Best Cheap Chef Knives 2020 (Under $50 / $100)

Reviews

Are you in the market for the best cheap chef knives under $50/$100, but you are too busy to research and test the hundreds of knives on the market? We are here to help you. In this article, we have used hundreds of cheap knives and gone through hundreds of genuine reviews from different folks to provide this list. This article highlights the best cheap chef knives under $50/$100. Furthermore, we know that you might not stick to our recommendations.

Therefore, we have provided a buyer’s guide to help you in making the right choice.

Choosing the right chef knife can be a challenge, and choosing the right cheap knife is even more challenging. Cheap knives usually come with inferior materials and lack the features of more expensive counterparts. The knives in this review break the mold and offer decent performance despite coming at low prices.

Read on to find out more!

Features to Consider in Cheap Chef Knives

Since choosing the right chef knife can be a challenge, you need to know certain factors that should affect your choice. In this mini buying guide, we highlight some of these factors. More factors will be highlighted in the main buyer’s guide.

Design of the Knife

While there are different design considerations, we will highlight the full-tang construction in this section. When a knife has a full-tang design, what does this mean?

A full-tang chef knife is one that has the entire knife in one piece. The handle and the blade are made from a single piece of metal. The choice of using a full-tang knife is ultimately yours to make. However, while some say that a full-tang knife is simply a matter of aesthetics, after using one, it is clear that there are advantages.
For one, a full-tang knife offers more control. As it is often heavier than other designs, it will feel more solid and maneuverable.

Materials of the blade

The blade is a vital part of the knife. The sharpness, durability and other crucial factors are often affected by the type of material the blade is made of. Most of the blades on the market, whether cheap or expensive, are made of stainless steel. This material has several advantages over other materials.

First, a stainless steel blade is easier to clean than other materials. As the blade is made of stainless steel, it is more resistant to corrosion and staining than other materials. It is also very cheap to produce. Our list of the best cheap chef knives under $50/$100 has most of the knives with a stainless steel blade.

However, stainless steel isn’t the only material used in making blades. There are other materials like carbon steel. This material is the other common material used for making blades. Carbon steel blades are often more expensive than stainless steel knives. The main advantage of this material over stainless steel is that it holds its edge for far longer. However, it is less durable than stainless steel blades. It is not as resistant to rust, and it stains more easily.

Other factors that you should consider when choosing a cheap chef knife include:

  • Size
  • Purpose
  • Brand
In the main buyer’s guide, we will consider these factors and more in detail. In the meantime, let us consider ten of the best cheap chef knives under $50/$100.

Best Cheap Chef Knives 2020 (Under $50)

1. Wusthof 4862-7/20 Pro Cook’s Knife

What we like about it
Wusthof is reputed for the high quality of knives it manufactures. The Wusthof 4862-7/20 knife is the best cheap chef knife from this company. If you are looking for the best cheap knife under $50, you can as well just stop here. Some of the things we like about it are the ergonomic design, the perfect balance, and the long-lasting edge on the knife.

Our rating:

Design
This knife qualifies as the best because it meets all you can demand from a kitchen knife. It might come less than $50, but don’t be fooled, you won’t find a cheap knife better than this. It is made of stainless alloy steel, which makes it quite durable. It has a blade length of 8″ which provides sufficient leverage for cutting. The handle is made of polymer, and it offers a strong grip. The whole design is ergonomic, and there are no issues with the design.

Performance
There are no issues here, either. The knife isn’t lightweight, and neither is it heavy. It has a perfectly balanced weight that makes cutting vegetables, fruits, meat, and so on easy. This knife is used by many professionals and is widely regarded as one of the best cheap knives on the market.

Despite serious use, we observed that the edge remains sharp. It feels like magic! It holds an edge for a long time, and you can rest assured that you will be using it for some time to come.

