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Best Chef Knife Under $50:  A Review of 6 Budget-Friendly Chef’s Knives

By Bobby B.  |  February 24, 2020  | Knives

Don’t have hundreds of dollars to plop down on the latest high-end chef knife???  You’re definitely not alone.  You don’t want to spend a lot, and you don’t have to.  But, we’re guessing you still want a high-performing blade, durable handle, and a great-looking knife, right?  Well, you’ve come to the right place!  We’ve reviewed and ranked several knives to help determine the Best Chef Knife Under $50. 

There’s no longer any reason to spend hours of your valuable time scouring the hundreds of cheap, budget chef knives listed on the internet trying to find the best one.  We’ve researched, inquired about, studied, and prepared reviews on the top 6 chef knives currently being sold for less than $50 at Amazon

We encourage you to read on below to see our how and why for choosing the best chef knife under $50, but if you’re in a hurry, here are our top 3 choices…

J.A. Henckels International Chef Knife

 J.A. Henckels Int’l
8″ Chef Knife

Top Features:

  • Forged Blade
  • German Steel
  • World-Class Maker
Cangshan V2 Budget Chef Knife

Cangshan V2
8″ Chef Knife

Top Features:

  • Forged Blade
  • German Steel
  • Great Price
Zelite Infinity Comfort Pro Chef's Knife

Zelite Infinity
8″ Chef’s Knife

Top Features:

  • Forged Blade
  • German Steel
  • 100% Guarantee

Please note:  Prices can change due to supply and demand.  At the time this page was published, all of the chef’s knives reviewed were being sold for less than $50.  That does not mean the price of every one of these knives will always be under $50.  The best way to check the current price would be to click on the “check price at Amazon” button below your favorite knife. 

Best Chef Knife Under $50

1. J.A. Henckels International 8″ Chef Knife

J.A. Henckels International Chef Knife - Best Chef Knife Under 50

PROs

  • Built By a World-Class Brand
  • Forged Blade
  • Quality German Steel
  • 8″ Blade Length
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Price Can Fluctuate Over $50

WHY WE LIKE IT

If you look at our selection criteria below in the buying guide we’ve provided, you’ll see that this knife checks all the boxes.  It’s made with quality German steel, it’s fully forged, made by a reputable brand, and carries a lifetime warranty.  What more could you ask for in a full-size, 8″ chef knife that costs round $50?  This is the epitome of a high quality knife for a very low entry price!

2. Cangshan V2 8-Inch Chef Knife

Cangshan V2 Forged Chef Knife - Best Budget Chef Knife Runner Up

PROs

  • Forged Blade
  • German Steel
  • 58 Rockwell Hardness
  • 8″ Blade Length
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Made in China

WHY WE LIKE IT

Look familiar?  It should!  In our opinion, the Cangshan V2, the Wusthof Classic (our pick for best chef knife under $100), and the J.A. Henckels knife above all look very similar and have comparable stats.  Really the biggest difference between these 3 knives is their pricing and the countries where they’re made.  If you’re curious, this one is made in China, and is therefore is typically priced the lowest of all three.  The others are made in Germany (Wusthof) and Spain (J.A. Henckels).

3. Zelite Infinity Comfort Pro 8″ Chef Knife

Zelite Comfort Pro - #3 Budget Chef Knife

PROs

  • Forged Blade
  • German Steel
  • 8″ Blade Length
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

CONs

  • Made in China

WHY WE LIKE IT

Something a bit different in this chef knife from the Comfort Pro Series by Zelite.  This company is relatively young compared to J.A. Henckels, but makes some nice knives with quality materials for relatively low prices. If you like the looks on this knife, it’s a great choice for picking up a good one without spending too much.

