Although knives seem like simple enough tools, a chef’s knife isn’t just any old knife. You wouldn’t expect an aspiring painter to use low-quality paints or brushes, so why would anyone expect a chef to use a sub-par chef’s knife?
There are many benefits to getting a good chef’s knife, chief among them being that it makes cooking far easier, turning food prep into a fun and precise activity instead of a laborious and difficult task.
Low-quality chef’s knives can make preparing simple ingredients a highly frustrating endeavor, as a dull blade will find it hard to cut precisely and often cause you to make a mess of both your food and often your kitchen.
They also leave you more prone to injury as you need to use more force to try and cut anything, and can actually be exhausting and frustrating to use for more repetitive tasks.
Thankfully, there are many great chef knives available at a reasonable sub 100 dollar price point to give anyone the chance to benefit from high-quality cooking utensils.
They will undoubtedly make your life easier and are often extremely long-lived, meaning if you choose the right knife you may not need to purchase another one for a very long time, especially if you care for it properly and use it correctly.
Chef's Knives Bestsellers
In this article, we’re going to look at 5 of the best sub 100 dollar chef’s knives available, which come in a range of sizes, materials, and shapes to give you plenty of choices depending on your preference.
We’re also going to include a buyer’s guide below, with some helpful tips on what to look for in a great chef’s knife and an FAQ to respond to common questions about chef’s knives and knife ownership.
But let’s cut straight to the point, shall we?
Best Chef’s Knife Under $100
Victorinox is one of the most famous knife brands, so it’s no wonder their chef’s knife is one of the best options for beginners, thanks to its reputation for quality, durability, and value.
The Fibrox Pro comes with a range of features including an 8” blade which is maneuverable and sharp out of the box, as well as a straight edge design that is water-resistant and easy to maintain.
The handle is non-slip with a grippy texture to keep the knife under control and is also dishwasher safe making it easy to clean and maintain.
The straight edge design of the knife is easy to use and holds a nice edge, and is also easy to maintain and care for.
The knife is also on the light side making it easy to use for repetitive tasks also.
- Non-slip, ergonomic handle
- Dishwasher Safe
- 8” Stainless Steel Blade
- Straight Edge
- Very sharp
- Stainless Steel isn’t quite as sharp as some other metals
- An all-purpose chef’s knife provides ultimate control to mince your way through any culinary challenge.
- Contemporary, textured handle with a non-slip grip -- even when wet. The handle is ergonomically designed to help minimize tension at the wrist and provides a much more comfortable grip.
- Hygienic, dishwasher safe, slip-resistant and NSF approved. These exceptional knives are weighted and balanced for easy handling.
- Multipurpose chef's knife designed for chopping, mincing, slicing, and dicing with razor sharp, laser-tested, tapered knife edge is ground to form an exacting angle, to hold a sharp edge longer and ensure maximum cutting performance and durability
- Ergonomically designed, non-slip Fibrox Pro handle provides a sure grip and easy handling even when wet, making each knife safer and more efficient
WUSTHOF is a brand known for its quality and heritage, and the model 4562 embodies the quality that this brand is known for.
Featuring a full tang 8” blade and made of high carbon German stainless steel, this blade brings superior performance to the entry-level knife market in a minimal package that offers outstanding quality.
The handle is solid and ergonomic with a good grip-friendly shape, and the German steel is incredibly sharp and durable meaning this knife will take a good amount of heavy use and still retain its amazing cutting edge.
The blade is water-resistant and light, with a gentle curve which makes it perfect for almost all culinary tasks.
- Solid Handle
- Full Tang Design
- Stainless Steel
- Sharp out-of-the-box
- Stainless Steel doesn’t always stay sharp
- WÜSTHOF GOURMET SERIES – 8" Chef's Knife with synthetic polypropylene handles that resist fading, discoloration, heat and impact. Precisely laser-cut stamped knives offer superb quality and value
- KITCHEN WORKHORSE – The WÜSTHOF 8” Gourmet Chef’s Knife is essential for preparing any meal. This all-purpose cook’s knife can be used for chopping, mincing, slicing and dicing
- WÜSTHOF CHEF'S KNIFE – The GOURMET 8" Cook’s Knife is the work horse of the kitchen, or the essential kitchen knife. Due to the weight and balance of the knife, it is also perfect for heavy duty work such as cutting thicker vegetables and meats
- DURABLE – WÜSTHOF Cutlery is crafted to resist corrosion and dulling. This German made Kitchen Knife set Comes with a limited Lifetime Warranty
- CENTURIES OF TRADITION – Family owned for seven generations, WÜSTHOF was founded in Solingen, Germany over 200 years ago. WÜSTHOF’s cutlery carries the Solingen name, a designation reserved for products that meet the strictest quality standards
The DALSTRONG Gladiator series is another superb high carbon German Steel knife with a full tang, indicating how popular this design is for its strength and cutting characteristics.
