Updated on December 15, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
When you enter the kitchen to prep a meal, the one thing you will need is a decent knife. Most people will go to the store and just pick one they think will do the job without considering the make, finish, and what the knife is build to do. That’s understandable. A blade can seem like a blade. Plus, you may feel like you have to just get whatever is available when you factor in budget.
So, we’ve put together a list of the best chef knives under $100 to get you started. A chef’s knife is essential because it’s your firsthand, go-to knife. Our FAQ dives deeper into some considerations for you as you pick from our list as well.
Best Chef Knives Under $100
Why it’s great: It doesn’t matter if you’re a paid professional chef or a humble home cook when it comes to the Fibro Pro Chef’s knife. Anyone will love the handle. It’s simple but efficient at getting any task done, no matter the kitchen experience level.
Its thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) handle provides a nonslip grip while sharp and wide stainless steel blade slices, chops, minces, and dices big and small food items. Take it to meats and vegetables alike. Users love the expert level Swiss craftsmanship and the lifetime warranty that comes with this purchase. It’s also National Sanitary Foundation (NSF) approved.
Keep in mind: Knive’s full dimensions are 17 x 4 x 1.25 inches, and weighs 7.5 ounces.
Best for: Carving meats or hard-skinned foods
Why it’s great: This high-carbon stainless steel classic cook’s knife will definitely get most jobs done in a slice. No matter the meal, this 6” all-purpose kitchen essential will mince, slice, chop, and dice dutifully. It is a best kept, highly rated secret – until now!
The German-based Wisthof company has been making knives for over 200 years, so they know what they’re doing. That’s why you get a full bolster, finger guard, and an ergonomic design that is resistant to discoloration and fading. With the Precision Edge Technology (Petec), you get a 20% sharper blade with double edge retention, meaning Wusthof is consistently outdoing its previous knives to get you prepping your heartiest meal.
Keep in mind: Overall dimensions of 14.8 x 5.1 x 1.5 inches, weighs 6.40 ounces, and has a 15⁰ blade angle.
Best for: Slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, and for tackling thicker vegetables and meats.
(Best Japanese style)
Why it’s great: This Japanese steel core 67-layered forged Damascus blade is a budget-friendly contender for any culinary chef. It’s crafted for push-cut specialists and slicing, making it a well rounded ideal all-purpose knife.
Its forged VG-10 steel makes it incredibly durable and easy to sharpen. You’ll find it stands up well to cold, heat, and moisture because of the precise G10 handle. It’s undergone traditional cryogenic treatment to bring you flexibility, hardness, and a hollow-edge finish to guarantee your blade stays clean as you prep.
Your hands will love the performance of its balanced design. The herringbone pattern brings this knife into another category of superb artistry and luxury. Its modern Japanese style looks good and performs better than western knives. It also comes with a matching guard and sheath. On top of it all, KYOKU promises a lifetime warranty.
Keep in mind: Overall dimensions of 13.8 x 1.95 x 1 inches, weighs 1.5lbs, and its blade angles at 8-12° per side.
Best for: Push-cut specialists and slicing.
(Best classic knife)
Why it’s great: This German stainless steel blade was assembled in Spain with features your hands will love. Its construction is well executed from the tip of its sharp, satin-finished, fine-edge blade to its durable base that supports tireless use. It’s versatile for all kitchen needs, from chopping potatoes to slicing salmon and everything between. You also get a lifetime warranty upon purchase.
Keep in mind: Product measures 16 x 3.75 x 1 inches (handle length is 4.72 inches) and weighs 8 ounces.
Best for: Mincing, slicing, chopping, and dicing.
Why it’s great: Also known as “The Reaper”, this extra long (14 inches!) hand sharpened, high carbon German steel blade is an incredible purchase. Its Pakkawod handle is built to last along with the hot and cold tempered scalpel, curved blade. You’ll be amazed at it effortlessly slices through gamey flesh like moose and even your usual kitchen meats such as poultry and pork without fatiguing your wrist. You’ll feel “battle-ready” no matter what you’re tackling.