4. Mercer MZ3510 8″ Chef Knife

Mercer MZ3510 Cheap Chef Knife - #4

PROs

  • Forged Blade
  • German Steel 
  • Long Lasting Taper Ground Edge
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Only Half Bolster

WHY WE LIKE IT

Mercer Culinary is well-known for making decent knives at great prices, and this 8″ forged chef’s knife from their Genesis Series is one of their best yet!  It’s hard to believe that they can make this knife for this price and then still afford to provide the consumer with a lifetime warranty.

5. Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8″ Chef Knife

Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-inch - #5 Budget Chef Knife

PROs

  • Very Popular Among Home Chefs
  • Lightweight, Easy to Handle
  • Made in Switzerland
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Stamped Blade

WHY WE LIKE IT

So many home chefs swear by Victorinox’s Fibrox Pro Series knives.  Their lightweight, durable, and can be thrown in the dishwasher if needed (though we never recommend putting knives in a dishwasher).  They’ve been around for many years, as has this company, who also makes the Swiss Army Knives.  All I can say on this one is…check out the reviews.  So many good customer reviews on this knife!

6. Wusthof 4862-7/20 Pro 8″ Cook’s Knife 

Wusthof 4862-7/20 Pro Cook's Knife - #6 Budget Chef Knife

PROs

  • World-Class Knife Maker
  • German Steel Blade
  • Made in Germany
  • Lifetime Warranty

CONs

  • Stamped Knife
  • Relatively Expensive

WHY WE LIKE IT

This knife is perfect for those who really want a Wusthof chef’s knife, but can’t afford one of their higher-end, forged knives that cost 4 and 5 times as much.  As far as that goes, you won’t find any other 8″ chef knife under $50 from Wusthof, so this is your only option.  That being said, you’re paying for the name brand with this one.  The knives above are technically better builds for less money in most cases.  If you don’t care about the name, pick one of them.

Best Budget Chef Knife Guide

What Matters in a Budget Chef Knife Under $50?

When you’re buying a budget-friendly chef knife that’s being sold for under $50, you’re not really concerned about the same factors that you would be if you’re looking at buying a Shun Hiro 8″ chef knife.  It’s not about which skilled artisan you want forging your blade made of Japanese super steel.  But, rather it’s about finding a knife that uses good materials, following sound processes, and that has a reputation for standing the test of time.

Materials Used

You’ll find many budget chef knives that say they have a stainless steel blade.  It’s important to know a bit more about the blade than just that.  For instance the carbon content in the steel tells us about how long it will stay sharp.  Both the Germans and the Japanese are well-known for their knife-making steels.  If you find either of these listed on a knife under $50, it’s probably a good bet the steel is good.

Handles are important also.  While knives with wooden handles look really nice and can really show the personality of the knife, they require additional care and maintenance.  For instance, you don’t want to leave a wooded knife handle soaking in water or it could damage it.  You of course have less to worry about with all stainless knives or knives with plastic handles.

How the Knife is Made

Is the knife blade forged or stamped?  Do you know the difference?  Forged blades are sort of formed by shaping a solid piece of steel into a knife blade.  They tend to be thicker, heavy-duty blades that will be more robust on average than a stamped knife.  Stamped blades are made by a machine that cuts the blades out of a sheet of steel like a cookie cutter.  These blades are weaker and are more likely to break or bend at weak points.

Unfortunately, because it’s more costly to manufacture forged knives, there are very few being sold under $50, but we’ve managed to find a few on our list above.  Pay special attention to these models as they may last longer in your kitchen before breaking.

Brand Reputation

This may not seem like a big deal, but if you spend as much time researching kitchen knives as we do, you learn that there are literally thousands of knife brands out there making and selling products.  Many of them are far inferior to others and it’s hard to tell this without a little education. 

The good news is that we have product reviews right at our fingertips all over the internet. First, you have our ratings and reviews above to help you narrow down the hundreds of knives into the six best…which is our opinion of course.  But, to take it a step further, you can confirm your favorite choice from our top picks by reading previous customers’ reviews on the listing page at Amazon…perfect! 

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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