Best Chef Knife Under 100

Best Chef Knife Under $100:  6 Affordable Chef’s Knives Reviewed For 2020

By Bobby B.  |  Updated May 7, 2020  | Knives

We’d all love to have one of those $300-$400 chef’s knife that professionals use day in and day out, right?  Well, it’s a bit unrealistic for the majority of us of course.  For us home chefs that would like to have knives similar to those without breaking the bank, we look for great deals on good knives.  We’ve scoured the web and researched the market to find the best chef knife under $100.  That’s right, ratings and reviews on the very best affordable chef’s knives that won’t break the bank!

If you’re in a hurry and just want an answer to the question “what is the best chef knife under $100?” Here for our 3 favorites… For more details, continue reading below.

Best Chef Knife Under $100 - Wusthof Classic 8-inch

 Wusthof Classic
8″ Cooks Knife

Top Features:

  • High-Carbon Stainless
  • 58 Rockwell Hardness
  • Made in Germany
Best Affordable Chef Knife Under 100 - MAC TH-80 8-inch

MAC TH-80
8″ Chef Knife

Top Features:

  • Molybdenum Steel
  • Pakkawood Handle
  • Made in Japan
Affordable Chefs Knife - Global G-4-7 7-inch

Global G-4-7
7″ Chef’s Knife

Top Features:

  • Lightweight/Balanced
  • Cromova 18 Steel Blade
  • Lifetime Warranty

Please note:  Prices do fluctuate and change.  At the time this page was published, all of the chef’s knives on this list were listed at less than $100.  It is entirely possible that one or more of the knives on this list are being listed for more than $100 at the time you are reading this.  The best idea is to click on the “check price at Amazon” buttons below the knife you like to check its current price. 

6 Best Chef Knives Under $100

1. Wusthof Classic 8″ Cooks Knife

Wusthof Classic 8-inch Uber Cooks Knife - Best Chef Knife Under 100

PROs

  • Wusthof is a World-Class Brand
  • Forged, Full-Tang, Triple Riveted
  • Quality German Steel
  • 8″ Blade Length
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Most Expensive Knife on the List (But Worth It!)

WHY WE LIKE IT

It’s hard to find a chefs knife under $100 that is forged and made by a knife brand as well-respected as Wusthof.  In fact, in most cases, you’d be forced to buy a smaller, 6″ blade chef knife to do it.  With this Uber bolster option, you can still get benefit of Wusthof’s Classic Series (very popular) with their high-carbon German steel (58 Rockwell hardness), but not pay their standard, higher price.  This is the best affordable chef knife available and a steal at under $100!

2. MAC TH-80 Hollow Edge 8″ Chef Knife

TH-80 Hollow Edge Chef Knife - Best Affordable Chef Knife

PROs

  • Non-stick, Hollow Edge Blade
  • Lightweight, Sharp Blade
  • Made in Japan
  • 8″ Blade Length
  • 25 Year Warranty

CONs

  • Stamped Blade

WHY WE LIKE IT

Everything about this knife is perfect except that it’s not a fully forged knife.  Does that matter?  We’ll leave that up to you to decide.  While we do prefer forged blades, this stamped one is very lightweight, thin, and sharp!  It’s great for someone with small hands or who does lots of work in the kitchen.  This knife is made in Japan, utilizing Japanese steel and their thin, razor-sharp blades.  You also get the hollow-edge scallops on the blade that reduces friction and makes it non-stick.

3. Global G-4-7 Oriental Chef Knife, 7″ Blade

Global G-4-7 Oriental Chef Knife

PROs

  • Perfect Balance
  • CROMOVA 18 Steel
  • Made in Japan
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Shorter, 7″ Blade

WHY WE LIKE IT

This “oriental chefs knife” has a cool flare and shape to its blade!  It almost looks like a kiritsuke knife. It’s unique and for what you’re buying, a great deal. Global’s knives are made in Japan, almost all stainless steel, hollow-handled, with perfect balance.  They also carry a lifetime warranty, so there’s no reason to worry about the workmanship on this one.

