I would call myself anything but a professional chef. But investing in a new knife set truly made a difference in meal preparation at home. We compared several knife sets before purchasing one. A Calphalon knife set is one of many we considered, because of the brand's reputation, but we also looked at other brands. What we were looking for was something simple: a chef's knife, a paring knife, and a few steak knives. I didn't know there were so many varieties of knives when shopping for new cutlery. Nor was I aware of the differences in manufacturing processes. Our search taught me a lot.
First, the knives you purchase should be well-made by a leading manufacturer. They should also feature the best quality material finishes. This set is something you'll use nearly every day to prepare dinner and other meals throughout the day. So, you don't want to skimp on quality just to save a few dollars. A Calphalon knife set is just one out of many high-quality options. The most important thing, though, is to know what you're looking for in a knife set.
How to Choose a Knife Set
When the time comes to choose a knife set, you'll find a variety. And some sets are clearly better than others. Which knives do you know you need? A large set may include pieces you'll never use, and that's money wasted. So, before paying $500 plus, step back and know your needs. You should also know how to tell a high-quality knife set from a lesser one.
Size of the knife set
Some knives will see more use than others, no matter who the user. For example, chef's knives and paring knives are items nearly every household uses on a daily basis. Serrated knives and slicing/carving knives are also essential pieces. Apart from these four knives -- and possibly steak knives -- most others aren't necessary for the average household. And why pay for something you're not going to use much?
Stamped or forged knives
It's also important to understand the terminology when selecting a new knife set. A stamped knife is one that manufacturers produce by stamping a piece of metal into a blade shape. Stamped knives aren't as sturdy or durable as forged knives. A forged blade goes through a hand-made process. The manufacturer custom cuts the molten steel creating the specific shape for that knife set. These knives are more durable and feature a heavy bolster and heel.
They better protect the user's hand while using the knife, as well. If you're looking at a Calphalon knife set, like we did, you'll find it has forged blades. And this means quality.
You might also look for special features like a space-saving block, or a self-sharpening knife set. As the name implies, a space-saving product saves space on countertops by using a smaller block for storage. A self-sharpening knife set has a ceramic sharpener built into the knife block where owners store the knives. Each time your remove and replace the pieces, the block sharpens the knives. If you're wondering, by the way, if you can buy a Calphalon knife set with a self-sharpening block, the answer is yes. In fact, they make an entire series of them.
How Much Can You Expect to Pay?
There are numerous different knife sets at various price points. We'll take Calphalon's as the example.
The average price of a Calphalon knife set will vary given the size and type of the set. Optional accessories will also increase the price. With over 20 knife sets to choose from, the knife sets are available on Calphalon's website, as well as third-party websites. It's a good idea to compare several sites before purchasing a knife set, to find the best deal.
How a Calphalon Knife Set Stands up to the Competition
No two knife sets are alike, and no two households are alike in their meal preparation and food choices. Therefore, our review covers several attributes to help consumers find the best all-around knife set. Firstly, we considered the difference in quality between stamped and forged knives. Additionally, we included details about the overall construction of the knives, including the handle and weight. We reviewed the different butcher blocks, knife usability, and the essential pieces in each knife set as well. Our review also includes the price of Calphalon knife sets and competitors' products. And, we include average ratings given by owners of these products. Using this information, consumers can find the best knife set for daily use in their household.
The Best Calphalon Knife Set
There are over 20 options to choose from when buying a Calphalon knife set. These are a few of the best options, with essential pieces, for most households.
Calphalon Classic Self-Sharpening Stainless Steel 15-Piece Knife Block Set
- Full stainless steel knife construction
- Full tang. Knives stay sharp for a Lifetime
- Built in ceramic sharpeners automatically sharpen knives with every use
The Calphalon knife set has full stainless steel construction, and the full-tang design remains sharp for life. The knife block contains a built-in ceramic sharpener. So, each time owners remove or put the knife back in the slots, they sharpen automatically. The forged design features a high-carbon material finish. Each of the handles also has a label on it. This design makes it easy for owners to differentiate what each knife is for in the kitchen. Additionally, it makes it easier to know where each knife should go in the storage block, when not in use.
The contour grip design makes for an ergonomic feel when using the knives. They're comfortable to hold, regardless of what owners are cutting during meal preparation with this set. The 15-piece set includes a lifetime warranty from Calphalon as well. The knives should not go in a dishwasher, and owners should wash them promptly after use. Before placing them back in the knife block, it's best to towel dry the knives before storing them.
Amazon reviewers are generally positive about this Calphalon knife set, awarding it an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. One reviewer indicates the quality of the knives is excellent. The main issue with the set is the quality of the holder. Users suggest it doesn't sharpen well. And, they note it isn't the best material, especially for the price of the knife set.
Calphalon Precision Series 16-Piece Cutlery Set
- Precision-honed for optimal edge retention
- High carbon, no stain German steel (steak knives made from Asian steel)
- Fully forged blade, bolster and tang (steak knives made from stamped steel)
The precision-honed design ensures optimal precision each time owners use the knives for slicing and dicing. The high-carbon, no stain, German steel is durable and built to last for several years of use. The set also includes steak knives. However, these feature an Asian steel blade, not German steel in their construction. The fully forged knife set has a bolster tang design, creating an even weight distribution throughout the knife's body. This design makes it easy to use the knives, ensuring a smooth, even cut, during meal preparation.
