Fun, colorful design
Easy to clean
Doesn’t include a sharpener
Can’t identify blade types with blade guards on
A good set of knives can be a serious kitchen investment. Luckily, there are affordable knife sets available that don’t require you to compromise on quality, sharpness, or comfort. Priced under $100, the Cuisinart Stainless Steel Hollow Handle 15-Piece Block Set includes six essential stainless steel knives, plus six steak knives, kitchen shears, and a sharpening steel to ensure your knives are always ready to chop, dice, and slice. How does this Cuisinart perform compared to more expensive knife sets, though? And is it the right choice for you? Keep reading for our experience reviewing the design, comfort, and ease of use of this knife set.
Performance: Sharp essentials with useful extras
This set includes all the essential knives you need: a 3 ½-inch paring knife, a 3 ½-inch curved paring knife, a 5 ½-inch serrated knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, an 8-inch slicing knife, and an 8-inch chef’s knife. The inclusion of kitchen shears, a sharpener, steak knives, and the knife block for storage left us wanting little else from this knife set.
We found the high-carbon stainless steel blades ideal for cutting. The straight paring knife became a favorite for small jobs, like slicing nectarines, plums, and berries for a quick snack. We used the santoku knife to chop onions, celery, carrots, and mushrooms for a stir-fry. The serrated knife came in handy for slicing through the skin on cherry tomatoes from our backyard garden for a salad. It’s also great for slicing chewy loaves of bread, rolls, and bagels. We don’t often reach for the curved paring knife but we found its shape was ideal for deseeding small bell peppers and jalapeno peppers.
The straight paring knife became a favorite for small jobs, like slicing nectarines, plums, and berries for a quick snack.
The steak knives are a nice addition if you prepare steak or other tough cuts of meat often. We don’t have much need for steak knives, so it’s a bit of a waste of space for us. That said, we do love that a pair of kitchen shears are included with this set; they're an oft-used tool in our kitchen to quickly cut fresh herbs, trim meat, and even open packaging in a pinch. The sharpening steel guarantees the knives are always sharp and ready to use, too.
The most disappointing thing about the set was that our 8-inch slicing knife came with a slight defect. Each time we reached for it, we heard something like a small metal fragment rattling around in the handle. We didn’t notice this in any of the other knives, but it’s something to be aware of since they all have hollow handles.
Design: Sleek and easy to grip
The stainless steel construction of these knives gives them a sleek, stylish, and contemporary aesthetic. The handles are made from brushed stainless steel. We weren’t sure if they’d feel slippery in our hands, but we were pleasantly surprised that the ergonomic design makes them easy to grip. We also expected them to feel hefty since they’re made entirely of metal, but as the name suggests, the handles are hollow so the knives don’t feel too heavy.
The knife block feels sturdy and we liked how it’s angled which makes it easier to see which tool you’re reaching for. The slot design on the block could use some tweaking, though. We didn’t like how the kitchen shears are stored in the center of the block. They feel crowded and are hard to grab since they’re blocked by the larger handles of all the other knives.
We expected them to feel hefty since they’re made entirely of metal, but as the name suggests, the handles are hollow so the knives don’t feel too heavy.
The steak knives are stored in the knife block too, but the slots are somewhat oversized for them. We found our steak knives were often out of alignment because of this, which makes them look slightly messy. They would look nice at a table setting if it weren’t for the model numbers printed largely on both sides of the blades. We were pretty turned off by this detail and it seemed to cheapen the otherwise high-end appearance.
Care: Hand wash to be safe
Although the manufacturer claims these knives are dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended to avoid rust spots and prolong the sharpness of the blades. Other reviewers have noted rust spots after running these knives through the dishwasher, so we made sure to wash and dry immediately by hand. Any spots that appear can most likely be removed with a stainless steel cleaner, like Bar Keeper’s Friend.
Price: Affordable for a complete set
A high-quality multi-piece stainless steel knife block set can easily set you back a couple hundred dollars. Cuisinart’s Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set is priced just under $100, making it a budget-friendly option.
It’s got all the basic knives you could ask for to complete most kitchen prep tasks. With the inclusion of six steak knives, kitchen shears, a sharpening steel, and a countertop block for storage, you’d be hard-pressed to find another stainless steel knife set for such a low price.
Cuisinart 15-Piece Stainless Steel Hollow Handle Block Set vs. Chicago Cutlery Fusion 18-Piece Block Set
Priced around $150, the Chicago Cutlery Fusion knife set is considerably more expensive than the Cuisinart set. The added cost gets you a few extra pieces, though, including eight steak knives and a 5-inch partoku knife. Like the Cuisinart, it also includes a chef’s knife, santoku knife, slicing knife, serrated knife, a sharpening steel, and a storage block. This set lacks kitchen shears, though.
Aesthetics also set these knife collections apart, with the Cuisinart set feeling more contemporary and the Chicago Cutlery set feeling more traditional. Both are made from high-carbon stainless steel, but the Chicago Cutlery knives have black poly handles compared to Cuisinart’s brushed stainless steel handles. Which set you choose comes down to budget, preference, and which blades you have the greatest need for.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive knife set, this is the one.
The Cuisinart Stainless Steel Hollow Handle 15-Piece Cutlery Block Set offers a nice selection of knives in a modern countertop storage block at an affordable price. The knives are sharp, lightweight, and comfortable to use. The inclusion of kitchen shears, steak knives, and a sharpener make it a complete set.
- Product Name Stainless Steel Hollow Handle 15-Piece Cutlery Block Set
- Product Brand Cuisinart
- UPC 707430973972
- Price $79.99
- Weight 8 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 6.5 x 14.9 x 11.1 in.
- Material Stainless steel
- Warranty Limited lifetime
- What’s Included 3 ½-inch paring knife, 3 ½-inch curved paring knife, 5 ½-inch serrated knife, 7-inch santoku knife, 8-inch slicing knife, 8-inch chef’s knife, six steak knives, kitchen shears, sharpening steel, and storage block