OnlyKnives' Best $50 Kitchen Knives
This is a great choice for anyone looking to start a knife set on a limited budget.
You get three "essential" knives -- a Chef's knife, a slicing knife and a paring knife. Limiting the number of knives in a set helps you to save money while focusing on the quality of the knives rather than the quantity.
And these are quality knives indeed. Cooks Illustrated has given them their kudos numerous times in the past. Professional chefs rave about their ruggedness and sharp edge.
These are German style knives -- somewhat handle-heavy, with a sharp, stainless and durable blade. Though it may not be as sharp as some of the Japanese sets you can find, it's definitely a well-regarded knife.
The blade steel is x50CrMo -- a high-carbon, Chromium, Molybdenum blend. Out of the box, the knives are hardened to a Rockwell hardness of 55, which should serve you quite well.
The blade is full-tang, covered by the POM handles that are designed to minimize fatigue.
There are several ways to supplement this knife set, of course. A bread knife or a medium-sized utility knife would be a great addition.
But compare this set to a much more expensive one from Wusthof and see that it matches up quite well -- a quality reputation, a high-carbon steel made in Solingen, Germany and sharp out of the box.
If you do have just a bit more money to spend and want a larger set of knives, the Forschner 8-piece set features the same great knives and throws in a few extra pieces.