The Best Places to Buy Kitchen Knives: A Buyer’s Guide

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You love to cook and are ready to invest in some high-quality kitchen knives to make meal prep easier and more enjoyable. But where should you go to find the best knives that suit your needs and budget? There are lots of options out there, from big box stores to specialty chef shops. Never fear, we’ve done the research for you and found the top places to buy kitchen knives.

Whether you’re looking for an affordable set of starter knives or are ready to splurge on handcrafted Japanese blades, we’ve got the inside scoop on the retailers that will give you the best value and selection. Get ready to chop, slice, and dice with the best of them. Your culinary adventures are about to get a whole lot sharper!

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What to Look for When Buying Kitchen Knives

When buying kitchen knives, there are a few important factors to consider:

Materials

The material the knife is made of determines how well it holds an edge and how long it will last. The three most common options are:

  • Stainless steel: is inexpensive, durable, and rust-resistant. Holds an edge well but may need frequent sharpening.
  • High-carbon stainless steel: Combines the benefits of stainless steel and carbon steel. It has better edge retention than regular stainless steel.
  • Carbon steel: is very hard and holds an edge exceptionally well. It requires more maintenance to prevent rusting but will last a lifetime with proper care.

For most home cooks, high-carbon stainless steel offers the best balance of affordability, edge retention, and low maintenance.

Construction

Forged knives are made from a single piece of metal and are generally of higher quality than stamped knives. Forged knives have a full tang, meaning the metal extends through the handle. This provides better balance and durability. Stamped knives are cut from a flat sheet of metal and usually have shorter tangs or even tangles.

Handle

The handle material determines comfort, grip, and balance. Common options include wood, plastic, and metal. Wood and plastic tend to provide the most comfortable grip. A good handle should feel substantial and balanced in your hand.

Brand

When buying from a store, you can get recommendations from the staff. When buying online, look for reputable brands that specialize in high-quality cutlery. Some highly-rated brands include Wüsthof, Henckels, and Global.

With the right knowledge and a bit of shopping around, you’ll find kitchen knives perfect for your needs. Focus on material, construction, handle, and brand, and you’ll be chopping in no time!

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Types of Kitchen Knives and Their Uses

Types of Kitchen Knives and Their Uses

If you’re in the market for new kitchen knives, you’ll want to know the different types available and how they’re used. The right knives can make cooking so much more enjoyable and efficient.

Chef’s Knife

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The most important and versatile knife you’ll own. Use it for slicing, dicing, and chopping vegetables, meat, and more. Look for a 6-8 inch blade for home use. High-quality chef’s knives will last a lifetime with proper care.

Paring Knife

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Great for peeling, trimming, and precise cuts. The small 3-4 inch blade allows you to maneuver easily. Every home cook should have a paring knife in their collection.

Bread Knife

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Features a long, serrated blade that cuts through bread, pastries, tomatoes, and other foods with hard exteriors and soft interiors without squishing them. Look for a blade between 8-10 inches.

Utility Knife

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Similar to a chef’s knife but with a shorter, lighter blade. Perfect for small tasks where a chef’s knife feels too large. The 5-7 inch blade handles most everyday cutting needs. Great for tight spaces or those with smaller hands.

Carving Knife

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Designed to slice meat, especially roasts, hams, and turkeys. Has a long, narrow blade, usually 8 inches or longer. Makes carving a breeze with its flexibility and sharp point.

With the essentials covered, you’ll be prepared to handle any recipe. And don’t forget honing steel to keep your knives razor sharp and a wooden or silicone cutting board that’s gentle on the blades. Happy shopping and happy cooking!

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Comparing the Top Kitchen Knife Retailers

When looking to buy high-quality kitchen knives, you have several excellent retailers to choose from. Here we compare some of the top options based on selection, price, quality, and service.

Williams Sonoma

For over 50 years, Williams Sonoma has been a trusted source for home cooks and professional chefs alike. They offer a wide selection of knife brands like Wüsthof, Shun, and Global, as well as their own high-quality line. While on the higher end of the price spectrum, their knives are rigorously tested and backed by a lifetime guarantee. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff can help guide you to the perfect knife for your needs and budget.

Sur La Table

Sur La Table is another reputable retailer that has been outfitting home and professional kitchens since 1972. They carry a variety of well-known knife brands at a range of prices. For those on a budget, their SLT Select line offers good value. They frequently run sales and promotions, and members of their rewards program receive additional discounts. Sur La Table also offers knife skills classes to help you make the most of your new tools.

Cutlery and More

For a massive selection of knives and knife accessories at competitive prices, check out Cutlery and More. They work directly with manufacturers to offer exclusive knife sets and bundles you won’t find anywhere else. While primarily an online retailer, they do have showrooms in a few locations where you can handle different knives to find those that suit you best. Their helpful “Knife Wizard” tool on the website can provide customized knife recommendations based on your needs and priorities.

