Best Self Sharpening Kitchen Knife Set

Best Self-Sharpening Knife Sets 2020

By Bobby B.  | September 20, 2020  | Blog

Something we hear over and over from our readers is how difficult they find it to keep their kitchen knives sharp.  The average home chef is actually scared to sharpen their own knives in fear that they’ll do it wrong, damage the knives, or get hurt.  If any of this describes you at all, you owe it to yourself to check our the best self-sharpening knife sets we’ve reviewed below.

A self-sharpening knife set requires no time, no effort, and absolutely no skill at all to keep your kitchen knives sharp.  The knife blocks themselves have sharpeners built into the slots the knives reside in.  As you pull the knife out, the blade draws against that sharpening media, usually ceramic, and hones the blade in order to keep it sharp!  Now if only we could get the pots and pans to clean themselves, we wouldn’t have to do the dishes either.

Here’s our list of top self-sharpening knife sets, with details why we’ve picked each one.  The criteria used for picking included quality of knives in the set, number of knives included, price-point (really the value the consumer gets when purchasing), and how well the in-block knife sharpeners work as reviewed by actual customers that have used the knives.

Top 7 Self-Sharpening Knife Sets

1.  Chicago Cutlery 18-pc Insignia 2

Knife Set Review

Chicago Cutlery’s 18-pc Insignia 2 knife block set is the perfect combination of lots of knives, good quality, durable materials, and a great price.  This is exactly why it tops our list of best self-sharpening knife sets.  Here are the knives included:

  • 8″ Chef’s Knife
  • 8″ Slicer
  • 7″ Santoku
  • 7″ Serrated Bread Knife
  • 5.5″ Utility Knife
  • 5″ Boning Knife
  • 3″ and 3.5″ Paring Knife
  • (8) 4.5″ Forged Steak Knives
  • Kitchen Shears

These knives are ALL forged, even the steak knives, they have classic styling, and the set looks great in the maple wood knife block.  This set also comes with a lifetime warranty.

There is one small caveat with this set however.  Whereas many of the knife blocks on this list have multiple sharpening slots, this one from Chicago Cutlery has an auxiliary slot, specific for the sharpener.  It’s done this with for a couple of reasons. First, it cuts down on the cost since only one sharpener is needed.  And second, it won’t hone your knives with EVERY single use if you don’t want it to.   

2.  Calphalon Precision 15-pc Self-Sharpening Knife Set

Knife Set Review

The Precision Series by Calphalon is one of their higher-end self-sharpening knife sets, of which they have many.  You can see more here…  BladeAdvisor: Calphalon Knife Reviews

 These knives are heavy-duty with forged blades, a full-tang, and made from quality German steel.  Our favorite feature on all the Calphalon knives is that they are identified on the butt of the knife.  For example, the bread knife says “Bread Knife” so that you can make sure you’re pulling out the correct knife!

Knives included in this knife set:

  • 8″ Chef’s Knife
  • 8″ Bread Knife
  • 6″ Santoku
  • 6″ Utility Knife
  • 3.5″ Paring Knife
  • (8) Steak Knives (Stamped Blades)
  • Kitchen Shears

The good:  Great knives, look awesome, lifetime warranty

The bad: Not all the slots are self-sharpening and the steak knives are stamped, not forged

3. McCook Mc29 Self-Sharpening Knife Set, 14-pc

Knife Set Review

The McCook MC29 self-sharpening knife set is the best “budget-friendly” pick on our list!  For the price, the knives look great, the set includes everything your kitchen needs, and you get the in-block knife sharpening.  These knives are NOT the highest quality knives, but they aren’t horrible either.  They are forged and do use German steel, two positives in knives!

This great starter set for anyone that is looking to spend significantly less than $100 on a self-sharpening knife set.  You won’t find many sets for less money than this.  If you do, you should question the quality of the knives and the materials used in them.

Knives included in this knife set:

  • 8″ Chef’s Knife
  • 8″ Slicing Knife
  • 5″ Santoku
  • 5″ Utility Knife
  • 5.5″ Serrated Utility Knife
  • 3.5″ Paring Knife
  • (6) 4.5″ Steak Knives
  • Kitchen Shears

4. Calphalon Classic 15-pc Self-Sharpening Knives Set

Knife Set Review

The Classic Series by Calphalon doesn’t use the same German steel as the Precision Series knives above, but the are still forged and you get plenty of knives in this set.  You can see more details about this and all the other Calphalon self-sharpening knives here…  BladeAdvisor: Calphalon Knife Reviews

Again, just like other Calphalon knife sets, there are identifying marks on the butt of the knife so you know which one you’re pulling out.  Also, the steak knives are stamped, not forged.

Knives included in this knife set:

  • 8″ Chef’s Knife
  • 8″ Bread Knife
  • 7″ Santoku
  • 6″ Utility Knife
  • 3.5″ Paring Knife
  • (8) Steak Knives (Stamped Blades)
  • Kitchen Shears

This knife set does have a unique knife block when compared to most.   There’s not really anything special or out of the ordinary about it, just that its appearance is cool!

