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Best Colored Knives and Sets

Kitchen knives don’t have to just prepare your dinner, they can look good sitting on your countertop and match your kitchen’s color scheme. There’s more options out there than just black and steel.

We’ve researched, tested, and compared many different colored knife sets and individual knives ranging from chef, paring, steak, bread, utility, sandwich, and more.

Knife sets vary by both the number of knives and type of knives included in the set. You may not need an entire 6-piece knife set, so if a particular knife can be bought separately from it’s set, then we have included a link to it below. Of course, the most commonly used knife for preparing food is the chef knife. If you had to buy one knife for your kitchen, it should be a chef knife.

That’s why the chef knife is our primary focus when reviewing each set, but bread knives and paring knives are also important for tasks a chef knife doesn’t do well. You also need a knife for cutting up food after it has been cooked, so we’re going to take a look at steak knives. Though they’re called steak knives, you can use them to cut up just about anything.

In this article we’re taking a look at colored kitchen knives. Knives are usually colored in 2 ways: colored non-stick coating on the blade or colored handle material. You can find sets or singles with handles made from wood, bone, stone, carbon fiber, and much much more.

colored knives example

Common reasons you might want a colored knife:

  • You have other appliances that you want your knives to match.
  • You want to avoid cross contamination when cutting meat and vegetables; visual cues help avoid that.
  • Someone in your home has food allergies, and you want to avoid cross contamination.
  • You want knives that work with your kitchen’s color scheme.

Contamination from raw meats or seafood is something we always want to avoid, and colors help you keep track of which knife was used for what. Colored knives are often marketed with this concept in mind, but it’s not the only reason to expand your kitchen knife horizons.

With the non-stick coatings, you have to avoid using abrasive pads when cleaning them as over time it will wear off the coating. Dishwashers are bad for knives. They get knocked around during the wash and rinse cycle and can hit other utensils, potentially damaging the blade edge or non-stick coating. The heat from the dry process can damage non-stick coatings and potentially cause corrosion, even on stainless steel.


Knife Design Considerations

We’re not going to do an essay on knife design here, but one of the easiest ways to assess a knife’s strength, as in it won’t fall apart when you try to use it, is determining how the tang is made. There’s tons of references out there if you want to read up on knife design, this one illustrates tangs well.

Tang refers to the part of the knife blade that extends into the handle. The blade and tang are the same piece of metal (or ceramic), but the portion contained within the handle (under your hand when you grip the knife) is called the tang.

There are many different forms of a knife tang with different pros and cons that mainly impact their strength. A full tang, or where the tang is contained within the entire length of the handle, is the most reliable type.

All of the force you apply while holding a knife is transferred to the blade by the tang. Cutting soft vegetables, such as tomatoes or onions, are easy for any tang type, but thick-skinned fruits and vegetables, like cantaloupe, carrots, pineapple, or watermelon, require significantly more force to cut. Even long-term use on soft vegetables can eventually cause a weak tang to fail.

Best Rainbow Knife Sets

To put it bluntly, there are many poorly made colorful knife sets you can find online that are manufactured with lousy quality steel or other design choices that shorten their life. With knives, the phrase “you get what you pay for” holds true, generally.

We want to avoid those bad products and show you some options that you won’t be replacing in a year or two.

Rainbow Colored Knife Sets

Chicago Cutlery 9-piece colored knife set

Chicago Cutlery 9-Piece Colored Knife Set

  • 2 Cutting Boards
  • Bamboo Knife Block
  • Honing Steel
  • Chef Knife, Bread Knife, Utility Knife, 2 Paring Knives

The Chicago Cutlery set has all the essentials to get started cooking and has the sharpest chef knife in our tests compared with the other sets. We prefer the colored handles over the non-stick coating as the coatings are easy to scratch and don’t provide any “non-stick” benefit when slicing vegetables. Don’t put them in the dishwasher as the heat can wear out the handle material.

