If only my kitchen knife set could sharpen itself instead of me having to sit down and sharpen the blade individually. But what if I told you there are self-sharpening knife sets out there that I can afford and that aren’t just gimmicks? Let me guide you through the best self-sharpening knife sets you can find. I recommend starting with my guide below first, so you know what to look for.
What Is a Self-Sharpening Knife Set?
What distinguishes a self-sharpening knife set from a regular knife set? It is the knife block that is different. You should never trust a self-sharpening knife that comes by itself to actually be self-sharpening.
You see, real self-sharpening sets have storage blocks that include ceramic knife sharpening edges that are positioned inside the slots for each knife. This way, whenever you store your knives after using them, they automatically rub against the sharpeners within the block. They’re also sharpened when you retrieve the knives to use them again. In this way, your knives are sharpened ever so slightly every time you withdraw them from the block, meaning you have to spend less (or no) time sharpening them yourself.
The ceramic sharpeners within the blocks don’t actually remove steel to create a sharper edge. Instead, they hone the edge of your knives, which essentially means that they realign the edge each time you pull them out or put them back inside.
So does this mean that you actually never need to sharpen them? Not exactly. If you use your knives frequently, you may need to do your own sharpening or honing in addition to the passive sharpening that happens when you insert the knives into the block. However, there’s no denying that these sets require you to sharpen less frequently than you otherwise would have to.
The 6 Best Self-Sharpening Knife Sets
1. Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-Pc Set – Best Self-Sharpening Knife Set
As an ardent home cook and culinary enthusiast, I’ve been using the Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening 15-Pc Set for a significant duration, and I can confidently assert that it is indeed a worthy investment for anyone who enjoys cooking. This set has been a real game-changer in my kitchen, helping me efficiently prepare everything from a simple salad to an elaborate six-course meal.
Unpacking the Set
To provide a comprehensive overview, the set includes an impressive array of 15 knives, each designed for a specific purpose. The quality of steel used in these knives, compared to my previous Chicago Cutlery set, is noticeably superior, maintaining sharpness for longer periods. I found the steak knives particularly impressive, as they sliced through different types of meat with ease, from tender chicken to tougher cuts of beef. It features serrated utility knives, chefs’ knives, steak knives, and even a precise 4 ½ inch paring knife. It doesn’t matter if you’re carving meat, chopping vegetables, or dicing fruits, there’s a tool for every task in this versatile collection.
Innovative Self-Sharpening System
One of the standout features of this set is the innovative self-sharpening system housed within the wooden storage block. This self-sharpening feature, a significant upgrade from the manual honing required for my old Henckels set, has been a time-saver. However, I noticed that the sharpeners don’t work as efficiently on the serrated utility knives, requiring occasional manual sharpening. Each knife slot is equipped with ceramic sharpeners, which ensures your knives remain in top condition with every use. However, it’s worth noting that the ceramic sharpeners may wear out over time and might require replacement.
Design and Durability
The attention to detail extends to the design of the knives themselves. Each blade is full tang, which translates to superior strength and balance. This full tang design provides a noticeable difference in balance compared to partial tang knives, allowing for more controlled and precise cutting. The handles are triple-riveted for enhanced security, contoured for a comfortable grip, and thoughtfully labeled for easy identification – a feature I found immensely useful.
The set also includes a pair of kitchen scissors and comes with a reassuring lifetime warranty, demonstrating the brand’s confidence in their product’s durability.
How it compares to other sets
In comparison to other knife sets I’ve used in the past, this one stands out for its excellent variety of knives, ergonomic design, and innovative self-sharpening feature. For instance, while using the chef’s knife from this set, the level of control and comfort I experienced far surpassed that of similar knives in the Mercer Culinary Genesis set. If I were to draw a comparison with a similar product, the Wusthof Gourmet 16-Piece Set, while it also offers a variety of knives, it lacks the self-sharpening feature and the handles aren’t labeled, making the Calphalon set a more user-friendly option.
- Wide range of knives catering to various culinary needs
- Self-sharpening feature keeps blades in prime condition
- Ergonomic handle design with labels for easy identification
- Lifetime warranty offers peace of mind
- High carbon content in steel blades ensures durability and sharpness
- Ceramic sharpeners may wear out over time, requiring replacement
- The weight and balance of the knives may not suit all users, particularly those accustomed to lighter knives
2. Henckels 20-Pc Self-Sharpening Block Set
I recently had the opportunity to try out the Henckels 20-Pc Self-Sharpening Block Set. My main goal was to evaluate whether this knife set would provide me with the range, convenience, and quality I need in my kitchen.
