The Restaurant-Quality $40 Knife Set I Use Every Single Day

published May 1, 2024
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close up of hands dicing a white onion
Credit: Kitchn Video

I’m going to be totally transparent, so please don’t be too hard on me — I’ve been working with cheap knife sets for most of my adult life. When they became way too dull to use, I just found another similarly priced option on Amazon. It was horribly wasteful of me, I know. I should’ve purchased a knife sharpener, but finding a under-$20 replacement just seemed easier when I was in college. Now that I’m spending more time in the kitchen post-graduation, I figured that it was far past time to get a quality set that can actually handle all of the tasks I need it to for a longer length of time.

Still, it’s hard to swallow the price tag of some of the high-end chef’s knives out there. Maybe one day I’ll get that $170 option, but for now, Tramontina’s $40 set — which includes an 8-inch chef’s knife and a 4-inch paring knife — is getting the job done beautifully every day. In fact, it’s a night and day difference between this and my old set.

What is Tramontina’s 2-Piece Kitchen Knife Set?

This knife set is part of Tramontina’s Gourmet Collection, and it shows. Made in Brazil (where the company is based), this ultra-versatile knife set can handle essentially every day-to-day task between the chef’s knife and paring knife. They both offer full-tang construction, so there aren’t any weak points. The stainless steel is high-carbon and ice-hardened, and the blade is fully tapered and beveled, so you’ll get a precise cut every time. The polycarbonate handle has three heavy-duty rivets for an enhanced and comfortable grip. It looks sleek and classic, too, with its simple black handle and satin finish on the blade. To top it all off, it’s dishwasher-safe.

Credit: Tramontina

Why I Love Tramontina’s 2-Piece Kitchen Knife Set

Tramontina’s been producing quality kitchen items for over a century — in fact, it’s celebrating its 113th anniversary with a huge sale right now — so it’s no wonder that the brand knew what it was doing with this budget-friendly knife set. Despite its low price, it feels and performs like a more expensive one. The chef’s knife didn’t get stuck once when I used it on potatoes and chicken — in fact, it cut through them like butter. For someone with small hands and not much hand strength, it made that and dicing onions totally painless. I don’t ever feel like my grip’s about to slip, and it’s remarkably lightweight, which is ideal for lengthier tasks. Though the paring knife has seen less action in my kitchen, peeling an apple was smooth sailing. Whereas I wouldn’t buy a knife sharpener to make my old cheap sets last, I definitely will splurge on one for Tramontina’s (though I don’t see either knife dulling any time soon). Also, I highly recommend snagging the brand’s affordable cutting board set to go with it, which has been getting the job done perfectly during my meal prep.

Buy:  Tramontina’s 2-Piece Kitchen Knife Set, $39.95