scales from a fish, or slice a loaf of freshly baked Italian bread and you will see that while you don’t do those jobs very often, when you do them you want the proper knife for the job. It’s like your stand mixer. While the paddle attachment gets 95% of the action, you still need the whisk attachment for whipped cream and the dough hook for dough.