It seems that everyone is selling cutlery sets, from your friends to infomercial outlets. Some of the knife sets may be perfectly fine, while others are not worth the box they are packed in. To find out if the cutlery sets are all you want them to be, consider a few pointers.
First, the best cutlery sets have a nice variety of knives. A Chef's knife is very versatile, and can be used for a large variety of tasks, cutting up and slicing just about any type of food. Bread knives with a serrated edge work better at slicing loaves without crushing them. Santoku knives are similar to narrow bladed cleavers, and they are good for chopping, mincing, and slicing. A paring knife is handy for peeling fruits and vegetables. It also can be used to cut fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces. A filet or boning knife is good to have if you cut up whole chickens or fish. Do not forget the steak knives. Most good cutlery sets have 4 to 8 steak knives included.
Second, good sets will be made with quality construction methods. Stainless steel is the metal of choice for most cutlery sets, with high carbon steel being the best. Full tang blades are nice to have because they are durable and cut smoothly. Full tang just means that the metal that forms the blade continues down through to the end of the handle. Metal rivets are sometimes used to hold the knives together securely. Ergonomic handles are preferable, especially if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Finally, consider the knife accessories that come with the cutlery sets. Kitchen shears come in handy not only for opening bags and containers, but also for cutting foods. Most sets will come with either a knife storage block or individual knife covers. While some knives are made to hold a constant edge, others need routine sharpening maintenance. Having a good sharpening steel for these sets is a good idea to keep the knives sharp between professional sharpenings.
When you have found good quality cutlery sets for your kitchen, you will be ready to handle any recipe. Your food will look better, and in some cases, even taste better. What is more, slicing, chopping and dicing will be a joy instead of drudgery. Look for the best sets, and you will be happy with your choice.