Chicago Cutlery Knife Set
Chicago Cutlery Knife Set

The yellow and red cutting boards included with the Chicago Cutlery set are 8.5″ x 11.65″, so they’re a bit small. They have a tab on one side that indicates which one is supposed to be used for cutting meat or vegetables. This is in line with the color-coded concept that helps you avoid cross-contamination.

We compared the Chicago Cutlery set with similar knife sets in the same price tier.

chef knife blade profile

This diagram shows a rough profile of the blade style from three different knife sets we considered. All the knives in each set follow the same design.

Now, keep in mind the above image is not to scale and the thickness differences are not as dramatic. The Chicago Cutlery knives have the thickest spine out of all the knives we compared it with, and are the heaviest. The Cuisinart knives are almost as thick, but the edge of the blade doesn’t start to taper from the spine like the Chicago Cutlery and Kai models.

Thoughts on the Chef Knife

These are the three chef knives from the sets we tested from the rainbow knife set category.

The thicker spine of the Chicago Cutlery and Cuisinart Chef Knives is desirable when cutting large pieces of meat or when you might run into a bone. Vegetables that have tough skin or hard flesh can be difficult to cut with a thin knife. In situations where there is high stress on the blade, the thicker blade will be easier to use.

We prefer the Chicago Cutlery Chef Knife because the blade tapers immediately from the spine and results in an overall thinner blade that helps reduce “wedging” and cuts smoother. You can see from the diagram above that where the Cuisinart blade begins to taper to the edge will actually push against vegetables as you slice, which causes more resistance as you slice.

The resistance from the wedging action is mainly noticeable when you first slice into dense vegetables, such as potatoes or onions. However, once you begin thinly slicing or chopping, there’s less pressure against the blade, and it’s not noticeable.

The Chicago Cutlery and Kai Chef Knives feel reasonably balanced, but the Cuisinart feels very overweight on the blade end. Initially, I guessed that the Cuisinart is the heaviest among the three, but to my surprise, it’s about 75% of the weight of the Chicago Cutlery. That’s another mark against the Cuisinart. You feel more in control of the Chicago Cutlery and Kai Chef Knives due to their more even weight distribution.

If you like to rock your knife when slicing and dicing, then the Chicago Cutlery is still the better choice as the blade is slightly more rounded than the Cuisinart.

Another concern we have is how the knives will handle sharpening. This is another detail that we think the Chicago Cutlery comes out ahead on. As you sharpen a knife, metal is removed from the blade. Over time the blade gets smaller. On the Chicago Cutlery knives, the bolster does not extend down to the bottom of the blade edge, as the picture shows below.

chiacgo cutlery bolster example

The bolster on the bottom knife extends all the way down, and there simply isn’t an edge to sharpen there. As the blade loses metal, the bolster remains, and as you push the knife down onto a cutting board, it will not sit flush with the board. That doesn’t work well for slicing vegetables!

The process of losing metal depends on how often you sharpen and how you do it, but as we said above, we’re interested in knives that will last. The bolster does help prevent you from putting your fingers near the blade edge, but if you’re holding a knife correctly, this shouldn’t be a problem anyway.

Runner-Up Rainbow Knife Set

(click to view on

Kai Pure Komachi 2 Non-stick 6-Piece Knife Set

This set features the 8-inch Chef Knife by Kai and is similar in style to the Chicago Cutlery Chef Knife, but has a thinner blade and navy blue non-stick coating. The rest of the knives in this set are similar in style to the Chicago Cutlery set above. Our opinion is to avoid the Cuisinart set as the heavier, unbalanced knives are not as comfortable to use. For a colored non-stick knife set, the Pure Komachi 2 set is a solid choice.

Our second choice for rainbow colored knife sets is the Kai Pure Komachi 2 set that comes with 6 knives.

