You don't want to spend a ton of money on an expensive knife. This is why you're looking for the best chef's knives under 100 dollars.
The problem is that most people don't understand the difference between a cheap knife and an affordable chef knife.
If you've ever purchased a cheap knife, then you know how disappointing it can be when they break or become dull after only a few uses.
Cheap chef's knives are not worth your time and money. You need a good knife that is inexpensive and gets the job done.
Let’s look for the best affordable chef's knife.
Our Top Chef's Knives Under $100
Shinobu Chef's Knife
The first chef's knife on the list is the Shinobu Knife by Kutt. This particular knife is exceptionally reasonably priced and can be found for less than $40. This knife is good enough to be a professional-grade knife, despite its inexpensive nature.
They make the knife of German carbon steel mixed with carbon, chrome, and vanadium, resulting in a remarkably light and strong blade.
They form the handle from pakkawood (a wood/resin composite), which gives the knife excellent balance and impressive durability.
The Shinobu is wear-resistant, tough, and versatile enough to use with any cuisine.
- The sharp knife feels like it is an extension of your arm - it lets you mince, chop, slice, and dice with ease.
- Equally adept at making simple dishes or in high-end Asian, European, or American cuisine.
- Undoubtedly, the best value for the price on the list.
- It comes with a free knife sharpener and cleaning cloth.
- Kutt is a lesser-known brand than others. If showing off is your thing, this may not be the knife for you. If having the best performer in your kitchen is your thing, this knife is just right.
931 Chef’s Knife
This 8-inch Chef’s Knife by Buck is also well-priced at $65 and is worth the investment.
The 931 Knife is made of heat-treated American HC420 high carbon steel, which makes it impressively durable for its price.
The 8-inch chef's knife comes with a rosewood handle (handwash only) or one made from "PaperStone," which is dishwasher safe.
This knife has a long edge life but is still easy to resharpen.
- Lifetime warranty to be free of defects in both material and workmanship.
- Some of the best edge-retention of any knife on the list.
- Graceful handle design with a smooth, satiny blade finish.
- Not as sharp out of the box as some other affordable chef's knives on the list
J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef's Knife
The J.A. Henckels International is an exceptional German stainless steel knife for its price of around $65.
Although the knife is assembled in Spain, the blade is German high-carbon stainless steel, which is remarkably durable.
The J.A. Henckels chef’s knife has a triple-riveted handle that adds weight to the knife when compared to others.
Although some may see this as a negative, others may prefer the heft and feel of this solid knife.
For the price of this Henckels knife, the German high-carbon stainless steel is highly durable and performs well time after time.
- Evenly balanced and easy to handle, but solid enough to power through any tough cutting tasks.
- An exceptionally sharp high-carbon stainless steel blade, it cuts veggies and meat like butter.
- J.A. Henckels is an old-world brand with steel that has been tested through time and is known for producing high-quality knives with a sharp blade.
- The top edge/spine may be sharper than you are used to. Take care when placing your fingers along the spine.
The Dalstrong Chef's Knife is a masterfully crafted and well-priced knife at $79.99.
The blade is high-carbon German steel, making it strong, resistant to corrosion, and quite sturdy. The knife has a hand-polished edge that ensures ease of use and precision when cutting or slicing.
"A kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen." - Masaharu Morimoto, chef
It has a Premium G10 Garolite handle that is triple-riveted to accommodate this full tang knife, smooth and ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand.
The knife has a good weight, making it feel like it can easily cut through vegetables or meat. It is durable and sturdy and will give you a lot for your money when purchasing a chef's knife.
- Precision-forged German steel to ensure durability and ease of use.
- Provides easy control while also feeling substantial in your hand.
- It comes with a sheath to protect the blade's integrity.
- May dull more quickly than some other chef’s knives and require more frequent sharpening. However, it resharpens easily and takes on a razor's edge.
Shun Sora Chef's Knife
Shun's Sora Chef’s Knife is on the higher end of our price spectrum at $90 but is worth the investment.
The blade of this Japanese steel chef knife is composed of a 3-layer composite cutting edge that has an exterior layer of stainless steel. It will cut through anything with ease and will last for years to come.
This knife has a traditional Japanese handle design that is made of an easy to care for, yet ergonomically accommodating textured, PP/TPE blend.
The knife is durable and rust-resistant while being easy to clean and maintain.
- Extremely sharp (and stays that way) and remarkably light Japanese stainless steel kitchen knives
- The traditional handle has a comfortable grip, so your hand never gets tired
- Durable even with heavy (professional) use
- Not dishwasher safe, hand wash only
Global G-4, 7-inch Chef’s Knife
At the top end of our price range, the Global G-4, 7-inch Chef’s Knife is a knife that will give you your money’s worth at around $100.
The Japanese steel of this knife contains a proprietary mixture of molybdenum, vanadium, and chromium. This provides superior cutting edge retention and razor-like sharpness.
The knife has a stainless steel handle molded for comfort and flexibility while cutting.
The dimpled handle ensures a safe grip when handling the knife, even if wet or soapy.
The Global G-4 has excellent weight and balance due to its handle being filled with sand, and the blade will last you for years to come.
- It slices cleanly and stays sharp even with heavy use.
- Solid, well-balanced construction for this Japanese-style chef’s knife with a stainless steel handle.
- Light as a feather, so you will find yourself chopping vegetables quickly all day long.
- The blade may have difficulty cutting through bone - they design it to surgically separate rather than crush.
