A kitchen knife set is a great gift, be it for a wedding, housewarming party, Christmas or a birthday. When it comes time to give gifts, people often overlook this great present, even though it's a tool that is used almost daily in the kitchen. If you do decide to give this gift to a loved one, make sure you purchase a good set. That way, your gift will be remembered fondly every time they use the cutlery you gave them. If you buy a cheap set that falls apart quickly, it tells the person you bought it for that you really don't care.
Unless you're willing to spend between $100 and $200 on a set, it's probably a good idea to look into other gifts. You can find other gifts like toasters and blenders for well under $100, and you'll still be able to give a quality gift. There are sets of average knives on the market that cost less than $100, but they are few and far between. It isn't until you get up over that mark that you start to see the real quality sets.
There are a number of manufacturers that offer high-quality kitchen knife sets for between $100 to $200. JA Henckels, Ginsu and Chicago Cutlery are established companies, and they all have offerings in this price range that would make a great gift. Anolon and Calphalon are relative newcomers, but they also offer good sets that fall into this range. Sets from any of the aforementioned brands will last a long time if cared for properly.
In order to buy the right kitchen cutlery as a gift, you have to know a little bit about the person or people you're buying it for. If they are only passively interested in cooking, chances are they don't already have a great set. Next time you're at their house, take a quick look in the kitchen and glance at the brand of knives they have. If they have a cheaper set like Farberware, one of the mid-range knife sets would be a good upgrade idea for a gift.
If the person you're considering giving cutlery to as a gift is an active cook, chances are they may already have a good set of knives. If you give them one of the mid-range sets, there's a good chance you'll be giving them a gift that they'll never use or end up re-gifting later on down the road. If you want to give them a kitchen knife set they'll actually use, you have to get them one nicer than the one they already have. This may mean spending anywhere from $300 to prices in the thousands of dollars for a set.
If you can't afford thousands of dollars for a set (and who can these days?), you can instead opt for a gift set that contains only a couple of knives. These sets usually come in a nice wooden box and make for a nice looking gift that is functional as well. Shun offers a couple different gift sets that contain a knife or two.
For those of us who aren't limited by price, there are professional chef-caliber knife sets on the market that anyone would love to have. Global offers a full range of high-end cutlery that looks great and works wonders in the kitchen. Professional chef's love these knives, so it's a gift that you can't go wrong with. Shun knives look nice and are highly sought after, so they would make a great gift as well. Another highly sought after set is the Ginsu Kitana series, which are patterned after samurai swords and are extremely sharp.