Having the best chef knife under 100 for your kitchen and skill level can be the difference between an efficient and smooth cooking experience, and wanting to launch your cutlery off the face of the Earth. There’s nothing worse than having to saw your way through a tomato’s skin, squashing the life out of it, just because your trash chef knife can’t hold an edge for more than a week.
It’s easy to find reliable and consistent quality chef knives when you’re paying premium prices – but it gets much harder to find decent quality knives in the budget range. That’s why we’ve brought you this guide! We’re diving into the budget-friendly section of the chef knife world, showing you what you should and shouldn’t be looking for in a budget knife.
Luckily, we’ve done the legwork for you and have put together this list. By the end of this guide, you’ll know what kind of value and performance you can expect across different budget price points, what is worth sacrificing to get the price down, and what features are non-negotiable – even in the low-cost range. Let’s take a look!
Top 7 Best Chef Knife Under 100 Reviews in 2023
We’ll be honest… There are a lot of bad budget chef knives out there, and quite frankly, they seldom live up to their claims. With that said, it’s not fair to expect premium performance across the board when you’re paying budget prices. The key is to tailor the choice of knife closely to your style and needs.
We’ve chosen budget options that do pretty well in certain areas, without sacrificing too much to get there. All of the knives we’ve chosen strike an excellent and intended balance between price, durability, performance, ease of use, and functionality. This being a budget list and all, price is an important determining factor – but it’s not all we looked at.
One budget knife can cost 60% less than another while performing 40% better. Just before we get started, if you’re serious about getting a budget knife that gives you great value for money and performance to match, it would help to write down 3-5 features you need in a chef knife.
For example, if most of your work in the kitchen is with vegetables and lighter meat like fish and poultry, then the chef knife you need might be a little different than standard. Grab your list, get ready, and let’s get started!
Imarku Pro Kitchen Chef’s Knife
At 60% carbon content, the steel used in this knife is quite a bit harder than most other knives (most use around 30%). This gives the knife an exceptionally sharp edge and excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance but is more brittle and prone to chipping. You won’t need to sharpen this knife often and need to take extra care when cutting near bones or on harder cutting boards.
This is a versatile chef knife that can handle a wide variety of food prep tasks like slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, and more. You’ll find the curved cutting edge to be smooth and consistent for rocking-motion dicing and chopping. The sharp blade and relatively hefty feel make this even easier – just make sure to use a composite or wooden cutting board.
You’re getting an ergonomic Pakkawood handle that’s sealed to keep it hygienic and comfortable. It narrows down near the handle to better support the pinch and balances the knife near the pinch pivot point. The transition from handle to blade is seamless and there’s a classy-looking half-bolster.
This lets you choke right up on the knife for more accurate and delicate cutting tasks. Overall, you’re getting one of the best chef knives under 100 with this level of durability and functionality. It’s a reliable and robust knife that handles like a more expensive knife.
- Excellent sharpness and edge retention
- High-quality treated Pakkawood handle
- Highly resistant to corrosion
- Fantastic for rocking-motion dicing
- Quite prone to chipping when used on bones and hard cutting boards
- Not very easy to sharpen or hone
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife
If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not getting a chef knife is worth it – then this might be your best bet. While it has a basic minimalistic appearance with no unnecessary add-ons, this knife is surprisingly capable when you consider its price. You’ll immediately notice how comfortable and ergonomic the handle is.
The texturing gives you awesome control over the cutting edge and adds a lot of slip-resistance. It’s a fantastic all-rounder knife with a pinch-grip-focused balance point. It’s quite a light knife due to it featuring a half-tang (as opposed to the heavier full tang), you find it still has enough heft and sharpness to quickly chop quite effortlessly. It comes sharp and ready to go right out of the box.
You’ll find it holds an edge relatively well, though improves with frequent honing/stropping. As you don’t have the full-tang design, you should avoid heavy cutting where you need to use a lot of force. Try to stay away from bones (both in red meats and poultry) to avoid chipping the knife, always hand wash it, and store it away from your other knives.
If you do all this, you’ll get excellent value for money and a budget knife with a hint of premium performance. Victorinox is known to make a durable knife, so long as you use them as intended, and take good care of them – you can expect to keep this knife around for quite a while!
- Simple design with no unnecessary aesthetic add-ons
- Comfortable and non-slip Fibrox handle
- Easy to hone and maintain
- Not full-tang
- Quite prone to chipping (so use a good cutting board)
J.A. Henckels International Chef’s Knife
If you’re willing to put time into care and maintenance, this knife can perform close to what you’d get with a premium knife. It’ll need to be honed often and touched up to keep the cutting edge at its best. In many regards, this is a premium knife. Sacrifices were made to the warranty terms to save costs and bring you the best performance at the lowest possible cost.
You’re getting all the corrosion resistance, sharpness, and edge retention you get with good German steel. This cutting edge has no trouble at all handling food prep while not shying away from some heavier cutting and carving. At the standard 8”, this knife has plenty of versatility. It’s well-balanced and has a fully-forged construction.
All this means that you’re getting high-quality performance and durability. The transition from handle to blade is smooth through a well-crafted full-bolster. Your fingers are safe from slipping onto the sharp cutting edge, while still supporting a technically correct pinch grip. This knife is dishwasher safe if you’re in a rush – though we still recommend you always hand wash higher-quality kitchen knives.
Henckels is known to produce some of the best chef knives on the market and has been refining their technique over the decades. You’ll benefit from that with this knife, without having to pay Henckel’s standard prices. Overall, you’re getting a top pick for the best chef knife under 100 and a taste of premium performance.