The full tang gives a solid feel for use on difficult-to-cut ingredients, while the 18-degree double-sided edge makes light work of even the toughest cuts of meat.
The edge retention and durability are second to none thanks to the forged German Steel, and the high carbon content helps it resist water damage, staining and makes the blade easier to sharpen.
The DALSTRONG also comes with an included sheath which is a nice touch for added safety and long-term care, helping prevent damage to the edge or you when the knife isn’t in use.
The Pakkawood handle is durable and provides a comfortable grip, while also exposing the substantial full tang build indicating the quality of the knife and its finish.
- High Carbon German Steel
- Full Tang
- Sheath Included
- 18/18 Degree Curved Blade
- Excellent Edge/Sharpness Retention
- High Carbon Steel is a little more prone to water damage/stains than stainless steel
- Outstanding craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, stunning design elements, and premium materials. Peak performance has never looked so good at this price.
- Incredibly razor sharp, full-tang, imported high-carbon German steel with a hand polished edge at 16-18 degrees per side. Precisely tempered and stain resistant.
- Award winning design chef's knives, with satisfying heft, premium materials and quality feel. Premium G10 Garolite handle is triple-riveted with a grip that ensures comfort and maneuverability. Laminated and polished for a sanitary build, perfect for busy kitchens.
- Engineered to perfection at 56+ Rockwell hardness and hand polished to a satin finish. Carefully tapered for improved hardness, flexibility, and minimal slicing resistance. Tall blade height provides useful knuckle clearance. National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified.
- See why thousands of professional chefs and home cooks love and trust the DALSTRONG DIFFERENCE. 100% SATISFACTION OR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE, try it risk free, we know you'll love it!
The imarku 8” chef’s knife is another German Stainless Steel option, indicating how well regarded this material is especially at this price point, providing excellent longevity and out-of-the-box performance.
The edge is fine and well finished and the blade meets 56-58 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale indicating just how strong German Stainless Steel actually is.
The Pakkawood handle again provides a lovely traditional aesthetic while giving excellent comfort, grip as well as being very well fitted and durable.
The addition of chrome to the blade along with its high carbon alloy makes the blade very rugged and difficult to tarnish or stain, helping it to look as good as new for a very long time.
Unfortunately, this knife isn’t recommended for dishwasher use which may be a drawback for some, however handwashing a chef’s knife is always best to preserve its edge even if it is rated as dishwasher safe.
The blade is also prone to heat damage if held over an open flame, as this can damage the protective finish added to the blade to protect it from water damage and staining, so keep the blade away from anything too hot!
- High Carbon German Stainless Steel
- Nice Pakkawood Handle
- Nice Branding
- Sharp out-of-the-box
- Not Dishwasher Safe
- High-carbon stainless steel blade-It is manufactured from high-quality stainless steel that maintains its functionality for a long time. And to boost its sturdiness, the steel contains 0.6-0.75 carbon. This makes it two times as hard as other knives in its class as they contain about 0.3% carbon
- Multi-functional knife-The gyutou knife is classified and designed to be multipurpose knife for professional applications .It cuts,dices,slices,chops and also cuts meat off bones. It comes with a HRC( Rockwell Hardness Scale) of 56-58 which makes it among the tough knives in its class
- Ergonomic pakka handle- To make it more professional and minimize any fatigue, finger numbness or aches after holding it continuously for an extended time the knife's handle is made from Pakka. This is material that originates from Africa and its known for its comfort, strength and stability
- Ultra-sharp edge- Sharpness is key to achieving the best cuts and this is evident in the knife's blade which is quite sharp and will remain this way even after tough tasks such as cutting tough meat or removing flesh from bones. The sharpness is further boosted by use of the latest German engineering
- Corrosion and stainless blade-In addition to carbon, 16-18% chrome is also included in the blade's metal composition. This gives its a glossy finish which will not tarnish even after using it for a long time, making it the perfect gift for mother's day, father's day, wedding and birthday
Perhaps the most visually striking and certainly the biggest knife on our list, the TUO 9.5” chef’s knife is a combination of amazing design aesthetics and performance.
