How significant do you believe a chef knife is for a cook? To be honest, it is like a foundation or a pillar of the kitchen. Without such a workhorse, a home cook or a chef finds it difficult to rule the culinary domain.
Of course, who would not love to own an expensive, high-end featured one that professionals utilize daily? Well, not everyone has the budget to get around it.
So, let us not get too ahead of ourselves but stay on the course for the best chef knife under 100.
After scouring through many brands, we think the mentioned items have the most chances of winning our hearts. Are you ready to dive in?
10 Best Chef Knife Under 100 USD:
Do not rush yourself to get the first thing you like. Let us not forget that every product is different in quality, durability, and the result each carries out. Hence, choose wisely!
1. Mac Knife Series Hollow Edge Chef’s Knife, 8-Inch, 8 Inch, Silver
There is no way the user can point out a feature that has been imposed negatively in this product because there is none.
It is a favorite one among the professionals as well as the home cooking experts. The reason is the satisfaction it delivers with each razor-sharp cutting experience.
We can say it is for that reason alone turns out to be one of the expensive chef knives from our list. But if you want it to last, it cannot hurt to spend a little more than necessary, can it?
The first thing you will notice right away is the hollow edge design on the blade. Some may even know them as little holes that serve as air pockets.
These air pockets will make sure the food you slice or dice do not allow the ingredients to stick on the blade. Whether you a novice or an expert, we have all been through that sticky mess!
Maybe that is one of the reasons we think many people prefer store-bought food instead of preparing one himself/herself.
However, you will not have to face such an issue with this Mac chef knife. The further sturdy design makes it all the more impressive. Those with small hands can benefit a lot from this 8-inch knife.
While the blade is exceptionally slim and super sharp, it is also rust-resistant due to the high-grade material construction. The unit is made from original Molybdenum steel for better edge retention.
This type of steel attributes plenty of advantages to a user who is in constant need of knife usage in the kitchen. It makes the blade resistant to acids like citrus.
As for the handle, the Pakkawood handle with three rivets to keep the full tang in place ensures outstanding balance during cutting! We highly recommend this product.
2. Shun Sora Chef’s Knife, 8 Inch, Cutlery Handcrafted in Japan, VB0706, Black
Are you an entry-level cook seeking a professional looking chef knife? Well, look no further, for Shun Sora brings to you one that has been handcrafted in Japan.
It is probably the only knife in the collection that comes at such a reasonable price. Let us tell you beforehand that it may not have all the extravagant qualities as higher-end knives.
However, it is an ideal choice for a person who is willing to learn from scratch and mistakes. The blade is sharp enough to cut through thick objects, which says something about its performance.
Although it has nothing to do with the quality, we love the style and appearance this knife represents. Its sleek and sharp design will aid you towards flavorful cutting skill from a newbie into a moderate learner.
The handcrafted blade has the material of various steel composition for durability as long as possible. It is honed by hands to preserve the ease of slicing through ingredients.
Plus, the whole blade has to undergo heat treatment in order to ensure a finer edge. It also extends the blade sharpness to last longer. What we liked the most is the VG10 steel core and the fact that it is highly resilient to stain.
The handle, on the other hand, derives from the traditional Japanese black textured look. As comfortable as it is, the handle contains only one rivet, and the tang ends partially around the bolster.
So despite all the wonderful qualities and features included in this Shun Sora chef knife, it still has a higher risk of breaking apart after an accidental drop.
3. Zwilling J.A. Henckels 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, 8 Inch, Black
If there was a word for perfection and superb quality combined in one, we would be using that to describe this chef knife. Yes, it is of the utmost quality, manufactured in Germany.
This chef knife is forged from single-piece solid steel. It, as a result, delivers high precision and balance. The flawless geometry of the product ensures excellent cutting edge retention that lasts longer than other chef knives.
What we loved most regarding this J. A. Henckels knife is the incredible bolster power. It is also one of the reasons, besides the super sharp blade, why many chefs have suggested this product.
Now we cannot ignore such praise, right? Plus, if you are willing to spend a little more, it will not disappoint you in the least! Of course, these are not the only reasons to opt for it.
