Chef’s knives are perhaps the most important tool that you can have in kitchens, at least when it comes to food preparation and cooking.
They can be used for slicing meat and fish to whatever desired thickness, or chopping and dicing vegetables for a recipe you are preparing.
Heck, they’re even pretty good for cutting and crushing ingredients for baking.
Overall, the message is clear: If you have no other tool to use for cooking in the kitchen, you should at least have a good chef’s knife!
However, this leads to a different problem, and that is one of pricing.
See, with so many makes and manufacturers out there, many prestigious brands can sell these necessary cooking tools at very high prices, often outside many people’s price ranges, well into the triple digits.
It doesn’t matter whether it is a good tool if you can’t even afford it in the first place, after all.
However, this does not mean that you have to spend a pretty penny to get hold of a good chef’s knife. Far from it, in fat!
This guide will help you find the best chef’s knives that money can buy for less than $100, as well as the important details that you should be considering when looking for your own chef’s knife!
Table of Contents
- Our Best Chefs Knife Under $100
- Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Notes
Our Best Chefs Knife Under $100
We’re starting with a heavy hitter, at least when it comes to the world of kitchenware!
Misen is one of the most prestigious names when it comes to luxury goods for the home, especially in and around the kitchen, so they may not be the first option that people think of when it comes to a quality, yet affordable chef’s knife.
However, that is exactly what they have done with this particular 8-inch professional kitchen knife!
The blade is perfectly balanced and evenly distributed to be easy to handle and use in the kitchen by anyone, and that’s certainly the case.
Plus, the overall design means that, like any good chef knife, it can be used to chop up pretty much anything!
Plus, that premium steel design isn’t just for looks, either.
The type of steel used here is designed to not only stand up to punishment but also keep that sharpness for longer than its competitors.
And, of course, it is relatively affordable too. It’s the whole package deal!
- A dependable knife that can be used for many different food items, from vegetables to meats.
- The handle is great to hold onto, even when wet!
- The AICHI AUS-10 steel is both more durable than its competitors and holds its sharp edge better too.
- A very reasonably priced knife from a well-respected manufacturer.
- If you do need to sharpen it eventually, you may find that the blade tends to need a lot of work to get the desired cutting power.
J.A. Henckels is another name that many people who know their cutlery and cooking tool providers will be aware of, with this German-based company being one of the oldest in the world, being founded in 1731.
That’s plenty of experience when it comes to manufacturing premium items, and perhaps one of the best and most surprising places to see that experience on full display in this particular product, a classic 8-inch chef’s knife.
Made from a fully forged German steel blade, the transition from the blade to the handle (itself well-built and securely tightened to the metal of the blade) means that you have a level of dexterity and control that you can often struggle with getting from knives of this size.
Henckels almost makes it look easy with this particular product!
That well-forged steel isn’t there just to look shiny, either.
It’s made from a high-quality alloy that gives this blade durability and reliability that dully demonstrates why J.A. Henckels has stayed in business for this long!
Overall, a comfortable handle, strong and reliable materials, and an especially affordable price tag make this knife an easy recommendation in our eyes.
- The blade is made of a sharp, tough steel blade that is sure to stand up to tons of punishment.
- The handle feels good to hold and control.
- A very reasonably priced item from a prestigious manufacturer.
- While the blade is often more than sharp enough, you may find that food often sticks to the blade.
If you’re looking for a chef knife design that is going to be easy for anyone to use, then you can’t go wrong with Zwilling’s Twin Signature chef knife!
Like with the Henckel blade we covered before, we particularly love this knife’s ability to maneuver easily while cutting a food item, something that is trickier in these larger blades.
And with this being an 8-inch blade, that combination of size and ease of use allows this item to tackle more food, meaning that you’ll be able to prepare your food for cooking or serving just that little bit quicker.
Plus, with an edge that is resistant to water, dulling, and even chipping, it’s a knife that is also going to be usable for years to come, which is another aspect that affordable products can struggle with.
All while the knife itself feels great to use too. Adding one of these knives to your pantry is a great investment.
- This knife is both large, and very light, making it a very easy product to use.
- The blade can resist plenty of wear-and-tear
- The blade handle also feels comfortable to hold, great for repeated using
- While the lightweight design makes it easier to use, that lack of weight also reduces its overall cutting power, especially as the blade dulls.
Imarku might be a relative newcomer to the world of high-quality knife and kitchenware products, but that hasn’t stopped them from making some truly exceptional items.
Case in point, their trademark chef’s knife, is an excellent take on a classic 8-inch chef knife.
Immediately, this chef’s knife grabs your eye.
The rounded wooden handle, which might otherwise not be a great design in terms of fitting into a cook’s hand, instead fits like a glove, with the curve of the handle going along the 8-inch blade’s spine.
This leads to quite an impressive level of control and leverage, especially when applying a little extra pressure to a food item that you might be preparing.
Plus, while the blade is by no means heavy, it’s certainly large and has enough weight to easily glide through most items when applied to them.
Not only that, with a corrosion-proof layer on top of the metal, you’ll find that you can even avoid rust building up over time too!
All these little details add up in a big way over time, which is why we’re recommending this blade in the first place!
- The high-carbon stainless steel chef knife is more durable and sharper than many standard knives in this price bracket!
- The handle design feels comfortable to hold while giving you plenty of balance to the 8-inch blade.
- Able to cut up plenty of varied food items with no trouble.
