Best Kitchen Knife Set Under $200

Best Kitchen Knife Set Under $200

By Bobby B.  |  Updated Jan. 6, 2021  | Knives

Many of the individual kitchen knives we’ve reviewed on this website are priced as high as $200 on their own. But, let’s face it, not everyone’s in the market for expensive knives. That of course doesn’t mean we don’t all want high quality knives that cut great and look awesome in our kitchens. We’ve dug through hundreds of knife sets and found the diamonds in the rough. After many hours of searching, we’ve rated and reviewed the 10 best kitchen knife sets under $200.

As you’ll see below, there are tons of high-quality knife sets with tons of value at price-points that almost anyone can afford. While the upper limit to be on this page is $200, some of these knife sets are priced significantly less than that!

We realize not everyone wants to read pages of details on each knife set.  If this is true for you, here’s a summary of our top 3 knife sets under $200…
Chicago Cutlery Insignia 2 18pc knife set under 200

Chicago Cutlery
18-pc Insignia 2 Knives

Top Features:

  • Built-In Sharpener
  • Forged, Full Bolster
  • Classic Styling
Mercer Culinary Geneis 6-pc Knife Set Under 200

Cangshan S
12-pc Knife Set

Top Features:

  • German Steel Steel
  • Forged Blades
  • Visually Appealing
Best Kitchen Knife Set Under $200 - Calphalon 12-pc Knife Set

 Calphalon
12-pc Knife Block

Top Features:

  • Forged Blades 
  • Self-Sharpening
  • Lifetime Warranty

Please note:  Prices do fluctuate and change over time.  At the time this page was last updated, the sets on this list were all listed under $200.  It is entirely possible that one or more may increase above this threshold without us catching it right away.  To check the current price on any set, just click on the “Check Price at Amazon” button.

Best Affordable Knife Set Under $200

1. Chicago Cutlery Insignia 2 18-pc Set

Chicago Cutlery Insignia 2 18pc Knife Set Review

PROs

  • Heavy-Duty Forged Blades
  • 8 Steak Knives (also Forged)
  • Classic Styling
  • Knife Sharpener Built Into Block

CONs

WHY WE LIKE IT

This set of Chicago Cutlery knives checks all the boxes and also has a great price.  It’s the perfect pick for our top knife set under $200.  It includes a ton of knives, they’re all forged (even the steak knives), and they have an in-block sharpener.  Check out our list of best self-sharpening knife sets to learn more about this technology.  You aren’t going to find a better value out there for most kitchens in under $200!  

2. Mercer Culinary Genesis 6-pc Knife Set

Mercer Culinary Geneis 6-pc Knife Set Review

PROs

  • Good German Steel
  • Precision Forged
  • Full-Tang Blades
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Only 6-pc Set (Smaller than Most)

WHY WE LIKE IT

We selected this Mercer Culinary set as one of the best kitchen knife sets under $200 not only because it has high-quality knives, but it’s also unique.  The glass and stainless steel make this knife holder look ultra-modern.  This is a very popular set with thousands of good online reviews by previous customers stating how much they like their new knife set.

3. Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 12-pc Set

Calphalon 12-pc Self-Sharpening Kitchen Knife Set

PROs

  • Sharpeners Built Into Knife Block
  • Forged, Full-Tang, Triple Riveted
  • Labelled Handles for Easy Identification
  • 6 Steak Knives
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Steak Knives are Stamped Not Forged

CALPHALON SELF-SHARPENING KNIFE SET REVIEW

One of our favorite sets that comes from the Classic Self-Sharpening Series by Calphalon.  Nearly everything in this set hits the mark.  All the knives you could ever want in your kitchen are include.  And, they’re all fully forged, full-tang, and triple-riveted for strength.   On top of that, the knife block itself has built-in sharpeners (Check out our list of best self-sharpening knife sets)in a few of the knife slots so they are sharpened when you remove them.  How cool is that?

4. Cangshan S Series 12-pc Knife Set

Cangshan 12-pc Knife Set Review - top 3 best under 200

PROs

  • German Steel Blades
  • NSF Certified
  • Forged & Full-Tang
  • 6 Steak Knives
  • Nice Set of Kitchen Shears

CONs

  • Steak Knives are Stamped Not Forged

CANGSHAN S SERIES KNIFE SET REVIEW

Cangshan Cutlery makes some amazing kitchen knife designs that we love (you can read our full Cangshan review to learn more).  This set from their “S series” has very classic styling, and they’re made with the same great German steel we’ve come to expect from Cangshan.  Of course all are forged and handcrafted, something you rarely see of this price.  The Acacia wood block is a nice added touch.  Awesome set!

