Two things that don't always belong in the same sentence are "knife set" and "affordable." And since one of the first rules of cooking is that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife, people on a budget tend to run into a bit of a tricky problem: sharp, high-quality knives have high price tags. But, as someone who loves to cook and is on a budget, I wanted to find a solution. And it turns out, there is a reliable set of sharp knives that won't break the bank, and it's not from a kitchen store — it's from Amazon.
I purchased the Chef Essential 6-piece knife set with matching sheaths in black ($25) based on a recommendation from a fellow 20-something who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, my coworker Brinton Parker. And after months of use, it's safe to say I swear by these knives and am never turning back to a different affordable brand.
The set comes with a three-inch paring knife, a five-inch utility knife, a five-inch santoku knife (all-purpose knife), an eight-inch chef's knife, an eight-inch slicing knife, and a seven-inch santoku knife. Each knife is protected in its own sheath, so there's no need to store them in a knife block if you don't have one. The nonslip, rubbery handle ensures a steady grip, and the razor-sharp blades can effortlessly cut everything from steak to onions and apples. If you take care of these knives by gently hand-washing them, drying them, and returning them to their protective sleeves, they'll last for the foreseeable future. Before I dropped hundreds of dollars on knives in the name of perfectly minced garlic, I'm so glad I found these.