Local Kitchen Supply Stores

Don’t overlook local kitchen supply stores in your area. While their selection may be more limited, the benefit is being able to see, touch, and test different knives firsthand with the guidance of knowledgeable staff. They can also sharpen and hone your knives to keep them in peak cutting condition. Building a relationship with a local shop means they can provide tailored recommendations and services to meet your long-term needs.

In summary, you have many great options for buying high-quality kitchen knives. Compare selections, prices, and services across different retailers to find one that suits your needs and budget. And once you have your perfect knives in hand, be sure to keep them sharp – a dull knife is a dangerous knife!

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Amazon – The Online Mega Store for Kitchen Knives

Amazon is the largest online retailer, so it’s no surprise they have a vast selection of kitchen knives to choose from. With many price points and styles available, you’re sure to find the perfect knife for your needs.

Huge Selection

Amazon offers knives from top brands like Wüsthof, Victorinox, and Zwilling J.A. Henckels, as well as their own Amazon Basics line. You’ll find everything from steak knives to Santoku knives to full knife block sets. Whether you’re looking for a multi-purpose chef’s knife or a specialized tool like a boning knife or cleaver, Amazon has you covered.

Great for Beginners

If you’re just starting your collection or are on a budget, Amazon is a fantastic place to shop. They offer very affordable yet high-quality knives that provide great value. The AmazonBasics line features essential knives at a fraction of the cost of premium brands. These are perfectly suitable for home cooks and a great way to start building your set.

Deals and Discounts

Amazon frequently runs sales, coupons, and discounts on their knife selection. You can often find markdowns of up to 50% off or more on certain brands and styles. They also regularly feature flash deals and lightning deals on select knives for a short period of time. With a bit of patience, you can score an amazing deal on a high-quality knife.

Easy Returns

One of the best things about buying from Amazon is their generous return policy. If you get a knife home and find it’s not quite right, you have 30 days to return it for a full refund. They also allow returns on most used items, as long as they are still in like-new condition. This makes it easy to try different knives with confidence.

In summary, Amazon is an excellent source for kitchen knives thanks to its huge selection, affordable prices, frequent deals, and easy return policy. Whether you prefer to shop online or in one of their brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon has everything you need to find the perfect knife.

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Sur La Table – High-End Kitchenware Including Cutlery

Sur La Table is a premium retailer that offers high-quality kitchenware, including an excellent selection of cutlery. If you’re looking to invest in professional-grade knives that will last a lifetime, Sur La Table is a fantastic option.

They carry well-known, high-end brands like Wüsthof, Shun, Miyabi, and their own Sur La Table brand. You’ll find knives for all types of cooking, from paring knives to chef’s knives to slicers and cleavers. The staff are highly knowledgeable and can guide you to the perfect knife for your needs based on factors like blade type, handle material, and care requirements.

Sur La Table has frequent sales and promotions offering up to 50% off, so you may be able to score a great deal on a high-performance knife. They also regularly offer knife skills classes where you can learn proper cutting techniques from expert chefs. If you’re just starting out building your cutlery collection or want to expand into higher-quality pieces, these classes are extremely valuable.

  • Premium, high-quality brands: You’ll find industry leaders like Wüsthof, Shun, Miyabi, and others. These brands are known for exceptional craftsmanship, innovative design, and high performance.
  • Excellent customer service: The staff at Sur La Table are very knowledgeable about cutlery and can provide guidance to help you choose the ideal knife for your needs.
  • Frequent promotions: Sur La Table frequently runs sales offering significant discounts on their products. You may be able to find a high-end knife at a lower cost.
  • Knife skills classes: Sur La Table offers classes where you can learn proper cutting techniques from professional chefs. These are extremely useful for home cooks and professionals alike.

If budget isn’t a concern and you want the best of the best, Sur La Table should be at the top of your list for buying kitchen knives. Their premium products, knowledgeable staff, and valuable extras like knife skills classes set them apart. You’re sure to find a knife that will quickly become your most trusted tool in the kitchen.

Williams Sonoma – Known for Their Signature Kitchen Knife Brands

Williams Sonoma is a premier retailer known for carrying high-quality kitchen knives and cutlery from renowned brands like Wüsthof, Shun, and their own signature brand, Williams Sonoma Collection.

Williams Sonoma Collection

Williams Sonoma’s in-house brand offers high-performance German steel knives at lower price points. The Classic line features all the essential knives you need, from a chef’s knife to a bread knife, at an affordable cost. The Precision line is made of higher-carbon German steel for improved edge retention and durability. These commercial-grade knives have a full tang and triple-riveted handle for superior balance and control.

Wüsthof

A respected German cutlery brand, Wüsthof is renowned for precision-forged knives that hold an exceptionally sharp edge. Williams Sonoma carries Wüsthof’s Classic, Classic Ikon, and Grand Prix II lines which range from entry-level to professional-grade. The Classic line is a great starter set with essential knives like a chef’s knife, paring knife, and serrated utility knife. The Classic Ikon features a sleek ergonomic handle and full bolster for added balance and safety.

