If you were to ask any professional chef out there about the three pivotal knives, most of them would probably tell you that the holy trinity is a paring, a chef’s, and a serrated knife.
Although you can also benefit from other knives, they’re considered more of a luxury than a need. They can bring the cooking to another level and ease it a lot; however, they’re essential.
When it comes to chef’s knives, they’re one of the most frequently used, mostly because of their versatility and sharpness.
These knives are masters for chopping and slicing but can help with so many other tasks as well. They come in various styles and models, including Santoku knives or French-style knives.
Although practical and reliable, some chef’s knives can be expensive. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t find a quality chef’s knife that doesn’t cost you a small fortune.
In fact, we’ve made a list with the chef’s knives under $100 that are one click away from you.
Let’s check them out!
What is a Chef Knife?
A chef’s knife is considered to be one of the most important tools in a chef’s kitchen. And, if we consider the amount it does spend in your hands, it’s optimal we choose the best one.
A quality chef’s knife is a multipurpose knife that is your go-to pick for slicing, dicing, mincing, chopping, etc.
The quality models are made with high-carbon stainless steel-a hard metal that preserves its edge for a long period of time and doesn’t rust or lose its color like ordinary carbon steel tends to.
They’re usually measured in inches and 8 and 12 inches are the most common lengths.
The German-style ones tend to be curvier at the blade’s front and are best for chopping in a rocking motion whereas the French one is straighter and more triangular and suitable for a slicing type of motion where you draw the knife straight back towards you.
Why Do I need a Chef Knife?
A good knife is much more than just a quality blade and a comfy handle. A chef’s knife has to have highly sharp edges, optimized edge retention, and full-tang construction.
If you were to look for a knife that checks out on all of these things, it would definitely be a chef’s knife.
These razor-sharp knives ask for minimal force to cut and slice and mince cleanly. Thanks to their balanced design, they give the user more control over the process.
They’re awesome for multiple tasks, including dicing some herbs for your stew, chopping greens for your salad, or slicing bread for your sandwich.
No matter if it’s at home or professional, rest assured- this knife is always functional and rarely goes out of style.
How to Properly Use Chef Knife?
Having the right tool in your hand, in this case, the right knife matters a lot. But, it’s not enough.
We also have to learn how to properly use it to optimize the results and ease the food prep.
A tool is only useful if we use it the right way.
To hold it, pinch the blade between the thumb and forefinger, ahead of the bolster, like a claw, and curl your other three fingers around the handle.
As it’s mostly used for chopping and the blade is designed to move up and down with the wrist at the proper joint, positioning your hand adequately on the bolster is essential for control and prevention of very big cuts or injuring your fingers.
When should I Clean my Chef’s Knife?
Although experts recommend hand washing your knives whenever possible, there are some models of chef’s knives that are made suitable for the dishwasher.
To prolong their durability and make sure they perform optimally, wash them by hand, using mild dish soap and hot water. And, remember to pat them dry!
It’s best to avoid piling them up in the sink or racking them with their handles up.
Should I Sharpen my Chef Knife?
Of course! Regular maintenance of your knives is pivotal, including regular sharpening because a dull knife is just an accident waiting to happen.
If you checked the blade with the paper test and your chef’s knife is unable to cut through it, it means it’s time for sharpening.
Knife sharpeners like whetstones or electric sharpeners would suffice to restore the blade’s glory.
However, if you have none of these by your side and you need to sharpen it up, you can use the unglazed part bottom of a ceramic mug-hold it at a 15-degree angle and draw the blade through the rough surface a couple of times to sharpen it.
However, if you’re unsure of your sharpening skills, you can always take the knife to a professional to do it for you.
Which Factors to Take Into Consideration before a Purchase?
How it’s Constructed?
Knives are generally made in two ways either forged or stamped. The former is made using extreme heat applied to one whole piece of steel which is then modified into the wanted shape.
These knives are considered premium quality and are more expensive than stamped ones.
Their blades are stronger and less prone to damage and bending. The latter is made using a machine and is punched from a piece of steel.
After the blade is formed, the edge is sharpened. Although considered less quality than the forged ones, there are plenty of such models that perform just fine.
Is it Sharp Enough?
Like any other knife, a chef’s knife has to be razor-sharp to work optimally.
The best models out there are highly sharp and additionally optimized to preserve their sharpness and edge for a long.
Most blades of chef’s knives are made of stainless steel because it’s durable, sturdy, and easy to sharpen.
The more premium models may also include carbon steel that’s sturdier; however, it’s less strong and more prone to staining and rust.
Is the Weight Balanced?
When looking for the best knife for you, particularly a chef’s knife, it matters how comfortable it is.
And, its weight is a major contributing factor. However, there’s no general, proper weight when it comes to knives as it’s usually picked out according to personal preference.
In the optimal situation, this should be a knife that’s not overly lightweight or too heavy but sufficiently balanced to offer easy maneuvers and good control.
When it comes to balance, avoid knives whose weight falls mostly on one or the other side.
