Calphalon Knife Set Review: Professional Knives for the Home Chef

A Calphalon knife set could be the solution if your dull knives need replacing. One thing we know for sure is that having access to a sharp knife makes food prep a lot more fun! Not to mention safer and the results more attractive to the eye.

Nevertheless, there are things to consider (in addition to the price) when you’re in the market for a great set of knives. One thing to think about is the metal.

Calphalon uses high carbon steel to forge their blades. The label calls it non-stain steel. The thing is, this can be misleading because we might automatically think they mean stainless steel. When, in fact, stainless steel is the other choice.

Stainless steel differs from high carbon steel in a couple of ways, and those differences should be one of the deciding factors in your knife purchase.

In the end, knowing what to expect from high carbon steel will factor in on whether or not a Calphalon knife set will meet your expectations.

High Carbon Steel vs. Stainless Steel

High carbon is harder than stainless steel thus enabling it to attain a sharper edge and to retain that edge longer. The downside of a high carbon blade is that they tend to be more brittle.

Therefore, they chip easily. Rust is an issue as well, due to exposure to moisture, getting run through the dishwasher, or not being sufficiently dried and stored properly.

If you know how to care for a high carbon blade, they will outlast their stainless steel cousins.

On the other hand, stainless steel is a softer metal, which means it can take more abuse. It won’t be apt to chip if you drop it on the floor.

However, what you gain in low maintenance durability may not be the defining reason to choose stainless.

The softness of this metal means a shorter life-span and an edge that won’t get as sharp or retain it’s sharpness as long as the high carbon blade.

How to care for high carbon steel

Stainless steel contains chromium which protects it from rust, while high carbon steel is mostly iron. Truthfully, this means high carbon blades require a bit more maintenance, but they’re worth it in the long because of their lifespan and their ability to attain an ultra sharp edge.

Professional knifemaker, Walter Sorrells says to keep your high carbon knives in top condition, wipe them between uses while you’re cooking, and never leave them sitting out to be cleaned later.

Once you’re finished with them, quickly run them under hot water and wash them off with a mild detergent. Then, dry them thoroughly with a terry cloth towel while they’re still warm from the water.

Some people then use a light coat of vegetable oil before putting them away. Eventually, the high carbon knives will develop a patina which protects them from corrosion.

A dark patina is part of the character of an excellent high carbon knife and held in high regard by many chefs.

Price Range

The price range for the Calphalon knife sets on our list run between $30 and $350. You can find them online on Amazon, as well as at Macy’s and other department stores.

Our Calphalon Selections

Below are the Calphalon knife sets we chose to review.

Cheese Please

Calphalon Contemporary Cutlery, Cheese Knife and Board Set, 3-Piece
  • 3-piece cheese set includes soft cheese knife, cheese spreader, and 6-inch-by-9-inch birch cutting board.
  • High-carbon German steel sharpens more easily than stainless; maintains its edge longer; and resists rust, staining, and...
  • One-piece forging from tip to tang

Bewitched by Brie, craving a Caboc, or planning a party? You won’t find a cheese spreader in the other knife sets, so we took a look at this three-piece cheese-inspired Calphalon knife set to supplement your collection.

In the box

This combination includes a soft cheese knife, cheese spreader, and a 6-inch by 9-inch birch wood cutting board. The knives are made with forged, high carbon German steel, and have a curved ergonomic handle with a black matte finish.

Reviews

There aren’t a lot of reviews on Amazon for this particular Calphalon knife set; however, the customers that did have something to say gave it a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating.

Pros and cons

Buyers appreciate the quality of these knives and tout the reputation of Calphalon. It’s also apparent that people tend to purchase this package to expand their knife repertoire.

One customer left a less than stellar review based on the fact that they received a knife with a chipped blade.

That’s unfortunate, but we’re not sure if it’s an indicator of the construction of the knife or a reflection on shipping practices. High carbon blades can be brittle.

This tasty little set will cost between $33 and $75 online.

Loaves of Bread and Unsliced Bagels

Sale
Calphalon Kitchen Knife Set with Self-Sharpening Block, 15-Piece...
  • Kitchen knife set includes: 4 1/2 inch Paring Knife, 6 inch Utility Knife, 6 inch Serrated Utility Knife, 7 inch...
  • Built in ceramic sharpeners automatically sharpen chef knives and other straight edge knives with every use
  • Forged, high carbon, no stain steel (steak knives made from stamped steel)

This Calphalon knife set includes two more knives that are kitchen essentials. You know why these knives are necessary if you’ve ever tried to slice a loaf of crusty bread with a smooth blade, no matter how sharp.

In the box

The two-piece forged high carbon steel bread and bagel knife combo boast the same elegant black matte ergonomic handles as the cheese knives.