First off, the non-stick coating is just not very effective. Slicing vegetables still result in each slice sticking to the side of the blade. We were not able to discern any difference between the non-stick coated knives and the Chicago Cutlery knives with only stainless steel.

The Kai Pure Komachi 2 Chef Knife is 8 inches and has an overall thinner blade than the Chicago Cutlery and Cuisinart knives above. The blade on the Kai flexes much easier than the others, but this is a bad thing it simply means it is meant for different cutting jobs. For general chopping and slicing of vegetables, the thinness of the blade reduces wedging, and it effortlessly glides through tomatoes, potatoes, and thicker-skinned fruit such as limes.

We think the ideal knife is as thin as possible to minimize wedging while still rigid enough to not flex on harder foods. Ideally, you would have a few different chef knives available to you for a variety of cutting jobs.

One complaint I have about the non-stick coating is that it’s incredibly easy to get superficial scratches. After testing these knives for a week, there are some noticeable small scratches. Keeping this type of knife away from other knives and metal objects that it might bang on is best, and avoid putting them in the dishwasher.

Notice the bolster issue we mentioned above is not a problem with this knife either. It’s straightforward to sharpen and maintain.

What About the Bread and Paring Knives?

Bread knives are generally serrated or scalloped. A good bread knife is one then doesn’t tear the loaf as you slice and is sharp enough that you don’t have to apply too much force and compress the bread. We like fluffy bread, not smushed bread.

There wasn’t a clear winner when comparing the bread knives as they all cleanly sliced a crusty whole grain loaf. We have to consider the overall knife set, and with the bread knives being similar in quality we stuck with the Chicago Cutlery set.

Paring knives are used for a variety of cutting jobs. Peeling fruit skins, slicing fruits and vegetables, or even deveining shrimp. They’re small and have a sharp tip that can be used for more than simple slicing.

Colored Kitchen Knife Sets

In this section, we’re looking at knife sets that usually have the same color among the knives in the set. These are great if you want one color that matches other items in your kitchen.

Mercer is a brand you don’t see sitting on a shelf at your nearby Walmart. These knives are a cut above the Farberware and Cuisinart, but they’re also more expensive.

With that said, they’re still at a reasonable price point if you are looking to put away the knife set you received a few birthdays ago and get something with more substance.

We’ve shown the blue version below, but they also come in black, chocolate, green, purple, red, and yellow.

Mercer Culinary Millennia Colored Knife Set

  • High-Carbon Japanese Steel
  • Ergonomic Santoprene Handles
  • 4 Knives: Chef, Santoku, Slicing, Paring
  • Magnetic Storage Board

Quality with no frills. Mercer is a premium brand that produces professional-grade knives for chefs. This knife set by Mercer is a notch above the rest.

It can be difficult to find colorful knife sets from the higher-end manufacturers. I guess they’re busy taking things seriously and don’t consider color a priority. This set from Mercer is made from high-carbon steel and features a taper ground edge.

Tapered edge means that the part of the blade where the steel begins to angle toward the edge starts at the spine (top) of the blade. This is the most common edge type you’ll see with chef, paring, and utility knives. It ensures that the blade stays thin enough to slice easily.

The convenience of being able to touch a knife to the magnetic storage board can’t be understated. It’s so much easier than trying to find the right hole on your knife block. Plus, your knives are more prominently displayed.

McCook 14-Piece Red Kitchen Knife Set

(click to view on Amazon)
  • Sharpener Built Into Knife Block
  • 12 Knives
  • High-Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Scissors Included
  • Full Tang, Triple Rivet Handle

The McCook Knife Set included a sharpener built into the block, which is different than a honing steel that we normally see in these knife sets. You’ll still want a honing steel, so if you have one laying around don’t throw it away. These knives should be hand washed and dried.

