Best Chef Knife Under $100

best chef knife under $100

From award winning chefs to humble home cooks knives are an essential piece of culinary equipment.

You may find that as you build your culinary kit that you pick whatever seems to fit your budget. Understandable. 

However, now you want something with real power. Well, you don’t have to break the bank to purchase a strong, reliable chef knife. 

No matter the food you enjoy preparing there is a knife for you but making the right choice can be difficult.

With so many high quality chef knives available for under $100 it can seem almost impossible to find one that will fit your needs.

Before you search for a chef knife online, there are a few things you should bear in mind.

Before purchasing any, you must determine the type of knife you require for your specific use case, whether the knife is worth the asking price, and whether it was made by a reputable manufacturer.  

But you can relax as we have selected 5 of the best chef knives under $100 for you to choose from.

We have even devised a simple buyers guide so that you know what to look for on your next cooking adventure. 

1. The Imarku Chef Knife

Beginner in the kitchen? The Imarku Chef Knife is an excellent choice.

This high quality knife makes cooking easy by allowing you to relax and the blade taking on most of the work.

One of the highest quality steels, German stainless steel, was used to construct the blade of this knife, giving it exceptional strength and sharpness.

When navigating your way through a recipe you may find that you have various types of ingredients to chop.

This knife makes chopping easy from soft vegetables to boning chicken, there isn’t anything this knife can’t cut through.

Chop, cut, mind and dice anything your heart desires without fear of corrosion, With a combination of carbon and chrome this blade is glossy and long lasting.

While the blade is a bit larger than other knives at 8 inches, we still recommend this knife to beginners.

The sharp blade and lightweight handle allow you to maneuver your way through the kitchen with ease.

The Pakkawood handle allows you to hold the blade for extended periods of time without experiencing fatigue, finger numbness, or aches. 

Pros 

  • Lightweight. Made from Pakkawood, the handle of this knife is extremely lightweight, perfect for those who spend most of their day slicing and dicing in the kitchen. 
  • Anti- Corrosion. With a blend of carbon and chrome this blade is given a glossy finish and is set to last a long time. 
  • Multi-Purpose. While most knives have a specific purpose this blade has many uses. From boning chicken to slicing veggies this knife can do it all. 

Cons 

  • Blade Length. 8 inch blade may take some time to learn when used by beginners. 

2. Mercer Culinary Genesis 7 inch Santoku Knife

Mercer Culinary M20707 Genesis 7-Inch Santoku Knife

It is of no secret that Japanese knives are something to be desired.

With their sleek design and insane results, it is no wonder that they also come with a rather steep price. 

However, the Mercer Culinary Genesis Santoku Knife (see also ‘Santoku Knives Vs Chef’s Knives‘) is a Japanese knife with an even more desirable price point.

The flat blade makes it different from a typical chef knife and makes these blades better suited for cutting in an upward and downward motion as opposed to swaying the blade.

The holes running along the side of this blade are not just for decoration, they help prevent food from sticking to the blade as you cut.

An irritation of many chefs. The German steel blended with carbon makes this a durable, reliable knife.

This is a great option for those with smaller hands or often find themselves struggling when chopping for long periods of time.

The 7 inch blade makes navigating different ingredients simple. Not to mention it just needs a quick wash with warm water and mild soap when it comes to care. 

Slice, dice, mince, and cut your way through each ingredient with ease with the Mercer Culinary Genesis 7 inch Santoku Knife.

Pros 

  • Damage Resistant. German steel infused with carbon makes this blade extremely damaged and corrosion resistant.
  • Well-Balanced. The Santoku form of this blade makes it easy to use and works best in an up and down motion. 
  • Price. You will experience a high quality knife for an extremely budget-friendly price. 

Cons 

  • Blade. The 7 Inch blade may be too small for certain cutting tasks. 

Mercer Culinary M20707 Genesis 7-Inch Santoku Knife
  • QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Knife is precision-forged with high-carbon German steel for better durability, and taper-ground edge allows for increased efficiency when cutting along with incredible long-lasting sharpness
  • SUPERIOR DESIGN: The finest handle in forged cutlery; built to last ergonomic handle offers comfort and a non-slip grip, even with wet hands
  • BEST USE: Sharp tines are perfect for piercing food; a compliment to any of Mercer Culinary's Carving Knives to easily slice and serve meats like chicken, ham, or turkey
  • EASY CARE: To maximize the performance and longevity of your carving fork, carefully wash by hand with warm water and mild soap; rinse and dry completely with a soft towel. Do not place in dishwasher or submerge for long periods of time
  • MERCER CULINARY GENESIS SERIES: Never stop experimenting in the kitchen; this Genesis fork is essential in every kitchen, perfect for professional use or the home cooking enthusiast

3. Kutt Hikari Chef Knife Set

If you often find that you have a tendency to nick your fingers when cooking, then you may just be in luck.