Each of the knives has a label on the handle. So, owners know what they are for, and also where they go in the knife butcher block for storage. In addition to the eight-inch chef and bread knives, a paring knife and Santoku knife come with the set. And, eight steak knives, along with cutting scissors come with the product as well. The honing steel comes with this set, allowing owners to sharpen the knives regularly to preserve the blade's sharpness. The knife set is a hand-wash only. It's not safe for owners to place in the dishwasher.
Amazon reviewers give this set a slightly lower rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. A couple of reviewers indicate that the "German steel" knives come from China. Another reviewer notes that after a short period of use, the knives began to rust. They indicate the quality and materials aren't the best. The reviewer suggests other Calphalon knife sets are possibly a better investment for everyday use.
Calphalon Precision 10-Piece Space-Saving Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set
- Built-in ceramic sharpeners automatically sharpen knives with every use
- Fully forged, high-carbon, no-stain German steel. (Steak knives made from stamped Asian steel)
- Labeled handles for easy identification in the block
This 10-piece set features fully forged, German steel to maintain the sharpness of each blade over time. Each knife has a label on each handle, so owners know how to use the knives appropriately. A full tang design helps maintain even weight distribution from the base to the top of the blade. And the riveted handle design makes for an ergonomic, comfortable grip, when using the knives.
The space-saving butcher block design takes up minimal space on the countertop. So, it's perfect for a small kitchen or those who only need the essential knives at home. It comes with steak knives, as well as scissors, to round out the set.
Amazon customers give this set an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. One reviewer indicates the quality of the handle and overall knife construction is not the best. They note that the grip begins to break apart shortly after purchasing the set. In addition to being cheap materials, the reviewer also notes this is dangerous for owners.
The Top Competitors' Knife Sets
Calphalon is a household name, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have any competitors. There are, in fact, several. Here are a few of our favorites.
Gladiator Series 18-Piece Colossal Knife Set with Block
- Outstanding craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, stunning design elements, and premium materials. Peak performance...
- Incredibly razor sharp, full-tang, imported high-carbon German steel with a hand polished edge at 14-16 degrees per...
- Famed design, with satisfying heft, premium materials and quality feel. Luxury imported black pakkawood handles are...
The 18-piece knife set has German steel construction and a hand-polished edge at 14 to 16 degrees, for optimal precision. The knives undergo a tempering process and are stain resistant, with pakkawood handles. The triple-riveted handle is solid and creates an ergonomic grip for the most comfortable everyday use. The 56+ Rockwell rating guarantees the knives will remain sharp for their lifetime.
Minimal slicing resistance means owners don't have to apply too much pressure to cut or slice with these knives. The full tang design ensures even weight distribution from the base of the handle to the blade's tip. A solid walnut wood block preserves the knives and stores them safely for display on countertops.
Cangshan S Series 60140 12-Piece German Steel Forged Knife Block Set
- Patent Pending Design knives that focuses on ergonomics handle
- Patent pending cutting edge designed solid Acacia wood block works with the knives tastefully,every block is hand...
- Full tang forged from X50Cr15MoV German Steel with HRC 58 +/- 2 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale
The 12-piece set features forged, German steel and includes a butcher block for storage. The set has a 58+/- HRC Rockwell rating. So, owners don't have to worry about durability or issues with the hardness of the knives. The set also has the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) approval.
The S-series features a slim design and butcher block, taking up minimal space on countertops. A hand-treatment manufacturing process guarantees sturdiness and durability of the knife set. A full tang body and ergonomic handle create a stable cutting base for meal preparation.
Amazon customers liked this set overall, giving it 4.6 out of 5 stars. Not everyone was impressed, however. In one review, the customer indicates rust and corrosion were issues with the knife set after several months of use. After only four months of owning the knives, the customer states these concerns about the product.
Is it Worth Investing in a Calphalon Knife Set? The Best Knives for Your Household
When it comes down to the purchase decision, a Calphalon knife set is one of many options. For those considering this manufacturer, the Calphalon 15-piece self-sharpening set is an excellent option. In addition to the essential chef, paring, and serrated edge knife, the butcher block sharpens knives after every use. So, the edges don't become dull over time.
Additionally, each knife has a label on the handle. This design makes it easy for owners to know where the knives go, and also what their intended use is. The forged German steel is going to last for several years of use. And, the limited lifetime warranty guarantees the quality and durability of these knives for life.
If you prefer an alternative product to Calphalon, the Cangshang S Series knives are a great option. This set has all the essential pieces, including chef, paring, and serrated knives. The 58 +/- rating, also ensures the knives won't dull or weaken over time. The ergonomic grip and full tang design create an even weight distribution. This design makes it easier to cut thicker items seamlessly while preparing a meal. And, quality forged, German steel, doesn't weaken, regardless of how long owners use this set at home.
There are dozens of great manufacturers to choose from when purchasing a new knife set. A Calphalon knife set is an excellent investment for many consumers. However, there are other products to consider as well. These are some great sets to consider purchasing when selecting a new knife set for daily use at home.