Our list of selections for the best chef knife under 100 will help you cook like a professional. Preparing meals at home is a great way to save money and eat healthier. A good chef’s knife is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of prepping tasks such as: chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing different foods.
A chef knife is a general purpose knife that is designed specifically for chefs in commercial kitchens. You would likely recognize a chef knife if you saw one with its long tapered blade and thick handle.
These kitchen knives come in multiple sizes ranging from six inches up to 14 inches. They also come in a variety of weights and handle designs.
Professional chef knives are often used to cut fruits and vegetables. They can also be used to cut larger pieces of meat and fish depending on the design of the knife that you select.
High quality chef knives are capable of cutting most ingredients easily as long as they do not have a hard, dense, or complex structure. Another great addition to your kitchen would be a sharp ceramic knife set which is ideal for very thin slicing of fruits and vegetables. Although they are not a replacement for a chef’s knife.
They are the best kitchen knives to have because they’re the most versatile. Many chefs and home cooks have at least one in their knife set.
- Chefs Knife Comparison Table
- Reviews of the Best Chef Knives Under 100
- 1. Best Pick-Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8″ Chef’s Knife
- 2. Dalstrong 8″ Chef Knife – Gladiator Series
- 3. Mac Knife Series Hollow Edge 8″ Chef’s Knife
- 4. Best Budget Pick-J.A. Henckels International Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife
- 5. Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 7″ Santoku Knife
- 6. Imarku Pro Kitchen 8″ Chef’s Knife
- 7. Wusthof Gourmet 8″ Cook’s Knife
- Chef’s Knife Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
Chefs Knife Comparison Table
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Reviews of the Best Chef Knives Under 100
A chef knife can be a game changer in the kitchen which is why professional chefs constantly rely on them. Its range of uses combined with its comfortable design make it a strong mainstay of any knife set. Plus, there are many affordable chef knives that non-professionals can enjoy.
If you cook at home, then you should consider getting at least one. It can make a big difference in how much you enjoy cooking, especially if you are on a tight schedule.
Finding the right one can be time-consuming since there are so many options to choose from. So we compiled a list of seven of the best to make the selection process easier for you.
If you want a knife that’s highly regarded, then the Victorinox is a great choice. The eight-inch version will likely be your best option since it gives you the most versatility and it’s easy to handle.
It has a long, sloping curved blade that’s perfect for chopping, slicing and mincing. It’s perfect for carving grilled meats and even large pieces of fish.
The grip is made of a thermoplastic elastomer that is both temperature-resistant and textured. Therefore, it won’t slip out of your hand. The TPE handle and stainless steel blade can go into the dishwasher for quick and easy cleaning.
The Victorinox is designed to give you the best features in a knife but without the huge price tag. As a home chef, that makes it a good option.
The Victorinox is made in five, six, seven and a half, and ten-inch variations for different sized tasks. You can have the same quality and features, but in a more appropriate size for different tasks.
The spine of the knife is flat which gives it more power to slice through tough skinned food items. The blade holds its edge well thanks to the stainless steel content.
It also doesn’t require frequent sharpening so this is a time saver. Lastly, this product has a lifetime guarantee for factory defects and craftsmanship.
- Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) handle can go in the dishwasher.
- Stainless steel blade resists rusting and shipping.
- Ergonomic and well-balanced.
- Supported by a lifetime guarantee for factory defects and craftsmanship.
- The angle of the handle may not fit well for some.
- Lightweight design may make cutting more difficult for some.
This Dalstrong knife from the Gladiator series offers a sleek look and upgraded performance thanks to its ultra-sharp steel blade. The overall tapered design adds both hardness and flexibility.
The shape of its ergonomic handle provides superior comfort and maneuverability while performing your cooking tasks. This knife can inspire you to cook more often since it looks and feels like a professional chef’s knife.
Chef knives have a long history with German steel. Many manufacturers prefer German steel for its consistent quality and improved strength.
The Dalstrong is made of all German steel stretching the length of the knife through the handle. This is why it’s called a full tang knife.A partial tang knife is when the blade does not extend the full length of the handle. Full tang knives are stronger and more robust.
This knife holds its edge exceptionally well thanks to its high carbon content. A stronger blade means that you won’t have to sharpen it often. Plus, it won’t bend and has a hefty feel because of its high-carbon steel design.
Dalstrong also includes a BPA protective sheath with this knife to safeguard it while not in use. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back.
- High-gloss finish gives it an upscale look.
- Durable, high-carbon steel blade.
- 56+ Rockwell hardness rating
- 100% satisfaction or your money back guarantee.
- Heavier weight may tire your arm faster.
- Smooth handle design may not feel secure for everyone.