Kutt’s Kijari Chef Knife Set comes with a handy finger guard and an odor removing soap to keep your knives fresh and ready to use. 

While you may not be spending as much as you thought, this knife is sure to surprise you.

As you put it to good use you will notice its impressive strength, sharpness, and durability. Even though it is made from standard stainless steel. 

This knife has a gorgeous handle made of Pakka wood, which not only gives the blade a distinctive and lovely appearance but also provides incredible comfort and grip when in use.

While the Kutt brand is not hugely known within the industry, you know you are paying for a reliable, strong knife that will surpass your expectations.

Allowing you to focus on what really matters. Does your recipe need more salt?

Pros 

  • Unique Design. Each Kutt product has an expertly designed brand logo giving it a professional finish. The Pakkawood handle also adds a lightweight feel.
  • Budget-Friendly. You will receive a high-quality, high-performance product for an affordable price. 
  • Accessories. When handling a sharp object, safety is important. The metal finger guard means you can cook with a peace of mind that you are protected. 

Cons 

  • Blade Strength. While this blade will deliver at a high performance, the blade could be made from stronger materials than standard stainless steel. 

4. Cangshan German Steel Forged Chef’s Knife

Cangshan D Series 59120 German Steel Forged Chef's Knife, 8-Inch

When looking for a knife that you know you can rely on without having to research the brand, we also go for Cangshan.

They are known for producing well-crafted knives for an affordable price that will last in your kitchen. 

While this knife comes in a variety of sizes, the 8-inch blade is sure to give you the most versatility.

This size of blade is sure to take away the daunting thought of working with a chef’s knife as it’s lightweight and ergonomic.

If you are familiar with Cangshan knives then you may feel like you have seen the handle before. The handle of the German Steel Forged Chef’s Knife is a re-design of a previous model’s handle.

It is now lighter, providing a stronger grip and comfort without having to sacrifice the sleek look of the knife overall. 

We highly recommend the Cangshan German Steel Forged Chef’s Knife to anyone who feels unfamiliar when holding a knife.

This high-quality knife is the perfect gateway into the world of Chef Knives to give you a more professional result. 

Pros 

  • Brand Image. Cangshan is an industry recognized brand known for producing high quality knives that achieve great results. 
  • Sizes. This knife comes in various sizes from 7 inches to 9 inches making it perfect for anyone of any knife handling experience. 
  • Well-balanced Handle. This redesigned handle is lighter making it more comfortable to hold and allows for a stronger grip. 

Cons 

  • Grip. While the handle allows for a strong grip, this may not be the case if you have smaller hands. 

Cangshan D Series 59120 German Steel Forged Chef's Knife, 8-Inch
  • Hand crafted full tang knives forged from fine grained, German X50CrMoV15 Steel for incredible durability, stain resistance and exceptional edge retention. USPTO Patented Design.
  • Each blade goes through an (ultra6) stage heat treatment ensuring every blade maintains its strength and function.
  • Well balanced 5.5" handle and 8" blade with HRC 58 +/- 2 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale.
  • This chef’s knife is the ultimate, all-purpose knife you will use every day. Use it for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing just about any ingredient. Strong magnets are embedded into the edge of the sheath to hold onto the spine of the knife. An innovative and stylish way to protect your blades and fingers.
  • NSF International Certified. Lifetime Warranty against manufacturer defects. Wash knives with warm water and a little detergent, rinse carefully and dry with a towel.

5. Henckels Classic Precision 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

Henckels Classic Precision 8-inch Chef's Knife

The Henckels Classic Precision 8 Inch Chef’s Knife is great if you find yourself often attempting rather delicate work in the kitchen. 

This Spanish made knife features high-quality German stainless steel and is provided with a stunning satin-finish with a fine-edged blade.

Perfect for even the most fragile of work. This blade is also stain resistant meaning that it is set to last for quite some time in your kitchen.

The ergonomic triple rivet handle and wide bolster provides a new level of comfort, safety and weight.

Whether you are chopping potatoes, dicing an onion or mincing garlic this knife will be there to protect and help you every step of the way. 

This knife makes it into our top picks as the handle has a straight spine ending in a curve allowing for a stronger grip meaning less chance of it slipping and sliding out of your hand. 

While this is one of the more expensive chef knives within this article, it really is worth the investment. And it is still under $100.

You will find yourself reaching for the Henckels Classic Precision Chef’s Knife for your every chopping need in the kitchen. 

Pros 

  • Quality. This chef’s knife is made in Spain and is infused with strong German stainless steel. Meaning it is made to last you for a long time. 
  • Handle. The triple rivet and wide bolster allow it to have a stronger grip than other blades. 
  • Reliable. You can rely on the Henckels Classic Precision Chef’s Knife to see you through every recipe you try. 

Cons 

  • Price. While worth every penny and is still within the $100 price range, this knife may still be rather expensive. 

