When looking for a mid-range kitchen knife set, you don't have to settle for something mundane. Kitchen cutlery sets in the sub-$200 price range have come a long way in the past few years and you can now get a great set at a good price point. When buying knives, it's important to remember that you get what you pay for. While spending more than $100 may seem like a lot of money to some, you have to take into consideration the fact that you're buying a tool you'll be using almost every single day.
A good knife set could quite possibly last you the rest of your life. Buy a cheap set, and you'll be buying another set before you know it. You'll save money in the long run by spending a little bit more money now. Buy one quality set and take care of it, and you'll never have to go shopping for knives again. Once you've gone through a few cheap sets of knives, you'll end up having spent the same amount of money a good set would have cost you, and you'll have nothing to show for it except a few sets of worthless knives.
Using a cheap set of knives in the kitchen can make for a long day. Cheap blades are too dull to slice smoothly and, instead of cutting cleanly through food, they tend to rip and tear their way through the item you're trying to cut. You have to apply more pressure to get through the food and, by the end of the day, you're exhausted from having to exert so much pressure. Couple that with the fact that cheap knives aren't balanced very well, and you have the recipe for a miserable day in the kitchen.
One of the best knife sets with a sub-$200 price point is Anolon knives. They have a few sets on offer that are great sets of knives. Both the Anolon Advanced Classic and the Advanced Bronze are good sets, and will last a long time in taken care of. They feature high-carbon stainless steel blades that have good edge retention with a high level of stain resistance. Don't let the "stainless" in "stainless steel" confuse you. Pretty much every set on the market will stain or rust if left wet and dirty for long periods of time. Even the most expensive knife sets out there can be damaged if they aren't taken care of.
Anolon knives can be purchased as sets, or individually if you only need a couple blade types. Keep in mind that the best deals are offered on knife block sets, and you can sometimes get a whole set for the same price a few knives cost you. I personally recommend finding a set that has all the blades you need in it and purchasing that. You usually get at least 4 steak knives in a block set, which is an added bonus if you eat a lot of meat.
An Anolon knife set will last you a long time if you treat it good. Wash the blades immediately, then return the knives to the block. Keeping them clean and dry will go a long way towards ensuring they last a long time. Buy a set of Anolon cutlery today, and never have to worry about your kitchen cutlery again.