- Oversized blade design may not fit in all knife blocks.
Mac Knife produces their knives in Japan where there is a long history of crafting blades to exacting standards. This brand has a different metal crafting process than other companies. Their process makes knives sharper and more durable than other brands.
They are highly resistant to any form of corrosion. The blades are sharpened to the same standards as razor blades so they’re extremely sharp. Therefore, it’s easier for these knives to slice through ingredients with less effort.
When crafting stainless steel, additives are mixed into the steel formula to improve its performance. For example, Mac Knife adds more carbon to the steel formula to make its knives stronger. On top of that, it uses Molybdenum in the steel making process which gives its knives better edge-retention.
Molybdenum is an additive that enhances stainless steel corrosion resistance. Therefore, the steel will not corrode when exposed to different chemicals like the acid in citrus ingredients. This knife also has a dimpled blade. A hammer is used to put small dimples in a wave pattern along the sides of the blade.
This creates an uneven surface with air pockets. So as it cuts into food, the food won’t stick to the blade. Since it just falls off the sides, you won’t have to worry about flinging food around or having to stop and clean your knife.
This company recommends that you hand wash their knife so it’s not dishwasher safe. Lastly, it comes with a 25-year warranty against defects or workmanship flaws.
- Dimpled sides keep food from sticking to the blade.
- Hollow edge makes the blade lighter.
- Molybdenum additive enhances rust-resistance.
- 25-year warranty against defects or workmanship flaws.
- Curved spine may feel unbalanced for some.
- Must be hand washed.
- Improper care can lead to rusting.
Some home chefs need a knife that is high quality but still affordable. The J.A. Henckels has traditional chef knife features while also staying reasonably priced. If you are on a tight budget, it is one of the best options to get the most value.
The design of a chef knife stays relatively consistent over time because many of the design choices make it more effective. This J.A. Henckels knife updates those features with modern production quality for a strong, well made knife.
This knife has a satin-finish, fine-edge blade. It is both precise and honed for long-lasting sharpness.
You can easily dice fruits, chop vegetables, mince onions and slice meat with ease.
This Spanish made knife is composed of high quality, durable German stainless steel. It’s construction provides balance while its triple-rivet, ergonomic handle allows for comfortable and effortless cutting.
A big benefit with this product is that it is dishwasher safe. It’s a nice time saver for those who hate washing kitchen utensils by hand. Lastly, it is supported by a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and/or craftsmanship.
- Ergonomic handle design for comfort and easy grip.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Satin finish on the blade resists blemishes over time.
- Supported by a limited lifetime warranty.
- Hammered production means that the knife is heavier.
- Traditional handle design may be uncomfortable for some.
- The bolster makes the knife top-heavy.
Japan also has a long tradition of creating kitchen knives with its own variation on the chef knife. It is called the Santoku knife design. It has become a popular alternative to the traditional (French-style). Santoku knives are different in that they have a flat blade.
This quality Mercer Culinary Santoku knife is made of high carbon German steel that’s resistant to rust and discoloration. This brand’s knife has also been independently tested and certified by the NSF, a highly respected third party organization. It has met their standards for performance, safety and quality.
This knife’s precision forged contstruction allows for better durability and sturdiness. It’s also a full tang knife so it runs the entire length of the handle for added strength and robustness.
The taper-ground edge of the knife provides long lasting sharpness and improved effectiveness when chopping, slicing, mincing or cutting. The ergonomic santoprene handle can withstand both hot and cold temperatures while offering an easy, non-slip grip. The bolster located right below the handle reinforces and strengthens the knife. It also provides balance when you’re cutting your food.
If you have small hands or prefer smaller knives, then the Santoku might be a good fit for you. They tend to be seven inches long or smaller, although larger ones are easier to find now.
The knife is thinner and lighter as well. So it’s a good option for smaller hands and lighter cutting needs. It also must be hand washed and not put in the dishwasher. Lastly, this product is supported by a limited lifetime warranty.
- Designed for chopping.
- Lighter weight and shorter length increase maneuverability.
- NSF certified for safety, quality and performance.
- Supported by a limited lifetime warranty.
- Smaller size may not be as comfortable for some.
- Blade design is not as versatile.
- Lighter weight may hinder cutting performance against harder ingredients.
Deciding between a traditional (French-style) chef knife and a Santoku (Japanese-style) one depends on your needs and preferences. However, you can get the best of both designs with the Imarku Pro. It follows the Gyutou knife design which looks like a combination between a French and Santoku knife.
This sophisticated, German made knife is both versatile and strong. Its ultra sharp edge is great for chopping, cutting, slicing, mincing and dicing the following: meats, fish, fruits and vegetables.
