Best Budget Chef Knives Buying Guide 2019

This is part of a series of articles where we help you choose the best chef knife for you. Below you’ll find all the information you need to select the best budget chef knives, and also make sure to check out the best chef knives for beginners and best professional chef’s knife.

Best Budget Chef Knives Reviews

When choosing the knives to review in this article we have decided to take only the best chef knife under $100 into consideration. We have brought forward high quality products that will last you a very long time. Even though there are cheaper chef knives on the market today, our selection of knives can last for a lifetime. A cheap knife that will deteriorate or break fast is not a budget deal. We consider spending under 100 dollars on a chef knife that could be yours forever is a great budget deal. So check out our selection of the best budget chef knives and choose your favorite chef’s knife.

Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

best budget chef knives Mercer Culinary chef's knife

The Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is designed for general purposes. It is forged with one- piece precision that makes it ideal for a wide variety of tasks including trimming and dicing.

The chef knife is made with a shortened bolster. The bolster exposes the blade edge, providing you with an easier and more comfortable sharpening experience.

The blade is constructed with a full tang that extends through the length of the handle. The full tang ensures that the blade id firmly held by the metal riveting of the handle.

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The Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Chef’s Knife features a black handle that feels comfortable to hold the handle is triple riveted to ensure that it is does nit detach in case of heavy cutting actions.

Pros of the Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

  • Ideal for all types of cutting including trimming and mincing
  • Made with a shortened bolster to provide you with an effortless and enjoyable sharpening experience
  • Made of high carbon stainless steel material that is resistant to discoloration and rusting
  • Features a full tang to keep the blade attached
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons of the Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

  • No ideal for very heavy cutting actions

Mac Chef Knife Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

best budget chef knives mac chef's knife

The Mac Chef Knife Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife is skillfully designed of high carbon stainless steel material that ensures its strength and durability. The durability is further complimented by original molybdenum that also provides the knife’s edge eth better retention capabilities.

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The chef knife is made with a Pakkawood handle that is well riveted to ensure that it is firm and in place. The Pakkawood material is resistant to water, food and detergents which would otherwise destroy the handle design.

The Mac Knife Chef Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife features a razor sharp cutting edge that features a precise cutting versatility. He edge is easy to sharpen and retains its sharpness for a long time.

 

Pros of the Mac Chef Knife Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

  • Made of high carbon steel that provides it with undulating strength
  • Pakkawood handle that resists water and food particles
  • Full tanged blade
  • Well riveted blade to ensure durability
  • Precisely sharp cutting edge
  • Skillfully handcrafted by professionals in japan
  • Wide blade that boosts knuckle clearance

Cons of the Mac Chef Knife Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

  • No dishwasher safe
  • Blade might detach if used carelessly

Zwilling J.A International 8 Inch Chef Knife

best budget chef knives Zwilling international chef's knife

The Zwilling J.A Classic 8 Inch Chef knife forged from high-quality German stainless steel that provides it with strength and long lasting characteristics. The knife is ideal for chopping, slicing, mincing and dicing. It is also perfect for challenging tasks such as trimming.

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The chef knife features a seamless transition between the blade and the handle. This ensures that food particles do not get their way into the handle.

The Mac Knife Chef Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife features a traditional knife that is triple riveted to ensure that it firm. The handle provides you with secure and firm grips.

Pros of the Zwilling J.A Classic 8 Inch Chef Knife

  • Hand crafted in japan
  • Forged from high quality German steel for strength, durability and resistance to rusting
  • Ideal for chopping, slicing, mincing, dicing and mincing
  • Features a seamless transition between the blade and the handle
  • Satin finished blade that is finely polished for incredible sharpness
  • Made with traditional ergonomic and sturdy handle that provides you with firm and secure grips
  • Dish washer safe

Cons of the Zwilling J.A Classic 8 Inch Chef Knife

  • Requires regular sharpening
  • Not ideal for intense cutting actions

Wusthof Pro 8 Inch Chef Knife

best budget chef knives wusthof pro chef's knife

The Wusthof Pro 8 Inch Chef Knife is specifically designed to cater for huge demands from commercial kitchens. It is a general purpose knife hat provides a high quality cutting versatility.

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The chef knife features a seamless transition between the blade and the handle. This ensures that food particles do not get their way into the handle.