Pros
  • It has a fine balance neither too heavy nor lightweight
  • It holds an edge for a long time
  • It comes with high-quality German standard
  • The polymer handle offers a good grip
Cons
  • It feels cheap
  • The packaging leaves a lot to be desired

2. Imarku Chef Santoku Knife

What we like about it
The 10″ blade of the Imarku Chef knife is one of the best we have used. We like the comfortable length, which might seem intimidating, but is excellent for cutting tough food. We are not the only ones who love this knife. It is one of the bestsellers on Amazon with 2,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.3 stars.

Our rating:

Design
The knife features an impeccable, solid design. The handle is made, not of polymer or plastic, but of wood. The handle is well designed and offers a feel and grip unparalleled among rivals. It is long enough to help you hold on to the knife when cutting hard food. The blade is 10″ in length and is made of 4116-grade stainless steel.

It is harder and more durable than most rivals, especially in this price range. The Imarku is one of the most comfortable knives we have used. To aid in durability, the knife has its felt-lined box where you can keep it when not in use.

Performance
The knife might measure 15″ in total length, but we found it very easy to use. The weight is balanced, with the knife neither too heavy nor lightweight. It cuts all kinds of food with ease, from soft food like vegetables to tough meats.

Furthermore, since it has a Rockwell hardness rating of 56±2, it is one of the most durable knives on the market.
The edge is very sharp, and many professionals find it great to use. The only problem we had with the knife is that the blade rusts quickly.

Pros
  • Beautiful and ergonomic handle
  • Adequate balance
  • Great for cutting tough foods
Cons
  • The blade is susceptible to stains and rust
  • It doesn’t hold an edge for a long time.

3. ZYLISS Chef’s Knife

What we like about it
The German-made Zyliss Chef’s knife deservedly makes this list of the best cheap chef knives under $50. If you are handy in the kitchen and you want a knife that offers control and delivers awesome cutting performance, the Zyliss knife will adequately serve your needs.

Our rating:

Design
Zyliss chef’s knife has a blade length of 7.5″. It is neither too long nor too short. Although the knife is rather heavy, the 6.4 ounces weight is the price to pay for stability and superior cutting performance. It is a stainless steel blade that is ideal for cutting fruits, vegetables, and other foods. The German steel grants it immense cutting potential and greatly reduces the chances of rust or cracks.

It features an ergonomic handle that gives a soft touch but firm grip. We observed while using this knife that we could use it for lengths of time without hand fatigue.

When not in use, the Zyliss knife has a plastic sheath where it can be stored away safely. The Zyliss Chef’s knife might cost less than $50, but best believe that no-one will guess it camos for so little money.

Performance
We found this knife pleasant to use. All the foods we cut with it were prepped up perfectly. It is dishwasher safe. However, despite being dishwasher safe, it is recommended to wash by hand. Washing by hand will enhance the longevity of the knife.

Despite the impressive performance, it comes with its share of flaws. One of such deficiencies is that it doesn’t hold the edge for a long time.

The Zyliss comes ready to use straight from the box and requires no prior sharpening.

Pros
  • It comes at an attractive price
  • It is ready to use straight from the box
  • The grip is comfortable and solid
  • It has a blade sheath to keep it clean and safe
Cons
  • It doesn’t hold an edge for a long time
  • It might be a tad bigger than expected

4. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife

What we like about it
Victorinox is a famous name in the kitchen cutlery industry. It is known for the impressive array of its products. With the Victorinox Fibrox Pro 47552 knife, they have once again come up with an incredible piece of kitchen cutlery. Some of the best features of this knife are the quality design and the top-grade stainless steel blade.

Our rating:

Design
The Victorinox brand has different blade lengths in this category, and the model we tested comes with a 5′ blade. Regardless of the length, these blades offer identical performance. We liked the 5″ length of the blade. The blade is shaped a bit differently than other rivals. It is slightly tapered, thus allowing for deep, long cuts. As for the handle of the blade, it offers a very strong and stable grip. The handle is designed with a slightly raised end and is a Fibrox Pro handle. Therefore, when cutting, you achieve right gripping angles. With a Rockwell hardness rating of 56, this stainless steel blade is quite reliable.

