Disclaimer: Kitchen Infinity is reader-supported. If you buy something through links on our website, we may get compensated at NO extra cost to you.

8 Best chef Knife Under $100 and Buying Guide in 2021

Best Overall
Misen 8-inch Chef’s Knife
5/5
Best German-style Knife
Wüsthof Classic 6-inch Chef’s Knife
5/5
Best Santoku knife
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 7-inch Santoku Knife
/5

Not everyone has $200 – $400 to splurge on a knife especially when you’re not a professional chef working in a restaurant.

And that’s why we undertook days of extensive research to bring you this in-depth review of the best affordable chef’s knives in 2021.

This guide will show you the best chef knife under $100 as well as the features that make it and the other high-quality knives stand out from the many other chef’s knives.

Let’s ‘cut’ to the chase!

Jump to Section

8 Best Chef Knives Under $100

1. Misen 8-inch Chef’s Knife

Features

First, it’s one of the best affordable chef’s knives; since it’s competing with some of the most reputable knife brands in the market, it’s got to come at a disruptive price point. To ensure you get the best quality kitchen knife, Misen uses a direct-to-consumer sales model to offset the bills of middlemen (which typically drives prices up).

 

First, it’s one of the best affordable chef’s knives; since it’s competing with some of the most reputable knife brands in the market, it’s got to come at a disruptive price point.

To ensure you get the best quality kitchen knife, Misen uses a direct-to-consumer sales model to offset the bills of middlemen (which typically drives prices up).

However, its affordability isn’t its biggest selling point.

It’s a Western-Japanese hybrid knife with perfect balance. It’s constructed with durable materials and has got an impeccable design with a razor-sharp edge.

So it’s got the curved blade design of western knives and the thin lightweight details of Japanese knives. This makes it multi-functional in carrying out tasks like chopping herbs, slicing onions, deboning chickens, and cutting potatoes.

The Misen chef’s knife also has an ergonomic handle made with a thermoplastic. Its full tang with dual rivets and half bolster makes it comfortable to grip. This will also make it last longer than a rabbeted knife like the Shun Sora.

You’ll also like the 15 degrees double-beveled knife made of premium AUS-8 Japanese high-quality steel. It’s got a 58 Rockwell Hardness score (which makes it very hard) and 0.75% carbon and vanadium (for improved robustness).

The deal-breaker for us is that the AUS-8 steel is not as durable as the X50 Cr Mo V15 German stainless steel in the J.A. Henckels and Wusthof knives. So you’ll need to hone it more often as it may dull faster than these other brands.

However, this sharp knife is easy to sharpen. And you can always send it to Misen to sharpen it for free when it dulls.

While this chef knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty, you can take it for a spin and return it within 60 days if you’re not cool with its quality.

And if you need the full package, you can order the 3-piece Essentials Knife Set that contains three knives; this 8-inch chef’s knife, a serrated knife, and a paring knife.

Here’s our review of the best serrated knife for you.

You could also get the 5-piece Essentials Knife Set that contains the Santoku and Utility knives in addition to what’s in the 3-piece collection.

Misen is the first chef knife on this list for its high-end features that can only be made available to everyone because of the company’s direct-to-consumer model.

So dear home cook looking for a durable knife that’s not of lesser quality like the cheaper options from established brands, the Misen chef’s knife will definitely be worth the purchase.

Pros
Cons

2. J.A. Henckels International 8-inch Chef’s Knife with High-carbon Stainless

Features

The basic difference between the German-manufactured blades and the International blades is that the former go through a more thorough manufacturing process. And one of such processes that the Henckels chef’s knife skips is the ice-hardening phase.

 

If you’re a home chef looking for the best affordable chef knife under $100, the J.A. Henckels International Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife is your best bet.

First, it’s made by a reputable German brand that’s been in existence since 1731 – Zwilling J.A Henckels. The company is located in Solingen, Germany, commonly referred to as ‘The City of Blades’.

However, the J.A. Henckels brand is different from Zwilling in that Zwilling manufactures premium knives in Germany. While the Henckels brand is part of its International collection manufactured in Spain.

The basic difference between the German-manufactured blades and the International blades is that the former go through a more thorough manufacturing process. And one of such processes that the Henckels chef’s knife skips is the ice-hardening phase.

So even though both brands make knives using the same quality materials, skipping phases like these make the Henckels knives more affordable.

That said, the Henckels high-quality chef’s knife is forged from high carbon stainless steel – X50 CR MO V15 with a 0.55% carbon content. While this may not be as high as in the other best chef knives, the blade is very durable and meets the standard for Western knives.

