A chef knife is indispensable for professional chefs as well as for seasoned home cooks. The right kitchen knife makes all the difference when cooking and makes your culinary journey a breeze. Slicing, chopping, dicing, and mincing, this essential tool should feel like a natural extension of your hand, with a comfortable grip and great balance.
Preferences and individual needs vary and finding the perfect chef’s knife is a personal quest. Sturdiness, reliability, and ease of use are obvious qualities to look for when choosing a knife, as well as considering the best price for you.
Our guide outlines and showcases affordable chef knives in different categories. Whether you’re a passionate chef or a cooking enthusiast, there is a knife available for you.
Best chef knives under 50
Many might think that true chef’s knives have to be expensive but there are great economical options available. As we feel cooking should be accessible to everyone, we have outlined a selection of the best chef knives under 50$ without compromising on performance, sturdiness, or quality.
This lightweight knife with European steel blade is durable and sturdy with great performance. The tapered knife edge is ground in two directions which makes it easy to sharpen when needed. The ergonomic handle is slip-resistant and the texture provides a comfortable and stable grip. Victorinox is Swiss-made and has produced high quality kitchen utensils since 1884. We would like to point out that the price was under 50 at the time of writing this article because it was discounted.
Mercer always delivers affordable knives and this set is crafted with high-carbon Japanese steel and razor sharp blades that last. The ergonomic handles have textured finger points and a non-slip grip for added comfort, durability, and safety. We like this white collection and the economical price for this set of two quality knives makes it even more attractive.
Henckels uses high-quality German stainless steel. This knife is perfect for precision cutting and there is a natural transition from blade to handle. Henckel makes dishwasher safe knives but we still recommend hand washing for long lasting sharpness.
Best Japanese chef knives under 100
Japanese knives have become increasingly popular this century. The reason is due to unique qualities such as hard carbon steel material, razor sharp blades, and the construction of the knives. Another feature is the single-edge design, meaning sharpening the knife is only needed on one side compared to western-style knives with double edges which require sharpening on both sides of the knife.
Although very different from Western knives, the best Japanese chef knives in the world might be designed for specific tasks, but they will always deliver restaurant-quality cuts.
Slicing freshly caught fish for sashimi or to make sushi, cutting vegetables finely in different shapes are only a few of the possibilities.
Because these knives have become increasingly popular we have searched a variety of the best Japanese knives under $100
The 2mm blade is rust-resistant and the price is as sharp as the exceptionally sharp blade, made out of high carbon. This knife features a Pakka wood handle which feels comfortable in the hand and the hollowed notches on the blade make cutting effortless and avoids food sticking to the blade. Hand washing is recommended as this brand is not dishwasher safe.
Santoku knives are becoming increasingly popular and this good looking Damascus pattern is a technology that uses 32 layers of different stainless steel. The knife is extremely lightweight with only 158g. A great choice of knife if you need some design.
Another Japanese lightweight chef knife with a sharp all-purpose blade for chopping, slicing, dicing, or cutting fish, meat, and vegetables. This knife is made of Japanese damascus VG-10 steel core of which each part is hand ground by professionals. The octagonal natural rosewood handle is very strong with strong stability, moisture-proof and durable. Any knife can be offered as a meaningful gift, especially to foodies, but this one comes in an elegant magnetic gift box to add a luxurious look.
We just love global knives for their sharpness, the way they are made, durability, and easy handling, even for people with small hands.
Best German chef knives
German knives are still on top of the list and the preferred knife choice for professional chefs and home cooks. Most brands are made in Solingen which has long been the global hub of cutlery craftsmanship for centuries. The best German steel chef knives are made by artisans, skilled with centuries of expertise. Quality and durability are exceptional thanks to the time-honoured hand-crafted technique that was passed down from generation to generation.
World wide known German knife manufacturers are Wüsthof and Zwilling. Wüsthof keeps excelling in knife production although they are still a family-owned business while Zwilling is the result of a fusion with Staub cast iron and Demeyere cookware.
Wusthof stands for quality and they call this knife a workhorse. The synthetic handle allows a good grip. Chef knives from the Wusthof brand feel a little heavier than most other brands, but they are sturdy, sharp, and well balanced with a thin blade that cuts smoothly through the hardest vegetables. The long blade of this model has a full bolster and finger guard allows safe cutting. Vertical indentations on the blade push food off the blade and reduce friction and grade during cutting. Whether you choose a paring knife, chef knife, carving knife or boning knife, at Wusthof you will always find a reliable piece of cutlery. This specific knife has been designed in collaboration with Le Cordon Bleu culinary school where I was a culinary instructor for over five years.
This sigma forge knife is forged from a single piece of solid steel of which the blade is ice-hardened to stay sharper for longer with superior resilience. We like that the knife is delivered with a knife sharpener of good quality that is easy to use for different knives with both, western and asian style blades. The quality of Zwilling is backed with a lifetime guarantee.