It comes with a full tang; thus, immeasurable stability without any chipping. As the super bolster meets the polypropylene handle, you achieve an enhanced grip formation that is non-slippery.
Moreover, the handle even has a stainless steel end cap with the brand logo engraved on it. The cap offers additional balance, hence, a safer operation when a beginner uses it.
Now, the blade material contains high carbon that affirms the blade’s resilience towards stains or rust. Besides, the Friodur ice-hardening treatment further improves the resistance to corrosion and pitting.
It is hand-honed to preserve the sharpness for the long term. The seamless and consistent blade angle by the laser makes it all the more attractive and delivers an excellent blade angle.
Although it is perfectly safe for dishwasher use, we still think hand washing is the best way to extend its lifespan. This chef knife is, overall, a dream come true for a person who has to deal with a lot of cutting, dicing, and slicing in the kitchen.
4. Global G-4-7 inch 18cm Oriental Chef’s Knife
Here is another outstanding chef knife that is lightweight but performs like a pro when utilized. It even costs less, so a beginner who wishes to own a high-end knife within budget will greatly benefit from it.
Moreover, this knife length is a piece of good news for people with small hands. It is 7-inch in length and balances precisely when using. We understand how some users have difficulty brandishing the tool in the kitchen.
However, the handle of this product ensures excellent grip for big or small-handed cooks everywhere! This handle is made from stainless steel that comes with molded dimples.
It provides perfect grip and prevents accidental slipping of the hand. Consequently, the user will actually enjoy holding it and apply the blade towards cutting, slicing, and dicing.
As for the blade quality, it has a considerable amount of carbon and is made with high-tech molybdenum and vanadium stainless steel. It meets the steel handle by the thick junction/bolster.
So not only do you get a razor-sharp chef knife but also have something bold in your amateur kitchen. This product from the G-series of Global has the advantage of one-piece construction; the tip of the blade to the end of the handle.
The blade is capable of retaining the sharp edge for quite a long time. This is why a lot of users have praised it for being exceptional. Plus, you will not have to worry about any loose rivets, sudden breakage near the bolster at all.
We highly recommend it to everyone looking for a quality chef knife to utilize or gift.
5. DALSTRONG Chef Knife – Gladiator Series – w/Sheath (6” Chef Knife)
Anybody in the world of culinary arts has fair knowledge about how popular DALSTRONG is. Thanks to its excellent craftsmanship, almost all knives, including this one, have won many hearts.
Though some may have had mixed views regarding the edge retention, it is still considered one of the best ones in the market. The blade has the most convenient design that people find flexible to cut.
It does not matter if you are a hard learner or a skilled cook; this knife from the Gladiator series satisfies the needs of chopping, dicing, slicing, and more. The blade is made from German steel with a high carbon in its presence.
Next, it is further hand-polished at a certain angle to maintain sharpness. So, due to the high-grade material structure, the blade will not stain even after many years of use.
Most importantly, the full tang, 56+ Rockwell hardness, and the ergonomic handle altogether make it a distinctive chef knife. There will be hardly any resistance when slicing your favorite salad.
This handle is crafted from the black pakkawood with triple rivets to keep the tang in place firmly. It is further polished and laminated to prevent germs and mold build-up.
If you are a busy cook in the kitchen, restaurant, or in-home, this might change your pace up to speed. It is reliable at the first grip, which will not slip even from a wet hand.
The product is 6-inch, a little smaller than standard chef knife length. Nonetheless, the thing is sharp, easy to maintain, better knuckle clearance, and almost perfect at an affordable price.
We say almost perfect because the user will require constant honing of the blade. It is still an incredible catch for everyday use, in our opinion.
6. Global 8” Chef’s Knife
Here is another chef knife by Global that has made it to our top ten products. Though it is almost identical in appearance to the previous one by the brand, the quality differs greatly.
First of all, this product is an 8-inch knife. Thus, the user achieves lesser frictions when slicing delicate foods. Secondly, it is very lightweight despite the long length it delivers.
Finally, the handle is what we actually loved the most. It is entirely stainless steel and blends easily into the knife to make the unit a one-piece.
