The chef knife is one of the most important and versatile knives in the kitchen. Some might say it is also one of the most expensive kitchen items you will ever have to purchase. While it is true that a top of the line knife will set your budget back a bit, that does not mean that there aren’t many high-quality chef knives at accessible prices.
Since affordability is a key factor for most of our readers, we have spent some time examining different brands to come up with a list of the top chef knives under $100 that are for sale in 2017. In order to find the best ones, we’ve considered blade material, knife shape, user ratings, sharpness, and knife size. Keep reading to learn more about the most durable and affordable chef’s knives on the market.
10. Kyocera Advanced Chef’s Knife
This 7” chef knife is extremely versatile, being suitable for chopping, dicing, and mincing. It is extremely lightweight and has an ergonomic handle, which manages to reduce tiredness during repetitive cutting.
- Diamond ground blade is extremely sharp
- Ergonomic handle
- Lighter than steel knives
- Easy to clean
- Lack of tang may cause durability issues
- Requires special type of sharpener
9. Global Chef’s Knife
The blade and handle of this knife are made out of a single piece of molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel. This unusual construction makes the knife particularly well balanced and durable.
- Razor sharp edge
- Textured handle for a firm grip
- Dimpled grip can be tough to clean
- Handle too small for those with big hands
8. Mercer Culinary Renaissance Chef’s Knife
This Mercer blade is forged from German steel, so it is durable enough to slice most tough ingredients. Furthermore, its taper-ground edge helps increase stability and efficiency while chopping.
- Many size options
- Shape designed for easy sharpening
- Comfortable grip
- Short bolster may lead to accidents
- Some dislike the balance
7. Okami Chef Knife
Okami combines a more western-style blade shape with traditional Japanese materials. A treated pakawood handle gives this knife a stylish experience while making it very comfortable to hold.
- Very lightweight
- Extremely sharp
- Holds edge through multiple uses
- Lack of full tang may cause breaks at handle
- Will rust if not dried
6. Shun Sora Chef’s Knife
A sturdy VG10 cutting core coated with stainless steel helps to make this knife both durable and sharp. It is lightweight and thin, so you can cut for a while without fatigue.
- San mai cutting edge with stain resistance
- Textured handle for extra grip
- Lifetime warranty
- Hand wash only
- Unusual edge angle requires extra care when sharpening
5. LauKingdom Damascus Chef’s Knife
The rippled appearance of this knife comes from the folding process that increases blade durability during forging. Damascus steel is also popular for being very sharp and durable.
- Ergonomic textured handle for extra comfort
- Excellent balance
- Curved edge for easy cutting
- Tapered, curved bolster can cause some slipping in inexperienced chef’s
- Requires careful washing and drying
4. J.A. Henckels International Chef’s Knife
This 6” chef’s knife is made in Spain and fabricated from German stainless steel, which makes it sturdy enough for all your kitchen needs. It is nicely weighted, so you do not have to apply a lot of pressure while cutting.
- Thick bolster protects fingers
- Great budget choice
- Durable triple riveted handle
- Excellent balance
- Some may find handle uncomfortable
3. Mac Knife CHef Series Chef’s Knife
The hollowed indentions along this blade keep wet produce or meat from sticking to it as you slice. Its Japanese blade makes it versatile for a lot of chopping styles. Be careful when cleaning it though, as it is not dishwasher-safe.
- Pakka wood handle
- High carbon steel retains edge sharpness
- Narrow tip for precision cutting
- May get rust spots if improperly dried
- Lack of bolster can cause accidental cuts
2. Tojiro DP Gyutou Chef Knife
This 8.2” Japanese chef’s knife is extremely well balanced, so you can slice through food easily. It is made from a specially composed steel that helps to retain edge through multiple uses.
- Even edged blade for both left and right-handed use
- Very affordable
- Handle shape may not work for those with larger hands
1. Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu Chef Knife
Wusthof precision forges each knife from a single piece of steel, and the edge is polished with a laser for extreme sharpness and edge retention. With an extended tang and a triple riveted handle, this 8” knife is hefty enough to use on even sharp squashes. Furthermore, the knife is 30% lighter than the Classic Series model, making it much easier to handle.
- Comes in multiple sizes
- Lightweight yet sturdy
- Ideal balance
- The grip may be a bit uncomfortable at first
Note: If you’re looking to invest a bit more in a high-quality knife, be sure to check out our article on the best chef knives of 2017.
This list will make it easy to find the perfect chef’s knife for your kitchen without having to spend more than $100. Depending on your preferences, you might want to choose one of the lighter or one of the sturdier options. Which knife on our list do you like best?