5. Vestaware 16pc Kitchen Knife Set

Vestaware 16pc Knife set under 200

PROs

  • High-Carbon Steel Blades
  • Forged and Full-Tang
  • 6 Steak Knives
  • Large Set
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Not a Top Name Brand

VESTAWARE 16PC KNIFE SET REVIEW

This Vestaware 16pc set of knives caught our eye, and really deserves to be on our best knife sets under $200 list.  While Vestaware isn’t a big name brand, these knives are awesome looking and they’re high quality.  They fit right in with the others from bigger name brands on this list.  In fact, that’s probably why you get so many great knives for this low price.  Check them out!

6. Cangshan N1 6-pc Knife Block Set

Cangshan N1 Series 6pc German Knife Set

PROs

  • All-Metal Knives
  • Good German Steel (61 HRC)
  • Modern Design
  • Red Dot Award For Great Design
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Smaller Set Than Some Others

WHY WE LIKE IT

Amazing set of knives from our friends over at Cangshan Cutlery.  The knives are top quality and the design is beautiful (these knives won a 2018 German Design award).  The quality of these knives and the modern looks set this knife block apart from others on the list.  If you want quality and looks over quantity of knives, yet still want to spend under $200, this is an awesome set to consider.  

7. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara 12-pc Knife Set

Ginsu Gourmet Chikara 19pc Knife Set

PROs

  • Made w/ Japanese Stainless Steel
  • Forged Knives
  • Large Set w/ 19pcs
  • Includes a Bread Knife
  • 8 Steak Knives
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Steak Knives are Stamped, not Forged

WHY WE LIKE IT

Ginsu knives have long been known for their sharpness and the ability to retain that sharp edge.  This set is LARGE with 19-pieces in total, and it includes all the necessary knives for your kitchen.  We really like the bamboo knife block that comes with these Asian-inspired knives.

8. J.A. Henckels 15-pc Statement Knife Set

J.A. Henckels 15-pc Statement Knife Set Review

PROs

  • Nice Looking Set
  • Bread Knife Included
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Extra Slots in Block for More Knives

CONs

  • Blades are Stamped, not Forged
  • Lower-Quality Stainless Steel

WHY WE LIKE IT

J.A. Henckels is a bit tricky on this set of knives.  The statement series “looks” at first glance like a forged set of knives, but don’t be fooled.  These are stamped knives and are not the same quality as most made by the brand.  This is a lower-cost segment of their business (Difference Between Zwilling/J.A. Henckels Knives).  They are a nice set and many knives are included for the price.  They also have tons of great reviews online, so don’t shy away if this is the best set for your budget.

9. Cuisinart 15-pc White Cutlery Block Set

Cuisinart 15pc white cutlery block set review

PROs

  • Great Appearance
  • Some Knives Forged
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Some Knives are Stamped
  • Lower-Quality Than Most on List

WHY WE LIKE IT

For those looking for an even lower priced set of kitchen knives, this one by Cuisinart might be worth a look.  They look great and many of the knives are forged, but not all.  This set is not as high-quality is some higher on the list, but for the price, aren’t bad.  

10. Kitchenaid 16-pc Classic Cutlery Set

kitchenaid 16pc classic forged Cutlery set review

PROs

  • German Steel
  • Integrated Sharpener
  • Some Forged Blades
  • Silver Sleek Knife Block
  • Dishwasher Safe

CONs

  • Steak Knives are Not Forged

WHY WE LIKE IT

The knives in this Kitchenaid set are not the best on the list, however they are adequate for more kitchens and are priced lower than most on this list.  This makes them a good “budget pick”.  The knife block is unique and while it is made of wood, it’s not a standard wood-grain block, but rather a painted silver-colored one.  If this large 16-pc set matches your decor, give it look.

Buying Guide: Best Affordable Knife Set

What Should You Expect In a Knife Set For Under $200?