The other chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and 15% steel content give this high-quality chef knife added wear- and rust resistance, hardness, and durability.

Furthermore, the blade has a Western-styled design with a full bolster and smooth curves on its spine and belly. The forged blades have a Rockwell Hardness of 57 to 58.

And the knife’s fully exposed tang, triple-riveted handle is made of a durable high-quality thermoplastic material called polypropylene. And its design is such that the squared corners make it comfortable for everyday use. And its matte finish completes the gorgeous look.

This J.A. Henckels kitchen knife also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

So if you’re looking for the best affordable chef knife with the best value, the J.A. Henckels International 8-inch Chef’s Knife is the cutlery for you.

Pros
Cons

3. Wüsthof Classic 6-inch Chef’s Knife

Features

This Wusthof Classic 6-inch chef’s knife is made by one of the most reputable knife makers in the world – Wüsthof, a German company also in Solingen that’s been making knives for over two centuries.

 

Following the J.A. Henckels kitchen knife is this Wüsthof Classic chef’s knife that can easily be the best chef knife under $100.

First, this Wusthof Classic 6-inch chef’s knife is made by one of the most reputable knife makers in the world – Wüsthof, a German company also in Solingen that’s been making knives for over two centuries.

This Wusthof knife also features the Western-style design like the J.A. Henckels.

Both the J.A. Henckels and Wusthof chef knives are of similar quality because they’re made from almost the same quality materials.

The Wusthof forged knives that are built from the same durable high-carbon stainless steel used by Zwilling undergo a 40-step process. This results in a blade that’s hard, durable, stain-, and corrosion-resistant.

The razor-sharp edge is sharpened using PETec (Precision Edge Technology) to design a very sharp knife with an extremely sharp cutting edge and exceptional cutting performance.

The blade design is such that it has a full bolster and tang that gives the 6-inch chef’s knife balance even though it’s lightweight. The bolster also protects your hand from slipping.

Now the triple-riveted handles of the Wusthof Classic knife are also made of a very durable material – Polyoxymethylene (POM) that’s resistant to discoloration and high temperatures. The ergonomic design also ensures safer cutting with its finger guard feature.

The edge angle has been sharpened to 14 degrees on both sides for a total of 28 degrees. This makes it probably the sharpest knife you can ever get as it’s sharper than most other best chef’s knives under $100.

The blade also has a Rockwell Hardness of 58 which makes it standard for performing your cutting functions.

Although the Classic chef’s knife is dishwasher-safe, don’t toss it in the dishwasher as other utensils can dull its sharpness. Also, don’t use harsh chemicals as they can cause it to discolor.

This best knife under $100 also comes with a limited lifetime warranty as will all Wusthof knives

Even if you’re a home chef who likes trying new recipes, the Wusthof Classic 6-inch Chef knife is the best knife under $100 for you.

Pros
Cons

4. Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 7-inch Santoku Knife

Features

The Genesis collection is Mercer Culinary’s brand of professional chef’s knife designed for home cooks. This particular knife is NSF-certified and meets the quality, performance, and safety standards required of the best chef knives.

The Mercer Culinary Genesis knife is probably the sharpest knife on this list. A reviewer complained that the razor-sharp blade gave her multiple cuts, yet she gave the chef knife an excellent rating.

If you’re looking for a great alternative to French-styled knives, the Mercer Culinary Genesis Santoku Knife is the best affordable chef knife for you.

The Genesis collection is Mercer Culinary’s brand of professional chef’s knife designed for home cooks. This particular knife is NSF-certified and meets the quality, performance, and safety standards required of the best chef knives.

One feature that sets Santoku knives apart is their flat blade as opposed to traditional curved blades. Even though this is a Japanese-style knife, it’s made with similar quality European materials like the Wusthof and J.A. Henckels knives – high-carbon German steel that’s resistant to corrosion and discoloration.

It also uses Western technology in its construction. And the full tang design with a substantial bolster makes this great chef’s knife feel well-balanced and sturdy to hold and use.

Another feature we love about the knife is its lightweight that makes it comfortable to use. Its black-finish Santoprene handle also gives you a firm grip.

Although the knife is short, it can take on many culinary tasks. The taper-grind edges make cutting, chopping, mincing, and slicing steak and other items easier and more fun.

The Mercer Culinary Genesis knife is probably the sharpest knife on this list. A reviewer complained that the razor-sharp blade gave her multiple cuts, yet she gave the chef knife an excellent rating.

