A chef’s knife is both very practical and very personal. We’ve found the best budget chef knife options for you. Something about using these knives to slice through food feels just so satisfying, perhaps even wise.
Our top, top-rated best chef knife under $100 (at the time of publishing) are:
- Victorinox – 8-inch Chef’s Knife — Overall
- TUO – 7-inch Chef’s Knife — Natural Stained Wood Handle
- MAD SHARK – 8-inch Chef Knife — Carbon Stainless Steel Knife
- Woohubs – 8-inch Chef Knife — Gift Set
Want to learn more? Read on…
What Knives Do Chefs Recommend?
As any chef would know, this depends on personal taste and style in the kitchen. What one considers the best could be wildly different from the next person.
A knife set is a chef’s best friend and the uses, handling, balance, length, weight and sharpness all contribute to the ideal choice when selecting.
The stainless-steel Victorinox – 8-inch Chef’s Knife comes highly recommended as an ideal starter knife, and we and the online world seem to agree, making it our top pick.
However, many professionals would opt for a carbon steel model over stainless steel. The former is more heavy duty, but higher maintenance.
What Is the Best Chef Knife In the World?
Unfortunately, it’s well above our budget but might give you some ideas to go by when choosing specifications for your starter chef knife. Check out our “alternatives” section below and read the reviews if you can’t find what you’re looking for among our top favorites.
What Knives Does Gordon Ramsay Use?
The company has been around since 1731 (no, that’s not a typo) and has headquarters in Germany. They offer a variety of series, including the international and the classic knife lines.
Ramsay has more to recommend in this video:
How much does a good chef knife cost?
You can basically pay anything you want, from $10 to $1,000 (or more). Chef knives under $100 will definitely get the job done. Paying more is more about the experience, the longevity of the knife, and some would argue that it’s like a piece of art.
Are expensive kitchen knives worth it? Personally, I use a J. A. Henckels chef knife that was cost me well under $100 a decade ago and I still love it. It was my favorite until I discovered Santoku knives (Japanese chef knives), whose shape I prefer. But, that’s just my personal preference. We use both in my house and very happy with our investment.
We listed our top-rated best chef knife under $100 (at the time of publishing this article) selections here. They hit the sweet spot for budget knives that get the job done and are basically worry free.
What Factors Drove Our Ratings?
We didn’t choose our favorites randomly; besides the price limit, we focused on the following specifications:
- Materials: Stainless steel and carbon steel will be your go-to options for a starter’s chef knife. They make both knives to last, though the second choice requires more care. Are you low maintenance? Opt for stainless in this case.
- Ease of use: You don’t want to feel awkward when you’re working in the kitchen. Factors here include an ergonomic handle and a very sharp blade.
- Functionality: We’re looking for a multi-function tool. While a fancy Japanese model might look cool, it could be clunky and limiting.
Our Top-Rated Best Budget Chef Knife — Overall
This über-popular chef’s knife, the Victorinox – 8-inch Chef’s Knife, is a pure workhorse loved by many. Knives for kitchen use need not be complex, and this fits that bill.
It’s a chef’s knife that allows you to get down to business with no fuss and proves durable with prolonged use. The tapered blade is stainless steel, making it easy to clean and efficient to use.
The flat spine allows you to use extra pressure with the heel of your other hand to cut through tough-skinned items, like butternut squash. This is ideal for newbies and should help you gain confidence.
They made the handle from a thermoplastic elastomer material. It’s ergonomic and comfortable to hold. Even when it’s wet, you won’t find it slipping out of your hand.
One of the best things about this knife is that it’s dishwasher safe and this is so very important to me for my sanity.
In October 2016, Rasiah said: “An excellent knife for 90 percent of kitchen cutting. It isn’t full tang, but it’s well-constructed to the point where I wouldn’t worry about the blade ever separating from the handle. I’ve got size XL hands and the handle is very comfortable…”
However, some home chefs noted that this knife was not super sharp upon arrival.