We think this set is going to serve best a majority of the casual home cooks looking for an all-in-one knife set. Mainly due to the built-in sharpener. Honing steel, the metal rod with a handle, that you see in the other sets doesn’t necessarily sharpen a blade, but instead, it straightens the edge that is currently on the blade. Over time a blade’s edge will get worn out, and there simply won’t be anything to straighten, so that’s when you need to use a pull-through sharpener or whetstone.

This set is made with high-carbon steel, which is more susceptible to corrosion than standard stainless steel, but the carbon causes the blade to maintain its sharp edge for longer. As long as you dry your knives immediately after washing, there shouldn’t be an issue. Do not put these knives in a dishwasher as the heat and water combination will cause corrosion.

The chef knife included with this set is a standard 8-inch length. The santoku is slightly smaller than what we commonly see in these type of sets at 5 inches. The santoku is going to be better for thinly slicing vegetables due to the scallops along the side of the blade and it’s thickness.

Ginsu Essential Series 14-Piece Red Knife Set

(click to view on Amazon)
  • 12 knives
  • All knives have a scalloped edge, except the santoku.
  • Scissors Included
  • Ginsu claims they don’t every need to be sharpened.
  • Full Tang, Triple Rivet Handle

The Ginsu set is unique in that all their blades have scalloped serrations. Ginsu says you won’t ever need to sharpen these knives. Serrations, in general, don’t require as much sharpening as straight edge blades, but without a doubt, the edge will eventually wear.

These knives can be sharpened with something like the Sharpmaker from Spyderco.

The Ginsu knives are extremely popular and have a good reputation.

Farberware 5148963 15-Piece Forged Red Knife Set

(click to view on Amazon)
  • 12 Knives
  • High-Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Scissors Included
  • Goning Steel Included
  • Full Tang, Triple Rivet Handle

Farberware is a familiar brand in the entry-level cutlery and cookware space, likely due to their usually affordable prices. This knife set is no exception and is a good option as well.

This Farberware set is also made of high-carbon stainless steel, which maintains its sharp edge better than stainless steel alone. It is more susceptible to corrosion, but as long as you hand wash and dry them after use, there shouldn’t be any problems. I’ve personally used a Farberware set for years without any corrosion problems.

This set comes with honing steel rather than the pull-through sharpener we saw on the McCook set above. The honing steel helps straighten your knife’s edge after each use, but cannot sharpen the edge. For that, you will need a pull-through sharpener or whetstone.

Gayle’s Kitchen Blue Ceramic Knife Set

(click to view on Amazon)
  • 4 Knives
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Never Corrodes
  • Retains edge better than steel.

Gayle’s Kitchen produces a large assortment of colored ceramic knives that have handles molded onto the blades, instead of glued. Many cheap ceramic knives end up separating from their handle when the glue fails.

Ceramic blades are very light and retain their sharp edge longer than steel, but they’re more brittle. You don’t want to use ceramic knives for cutting meat that contains bones as they could chip the blade. For slicing vegetables, ceramics knives are a great option.

Wooden Handle Kitchen Knife Sets

Cangshan W Series 59960 6-Piece German Steel Knife Set

(click to view on Amazon)
  • Solid Walnut Block, Teak Wood Knife Handles
  • 8-inch Chef and Carving Knives, 5-inch Utility, 3.5-inch Paring
  • Hand Wash Only
  • X50Cr15MoV German Steel
  • 16 Degree Double Bevel Edge

Teak is perhaps one of the best choices for wood for a knife handle due to its natural water resistance. The hefty solid walnut block has the look and feel that makes it ideal for rustic or contemporary themed kitchen.

These knives have excellent edge retention, yet are light and nimble. These particular Cangshan knives have a 16-degree edge, which is exceptionally sharp. Commonly, kitchen knives have between 17 and 20-degree edges.

If you’re going to be cutting through bone, then you want something more substantial. It’s best to use a cleaver for those tasks anyway.

