Best Chef Knives Under $100 – 2020 Reviews

A chef’s knife or a cook’s knife is a must-have utility in any modern kitchen. You will need it for almost all types of food preparations, whether you are a professional or a home cook.

But a high-quality chef knife does not come cheap, and for most of us, the price can get out of budget. So we are going to look at the best chef knives under $100 that do not compromise on quality.

Before we get to the reviews, let’s look at some of the many uses of a chef knife.  

Our Top Picks for Chef Knives Under $100

  • Satin-finished blade
  • Fully forged build
  • Handle is ergonomic
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  • Premium materials
  • Hand-polished edge
  • Minimal slicing resistance
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  • Best for the Money
  • Durable steel blade
  • Good balance
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Comparison of the Best Chef Knives Under $100

PRODUCTDETAILS
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J.A. Henckels 31161-201

  • Beautiful sharp satin-finished blade
  • Fully forged construction enhances durability
  • Handle is ergonomic and very comfortable
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Dalstrong Gladiator Series

  • Made from premium materials
  • Unique hand-polished edge
  • Promises minimal slicing resistance
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KUMA Multi Purpose Chef Knife

  • Best for the Money
  • Soft but durable stainless steel blade
  • Good balance between sharpness and toughness
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Shun Sora VB0706

  • Best Japanese Chef Knife Under $100
  • Blade has improved stain resistance
  • Hand sharpened and made to last
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Victorinox 45520

  • Blade has been laser-tested for quality
  • Lifetime guarantee against defects
  • Improved safety with non-slip grip
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When Would a Chef Knife Come in Handy?

As we mentioned, a chef knife is used in just about any cooking situation. If you are wondering what you might need it for, here are some of the areas where it can give you better results than an ordinary knife.

Fish

When you fillet fish, you need to get rid of the scales and bones, and you need to make sure that no meat is wasted. It takes a lot of practice and experience to get it right and is a skill on its own. It is something that just cannot be done with the proper tool. 

Meat

If you have ever cut any kind of meat, including chicken, you will know that a normal kitchen knife just does not work. It does not have the sharpness or the width to handle meat. A good, sharp chef’s knife can save you a lot of trouble and time.  

Mincing Vegetables

Meat and fish might have seemed like obvious uses for a chef’s knife, but vegetables get in the mix as well. If you want to be fast and precise in your cutting, using a good knife can go a long way.

If you were wondering why your vegetables don’t look how they do in restaurants, well, the answer is simple. You will never see a professional chef using an ordinary knife even for vegetable preparation.

Can You Find a Quality Chef Knife Under $100?

A professional-quality chef’s knife does not come cheap, but that is a budget only restaurants have. For home cooks and small business owners looking for budget-friendly alternatives, buying an expensive unit can get difficult. Plus, you might come across a lot of options and might not be sure which one will suit you or which one is actually good. 

You don’t have to worry about the quality because these products are made for both spectrums. You will see some versions with a price of thousand and above and some in the two-digit range. Depending on the purpose and frequency of use, you might need to go overboard with the price. You can find a good-quality and sharp knife below $100. And to help make the task easier, we have compiled a list of the best ones.   

Willy's Top Picks - Best Chef Knives Under $100

Review of the Best Chef Knives Under $100

If you are still doubtful that you will not find a good chef knife within the $100 range, then just have a look at our top picks. We’ve reviewed them in detail, so you know what to expect of then:

J.A. Henckels International 31161-201 CLASSIC Chef's Knife, 8 Inch, Black

Pros

  • Non-slip handle
  • Uses high-quality stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe, making cleaning easier
  • Sharp blade for quick and seamless cutting

Cons

  • A bit heavy to handle

What Recent Buyers Report

If you are looking for a restaurant-quality knife at a low price, then this would be a good bet. The blade has a great grip and good balance. You could not ask for a more reasonable product at this price.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This 8-inch chef knife has a fully forged stainless steel construction and a non-grip triple-trivet handle. This gives it a good balance and makes it easy to use. The German steel used here is high in carbon content and highly durable.

