Best Chef Knife Under $100: Our top 10
If you are starting to look at better chef knives and don’t want to break the budget, you will love this article on the best chef knife under $100. In it, we go through the top 10 chef knives that we would be happy to buy and add to our knife collection, along with one that we believe is the clear winner in this well-priced category.
✅ If you can’t wait, this is the chef knife we recommend in the under $100 price range. Click here to see it.
To make things an even playing field in picking the best chef knife under 100, we have given the following criteria to our selections:
- 8-inch blade
- Price range $50 to $100 regular price
- Forged steel
- Average of more than 4 out of 5 stars
The logic behind our criteria:
When we set up these criteria, we figured it would be best to compare apples to apples. A 6″ chef knife can still get the job done, just like a 10″ one can. But the materials involved for the same knife mean that the costs would fluctuate.
The 8-inch blade makes it a fair comparison across brands. Plus, most of these knife makers make the 6″ and other sizes of Chef knives.
Forged steel was chosen over stamped steel. It usually makes for a more rigid blade, and thus more durable, and keeps its edge longer.
We have a separate post for best chef knives under $50, so you can check that out if you want a lower-priced knife. Or, if you are looking for a more expensive knife, we also have an article on best chef knives under $200.
Let’s get started on this list of best chefs’ knives under $100.
J.A. Henckels International 8 inch Classic Chef’s Knife
- Lifetime Manufacturers Warranty
- Dishwasher safe
- German steel (learn the difference between German vs Japanese Knives)
- It fits nicely in your hand
- Shorter handle
- Plastic Handle
Review of the J.A. Henckels Classic Chef’s Knife
This knife is made and assembled in Spain and is built with high-quality German stainless steel. The handle length is a little shorter, coming in at 4.72 inches, but it will fit great in most hands. The fully forged blade construction offers durability and a full tang seamless transition from blade to handle.
It boasts a satin-finished blade, and the professional precision cutting is finely honed for long-lasting sharpness. The triple-rivet handle gives balance and comfort, and an ergonomic handle allows you to use this knife for a long time while.
It is also dishwasher safe, though all good knives should be hand washed and immediately patted dry, as this is best for the knife. It has a 4.6 out of 5 stars review on Amazon click to read this knife reviews here.
This is one of the highest-rated chef knives on Amazon and is almost qualified for our review of chef knives under $50, so it’s a great knife at a great price point. It’s also an Amazon Choice product.
Bottom line: This is a great chef knife in the under $100 range, and its sharpness and durability should last you a long time.
Shun Sora Chef’s Knife 8 Inch:
- The handle is easy to care
- Made in Japan
- The steel is stain resistant
- The handle is weighted for comfort
- Hand wash only
- Two blades of steel permanently joined
Do you know your knife anatomy? Check out this parts of a knife article.
Shun Sora 8 Inch Chef’s Knife Review
When it comes to knives, Shun knives are of a higher quality than a lot of other knives on the market. The Sora line (Sora is Japanese for the word sky) is one of their more affordable lines.
This is the only one of two 8″ Shun chef knives for under $100. It’s handcrafted in Japan and is made from a VG10 stainless steel cutting core and an upper blade of Japanese 420J steel.
Understanding this is easy when you look at the video of how this knife is constructed.
While this looks amazing, you may prefer the single piece of steel some of the other knives in this article possess.
The single riveted textured handle and double believe blade with the Shun logo lends a nice overall look to the knife, and the handle feels good in your hand.
With 4.6 out of 5 stars, it is a solid knife choice that should last you a long time (click here to read the reviews)
Zwilling J.A. Henckels 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
- German manufactured
- A single piece of no-stain steel
- 57 Rockwell hardness
- 15 degrees edge angle blade
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Plastic (poly) handle
Review of Zwilling J.A. Henckels 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
This made in Germany blade is more than the Classic Henckels knife we mentioned earlier, but it deserves to be on our list of best chef knives under 100 dollars. This knife is made from Henckels’ special formula of high carbon stainless steel, and it is ice-hardened, which allows the blade to stay sharper longer. Making this knife very durable (as you can see from the 57 RHS rating).
