Listen, if you’re a gourmet chef, absolutely invest in super-high-quality knives, because 1) you’ll need them and 2) you can justify them. I do a lot of cooking and I’m not quite to that point, myself, but the truth is that with a good knife sharpener you can do okay with whatever you have.
At some point, in a fit of aggravation with my knives, I bought the same Pure Komachi set that’s available on Sellout.Woot today for $20 (plus $5 shipping). Here’s what I can tell you about them:
1) They are surprisingly good. According to my Amazon history, I bought my set in October of 2010. I still use them every day and have no complaints.
2) They make my kitchen counter happy. I mean, look at them. Multicolor knives! Festive!
3) This set (without the bonus steak knives) currently costs $63 at Amazon while it’s just $20 with the steak knives at Woot, but take a look at the Amazon reviews—4.5 stars with over 200 reviews.
4) The knife block—or should I just call it a plastic dome?—is huge. Huge. We don’t use it; we use our old wooden block because I didn’t want to give up that much counter space. Be aware that it’s gargantuan.
I sharpen mine with this $6 knife sharpener and that’s all the maintenance I do. (Well, that, and I don’t put them in the dishwasher.)
I don’t always personally own products and deals I recommend here, but in this case, consider this a real testimonial. No, this isn’t a professional set, but for the average home cook, it’s quite a deal on a decent bunch of knives.