TUO Cutlery Forged Knife Set with Wooden Block

(click to view on Amazon)
  • German X50CrMov15 (Din. 1.4116) stainless steel
  • Full Tang with Pakkawood Handle
  • Hand Wash Only
  • 15 Degree Double Bevel Edge

The dense Pakkawood handle with the fiery wood grain pattern is an attention grabber. The handles on these knives are more substantial than the Cangshan set above. The 15-degree edge angle of these knives is even sharper than the Cangshan set as well.

Regarding the knives included in each set, the TUO set lacks a bread knife but contains a 7-inch cleaver for meat cutting. Additionally, the TUO set comes with honing steel and shears, which are always helpful.

Cangshan J Series 61932 3-Piece Knife Set

(click to view on Amazon)
  • Walnut Wood Sheaths with Internal Magnets
  • Japanese VG-10 Steel and African Blackwood Handles
  • 8-inch Chef knife, 5-inch Utility Knife, 3.5-inch Paring Knife
  • Hand Wash Only
  • 16 Degree Double Bevel Edge

Simple, beautiful, and sharp. This 3-piece set has the essential knives for someone looking for a serious knife set. Crafted from Japanese VG-10 steel and African Blackwood, these knives are great workhorses for amateur and professional chefs.

This isn’t a complete set if you’re comparing it with the 14-piece sets we’ve looked at, but having a good Chef knife is essential for any cook. Splurging a little bit on the more critical knives is better than buying a huge set when you don’t even touch the majority of the set.

Shun TDMS0300 Premier Knife Starter Set

(click to view on Amazon)
  • Damascus Steel with Hand-Hammered Finish
  • 8-inch Chef Knife, 6.5-inch Utility Knife, 4-inch Paring Knife
  • 16 Degree Double Bevel Edge
  • Hand Wash Only

The hammered finish doesn’t more than just look nice, it also helps prevent sliced vegetables from sticking and reduces drag as the knife travels through dense vegetables. The effect is similar to the Granton Edge style where there are dimples (or scallops) along the side of the blade to reduce sticking.

Shun is typically a bit pricey, but their knives are good quality. This set is comparable to the Cangshan J Series above but has a longer paring and utility knife.

In closing out this section, notice the lack of bolster on these high-end chef knives. Bolsters that extend down to the bottom of the blade cause trouble down the line. If you plan on keeping a knife around for many years, then it will lose metal as you sharpen it. As the blade draws in over time, the bolster remains and causes the blade to not sit flush with your cutting board. Avoid bolsters.

Colorful Chef Knives

The Chef Knife is the workhorse in your kitchen. There are some other knife styles that are used for many of the same cutting jobs as a chef knife, such as the gyuto or santoku.

In the diagram below, we’ve labeled the significant parts of the Chef Knife. You might notice that majority of the knives we’re recommending do not have a bolster that extends down the heel of the blade. Bolsters serve several purposes and can help protect your finger from the blade, but become a problem when you sharpen your knife over an extended period of time. Sharpening a knife involves removing metal from the edge. With an extended bolster, as metal is removed, the bolster still remains so that the blade doesn’t sit flush with your cutting board. Depending on how often you use your knife and sharpen it, this could actually happen quickly.

knife diagram

Beyond that, the shape and thickness of the blade vary based on the culture in the area the knife’s style originated. Japanese knives are generally thinner and sometimes feature a single bevel for ultra-fine slicing. European knives are often thicker with a double bevel for chopping through dense vegetables.

Of course, now there is a lot of fusion between styles as the world has become more connected.

In this article, we’re taking a look at knife options that incorporate color into the design. They might as well look good while they’re just hanging around.

Choosing Your Knife:

  • Blade Type: Western or Japanese?
  • Handle Type: Western, Japanese, or Hybrid
  • Grip Type: Pinch or Handle?
  • 6-inch to 12-inch Lengths

Handles are generally either round (cylinder), D-shaped, or octagonal. The diagram below illustrates the D-shaped handle design. The orientation of the handle favors right or left-handed people. Round and octagonal handles make no difference in either hand.

d-shaped handle diagram

Pinch grip gives you more control of the blade and is generally accepted as the best way to hold a knife for slicing tasks.