Because it is not too flexible, it is great for hard vegetables like potatoes. It is also completely dishwasher-safe, so it saves you a lot of cleaning time.

J.A Henckels has been making knives since the 19th century and delivers its products worldwide. The brand has a good name, and this knife lives up to it.

Bottom Line

Good chef knives below $100 are not easy to find. You can easily waste your money on useless junk. This knife, however, does what it promises. The sharp blade cuts through easily and is great for use on potatoes, onions, salmons, apples, shallots, etc.

DALSTRONG Chef Knife - Gladiator Series - Forged ThyssenKrupp High Carbon German Steel - Full Tang (6' Chef Knife, Black)

Pros

  • Award-winning design
  • Easy to clean and hold
  • Stain-resistant finishing
  • Uses forged high-carbon steel
  • Ergonomically-designed handle to avoid hand fatigue

Cons

  • Not for small hands

What Recent Buyers Report

Users report that this knife is very sharp and can hold its edge for long periods. It is very easy to use without getting your hand tired. It comes highly recommended by most of its users because of the quality of the blade and the ease with which it cuts.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product is made from high-carbon German steel, which makes it ultra-sharp, stain-resistant, and rust-resistant. Chromium id is added to it to prevent stains, and it also becomes easy to clean. It is made for all kinds of cooking, whether professional or amateur, meat or finely chopped vegetables.

It has an ergonomic triple-rivet wooden handle to make cutting lots of food more comfortable. It also has an end cap for storage. The wide blade makes scoping and cutting faster. Other than its durability and sharpness, the knife also has a pleasing look with its laminated and engraved pakkawood handle.

Bottom Line

Overall, this chef knife costing below $100 is not just for home use, but its 14-16° hand-sharpened blade makes it a knife for professional use by giving it balance and sharpness. The hand-polished blade and laminated handle make for a clean, healthy, and durable knife worthy of investment.

Best for the Money:
KUMA Multi Purpose Chef Knife

KUMA Multi Purpose Chef Knife - Razor Sharp Out of The Box - 8 Inch Chefs Knife for Carving, Slicing & Chopping - Great Ergonomic Handle - Professional Cooking Kitchen Knife - Cuts Like A Dream

Pros

  • Easy to sharpen
  • Lightweight design
  • Comfortable to use
  • Resists acid and corrosion

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe

What Recent Buyers Report

According to buyers, this knife is very versatile. It can handle everything and has great balance. It still looks brand new and is sharp, even after multiple uses. Other than not being able to wash it in a dishwasher, it has no issues. You can cut anything from chicken to onions with ease.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Kuma chef knife stands out to us because it is a Japanese-inspired knife. It is super thin and requires far less maintenance in regards to how often you have to sharpen them. They are also harder and sharper than other blades.

This knife's blade has been designed, keeping in mind that it will be used to cut all kinds of things from meat and fish to vegetables. Its stainless steel blade resists corrosion and acid damage and is very easy to clean. Overall, the knife is very sharp and has a great finish profile.

Bottom Line

Add a little versatility to your kitchen with this Japanese knife. Its lightweight design and razor-sharp blade make it very easy to use and get things done quicker. The steel has been carefully tempered for sharpness and toughness, giving you a durable product.

Best Japanese Chef Knife Under $100:
Shun Sora VB0706

Shun Sora Chef's Knife, 8 Inch, Cutlery Handcrafted in Japan, VB0706, Black

Pros

  • Hand-crafted in Japan
  • Stain-resistant finishing
  • Textured TPE handle for a good grip
  • Heat-treated steel for longer-lasting edge
  • Uses proprietary composite blade technology

Cons

  • Might be too lightweight for some people

What Recent Buyers Report

The knife has a very thin and delicate design that needs some getting used to, but once you do, it gives great results. The blade stays sharp after many uses. This unique knife is used in restaurants as well and holds its edge after hours of continuous use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The blade has been handcrafted in Japan and uses proprietary composite technology. It combines VG10 San Ma, a Japanese cutlery-grade stainless steel, with 240J, surgical-quality steel with high chromium content. To top it off, a layer of stainless steel makes it stain-resistant. This combination makes it highly durable.