Sale
Henckels Classic Precision 8-inch Chef's Knife
  • Fabricated from high-quality German stainless steel
  • Fully forged construction offers durability and a seamless transition from blade to handle
  • Professional, satin-finished blade boasts precision cutting and is finely honed for long-lasting sharpness
  • Rounded spine provides balance and comfort
  • Ergonomic, curved triple-rivet handle encourages tireless cutting

Buyers Guide 

When scoping the market for the best high-quality value chef’s knife it can become confusing.

Afterall, a knife should just cut through things right? While you are correct there are certain factors to be considered when purchasing a chef’s knife and we have included them below:

Blade Size And Balance 

The majority of knives, chef, kitchen or otherwise come in a range of sizes.

You may find some to be as small as 4.5 inches while others can be as large as 16 inches. 

So, you may discover a knife which has everything you need but if it is too big or too small for your skill level, you may struggle to get its full use. 

For the general homecook we recommend a blade of around 7-8 inches.

This is due to 7-8 inches being the most common length of blade and you are most likely to be comfortable with this length already. 

However, if you are a professional chef then you may be more comfortable with a larger blade. 

For more intricate work such as mincing garlic, you may prefer the precision of a smaller blade. 

The size of the blade you choose is more dependent on your skill level than the length of the blade itself.

Be wary of selecting a blade which is too long as you may put yourself at risk of injury. 

In terms of balance, it is important to consider the handle and the blade together. There are 3 types available:

  • Back-Heavy. This is when there is more weight in the handle with a lighter blade. 
  • Balance. Both the handle and the blade are equal to each other’s weight. 
  • Front-Heavy. This when there is more weight in the blade than in the handle.

Professional chefs may prefer a Front-Heavy blade as they are chopping all day every day.

Home cooks may prefer a Back-Heavy knife to provide a larger sense of control when chopping and cutting. 

However, both blade length and balance are completely personal preference and may take some trial and error to discover. 

Handle Design 

Finding a chef’s knife with a handle you can hold comfortably is important, as this is the section of the knife you will be using the most. 

For example, for those who are left-handed you may want to avoid knives with a molded grip as they are typically designed for right handed users. 

Handle design often differs depending on the brand and the intended use of the knife itself.

Even the ways in which a knife is to be cleaned can impact the handle design. 

Blade Material 

It can often look like all blades are made of the same materials.

However, there are 2 common materials that are used to create the blade of a knife and they can have a rather significant impact on the performance and life of a blade. 

  • Carbon Steel. Carbon steel knives will react to the environment over time and patina (an incrustation, usually green or brown, produced by oxidation on the surface of the metal). This can seem like they are not worth the investment, however, they are still extremely popular as they are easy to keep sharp.

However, if you want a more low maintenance blade then we recommend stainless steel.

  • Stainless Steel. Stainless steel blades are less prone to corrosion and damage making them a popular choice among chefs and cooks all over the world. They are extremely long lasting and require a simple maintenance regime. 

Japanese Vs European Knives 

When searching for a chef knife to upgrade your culinary set you may be tempted to purchase a knife from a specific place due to the reputation.

However, depending on your skill level and preferences this could be a rather large mistake. 

We have put together the main differences between Japanese and European knives to ensure you know what each place has to offer when it comes to their knives. 

Japanese Knives

  • Light and well-balanced knives
  • Strong steel
  • Thinner blade
  • No bolster to balance the blade and handle for support. 
  • Straighter blade which is better for slicing than other tasks. 

European Knives 

  • Heavier than Japanese knives overall 
  • Weaker steel 
  • Thicker blade
  • Bolster is thicker providing more support

Overall, the type of knife you purchase is a completely personal choice. From the material of the blade to the handle, everything must suit you.

This buyer’s guide explains each element that must be considered when selecting a chef’s knife. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

We have answered the most frequently asked questions in regards to chef knives under $100 to help make your selection process simple. 

What Size Knives Do Chefs Use?

Due to their experience and daily activities professional chefs mainly use 12 inch blades.

However, experienced home cooks typically use an 8 inch blade for comfortability. 

Should A Chef Knife Be Light Or Heavy?

A heavier weight knife is a suitable choice if it will be used mostly for cutting really tough foods like squash and potatoes.

A lighter knife might be preferable when cutting highly delicate items like tomatoes and soft fruits. In the end, it comes down to preference.

Final Thoughts 

When searching for the latest upgrade to your kitchen kit, it can be hard to determine what’s good quality, what will give you results, and what will suit your own preferences. 

Take a look at our 5 best chef knives for under $100. We have selected the best chef knives on the market that won’t break your budget. 

Whether it’s a gift, for your own restaurant, or to give you better performance in your home kitchen, a chef knife can make the world of difference.

Make the right choice and check out the options above!

Amanda Litchford

Making delicious meals and researching products has inspired me as a stay at home mom to start this website in helping out others who don’t have the time or expertise in the kitchen.

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