Updated on 16 October, 2021
Knife sets are available for a wide variety of purposes. Each one is built with a specific purpose in mind. That being said, it is essential to know the other factors which affect the overall quality of knife sets, such as the quality and strength of the knife steel, price levels, ease of storage (how easy it is to keep it organized), style, and shape. By knowing the details, you can get the best set for your particular need.
The first factor to consider is the quality of the knife steel. While knife steel varies greatly in quality, professional knife sets tend to use knife steel that is higher in grade than the more affordable "knife steel" available for home use. Higher grade steel will be stronger and hold an edge better than lower grade steel. The higher grade steel is also going to be tougher, which means it will last longer and generally perform better. Higher grade steel is also going to make a professional knife set much more expensive than the lower grade counterparts.
Another factor to consider is the durability of the handles on professional knife sets. Professional sets are designed to be used on a daily basis, which means the handles need to be tough and withstand a lot of abuse. Knives have been used by people for thousands of years and in every era, they have taken hits. If the handle isn't tough, then it won't hold an edge and will soon become blunt. The handles on kitchen knife sets are often the most important part of the set, because it is the part of the set most likely to be used every day.
Sharpening is another critical factor. Sharpening a chef knives set is the only way to bring out the true beauty of the knives, but it is also one of the most time consuming and extremely labor intensive aspects of owning a set of professional chef knives sets. For this reason, many chefs prefer to purchase their own sharpeners. Many chefs will actually sharpen their own knives at home because of how quick and easy it is to do.
A final consideration when choosing your professional knife sets is the handle material. Many professional knife sets have a wood handle, while others are made from steel or another metal. A major factor when choosing a handle material is the ease of use and the feel of the knife in your hand. You want something that you can feel a part of, so if you choose a wooden handle, for example, you'll know exactly where your hands are whenever you hold the knife.
There are a few other options when it comes to knife materials, including carbon, titanium, steel, fiberglass, or a combination of carbon, steel and fiberglass. Carbon-fiber knifeblades have the most cutting edge and sharpness for slicing and chopping tasks. Tanto blades are excellent for crushing tissue or attacking and chopping meat. Steel, titanium, and carbon all make good general purpose knives, while fiberglass is lightweight, durable, and ideal for use in the preparation stage of most meals.
Sharpening is another important aspect of knife usage. Most professional knife sets will come with a knife sharpener that allows the user to sharpen their knives. The type of cutting board you use will also have a bearing on your cutting ability. A rough kitchen cutting board is much better for cutting thicker pieces of food, such as cheese and dough. A glass cutting board allows for finer pieces of food, but is less portable and is best suited for preparing and de-culling vegetables. A quality cutlery set will include a variety of different cutting boards, including each of the types mentioned above.
The final part of a kitchen knife set should include a collection of specialised knives. For example, if you are a chef or cook, you may want to look at a carving or mincing knife set. These have a unique style of blade that enables you to perform tasks with finesse and ease. Some specialist knife sets will include some of these, or even all three, as a more comprehensive collection of cutlery.