- Cuts and handles like a much more expensive knife
- Affordable into Henckel’s premium ranges
- Ultra-comfortable handle and a well-balanced knife
- Excellent quality steel that’s easy to hone and sharpen
- Not a great warranty agreement
- Could have better corrosion resistance
Mercer Culinary Genesis Santoku Knife
While the Santoku isn’t as big and bulky as a traditional chef knife, it’s excellent for food prep and working on vegetables and fruit. It’s thin blade and razor-sharp edge cuts smoothly and consistently across its length. It’s not $250 quality, but you’re certainly getting more than you pay for.
The full-tang construction and well-balanced profile make this knife an efficient chopper. You don’t need to worry about bruising or tarnishing delicate fruit and vegetables – leading to better food presentation and taste.
There are dimples along the side of the blade to stop food from sticking to its side. This helps with accurate cutting and getting unbroken thin slices. In the end, you’re getting an extremely sharp and functional Santoku and one of the best chef knives under 100 options on the market!
- Stain and corrosion-resistant steel
- Full-tang for excellent balance
- Air pocket along the side of the blade to stop food from sticking
- Seamless bolster
- Not quite as versatile as a western chef knife
- Steel is quite brittle
Wusthof Classic Chef’s Knife
With its full-tang construction, this Wusthof knife feels premium. It’s exceptionally well-balanced. A performance like this is often far more expensive. It’s an all-purpose knife that can handle all your food prep. The edge retention and steel-quality are excellent. You’re getting the professional knife experience here with a full-bolster and a finger guard.
While it’s not as cheap as many of the knives on this list – it’s well worth the slightly higher investment. This is a great knife for beginners to hone and refine their skills. The ergonomic handle sets itself apart from other budget knives with its fade-resistance and non-slip texture.
It’s also nearly perfectly balanced, making rocking-motion exceptionally effortless. Considering the price, this knife is a steal. It’s a pleasure to work with and performs like a premium knife. It’s probably the best chef knife for the money on this list.
- Performs like a premium knife
- Nearly perfectly balanced
- High-quality fade-resistant handle
- Full-bolster and finger guard
- Quite expensive compared to other knives here
- Steel is a little on the brittle side
Global G4 Oriental Chef’s Knife
Here’s a lightweight and insanely accurate Santoku chef knife. It has one of the strongest and sharpest tips for a knife in this price range. While the design is quite a bit different, it still has an elegant and functional profile. The knife is made from high-tech vanadium stainless steel. It holds an excellent edge for longer than you’d expect from a knife at this price.
You can also sharpen the cutting edge to impressively precise edges. We love the dimpled handle (although it can be a little tiresome to keep clean), it helps to shed a lot of the extra weight. You’ll find it comfortable to hold and work with – even with wet hands.
- Lightweight and easy to control
- One of the sharpest knives at this price
- Awesome edge retention
- The dimpled handle is surprisingly comfortable
- Not the most ergonomic knife
- Tough to keep the handle clean
Kutt Santoku Knife with Sharpener
Here’s another tall Santoku knife. The raised handle gives your index finger plenty of room to work with for fast chopping. You’ll immediately notice the gorgeous Walnut handle. It’s treated to stay hygienic and to add an extra layer of durability. You’re getting decent corrosion resistance and edge retention with the multi-layered stainless steel.
It’s easy to strop/hone and sharpen when you need to. The blade’s dimples stop food from sticking to the side and gives you an overall effortless and smooth cutting and chopping experience. Overall, it’s a top-quality best chef knife under 100 if you’re a fan of Santoku-style chef knives.
- Comes with a custom made cleaning cloth
- Stunning handle
- The tall blade that’s fantastic for rapid chopping
- Lightweight and very sturdy
- Steel is rather brittle and prone to damage
- Takes a while to get used to the different balance point
How to Get Yourself the Best Chef Knife Under 100
No chef wants to get a knife that would slow them down or make their kitchen work messy. This is why they search assiduously for the best chef knife under 100. How do you get the best chef knife under 100? This guide helps you consider the necessary factors that you might not have been aware of.
One of the convenient features that all chefs seek is having a knife that does not feel heavy in their hands. No matter the years of experience, no one wants to feel a strain in their hands after kitchen tasks. Hence, it is advised to select chef knives that are not heavy. When you are checking reviews, watch out for the knife’s weight so that you won’t get an inconvenient one.
No one wants to buy a chef knife that will last for a few weeks or months. Your best would be to look out for a chef knife made with carbon, chromium, or steel. These materials prevent stains and rusts, thereby leaving your knife’s blade without blemish.
There’s no need for you to break the bank before getting a great chef knife. There are several chef knives on the market that offer premium quality at a low-cost rate. And one way to access these knives is through proper research. You will be surprised to find out that some expensive knives do not offer the inexpensive ones’ durability and quality.
As a chef or homeowner, your safety is paramount. Ensure you get a knife that comes with safety features like a locking mechanism and a non-slip handle. This would prevent accidental injuries that can be sustained through any means. Besides, ensure you get a sharp knife. Asides from the accuracy in cutting, it prevents potential accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How Do You Maintain a Chef’s Knife?
A: Hand-wash your chef’s knife if you want to keep it in tip-top shape. Don’t put it in the dishwasher unless you’re okay with your knife going dull and rusty. Hand-wash it in lukewarm soap water and wipe dry immediately before storing it in a sheath or block.
Q: How Often Do You Sharpen a Chef Knife?
A: You should sharpen your chef’s knife once every 3-4 months. You could hone or strop the knife more frequently to align the edges; that way, you could put off sharpening it for a bit longer.
You should have a good idea of what you’re looking for in a chef knife now. You’ll also have a good feel for the type of value and features to expect at different price points.
Take what you’ve learned here, along with the list you made of what you need in a chef knife, and go back over any knives that caught your attention. Once you’ve got the best chef knife under 100 for your kitchen, you’ll get more enjoyment and less frustration when prepping your meals! Enjoy!