Best Knife Set From AmazonBasics

Knife Set MainKitchen knives are useful for a whole host of reasons, from chopping herbs and spices to spreading butter, from slicing meat to preparing avocado. The right knife makes a world of difference in your kitchen–and dining–experience.

Time in the kitchen is important for everything from self-expression to feeding one’s family. You want to invest in high-quality equipment for a high-quality experience. The knife sets from AmazonBasics are very much affordable as compared to other brands.

Consider slicing up an avocado before you scoop it out of the skin. A good knife will slice the avocado flesh, without passing through the skin and into your hand. A good knife cuts exactly what you want it to cut, and no more.

We recently looked at the best kitchen knife sets under $300, but for some people, even that is too much to spend. Every budget deserves high-quality kitchen tools, including cutlery! Then again, that article focused on top-quality knife sets for chopping, paring, and other kitchen skills. How do you know what knife you need?

The good news is, there are options for every budget–from over $300 to under $50, depending on the details of what you want that knife to achieve. Some knives are sold as singletons–typically high-quality prep knives, while others are sold as sets.

The good news is, whatever your cutlery needs, AmazonBasics can more than provide–and often at a lower price than visiting a home goods store in person.


4 Best AmazonBasics Knife Set

AmazonBasics Plastic Cutlery – Heavy White Knife

Amazon Basics Plastic Cultery

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If you’re hosting a cookout with dozens of guests, this heavyweight plastic butter knife is what you want. Besides knives, spoons and forks are available by the thousand–the ultimate convenience if you need to feed a crowd.

This tool will help your guests spread butter on a biscuit, cut a tender cut of meat, and slice and dice all the veggies you want. For a picnic, this is ideal.


PROS:

  • Cheap!
  • Sold by the thousand
  • Much sturdier than cheaper utensils
  • Solid plastic
  • Recyclable

CONS:

  • Some people don’t want to use single-use plastics
  • Made in China
  • Unreliable packaging – some people report receiving utensils loose in a box
  • May need to be washed before use


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AmazonBasics Kitchen 8 Steak Knife Set

Amazon Basics 8 Piece Knife Set

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These are called steak knives for a reason: they are ideal for eating meat like steaks and pork chops. Some people argue about whether a good steak knife tears the meat, or slices it more cleanly, but in general–you get what you pay for. According to some reviewers, as long as the meat reaches your mouth in delectable chunks, we’re all winners.


PROS:

  • Made in America
  • Economical option for eight matching steak knives
  • Matching set make for handsome dinner settings

CONS:

  • Reviews state this knife tears more than slices, especially tougher meats
  • Lesser quality than more expensive knives
  • Shouldn’t be washed in a dishwasher


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AmazonBasics 14-Piece or 18-Piece Kitchen Knife Block Set

Amazon Basics 18 Piece Knife Set

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This all-in-one knife set with block comes with chopping knives, steak knives, kitchen scissors, and one knife sharpener, all stored conveniently in a pine knife block. If you, or the person you seek to buy a housewarming present for, is setting up a household–invest in this useful block set, for the good of all the future dining guests.

This AmazonBasics set includes everything you need to dice your vegetables, slice your bread, and serve your meats. Depending on your needs, the 14-piece kit includes slightly fewer prep knives, but at a cheaper price point. Both kits include the scissors/shears, the bread knife, and the sharpening rod. Both kits include 6 steak knives, which can also be bought separately.


PROS:

  • A diverse set of knives for every kitchen utility!
  • Well-made, sturdy blades
  • Comes with a sharpening rod
  • Forged, not stamped

CONS:

  • Sharp enough you might cut yourself
  • Tears the meat when it should slice
  • Inconsistent quality


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AmazonBasics 12-Piece Color-Coded Kitchen Knife Set

Amazon Basics 12 Piece Color Knife Set

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For the price, this set cannot be beaten. Many of the sets we’ve discussed so far focus on dinner knives, on knives that will be on the dinner table when you serve the meal. This set, on the other hand, is all about knives that allow you to prepare that meal. Paring knife, utility knife, carving knife, bread knife, Santoku knife, and chef’s knife–all in one, beautiful, color-coded set.

Of everything we’ve seen so far today, this is the set I most cannot live without.

This AmazonBasics set lets me dice onions with minimal tears. This set lets me dice onions and garlic fine enough that even my pickiest of guests doesn’t complain about overly large garlic chunks.

Most amazingly, the bread knife maximizes surface area while minimizing crumbs. We get thin, delectable slices of bread, with minimal crumb formation–perfect for everyday sandwiches.


PROS:

  • Color-coding, besides beautiful, helps to prevent cross-contamination between food types
  • Can be dish-washed, if you choose (see a note, below)
  • Easy to clean, even if you hand-wash
  • Bread knife is effective on both crust and soft breads

CONS:

  • Retains a sharper edge if you hand-wash
  • Colored coating may flake off, depending on care and maintenance
  • Sharpening can reduce color intensity
  • Doesn’t come with a sharpening rod


A Note on Washing Via Dishwashing Machine

Ask a dozen chefs about how they wash their knives, and you’ll hear a dozen opinions. The most popular is that the heat and the friction of the dishwashing machine will contribute towards.