We’ve selected some of the most highly reviewed chef knives that span across the various options we’ve laid out above.

Messermeister Four Seasons Chef Knife

(click to view on Amazon)
  • Western Style
  • Stainless Carbon Alloy Blade
  • Polypropylene Handle (Left or Right Handed)
  • Easily Honed Edge
  • Lengths: 6 Inches, 8 Inches, 9 Inches, 10 Inches, 12 Inches
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Red, Green, Orange

The Messermeister is a commercial-grade workhorse with an ergonomic handle and stainless steel alloy blade that resists corrosion and has excellent edge retention.

The blade length and color options give you a generous amount of customizability. Longer blades are great for larger cuts of meat, but you might want a shorter blade for fine slicing vegetables.

With the Messermeister being so affordable, you can get a couple of knives with different colors or lengths to make sure you have the right tool for any job.

Mercer Culinary Millennia Chef’s Knife

(click to view on Amazon)
  • Western Style
  • High-Carbon Japanese Steel
  • Lengths: 8 Inches, 10 Inches
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Brown, Purple, Red, White, Yellow

Mercer isn’t a well-known brand to most consumers, as their knives are mostly sold to culinary professionals through restaurant stores and outlets. That’s another reason we’re confident these affordable Chef’s knives are a great choice for an aspiring home cook.

The impressive performance and affordability of this Chef’s knife makes it an excellent gift for a college student, newlyweds, or anyone you know that loves to cook at home.

Yoshihiro Hammered Japanese Chef Knife

(click to view on Amazon)
  • D-Shaped Right Handed – Rosewood Handle
  • VG-10 Japanese Stainless Steel
  • Lengths: 7 Inches, 8.25 Inches, 9.5 Inches

The Rosewood handle with Mahogany bolster give this Chef’s knife a rich color. The hammered finish not only looks great, but the dimples on the side of the blade create an uneven surface that helps reduce sticking when slicing vegetables.

If you’re interested in a lighter wood color, check out this knife by Yoshihiro. It’s the same style and finish with an Octogonal Ambrosia Handle.

Yoshihiro Hammered Damascus Gyuto

  • Hybrid – Western Style Handle with Japanese Gyuto Style Blade
  • VG-10 Japanese Stainless Steel Core
  • Mahogany Wood Handle with Full Tang
  • Lengths: 7 Inches, 8 Inches, 9.5 Inches

This knife is a hybrid with a western style handle and gyuto blade. Gyuto knives have become popular as they are generally thinner than a Western chef’s knife blade and has a sharper edge. This makes the gyuto more precise and ideal for a wider variety of tasks.

For most home cooks, it’s not going to make a huge difference.

Colorful Paring Knives

Paring knives are often used alongside chef’s knives for tasks that aren’t easily done with a long blade. Paring knife blades aren’t usually long enough for pinch grip, so the comfort and control come from the handle shape. In fact, much of the time a paring knife’s handle is longer than the blade.

You should always handwash your knives, even when they say they’re dishwasher safe.

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Grip Colored Paring Knives

  • Set of 4
  • 3-inch Low-point Knife, 2.25-inch Curved Blade Peeling Knife, 4-inch Classic Paring Knife, 4.5-inch Serrated utility Knife
  • High-Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Textured handles for secure grip.

This set comes with all the paring knives you will ever need. Slicing up apples, cutting a lemon twist, or slicing tomatoes are easy tasks that can be handled with one of these knives. The various lengths and blade shapes give you a ton of versatility.

They’re also incredibly sharp. The plastic handles are long enough to fit comfortably in your hand.

