Best Chef Knife Under 100: 7 Affordable High-Quality Knife Picks In 2020
A chef knife is a kitchen essential for all kinds of chefs. Whether you are a seasoned professional working in a restaurant setup or a caring home cook preparing meals for your family, you can’t do without an up to par chef knife. In this article, we will review the best chef knife under 100.
You don’t necessarily have to spend extravagantly to buy the world’s best chef knife. While some of these knives can cost you as much as $500, there are some unbelievably low-priced options that have all the right attributes you would look for in the best kitchen knives for home use.
Before purchasing a chef knife, you need to be mindful of a few factors. You have to consider what kind of cutting you would be doing regularly. The price tag and the manufacturer are two other aspects you need to keep an eye on. You would also need to take into account your level of expertise as a chef.
Best Professional Budget-Friendly Chef Knife on Amazon
If you are looking for a budget-friendly chef knife to buy, this article should serve as the ultimate buyer’s guide for you. We have scoured the internet and went through tons of best chef knife review to identify the best chef knife under 100. We believe these chef knives offer the best combinations of affordability and performance.
However, if you are in a hurry and don’t have the time to go through the entire article, then here is our ultimate pick as the best chef knife under 100. All knives in this list would give you a bang for your buck, but none of them would do it better than Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife. By spending less than $40, you can bring home a versatile, high-quality chef knife.
Now, without further ado, let’s get started with the reviews!
Best Chef Knife Under 100: Our Top 7 Picks
1. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife, 8-Inch
Victorinox is one of the most prominent cutlery brands in the world. The Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife is one of the Swiss company’s bestseller items. What makes this knife so special is its incredible blend of utility and affordability. It is crafted with tapered stainless steel and cuts very smoothly.
Victorinox’s trademark Fibrox technology grip is another highlight of this marvelous piece of the cutter. You can take care of many small to medium scale kitchen tasks with this knife. Yes, it would appear underwhelming in some cases. But, you can’t complain considering the price and overall usefulness.
- It is dishwater safe.
- Suitable for both home and professional use.
- One of the best kitchen knives for home use.
- Fibrox grips.
- Nonstick blade design.
- It is a bit heavier than ideal.
2. Global 8″ Chef’s Knife
Global 8’’ chef knife is undoubtedly the best Japanese chef knife under 100. It claims that honor with its brilliant design and ergonomics. Even though it is meant for restaurant use, you can master the use of this knife very easily and make it a mainstay in your kitchen. Apart from its cutting prowess, the knife also sports a gorgeous look.
Lightweight and balanced-these are the two words that describe this knife the best. The stainless steel material has been infused with molybdenum to make the blade lighter without compromising its sharpness. The material combo elongates the lifespan of the blade. The threadlike thickness of the blade makes it best for slicing.PROS
- Perfect blade-handle balance, which makes it easier to operate.
- The super-thin blade accounts for high sharpness.
- Stainless steel and molybdenum mix for making the knife lightweight.
- Highly resistant to decay and corrosion.
- Finger guard.
- No knife sheaths included. You need a buy a separate one.
3. Dalstrong ‘The Crixus’ Chef Cleaver Hybrid Knife
This excellent chef’s knife from Dalstrong was one of the first names that popped into our minds while planning this article. This particular one comes in a sleek shadow black shade. On top of that, you can get some awesome services from it. The designers have hard finished 15° on both sides to make this a genuine high-performance chef’s knife.
It has been nitrogen cooled to induce a razor-sharp cutting ability. The non-reflecting coating does not only repel light, it also keeps the blade free of scraps after cutting, chopping, or dicing something. The G10 handle material keeps the handle temperature unchanged regardless of the blade’s heat exposure.PROS
- Stylish design.
- Remarkably sharp edge blade.
- The handle remains unaffected by thermal changes.
- Anti-slip handle texture.
- NSF certified sheath.
- Some users might feel that the handle is slightly oversized.
4. Imarku Chef Knife
Imarku is a very familiar name in the cutlery industry. The company built its reputation not only for its stellar product quality but also for its outstanding packaging. This high carbon stainless steel knife comes in a posh-looking case. After you are done using it, you can tuck it away in style. The carbon-steel amalgamation makes the blade extraordinarily strong.