The Japanese AUS-8 steel is some of the sharpest available at this price point, and the pakkawood handle provides superb control making this knife nimble and precise despite its larger size.
The black titanium surround looks amazing and helps preserve the interior steel making it a durable and long-lasting knife as well as a real showpiece.
- Sleek Black Finish
- 9.5” Blade
- Japanese Stainless Steel
- Non-Stick Coating
- Titanium Exterior
- Handle could be more comfortable
- 【Professional Chef Knife】 This 9.5 inch chef gyuto knife can easily handle your daily kitchen tasks of slicing, dicing and mincing fruits, vegetables and several meat varieties including fish, chicken and beef. This long chef knife has been the top choice of both home chefs and professionals alike.
- 【Premium Stainless Steel】 This professional chef knife made by the high carbon Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel with a precise vacuum heat-treatment and nitrogen cryogenic tempering, the steel hardness is increased to HRC 58±2. It features supreme sharpness, long-term durability and incredible edge retention.
- 【Ultra Sharp Blade】 Sharpness of a professional knife is essential for achieving cleaner and precise cuts. This 0.1” thick razor-sharp blade is made of Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel, which has premium performance in anti-rust, toughness and sharpness. Each Dark Knight Series blade receives a titanium nitride non-reflective coating, improving robustness, corrosion resistance and enhancing non-stick properties.
- 【Ergonomic Handle for Comfort】 Featuring an ergonomic Pakkawood handle for a comfortable non-slip grip, even if used for a long time will not feel tired. The unique rounded shape is ergonomically crafted for optimum control and agility while providing a secure, comfortable grip no matter your hand size or where you hold.
- 【Perfect as Gift】 Our 9.5 inch Japanese chef knife is not only sharp, but the decoration is also world class with a black sheath and an elegant gift box. It is a wonderful gift for Home Cooks, Professional Chefs, Culinary Students and collection (Christmas, Weddings, Birthdays, Mother’ s Day, Father’ s Day). Try it risk free! We guarantee a superior product that will give you a lifetime of exemplary service.
Best Chef’s Knife Under $100 Buyer’s Guide
There are a lot of chef’s knives out there, and it can be difficult to choose a single one due to the sheer selection, as well as the range of features that set different knives apart.
In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to look at these features and highlight what it is you need to keep in mind to get the knife that’s right for you, helping you make an informed decision.
This will help you get the best out of your knife and ensure that it remains a faithful kitchen companion for a very long time.
If you have further questions feel free to check the FAQ below which may have the answer you’re looking for too!
The overriding and most important feature of the chef’s knife is its sharpness. A dull blade will make your cutting and chopping much more time-consuming, much messier, and much less precise.
Some people may think that a dull blade is at least safer than a sharp one, but this isn’t true, as a dull blade makes it far more likely for you to make a mistake by using too much force to try and cut something which can lead to imprecision and a very dangerous situation.
A sharp blade will cut easily and effortlessly, which is far safer and prevents the need for excessive pressure and force which can ruin your ingredients as well as your fingers.
Almost all of the knives in this list come incredibly sharp out of the box, especially the stainless steel knives which hold an edge very well.
Some knives will be easier to keep sharp than others, however, as the durability of stainless steel makes it more difficult to maintain when it comes to the edge.
High carbon steels are easier to keep sharp and often sharpen to a finer edge, however, they tend to lose this edge a little quicker and require a little more care and maintenance to keep their sharper edges intact.
After the edge, the grip of your knife is the next most important feature and this is something that is often quite telling when it comes to the quality of your knife.
In terms of safety, an ergonomic and comfortable grip that offers plenty of control is very important to keep your blade under control.