Is the Handle Good?
What is a knife without a comfy handle?-Definitely nothing. In order for a knife to do its job, it doesn’t just need a razor-sharp blade, but quality handles too.
This should be one that doesn’t slip, one that’s ergonomically designed, and possibly from suitable materials like plastic, metal, or wood.
A knife should fit snuggly in your hand, without causing any pressure or fatigue in your hands.
Is it Easy to Maintain?
When investing in a knife, it matters how easy or demanding it is for maintenance.
When you pay around 100 bucks for a knife, you should get a premium product with a sharp and long-lasting blade and with an ergonomic handle, and a balanced design. Also, make sure it’s one that is easy to clean and sharpen-no one likes a big fuss concerning their kitchen utensils, right?!
Hence, if you plan on washing it mostly in the dishwasher, choose a model made from adequate materials.
Is it Overly Expensive?
Knowing how expensive kitchen knives can sometimes be, we were motivated to make a list of models that are great, yet cost less than 100 bucks.
Quality doesn’t necessarily mean being overpriced but paying enough to appreciate the manufacturer’s efforts and getting the most of the product you want.
Therefore, don’t always think that just because some knife has a high price it also ‘screams’ quality.
Chef Knives under $100
1. Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Knife
- Razor-sharp & strong blade
- Ergonomic handle
This pro chef’s knife has been the top option of both professional and home cooks.
Expertly designed in Switzerland, it boasts a tapered stainless steel straight edge and it cuts easily and efficiently and helps you tackle any task in front of you.
Whether it’s mincing, chopping or slicing, this durable and razor-sharp laser-tested blade will never fail you.
Thanks to the ergonomic handle made using thermoplastic elastomer, the grip is steady, and non-slippery, even in wet conditions.
Moreover, the knife is ideally balanced to make the maneuvers and handling even better.
You’ll love it, even more, when you learn it’s made with dishwasher-safe materials.
So, when you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to wash it by hand, occasional dishwasher washing is just fine.
If you buy it, you also get a lifetime warranty against defects in workmanship and defects.
2. Dalstrong 6-inch Chef Knife (Gladiator Series)
- Sharp & tapered blade
- Full-tang construction
- Comfy handle
This full-tang knife is a combo of amazing craftsmanship, premium cutting edge tech, amazing design elements, and quality materials.
The blade is highly sharp and made using high-carbon German steel. Plus, it’s been hand-polished to ensure a satin finish.
The edge is hand-polished and made resistant to stains. The award-winning design is outstanding thanks to the usage of quality materials and the achievement of a satisfying heft.
Moreover, the luxurious pakkawood handle which is triple-riveted offers a comfy grip, further easing the maneuvers.
And, with this knife, shopping is made worry-free thanks to the option for a money-back guarantee in case of dissatisfaction.
3. Mercer Culinary 8-inch Forged Chef Knife
- German steel
- Ergonomic Delrin handle
- Easy to sharpen
Forged as one piece, this chef’s knife is an amazing choice. Thanks to the full tang construction, it’s ideally balanced.
The blade is straight and made with high-carbon German steel which is additionally strengthened to improve its resistance to corrosion, rust, and loss of color and shine.
What’s more, we really appreciate the triple-riveted, ergonomically-designed Delrin handle. The spine is rounded to optimize the grip and to make it easy on the hands.
The shortened bolster allows for easier sharpening while the taper-ground edge boosts the stability, prolongs the sharpness, and optimizes the efficiency.
The knife is NSF-certified and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
4. Wusthof 6-inch Classic Chef Knife
- Great grip
- Full-tang construction
- Optimized sharpness
- Easy to use
Prep any meal easily and enjoyably thanks to this classic chef’s knife. Essential for chopping, slicing, and dicing, this is a knife every kitchen should have.
Thanks to the full tang construction, the balance is optimized and the handling is wonderful. This knife is part of their highest-selling line.
The 6-inch straight blade is constructed using a single high-carbon stainless steel and heat-tempered. It’s a 20% sharpener and has twice the edge retention from previous models.
Thanks to its sharpness, any mincing, dicing, and slicing will be easy as a breeze.
The black handle is amazing-it’s triple-riveted and constructed using a synthetic material that doesn’t fade or lose color.
Customers who bought it praised it the most for its ergonomic design, its great maneuverability, and wonderful grip.
5. iMarku 8-inch Chef Knife
- hard & sharp steel
- ergonomic design
This multifunctional gyutou knife will be your go-to for chopping, cutting, dicing, slicing, and more. You can also use it for dividing meat from bones.
The blade is strong and durable, constructed of high-carbon stainless steel. It’s 2 times harder than other knives thanks to the added carbon.
It also contains chrome in its composition to ensure a glossy finish and no fading and tarnishing.
Moreover, the handle doesn’t just look amazing, but it feels like that when you hold it.
It’s made from pakkawood. As it’s ergonomic, there will be no numb fingers or tiredness, even after using it for some time.
Pakkawood is a material known to be strong, comfy, and stable. This knife enables making the best cuts thanks to the sharp, German-engineered blade.
