Last Updated Nov 2018 – Knives occupy a unique place in the kitchen. They’re vital tools that are absolutely necessary to prepare many types of food. Unlike pots and pans, however, your knives require regular maintenance to remain effective.
No matter how expensive and fancy your new chef’s knife is, you’ll still have to sharpen it occasionally in order to keep the edge useful for cutting.
Time and Tools Required
Sharpening knives isn’t necessarily fast or easy, especially if you don’t have the right tools. While some pretty fancy automatic sharpening rigs exist, they’re expensive, difficult to set up, and they often have a fairly steep learning curve. Without these rigs, you have to sharpen knives slowly and carefully by hand or use an imprecise automatic grinder.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the steel rod that came with your knives will keep them sharp, either. A honing steel is a useful tool, but all it really does is align the edge of your knife. This will keep it sharper for longer, but it’s not a substitute for regular sharpening. Your knives will still get dull unless you use an actual sharpening tool.
Although sharpening knives isn’t fast or easy, it’s a pretty simple process. All you need to do is draw a hard, rough object across the blade of the knife at a specific angle. The exact hardness and roughness of the object will determine how much material comes off of your knife, while the angle you use will determine how sharp it gets.
Knife manufacturers have taken advantage of this for a while to offer a unique solution to your sharpening woes. By placing carefully angled ceramic plates in your sheath or knife block, you provide the motion and friction necessary to sharpen your knife by simply putting it away.
This won’t re-profile a damaged edge or anything. It is more than enough to maintain your knives, however. As long as you don’t start jamming your knife into a bunch of rocks or something, this innovative solution will keep them incredibly sharp and useable.
Calphalon’s self-sharpening knife blocks are an excellent example of this technology. Each set utilizes a tastefully designed block with matching sharpening plates built in. Since the set is paired with the block, each knife is sharpened in the right way for its unique shape and edge.
Calphalon Self-Sharpening Cutlery Reviews
Before we dive into the specifics of three of the best knife blocks, let’s talk about knives in general. When it comes to kitchen knives, you want to look for a few specific features. You want your knives to be made of high-quality steel, you want the knives to have comfortable handles, and you usually want your knives to have full tangs for better balance and durability.
Calphalon’s self-sharpening knife sets have all of these features. They’re all made from high-carbon German steel, they all feature forged construction and full tangs, and they’ve got tasteful, modern designs with comfortable handles. This means that these sets offer pretty much everything you need. Not only do these knives sharpen themselves, they’re also excellent additions to your kitchen.
It’s worth mentioning briefly that the steak knives that come with these sets are a little bit cheaper. They’re still pretty nice, but they’re stamped, sometimes serrated, and don’t sharpen automatically when you put them in the knife block. They’re still pretty effective and attractive, however, and they nicely match the aesthetics of the rest of the knife set.
Overall, these self-sharpening kitchen knife sets are an attractive option for anyone who’s looking for a new knife set. Even without the self-sharpening knife block, you get a solid, effective set that’s perfect for kitchen use.
Calpahlon produces a number of subtly different knife lines. This “Precision” line features bold, modern stylings with bar-riveted handles. A beautiful walnut block rounds out the incredible aesthetic and gives you a product that you’ll love displaying proudly on your kitchen counters.
One of the things that I like the most about this line is the fact that the steak knives are only slightly serrated. While they don’t sharpen automatically in the knife block, this means that I can use a honing steel or a sharpening stone to manually maintain their edge. There’s a bit of a trade-off here, of course, since you notice when the edge dulls a lot faster than you would with a more serrated steak knife.
If you maintain them, however, they’ll be much sharper.
Looks are very much a subjective thing, but the aesthetics of this set are my favorite by far of the three sets presented here. The big steel endcaps and the horizontal steel bar in the handles work wonderfully together to make something that looks modern, functional, and expensive. The steak knives feature this styling as well. With their subtle serration and wonderful looks, you’ll probably get lots of positive comments from your dinner guests.
Like all of the Calphalon sets reviewed here, this set features full-tang knives made from high carbon German steel. The knife block will sharpen most of the knives automatically when you store them, although it won’t sharpen the steak knives, your scissors, or a couple of the utility knives that each set comes with.
Each slot in your knife block is paired with a particular knife and carefully designed to take as little metal as possible off of your knives while keeping them sharp. This means that you don’t have to worry about accidentally wearing them down by putting them in and out of the knife block too often.