Pros Of Using Dishwashing Machine

  • Dish-washing is one of the greatest achievements of humanity, and makes everything easier
  • For full-tang knives, the dishwasher often doesn’t affect the glue holding the whole knife together
  • Most knives are quality steel and can handle the temperature and friction of a modern dishwasher
  • Whether you hand-wash or use a machine, dry the knives off soon after washing to minimize time sitting around wet

Cons Of Using Dishwashing Machine

  • For half-tang knives (scroll down and read the FAQs), the dishwasher can accelerate the breakdown of the glue that holds the whole knife together
  • Allowing a knife to sit around wet can degrade the angle of the blade, and require more frequent sharpening
  • Most knives respond best to immediate handwashing


Are Knife Sets From AmazonBasics Any Good?

I’ll be honest, AmazonBasics is perfectly neutral and perfectly acceptable–it’s not the best knife you can obtain for your money, but it’s certainly not the worst thing you can buy. For household basics like printer paper, it’s the absolute best option.

For kitchen knives, the very best option is probably expensive, and probably Japanese.

The knives that will enhance your kitchen experience are usually Japanese, often full-tang, generally stainless steel, and frequently professionally sharpened. That said, there’s exceptions to every one of these guidelines, and not every chef agrees on their ideal knife.


Is Calphalon Better?

Calphalon cookware is known for being exceptionally durable, from bakeware and knives to pans and appliances. Calphalon is viewed by some as synonymous with quality, and I know I hope to inherit my mother’s Calphalon knives and pans.

In short, yes–Calphalon is better, but you get what you pay for. If you want to dice vegetables as soon as possible, I suggest you buy the color-coded AmazonBasics Knife Set. If you want your grandchildren to inherit your knives, invest in the Calphalons–or in practically any Japanese brand.


Professionally sharpened knives are actually the safest choice because a dull knife is more likely to slip and cut the wrong thing.

Japanese blades are often higher quality steel than other knives, and may not have to be sharpened as frequently, but even the best knives benefit from professional attention at least once a year.


How Do I Hand-Sharpen?

Depending on the knife set you invest in, you may get a sharpening rod, or you may have to buy sharpening equipment separately.

The basic idea is that we drag a rough edge against the knife-edge, to file it down and make the angle more precise. Knife-sharpener salespeople often quote the idea of a 45° angle–but think about that. Forty-five degrees on both sides would lead to an overall angle of 90°, which is a right angle, a corner. This is hardly sharp.

A proper knife sharpening hones a blade closer to 15-20° so that the overall blade remains at a tight-enough angle to slice effectively through your material.

The easiest way to achieve this is with the AmazonBasics Whetstone

Spend some time watching YouTube videos about knife sharpening to really perfect your skills!

Basically the better and more frequent the hand-sharpening, the less frequently you need to get your knives professionally sharpened. In the hands of the expert, home-sharpening is enough, and one never needs to invest in professional sharpening.

That said, when in doubt, go with the professional sharpening. It can only help and never hurt.


Does Right- or Left-Handedness Matter?

In my experience, no. The highest quality knives are fairly symmetrical, and can be effectively used by a right- or left-handed individual. If you choose to invest in a custom knife that is hand-molded to your particular needs, it might matter.

More important is the weight and balance of the knife. Whether the tang extends to the edge or the tip of the handle influences whether the knife is light and quick, or solid and well-balanced.


A Note on Onions

One of the worst parts of cooking is that as delicious as onions are, they make you cry to chop and dice. Why is this?

As it turns out, chopping onions tears open onion cells, and releases certain amino acids into the air. These combine with tears to form sulfuric acid, which irritates the eye and causes tears to form.

The sharper the knife, the less of these chemicals are released.

That’s right, choosing an excellent knife in the first place, and keeping it sharp and well-maintained, will make you cry less. Cooking will be a more pleasant experience, overall, with fewer tears shed.


The Most Common Types Of Knives

The basic options regarding knife types are: table knives, prep knives, and bread knives.

Table knives include steak knives, butter knives, and dinner knives. Butter knives are originally intended for spreading butter, while a steak knife is specifically for cutting a tough (or tender!) steak. Dinner knives are a sort of all-purpose combination.

Prep knives are paring knives, chopping and dicing knives, and carving knives. These knives allow you to go from whole ingredients to diced, chopped, or minced ingredients. These are the behind-the-scenes kitchen knives that allow you to create the fine dishes you specialize in.

For all of these knives, you typically get what you pay for–higher price knives are higher quality–but AmazonBasics is breaking that rule, among others.

Knives can be serrated or non-serrated–that is, do they have or lack those little bumps. Depending on your purposes, you probably want one or the other.

Bread knives are highly serrated, to tear through the crumb of the bread loaf.

In my experience, cutting tomatoesespecially soft, vine-ripened tomatoes–requires at least a small amount of serration, in order to tear the flesh of the tomato. A non-serrated blade is more likely to press idly against the skin, unable to penetrate.

An excellent meat knife may be eitherbut rare and soft meats often require a non-serrated blade. A well-done steak requires more serration in order to tear through tougher meat. Then again, reviewers often focus on the amount of serration, frustrated both by too much and too little.


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