The Most Popular Knife Set on Wedding Registries Is Actually a Great Choice

updated Jun 21, 2021
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(Image credit: Minette Hand)

You may have heard us say that we don’t really support buying knife sets. Our logic: They tend to come with a bunch of stuff you don’t really need. (We feel the same about cookware.) And most professional chefs — like the late Anthony Bourdain and Alton Brown, for example — tend to agree with us.

Of course, knife sets are still a popular choice. And we totally get that! They allow home cooks to check off a bunch of must-have tools in one fell swoop, so they’re especially handy for couples just starting out or young single people who are learning how they like to work in the kitchen. Plus, sets usually include a built-in storage situation. And these things don’t usually look half bad, either.

Feeling curious, we asked our friends at the wedding registry site, Zola, to tell us which knife set appears the most on registries. The top pick actually makes a ton of sense.

More couples register for this Wüsthof 18-Piece Block Set than any other set of knives. And we don’t hate it. In fact, we actually really like it! First of all, Wüsthof is one of our favorite brands of German knives — or all types of knives, even! The brand reliably makes good, sturdy knives that are well-balanced, durable, and, most importantly, sharp.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Let’s take a look at what’s included in the set. You get the following:

  • Paring Knife
  • Trimming Knife
  • Peeling Knife
  • Spear Point Paring Knife
  • 4.5-Inch Utility Knife
  • Six Steak Knives
  • 5-Inch Spreader
  • 5-Inch Hollow Edge Santoku
  • 8-Inch Bread Knife
  • 8-Inch Cook’s Knife
  • 9-Inch Steel
  • Come-Apart Kitchen Shears
  • 17-Slot Block

At first glance, the pieces may feel overwhelmingly unnecessary, but they’re actually all pretty useful. Here us out.

Our friend Alex Guarnaschelli points out that bad things tend to happen to paring knives because they’re so little. They accidentally get thrown out or loaded into the dishwasher. If you have more than one, then you’re covered! (The other little guys in this set can all be used like paring knives in a pinch, too. Even steak knives, although they’re really best for, um, steak night.)

That spreader is clutch for anyone who’s ever tried to finish off a jar of peanut butter or mayonnaise. The bread knife and the cook’s knife (plus one paring knife) are the types we always suggest buying, anyway. And every kitchen needs at least one pair of shears — ideally a pair that comes apart for cleaning. The steel is the only thing we’re iffy on (only because we suggest having your knives sharpened by an expert), but when you do the math, you’re not really paying for it, so why worry?

Speaking of math, here goes. On their own, the bread knife, cook’s knife, and a paring knife typically total up to around $135. Add in the steak knives and you’re up to $225-ish. So then you’re getting everything else in the set for $75. That’s a decent value!

All that’s to say that, if you want a knife set, this is the way to go.

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What do you think? Are you Team Knife Set or do you prefer to buy your knives separately?