Performance
The knife weighs around four ounces, which makes it easy to maneuver. The performance, when tested is simply astounding. Using the knife, you will be forgiven for mistaking it for a more expensive knife. It cuts through foods of varying hardness with ease.

The only issue is that despite the great performance, it visibly pales in comparison with more expensive models from Victorinox. It also fails to hold an edge for a long time.

Pros
  • It delivers excellent value for the price
  • The handle is one of the best on the market
  • It has a durable blade
Cons
  • It looks cheap
  • It doesn’t hold an edge for long

5. Aicok USAFF76668

What we like about it
The Aicok USAFF76668 knife is a knife that comes ready to use. We like this 8″ bladed knife because it is quite effective and can take your cooking game up a notch. It is a great intermediate blade for folks that do not want something short but aren’t ready to use 10″ blades yet.

Our rating:

Design
This knife is a budget knife that delivers a good performance. It features an 8″ blade which you can count on the slice and dice varying foods. It has a single-piece construction and is made of stainless steel. The blade is rich in carbon and is quite durable. We like the sleek design on this knife. It isn’t bulky or heavy and feels like an extension of your hand. Since the blade and the handle are welded together, you can rest assured that the blade will not fall off anytime.

Performance
The quality of this knife ensures that it delivers excellent performance. The blade cuts food efficiently, and foods do not stick to it. The stainless steel blade is durable and resistant to rust.

Despite the alluring performance, it has its share of flaws. For example, multiple users have complained about the shape of the handle. It doesn’t sit right in the palm and is uncomfortable. In addition, we observed that when submerged, the knife tends to float with the blade facing up. This can be dangerous.

Pros
  • It comes at a great price
  • The design is beautiful
  • It is a durable knife
  • Single-piece build ensures that the blade doesn’t fall off
Cons
  • The handle design is uncomfortable
  • It floats blade-up

6. Farberware 5171956 EdgeKeeper Chef’s Knife

What we like about it
This is the last knife on this list that goes for less than $50. It is the cheapest as well. We like this knife because, despite the low price, it still delivers decent performance. The 6″ blade comes with a self-sharpening sleeve. This feature is the main reason why it on this list.

Our rating:

Design
The Farberware 5171956 Chef’s knife is a cheap knife that is made of stainless steel. It is very affordable, and while it isn’t the most durable or sharpest blade on the market, it still serves well. The main design feature that intrigues buyers is the self-sharpening sleeve. Every time you slip it or out of the sleeve, the blade is honed.

Performance
As it is a budget knife, it is not surprising that it cannot deliver the same excellent performance at its more expensive rivals. Nevertheless, it is still one of the best you can get at this price. We used the knife to cut through different foods, with varying degrees of success.

Pros
  • It is very affordable
  • It comes with a self-sharpening sleeve
  • It is lightweight
Cons
  • The build design reflects the low price
  • It stains rather easily

Best Cheap Chef Knives 2020 (Under $100)

1. DALSTRONG Chef Knife Kiritsuke

What we like about it
There are many things to like about this knife. It comes with a full-tang construction, a razor-sharp edge, and a comfortable handle. For many professional chefs, it is the go-to knife.

Our rating:

Design
The Dalstrong Kiritsuke knife is one of the best-looking knives under $100. It comes with impressive craftsmanship and an overall design that ultimately improves its cutting ability. The cutlery is made of Japanese steel and is specially treated to resist corrosion, stains, and cracks. The handle is a beauty to see and great to touch. It is triple-riveted and made of wood. As a result, it is easy and comfortable to hold. The non-slip nature makes cutting through hard foods a breeze.

The design of the handle is such that anyone can comfortably hold them regardless of the hand size. It eliminates hand fatigue and is hands-down the best we have handled.

Performance
As this knife is made of premium materials, it delivers exceptional performance. The full-tang design of the knife makes it reliable to use. As all the parts are fused, you can cut with force without the fear of breaking the knife. The steel makes it a sturdy knife. During testing, we cut some acidic foods. Interestingly, the knife displayed no hint of rust. It is easy to clean and maintain.