The Wusthof Pro 8 Inch Chef Knife is made with a wide blade that makes it ideal for all cutting tasks. The blade also makes the knife ideal for other uses, such as preparing sandwiches and opening cans.

Pros of the Wusthof Pro 8 Inch Chef Knife

  • Ideal for chopping, slicing, mincing, dicing and mincing
  • Features a seamless transition between the blade and the handle
  • Handle is well shaped to fit into the curves of your palms
  • Blade m from stainless steel for strength and durability
  • Wide blade to enhance knuckle clearance
  • Precisely sharp cutting edge
  • Pointed tip that is ideal for opening cans and other tight objects
  • Limited warranty from the manufacturer might be available

Cons of the Wusthof Pro 8 Inch Chef Knife

  • No metal riveting to hold the handle
  • Plastic handle might break in case of heavy cutting tasks

Miyabi Kaizen Chef Knife

best budget chef knives Miyabi kaizen chef's knife

The Miyabi Kaizen Chef’s Knife is skillfully crafted from VG10 super steel. The steel design makes the knife resistant to corrosion and rusting. It also makes strong enough to bear even intense cutting tasks.

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The chef knife is hand-polished through the Honbazuke 3 step process. The process results in a cutting edge that is inclined at an angle of 9 to 12 degrees. This provides the edge with super cutting and slicing abilities.

The Miyabi Kaizen Chef Knife is made with a 65 layer Damascus flower design that gives it a distinct characteristic. The pattern also makes the knife vey stunning and attractive when among other cutlery.

Pros of the Miyabi Kaizen Chef Knife

  • Made from a very strong stainless steel
  • Hand crafted through the Honbazuke 3 step process
  • Professionally crafted in Japan
  • Made with 65 layers of Damascus flowering that enhance its beauty
  • Blade is ice-hardened to Rockwell 60
  • Features a thin blade that makes it easy to use on hand
  • Easy to wash and sharpen

Cons of the Miyabi Kaizen Chef Knife

  • Not ideal for some tasks due to its thin blade

How to Choose the Best Budget Chef Knives

If you are serious about being a great home cook, there are many tools you should have in your culinary arsenal. One of these tools is a chef knife. A chef knife is considered the hardest working piece of equipment in any modern kitchen. It makes your life easier, especially if you are used to do your cutting tasks with a dull old blade. There are many chef knives as there are preferences, skill levels and budgets. This means that it takes a little trial and error to find a knife the meets all your needs well.

One of the most important things you can do is to choose the best chef’s knife. This is because you will be using it every day. Therefore, it is vital that you find one that looks great and most importantly, one that feels exactly the way you want it to. Here are the top factors to consider when choosing your best budget chef knives.

Size of the Best Budget Chef Knives

The best budget chef knives come in a large variety of sizes. The size of knife that is perfect for your hands depends on the size of your hands. In most cases, the sizes range from 6 inches to 10 inches in size. The 8-inch chef knife is the most popular selection for home cooks and chefs worldwide.

The 10 inches chef knife has a long blade that can handle a watermelon without any problem at all. However, its long size makes it feel like it is too much for a beginner chef to handle. The fact the knife has a long blade means that beginner chefs and inexperienced home cooks may have problem maneuvering the knife through foods. This is why the 10 inch chef knife is recommended for experienced home cooks and professional chefs.

The 6 inches chef knife has almost all the features of a paring knife. However, it is not a perfect option if you are looking to slice through something large like watermelons. The 6 inches chef knife is ideal for peeling fruits and chopping vegetables. It can be used by both beginner chefs and inexperienced home cooks. But still it is sometimes of a small size for some tasks. Thus we recommend the 8 inch chef knife for beginners.

Blade Material

The best budget chef knives can be made of many types of blade materials, including stainless steel, high carbon steel and ceramic. Knives marked as “Stainless” contain high levels of Chromium (Cr) and low content carbon. If you are looking a completely stainless chef knife, go for a blade with low levels of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium. The knife should be tempered to a Rockwell hardness rating of at least 56.

Though stainless steel chef knives are tougher than high carbon chef knives, they are softer in a sense that they do not chip easily on high impacts. This feature makes them ideal for heavy duty cutting and high volume cutting. Similarly, they cannot retain their sharpness for an extended period of time, like the high carbon steel chef knives.

High carbon steel knives have a razor like sharpness and ideal for precision cutting. Because of this sharpness, they require less effort and force to cut through any meat. Apart from their sharpness, they are also very hard and durable, making them maintain their sharpness for long without the need for regular sharpening.

