5 Best Modern Knife Sets


Purchasing a full set of knives is usually a much smarter way to fill your kitchen than buying knives individually.

When you buy a set you’re essentially buying in bulk, as a result, you should get a much lower cost-per-knife than if you bought individually.

Add to that the benefits of innovative and modern design in knife block and storage ideas that come with most knife sets and you not only receive a full set of knives, but also a design accessory for your kitchen.

I love the wide range of unique design ideas of modern knife sets, and in this article, I’m going to show you my favorites.

These knife sets not only look great, but the knives themselves use modern steel forging techniques to create truly fantastic blades that are razor-sharp and durable.

Hopefully, this article can inspire you to add a bit of something special to your kitchen.

My personal recommendation for a great modern knife set would be the Dalstrong Shogun Series X 5-Piece Knife Set. For the quality of materials used the price is great and both the knife and block design are stylish and modern, it’s another great product from an innovative knife maker.

View My Top Recommendation
Take a look at the Dalstrong Shogun Series X 5-Piece Knife Set on Amazon here (opens new tab).

To see the rest of my recommendations, or learn more about the Dalstrong Shogun set, take a look at my summary table or detailed description below.

My Modern Knife Set Recommendations

Here’s my summary table of my recommended modern knife sets.

There’s a range of prices as I know each person has their own budget limits but hopefully, you should be able to find something that suits you. The list is written in price order.

I also have a number of other articles listing great knife sets, like Japanese or high carbon sets, so I’ll link to those at the bottom of the article.

NamePriceCheck current price
Shun Premier 15-piece Knife Block Set$1,700 – $1,800Link to Amazon
Zelite Alpha-Royal Japanese Series 6-Piece Damascus Magnetic Block Set$410 – $430Link to Amazon
Dalstrong Phantom Series 6-Piece Magnetic Block Set (my top pick)$390 – $410Link to Amazon
Dalstrong Shogun Series X 5-Piece Knife Set$330 – $360Link to Amazon
KYOKU 5-Knife Set with Block$80 – $100Link to Amazon

For more information on each set just check out my detailed descriptions below.

Shun Premier 15-piece Knife Block Set

View on Amazon (opens new tab)

Shun Premier 15-Piece Knife Block Set Review Table

Country of manufactureJapan
Steel typeVG-MAX (Durable and hard Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 61
Factory edge16 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPakkawood (wood/resin composite)
ProsVery sharp, extremely rust resistant and stunningly beautiful

This set includes:

  • 4-inch Paring Knife
  • 5.5-inch Nakiri Knife
  • 6-inch U2 Ultimate Utility Knife
  • 6-inch Gokujo Boning/Fillet Knife
  • 6.5-inch Utility Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 9-inch Bread Knife
  • 9.5-inch Slicing Knife
  • Four 5-inch Steak Knives
  • 9-inch Combination Honing Steel
  • 17 Slot Angled Knife Block

If you’re looking for something really special then you can’t go wrong with this extensive Damascus steel knife set by Japanese knifemaker Shun.

Shun have a strong pedigree when it comes to making knives. They produce their knives in the Japanese city of Seki, famed for its rich knife making history.

Shun have become experts at marrying traditional Japanese knife design with modern-day techniques to create knives that have the razor-sharp qualities you’d expect from a Japanese blade, but also the durability that is more commonly found in western knives.

For these knives, Shun uses their own specially formulated Japanese steel, VG-MAX. It’s a terrific steel and boasts both a hefty Carbon content of 1.2% and a Chromium content of 16%.

That Carbon content is more than double that of eleven high-quality western knives and it means these blades are extremely hard, allowing them to be sharpened to a very fine edge that retains its sharpness for a long time.

A Chromium content of 16% firmly places these knives in the bracket of top-quality stainless steel, meaning they are extremely resistant to rust.

The blades have a hammered Damascus finish, typical in high-end Japanese knives and that’s what gives the blade surface that ‘flowing water’ like appearance.

The hammered finish isn’t just pleasing on the eye, it has a practical use. The textured side of the blade reduces the surface area, stopping food from sticking whilst you slice.

The knives have a half bolster, full tang and use Pakkawood for the handles. Pakkawood is a wood composite resin that’s often used in Japanese knives. It gives an attractive finish but is also hard and extremely durable, making it an ideal material for knife handles.

It’s a sleek modern design and the quality really shines through from that Damascus finish when you pull a knife out.

The knife selection is extensive and you’ll find pretty much any style of knife you’re likely to need in this set.

It’s the priciest item on this list but it’s also the largest and best quality, Shun products are one of the best on the market and this set will not disappoint.

Zelite Alpha-Royal Japanese Series 6-Piece Damascus Magnetic Block Set

View on Amazon (opens new tab)

Zelite Alpha-Royal Japanese Series 6-Piece Set Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeAUS-10 (High-quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 61
Factory edge12 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialG10 (fiberglass laminate)
ProsIncredible materials for a relatively low price

This set includes:

  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 6-inch Gokujo Boning/Fillet Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 4-inch Paring Knife
  • Magnetic Knife Block

This knife set by Zelite not only has a unique, modern design but also offers fantastic value for money.

The price per knife comes in at around $65 – $70, that’s ignoring any additional cost you could place on the knife block itself. Positively a bargain when you know the quality of materials that have been used.

Zelite are a relatively new knife maker. They are a family-owned American business that uses quality Japanese steel to make their knives.

The reason they can offer them at such reasonable prices is that the assembly occurs in China, vastly reducing costs, which in turn they pass on to you.

As a result, you get a product using Japanese materials, but at a far lower cost, it’s a fair compromise in my view and I’m a big fan of their selection.