Some may question the grip quality, but we assure you that it provides a surprisingly firm hold. The molded dimples on the handle prevent the blade from slipping. So even if your hands are wet from washing, it is perfectly safe to use.
As for the bolster, it is not visible on the knife. However, the handle and the end of the blade meets at a distance to ensure your knuckles are safe.
We still think that a thick bolster addition on this knife could have been much better. Now the blade quality, on the other hand, is engineered from molybdenum and vanadium stainless steel.
These are the same materials used to make the other chef knife by Global. However, it somehow lacks edge retention, so you will have to sharpen it more than required.
That is why some users have found it dissatisfactory at this price range. Plus, it is heavy compared to similar knives we have reviewed here. Therefore, if you cannot handle a hefty knife, this might not be for you.
7. Chef Knife Professional 8-Inch Kitchen Knife and Knife Sharpener, X50CrMoV15
A lot of chefs or cooks are unaware of this low-budgeted chef knife with premium quality features. So it is unlikely for a beginner cook to have any knowledge in regards to this brand.
Frankly, this product by Aroma House silently rose up to fame when no one else was looking. Therefore, it certainly deserves a place on our respectful list as well.
It has a unique yet traditional look to it. As a result, many chefs have found it irresistible to ignore. Why should you be the exception? But the appearance is not the only point for its appeal.
The 8-inch knife is perfectly balanced due to the length of the blade matching equally to the handle and bolster weight. It has a military-grade polymer pakkawood handle, which is very comfortable to work with.
There is zero chance of slip-off, and wielding it will not cause any fatigue in your hand or wrist. Consequently, the user can apply it for multipurpose use, starting from various forms of chopping, dicing, and mincing as well.
The blade offers a tapered bolster with a full tang feature. Thus, you do not worry about the durability of the blade at all. And the blade is excellently crafted from high-carbon German steel.
This means it is capable of retaining the blade for as long as possible and fights against rust. Just be sure to wash the knife after each use, that is all.
It has a double-edged design to allow both left and right-handed users to utilize it with ease. The knife is a beauty to behold as you purchase it the first time.
8. imarku Chef Knife – Pro Kitchen Knife 8 Inch
This is a chef knife that you can apply to many food ingredients, from bread to raw meat. The multipurpose use of this product makes it a favorite to many beginners.
As a matter of fact, it is highly regarded for any users with a keen interest in culinary lessons. The blade does seem a little plain, but we think that is what makes it more elegant.
In other words, its minimal design with terrific features allows you to operate without feeling tired. The construction of the blade boasts highly of carbon with German-engineered stainless steel.
This alone shows how sturdy the product will feel in your hand. Plus, it comes with the Rockwell hardness of about 56 to 58, which describes that the user can heavily depend on the knife every day in the kitchen.
However, we do suggest not to utilize it on hard foods since the hardness is not as high as expected. It does not have the potential to chip or anything, but should we not be careful instead of being unaware?
This stamped blade is sharp right from the start, though. It is lightweight and resists both rust and corrosion effectively. So the design of the blade allows you to apply it for chopping, dicing, slicing, mincing with adaptable strength.
Another beautiful part of this 8-inch knife is the African pakkawood shaft handle. It is quite ergonomic to hold, and the resin-treated overall body makes it impervious to wet substances.
Besides, the handle fits pretty comfortably into your palm, that there is no chance of slipping. Not only does the thick bolster incorporating the handle and the blade provide stability, but it also ensures profuse space for knuckle safety.
Imarku chef knife is a well-constructed kitchen tool for anybody who is seeking something within budget. Moreover, no one can ignore the fine attributes it delivers during operations.
9. J.A. Henckels International 31161-201 CLASSIC Chef’s Knife, 8 Inch, Black
Let us introduce you to another J. A Henckels chef knife that is 8-inch, a perfectly suitable tool for an in-home cook. However, how is this different from the other product of the same brand?
Although this knife is pretty standard, looking at first glance, it is large enough to prepare any food items. The first things a consumer typically looks for are the design, sharpness, handle, and weight.
