Whether you cook regularly at home or not, it is a good idea to have a chef knife in your kitchen. Not only for chopping vegetables, but a good quality chef’s knife helps you tackle many cutting jobs. You might have spotted the chef’s knives in many bistros and restaurants and always wished to own one. But the high-price of blades makes you think otherwise. But you can still get quality performance under an affordable price tag if you choose the right unit. So we’ve picked some of the best chef knives under $100.
Before beginning the reviews, let us understand what is a chef knife? A chef knife is nothing but a cooking tool used in food preparation. People all over the world use different sizes of chef’s knives to cut and carve the food. Initially, the blade was made to slice large cuts of beef but now it is considered a multipurpose knife that can be used for cutting meat, chopping vegetables, or removing bones from fish.
You might not need an entire kitchen knife set if you own a good-quality chef’s knife. With some practice and skills, you can perform different preparation techniques with a single blade.
Best Chef Knife Under $100
Here are some of the best chef kitchen knives for the money.
1) J.A. Henckels International Classic Chef’s Knife, 8 Inch, Black
Wusthof knives hold a strong name in the knife industry, thanks to their quality craftsmanship. And if you always wished to own a Wusthof blade then this 8-inch classic chef’s knife is just perfect. Unlike other high-end models, this 8-inch blade is easy to use and maintain. Plus, it will not require frequent sharpening even on daily heavy usage.
The credit for such great strength goes to its fully forged construction. Made of stainless steel carbon steel, Wusthof Henckel chef knife offers high durability and a seamless transition from blade to handle. Besides, the satin-finished blade is finely honed for long-lasting sharpness. And with razor-like sharpness, you can perform a variety of food preparations from slicing salmon to mincing garlic.
Full bolster design provides perfect balance when you’re chopping, cutting, slicing, or dicing ingredients. It is great for beginners who wish to pursue a culinary course. Better balance reduces cut risks while slicing hard ingredients like sweet potatoes, beef, avocado, etc.
2) DALSTRONG Chef Knife, Japanese High-Carbon – AUS8 Steel
Settle for quality with Dalstrong 8-inch Japanese chef knife. This masterfully elegant blade is a statement of beauty, purity, and power. Professionally forged from a single piece of ice tempered, high-carbon, Japanese AUS-8 steel at 58+ Rockwell hardness, the Dalstrong kitchen knife offers immense strength to tackle a majority of food preparations.
Each blade is painstakingly hand-sharpened using the traditional Honzabuke method. So do not worry if there’s a slight difference in the models. This method brings the edge to a razor-sharp 13-15 degrees. And with such a sharp cutting angle, you can slice through several food items in seconds.
The narrow width of the Dalstrong Japanse kitchen knife offers better maneuverability. This is great for people who love to carve a turkey on Thanksgiving. In addition to improved agility, the traditional D-shaped block pakkawood handle tucks perfectly in the palm of your hand. Not only does the wooden knife handle improves the overall look of the blade but it is also durable. However, you cannot pop the knife into the dishwasher due to a wooden handle but it is extremely easy to handwash. Dry immediately after wash to ensure razor-cut sharpness for long.
3) WÜSTHOF Gourmet 8 Inch Chef’s Knife, Precise Laser Cut
A lightweight kitchen knife is best if you’re new to cooking. And Wusthof Gourmet 8-inch chef’s knife weighs only 7.05 ounces that makes it ideal for college students and beginners. The absence of a bolster cuts down the weight of the blade. So instead, the handle is directly attached to the blade itself.
But do not let the absence of bolster make you think the tool is any less as this Wusthof 8-inch knife is the workhorse of the kitchen. You can use this all-purpose tool for chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing, etc. Laser-crafted from high-carbon stainless steel, you can also use the blade for heavy-duty works such as cutting thicker vegetables and meats. Plus, it is extremely easy to sharpen the edge. You can either sharpen the chef’s knife manually or by using an electric knife sharpener.