The heat treatment makes it possible for the blade to be thinner, stronger, and sharper. If you have ever seen a sushi chef do his job, then you will know that Japanese knives are one of a kind.

The handle is made of textured TPE, which gives it a good grip and makes it easier to use.

Bottom Line

Japanese knives are known for their thinness and ability to retain the edge for longer periods of time. This knife does just that. It combines traditional techniques with modern ones to give you a durable and strong end product.

Editor's Pick:
Victorinox 45520

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP, 8 Inch, Black

Pros

  • Has a lifetime guarantee
  • Ergonomic non-slip handle
  • Razor-sharp edge for easier cutting
  • Dishwasher-safe, taking away the hassle of cleaning it

Cons

  • A little heavy

What Recent Buyers Report

This is one of the best chef knives if you are working on a budget. It is super sharp and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. The handle has a great texture and is easy to grip. For a cheap knife, it gives a lot of value and performance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The knife has a thermoplastic elastomer handle with a non-slip grip, making it very comfortable to hold and use. The grip is retained even when wet. It is completely dishwasher safe and easy to clean. It is a versatile knife that can handle all kitchen tasks.

Its extra-wide blade can keep its edge for long periods and requires very little sharpening. This swiss-made knife uses a tapered stainless steel material blade that cuts smoothly and is razor-sharp.

Bottom Line

To sum up, this swiss blade is a professional-quality chef knife which is probably the best you can buy at such a low price. It is highly durable and strong, with a good balance. It makes everything easy for you, from cutting to cleaning.

Pros and Cons of Chef Knives

If you are not yet convinced about whether you need to spend money on this, then compare the benefits and disadvantages of owning a chef knife.

Pros

First, let’s go over the benefits:

Speed

When your knife is sharp, you get things done with much more ease and precision. Trying to cut a tomato with a comparatively dull sharp knife is messy, and the juice gets all over you. Similarly, when trying to slice potatoes, you never get consistent shapes and sizes, and let’s just forget about getting through a pineapple. All of this is made easier with a high-quality, sharp blade.  

Large Blade Size

The length and width of the blade make a huge difference in how well the knife performs. While a huge part of it depends on your comfort level, a wider blade does better with meat and large vegetables as well. You are able to cut through them more easily, and it also helps if you are cutting multiple items at once. 

High-Quality Blades

The manufacturing process and quality of metal used in these knives are not easily found on others. It is what gives them their sharpness and strength. They are made of either high-carbon steel or stainless steel.

Cons

On the other hand, some drawbacks include:

Price

The one con we could find is the price. These knives are recommended by everyone and are considered a necessity in every kitchen. But everything good comes at a price. Despite this, there are several low price options available, the best of which we have listed here.

How to Clean a Chef Knife

Washing your kitchen equipment properly is a health requirement, especially things used to prepare food. You need to properly wash them after every use to avoid the accumulation of bacteria or fear of attracting insects.

When it comes to knives, it is advisable to follow these steps to properly clean them:

  1. Mix hot water and soap in a container

  2. Dip the cleaning brush (with soft bristles) in the mixture 

  3. Rub the brush against the knife 

  4. Make sure the brush has an elevated handle for safety

  5. Press the knife against the sink wall on one side and brush on the other side

  6. After doing both sides, rinse the knife under hot water

  7. Spray the knife with a sanitizer and wipe it with a clean cloth

If you need visual help to get how to clean a knife, here’s a video to help you:

Conclusion

To sum it all up, a good chef knife is a necessary kitchen utensil that can get just about any cutting task done faster and cleaner. These knives make for a great addition to any kitchen. Keeping in mind the budget while not compromising on quality, our list has some of the best knives you can find.