As long as these four features complement one another, you are good to go. Nevertheless, some might have a few points off here and there due to the different material or manufacturing methods.
So, we have to admit that we were a little disheartened at the quality of the blade. Usually, all Henckels knives boast immensely of robustness and performance.
Unfortunately, this one somewhat missed that opportunity to shine amidst the rest despite the German stainless steel construction. It tends to oxidize if not maintained properly.
What we liked about the knife, though, is the versatile ways of using it in the kitchen. The blade edge retains the sharpness for as long as possible. Plus, it is lightweight and pretty well balanced to steer when cutting or dicing.
Another great thing about the unit is the full tang feature with a traditional handle. It comes with triple rivets to ensure firm attachment of the blade against the shaft.
The bolster, on the other hand, is a little short for a chef knife but thick enough to prevent unexpected accidents. Now the overall design is pretty impressive for a chef knife at this cost.
Nevertheless, at some point, the edges are prone to chip, according to several users.
10. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, 8-Inch
What is the best way to make sure a chef knife has a longer life span? The answer is cleaning it as advised and honing it regularly. While some knives hardly need constant sharpening, others might not.
So in which category does Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef knife fall? It is a tough call, honestly. However, we can tell that it is a decent product that will not let you down.
It is an 8-inch blade that shows integrity in the kitchen. Are you a beginner, a professional, or a skilled cook at home? It does not matter the level of your experience; this unit is suitable for all.
It has a blade that is fit for almost all tasks, small or big. Thanks to the laser-tested tapered blade, the edge retains sharpness comparatively longer. The edge is at such an angle that the user can slice an ingredient at a single stroke.
Even the long and sloping curved blade design is what many recommend for being ideal when mincing and chopping. The stainless steel is European, thus, maintains the edge retention with incredible quality.
As for the handle that comes in plain black in color, it is ergonomic in the simplest form. The thing is made from the Thermoplastic Elastomer that is easy to use by practically everybody.
We still advise you to be careful when handling it with a wet hand. Even though it is ergonomic, the material could cause fatigue during long hours of use. It is still considered as one of the convenient chef knives under such a bargain.
What to Look for Before You Buy?
Did you know that a chef knife is also known as a cook’s knife? Since you are settling for a low budgeted one, there are a few other things you must know before venturing out.
The matter of size relies on many things. One could find a 7-inch Japanese style is to go for while the other might prefer a German chef knife of 8-inch.
Therefore, be very careful before choosing the length. You will see that many experienced individuals at home or a chef in a restaurant generally works with a large knife.
Nevertheless, it is all about the size of the hand, your experience level, and what sort of foods you aim to cut in general. Some might even consider the likeness of the design too!
It is unquestionably one of the most crucial factors the user must check first and foremost. A knife should be capable of cutting, slicing, dicing all kinds of vegetables and fruits.
The sharpness is something that we often find impressive at first. However, over the course of regular uses, it could lose its charm.
Do not try to aim for something that cheap even if you are tight on budget. Buy a chef knife that has long-lasting sharpness even after several usages. Do not over-hone it either; the blade could chip!
What material can guarantee good retention? In our opinion and according to many professionals, high-carbon stainless steel holds that position.
Naturally, not all manufacturers apply the same material to craft the knife. So, there could be diverse views regarding quality. On the other hand, most of the chef knives are forged from alloy steel.
So it is better to stick to that if you want affordability in check.
Full Tang or Partial Tang
Why is this of substantial importance? The reason is simple; gaining full control. Plus, a full tang tends to last longer than a partial tang knife.
- Full Tang
But what is a full tang anyway? It is when the blade extends the length all the way to the end of the handle. This thing is typically attached with the help of rivets, pins, or epoxy.
It is actually visible along the handle edges; a handle with a full tang aids in enhancing performance and strength.
- Partial Tang
The partial tang, on the contrary, does not reach the end of the handle. It instead has a narrower design that stops only at a mid-point or some part of the handle’s length.
Chef knives with partial tang are useful only when you plan to apply them to soft foods.
Let us not pour all our energy into a blade when it comes to the comfort of operation too. If this is going to be the main tool in your kitchen, then it is all the more important that you pay attention to the handle details.