6. Paudin 8-inch Pro Chef Knife
- Ultra-durable blade
- Extra sharp
- Optimized balance
- Ergonomic design
Looking for a knife that will do it all?-From slicing your bread to dividing your fillets and chopping herbs?-Look no more. This is an awesome choice.
Sharp and easy to use, this versatile straight blade knife is never a bad investment. Thanks to its ultra-sharp edge, you’ll finish tasks quickly and effortlessly.
The 2 mm thickness of the blade made from German stainless steel is ideal for all of these tasks. And, the lovely pattern definitely adds to its aesthetics.
What’s more, the blade was hand-polished to optimize its sharpness and to prolong it.
The handle is an art in itself-in addition to being ergonomic, it’s also soft and comfy, enabling optimal grip.
It’s also decorated with a stunning waved pattern.
Knowing about the importance of keeping their customers satisfied, the company offers a lifetime warranty against material and workmanship defects.
7. Mosfiata 8-inch Chef Knife
- Triple-riveted handle
- Ergonomic design
- Blade from German stainless steel
- Durable & ultra sharp
Made from premium German stainless steel, this 8-inch chef’s knife offers a sharp rust-and-corrosion-prone blade, ergonomic, triple-riveted Micarta handle, and optimized durability.
The blade won’t lose its color, even after prolonged usage. This knife will be your go-to for mincing, slicing, chopping, dicing, and more.
It’s perfectly suitable for restaurants or home use. What’s more, the blade was hand-polished by craftsmen with years of experience to ensure longevity.
The Micarta handle is sturdy and triple-riveted and thanks to its ergonomic design, it reduces wrist tension and fits perfectly in any hand size.
If you decide to buy this knife, you’ll also get a finger guard, a blade sharpener, and a blade cover.
8. Mad Shark 8-inch Chef Knife
- Value for money
- Comfy handle
- German steel blade
- Extra sharp
This multipurpose 8-inch chef’s knife boasts premium German stainless steel that doesn’t rust or corrode. Plus, the sharpness and edge are outstanding and made to last.
You can use it daily for kitchen tasks like mincing, dicing, slicing, or chopping effortlessly.
The ergonomic and wear-resistant design is impressive and adds to the knife’s longevity and user-friendliness.
The steel has been additionally strengthened with elements like carbon and chromium.
Super hard, super sharp, and hand-sharpened, this knife won’t fail you.
Moreover, we really appreciate the beautiful, comfy handle made from ABS plastic. It’s triple-riveted for additional strength and easy maneuvers. And, it won’t crack, shrink or lose its color and shine.
For optimal longevity, it’s best to wash it by hand and dry it. Still, you should know that the knife is also dishwasher-safe.
9. Famcute 8-inch Chef Knife
- Thick Japanese steel
- Amazing handle
- Optimized design & sharpness
If you love Japanese steel, this would be an awesome chef’s knife for you. It’s constructed using 100% Japanese premium stainless steel.
It boasts an optimized edge and it can preserve it for a long period of time, thus extending its lifespan. And, it also makes the cutting smoother and comfortable.
Thanks to the clad dimples that extend from the bottom to the top of the blade, the food you chop, slice, or dice effortlessly slide off it. Also, they beautify the knife’s appearance.
The handle is indeed stunning- it’s crafted by experts using African rosewood; it’s a stunning complement to any type of kitchen!
The knife is extra balanced and weighted for maximum comfort while working.
The grip is awesome and without any feeling of tiredness or discomfort.
10. Owuyuxi Pro 8-inch Chef Knife
- Good value for money
- Ergonomic design
- Full-tang construction
- Comfy handle
This pro chef’s knife with an 8-inch blade is designed with the best and versatile performance in mind.
You can use it daily in the kitchen for chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing, and more.
It’s a full-tang knife construction, which makes it strong and prolongs its longevity.
Plus, the sharpness of the sturdy blade will last for a long time thanks to being constructed with highly sharp vacuum heat-treated Japanese steel.
The triple-riveted ergonomic handle doesn’t slip and it fits amazingly in any hand size, putting comfort first.
And, the knife has been additionally weighted and balanced to further ease and make the food prep more enjoyable. As it comes packed in a stunning box, it makes s a beautiful gift for the foodie in your life.
When you’re spending time in the kitchen prepping food, you need the essential tools to do the job. This of course includes the right knives, right?
One of the staples when it comes to knives is a chef’s knife. This versatile knife is amazing for slicing, chopping, cutting, dicing, mincing, and more.
As it’s a knife that spends a lot of time in your hands, it has to be one that’s comfy, has a razor-sharp blade, and offers optimal balance.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money on finding a quality chef’s knife-there are actually much more affordable, yet awesome picks.
To help you find the best chef knives under $100, we made a list with the 10 trending models currently that are only a click away from you.
If you want the premium option, our best pick will be ideal for you. However, if you want to spend as little as possible, yet make a good bargain, our budget pick won’t fail you!