This particular set uses the Japanese steel AUS-10. It’s a great steel with a high Carbon content of 1.1% and a solid 14% Chromium content.

That combination means the blades can be razor-sharp and are very resistant to rust.

The blades have a very attractive half bolster connecting the handle. The blade is full tang into the handle and triple-riveted.

The handles themselves are made from G10, a fiberglass laminate that is extremely tough and durable. The handles are beautifully designed and ergonomic.

These knives also have a Damascus finish, although more subtle than the Shun knives above.

The rotating magnetic block allows you to show off the knives in all their Damascus glory and provides easy access.

It’s a terrific set, and for just $65 – $70 per knife it’s an absolute bargain.

You’d be hard-pressed to find an individual knife, using genuine, high Carbon Japanese steel for $70. That’s the benefit of buying a set of knives rather than a collection of individual ones.

Dalstrong Phantom Series 6-Piece Magnetic Block Set (my top pick)

View on Amazon (opens new tab)

Dalstrong Phantom Series 6-Piece Set Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeAUS-8 (High-quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 58
Factory edge12 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialG10 (fiberglass laminate)
ProsIncredible materials for a relatively low price

This set includes:

  • 9½-inch Kiritsuke Chefs Knife
  • 9-inch Bread Knife
  • 8-inch Chef’s Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku
  • 5-inch Utility Knife
  • 4-inch Paring Knife
  • Magnetic knife block

When it comes to modern knives, Dalstong are one of the frontrunners, that’s why I’ve included them twice on this list.

Dalstrong are another, relatively new American company that uses Japanese steel and innovative techniques to produce high-quality knives at affordable prices.

This knife set also comes in at around $65 per knife, that’s without including the knife block itself.

They use the Japanese steel AUS-8. A quality steel with a good Carbon content of 0.75% and a Chromium content between 13% – 14.5%. In the making of the blade, they use nitrogen cooling for enhanced hardness, flexibility and corrosion resistance.

As a result, the blade has an edge angle of between 13 – 15 degrees, far sharper than most western knives.

The knives are very Japanese in style and have a half bolster with full tang into the handle.

The handles are made from Spanish Pakkawood. Pakkawood is a wood composite resin often used by Japanese knife makers due to its strength and durability and is another example of the Japanese influence Dalstrong has adopted.

The handles are D shaped in a Japanese style to fit the natural grasping shape of your hand.

The magnetic knife block allows you to display the knives in all their sleek glory and it truly is a beautiful way to present this fine array of modern knives.

Dalstrong Shogun Series X 5-Piece Knife Set

View on Amazon (opens new tab)

Dalstrong Shogun Series X 5-Piece Knife Set Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeAUS-10 (High-quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 61
Factory edge12 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialG10 (fiberglass laminate)
ProsIncredible materials for a relatively low price

This set includes:

  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 8-inch Chef Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 3½-inch Paring Knife
  • Acacia Wooden Knife Block

The second Dalstrong entry on this list showcases their Shogun Series. This knife set actually uses better steel than the Phantom series above and each knife comes out at around $70, ignore any cost of the knife block.

That’s a bargain for what you get. The steel used is a high Carbon Japanese steel AUS-10. Its Carbon content is 1.1% with a 14% Chromium content.

As a result, these blades can handle a razor-sharp edge and are good quality stainless steel, so they’re very resistant to rust.

The blade face has a beautiful hammered Damascus finish, giving it that flowing water appearance. The resulting texture of the blade also means that food doesn’t stick to the blade whilst slicing.

The blades have a half bolster and are full tang into the handle. The handles are made from G-10 which is a fiberglass laminate. That makes it lightweight, hard and durable, being extremely resistant to temperature and moisture fluctuations.

The block itself is made from Acacia wood, a timber from the native-Australian Acacia tree. It has a beautiful finish and the steel trim on the block adds a modern touch.

This set offers top quality materials and modern design for a very reasonable price.

KYOKU 5-Knife Set with Block

View on Amazon (opens new tab)

KYOKU 5-Knife Set with Block Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeX50CrMoV15 (Durable German steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 57
Factory edge15 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPakkawood (wood/resin composite)
ProsDurable and stylish set for a low price

This set includes:

  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 6-inch Boning Knife
  • 5-inch Utility Knife
  • 3-inch Fruit Knife
  • Kitchen Shears
  • 5-Slot Acacia Wood Knife Block

This final knife set is ideal for those on a tight budget but who are still looking for something with a modern design, using quality materials.

This KYOKU knife set comes out at just $25 per knife, that’s ignoring the kitchen sears and knife block that comes with it.

When you examine the materials used that’s a fantastic price. These knives have a Japanese style to them but they actually use a German steel called X50CrMoV15.

That’s no bad thing, X50CrMoV15 is an extremely popular steel in western knife making due to its durability. The 15 in the name stands for 15% Chromium, which makes this high-quality stainless steel.

It’s the same steel big German brands like Wüsthof use in the main ranges, so to get it at $25 per knife is a bargain.

The knives themselves are nicely designed with classic shapes. They have a half bolster and are full tang into the Pakkawood handles. Pakkawood is a wood composite resin which is a fantastic material for knife handles as it’s hard and durable. It is often the material used for high-end Japanese knives so once again to see it used at this price range is quite rare.

The wood block is simple but stylish and nicely displays the knives.

It’s a great looking, modern knife set that uses materials more often found in much more expensive knives.

For a cost of around $100 it’s an absolute bargain and if you’re on a budget but still want a modern-looking knife set I’d highly recommend this one.

Recent Posts