Affordable kitchen knife sets are often riddled with low-quality junk knives.  It’s a trick some manufacturers play on us to make them look nice or to include a large number of knives to give the appearance of a good deal.  Rather than to trust your gut based on looks or quantity of knives alone, our knife experts have put together the following criteria so you know you’re getting a good value.  And, if you don’t want to take the time to learn all this stuff, the list above was selected based on these exact details.

Knife Selection

When buying knife set, the first thing you should consider is what knives you typically use, or would like to use.  Probably the most common knives found in a set are a chef’s knife, utility knife, paring knife, and some sort of a serrated knife.  This make sense since they’ll the most used in our kitchens.  Some knife sets also include matching steak knives, something to think about if you’d like to have them match your set.

What other knives might you need in a kitchen?  Well, for one, we think a good set of kitchen shears is a MUST.  It’s nice to also find one with a matching honing steel.  Some of the other less-common knives found in block sets are bread knivessantoku knives, boning knives, and perhaps some sort of a slicing knife, similar to a sushi knife.

Knife Quality

When searching for an affordable knife set, say one under $200, you really have to be careful not to buy cheaply-made knives.  But how do you know?  Don’t worry, we’ll help on this…

Forged vs Stamped

We won’t go into a full lesson on forged and stamped knives, but rather just say that all things equal, forged knives are typically better quality, heavier-duty, and will last longer than most stamped knives.  Basically, forged knives are drawn form a single piece of sold steel while stamped blades are punched out of a flat sheet of steel like cookie cutters.  They just aren’t as thick or as strong in most cases.  For this reason, almost all of the knives on the list above are forged steel rather than stamped.  

Blade Steel

We could literally write pages and pages about different knife steels and what makes them better than one another.  That’s just not important to this discussion.  When buying kitchen knife set under $200, you’re not going to be able to afford the best steels, and that’s okay.  Honestly, many of those steels can be hard to maintain anyway.  There are German steels and Japanese steels, and it can be hard to keep track of all them.  Odds are if a knife maker says what kind of steel they are using, it’s better than if they just say “stainless steel”.  

Size or Material of Knife Block

Most, but not all, knife blocks are made of wood, including options from hundreds of different species.  Others might be made of stainless steel, glass, or myriad different materials.  This is really personal preference and what you feel coordinates with your kitchen and other home decor in the area nearby.  You may want to consider the knife set’s size depending on where in you kitchen it will sit.  A 20-piece set may not be feasible if you live in a tiny, 600 square foot apartment in New York.

Number of Knives Included in the Set

We mentioned this once, but it’s worth mentioning it again.  This is a common trick played by low-end knife manufacturers.  They offer you 20+ knives in a block and price it at $50 bucks!  On the surface, it looks like the deal of the century!  Well, without even looking, I can tell you that odds are… IT’S NOT!  These are likely junk knives that won’t stay sharp and they will break.

Instead of focusing on the total number of knives, it’s better to just ensure that the knives you need are included.  Once you figure that out and find a set that looks like it’s well-made and from a reputable kitchen knife brand, that’s when you should start thinking about the price and if it’s a good deal.  And a great place to start is our list of best knife sets under $200 above.

Brand Name

So is buying knives from a top name brand company important?  The short answer is yes, but the long answer is slightly more complicated.  The big brand names like Wusthof and Cangshan use quality materials in most of their knives, whereas brands we’ve never heard of may or may not.  if you stick with big brands, odds are that they’ll also stand behind their knives if you ever have an issue with them.  That’s really were the warranty comes into play (next section).

Price Point

We’ve done much of the hard work for you in this case.  The price point of the knife sets shown above were all under $200 at the time this page was last updated.  Some of them are actually closer to $100!  Unfortunately, knife sets that are less than 100 bucks are likely not really well made and will fall apart on you…or at the very least, not stay sharp.  For this reason, this is the least amount of money BladeAdvisor recommends spending on a kitchen knife set.  That doesn’t mean you can’t slowly piece together your own collection with some great kitchen knives one at a time. 

Manufacturer’s Warranty

Last but not least, consider check the manufacturer’s warranty before you purchase a knife set.  It’s on the most important thing, but it does tell you relatively how confident they are that their knives will hold up in your kitchen right?  Most knife makers offer at least one year warranties, but some provide 5yrs, 10yrs, or even lifetime warranties.