you can definitely spend more, but the victorinox knives with fibrox handles are generally regarding as some of the best for the money. i love mine. this is where i would start. even if you don't go with this brand, these are the four knife blades that you should definitely look for: Victorinox Fibrox Set
Saved this link from a similar past knife question.
Amazon: Victorinox 4-Piece Knife Set with Fibrox Handles $98.01
Set includes (individual cost, rounded up)
Bread Knife: Victorinox Bread Knife: $45. You need one of these for bread, tomatoes, etc.
Paring Knives: I like the $13 Cuisinart models. Buy 2 or 3 because you will use it a lot.
Conventional Wisdom would say the $45 Victorinox Fibrox 8" Chefs Knife. They sell these by the 6 pack to restaurants. These are professional knives - durable, sharp, etc.
BUT: I use my 5" Santuko knife a lot more.
Below is a good set for just under $100.
Chef's knife, paring knife, and bread knife are all you need but might still be cheaper to get a whole set. Victorinox (Swiss Army) makes good budget knives and has a good basic set without too many extras. https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-4-Piece-Knife-Fibrox-Handles/dp/B004IEBTZ4/
Bread Knife: Go for the Fibrox for about $45.
Paring Knifes: Go for the Cuisinart 3.5" for about $13 er $7 each. Buy 2
Everyone will suggest an 8" Chefs Knife.
There are 2 problems with this:
Go watch a video on YouTube of someone using a long kitchen knife to cut an onion. They have to do a funny, un-natural curved stroke to compensate for the rounded front end of the knife. It takes hours or days to master this.
Most of your kitchen work will be chopping veggies. A flat bladed Santuko is fantastic for this.
Look for a 5" Santuko knife that has a handle that fits nicely in Your hand.
Americas Test Kitchen has recommended the Victorknox Fibrox Chefs knife for several years. It runs about $45. You will NOT hear the angels singing a chorus when you pull this thing out. It is not a delicate, exotic, finely crafted piece of steel. It is a PROFESSIONAL knife. It is sharp, steady, balanced, can survive the dishwasher and clumsy prep cooks. Restaurants buy these in a 6-pack for their cooks to use.
IF YOU WANT A MATCHED SET:
$96: Fibrox set
Then - take the rest of your money and buy a Chefs Choice electric knife sharpener. Even the most magical knife will get dull and you will hate to use it. You should really buy a sharpener system FIRST, use it on your old beater knives (you will be shocked at the difference), then invest in nice knifes.
Add a honing rod, a peeler, and a knife bag and you’re set. Extra pieces can be added later down the line.
I've had these Victorinox 4-Piece Knife Set with Fibrox Handles for two years now and I can't imagine ever buying a different knife. I've used Henkel, Wusthoff, and a variety of other brands and have not yet found a knife I like better.
Roger that, will do, I found these as well: Victorinox 4-Piece Knife Set with Fibrox Handles , what do you think?
Would something like this be okay?
I've actually been half looking into getting some knives for my wife and this thread gave me a lot of names to look into. I really don't know much, but this set has everything you mentioned, and its all Victorinox
I agree with /u/quidjay that henckles or wusthof are solid knives, however, you're not going to get a good set of them for $150. That's one chef's knife and one other whatever kind of knife you want to get (2 knives) territory for those. For your budget, I'd recommend these Victorinox knives from Amazon.
The constant recommendation I see when this question is asked in /r/askculinary is the Victorinox Fibrox knives. Like this set. They're hailed as great quality, ergonomic and excellent value for money. Lots of chefs/cooks over there that recommend them and/or swear by them.
If you can find a kit which includes a honing steel as well (maybe instead of the 6-inch knife) I think that'd make an excellent set. But a chefs knife, a pairing knife and a bread knife is a good basic kit for the home kitchen.. And the extra midsize knife doesn't hurt.
Forschner - http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-4-Piece-Knife-Fibrox-Handles/dp/B004IEBTZ4/ref=sr_1_13?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1440226976&sr=1-13&keywords=forschner+knives
If you have a bigger budget, I can recommend some great knives you can shave with.
Thanks for all the help everyone, I ended up going with this set, along with kitchen shears and a steel. So far I'm very happy with the set, and even happier with the price.
Would have been a much much better use of $ and gotten you superior everything.
Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Knife Set, 4-Piece https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004IEBTZ4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apan_glt_fabc_94CACY7SK5PDHCJ1RH7Z
These are great knives.
Just because my boyfriend and I like to cook together, I'd like to maybe get a small set just for convenience! But I appreciate the recommendation, I found this set for $100! https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-4-Piece-Knife-Fibrox-Handles/dp/B004IEBTZ4/ref=pd_lpo_79_img_1/145-8525299-6946140?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B004IEBTZ4&pd_rd_r=573bedf5-f364-4125-abb0-63d9f2873d2f&pd_rd_w=ZlsMW&pd_rd_wg=aGgws&pf_rd_p=7b36d496-f366-4631-94d3-61b87b52511b&pf_rd_r=6CY1S6DF272SPMNHY2BA&psc=1&refRID=6CY1S6DF272SPMNHY2BA
Can't find the 3-piece set right now but here's a 4-piece with that sweet utility knife. It's also available with a wooden block if you're into that. https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-cuberter%C3%ADa-chefs-unidades-Negro/dp/B004IEBTZ4
A Victorinox Fibrox would be a great chef's knife to start out with. Here's one of the sets. Here's just the chef's knife.
And Here's a Chinese chef's knife; looks like a cleaver, not a cleaver, but it is surprisingly adept at many kitchen takes in my use so far. Got it a couple of months ago and I like it. The handle is not the best, but for $10 it's pretty useful and I don't have to work about screwing it up like I do with my $150 Shun. It would be great if I could re profile the edge thinner, but I don't have the chops to do it properly.
This seems like the perfect present within my price range, then. Do you think that is okay?