Our top chef's knife, paring knife, and bread knife are a cut above the competition.
Price: $24.95 While it's easy to blow your budget on a fancy chef's knife, the inexpensive, lightweight Victorinox Fibrox remains the test kitchen favorite. We like its high-carbon stainless steel blade, which stays sharper longer, and its nonslip handle.
Price: $4.95 This knife's sharp, agile blade and firm, comfortable grip can handle close work like paring fruit and slivering garlic.
Price: $89.95 The long, slightly flexible blade and pointed serrations on this knife are good for cutting bread, tomatoes, and even cake. Best Buy Alternative: Victorinox Forschner Fibrox 10 1/4-Inch Curved Blade Bread Knife ($24.95)
Price: $149.95 A true sharpener serves a different function than a sharpening steel, which merely repositions a knife's cutting edge (from bent to straight) rather than actually sharpening it. Electric is a must for restoring nicked, damaged, or very dull blades.
For knives that aren't severely dulled or damaged, our favorite manual sharpener is almost as good as the electric option and cheap enough to keep in your drawer as a handy alternative.