If you’re like me, you might find that you get the slots in your knife block confused sometimes. Because of the ceramic sharpening apparatus, however, it’s moderately important that you put each knife back in the right hole after you’re done using that. In order to make things easier, Calphalon has labeled the handle of each knife so you remember where it goes. This is a common feature across all of their self-sharpening knife sets, not just this one.
Finally, this set (and the other Calphalon sets) is covered by a full limited warranty with pretty generous terms. If your knives ever break under normal household use, Calphalon will replace them free of charge. This is an especially generous offer given the durability of this set. The high-carbon steel will last for many years of normal use. The fact that you’ll still be under warranty after a decade or more is frankly incredible.
The 15-piece version of this set comes with the following knives as well as a matching walnut knife block with built-in sharpening:
If you’re not a fan of poly-resin handles or you want the cleanest, sleekest design for your knife block, this stainless steel set is the choice for you. Its wonderfully unique design incorporates durable metal handles that contribute to an incredibly attractive package.
Like the other Calphalon self-sharpening sets, this set has labeled handles and a wooden block with ceramic sharpening mechanisms paired to each knife. Unlike the set above, however, the steak knives are serrated. They’re still wonderfully attractive, however, and you’ll still get plenty of comments from dinner guests based on the unique steel handles alone.
Even if you’re not a fan of the stainless aesthetic, the fact that these knives are all metal presents some unique advantages. They’re incredibly long-lasting, for one, given that the two materials used in their construction are high-carbon German steel and extra durable stainless. They’re also a bit easier to clean since there are fewer rivets in the handles or places where two materials meet.
Unlike the other Calpahlon sets, this set doesn’t feature full tangs (or at least Calphalon doesn’t mention them). This isn’t a big issue due to the metal handles. Normally, a tang is a piece of metal that runs from the blade to the handle to help give your knife better balance and strength. Since the handle is already made from metal in this case, it’s not really necessary to include a full tang on any of these knives.
To be clear, the non-steak knives in this set are still made from high-quality forged German steel. They’re absolutely incredible when it comes to both durability and retaining an edge.
A 15-piece version of this set includes:
8″ chef’s knife
8″ bread knife
6″ utility knife
7″ Santoku knife
3.5″ paring knife
8 steak knives
and a tasteful wood block with built-in ceramic sharpeners
This set is a solid choice for any kitchen. It’s an especially good choice if you prefer the unique metal handles or you don’t like poly-resin handles for some reason.
While the other two Calphalon sets feature bold, distinctive aesthetics, this set is a bit more relaxed. It’s still beautifully made with the same excellence in design and construction, of course, but it’s somewhat more subdued in terms of style.
The knives have no-nonsense handles of black poly-resin and tasteful oval endcaps with little labels to help you remember which knife goes where. While the lack of visible rivets helps these knives maintain a clean, stylish look, there’s also not anything particularly distinctive going on in the handles.
This means that they seem simple, tasteful, and elegant.
With full tangs, forged German steel, and sharpeners built into the wood block, these knives are incredibly practical in the kitchen. They’re covered by the same lifetime warranty as the other Calpahlon sets, of course, although the durable construction and high-quality materials mean you’re unlikely to need to use it for many years.
A 20-piece version of this knife set includes the following:
Overall, this is very much the set to choose if you want something a bit more subdued or you’re worried about matching the rest of your kitchen. The tasteful aesthetic of these knives is sure to work well with just about any kitchen theme you’re going for. No matter what color your cookware is, these knives are sure to match!
Reviewing The Review: Top Calphalon Knives For Your Kitchen
If you want a high-quality knife set but you don’t want to worry about keeping it sharp, these self-sharpening knife sets from Calphalon will save you lots of time and money. Each set features stylish design, high-quality materials, and durable construction.
On top of that, a generous lifetime warranty means you don’t have to worry about problems with your knives down the line. The beautiful wooden blocks manage to include a ceramic sharpening system that keeps your knives incredibly sharp while preserving the wonderful aesthetic of the block itself.
All three of the sets presented here are great choices, and the biggest difference is going to be price and aesthetics. Feel free to choose whichever one you think looks best or whichever one is on the biggest sale. You can use the money to splurge on some fancy cookware or some fun foods to cook instead!