Our Top-Rated Best Budget Chef Knife — Stained Wood Handle
This beautiful offering from Tao is one of the most attractive chefs’ knives we’ve come across in our hunt. The TUO – 7-inch Chef’s Knife is way under $100, but you wouldn’t know by the look of it. There’s a hand-polished blade and pakkawood handle, making for a lovely combination.
It’s made from stainless steel and features a tapered edge that the company says aids in both flexibility and performance. You shouldn’t struggle with maintenance, either, as it’s resistant to rust.
The handle is dense and nearly 100-percent waterproof, so it shouldn’t show signs of wear anytime soon. This includes the potential for warping or splitting, which is often common with wooden handles.
While this is a budget-friendly model, consumer peace of mind is never a bad thing. The company offers a 100-percent satisfaction guarantee in case you’re unhappy with the product.
In May 2019, Cynthia said: “A great knife at such a low price for both the casual cook, or a more enthusiastic amateur chef! I’m not a pro so I can’t speak to that, but I love this knife.”
Negatives? Some said it was too heavy for inexperienced cooks or smaller hands.
Our Top-Rated Best Budget Chef Knife — Carbon Stainless Steel Knife
The MAD SHARK – 8-inch Chef Knife brings us a sharp-edge option that deserves a place on our list.
This 8-inch chef knife includes a blade made from high-carbon German steel, which is resistant to wear, rust ,and stains. Throughout there are hollow-shaped, oval divots — these help the knife glide through food effortlessly.
In the production stage, the blade goes through a nitrogen-cooling process that creates additional hardness and flexibility.
The blade isn’t the only thing that’s worth bragging about, though. Mad Shark uses a military-grade material for the comfortable handle portion. The triple rivets also make it secure, and that’s essential for the less-experienced users among us.
In July 2018, an Amazon customer said: “Got this knife for my husband as he is the cook in our house. He opened it and immediately loved the look. Started cutting food and was blown away with the out-of-the-box sharpness. He loves this knife.”
Negatives? Unfortunately, this knife is not dishwasher-safe.
Our Top-Rated Best Budget Chef Knife — Gift Set
This Woohubs – 8-inch Chef Knife comes with a beautifully etched design along the blade and a second, smaller fruit knife to boot. If you’re looking for a birthday present for your hubby-turned-cook, it could make a great gift.
It features a non-slip, ergonomic handle with triple rivets to help hold it in place. The fruit knife has a different style handle, which is a little disappointing for the aesthetics of the set, but given that the fruit knife is smaller, it doesn’t require the full tang design.
Both of them feature top-notch blades, though. They’re made from German steel and are resistant to corrosion, discoloration, and rust. Not only should they hold up with time, but they shouldn’t lose their sleek look, either.
They come wrapped in a lovely gift box, adding even more convenience to the whole gift giving idea.
In December 2019, an Amazon customer stated: “I’ve used a lot of knives over the years; Gustav, Sabatier, and Global to name a few. This awesome knife set leaves them all standing in the dust!! They are incredibly sharp, very comfortable to grip and beautifully presented.”
Negatives? Some people said it was not “grippy” enough for them.
The Final Cut
Knives for chefs and home cooks can often differ, but one thing’s for sure; everyone needs a good chef’s knife. These versatile blades will take your kitchen prowess to the next level.
Our number one choice goes to the epic Victorinox – 8-inch Chef’s Knife. It’s popular for the following good reason, and that’s because it gets the job done well.
This straightforward kitchen knife is a no-frills option and boasts an 8-inch, tapered stainless steel blade. You won’t have trouble cutting tough-skinned items, as you can apply extra pressure from above, thanks to the flat spine.
I’m always concerned about kitchen safety and convenience, and this knife fits the bill. The ergonomic handle is slip resistant when it’s wet, and the knife is dishwasher safe to boot.