It has to make you feel good when you grip it. That is how you will understand whether to buy it or not.
Besides, small-handed people will have difficulty to yield the knife while bigger hands might find it preferable. So choose according to the level of your convenience.
Clearance and Stability
Does the blade get in the way of your knuckles? Then it is either because you are holding it wrong or the blade depth is a tad smaller.
We suggest using a chef knife that delivers both a deeper blade and a full-tang handle for better balance. This could help reduce fatigue since the handle will balance out the length and weight of the blade.
Is the knife feel too heavy in your hand? Does your wrist tire after utilizing for a few minutes? This means the knife is too heavy for your hand.
Although hefty blades are great for excellent chopping results, it can also be exhausting when long hours of cooking is involved.
A lightweight chef knife is nimble but might feel inconsequential in the long run.
This is very essential to understand the knife’s durability. And most should be around 55 to 65 Rockwell hardness.
Remember that the higher number means edge sharpness for the long term. However, it also makes the blade brittle and susceptible to chips.
Forged blades are more durable, and make sure the chef knife is resistant to stain and rust.
If you are new to cooking adventures, then there is very little you might know about the safety feature of a knife. One might wonder it is just a blade with a handle, so where does the safety reside?
Well, the safety of your fingers and knuckles are not determined by the non-slip handles only. There is another crucial factor that remains unknown or unnoticed to many home cooks.
A bolster, the thicker part of the blade that connects the handle, protects the fingers from the blade heel.
Now, even a dull knife is the potential to danger by slipping down. So always sharpen the blade to attain safer contact.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Which chef knife size is preferable for a home kitchen?
The general rule is to go for an eight-inch so that the user can have sufficient blade to handle any task in the kitchen. Though, some might find it difficult to get acquainted with.
In that case, our advice is to start from what you are casually used to, and then slowly make the change. It is all about comfortability, mainly for the home cooks.
- What are the other knives a chef must own?
A chef should always have in possession of a paring knife and a serrated knife beside the chef knife.
Now, a paring knife is the smaller version of the chef knife that deals with delicate items. This two or four-inch long blade can be used to peel onions, trim vegetables, or coring tomatoes.
A serrated knife, on the other hand, is used on ingredients that generally have a different external texture than the internal. It is better to have it longer to avoid repeated sawing.
Bread is the basic example of such food, though some even cut meats and tomatoes too.
We believe a cleaver is another knife that, only in skilled hands, can cover all the operations required during various forms of cutting foods.
- Why is a bolster necessary in a knife?
First of all, a bolster is a thick intersection smoothly intervening between the blade and the handle. It is seen as a transition that adds equilibrium on both sides.
Most importantly, it separates the blade from the handle when gripping the knife. Thus, the user attains safety and security as goes on about usual cutting tasks.
It even ensures durability on both ends of a knife.
- Which is recommended for a chef knife?
Whatever knife you use, it is always better to opt for the full tang features. They have more advantages in outlasting the others.
However, many chef knives under 100 might come with half or partial tang. Even though they are not worth the time and effort, some do offer superb quality.
As long as the user maintains the knife and does not drop it from higher ground, it will serve the purpose.
- What should I do after cutting with the knife every time?
One must always wash the blade after each use. Once the knife has dried, we recommend honing it. This action keeps the blade very sharp and quick to cut with a mere one stroke.
So honing is very important, but only after cleaning it accordingly.
- What are the differences between eastern and western knives?
The western knives have sharpness on both sides and have full-tang. It means the blade and the tang are one piece. The handles are typically more flatter on the sides. These types of blades require regular sharpening.
As for the eastern ones, the blades are sharp only on one side. They often have separate metal pieces for the blade and tang, which are later forged together. The tang strip is, then, encased in the handle.
Eastern knives take longer to hone but do not require it as frequently as the western knives.
We now live in an innovative and modern world that thrives on moving forward at a fast pace. However, we are often faced to deal with obstacles like bank balance to even get a quality kitchen knife.
Therefore, we are more than happy to assist you in finding the best chef knife under 100. It is the least we could do so that you can opt for that supremacy without breaking the bank.