They have a full tang, providing premium balance and stability. Included in the set is an 8-inch serrated bread knife, and a 5.5-inch serrated bagel knife with a 2-pronged tip.

Reviews

This dandy two-piece set has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Pros and cons

Almost all of the comments on this set rave about the quality of the knives, how good they feel in your hand, and their ability to slice through bread, bagels, tomatoes, and citrus. The one complaint was, you guessed it, rust.

You’ll find the Calphlon bread knife set on Amazon in prices ranging from $35 to $90.

A Sleek Calaphon Knife Set for Small Spaces

Calphalon 12 Piece Contemporary Space-Saving Self-Sharpening Cutlery...
  • Built-in ceramic sharpeners automatically sharpen knives with every use
  • Fully forged, high-carbon, no-stain German steel. (Steak knives made from stamped Asian steel)
  • Labeled handles for easy identification in the block

Sometimes a small kitchen dictates how much space you have for cooking utensils. We like that there’s a Calphalon knife set that caters to the needs of home cooks who don’t have a ton of room.

In the box

This 12 piece Calphalon knife set includes an 8-inch chefs knife, the unique and versatile 5-inch Santoku knife, a 4.5-inch paring knife, the 8-inch bread knife, and kitchen shears. They’re all forged with high carbon steel and have a full tang, as well as the lovely ergonomic handles.

The eight steak knives are stamped steel, a different process from the forged steel that we see with most of the knives in a Calphalon knife set collection.

The block is made from maple wood, measures slightly over 3.5 inches wide, and includes Calphalon’s patented SharpIn technology, a built-in ceramic sharpener.

Reviews

Amazon reviews are mostly positive, rating this Calphalon knife set a 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Pros and cons

On the positive end, people love the fact that this set is compact. They also appreciate that the knives stay sharp and are well balanced. The critiques have more to do with the steak knives, which are serrated, but not down the entire blade.

The half-serrated edge is confusing and annoying to customers who expect the standard style steak knife.

The slender 12-piece Calphalon knife set is available online for $160 to $250.

The Classic 15-Piece Self-Sharpening Calphalon Knife Set

Sale
Calphalon Kitchen Knife Set with Self-Sharpening Block, 15-Piece...
  • Kitchen knife set includes: 4 1/2 inch Paring Knife, 6 inch Utility Knife, 6 inch Serrated Utility Knife, 7 inch...
  • Built in ceramic sharpeners automatically sharpen chef knives and other straight edge knives with every use
  • Forged, high carbon, no stain steel (steak knives made from stamped steel)

The 15-piece self-sharpening classic set created for Macy’s includes a serrated bread knife, the one that we’re reviewing on Amazon, does not. Still, it’s a good starter set that can be filled out with more knives later.

In the box

You’ll get an 8-inch chef’s knife and a pair of kitchen shears. The set also includes a 7-inch Santoku knife, along with a 6-inch utility knife. Instead of the bread knife, this set contains a 6-inch serrated utility knife. Finally, there’s a 4.5-inch paring knife, and 8 steak knives to round out the collection.

Reviews

There are well over 500 reviews on Amazon for this Calphalon knife set, with 64 percent of the customers giving it the highest rating, resulting in an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Pros and cons

Of the rave reviews, one customer points out that you need to know what you’re buying, how to use them, and then take care of the knives.

We’re guessing he opens his comments in this way because most of the complaints are about rust, and we know these knives rust due to the high carbon steel.

The Calphalone 15-piece classic is available in prices ranging from $130 to $180.

Everything the Home Chef Needs

The 20 piece Calphalon Knife set has everything the 12-piece and 15-piece sets have, and then some. It’s a home chef’s delight.

In the box

This extensive set adds a 2-pronged cooking fork, an 8-inch slicer, and a 5-inch boning knife to the array. However, it does not include a cheese knife or spreader. The beautiful maple block has Calphalon’s built-in sharpener, so it keeps those edges nice and sharp for slicing and dicing.

Reviews

This Calphalon knife sets rakes in 4.5 out of 5 stars from 58 reviews on Amazon.

Pros and cons

There are the usual pros for this larger set. Calphalon knives have a good reputation. One customer mentioned that the spot for the shears, located on the front of the block, is too small.

That makes it difficult to put them away without nicking the block. They also would like to see a shorter paring knife included.

The one that comes with the set is as long as the steak knives, which makes it difficult to use for the job it’s intended.

The price range for this 20 piece home chef set runs from $230 to $330.

How We Reviewed

First, we checked to see what knife sets are available through Calphlon. Next, we examined the blades and determined it was important to point out the difference between stainless steel and high carbon no stain steel.

Then we went to Amazon to find out what customers think. And finally, we looked to see who has a comparable product.