MAC Knife Series Hollow Edge Chef's Knife
The MAC Knife Series Hollow Edge 8 inch Chef's Knife is a superior chef's knife for around $94.
The full tang blade of the 8-inch chef's knife by MAC is high-quality molybdenum alloy steel, which will keep your edges sharp and your cuts precise.
The original handle design of this 8-inch chef's knife is made mostly of pakkawood that is lightweight yet ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand.
This knife is incredibly easy to clean, not taking much more than a quick wipe with a cloth and some warm water. The handle of this knife is non-slip and comfortable.
- Exceptional sharpness - slices tomatoes like a dream.
- The 8-inch chef's knife is easy to hone and resharpen.
- Superior balance prevents fatigue during food preparation.
- A lightweight knife that may not be the best knife for cutting bones or squash.
When looking for a knife, even for the best chef's knife under $100, there are some things a buyer should consider .
Be aware that price does not always equate to quality. The best chef's knives are not always the most expensive.
You can find a solid knife at many different price points. Thus, it is important to look at elements such as quality in the steel and knife construction.
Any knife you buy should be able to take the abuse of regular duty in your kitchen.
You want the handle to hold up to wear and tear, so you should look for elements that hold the handle on firmly.
The blade on a good knife also should be made of high-quality materials, be rust-resistant, and be able to withstand daily work and cleaning without breaking or chipping.
Without a doubt, the best knives will feel good in your hands.
You never want your grip to be awkward, so the handle should have a good grip, whether it is ergonomically designed or not.
The knife should fit comfortably into your hand without causing cramping or strain on your fingers or wrist.
Additionally, since having the knife slip from your hand can result in injury, it is important to look for a grip that is non-slip, even when wet.
The weight of the knife tends to be a very personal preference. Some people prefer something heavy that seems substantial, while others like a lighter weight for quick slicing.
The knife should have some weight to it, but if it's too heavy, you may get tired quickly while cooking. So pick one that feels good in your hand and doesn’t cause fatigue.
The best knives have an even balance. In fact, an evenly balanced knife will feel like an extension of your arm.
You’ll know you have a good balance when you can manipulate it easily, even with one hand. It will slice through ingredients efficiently and require less effort.
While this may seem trivial, some knives are very aesthetically pleasing, while others could stand an upgrade.
Choose a good chef’s knife that you like the appearance of, as this will be one tool with which you do much of your work.
Different knives come with different knife curves, edge geometries, and angles that result in different sharpness levels.
This is particularly true when comparing Japanese-style knives to Western knives.
The best Japanese chef’s knife will have a very sharp edge compared to a Wusthof classic knife or other German classic chef’s knife.
A sharp knife is safer than a dull one, but a change in edge or blade shape can throw even a seasoned chef.
"Having sharp, great knives will enable you to cook very precisely. Knife skills are essential in cooking."
- Eric Ripert, Chef
You should be aware of how different knives are designed and how they function so that you can avoid injury. Stamped blade vs. forged knives, classic chef knife vs. santoku knife, full tang vs. partial - they all impact the safety and function of the blade. It especially applies to the santoku knife.
What Brand of Knives Do Professional Chefs Prefer?
Let's start by saying that there is no single answer to this question. Every professional chef has their own favorite professional knife brand, and that favorite may change depending on if you are talking about their boning knife, utility knife, or paring knife.
Moreover, since these are the essential tools of their trade, professionals are not afraid to spend money on their knives. This is one of the reasons why they tend to go for expensive brands.
However, certain professional knives are known by chefs to be of high quality.
These brands include German knives such as Wusthof forged knives, Zwilling J.A. Henckels, Messermeister. German stainless steel has been the hallmark of a high-quality chef’s knife for many years.
Professionals also increasingly use Japanese knives from professional chef’s knife makers like Masahiro, Masamoto, Takamura, Shun, and Misono. The forged blades and full tang of a Japanese knife with a razor-sharp edge are hard to argue against.
Whether the professional prefers a Japanese-style knife or a German classic knife remains an individual preference, which is why there are so many knives on the market.
What Knife Does Gordon Ramsay Use?
The television show "Hell's Kitchen" star uses J.A. Henckels and Wusthof classic knives.
Although he prefers these German brands like the aforementioned Wusthof knife, he stops short of recommending them to everyone. Instead, he says that before purchasing a blade, you should "hold it in your hand and see if it feels right for you" .
What Knife Does Anthony Bourdain Recommend?
The host of many popular television shows, including "No Reservations" and "The Layover," Anthony Bourdain had a Global G-2 eight-inch knife as his "go-to.”
In fact, he was a proponent of having a minimal knife footprint in the kitchen. He felt a single knife could do the vast majority of jobs, so all you need is that blade and not a ton of kitchen knives.
While he did recommend the Global, Bourdain also thought you should hold a knife in your hand before purchasing it - and get one that seems comfortable to you.
Best Chef Knife Under $100
After reviewing all the knives that were contenders for the best chef's knife under 100, the Shinobu Chef Knife came out as my clear favorite for the best affordable knife. I think it is the right chef’s knife for most people.
Shinobu Knives are designed to be comfortable, sharp, and durable.
They will help you prepare meals faster than ever before with their ergonomic design and superior craftsmanship.
You can use them for years without having to worry about replacing them because they’re built to last.
Plus, they come at an affordable price so everyone can enjoy professional-grade cutlery without breaking the bank.
This is the best chef’s knife for people of all skill levels - whether you’re a beginner or an expert chef.
With this affordable knife at your disposal, there's nothing stopping you from creating delicious meals every day.
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