When I travel with cooking equipment it's usually rather minimal, and I do pack it in my normal luggage, with clothes etc. Both weight and number of pieces of luggage are constrained then. The trick here is to pack flexible things around awkward things. The exception is that a lot of my travel is by camper van, where the cooking stuff is stowed in the kitchen cupboards.
When moving home, or transporting larger quantities to run events it's a different matter. Then I pack it in plastic crates or cardboard boxes, with the fragile things protected against impacts, and sharp knives wrapped in fairly strong fabric of some sort, such as tea towels (dish towels).