Variety and Versatility
One of the standout features of this knife set is the extensive variety it offers. The set includes 20 individual blades, each with a unique purpose. Compared to my previous OXO knife set, the Henckels provided a broader range of knives, which was extremely beneficial for specialized tasks. I particularly enjoyed using the chef’s knife, which effortlessly handled a range of tasks from chopping herbs to mincing garlic. It includes essentials such as a bread knife and a boning knife, which I found to be extremely handy for daily cooking needs. The bread knife glided through crusty loaves without squishing the soft interior, a task that used to be a challenge with my older knives. Other knives range from utility blades, paring knives, to several steak knives. Their steak knives, in particular, were impressively sharp and efficient, easily outperforming the ones from my older Cuisinart set. These knives proved versatile in various cooking styles, from slicing delicate fruits to carving roasted meats. This broad range of knives makes the set versatile and adaptable to a variety of cooking requirements.
Design and Aesthetics
The self-sharpening knife block is a thoughtful addition that saves time and ensures the knives remain sharp and ready for use. I appreciated that the slots are labeled, making it easy to organize the knives and quickly identify the one I need. However, the labels were a bit small and could be challenging to read in low light conditions. This feature was especially useful compared to the unmarked blocks of other sets, like the Global 7-Piece Knife Block Set.
The aesthetics of the block is another point worth mentioning. Crafted from high-quality stained ash wood, the block is solid and aesthetically pleasing. Its dark wood and brushed stainless steel gave my kitchen a professional and upscale look. It is capped with brushed stainless steel, adding a modern touch that complements any kitchen decor. It has a more sophisticated look than the plastic blocks of some other sets, enhancing the overall visual appeal of my kitchen.
Quality and Performance
The knives themselves uphold the Zwilling J.A. Henckels reputation for quality. Their full tang design and triple-riveted handles provide a comfortable, secure grip that makes handling them a pleasure. Compared to the lighter handles of my previous Mercer Culinary set, these handles offered more control and stability during cutting tasks. The maintenance was straightforward, as the knives needed only a simple wipe-down after use, though the block itself occasionally required dusting to maintain its appearance. While the blades may not be the sharpest I’ve ever used, they are more than capable of performing everyday tasks with ease. However, I noticed they require a bit more effort to slice through tougher ingredients compared to the ultra-sharp blades of my Shun Classic set.
However, the set is not without its drawbacks. One issue I encountered was the weight of the block, which was quite hefty, making it challenging to move around the kitchen. Its size can be a bit large for some counters, and it might be overwhelming for those with limited kitchen space. But if you have the room and are willing to invest, it’s a worthy consideration.
To sum it up, if you’re in the market for a self-sharpening knife set that offers a range of blade types and a sturdy design, the Henckels 20-Pc Self-Sharpening Block Set is a strong contender. The ergonomic design of the handles, combined with the block’s self-sharpening feature, adds to its practicality. It combines convenience with quality and versatility.
- High-quality blades that are built to last
- The block includes labels for easy knife identification
- Attractive design that enhances kitchen aesthetics
- Variety of knives to cater to diverse cooking needs
- Use of stainless steel reduces the risk of corrosive damage
- The size of the block/set may be too large for some kitchen counters
Considering all these factors, if you have ample space and are prepared to pay for quality, the Henckels 20-Pc Self-Sharpening Block Set could be one of your top choices. It stands out in terms of quality, aesthetics, and the convenience of a self-sharpening feature. But as always, it’s crucial to consider your individual needs and circumstances before making a purchase decision.
I hope this review helps you make an informed decision. For further reference, you might find it useful to compare this set with other similar options on the market.
3. Calphalon Contemporary Self-Sharpening 20-Piece Knife Set
As an experienced chef, I’ve had the opportunity to use a wide variety of knife sets in my culinary career. The Calphalon Contemporary Self-Sharpening 20-Piece Knife Set caught my attention recently, and I decided to put it to the test in my kitchen. My goal in this review is to provide an insightful perspective on this knife set to help you make an informed purchase decision.
