Anthony Bourdain once said that the only knife you need in a kitchen is a good, sharp chef’s knife. Bourdain, though, was a culinary graduate and knew how to get the most out of a single blade. He knew how to mimic the effects of all the excellent knives contained in a given Oster knife set. Oster is a brand that’s well-known for providing quality knives at an affordable price, so once you find a set with blades that you like, you can feel confident in your purchase.
A good place to start is with the Oster Baldwyn 22-Piece Cutlery Set, one of the best Oster has to offer. This complete set has every type of knife you'll need, plus a pair of scissors and a sharpener to keep your knives in good shape.
Small: Small Oster knife sets usually include pieces anywhere from two to eight pieces. They specialize in the basics like utility and chef’s knives. One of Oster’s top sets includes just those two options, plus a paring knife and vegetable peeler. There are also steak knife sets in this category.
Deluxe: The deluxe Oster knife sets include either 14 or 22 pieces with the 14-piece sets being the more common of the two. They include nearly everything you’d need in a home kitchen and always come with a storage block to make access and display easier.
Aside from the aforementioned knives, Oster knife sets can include options like santoku knives, bread knives and even an electric knife.
The most common materials used in Oster knife sets include ceramic and stainless steel for the blades and plastic or wood for the handles.
Ceramic: The top-of-the-line Oster knives use ceramic blades. They hold their edge much longer thus requiring less sharpening.
Stainless steel: The most common material used in Oster blades is stainless steel. These blades are rust-proof and very durable. Some sets use stainless steel for the handle as well as the blade.
Plastic: Most Oster handles are plastic, though they come in a wide range of shapes and colors. They’re the most affordable handle option as well.
Wood: Oster will occasionally use wood for their handles, typically walnut. It’s a traditional look, but the wood can become rough over time and wear down with use.
Oster knives are known as much for their affordability as they are for their solid build quality. You can find small sets for just $20, and spending up to $50 can net you larger, higher-quality sets. Oster also has top-tier collections that cost $70 or more, and these options tend to either include several medium-quality knives or a small number of higher-quality knives.
A. It depends on a couple of factors: blade and handle material, and maintenance of the knives. Stainless steel and ceramic blades are the most durable, and if they have wooden or plastic handles it will likely decrease their lifespan. Proper care of the blade includes regular sharpening plus washing and drying by hand to avoid any unsightly rust. Follow all of these suggestions and your Oster knives should last for at least a few years.
A. Oster knife sets usually come with sharpening steel, which encourages you to sharpen them yourself regularly. That said, you can absolutely take your Oster knives to a professional sharpener if you haven't been consistently sharpening them, or if they get damaged and you’d like to try and have the blade salvaged.
What you need to know: Not only does this Oster knife set include every possible knife you could need, it also includes a sharpener and scissors.
What you’ll love: The handles are made of thermoplastic while the blades are precision-stamped stainless steel.
What you should consider: The knives are technically dishwasher safe, but the handles are hollow and can collect water, so it’s best to wash by hand.
What you need to know: A smaller set of blades and various accessories for the chef who doesn’t need full 22-piece sets.
What you’ll love: The blades have a full tang plus are made of rust-resistant stainless steel.
What you should consider: These knives can rust very easily if put through the dishwasher, so it’s best to wash by hand and immediately dry.
What you need to know: Another excellent 22-piece set from Oster for those who prefer a different kind of look than the Baldwyn set.
What you’ll love: Includes all of the same items as the Baldwyn set with similar blade and handle construction as well.
What you should consider: These also are dishwasher safe but to avoid rust and water collection should be washed by hand and immediately dried.
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.