4. Dalstrong Gladiator 10″ Chef Knife

Dalstrong Gladiator Chef Knife - Best Affordable Chef Knife Under 100

PROs

  • Larger, 10″ Blade Length
  • German Steel (56 HRC)
  • Sheath Included
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

CONs

  • Made in China
  • Relatively New Brand

WHY WE LIKE IT

This is the best affordable 10″ chef knife.  Hailing from the Dalstrong Gladiator Series, we know that it uses high-quality materials and also includes a custom-fit sheath for protection.  Not too many drawbacks to this one except that Dalstrong is a relatively young brand and their knives are primarily made in China, which upsets hardcore knife enthusiasts.  If you can get past that, this is a great knife at an even better price-point!

PROs

  • VG10 Japanese Steel Core
  • Beautiful Layered Steel Blade
  • Handcrafted in Japan
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Lower-End Shun Knife
  • Brittle

WHY WE LIKE IT

Shun is another world-class knife maker, and this is a great opportunity to get one of their full-size chefs knives for less than $100.  However, this is from one a lower-end knife they have, and it’s not the same quality as the Shun Classic or Premier Series.  Nevertheless, great brand, great steel, still made by hand in Japan, so good knife at a great price.  Take a look at some of these images at Amazon to get a close up view of the blade.  It’s really cool looking!

6. Zwilling J.A. Henckels 8″ Chef Knife 

Zwilling J.A. Henckels 8-inch chef knife

PROs

  • German Steel (HRC57)
  • Ice-Hardened Blade – Sharper Longer
  • SIGMAFORGED Blade
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Relatively Expensive

WHY WE LIKE IT

Nothing wrong with this chef’s knife.  In fact, it’s quite a nice knife as it’s full-size (8″), made in Germany with German steel, fully forged and ice-hardened.  But it’s relatively expensive for this list, hovering in price right around $100 at the time of this writing, sometimes even going over that mark.  If you catch it at the right price, this is a good knife!

Buying Guide: Best Affordable Chef Knife

What To Look For in an Affordable Chef Knife

So you’re looking for the best affordable chef knife, but clearly you’re not looking for junk to waste money on.  For our list, we’ve focused on the following criteria to find the best options, and suggest you consider these as well when you’re doing your search:  Blade Length, Quality Knife Maker, Good Steel, Where Manufactured, and the Warranty

Blade Length

When researching for this page, we noticed that most writers recommend shorter, 6″ chef knives (Here’s Our Favorite 6-Inch Chef Knife) to help you find something under $100.  We don’t completely disagree with it since you’re more likely to find a good, quality knife for your money.  However, there’s a reason we don’t do the same.

Odds are if you don’t want to spend more than $100 on a chef’s knife, you don’t prioritize kitchen knives at the top of your list.  And this also doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want a full-size knife.  Therefore, we tried our best to pick the BEST full-size chef’s knives being currently sold for under $100.

Quality Knife Maker

Let’s just say, there are TONS of chef knives available at Amazon for under $100, but…MOST OF THEM ARE JUNK!!!

How do you decipher between the good and the bad?  It can be difficult at times, but looking at the things on this list will help.  Things like materials, where it’s made, and warranty are a great start.  The very best way to reduce the risk is to buy from knife brands that have a good reputation in the industry.  Most of them have been around for many years (some for hundreds of years!) and have high standards for quality and follow specific processes.

High-Quality Steel

If you’re looking for good knives, you’ve undoubtedly seen where sales pages saying things like “stainless steel blades”.  These are rarely knives that are made of high-quality steels.  Usually knives made with good steel tell you specifically which steel or alloy that is used in making the blade.  In fact, many of them will even tell you to what Rockwell Hardness level it’s hardened too (the harder, the better for keeping your knife sharp longer).  The Germans and Japanese make good steels for knives. 

Manufacturing Location

Believe it or not, where a knife is made can tell you a lot about how it is made.  For example, German-made knives are usually heavy-duty, of course made with German steel, with thicker blades and wider edge angles.  They are more robust and less likely to chip than Japanese blades.  On the other hand, Japanese knives have harder, thinner, sharper blades for the most part.  It’s not always true, but generically speaking these are the two locations where some pretty good knives have been being made for centuries.

Warranty

It should come as no surprise that a company that is willing to stand behind their product with a lifetime warranty probably makes a good product.  Not to many knife makers are in the business of trying to lose money, so they’ll only guarantee their knives if they feel they won’t actually break due to manufacturing defects.  That makes warranties a good indicator of how much faith a manufacturer has in their knives.

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