The new handle provides better grip and balance while food prep. This synthetic handle is made from a highly durable material known as POM. This material is known to resist fading, discoloration, heat, and impact. This allows you to pop in the unit safely in the dishwasher for effortless cleaning.
4) Victorinox 10 Inch Swiss Classic Chef’s Knife
People who cook at home daily need a good-quality chef knife that can tackle most of the food preparation. And Victorinox 10-inch Swiss Classic is just perfect for our home chefs. Instead of an 8-inch, Victorinox kitchen knife offers a 10-inch blade length. As a result, you can conveniently chop, mince, or dice big ingredients. The log blade lets you chop a good quantity of herbs and scallions at once.
A contemporary handle with a gentle groove design is ideal for both right and left-handers. The same blade is used by professionals with a handle that suits the needs of home chefs. Besides, the contoured nylon handle is both lightweight and durable, making it perfect for beginners and college students.
While the nylon handle cuts down extra weight, the optimally weighted European steel provides a perfect balance to the knife. It reduces hand and wrist fatigue even if there are a lot of ingredients to chop. Other than that, the tapered knife is ground in two directions to hold sharpness for longer. It is easy to bring the blade to its original angle even if it gets dull after heavy use.
5) Shun Sora 6-Inch Chef’s Knife with Traditional Japanese Handle
Experience quality and beauty with Shun 6-inch Japanese Chef’s knife. If you’ve never owned a Japanese blade before then this would be a great start. Instead of 10″ or 8″ blade length, Shun features a 6-inch long blade that is capable to cut a variety of foods. In addition to all basic food preparations, a short blade helps to carve meat conveniently.
Handcrafted in Japan, Shun is made using premium quality materials. Besides, state-of-art technology provides traditional quality to million of professional chefs and home cooks throughout the world. In short, this Japanese kitchen knife is a perfect combination of modern design and traditional craft that offers long-lasting durability and sharpness.
Speaking of sharpness, the blade is hand-sharpened to 16 degrees which is a signature angle of Shun knives. Such angles retain sharpness for long durations of time and constant use. And the best thing is, Shun offers free re-sharpening when needed. Its composite blade technology brings together a VG10 three-layer san main cutting edge with a Japanese 420J stainless steel upper. This, in turn, creates a beautiful wave-like design on a bottom blade that is not only beautiful but durable.
What to look at when buying chef knives under 100 dollars
Mostly, all blades are made of stainless steel. However, the material quality varies from brand to brand. Always settle for a high-quality stainless steel blade that is durable and rust-resistant. Apart from quality, you must also look for forged or laser-cut technology. A laser-cut blade is often lightweight while a forged blade features a bolster that adds on weight and provides a good balance while chopping hard foods like meat.
In addition to the blade, the handle also plays an important role. A better handle to blade ratio results in flawless chopping and cutting. Besides, the handle material enhances the beauty of the overall tool. A chef knife with a wooden handle looks rich and classy than a synthetic or nylon handle. But on the other side, synthetic handle kitchen knives are dishwasher-safe.
A bolster is present between handle and blade. It adds weight to the blade and provides a good balance when chopping, slicing, or dicing ingredients. A chef knife with a bolstered design is usually a bit heavier than laser-cut ones. This makes them perfect for cutting dense foods like chicken, beef, and other poultry.
A full tang kitchen knife’s blade runs from the tip all the way down to the handle. Full-tang blades are durable and stable than half-tang design. A full-tang blade is riveted into the handle for a better grip.
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It is not necessary to break a bank to buy a good-quality chef’s knife. Many famous brands offer quality and workmanship under $100. This way you can experience professional food preparation under budget. The affordable chef’s knives are best for home use.
In addition to excellent performance, cheap chef’s knives make a great housewarming, Thanksgiving, and Christmas gift. So select the best kitchen chef’s knife that suits your need and experiences smooth chopping, cutting, dicing, and slicing of a variety of foods.