It can also cut very tough meat and remove flesh from bones making this a very robust knife. It comes with an HRC (Rockwell Hardness Scale) of 56-58 which ranks it as very strong when compared to its peer class.
The Gyutou design combines the handle and blade characteristics of a Santoku knife with the blade shape of a French-style one. The result is a lighter design with a more comfortable handle.
It feels very balanced and stable in your hand. The handle length is five inches making the total length of the knife thirteen inches. It can do all of the things that a French and a Santoku knife can do. It has a long flat edge that is curved and pointed like a French knife at the end.
The blade is made of high carbon stainless steel. It has up to a 0.75% carbon content, which makes it twice as hard as other options that typically contain 0.3% carbon. That is why it can be so thin and still maintain its strength.
In addition, the blade’s metal composition contains 16-18% chrome. This gives the blade a glossy finish that won’t tarnish or rust after extended use.
Although the company states it can be put in the diswasher, hand washing is recommended. Lastly, it comes with a 30-day returns policy for factory defects.
- Made with up to 0.75% carbon for extra strength.
- Rust and corrosion resistant metal composition.
- Affordable price.
- Only available in one size.
- 30-day returns policy only for factory defects.
- Hand washing is preferred method of cleaning.
This Wusthof knife is very adept at handling tasks such as: chopping, slicing and quartering meats, vegetables and fruits with ease and efficiency.
Wusthof uses modern production methods to create knives faster without compromising on quality. The result is a simpler knife design that is more cost-effective. However, it still maintains the high-quality standards that German knife makers have used for years.
Wusthof’s production process focuses on stamping blades from high-carbon steel with a stain-resistant alloy instead of hammering them out of steel ingots. So the blades come out with a high level of production quality.
Precision machining techniques make each knife nearly identical. So it’s possible to get multiple knives that feel and perform the same.
This knife pins the handle to the blade with three pins, which makes it secure and gives it good balance. The straight spine design helps keep the weight toward the blade making it easier to cut. Using a stamping process also makes these knives lighter since they are thinner.
In addition, they do not have a bolster at the end to the blade. These knives need to be hand washed since they’re not dishwasher safe. Lastly, Wusthof backs this product with a limited lifetime warranty.
- Triple rivet design ensures a strong handle connection.
- High-carbon steel crafted for strength and durability.
- German-made for high production quality.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
- No bolster in the design, which may not be as safe.
- Slightly less than eight inches long.
- Polypropylene handle may not appeal to everyone.
Chef’s Knife Buyer’s Guide
While you could buy an affordable chef’s knife from a big box or department store, these stores have physical limitations on the amount of stock they can carry. This means that stores only offer a few different selections to choose from. Often, these are inexpensive knives with high profit margins for the store selling it.
Regardless of which chef knife you choose, using proper knife skills is very important. Proper knife skills make cutting safer and more enjoyable for you. Here is a video on the proper way to use a chef knife:
The best chef knives have the right combination of features that make cutting through a variety of food textures nearly effortless. High performing knives are easy to hone and sharpen between uses to ensure the blade is never dull. There are several other key design features that make these knives stand out.
Here’s what you need to know when deciding which knife is best for your needs.
How to Select the Right Chef’s Knife
This type of knife is a versatile kitchen tool. You can use it to cut through foods such as: root vegetables, tough cuts of meat, and delicate bread loaves. However, not all of them are made of the same quality craftsmanship.
Additionally, they may not be able to deliver the same performance. If you want a knife that offers flexibility and a high degree of functionality, below are some features to consider.
There is no single feature alone which makes a chef’s knife high quality. The combination of features make them perform to different standards.
There isn’t a one size fits all approach. By understanding the key features below, you can evaluate for yourself which is the right knife for you.
You can find the bolster of your knife along the top (non-cutting edge), starting at the beginning of the handle. It is a much thicker metal part at the base of the blade.
The bolster is what is left when the blade is hammered into shape. It is the original thickness of the steel that was used to make the knife. It was left thick to protect your hand.
The bolster works like a handguard on a sword. It stops your hand from sliding forward onto the blade while you’re cutting. If your knife has a thick bolster, it was probably made from a single brick of steel that was hammered into shape. That means it will hold up better over time.
Most Western-style chef knives have a 20-degree blade angle that easily cuts into common kitchen foods. However, Japanese manufacturers often have sharper knives that are sharpened between 15 and 17 degrees.
Knives with smaller angles are very sharp. However, they can be considered less durable than knives with 20 to 30-degree angles. To make up for the loss in durability, manufacturers typically choose a metal type based on the knife’s angle to ensure maximum longevity and cutting power.