Variety and Material Quality
The Calphalon Contemporary knife set comes with an impressive assortment of 20 blades. The types range from boning to slicing to bread cutting, providing an option for nearly every culinary task you might encounter. During my evaluation, I found the utility knife particularly versatile, ideal for slicing both cheeses and tomatoes with equal ease. Compared to my previous experiences with the Zwilling Pro 16-Piece Set, the variety offered here was more comprehensive, especially in terms of specialized tasks like boning. During a week of testing, I found the boning knife exceptionally agile for deboning chicken, while the bread knife glided through crusty loaves without crushing the bread. Included in the set are kitchen shears, a valuable tool often overlooked in other knife sets.
The majority of the blades are forged from high carbon, no-stain German steel, known for its exceptional sharpness and durability. While using these knives, I appreciated their resistance to corrosion and staining, especially when working with acidic ingredients like lemons. Their edge retention was impressive, requiring minimal touch-ups even after multiple uses. The steak knives, however, are made from stamped Asian steel. The difference in steel types is noticeable; while both are of high quality, the German steel knives provided a more consistently sharp edge during my extensive use.
Design and User Experience
Each knife is set into a beautifully crafted wooden block, which serves both as a storage solution and a stylish addition to your kitchen counter. However, I did find that the block’s finish needed occasional polishing to maintain its luster. The block’s sleek design and compact footprint made it easy to fit on my limited countertop space. This block was more robust and aesthetically pleasing than the one in my older Cuisinart set, enhancing the overall look of my kitchen space. A unique feature of this set is the labeling markings on the hilts of the knives. This thoughtful design detail makes identifying the right knife for the job quick and easy.
The knives have a full tang design, a feature sought by many professional chefs. This design extends the metal of the blade through the length of the handle, increasing the knife’s balance and durability. In my hands, the ergonomic handles provided comfort during prolonged use, which was particularly noticeable when I was prepping for a large dinner party. However, the heft of some of the larger knives might be challenging for those with smaller hands.
Comparisons and Considerations
When comparing the Calphalon set to other knife sets on the market, the variety and quality of knives offered stand out. However, this set is on the higher end of the price spectrum. In contrast, the Mercer Culinary Genesis set, while more affordable, doesn’t offer the same range of knives. If budget is a significant factor in your decision, you may want to consider other options.
Another aspect to be aware of is the ceramic sharpeners that come with the set. While they can be beneficial in maintaining the sharpness of your knives, I found that these sharpeners required careful handling to avoid chipping the blades, unlike the more forgiving sharpening rods in other sets. This is a factor worth considering if you’re not accustomed to handling ceramic sharpeners. However, these sharpeners do ensure the knives remain optimally sharp for a variety of cooking styles, from fine slicing to robust chopping. Some users have reported that they can wear out quickly.
- Excellent labeling feature for easy identification
- Wide variety of knives for diverse culinary tasks
- High-quality, beautiful wooden block for storage
- Blades made from two varieties of top-grade steel
- More expensive compared to other knife sets
- Ceramic sharpeners can wear out relatively quickly
4. Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Stainless Steel 15-Piece Set
I was delighted to have the opportunity to use the Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Stainless Steel 15-Piece Knife Set. This set from Calphalon, a brand known for its excellence in kitchenware, comes with 15 pieces. Each blade is forged with high carbon content, using a no-stain, stamped steel material, making it a highly reliable choice for your kitchen.
Product Composition and Design
One of the standout aspects of this knife set is its material makeup. The blades, made from high-carbon, no-stain steel, promise durability and long-lasting sharpness. I particularly appreciated how the chef’s knife handled chopping herbs and slicing meat, maintaining its edge even after heavy use. Additionally, the handles are labeled, which I found particularly helpful as it allows me to quickly identify the knife I need. The labeling was especially beneficial when I was juggling multiple tasks and needed to switch knives quickly. During my time using these knives, I noticed how effortlessly they cut through different types of food, from tough meats to delicate vegetables, showcasing their versatility in various cooking styles. They are also specially contoured for a secure and comfortable grip. While the grip was comfortable, I noticed that the weight distribution of some knives felt slightly off-balance, particularly the larger chef’s knife. This ergonomic design was a relief during long cooking sessions, reducing hand fatigue. The feature is crucial for any cook who values control and precision in their knife work. With these well-balanced knives in your kitchen, you’ll find your food preparation process much smoother.