Other features
The knife, while super-sharp, has safety protocols in place. For example, the knife has a bolstered handle. Hence, while you cut, your fingers do not touch the blade. The blade is higher than the handle. Thus, when you cut vigorously, your hand doesn’t come in contact with the cutting board. It comes with a sheath to store the knife when not in use.

Pros
  • The blade height is higher than the handle to keep your hands from the board
  • It has a wonderful riveted handle that ensures superb grip
  • The edge is sharp and holds for a long time
Cons
  • It is a tad heavier than other rivals

2. Wusthof 8944-1

What we like about it
This is one of the best chef knives, period! This is the other Wusthof product on this list, and if you are conversant with the kitchen cutlery industry, you won’t be surprised. Wusthof is a trusted maker of some of the best knives on the market, and the 8944-1 delivers good performance and reliability.

Our rating:

Design
Made in Solingen, Germany, this knife features exceptional craftsmanship and quality. The blades are molded from a single piece of high-quality stainless steel. The manufacturing process makes the blade hard, durable, and highly resistant to things like stains, rust, and cracks. The blade design makes it safe and highly functional. It comes with a Western-style profile and a sharp point at the tip. As the blade is wider than the handle, your hands are kept safe and do not hit the cutting board.

The handle is made of Polyoxymethylene. The nature of this material is closely packed and durable. It offers a firm grip and is durable. Despite high temperatures and moisture, the handle remains intact and good as new.

Performance
Made in Solingen, Germany, this knife features exceptional craftsmanship and quality. The blades are molded from a single piece of high-quality stainless steel. The manufacturing process makes the blade hard, durable, and highly resistant to things like stains, rust, and cracks. The blade design makes it safe and highly functional. It comes with a Western-style profile and a sharp point at the tip. As the blade is wider than the handle, your hands are kept safe and do not hit the cutting board.

The handle is made of Polyoxymethylene. The nature of this material is closely packed and durable. It offers a firm grip and is durable. Despite high temperatures and moisture, the handle remains intact and good as new.

Pros
  • It is a high-quality knife that is made of durable materials
  • The weight is balanced
  • The bolstered handle makes it safe to use
  • The handle offers excellent grip
Cons
  • They don’t fare well inside a dishwasher

3. Shun Sora Chef’s Knife

What we like about it
This blade is a Japanese chef’s knife. As a result, it comes in a design that we really liked. The steel is harder than anything we have tested, and the blade holds an edge for a long time.

Our rating:

Design
The 8″ blade is longer than most of the other blades on this list. It has a total length of 14″. Nevertheless, it feels lightweight and comfortable when held. Made in Seki City, Japan, these Asian knives are great tools for every kitchen. Unlike other knives that have a single type of metal running through the blade, the Shun Sora knife has different metals for the top and bottom halves of the blade. Together, these metals form a sharp and nearly unbreakable blade.

The design of these blades is one factor that draws many chefs to them. It has a flat spine that makes it easy to cut through food. Almost the entire length of the blade comes in contact with the cutting board.

The handle is made of thermoplastic elastomer which is similar to those found in Western blades. The design is fairly straightforward with a straight top and slightly curved belly. The material is durable and easy to clean.

Performance
We found it easy to use and handle. Since it is lightweight, you will enjoy cutting food for long periods without experiencing tiredness. It is sharper than many rivals and more durable.

Cleaning is easy to do. We recommend you wash manually with gentle soap instead of using a dishwasher.

Pros
  • It is made of high-quality material
  • It has a gorgeous design
  • It is lightweight
  • It is easier to move back and forth than with other knives
Cons
  • The handle is sup-bar

4. J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL 31161-201 CLASSIC Chef’s Knife

What we like about it
This 8″ knife offers superior cutting performance. A German knife, it comes with the classic design from German products. We love the bolstered handle, the rivets on the handle, the flat edge, and the full-tang design. Furthermore, it holds a long-lasting edge.