Another thing you should know is that the blade can’t go in the dishwasher. So only hand-washing is allowed. But this isn’t much of a deal-breaker as most good knives aren’t dishwasher-safe.

Pros
Cons

5. Shun Sora 8-inch Japanese Chef’s Knife

Features

The Shun brand is made by a reputable Japanese knife-making company in Seki City – the KAI Group. This company is known for its high-quality blades. The Shun Sora is like the Santoku knife in that the blade is straighter and more lightweight than German knives.

 

One of the best Japanese knives that can easily feature as the best chef knife under $100 is the Shun Sora 8-inch Chef’s Knife.

The Shun brand is made by a reputable Japanese knife-making company in Seki City – the KAI Group. This company is known for its high-quality blades.

The Shun Sora is like the Santoku knife in that the blade is straighter and more lightweight than German knives.

To demonstrate the utensil’s quality, the Shun Sora 8-inch chef’s knife passes through a 100-step handcrafting process. And they’re forged out of two layers of steel; one for the upper part of the blade and the other for the cutting edge.

For the cutting edge, Shun uses VG10 (premium steel) that’s very hard and durable with excellent edge retention; although this is a softer steel than the X50 Cr Mo V15.

Another thing is that the knife doesn’t have a bolster, so this makes it lighter and increases its maneuverability.

The handle is made of TPE, a hard, durable, and easy-to-maintain thermoplastic. The simple design makes it comfortable for you to have a firm grip.

Another feature we find very interesting is that this Shun Sora is one of the hardest knives you can get. It’s got a Rockwell Hardness rating of 61. Regardless of its hardness, it’s not as durable as the Wusthof and J.A. Henckels knives.

This wife is also pretty difficult to maintain; you can only hand-wash it. And never use abrasive cleaners and scouring pads to clean this knife. Don’t also soak it for long periods.

And finally, this one comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

The Shun Sora is one of the best chef’s knives under $100 with a remarkable performance. It’s made by one of the premium quality brands so you can be sure you’re getting durable kitchenware.

Pros
Cons

6. Global G-4 7-inch Chef’s Knife

Features

The Global G-4 knife features the Cromova 18 steel which is an innovative blend of chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium; no other product on this list uses this kind of steel. The blend makes this chef knife super hard, durable, and resistant to corrosion.

The Global G-4 7-inch chef’s knife is another top-quality with a unique design.

First, the Global G-4 knife features the Cromova 18 steel which is an innovative blend of chromium, molybdenum, and vanadium; no other product on this list uses this kind of steel. The blend makes this chef knife super hard, durable, and resistant to corrosion.

The blade has no bolster and both surfaces are curved on the spine and smooth like the Wusthof blade.

Interestingly, it also features a stainless steel handle which makes it different from many chef knives including all the other ones on this list that have wooden or plastic handles.

To ensure your hand doesn’t slip, there are lots of dimple-like holes engraved in the handle. And because it feels hollow, the space in the handle has been filled with sand to give it a perfect balance.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Shun Sora, this Japanese-style chef’s knife is your best option. They’re very similar in their Eastern-style design; however, the Global G-4 is more durable and wear-resistant while the Shun Sora is harder.

With a Rockwell Hardness score of between 56 and 58, it’s got impressive durability and has a lower possibility of chipping than a harder steel. However, the major drawbacks are that its edge retention isn’t impressive and you’ll need to sharpen the blade more often.

Finally, you can only clean this knife by handwashing it with mild soap and a soft sponge. And it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

If you’re looking for a hybrid knife with a modern and sleek look with high performance that costs less than $100, the G-4 7-inch chef knife from Global is a great option.

Pros
Cons

7. Cangshan D Series 8-inch Chef Knife

Features

The Cangshsan D Series 8-inch is similar to the Misen 8-inch and Global G-4 7-inch chef knives in that they’re all hybrid Western-Japanese-styled knives. This makes their knives very functional while having a sleek appearance.

 

 

The first unique thing we love about the Cangshan D Series is the multi-step ULTRA6 heat treatment used in the manufacturing process.

This makes the stainless steel ice-hardened blade come out as one of the sharper blades with a 32-degree edge angle. The manufacturing process also makes this silverware super durable and efficient in working on the cutting board for extended periods.

The German steel used in making this chef knife is also one of the most durable you can get. Also, with a Rockwell Hardness of 58, it’s one of the hardest steel blends you can find in a knife.

We also love that Cangshan is a young company like Misen. Both are known for making disruptive products, and the D Series is no exception.