Nunchi Professional Paring Knife

  • 3.75-inch blade
  • VG-10 Stainless Steel
  • 4-inch Pakkawood Handle

The great thing about this paring knife is the long, thick handle that gives you ultimate control of the blade. Cutting tasks that require ultra-fine movements are much easier with plenty of handle to grip. If you’re looking for a knife to keep at your wet bar, then this is a great choice.

Rachael Ray 3.5-Inch Paring Knife

  • 3.5″ Blade
  • Japanese Stainless Steel

This paring knife is simple and has a comfortable grip. The handle extends down like a typical bolster to protect your fingers from the blade. This is a great budget option if you just need a simple knife for small slicing tasks.

Zyliss Paring Knife

  • Ergonomic Handle with Soft Rubber Grip
  • High-Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Blade Guard Included

The blade on this paring knife is more like a hollow edge than a tapered edge. The spine of the knife is thicker than the Henckels set above, and that results in less flex. If you find you don’t like how flexible some paring knife blades are, then this is a great option.

Zyliss also makes a serrated paring knife that’s red.

Colorful Santoku Knives

You may be unfamiliar with the difference between a santoku and chef’s knife, and many large knife sets come with both. The big difference is the way they contact the cutting board and the motions used to cut with them.

As you can see in the image below, the curvature of the chef’s knife is more rounded than the santoku. This results in the chef’s knife commonly being used in a “rocking” motion when slicing and the santoku being used in an up-and-down chopping motion. You simply can’t rock a santoku like a chef’s knife due to the almost non-existent curvature of the blade.

chef vs santoku blade comparison

One isn’t “better” than the other, and it comes down to what motion you are comfortable with, and what types of foods you’ll be preparing. For thinly slicing vegetables or fish, either type works just fine. If you like to rock your knife when you slice green onions, then you may prefer the chef’s knife.

It’s also worth noting that most santoku blades are shorter than chef’s knife blades.

Great Value

Mercer Culinary Millennia Santoku Knife

The Mercer Millennia Santoku is a popular entry-level santoku knife that features a durable 7-inch Granton Edge blade with texture, slip-resistant grip. There are a ton of color options to choose from you can find through the link below.

  • 7-Inch Granton Edge Blade
  • Textured, Slip-resistant Grip
  • High-Carbon Stainless Japanese Steel
  • HRC: 56
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Brown, Green, Purple, Red, White, Yellow

We like Mercer’s knives for people not quite looking to spend big bucks on kitchen knives, but would like something better than the quality typically found in $30 to $40 knife sets. Mercer is a nice bump up in quality at a modest price.

We typically see chef’s knives around 8 inches, so this santoku is comparable to everyday chef’s knives. You generally won’t see santoku’s get much larger than this. The Tuo option below is 7.5 inches long but is a significant increase in cost and quality.

Tuo Cutlery TC3003O Uchef 7.5″ Damascus Santoku Knife

  • 8-12 Degree Angle Per Side
  • 60 +/- 2 Rockwell – Great Edge Retention
  • Full Tang
  • Also Available in Green or Black.
  • Japanese 67 Layer VG10 Damascus Steel

Tuo has several series of knives called Ring, Ring D, Ring R, Uchef, and some others. You can also find these through the link above at Amazon. The Santoku knives in these series are very similar, mostly differing by blade cosmetics. The Uchef series is made from VG-10 steel, while the others are made with AUS-10. The difference between the quality of these steels is relatively small, though some people argue VG-10 is slightly better.

With the Rockwell number around 60, you can expect this knife to hold its edge better than the Mercer above.

If you’re looking to spend the money on a higher-end santoku, then the Tuo is worth considering.

Zyliss 2-Piece Santoku Knife Set

  • 5-inch and 7-inch Santoku
  • High-Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Ergonomic Handles with Soft Grip
  • Hand Wash Only

This is one of those knives that you definitely should not put in the dishwasher, despite the manufacturer telling you it’s safe. Any time you have rubber on the handle, and this goes for more than just knives, you should not put it in the dishwasher with the heated dry cycle on.

