Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set Review: a set of kitchen knives that's hard to fault

Looking for a top performing budget-priced set of knives for all your kitchen duties? Step right this way

T3 Platinum Award
Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set lifestyle
(Image credit: Stellar)
T3 Verdict

This five piece kitchen knife set with storage block is pretty much all you need for all your kitchen prep duties. If cost is of prime consideration, you might not find a better set of kitchen knives for the money.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Great quality for the price

  • +

    Stupendously comfy handles

  • +

    Very well made

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Nothing to grumble about

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Welcome to our Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set review. This is the first time we’ve ever reviewed Stellar's blades and they've leapt straight into our best chef's knives list. It's a fully-featured collection of practically every knife you’ll ever need for slicing, dicing, paring and carving.

I tested this five-piece set over a two-week break, using them to pare meats, slice a lot of vegetables, cut several loaves of bread and panettone, and carve the obligatory turkey. Even though I knew Stellar produces some of the best saucepan sets and nonstick frying pans, to say I’m impressed by this knife set is an understatement. Read on to find out why.

Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set: price and availability

In the UK, the Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set is available direct from Stellar, priced £125 and, when it’s back in stock, Harts of Stur, where it’s selling for £109.95.

You won’t find this knife set in the USA or Australia but there are plenty more fish to fry on the other side of the waters.

Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set Review: design

Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set on white background

(Image credit: Stellar)

Let me start by saying that this Stellar Poise 5 Piece set is one of the best-value knife collections I’ve come across – £125 really is exceptionally good value for such a well designed and competent selection.

What you get for your 125 spondoolies is a sturdy knife block – made from what looks like pine, with a storage slat cut for each individual knife – a 9cm (3.5”) paring knife, 10cm (4”) utility knife, 15cm (6”) chef’s knife, 20cm (8”) carving knife and a stocky 20cm (8”) bread knife. In other words, every type of kitchen knife you’ll ever need.

Aside from arriving fully sharpened and with no manufacturing blemishes anywhere, what instantly impressed me was the shape and width of the smooth Robert Welch-like black handles. I don’t know what these handle are made from – some kind of resin methinks – but boy are they comfy in the hand. Aside from being much chunkier that many other kitchen knives, it’s their wide triangular shape with gently chamfered edges that make them such a pleasure to use. They’re extremely well balanced, too.

Attention to detail is evident everywhere, from the perfect fit between the bolster and the handle to the cute stainless steel butt button. There is no mention of whether the slim stainless steel blades have a full tang or a partial tang, but at this price who cares? Granted, I’m not sure how well they would stand up to a drop on a tile floor, but time will tell.

Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set Review: features

Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set in the kitchen

(Image credit: Future)

Most high-end kitchen blades are made from VG10 stainless steel, Friodur steel, carbon steel, Damascus steel and other costly variants. Stellar Poise knives are cast from a popular type of stainless steel called X50CrMoV15. According to an interesting article on the Knives and Tools website about the various steels that are used for all types of knives, ‘X50CrMoV15 is the most used type of stainless steel for kitchen knives by, amongst others, German manufacturers. It is a good type of steel for family and professional use where not everyone handles the knives with the same care. The corrosion resistance is very good and the cutting qualities are great.’ 

And if you want to know some really geeky facts, ‘X stands for stainless, 50 for 0.50% carbon and 15 for 15% chromium. This addition of chromium makes the steel stainless. In addition, the steel contains small amounts of Molybdenum(Mo) and Vanadium(V) to improve the grain structure and the wear resistance.’ So there you have it – 102 sage words and all I had to do was copy and paste.

The upshot is that, while these knives may not compete with the likes of Zwilling, TOG, Wusthof and a myriad of premium handmade Japanese blades, they should last a long time as long as they’re kept in tip-top condition using a good-quality honing rod (TOG makes an excellent ceramic model) and occasionally properly sharpened using either a whetstone of something like Robert Welch’s Hand-held Knife Sharpener (hint: fill the chamber with water). 

Stellar offers a Lifetime Guarantee on all the knives in the set. Just don’t put them in the dishwasher even though Stellar says you can.

Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set Review: performance

Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set

(Image credit: Stellar)

Having tested some very, very expensive kitchen knives in the past, most notably those from TOG, Mac, Robert Welch and Zwilling, I was really impressed with how well these knives performed. Their blades are exceedingly sharp and so far they have remained that way after being used extensively over the Christmas period. They have really good balance, too, and as mentioned above, the handles provide excellent grip, especially when cutting through larger vegetables, slicing large loaves of bread or carving a turkey. I especially like the little 3.5-inch paring knife, the classically curved 6” chef’s knife, the 4” utility and the heavyweight feel of the bread knife that cuts perfectly through a Tesco tiger loaf without compressing it into a condensed dough ball.

Since I do not consider myself particularly skilful at kitchen knife use, one of my favourite tests is slicing tomatoes and cucumbers to within an inch of their lives. As was the case with my yardstick model, the exquisite TOG Mini Bunka, the Stellar Poise chef’s knife and four-inch utility knife managed to produce transparently thin slices cut after cut. As is the case with the aforementioned TOG model, I put this down to the narrower spines and the shape of their handles that seem to help align the knife and keep it steady.

Yes, I will always prefer to have a TOG in my hand because, well, it just feels so splendid, looks amazing and cuts so supremely well, but then the TOG costs £240 for just one knife and here you’re getting an entire set of five knives for £115 less!

Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set Review: verdict

The Stellar Poise 5 Piece Knife Block Set proves that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a set of perfectly competent kitchen knives as long as you stick to a trusted manufacturer. This set has exceeded expectations by being seemingly very well made and equipped with decent steels that should last for years if treated with some respect. Highly recommended.

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Derek Adams

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, Delboy etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version – on a typewriter! He now writes for T3 between playing drums with his bandmates in Red Box (redboxmusic).