Its G10 Garolite handle is beautifully etched with a full tang, a satin finishing, and its stain-resistant despite its price. It sharpens with ease and cleans easily. This knife also comes with its own BPA free sheath. Dalstrong knows you’ll love it, but if you’re somehow dissatisfied, you’re promised a money-back guarantee.
Keep in mind: Each side is sharpened by hand at 14-16 degrees, weighs 1 pound, and measures 14 x 2.8 x 2.1 inches.
Best for: Ambidextrous users, sectioning and portioning meats.
(Best for pros)
Why it’s great: Made from VG-10 Japanese stainless steel, this knife is any professional chef’s budget-friendly dream. Its ergonomic curved handle is made from hardy fiberglass, provides a nonslip grip, and is comfortable for short and long term use. The blades are premium high-quality steel and are sharpened at the highest standard for dicing, slicing, and even shredding. Overall, it’s unique pattern makes it a distinctive kitchen chef’s knife that you’ll love to have or give.
Keep in mind: All knives listed here come with a lifetime warranty, while this one provides 2 years. Overall dimensions of 14.57 x 3.07 x 0.79 inches and weighs 15.2 ounces.
Best for: Shredding, dicing, and slicing.
Why it’s great: You and your budget will love this chef’s knife. Its blade? Sharp, high-carbon German steel finished at 14-16 degrees on each side. It’s tempered, crafted with a 56+ Rockwell hardness, and resists stain like no other. Its handle? Made from Pakkawood, triple-riveted, and provides comfort for however long you need to use it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom, pro chef, or a kitchen first-timer, you’ll love how well this chef’s knife moves with you. You also get edge retention, a full tang, a blade that’s easy to sharpen, and a BPA free sheath.
Keep in mind: Weighs 9.2 ounces and measures 6 x 0.08 x 2.2 inches.
Best for: Ultra-thin slicing and dicing.
FAQ’s about Best Chef Knives
1. What’s a chef’s knife?
A chef’s knife is a cook’s first and primary knife. It’s the king of multipurpose prep and is an essential. A good chef’s knife covers basic tasks like slicing, chopping, mincing, and dicing anything from poultry to fish to vegetables.
The Gyuto (gyutou) is a modern Japanese design of a chef’s knife. It has the same shape and size as the typical western chef’s knife, but it’s lighter, thinner, harder, curved, and sharper.
2. What kind of steel should my chef’s knife be made of?
When choosing a chef’s knife, you want to get a blade made of high carbon stainless steel. Stainless steel is easy to maintain, has good edge retention, durable, and of course, it won’t rust.
3. What size should my knife be?
Most home chefs choose an 8-inch chef’s knife. As you gain more experience in the kitchen, you’ll start to feel what is most comfortable for your hands and the tasks you’re performing.
4. What’s the Rockwell scale?
It’s a way to determine if a knife will stay sharp. A chef’s knife 56+ on the Rockwell scale won’t dull too quickly.
5. Should I get a warranty on my chef’s knife?
Yes. Since a chef’s knife will be used often, so anything can surely happen. You may purchase it and find out the typical 8 inches isn’t for you. Our list does include knives that are longer and shorter for those who already know what they’re looking for in terms of length.
You may also start using it and find out it doesn’t match your needs or it easily becomes dull. You might also come across a balance issue where while gripping the knife, meaning it doesn’t weigh comfortably at the back of the handle or towards the blade.
No matter what problem comes up, you’ll be saving yourself money if you’re able to return it.
You don’t have to compromise function and comfort because of pricing when choosing a chef’s knife. Our list provides working knives for professionals and home cookers alike to get slicing and dicing with ease. The FAQ helps beginners get started, and each review adds more thoughtful elements for those who are more versed with knives. You’ll be sure to love one on our list. Plus, with warranties lasting up to the lifetime use of most knives listed, you are off to a great start to finding your true right-hand kitchen partner.