5.  J.A. Henckels International Definition 7-pc Self-Sharpening Knives

Knife Set Review

J.A. Henckels is a world-class knife manufacturer who’s been around for over 200 years!  But, just to keep things real, they have two “divisions” – J.A. Henckels International & Zwilling J.A. Henckels.   It can be confusing to tell the difference between the two, but here’s the gist…

J.A. Henckels International uses a logo with one person, and these tend to be their budget-friendly knives, often made in China (like this set).  Whereas the Zwilling knives (2-people in the logo) are made in either Germany or Spain and are typically higher-end, AKA German steel blades, forged knives vs stamped, etc.

Does that make these knives chopped liver?  No, of course not.  But they aren’t high-end, and they don’t have those features mentioned above.  These are a small (7-pc & no steak knives), nice set of stamped blade knives offered by one of the top knife manufacturers in the world.

Knives included in this knife set:

  • 8″ Chef’s Knife
  • 7″ Santoku
  • 6″ Utility Knife
  • 5″ Serrated Utility Knife
  • 3″ Paring Knife
  • Kitchen Shears

6. Sabatier Self-Sharpening Edgekeeper Pro Knife Set

Knife Set Review

Sabatier is more of a French “style” of knife than a brand.  Although technically there are over 30 brands named “Sabatier”.  It’s a long story, go to our Sabatier Knives Review for more info. 

This particular 12-piece Sabatier knife set has forged knives (steak knives are stamped) and average high-carbon stainless steel for their blades.  It’s an inexpensive set, but the only Sabatier self-sharpening knife set we could find.  If you like French-style knives and want in-block knife sharpening, this is your set!

Knives included in this knife set:

  • 8″ Chef’s Knife
  • 8″ Slicer Knife 
  • 5″ Chef Knife
  • 4.5″ Utility Knife
  • 3.5″ Paring Knife
  • (6) 4.5″ Steak Knives

This knife set does come with a lifetime warranty.

7. Faberware Edgekeeper Knife Set, 21-pc

Knife Set Review

Faberware is one of the large kitchen “wares” conglomerates.  They sell almost everything under the sun that goes in the kitchen, from knives to pots & pans, to percolators.  The upside to brands like this is that they become will-known and trusted by consumers.  The downside is however, that they are good at a lot of things, but don’t focus on any one thing.  

Like most others, Faberware makes “starter knife sets”.   They look great, they include many knives, and they’re cheap!  But they’re also cheaply made.  This set is no different.  These knives are made with cheap steel and have stamped blades.  They won’t last forever, but you get a ton of knives for not much money!

Knives included in this knife set:

  • 8″ & 6″ Chef’s Knife
  • 8″ Slicer
  • 8″ Bread Knife
  • 7″ Santoku Knife
  • 6″ Cleaver
  • 6″ Boning Knife
  • 5.5″ Serrated Utility Knife
  • 3.5″ Paring Knife
  • 3″ Bird’s Beak Paring Knife
  • (8) Steak Knives
  • Kitchen Shears
  • Carving Fork

How Do Self-Sharpening Knife Sets Work?

 Self-sharping knife sets are really a pretty ingenious idea.  Inside the knife block there are typically two ceramic rods, placed at just the right angle so that when you pull the knife out of the block, it drags the blade edge across them perfectly, much like you would draw a knife over a honing rod or honing steel.  

Technically, the block isn’t sharpening you’re knives, it’s honing them.  Tomato/Tomatto really.  But if we want to be accurate, sharpening entails removing material, steel in this case, and reshaping it to produce a new, sharper edge.  This is something that should be done only rarely on your kitchen knives.  Honing on the other hand, is where you are pushing the edge of the knife back to the center and straightening it out.  This also makes the knife feel much sharper.  This is something that should be done frequently to your knives, and it does not wear them down like sharpening.

Summary – Are Shelf-Sharpening Knives Worth It?

We hope you feel like you learned everything you needed to make a decision and buy your next set of self-sharpening knives.  The age-old question we set out to answer by the end of all of our reviews, are the worth it?  Yes, I suppose they are worth it in this case.  Self-sharpening knives fit a large niche in our society; home chefs that don’t know how, or just don’t want to, keep their kitchen knives sharpened.  This blocks will ensure they’re honed on a regular basis and not improperly sharpened (scratched, mis-shaped, etc).

All of the knife sets above are perfect for someone’s kitchen.  That’s apparent quickly when you notice that each of them has several hundred, and many over a thousand, positive reviews at Amazon.  BladeAdvisor’s pick for the very best self-sharpening knife set is the Chicago Cutlery 18-pc Insignia 2 knife set

For similarly priced, quality knife sets for your home, check out our list of Best Knife Sets Under $200.

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