The set also comes with a beautifully crafted wood block for storing the knives. Its stability and aesthetic appeal make it not just a storage solution, but also a stylish addition to your kitchen. However, I found that maintaining the luster of the wood block requires regular dusting and occasional polishing, which might be a consideration for those preferring low maintenance options. The block’s slots, while generally efficient, could be tighter to ensure the knives sit more securely. I must also note that the steak knife slots do not always align perfectly, a minor detail that might bother some users.
Warranty and Customer Service
One of the key considerations when purchasing a product is the warranty, and Calphalon doesn’t disappoint in this aspect. They offer a full lifetime warranty, demonstrating their confidence in the product and their commitment to customer satisfaction. My experience with their customer service was positive; they were responsive and helpful when I inquired about care instructions. This not only adds value to the set but also provides peace of mind knowing that the manufacturer stands behind their product.
- Includes a lifetime warranty from manufacturer problems
- Steel quality and makeup is great
- Wood block is stable and beautiful
- Has labels on the handles and block
- Versatile for various cooking styles
- Steak knife slots don’t always fully align
- Requires some maintenance for the wood block
The Final Verdict
In conclusion, the Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Stainless Steel 15-Piece Knife Set is a solid choice for both amateur and experienced cooks. Its quality, design, and warranty make it a worthy investment for your kitchen. If you’re someone who values aesthetics in your kitchen tools, this set’s design might appeal to you more than the original set we reviewed earlier. For these reasons, I would recommend this set to anyone seeking a comprehensive, reliable, and stylish set of kitchen knives.
The Best Budget Self-Sharpening Knife Sets
5. McCook MC29 Self-Sharpening Knife Set, 14-Pc
Having used the McCook 14-piece self-sharpening knife set for the past few weeks, I’ve come to appreciate its high-quality features and economical price point. This set stands out in the market due to its German high-carbon stainless steel blades, ergonomic design, and unique self-sharpening system.
Quality and Material
The blades of these knives are crafted with German, high-quality and high-carbon stainless steel. This steel is known for its durability and resistance to corrosion, making these knives a reliable choice for daily use in the kitchen. Throughout my time using them, I’ve processed various ingredients, from hard vegetables to delicate fish, and have been impressed with their consistent performance. The blades have remained sharp and resilient, even after frequent use and washing.
Design and Ease of Use
One of the aspects I particularly appreciate about these knives is their tapered grind edge design. This detail enhances the sharpness of the blade and simplifies the re-sharpening process. The balance between the handle and blade made tasks like chopping and slicing more efficient and less tiring on my wrists. Additionally, the knives are equipped with ergonomic handles, making them comfortable to hold during prolonged use. However, I noticed that the handle material can feel a bit slippery when wet.
Storage and Stability
The knife set comes with a wooden block for storage, which is both aesthetically pleasing and robust. I particularly admired the sleek design of the block, which complemented my kitchen’s decor. A unique feature of this block is its balancing feet, which provide stability even on uneven surfaces. This is a small but significant design choice that enhances the user experience and sets the product apart from its competitors.
The standout feature of this set is the self-sharpening system incorporated into the block. Unlike other self-sharpening sets that automatically sharpen the knives when they’re removed or inserted, this system has a sharpening slot on the top right corner. I found this manual sharpening system allowed me to maintain the blades at my desired level of sharpness. While this means you have to sharpen each knife individually, it allows for better control over the sharpening process. This feature, though useful, does require a learning curve to use effectively. This feature may be a pro or a con depending on your preference.
- High-quality, durable knife block
- Superior steel quality in knives
- Knives are designed for easy and quick sharpening
- Comfortable, ergonomic handles
- Handles can become slippery when wet
- Each knife must be sharpened individually
In conclusion, if you’re seeking a budget-friendly knife set that doesn’t compromise on quality or design, the McCook self-sharpening knife set is a worthy contender. Its unique features, like the individual knife sharpening system and the stable storage block, make it stand out in a crowded market. However, be prepared to invest a bit more time in maintaining the sharpness of the blades due to the individual sharpening requirement.
To find out more about self-sharpening knives have a look at our are self sharpening knife blocks worth it article.
6. Sabatier Self-Sharpening Edgekeeper Pro 12-Piece Set
As an avid home cook and a regular user of various kitchen tools, I often find myself reaching for a reliable, sharp knife. That’s why I was excited to come across this budget-friendly self-sharpening knife set that seemed to balance quality and affordability. With 12 pieces in the set, including an 8-inch chef knife, several steak knives, and other specialty knives for paring or utility cutting, it seemed to offer a comprehensive solution for all my kitchen cutting needs.