Shun

For high-performance Japanese cutlery, Shun is a premium brand that produces some of the sharpest knives available. Made in Japan, Shun knives feature layered Damascus steel blades with a VG-MAX cutting core and hand-hammered finish. The Dual Core and Premier lines offer exceptional edge retention and cutting precision. While on the higher end of the price spectrum, Shun knives are a worthwhile investment for serious home cooks and professionals alike.

In the end, Williams Sonoma is a one-stop shop for high-quality kitchen cutlery from reputable brands at a range of price points. Whether you’re looking for an affordable set of starter knives or want to invest in a professional-grade Shun set, Williams Sonoma has you covered with its unparalleled selection and expertise in all things cutlery.

Crate and Barrel: Stylish and Functional Kitchen Knives

Crate and Barrel is a stylish yet functional source for quality kitchen knives. They offer a variety of well-known brands like Wüsthof, Shun, and Zwilling J.A. Henckels, so you can choose a style that suits your needs and budget.

High-Quality Brands

Crate and Barrel carries reputable knife brands that are trusted by home cooks and professionals alike. Brands like Wüsthof and Zwilling J.A. Henckels use high-carbon German steel and forged construction for superior blade strength and edge retention. Shun knives are renowned for their sharpness and feature a unique Damascus steel blade. With these brands, you can be confident you’re getting a knife that will last for many meals to come.

Variety of Styles

Whether you prefer a classic chef’s knife or a modern santoku, Crate and Barrel has options. They offer different blade shapes, sizes, and styles to suit specific cutting tasks like slicing, dicing, or carving. You’ll find European knives with a curved blade as well as Asian-inspired knives with a flatter blade profile.

Accessories Galore

In addition to knives, Crate and Barrel sells cutting boards, knife blocks, sharpeners, kitchen shears, and other useful accessories. You can find everything you need in one place to keep your knives protected and in top working condition. They frequently offer knife and cutting board sets that provide an easy starter set.

Regular Sales

Crate and Barrel runs sales and promotions on knives and accessories throughout the year. They often discount select brands or offer coupon codes for a percentage off your total purchase. Sign up for their mailing list or check the weekly ad to find the best deals. With some patience, you can score high-quality kitchen knives at significant savings.

Whether browsing in one of their stores or shopping online, Crate and Barrel is a superb source for stylish yet practical kitchen knives and accessories. With reputable brands, a variety of styles, useful accessories, and regular sales, Crate and Barrel have much to offer home cooks and aspiring chefs. Happy shopping and happy cooking!

Bed Bath & Beyond: Budget-Friendly Options for Every Cook

Bed Bath & Beyond is a great option if you’re on a budget but still want high-quality, durable knives. They frequently run sales and coupons to help you save.

Affordable, entry-level knives

At Bed Bath & Beyond, you’ll find affordable knife sets that are perfect for home cooks and beginners. Brands like J.A. Henckels, Cuisinart, and Chicago Cutlery offer basic 3- to 15-piece knife sets for under $100. These knives will cover all your basic chopping and slicing needs. While the steel and construction may not be of the highest quality, they’ll work great for occasional home cooking.

Higher-end options too

Once you get more serious about your knife skills, Bed Bath & Beyond also sells mid-range and professional-grade knives. Brands like Wüsthof, Shun, and Miyabi offer exceptional German and Japanese knives in the $100 to $500 range. These forged knives are made of high-carbon stainless steel and hold an edge very well. They’ll last you for many years of cooking with proper care and maintenance.

Additional accessories

In addition to knives, Bed Bath & Beyond is a one-stop shop for all your other kitchen necessities. They sell cutting boards, knife blocks, knife sharpeners, kitchen shears, and more. You can find everything you need to keep your knives in top working condition.

Regular sales and coupons

The best part about Bed Bath & Beyond is their frequent sales, coupons, and discounted gift cards. If you sign up for their mailing list, you’ll receive 20%-off coupons in the mail nearly every week. You can also often find 10 to 20% off coupons and promo codes on sites like RetailMeNot. Pair these with discounted Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards you can find at stores like CardCash or Raise, and you can easily save 30 to 50% off your total purchase.

With affordable prices, a wide selection, and regular opportunities to save Bed Bath & Beyond is a smart choice for home cooks looking to invest in quality kitchen knives without breaking the bank. Whether you want an entry-level set to get started or professional-grade knives to hone your skills, you’re sure to find the perfect set for your culinary needs.

Conclusion

So there you have it, the top places to find high-quality kitchen knives for any budget. Whether you want to splurge on a premium Japanese knife or just need an affordable set to get you started, the retailers on this list have you covered. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of who sells the best knives and how to find the perfect one for your needs, you’ve got no excuse not to get cooking. Head to your favorite store, browse their selection, and pick out a new knife that will make you excited to get in the kitchen. Your new knife is waiting—happy shopping and bon appetit!

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