Our rating:

Design
This blade is straight out of J.A Henckel’s factory in Spain. The 8″ blade is made of a strong, durable stainless steel material similar to that used by the best chef’s knives like those from Wusthof. The steel offers durability, rust resistance, and imperious hardness. The Western-style profile of the blade makes it attractive to those who love Western knives. The spine is straighter than those on rival knives, and the edge has a prominent belly. The blade is wider than the handle and proffers a bolter.

The handle is of polypropylene, which is a high-quality material. It is a durable handle that can take a beating and survive kitchen temperatures and moisture without problems. The handle is triple-riveted and has a black finish. The corners are squared, and there is a curve at the end of the handle to support your grip.

Performance
The knife is more substantial than most at 8.5 ounces, and this makes it quite sturdy and comfortable to handle. Going through the reviews on Amazon, it is clear that people are in love with this knife. It offers great value for the price and cuts through many types of foods with relative ease.

During testing, we found it to be a decent kitchen companion. Although it has its flaws, it is still better than many knives on the market. Some users have complained that the spine of the knife is rather sharp and has led to cuts. Others have complained that food sticks to the blade.

Pros
  • It is easy to handle
  • It retains a sharp edge after use
  • It cuts foods easily
Cons
  • Foods tend to stick to it
  • The spine is rather sharp and can cut you

Guide to Buying the Best Cheap Chef Knives

Ten products, your choice is narrowed and easier to make. Some factors should be considered when choosing the best cheap chef knives.

A chef’s knife is one of the most crucial tools in the kitchen. We daresay it is the most important. Despite advancements in the kitchen industry, nothing feels as good as cutting up your food with a knife. Great knives can cost thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, not everyone has thousands of dollars to spend on a knife. There are cheap alternatives that although they do not offer all the features of expensive knives, they deliver stunning performance. Let us consider some of the vital factors that can help you choose the right chef knives.

Type of knives

There are different categories of knives. The main types of knives include Chef knives, paring knives, and bread knives.

Chef’s Knife

As the name implies, this knife is meant for “professional” use. There are the primary tools used by every cook. These knives can be used to slice, dice, chop, and dissect all types of foods. From the toughest meats to soft vegetables, chef knives will get the job done.

Paring Knife

This knife is used to cut soft foods like fruits. They are mainly for delicate tasks.

Bread knife/Serrated knife

This knife is mainly used for, as the name implies, cutting bread, cakes, and similar foods.

Sharpness

Without the right knives with the appropriate sharpness, your cooking experience can become frustrating. Choosing a knife that fails to cut what you want is as good as having two left shoes. Related to the sharpness of the blade is the length of time the knife retains this sharp edge.

The material of the blade

The better the material from which a blade is made of, the better the knife is. Many of the good qualities of the best cheap chef knives are a result of the materials of the blade. Conversely, many negative qualities of a knife stem from the materials of the blade.

Most blades are made of alloys of metals. This makes them more durable, sharper, lightweight, and so on. Before choosing a knife, it is vital that you consider the materials of the blade. The materials of the blade are usually chosen from the options listed below:

  • Stainless steel
  • Carbon steel
  • Damascus type
  • High carbon stainless steel
  • Ceramic

Stainless steel material

Stainless steel is the most common material used in making the blades of knives. Stainless steel is a mixture of chromium or nickel and carbon. The carbon content is low. This alloy has distinctive advantages. For example, it is resistant to corrosion. They are straightforward to produce, and as a result, are found in the cheapest knives on the market.

Stainless steel blades are easy to clean and maintain. However, once they lose their initial edge, it is difficult getting them to be as sharp as they used to be. Most folks choose knives with stainless steel blades because they require little maintenance and are cheap.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is one of the best materials for making blades. This material is obtained via a mixture of carbon and steel. It can be forged to have a thin edge. Carbon steel blades have a wickedly sharp edge that lasts for a long time.