- This product is also rust and corrosion-resistant!
- This knife has been reported by customers to come in many states, some too dull, others too sharp. Be careful when unpacking.
If you thought that Imarku was a new name on the culinary block, then you’ve seen nothing yet!
The manufacturer for this next item, Made In, is a company based in Austin, Texas, and was established only 6 years ago in 2016, making it by far the youngest company on this list.
Don’t let this newcomer fool you, however, as this is a manufacturer that means business, and is set to become a very big name in the future. If this 8-inch knife is any indication, at least!
Made from a single sheet of steel, this design aspect gives this Made In knife a very tough design that is unlikely to chip or snap, especially when looking at how the spine of the blade is incorporated into the handle.
In short, if you love to be at the cutting edge (pun entirely intended) with your kitchenware, check out this product!
- This knife is made from a single piece of stainless steel, making it unlikely to bend, break or chip when it is used.
- The handle design fits easily into your palm, making it easier to control and use.
- The knife has a timeless look to it. Very good for displaying on a metal knife rack!
- The market value for this blade fluctuates quite a lot. It may be quite expensive on certain sites while being cheaper on others, so shop with caution.
If we want to talk about striking knife designs, then Global’s 7-inch has to be at the top of the list!
With a handle design that looks as good as it feels, this is a blade that you’ll have no trouble directing and using for yourself.
Adding to that ease of control is the slightly shorter blade size, at only 7 inches long.
While this may mean that some larger foods are off the menu (for chopping at least), this does mean that you won’t have any trouble getting very precise cuts out of your food.
That metal handle that looks and feels great is part of the knife itself, which has been forged from a solid piece of special stainless steel.
This combination of a single metal piece with no extras bolted on, as well as the specific alloy used, makes the blade incredibly tough to use, allowing it to last for potentially years!
If presentation and precision are something you prize in your items, then this is absolutely a blade that you should check out.
- The metal handle allows for a comfortable grip that is safe and looks great.
- The single blade and handle design mean there is no point where the knife can easily bend or break from.
- Safe for washing in water.
- While the handle of the blade feels great for smaller hands, you may find that it’s a little too small for some people.
This is a pretty big factor that people will be able to understand for themselves.
Chef’s knives usually come in many sizes, with the most common being:
- 6 inch
- 7 Inch
- 8 Inch
There are merits for one size over others. Larger knives can tackles larger foods much easier, making cooking and preparation a much quicker process.
However, shorter knives are often much better when it comes to precise control, which can be a pretty big factor if a recipe or food requires finer precision.
Of course, there are exceptions to these rules. It is possible to find smaller chef’s knives that are 5 inches or fewer, and larger blades can be made lighter by using different materials or being made thinner.
While everyone wants a knife that is durable and won’t snap in half at the drop of a hat, it can’t be overstated how important it is to find a knife that can stand up to years of punishment, especially if you’re trying to save money.
That old saying ‘It’s expensive to be poor’ is very true for kitchenware items like chef’s knives too.
After all, if it costs $40 to buy a chef’s knife every 2 years, you’ll find that you’ll quickly outspend yourself, compared to if you bought a $100 knife that will last you 10.
The math kind of hurts to think about if you ponder it for too long, but the bottom line is this: A knife that doesn’t have to be replaced means less spending on replacements, so get a knife that is tough enough to handle years of use without breaking, chipping or bending!
There are plenty of factors that can affect a chef knife’s durability, from the thickness of the blade, to what type of alloy is used in the blade, so if the knife was made from a single with no obvious point of weakness.
Weight has a pretty big effect on a chef knife’s overall durability and ease of use.
Knives that are not as heavy will often be much easier to make precision cuts with, which allows even larger knives to be used with ease, as well as making them easier to sharpen yourself.
However, this weight usually comes at a cost, as these blades are more likely to chip, snap, or otherwise break in a shorter amount of time, seriously compromising their long-term durability.
Not only that, but the weight of a blade can affect how easy it is to cut with it, which can help compensate for a duller blade.
Ease Of Cleaning/Sharpening
This factor in particular can be a difficult one to balance with durability.
Not only can knives that aren’t easy to clean be difficult to keep tough and usable, but you’ll also find that an exceedingly tough blade can be a pain to try to grind and sharpen, either needing tons of work if it’s too hard or needing to frequently sharpen it if it is too soft.
Finding that balance between the two is crucial.
Sheathing or properly storing a chef’s knife serves 2 main purposes:
- It protects the blade from ear-and-tear, as it stops them from simply being stored with other kitchenware that can wear it down as the knife is scraped against them in a storage cupboard.
- It also prevents accidental injuries from occurring from handling it. Chef’s knives are one of the biggest causes of serious accidents and injuries in kitchens, so making sure it is safe to use is critical.
Make sure that the chef knife you are purchasing either comes with a case or sheath to store it in, or comes with a magnetic knife rack to store it on.
If not, a separately purchased magnetic rack will do.
Frequently Asked Questions
While chef knives can cut many different foods, you should avoid trying to prepare bonier food items with a standard chef’s knife.
Keep these tips in mind when trying to exercise safety with knives:
– Do not store them loosely in a drawer with other kitchenware.
– Make sure to sharpen regularly.
– Make sure to cut on a stable surface.
– Always keep your eye on the blade, and only keep it pointed down when moving around with it.
As you can see, price is no obstacle when it comes to finding a good chef’s knife for your needs!
All you need to do now is pick one for your kitchen!