This knife has been created to appeal to the needs of a culinary connoisseur. This knife will complement your diverse range of cooking skills and help you along with your experiments in the kitchen. Besides the usual duties of a chef’s knife, the Imarku Pro Kitchen Knife can also do an excellent job of deboning fish and meat.PROS
- 6% carbon concentration for superior blade strength.
- Very effective as a boning knife.
- The handle is made of pakka-an exotic material hailing from Africa. It is quite comfortable to grab.
- Engineered to retain its sharpness for a long time.
- 16-18% chrome for a shinier, corrosion-free blade.
- Doesn’t fare well while cutting frozen food.
5. Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Chef’s Knife
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Chef’s Knife is one of the very few knives to ever receive National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) accreditation. The use of high carbon German steel in this particular knife has ensured that the blade will remain rust-free despite extended use. Power and durability is the knife’s forte.
The glossy finish of the blade makes it incredibly beautiful to look at. It does need more frequent honing compared to the other knives we have mentioned in this article thus far. But, it is very easy to sharpen, which nullifies this weakness to a significant degree. It weighs only 8oz, which makes it very convenient as a slicer and dicer.PROS
- Comes with NSF certification.
- Short bolster design makes the knife more balanced.
- Slip-resistant grip.
- Prevents rust and discoloration.
- Taper-ground edge for easier sharpening.
- Not dishwater friendly.
6. DALSTRONG Chef Knife
Dalstrong has some fantastic budget chef knife offerings in the market, so it should not come as a surprise that another Dalstrong knife has made it into our knife checklist. This knife features a ThyssenKrupp-a German carbon-steel variant blade. This gives the blade a higher level of sophistication.
As you can imagine, the building material of the knife makes it resilient to stress. You can do some hefty jobs with it, alongside the norms. Dicing and slicing is its strong suit, and you would enjoy doing these with this knife as it can get things done in no time! The handle has an anti-slip coating for improved stability.PROS
- Convenient to keep in hand.
- Razor-sharp blade.
- Premium quality sheath.
- Hand polished finish.
- Easy to clean.
- Similar to the Dalstrong knife we had previously mentioned, this knife has a large handle too.
7. J.A. Henckels International CLASSIC Chef’s Knife
We will wrap up our stunning knife discussion with J.A. Henckels International CLASSIC Chef’s Knife. Ease of use, great performance, fantastic price, and long-lasting-this knife packs the perfect balance chef’s knife package. The full tang design makes it a breeze to hold as you work your condiments.
The manufacturers have used top-grade German steel to make this knife. Needless to say, this makes the knife extremely high-profile in terms of sharpness and longevity. What makes this knife favorable over others is its dishwasher safe compatibility. Therefore, you would need minimal time to clean it.PROS
- Unconventional design.
- Slip-resistant grip.
- Advanced carbon-steel construction.
- High-precision sharpness.
- Dishwater friendly.
- Doesn’t feel comfortable to hold for longer periods.
If you want to read more about the chef knife, I recommend reading the site I have ever found best: https://bladeadvisor.com/best-chef-knife-under-100/
How To Buy The Best Chef Knife Under 100?
Apart from the price, what other factors you need to look at while shopping for this awesome knife set? Take these matters into your consideration to ensure that you get a cutting tool that is a genuine fit for your style:
Forged or Stamped Knives?
Manufacturers press forge a single metal bar into shape to create a forged knife. A metallurgy expert would say that forging makes the knife stronger and thicker. So, if you are prioritizing power and longevity, forged knives would suit your requirements. But, this process is expensive and pushes forged knives towards exorbitant price brackets.
Stamped knives offer a cheaper alternative to forged ones. At first, they are carved out from a huge metallic sheet. Then, they are sharpened and heat-treated for enhanced durability and sharpness. Afterward, the handle is added to the blade. Since no forging is involved, these knives cost far less than their forged counterparts.
However, we must point out that the price gap between forged and stamped knives have been diminishing over time. Higher labor requirement was one of the reasons for the higher price of forged knives. But, technological advancement in production methods have reduced the need for labor, thereby the production cost for forged knives have fallen in recent times.
Stamped Knife Vs Forged Knife-> Best Forged Chef Knife
Nowadays, you can buy some stamped knives that are way costlier than forged knives. So, stamped knives are not necessarily the economy option anymore. It could be, in many instances, but it doesn’t guarantee that it would cost you less than a forged knife. Stumped knives can also trump many forged knives in quality.