These knives are generally made out of steel. However, that steel is not the same for every knife. Typically, they’re made out of a combination of steel and other materials.
This is done to make that steel stronger and more durable. Many chef knives are made out of stainless steel, which is steel mixed with a metal that stops rust, and added carbon to make it much stronger.
The more carbon mixed into the steel, the stronger your knife is. High-carbon stainless steel is one of the best choices you can find if you don’t want to sharpen your knife often.
It is more durable and holds a sharp edge longer. You can find knives with less carbon that are easier to sharpen, but you will have to sharpen them more often.
The tang is the bottom part of the blade that extends into the handle of the knife. The tang is designed to keep your hand from sliding off the handle, much like the bolster does. More importantly, the tang helps balance your knife.
The tang works as a counterweight to make the knife feel more balanced in the center of your hand. The size and weight of the tang can drastically change the feel of your knife.
You can find chef knives with full tangs that extend the full length of the handle. There are also knives with partial tangs that don’t extend the full length of the handle. While full tangs are stronger, half tangs can be lighter and easier to work with.
The weight makes a big difference in how much you’ll want to use your knife. Heavier knives can cut through harder foods more easily. When used properly, they offer more weight coming down onto whatever you are cutting.
However, the extra weight will wear your arm out faster. A lighter knife is easier to use for a longer period of time. However, they may not cut through harder ingredients as well. You may also have to push harder on softer ingredients to get a clean cut.
The weight of a knife is determined by the materials used to make it and its overall length. All-metal knives tend to be among the heaviest options available. Composite and light alloy knives tend to be among the lightest options. Either way, choosing the right knife weight is a personal decision.
Most chef knives are available in the standard 8-inch variety found in many kitchens across the country. It is a size that is big enough to cut through most kitchen prep jobs without sacrificing maneuverability to cut up smaller foods.
Other lengths are available for chefs who prefer a smaller and easier to handle knife or a larger one. For first-time buyers, you can’t go wrong by choosing the standard size.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which chef’s knife should you buy?
A: We recommend, the Victorinox Fibrox, as our best pick. If you’re buying your first chef knife, this 8-inch knife is a good place to start. Its size provides the right balance between efficient cutting and maneuverability. The Victorinox gives you great versatility and it’s easy to handle.
Q: How do you care for a chef knife?
A: With proper care, your knife can last for many years. You should plan to hand wash and dry your knife after using it. Although some brands say their knives are dishwasher safe, it’s best to err on the side of caution and wash the knife by hand. It may break or chip in the dishwasher. Also, don’t leave it in the bottom of the sink where it could dull or become damaged.
In addition, how often you should sharpen or hone your knife depends on what metal it is made from. Some knives require more while others require less sharpening.
Q: Is a chef’s knife good for everyday cooking?
A: Yes. For many home cooks, a high-quality chef’s knife is all they need to use to prep foods for everyday cooking. A good chef’s knife is sharp enough to chop, slice, dice and mince vegetables, fruits, fish and meats with ease.
Q: Do left-handed people need a different chef knife?
A: Technically, many chef knives can be used by both left and right-handed cooks. However, some ergonomically designed chef knives could be less comfortable or efficient for left-handed people to use.
Some brands offer two different versions, a traditional right-handed knife and a left-handed knife that is a mirrored version. If two versions aren’t available, choosing one with a uniform handle free of indents, curved edges, and decoration would be a good choice for left-handed home cooks.
Q: What’s the difference between Japanese and German style chef knives?
A: Japanese style knives have thinner blades with a single bevel. Sometimes they are made from carbon steel. Many cooks find Japanese style blades are easier to sharpen, despite having harder blades. Japanese style blades are often hand-refined.
In contrast, German style knives are machined. These knives also tend to be heavier and thicker than Japanese style ones. German style knives also are curved and have a bolster.
Q: Do chef knives come with a warranty?
A: It depends on which brand you choose. Most of the chef knives we recommend come from established knife manufacturers that stand behind their products with a one or two year warranty, if not longer. By choosing to order a chef’s knife from a reliable online seller such as Amazon, you can shop knowing that you’ll have an easy time returning it if needed.
All of the chef knives we featured on our list are made by reputable brands with high-quality materials and precise construction.
The right chef knife can really enhace your cooking experience at home. So it’s worth the effort to find the right one. There are many options to review. Each knife has its own benefits and limitations.
Whether you are looking for a high-quality option like the Victorinox Fibrox Pro or you prefer something more budget-friendly like the J.A. Henckels International, each knife will have you chopping, cutting, slicing and dicing like a professional chef.
We hope that after reading our detailed reviews and comprehensive buying guide, you’ll have all the information you need to select the best chef knife under 100 that is perfect for your kitchen.