There are many different materials that get used and these can range from plastics and molded rubber to various different woods including engineered Pakkawood which is a grippy and incredibly durable engineered wood that offers excellent grip as well as high-end aesthetics.
Some knives will show an exposed tang, which is the mark of an excellent full tang knife that is much more sturdy and safer, however other grips will totally encase the tang making it difficult to tell whether your blade is a full or partial tang. Checking this is important to make sure that you’re getting the highest quality design possible.
Chef’s knives come in a variety of sizes, with the most common being the 8” blade and 9.5” blade.
There are other measurements but these two offer the best compromise between cutting capability and maneuverability, making this knife suitable for use with tough meats or awkward vegetables, the perfect culinary all-rounder.
In terms of weight, this can differ according to a range of factors including the size of the blade, the material used for the blade and grip as well as how thick the blade is.
Generally, chef’s knives weigh around 7 ounces which is a comfortable weight that gives a good sense of durability and strength while not being too heavy and unwieldy to use precisely.
While many knives are made of stainless steel and are highly resistant to water and rusting, this isn’t true of all chef’s knives.
Making sure you’re able to use your knife around water and wash it by hand or in the dishwasher is a key feature that many overlooks and some knives will stain or become tarnished if not looked after correctly.
Some high-end knives will not cope well with the heat and intensity of dishwashers, which can affect their performance and longevity.
High carbon knives are much more prone to rusting than normal stainless steel knives too, so make sure your blade is treated to resist water either by its material or by a good finish.
Some knives even use a titanium or chrome alloy to protect the central steel blade edge helping them to resist water damage as well as scratches that knives can pick up when being washed with other cutlery or plates.
Chef’s knives are made from a range of features, but the main material of interest is of course the blade material.
The most common choice among cheaper knives is stainless steel, however, mid-range knives such as the offerings in this list are often made of a much higher quality stainless steel such as Japanese Steel or German steel, both of which are known for their hardness, durability, sharpness, and quality.
There are a lot of design affectations and philosophies that will differ between brands, with some using non-stick coatings, and others using additional alloys such as chrome to help improve the quality of the blade, while some use high carbon to make the steel sharper and easier to hone.
Making sure you’re getting a knife with the best possible materials for your money is the absolute best way to ensure you’re getting a knife that will stand the test of time and continue to perform after heavy usage.
There are a lot of nice additional features that knives come with, from beautifully crafted showcases to durable and reliable sheaths.
Looking out for these little extras can be a great sign that your knife has been made with care and pride.
Other practical features include decorative accents, sleek branding, a good blade angle of 14 to 18 degrees on both sides as well as a full tang for added strength.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a surprising number of different knives, and many of them have very specific purposes. There are bread knives, paring knives, boning knives, peeling knives… pretty much every specific task you can do in the kitchen has a specialized knife that makes the job way easier.
However not all of these knives are absolutely essential, and one or two good knives will make most tasks much easier. Of course, the absolute best and the most essential knife is the chef’s knife due to its durability and versatility.
Beyond this, a good pairing knife or utility knife and a bread knife will make most kitchen tasks much easier. It all depends on how you like to cook and how much preparation you tend to do, as those who love using fresh quality ingredients will often benefit from a wider variety of specific knives.
This is really difficult to say as both have amazing attributes that make them excellent knife materials.
There are some key strengths and drawbacks to both types of steel.
Typically Japanese Steel is harder and holds an edge for longer while also being able to sharpen to a finer edge.
The drawback is that these knives are a little more likely to chip or become damaged, meaning they need to be used with care and precision and looked after properly.
German steel is still one of the sharpest and long-lasting alloys for knives, however, it's a little less prone to damage and is great for general purpose or heavier use where speed and output are most important.
This depends on the material of your knife and how much you use it, as well as what you use it for. Generally, stainless steel knives should be ‘honed’ after every 3 or 4 uses to maintain a keen edge, however honing isn’t the same as sharpening.
Honing is often done by stropping, which uses a leather strip to realign the microscopic points of your knife edge, realigning them and making the knife sharp again. Unlike sharpening this doesn’t remove material, it realigns the knife-edge making it sharper.
If you stick to this every 3 to 4 uses you may only need to sharpen your knife once every year or two, but this of course depends on how often you use it and how you use the knife.