The hardness of high carbon steel chef knives makes their edge brittle and easy to chip upon impact. Another shortcoming of high carbon steel knives is that they are very susceptible to rust. They need to be constantly devoid of moisture so that they do not accumulate rust.

Ceramic blades are made from a very hard material. This makes them durable and maintains their edge for an extended time. They are also nonmetal, meaning that they do not rust or corrode. However, the very hardness of ceramic knives makes them limited. They are so brittle that the edge will chip and break with the slightest impact.

Different Knife Styles to Consider

Depending on your preferences, you may choose to buy a western style chef knife, which is also known as a hybrid knife. Western style chef knives are thick and heavy. They have a sharp tip that is easy to maintain due to softer steels with sporty wide bolsters. There are many good budget chef knives from western companies, such as Wusthof made by industrial experts, such as J.A. Heckles and Messermeister that come with an attractive price. .

Western style chef knives can handle difficult tasks, like prepping stubborn vegetables and butchering whole meat. The knives are sharpened between 20 and 22 degrees. The geometry of a German knife is curved that facilitates the rocking style of chopping.

Japanese chef knives are sharpened between 12 to 15 degrees. The major difference between western style knives and Japanese knives is that Japanese knives have a single bevel. This means that they are sharpened on one side. They retain their edge for long, but are difficult to sharpen.

Ease of Use

You may buy a knife, only to realize that it does not meet your intended purposes. To avoid this costly mistake, consider going for the best budget chef knives. Make sure that the knife you choose is easy to use in your daily cutting tasks. In addition, it is advisable that you choose a chef knife that does not require too much maintenance practices. Go for a knife that can retain its cutting edge for long. This means you will not have to sharpen your knife regularly.

Chef knives have various types of blade. You can go for a hollow edge blade or a flat edged blade. The type of blade you choose depends on what you will be using your chef knife for.

Examine the Bolster

Check to be sure that the best budget chef knives you choose can withstand nearly all types of cutting actions, whether heavy or light. The cutting actions can be rocking motions, back and forth as well as straight up and down. To be sure that your preferred chef knife can withstand all these actions go for a knife with a bolster that is not too heavy or too light. Avoid a chef knife with a heavy bolster as it cannot allow for rocking motions.

A good bolster should have a medium weight. The weight of the bolster added to the weight of the blade helps to make slicing and cutting better. In addition, an ideal bolster helps to protect your knuckles so that you do not get chuffed as glide your foods over a cutting board.

Check How the Handle is affixed to the Blade

It’s recommendable that you buy the best budget chef’s knife whose blade is affixed to the handle tightly and perfectly. Check to be sure that the blade articulates into the handle tightly, leaving no gap. This ensures that food particles or cleaning agents do not penetrate into the handle, which could otherwise destroy it.

In addition, choose the best budget chef knives with a full tang. With a full tang, the blade extends all the way through the length of the handle. This helps the blade to remain intact regardless of the intensity of the cutting actions. Additionally, full tang ensures the blade is firmly held by the rivets, which leads to a firm long lasting chef knife.

Choose a Knife with a Comfortable Handle

The handle is an integral part of the knife. It is imperative that you go for a knife whose handle is highly durable. Ensure the shape of the handle fits comfortably in your arms. This will makes you feel comfortable to hold the knife for extended periods of time. More importantly, a comfortable handle allows you to easily use the knife for both heavy and light duty cutting tasks.

When choosing your handle, check the material used to make the best budget chef knives. A good handle should be made from m material that is not too light or too heavy. A heavy handle makes straight up and down cutting actions difficult while a light weight handle is perfect for back and forth cutting actions.

Handles can be made from a wide range of materials, including wood ,plastic and stainless steel. Stainless steel handles are resistant to rust, long lasting and very strong. They are easy to clean and maintain.

Plastic handles are waterproof. This means that water does not get into the handle, which would otherwise destroy its constituents. Wooden handles, on the other hand, are non-slippery assuring you a firm secure grip.

Final Verdict For The Best Budget Chef Knives

The fact that chef knives are made using different methods and materials, explains their differences in price. We have provided you a list of the most affordable, yet high quality chef knives that are worth your investment. Choose from one of the best budget chef knives above, and you’ll not regret your investment.

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