The Cangshsan D Series 8-inch is similar to the Misen 8-inch and Global G-4 7-inch chef knives in that they’re all hybrid Western-Japanese-styled knives. This makes their knives very functional while having a sleek appearance.

This is also one of the best affordable chef’s knives. And their full tang forged blades give the silverware the perfect balance chefs desire in a silverware.

Then the redesigned riveted handle also features magnets at the end of the sheath to protect both your fingers and the blade.

And finally, this best chef’s knife under $100 comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is NSF-certified.

Check the latest price on Amazon.

Pros
Cons

8. Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-inch Chef Knife

Features

The Victorinox brand is a Swiss company that has been in operation since 1884. They’re widely known for constructing durable, high-performance blades, and the Fibrox Pro 8-inch chef knife is no exception.

 

Many reviews consider the Victorinox Fibrox to be the best chef knife under $100, and the following reasons show us why.

First, the Victorinox brand is a Swiss company that has been in operation since 1884. They’re widely known for constructing durable, high-performance blades, and the Fibrox Pro 8-inch chef knife is no exception.

While the chef knife looks basic, its extra-wide blade makes it multi-functional to saw through a wide variety of foods, including grilled meat. Its ability to retain its sharp edges for a long time makes it a good knife.

We also love the perfect size of this good chef’s knife which makes it feel well-balanced in the hand. Furthermore, the handle is made of a thermoplastic elastomer with a textured build to give you a firm grip. The NSF-certified knife is also resistant to changes in temperature.

When you have this chef knife in your kitchen, you won’t have to bother about regularly sending your cutlery out for sharpening. Finally, this quality knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

In all, this is a good chef knife from a dependable knife maker

Pros
Cons

Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick The Best Chef Knife Under $100

Picking the right chef’s knife is not a walk in the park especially as most chef’s knives overpromise and underdeliver.

You need to consider a few factors like the brand name, high-carbon stainless steel, and other high-quality materials used in making these kitchen knives.

While it may be difficult to get the best affordable chef knife with top qualities, we’ve come up with the key features to help you whittle down the high-quality knives from the many chef knives in the market.

Reputable knife maker

While you can find lots of affordable knives, the popular knife-producing brands are popular for a reason; they use high-quality materials in making their knives.

And to make sure you’re investing in a chef knife that’s worth it, we recommend you buy from reputable brands like Misen, Zwilling, Wüsthof, and basically any other brand on this list.

Quality materials

Typically, take into account the kind of stainless steel the manufacturer uses in constructing your blade. German steel like the X50 Cr Mo V15, Cromova, and Japanese steel are very durable.

And these are mostly what the top brands use. Just keep in mind that the more carbon content of your knife, the more durable it’ll be and the longer the sharp edge will hold.

Also, consider the kind of handle. The best handle materials are stainless steel and thermoplastic.

German and Japanese knives typically use quality materials in constructing their knives.

Tang

The tang has a couple of functions; it helps balance the weight of your knife. And it keeps your hand from sliding off the handle.

While there are knives like the Global G-4 without a tang, most of the other knives on this list have either a full tang or a partial (rabbeted) tang.

Chef’s knives with full tang are stronger and more durable while those with partial tang are lightweight and the blades tend to pull off from the handle.

Manufacturing location

The place a knife is made plays a role in determining its quality and design.

German-style knives usually have curved blades and wider angles. They’re also usually thicker and less likely to chip. This is unlike Japanese-style knives that are thinner and sharper.

Whatever the features are, a knife made in any of these locations will most likely be a good knife.

What Brand of Knives Do Professional Chefs Prefer?

Professional chefs in the USA and Europe prefer knives made by Wüsthof and Zwilling. Both brands are German knife makers that construct durable and high-performance Western-style versatile knives. And every professional chef loves these pieces of cutlery because of their durability and unmatched performance.

These chef’s knives are constructed to feel comfortable despite their constant use. And they can also withstand the wear and tear of cooking in a professional kitchen and the constant changes in moisture and temperature.

Conclusion

If you’re still not sure about the best razor-sharp knife that’ll be durable enough to take on your cooking tasks every day, then get the Misen 8-inch chef knife. It stole our hearts, and we’re convinced it’ll serve your kitchen duties optimally.

Besides, you can use it for a whole 60 days and still return it if you’re not cool with its quality.

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

Download Free Chart Now!

Your email will be used only to confirm your request and to provide free kitchen information. By submitting your info on this form, you are agreeing to be contacted regarding your service request by means of email. This is no obligation form and doesn’t require you to purchase any service.

norton_black
comodo_black