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One day when I can afford kitchen knives, I'll be buying as a whole set not individual knives. These individual kitchen knife drops are confusing. What am I supposed to do throw it in a drawer? Needs to be a set with block. Pretty though.
You can buy a drawer insert to hold them all made of bamboo fairly cheaply. It can be better to get individual because you can get spesific pieces you want. I am training to be a butcher now and as I go I am using these drops to build a set of knives I love and will love to work with.
You could build a collection of individually selected knives, each carefully chosen for the way their particular design & attributes match up with your own personal needs and desires... or you could just purchase a set, in which case you'll end up with a bunch of knives put together by the manufacturer based on factors such as market research, sales forecasts and cost of production.
Sets (especially larger sets) are likely to include knives that you'll never use, or knives that are the wrong size, or the wrong style for you, and quite possibly some knives that are just poorly designed for their intended purpose. And if you later realize you want a larger knife or two, you'll probably need a new block as well since the blocks included with most sets are limited to blade lengths of around 8 inches (since that's as big as you'll get in most sets).
Those that give real thought and consideration to their kitchen knives generally don't buy sets (and they're increasingly abandoning bench top blocks in favour of other storage methods such as magnetic racks, in-drawer blocks, in-cabinet blocks, etc.)
Unless you have serious OCD or you're making up a gift registry, give the sets a miss in my opinion...
You can get a magnetic strip that you can mount on your kitchen wall, its better than a block anyway as you can easily drag the edge of your knife against the block as you pull it out. That dulls it a bit which obviously isn't ideal, also it looks pretty cool and you don't need to muck about with having all your knives fit all the slots. Lets you just buy the best deal on whatever type of knife you want.
The main point is so they all match and are a set. That's all.
Ah yeah, fair enough then. I'd still recommend it though since displaying them on the magnet looks quite nice, probably even better if they were all part of a set too.
Most preconfigured sets have, as noted, numerous pieces you don't really want.
And find a brand that works for you, then assemble your own set from that brand and line. They all match. Makes WAY more sense than buying a set, unless that set's got exactly what you want anyway.
Knife sets are garbage. You can buy a beautiful block or even a new magnetic block separately then buy 4 good knives for the price you will end up paying for 8 crappy knives and 6 unneeded steak knives.
Not to mention the sharpening rod and shears sold with most blocks are worse then buying a random pair from Walmart.
A good thing to keep in mind is that even companies that sell decent knives (like Wüsthof) will sell a sub-standard version as a knife block set. When you look at the price of their top line individual knives and add them up you can see why they do it.
Bottom line if it is for looks and you dont really cook just grab a $30 knife block set from amazon and let it set on your counter. On the other hand If you hold a knife more than an hour a day you will really regret not tailoring the set to you.
I'd start with one really good general-purpose knife, probably an 8-inch chef or santoku, learn the techniques to use it, then you'll have a better idea of what limitations it has and what something that would fill in the gaps would look like when it comes along. My block is a mish-mash of different models and makers, picked individually for their quality, design, and purpose, and I love it. But I agree with others that blocks can be constraining in their slot sizes, I've had to broach some of the slots in mine to get all the knives I have to fit.
Thank you. My only point is I'd rather buy in on a full set of nice knives than have a ramble of miscreants snapped to a magnetic bar. If I find the paring knife of my dreams I can swap it out later. I want a matching set. Are there any matching sets that don't suck? Ken Onion ones look cool....
If you're dead set on buying a set with a block, try the Global Classic series. They're excellent quality, extremely sharp, and pretty much an industry standard. Make sure the set includes the 8" chef, model #G-2. There is a drop right now, 3 piece that includes that knife--it's sort of like a kitchen knife introduction as it also includes a vegetable knife and a paring knife. But if you shop around, you can find decent deals on a Global Classic set that includes the shears and a block. I've used Henkels for close to 15 years, both professionally and at home, but I've been using Global 10" at work for the last 10 or so. Honestly, at home I have a weird collection of knives, few of which match but all of them great at what they do.
You should look on cutleryandmore. There's a lot of nice full sets.