Buying a forged knife, you can expect a full tang with boulders. The boulder is a great safety measure to protect you from cuts. But, many users feel it obstructs their cutting motion and compromises efficiency. Forged knives are also heavier, which could also be a no-no for many chefs.
A stamped knife will not have a full tang, this would make it somewhat vulnerable to stress. But, a partial tang or no tang model would make the knife lighter. For those of you who prefer a lighter knife, you would love using a stamped knife. So, weigh up the pros and cons of each variation and make your decision.
Is The Heel Balanced?
If you are not that familiar with knife terminology, you might not be familiar with the term ‘’heel”. In an anatomical analysis of a chef’s knife, you would find the heel right at the bottom of the blade, where it converges with the handle. This portion is the thickest area of the blade, and like any other part of the blade, has a specific purpose to serve.
The heel is the part of the knife that lets you cut items that is a bit difficult to cut. If you need to chop carrots or slice a pomegranate in half, you would need a bit of extra pressure. Since the heel has a wider surface, it can implement more force on the objects on your cutting board. Therefore, it will help you penetrate resilient fruit or vegetable skins, chicken bones, etc.
So, while you are buying a chef’s knife, you need to pick a knife that has a thick enough heel. How thick should it be? Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. A better indicator of a good quality heel is the stability of the knife while you are cutting something with the heel. If the knife doesn’t shake and interrupts your motion, then it should be fine.
To Bolster Or Not To Bolster?
The bolster is the shoulder-like extension that sits at the upper hollow edge of the handle. A full bolster runs from the spine to the edge, covering the full length of the heel. Bolsters serve as a safety measure as it prevents your fingers from accidentally running into the blade. This proves to be quite helpful when the handle gets slippery as your hand sweats.
There’s a catch, however. Full bolsters take up a chunk of the blade length, so many people find it inconvenient. Semi-bolster knives present a slightly nuanced security approach as it frees up more of the blade length. If your knife has a semi-bolster, then it would not extend past the handle. Bolsters also make the knife heavy, which also causes discomfort to some.
And, of course, some chef knives have no bolsters at all! This is a risky approach since there will be no protection for your fingers. But, some chefs are happy to trade off safety for utility, as it gives them better grip and comfort. Hence, you need to be sure about your bolster preferences while looking for this awesome item.
Spine Thickness Matters Too
The spine is the opposite end of the cutting edge of a blade. Many articles would tell you to pick a chef knife that has a bulky spine. While spine thickness is crucial in delivering deeper cuts, you need to be aware of the fact that more is not necessarily better. The maximum recommended spine thickness for a chef’s knife is 3.5mm.
If the spine is too thick, compared to blade thickness, you would notice that the knife is wedging. If the spine is thinner than ideal, on the other hand, you would struggle with your grip. This is particularly true for those people who like to grab the back end of the knife handle while trying to perform precision cuts.
Handle Type & Geometry
The ergonomics of a knife handle define the ergonomics of a knife, and the ergonomics of a knife handle often relies on its shape. As we keep on saying, the best chef knife for you is the one that feels natural in your hand. If the shape of the handle does not feel comfortable for you to grasp, you would never be able to get the best out of that particular knife.
Typically, knives come in two types of handles-western and Japanese. Western handles are typically triple riveted and feature a full tang. Western handles would be better for you if you tend to lay your hands on the handle where the blade is in close proximity. It enables the user to wield more force.
The blade hack for you should have a Japanese or a Wa-Handle if you like working with lighter handles. Japanese handles rarely come in full tang variants. Most of the time, the tang covers 3/4th of the entire blade length. These handles allow the blade to execute precision cuts.
Japanese knife handles have various shapes. The structural differences impact knife orientation. If you want ambidextrous grip, go for oval or hexagonal. These two handles are the easiest to grab and control. However, if you want top-tier precision, you would have to go for D-shaped handles. These knives require a bit more dexterity, but these perform better.
For starters, it would be better to stick with western style knives. If you do want to use Japanese handles as a novice, we would suggest oval-shaped or hexagonal ones. The D-shaped handle would be a big ask for a newcomer to master. It is appropriate for people who have set their eyes on expanding their culinary range of experience.
Japanese vs. Western Knives
What should be your choice of weapon-a Japanese knife or a German, aka a western one? Both knife styles have their individual pièce de résistance. To put simply, German knives are strictly utilitarian, while Japanese knives are precision instruments. Still, confused? Let us elaborate and help you make a decision.
