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Kitchen Knives and Accessories

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If you're going to splurge on one product, make sure it's your kitchen knives. Your kitchen cutlery sees almost daily use, so investing in high-quality knives will ensure they stand the test of time. A knife set is the easiest way to expand your collection, since it includes the most common pieces. If you prefer to hand select your knives, be sure to get the at least the basic types. As you expand your collection, here are a few things to think about:

What size knife block should I buy?

Although knife blocks range from four- to 22-piece sets, a typical collection includes 14 to 16 pieces. When picking out a knife block set, be sure it has all the key components — even the most basic should include a chef's knife, slicing knife, Santoku knife, boning knife, utility knife, paring knife and kitchen shears. Most knife blocks also include six or more steak knives, though you might need to buy your own set if you tend to have more than six people over for dinner. To ensure your set stays nice and sharp, look for a block that also includes a sharpener.

What individual kitchen knives do I need?

If you can't quite afford a knife block, be sure to have at least four knife sizes for different cutting needs. For example, a chef's knife, Santoku knife, utility knife and carving knife should cover all the bases. You should invest in a nice steak knife collection as well. If you already have a large selection, consider specialty options, including a bread knife, cheese knife, mezzaluna or cleaver.

Besides a cutting board, what other knife accessories should I buy?

A cutting board (or two) is a must-have accessory, especially since you don't want to ruin nice countertops or dishes. Wood chopping blocks are popular options, but there are also bamboo, plastic or glass cutting boards. You can even buy specialty boards, like cheese boards and bread boards, for entertaining.

If you don't have a block but still need a place to store your set, consider a magnetic knife holder. Drawer knife blocks are also an option, since they ensure knives have a home without taking up valuable countertop space.

Get your kitchen knife collection started by browsing through what Houzz has to offer.