The downside of blades made of carbon steel is the high level of maintenance required to keep it in optimal condition. Carbon steel blades are susceptible to corrosion. It stains more easily than stainless steel. And despite their sharpness, they break easier than stainless steel blades.

A carbon steel blade needs to be cleaned and thoroughly dried so that corrosion is eliminated. If you do not have the time or patience to frequently and thoroughly clean your knives, then you should stay away from carbon steel blades.

Damascus Type

Damascus type does not refer to a material but refers to a process. It is a complex process of producing knife blades. Damascus forged blades are some of the best blades you can buy. They are sharp, durable, and deliver overall unforgettable quality.

This process involves beating the alloys or metals into repeated folds. By forming layers on layers of a metal or a combination of metals, the result is a blade that delivers superior performance.

High Carbon Stainless Steel

These blades combine the best features of carbon steel blades and stainless steel blades. These blades are very sharp, durable, lightweight, and generally, are the best materials for making high-quality knives.

They are resistant to corrosion, they hold their edge for a long time, and they can be efficiently sharpened. There aren’t any flaws with these blades. However, they also require maintenance (probably because of carbon steel in them). Hence, after washing (do not use a dishwasher), dry them thoroughly, and store them in the right place.
Most high-quality knives are made of high carbon stainless steel materials.

Ceramic

Ceramic blades are not as popular as the other types of blades. They are extremely sharp and hold an edge for longer than any other material out there. They are also safe for food since ceramic is nonreactive.

However, for most folks, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. Since it is made of ceramic, it suffers from fragility. If dropped, a ceramic blade will likely shatter. If used on very hard foods, or in a bad way, they can get chipped or cracked. Although it holds an edge longer than any other blade, once the edge is lost, you might have to return it to the supplier for sharpening. Using a normal sharpener will damage it.

Before choosing your knife, you have to consider the material of the blade.

Size of the Knife

Most chef knives have a blade length of 8″. This is neither too long nor too short. It is a perfect compromise. However, you might require knives that have longer lengths. The longer the knife is, the greater the amount of food it can cut at a go. A shorter knife offers more maneuverability but does not cut as much volume as a long knife.

The handle of the knife

Aside from the blades, the handle of the knife is a vital consideration. You have to consider the shape and design of the handle. You will also need to consider the material the handle is made of.

Knife handles are made from different materials. In the reviews above, you discover that some have wooden handles. Others have plastic or composite handles. Others have metal or rubber handles.

To choose the right handle for you, it is recommended that you physically hold the handle. That way, you can feel whether it is comfortable or not.

The handle can make or mar your experience. Handles are not as durable as the blades of a knife. Although a knife can be listed as “dishwasher safe” by the manufacturer, one of the reasons why manual washing is recommended is because of handles. They usually can’t take the stress of going through a dishwasher.

If you wash them using a dishwasher, you will observe that they rapidly deteriorate. This occurs while the blade remains intact. Thus it can be frustrating having a perfectly fine blade but a broken handle.

Ease of Use and Maintenance

The knife you choose must be easy to use. Cooking is a chore already. Thus you shouldn’t make it harder by choosing a knife that isn’t easy to use.

You also need to consider the level of maintenance the knife will require. Remember that knives that have carbon blades require more maintenance than stainless steel blades.

Furthermore, ensure that you have a dry, safe place to store the knife when it is not in use.

The weighting of the knife

The weighting of the knife is different from the weight of the knife. This refers to the distribution of the weight on the knife.

The distribution of the weight affects the balance. A poorly-balanced knife will not make cutting enjoyable. It offers less control and will affect the precision of cutting. You can judge for yourself the balance of the knife. Grip the knife and move it around. Make cutting motions and observe how the motions feel.

Conclusion

There are different types and brands of chef knives on the market right now. They come at different prices and offer various features. Thus, there is quite a lot of information to process when buying a chef knife. This review of the best cheap chef knives under $50/$100 narrows your options. Any of the cheap knives on this list deliver quality performance. The buying guide also highlights crucial factors to consider when choosing chef knives, no matter the price. Use the review and guide to make the right choice!