Updated in: April 2018

The chef knife is one of the most important and versatile knives in the kitchen and even though a top of the line knife can set your budget back a bit, that does not mean that there aren’t many high-quality chef knives at affordable prices.We have spent some time discussing with cutlery experts and examining different brands to come up with a list of the best chef knife under $100 options in 2018. 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. LauKingdom Damascus Chef’s Knife

Sale
Damascus Santoku Knife - 7-inch VG10 Quality Damascus Steel, 67 Layers...
  • The LauKingdom Knife is settings new levels for Santoku Knives. Impress your guests with the antiqued styled blade. Made...
  • Classic Stainless Steel. This Santoku knife is 7 inches long. The Damascus steel has 67 layers, which is twice as sharp...
  • G10 Handle Triple Riveted. The Triple Riveted handle is connected to the full tang blade for extra strength and...

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. This particular steel has 67 layers and a razor sharp edge angled at 12-15 degrees. If you want a Damascus steel knife that not only looks good, but also cuts perfectly, this is the best chef knife under $100 for you.

Pros

  • Ergonomic textured handle for extra comfort
  • Excellent balance
  • Curved edge for easy cutting

Cons

  • Tapered, curved bolster can cause some slipping in inexperienced chefs
  • Requires careful washing and drying

9. Shun Sora Chef’s Knife

Shun VB0723 Sora Chef's Knife, 6-Inch
  • 6-Inch Sora Chef's Knife by Shun
  • Sora knives feature a VG10 cutting core with stainless steel on either side, creating a san mai edge that provides stain...
  • Blades have a mirror-polished Japanese 420J blade upper and a 16-degree cutting edge on either side

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. It has a 16-degree San Mai edge on either side and a textured TPE polymer handle.

Pros

  • San mai cutting edge with stain resistance
  • Textured handle for extra grip
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Hand wash only
  • Unusual edge angle requires extra care when sharpening

8. Kyocera Advanced Chef’s Knife

Sale
Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 7-inch Professional Chef's...
  • Ceramic blade is made from Kyocera's proprietary zirconia material produced in Japan for exceptional quality and beauty
  • Ultra-sharp, pure advanced ceramic blades will maintain their edge up to 10x longer than steel blades
  • Lightweight and easy to clean, the blades will not brown food, are rust-proof and resistant to acids

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.

Pros

  • Diamond ground blade is extremely sharp
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Lighter than steel knives
  • Easy to clean
  • The manufacturer offers free sharpening

Cons

  • Lack of tang may cause durability issues
  • Requires special type of sharpener if you want to sharpen it yourself

7. J.A. Henckels International Chef’s Knife

Sale
J.A. Henckels International Classic 10-Inch Chef's Knife (10 inches)...
  • Large-sized 10-inch multipurpose chef's knife for chopping, mincing, slicing and dicing. Product assembled in Spain....
  • Made of stain-resistant carbon steel that's hot drop forged for durability
  • Triple riveted handle surrounds a full tang

 

This chef’s knife is made in Spain and fabricated from stain-resistant high-carbon German stainless steel. It is nicely weighted, so you do not have to apply a lot of pressure while cutting. Don’t be fooled by the basic design of this knife; it’s the best chef knife under $100 if you are looking for the best price/quality ratio.

Pros

  • Thick bolster protects fingers
  • Great budget choice
  • Durable triple riveted handle
  • Excellent balance

Cons

  • Some may find the handle uncomfortable

6. Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu Chef Knife

 

Sale
Wusthof Classic Serrated Deli Breakfast Knife, 8 inch
  • Lifetime manufacturer warranty
  • Handmade in Germany since 1814, Wusthof cutlery is prized by the world's top chefs
  • Do-it-all knife cuts paper-thin tomato slices, vegetables and deli-style meats

Wusthof precision forges each knife from a single piece of steel and 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.

Pros

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Lightweight yet sturdy
  • Ideal balance

Cons

  • The grip may be a bit uncomfortable at first

5. Mac Knife Chef Series Chef’s Knife

Mac Professional Series Shefs Knife 200mm(7.8Inch) MTH-80
  • Knife Length: 12.63"
  • Weight: 6.5 oz
  • Blade Length: 7.88"

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. With a perfect user rating of 5* at the moment of writing, this is, hands down, the best chef knife under $100 available for online purchase this year.

Pros

  • Pakka wood handle
  • High carbon steel retains edge sharpness
  • Narrow tip for precision cutting

Cons

  • May get rust spots if improperly dried
  • Lack of bolster can cause accidental cuts

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 2018.

4. Enso HD 5.5″ Prep Knife 

Enso HD 5.5" Prep Knife - Made in Japan - VG10 Hammered Damascus...
  • Blade Construction: 37-layer stainless steel Damascus with VG-10 core; hammered finish
  • Handle: Black canvas micarta with stainless steel bolster, rivets and end cap
  • Hardness: 61° Rockwell | Edge: Double bevel (50/50), 12-14° angle

 

Okami combines premium Japanese VG-10 Damascus steel with a more western-style blade shape to get a highly resilient and ultra-sharp chef’s knife. A treated pakawood handle gives this knife a stylish experience while making it very comfortable to hold.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Extremely sharp
  • Holds edge through multiple uses

Cons

  • Lack of full tang may cause breaks at handle
  • Will rust if not dried

To become an expert on the topic of knives, the best product for specific tasks, how to maintain and sharpen knives, explore our Ultimate Buying Guide!

3. Mercer Culinary Renaissance Chef’s Knife

Sale
Mercer Culinary M23510 Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef's Knife
  • Triple-riveted, ergonomically designed Delrin handle
  • Shortened bolster exposes full blade edge, allowing for easier sharpening
  • Full tang runs the entire length of the handle for superior balance

 

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.

Pros

  • Many size options
  • Shape designed for easy sharpening
  • Comfortable grip
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Short bolster may lead to accidents
  • Some dislike the balance

2. Tojiro DP Gyutou Chef Knife

 

Tojiro DP 2-piece Chef's Knife Set
  • Set includes 8.25-inch Chef's Knife (210mm, Item F-808) and 4-inch Paring Knife (100mm, Item F-848)
  • 3-layer clad construction with a full Japanese VG-10 steel core, encased between two layers of highly rigid rust...
  • Full tang triple riveted Micarta handle

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.

Pros

  • Even edged blade for both left and right-handed use
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Handle size and shape may not work for those with larger hands

1. Global Chef’s Knife

Sale
Global 7-inch Stainless Steel Chef's Knife
  • Blade construction: CROMOVA 18 high carbon stainless steel
  • Balanced stainless steel molded dimpled handle provides safe grip
  • Blade edge is ground on each side, creating a straight sharp edge

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, not to mention it can hold an edge for a long while. Another thing we like about this knife is the modern stainless steel handle with dimples that makes it easy to hold and maneuver. if you are looking for a high-quality chef’s knife with a top-of-the-line design, this is definitely the best chef knife under $100 you could buy.

Pros

  • Razor sharp edge
  • Textured handle for a firm grip
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Dimpled grip can be tough to clean
  • Handle too small for those with big hands

Conclusion

This list will make it easy to find the best chef knife under $100 for your kitchen without having to spend a small fortune. Depending on your preferences, you might want to choose one of the lighter or one of the sturdier options. Our favorite definitely is the Mac chef’s knife, but the Global model looks stunning and the one from Mercer seems like a great deal if we consider its overall quality. Which knife on our list do you like best?

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