Material Quality and Design
One of the things that caught my eye was the material of these knives. Crafted from high carbon stainless steel, these knives promised durability and longevity. After several uses, I found that the blades retained their sharpness even after cutting through tougher materials like squash and meat with bones. The satin finish on the handles added a touch of elegance and also made them sanitary for kitchen use.
Comfort and Ease of Use
The ergonomic shape of the handles was also a feature worth noting. During my cooking sessions, which often last for hours, I found these knives comfortable to use over the long term. However, I did notice a slight discomfort when using the paring knife for intricate tasks like peeling or deveining shrimp. This comfort factor made the cooking process more enjoyable and less taxing.
Sharpener and Block
What made this set stand out was the inclusion of a block ceramic sharpener within each slot (except for the steak knives). This feature was convenient for maintaining the sharpness of the larger knives, but it required careful handling to avoid chipping the blades. While the block was not made of wood – which some might see as a downside – it had an attractive aesthetic that fit well on my kitchen counter without taking up much space.
- Most of the blades are of good quality
- The block has a unique aesthetic appeal
- Knives are comfortable to hold, making them ideal for prolonged use
- Handles are finished with a satin touch, adding to their durability and sanitary properties
- The steak knives seemed a bit thinner compared to other sets I’ve used
- The lack of labels on the block was a minor inconvenience as it took some time to remember which knife went where
The Final Verdict
In conclusion, this self-sharpening knife set is a good budget-friendly choice for those who value quality and affordability. While it has a few minor drawbacks, it doesn’t compromise too much on features or durability. I would recommend this set to anyone looking for a comprehensive, stylish, and efficient solution for their kitchen cutting needs.
What to Look For in a Self-Sharpening Knife Set?
When you’re purchasing a self-sharpening knife set, there are several key things that you should look for.
Number of Knives
irstly, consider the number of knives that come with the set. Some knife sets include as few as 4 to 6 pieces; these have staple knives like chef’s knives, which are versatile and can handle a lot of different cutting tasks. Others will have knives numbering up to 10 or 15. These usually have more specialized blades that can accomplish a variety of specific tasks.
I’d recommend focusing on a knife set that has plenty of blades to spare if you want dedicated knives for all your cooking needs. But if you will only rarely be using the knife set, you can probably get away with fewer knives overall.
Next, consider the handles of the knife set in question. Some knives are made with ornate or beautiful wooden handles that are a delight to hold and an aesthetic boost to your kitchen. Others may be wood-like, with handles that are created from a synthetic material designed to look and feel like real wood. These are a little cheaper than regular wooden handles in many cases. Still, other knife handles might be made from a synthetic material that isn’t particularly aesthetically pleasing but is cheaper overall.
There’s no right or wrong answer but, if you do choose a set with wooden handles, try to find knives whose handles are protected against water damage.
You’ll also want to consider the quality of the steel in a given knife set. While virtually all knives will be made of some kind of steel, there are different grades or qualities that can determine how long the knives will last and how well they will cut or slice your food.
Carbon steel is usually the best bang for your buck, and it’s often made as a type of stainless steel, at least for the outermost layer. This is another great thing to look for because stainless steel prevents corrosion from affecting your knives and looks extremely polished and high-quality as well.
Are you interested how do self-sharpening knives work? Follow the link then.
Finally, consider the overall weight of knives within the set. Some knives are significantly heavier than others and may be more difficult to wield for long stretches of time. Others are pretty lightweight. There’s no right or wrong answer here either, but it’s something to consider in terms of your personal preferences.
Concluding my Best Self Sharpening Knife Sets Guide
In the end, all of these self-sharpening knife sets are excellent in terms of overall quality and value. Being able to rely on your knives being at least decently sharp without having to constantly sharpen them by hand is a huge deal. Hopefully, one of the above sets is perfect for your kitchen. Thanks for reading!
Gary Portman is the founder and main author of Knivesadvice.com. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he is committed to assisting people in choosing the perfect knife for their needs. Through his articles, Gary shares valuable insights on various aspects of knives. With his expertise, readers can make informed decisions and find a knife that is tailored to their preferences and requirements. You can find more info about Gary here.