German knives have higher cutting angles, which is somewhere around the 17.5-degree mark. If you don’t know what to make of this information, then you should know that a higher cutting angle results in superior sharpness. The cutting angle knife for a Japanese knife will be anywhere between 10.5 to 15 degrees.
The high cutting angle punctuates the workhorse status of German knives. You would need that extra bit of sharpness to deal with difficult-to-cut items. Since best Japanese knives can’t match the cutting angles of their German counterparts, they are not the best candidate to cut through things like bones and melon skins.
Both Japanese and German knife blades are forged in steel. But, that doesn’t guarantee that they would have the same level of durability and strength. Since steel is primarily an iron alloy it could have different compositions. Usually, the chemical breakdown of steel reveals 97% iron, 2% carbon, and 1% other elements.
It is possible to alter the quality of steel by altering the concentration of these elements. Therefore, the steel blade can also vary in hardness. We refer to the Rockwell hardness scale to determine the hardness of a particular steel variant. German knives score 57 on the scale, while Japanese knives register 60-63.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What brand of knives do professional chefs prefer?
You would be surprised to know that some high profile chefs actually use cheap but effective knives. Not all of them go for fancy knife making models. But, there are some premium brands that are highly appraised by the chef’s community.
Global, Sun, Miyabi, Henckles, Wusthof, Messermiester are some of the highly recommended brands.
Q. What is the best affordable chef knife?
We will go with the Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife as the best budget chef’s knife. It doesn’t come with the best finish quality in the market, but it is a super sharp knife and is available for a price point that goes below the $40 mark. It can perform a variety of tasks.
Whether its slicing, dicing, mincing, or chopping-it has you covered. It’s fairly low maintenance too.
Q. What knives do chefs recommend?
The best chef knife is not a singular choice. No knife can perform all tasks equally, so you need to make a decision based on your intended application. That said, there are some knives that most chefs hold in high regard. Here are some of those:
- MAC MTH-80 Professional Series 8-inch Chef’s Knife with Dimples.
- Wusthof Classic Ikon 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
- A. Henckels International Classic 8-inch Chef Knife
- Miyabi Evolution 8 Inch
Q. What knives does Gordon Ramsey recommend?
You don’t need to be a cooking enthusiast to be familiar with the name of Gordon Ramsey. He is the most famous chef in the world and has millions of fan following across the globe. The MasterChef judge recommends the following best chef knives for your kitchen:
- Henckels Zwilling Pro 8″ Chef’s Knife
- Wusthof Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife
Q. What are the best chef knife sets?
A comprehensive knife set is instrumental in widening the cooking range of a chef. After browsing a handful of professional chef knife set reviews online, we have handpicked five packages as the best chef knife set offerings. They are as follows:
- Zwilling J.A. Henckels Four Star 7-Piece Knife Set
- Shun Cutlery Classic 7-Piece Essential Block Set
- Global G-835/WS-6 Knife Set with Block
- Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set
- A. Henckels International Definition 12-pc Knife Block Set
If you are looking for the best knife block set under 100, you can consider the fifth entry in this list.
Q. How thick should a chef’s knife be?
For more sharpness, the blade of a knife has to be slimmer than others. Carving chef knives are very sharp, and they are so because of their thin blade sizes. The idea thickness for carving knives is .35mm. A chef’s knife deals with more pressure, so it can be more forgiving in terms of blade thickness. The perfect thickness for chef’s knives is .45mm.
Q. How long are knives good for?
A good quality knife should last you a lifetime. But, the catch is, you have to take care of it properly. You must sharpen the blade when necessary, but frequent sharpening will eat away the blade material and make it dull over time. Maintain an ideal angle while sharpening so that you don’t end up damaging the blade.
Q. What is the sharpest knife in the world?
According to human knowledge, the diamond is the toughest material in existence. But, due to its fundamental structure, a diamond can’t be forged into a sharp blade. The sharpest blade material is obsidian, which is a volcanic glass that can be found in magma. Surgeons use obsidian scalpels for their higher precision and sharpness.
A chef’s knife is an indispensable tool in any kitchen setup. If you are on a tight budget, then go with any of the knives we have mentioned above. All of these models have been hailed by most of their previous users for their high-quality performance. We are confident that these are good enough to satisfy your needs as well.