How Calphalon Knives Compare

The Calphalon knives in our review are a good choice for the price. Some knives may be higher quality than Calphalon, but they will also cost significantly more.

A Calaphon knife set offers a professional grade blade at a reasonable price. Not cheap, reasonable. If you want a less expensive knife that’s decent quality, it will most likely be stainless steel.

Beldon

Chicago Cutlery Metropolitan High-Carbon Blade Block Knife Set...
  • Chicago Cutlery Metropolitan 15-Piece Block Knife Set includes 2-3/4-inch and 3-1/2-inch paring knives, 4-3/4-inch...
  • High-carbon stainless steel blades resist rust, stains, and pitting, while Chicago Cutlery's exclusive 25-degree Taper...
  • Triple-riveted, polymer handles feature an ergonomic grip, while adding a fresh, modern look to your kitchen.

Here’s a 15-piece high carbon steel knife set, manufactured by Chicago Cutlery. We want to compare apples to apples, so no stainless steel here.

The Beldon knives cost a bit less than the Calphalon cutlery but don’t have the built-in sharpener that makes the Calaphon block stand out. The cherry wood block that Beldon offers has a rich tone and does look stylish against the black and metal blade.

The knives have a 25-degree taper grind for a sharp edge and easy resharpening.

In the box

The Beldon knife set comes with six 4.5-inch steak knives that are serrated halfway down, like the Calphalon knives.

You’ll find two 4-inch paring knives, an 8-inch chef knife, as well as an 8-inch slicer. Additionally, there’s a 5.5-inch slicer, a 3-inch peeler, and a pair of kitchen shears.

Customers on Amazon rate Beldon’s 15-piece option a 3.7 out of 5 stars. You’ll be able to pick this set up for slightly less than Calphalon’s, with prices ranging from $40 to $100.

Maestro Cutlery Volken Series

Maestro Cutlery Volken Series German High Carbon Stainless Steel 8”...
  • Package Includes: 1 – 8” German High Carbon Stainless Steel Chef’s Knife, 1 – 3.5” German High Carbon...
  • STAINLESS STEEL & HIGH CARBON STEEL IMPORTED FROM GERMANY: Our Volken Series of knives incorporates stainless steel and...
  • 18 DEGREE ANGLE FOR CUTTING-EDGE STRENGTH & SHARPNESS: Our double bevel knives are fine tuned to a sharp 18-degree edge...

Another take on the 15-piece cutlery set is Maestro’s Vulcan series. It’s also the least expensive of the block collections on our list.

There’s no built-in sharpener, but they include a sharpener in the set, so that’s a plus. 

Their double bevel knives have an have an 18-degree angle with a full tang and heavy-duty triple-riveted handles for heat and water-resistance, reduced friction, and control.

In the box

In addition to the knife sharpener, the Volken Series comes with six 4-inch serrated steak knives. And, they’re serrated all the way down to the handle.

Also included is an 8-inch chef’s knife and an 8-inch bread knife. Additionally, you’ll find a 6-inch boning knife, a 5-inch utility knife, a 3.5-inch paring knife, and kitchen shears.

The Volken series has a decent rating on Amazon, picking up 4.3 out of 5 stars from over 550 reviews. You can find the set for prices ranging from $50 to $75.

Cuisinart

Sale
Cuisinart C77TR-15P Triple Rivet Collection 15-Piece Knife Block Set -...
  • Superior high-carbon stainless steel blades for precision and accuracy
  • Precision-tapered ground blades that narrow gradually to an extremely sharp, fine edge
  • Forged durable extra-wide safety bolster for perfect stability and control

Cuisinart has their version of the 15-piece home chef knife set with the high-carbon steel blades, which boast that metal’s well-known sharp edge. They’re full tang with a forged bolster and wide ergonomic handles for extra strength and comfort.

In the box

The set includes a chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife, and a slicing knife, all measuring 8 inches. They’ve added our favorite to the collection as well, the versatile Santoku knife with a 5-inch blade.

A 4.5-inch utility knife, along with a 3.5-inch paring knife, and six 4.5-inch steak knives round out the selection of blades. They also included an 8-inch sharpening steel, and shears, along with a wood block.

Cuisinart’s 15-piece set is a hit on Amazon, raking in 4.4 out of 5 stars. You’ll find the set in prices ranging from $50 to $110.

No Matter How You Slice It

In our opinion, a Calphlon knife set is a solid choice as a professional quality purchase for the home chef.

We think the smaller Calphalon knife sets, like the 3-piece cheese set and the 12-piece space saver, would make excellent gifts, especially for someone setting up their first home.

A high carbon blade may take a bit of maintenance, but the payoff is a set of knives that will last a lifetime.

Last update on 2022-10-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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