Four reasons not to buy a set of knives...

What? A knife shop telling you not to buy knives? Bear with me here. Buy the knives, just don't buy the matchy-matchy set of six, all packaged in a wooden knife block* set of knives. Here's why...

1) YOU WON'T USE THEM ALL. The analogy here is the freebie beauty gift-with-purchase - one product in the wrong shade, a slightly dodgy eyeshadow, and the lipstick you will never wear. Same goes for knife sets - it is a total marketing ploy. Take the knife you actually want and add a slightly too long petty, the odd boning knife, and the second chef's knife that is neither one thing or another. Instead start with a good all-rounder and add to it.

2) YOU CAN ALLOCATE YOUR BUDGET BETTER. Spend more on the knife shapes you will use more, less on the ones you only reach for from time to time. There's a baseline cost to making any knife regardless of blade length, so prices from petty to slicer isn't as wide a range as you think it might be. You want to be putting your budget into the do-everything santoku or gyuto, and perhaps less to more special occasion knives. 

3) HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE? Don't put all your knives in one basket. Get a knife, work out what it is you like about the shape and the balance and the fit and finish. Then, on that basis, go for another. Much less likely to end up with knives you don't use this way and it gives you scope to try out different steels and finishes. 

4) THE FUN IS IN THE COLLECTING. Of course, if you love a range or a style, you can buy more than one knife from that  There's no rules against it. But there is a particular joy to seeing customers coming in over years, working out what they like and building up a well-used and cared for knife roll. 


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