Originally Posted by RosieA
I am planning on investing in a knife set for myself for Christmas but I dont know what to do! There are so many sets and price ranges to choose from!
If possible try before you buy. Handle them and try some cutting actions with them to see what feels comfortable in your hand. The fit of the handle is as important as the material of the blade. As mentioned above, don't buy a set. Most sets come with 6 or 8 steak knives to make it seem like you are getting more than you really are. You don't need to pay that sort of premium for serrated steak knives.
I'd recommend something like an 8" chef, a 3" paring, and a 5" or 6" utility or boning knife. Those will be enough to get you a good variety and will serve for 99% of anything that a home cook needs. None of these should be serrated. If you make bread, add a serrated bread slicing knife. Get a block that fits them all, and the block should hold the blade sideways so that you aren't rubbing the cutting edge every time you move the knife in or out of the block.
Also get a good sharpener. Others will probably chime in with some good recommendations. I'm lazy, so I use a Chef's Choice Edge Select 120 electric 3 stage sharpener. It's expensive, and most of the cooks here won't recommend it, but I like it and it's the only electric one that is recommended by Wusthof for their knives. There are lots of good options though, so do some investigation. A good sharpener is as important as a good knife. That good knife you're buying is only as good as it's edge, and the nature of knives is that if you use them they get dull. Keep your knifes sharp. There is something almost sensual about using a truly sharp knife. It always brings a smile to my face when I slice a ripe tomato fresh from the garden and I can cut perfect paper thin slices.