The included covers are great if you want your knives off your countertop and don’t have a knife block. You can easily store these away in a drawer without damaging the blade.

These knives are very sharp, but won’t maintain their edge as well as the Tuo above. Another reason to not put these in the dishwasher is corrosion. Even some stainless steel can be susceptible to corrosion in high heat and moisture environments. It’s really easy just to rinse off your knife and dry it off. Play it safe.

Colorful Steak Knives

Top Pick

victorinox steak knife set

Victorinox 6-Piece Serrated Colored Steak Knife Set

Smooth cut with a blade thickness that’s just right. This colorful steak knife set from Victorinox is a great affordable option that meets expectations.

The Victorinox set is unassuming and lacks the flashiness seen in some of the other steak knives we tested, such as the Laguiole-style knives from FlyingColors. We tested the steak knives on a 1.5″ to 2″ thick porterhouse steak. The Victorinox set was the smoothest cutting. If you like to attack your steak like a surgeon, you might find a sharper tip more appealing as it’s easier to slice around bones.

The Laguiole-style knives we tested from FlyingColors were okay at first. They cut well, and the “bee” on top of the handle was a comfortable spot to press your finger to guide the knife. They just did not cut as smooth as the Victorinox set. The blades are incredibly thick, and the serrations rely more on tearing instead of slicing.

The major disappointment with the Laguiole knives from FlyingColors came after washing them. The manufacturer says they are dishwater safe but recommend hand washing. Of course, I had to put them to the test. They did not hold up well after one wash. Small rust spots formed.

flyingcolors laguiole-style with rust

The image above shows the rust spots that formed after a single wash in a dishwasher.

If you like the Laguiole style, then you might be interested in getting them from a more reputable manufacturer, or possibly authentic knives that are actually made in Laguiole, France. Check these out from Jean Dubost. They’re imported from France, but sadly they’re not too colorful.

Dark Color

Equinox 8-Piece Steak Knife Set

The rich color from the dark wood handles make this an elegant addition to this list. These are sturdy knives with a full tang and comfortable grip. This 8-piece set is super affordable, but you can opt for the 4-piece set instead.

Our experience with Equinox knives has been very positive. This 8-piece set has solid reviews and has the aesthetics and cutting ability to make them a great option. You definitely should not put these in the dishwasher. The heat and moisture will eventually warp the handles.

Colorful Bread Knives

The rainbow knife sets section above also includes bread knives that come along with each set. The Chicago Cutlery and Cuisinart sets both had adequate bread knives that didn’t require too much pressure or tear the bread. If you like the Chicago Cutlery set, the included bread knife should work great for you.

Our top choice for colored bread knife options is the Dexter offset bread knife. We like the offset style because it’s just easier to slice bread without your knuckles hitting the cutting board. The technology exists so why not take advantage of it? You won’t likely see an offset knife included with a knife set, as their shape is awkward to accommodate with most knife blocks.

Top Pick

Dexter Scalloped Bread Knife

Stainless steel scalloped blade and offset handle makes this a comfortable and easily maintained bread knife.

  • 9-inch blade
  • Stainless Steel Blade, Non-slip Textured Handle
  • Available in red and green

Our second option is from Tuo and features the fiery wood grain finish on the handle. This knife is around the same price as the Dexter above and is more aesthetically pleasing. It’s just a standard bread knife and has no offset.

TUO Cutlery 9 inch Serrated Bread Knife

  • Pakkawood Handle
  • 9-inch Serrated Stainless Steel Blade
  • Hand Wash Only

This is the same bread knife that comes with the Tuo set we discussed above. Since it is a bread knife, you won’t be coming into contact with raw meat unless you decide to use it for that. Be sure to hand wash it and dry it after use. High-carbon stainless steel is rust resistant, but leaving moisture on the blade for a long period of time is not generally a good idea.