Are you looking for a custom made set or a commercially available one? If the latter, you might get more relevant answers on https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/I'm looking for a good kitchen knife set that is not too overpriced. I'm not looking for any crazy features, just good, solid knives that stay sharp and are easy to sharpen when needed.
thank you so much for your suggesitonIf you just want a set of knives that are great bang for the buck, grab a set of Forschner / Victorinox. Probably the best set of starter knives you can buy for not much money. Use them hard and learn what you like and don't like. These knives are perfectly fine, and fantastic for what they cost. Knives are tools like any other. They aren't all the same, and how good something may be is subjective to the user from wholesale kitchen utensils. If those knives give you the bug to get custom handmade knives, you'll be miles ahead because you will already know what you're looking for before you spend a lot of money. That's the key when it comes to handmade knives- knowing exactly what you want, and getting exactly what you wanted.
My first piece of advice is to abandon the idea of a "set". A department store knife set is like going to Sears and buying the "300 piece mechanics tool set" when you start out, before you even know what you need or prefer based on the work you do. Your money is better spent on buying better versions of the specific tools (knives) you will actually use.
The #1 knife in the kitchen is the Chef Knife, either a 6" or 8" version.
The second most used knife is a paring knife or a petty with a 2 - 4 inch blade. I like a 4" because it becomes a do-everything small knife.
Those two knives will do 95% of everything you'll do. After that you begin to specialize based on the kinds of foods you prepare most.
The third knife is where you begin to fill in your gaps. I like a fillet knife next because it's excellent for so many things besides fish. It's perfect for melons (slicing and taking off the rind), fruits, de-boning meats, slicing meats, and any kind of delicate work. Hugely useful knife.
After that I like a long slicer. (roasts, turkeys, watermelons, etc).
Finally some version of a long, cheap, serrated knife for breads and cutting frozen meats, etc. Don't spend a lot on a serrated knife. It's a saw, not a delicate instrument where edge retention and balance are key like a chef's knife. (I say this as a knifemaker- the best cheap serrated knives on planet Earth are Miracle Blades. Yes, the "as seen on TV" knives at 2am with Chef Tony. Walmart carries them. Probably the best $30 you will ever spend, and you'll have a complete set of steak knives, too.)
So, to make a long story short- instead of going out and spending money of a giant set of knives, you can get 2, 3, or 4 high quality knives that will do absolutely everything you need to do. Because you only need 3 or 4 knives you can spend more per knife and end up with a vastly superior "set" that serves your actual needs.
You're probably wondering why you would ever want handmade customs if Forschners are so good. The answer is that they are GREAT FOR THE PRICE. But you will sharpen them... often. You will eventually notice that they don't fit your hand particularly well and your hand gets tired pretty quickly while using them. They don't really balance well and they don't seem to dance when you use them like when you watch chefs on TV. That's what custom gets you, and that costs money. You won't get that from production knives. That is why people (professional chefs) justify the price of handmade customs. It's a much smarter way to spend your money and get much better quality.