The handle is made from polypropylene and is bonded to the steel, which is capped with the Henckels logo for easy identification in your knife block.
With 4.7 out of 5 stars (you can read the reviews here), it’s a solid knife that also comes in a 6″ if you are looking for something smaller. At its price, it’s one of the best chef knives for $100.
Did you know Henckels make a self sharpening knife block? Read about it here: Best Self Sharpening Knife Sets
Cangshan Z Series Forged Chef Knife
- Award finalist
- 60 Rockwell hardness scale
- Forged Damascus steel
- It comes in other sizes
- Lifetime warranty against defects
- Magnetic Walnut sheath
- Newer knife company
- The custom look may not be to your tastes
Review of Cangshan Z Series Chef Knife
Adding this knife to our list of best chef knives under 100 dollars was a no-brainer. As we mentioned in our Cangshan knife review, the Z series is one of Cangshan’s higher-end knife sets. The handle comes with a patented (pending) handle and a unique mosaic rivet that gives it a unique look and feel.
This knife has a very comfortable grip and is well balanced for easy cutting. Like many of the Cangshan knives, it’s made with German steel and carries with it an RHS of 60. This level of hardness makes it a fairly hard knife, which allows it to keep its sharp edge.
The knife is a full tang knife, and the triple rivets give it a modern look that you would expect from a newer knife company. With an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars in its reviews, you can see why this knife is so popular in the best chef knives under the 100 category.
Arcos Riviera Range Chef Knife
- Knife manufacturer of over 200 years
- Good value for money
- Sharp edge that retains sharpness
- Made in Spain
- Heavier knife
- No sheath
Review of Arcos Riviera Range Chef Knife
Before writing this, I had never heard of Arcos (to be honest, before writing and learning about knives, I hadn’t heard of most brands). It turns out Arcos is a Spanish-made n knife manufacturer, producing knives 100 % made in Spain since 1745.
This knife has a nice ergonomic handle, and the 4.7 out of 5-star reviews show that people who buy this knife love it.
Many of the reviews were from chefs who say that this knife has lasted them a long time and is very sturdy. The white handle is a nice contrast to other knives on this list and could be a solid addition to your knife set.
Best Japanese Chef Knives Under 100: Shun Cutlery Kanso 8-Inch Chef Knife
- Vanadium stainless steel
- Full tang
- Hand sharpened
- Solid blade
- Classic Pakkawood handle
- Handcrafted and sharpened
- No sleeve
Review of Shun Cutlery Kanso 8-Inch Chef Knife
This Shun knife is our preferred of the two Shun chef knives on our list. The Shun Kanso chef knife offers a single vanadium stainless steel blade. The full tang construction and two riveted handle give it ease of handling, and it’s hardness ensure it will keep its sharp edge.
It looks more like a Japanese Gyuto knife instead of a standard-looking chef knife, but it has the ability to do all of the things you have come to expect a chef knife to do. That said it’s one of the best Japanese knives you will find for the price.
The wood handle grip is easy to hold, and it has a slightly contoured handle that makes it easy for professional chefs and new cooks to hold.
Miyabi Morimoto Edition Chef’s Knife
- 60+ Rockwell hardness
- 65 layer flower Damascus design
- Katana edge
- The handle may not be to your liking
Miyabi Morimoto Edition Chef’s Knife Review
We discussed this knife in our Miyabi knives review. This knife holds up well and compared to the other knives in this article; I would place it in the top 3. The hardness of the knife (57 RHS) and the 5 to 12-degree edge allow for a sharp and precise cut while at the same time ensuring a long-lasting sharp knife.
Dalstrong Gladiator Series Chef Knife
- Full tang
- Razor-sharp edge
- Pakkawood handles
- 56+ Rockwell hardness
- Newer knife company
Review of Dalstrong Gladiator Series 8 Inch Chef Knife
As we mention in our Dalstrong knives review, Dalstrong is a newer knife maker who is determined to be known for quality. This Dalstrong is one of the best chef knives under $100 and an excellent find. It would be a solid addition to any new homeowner’s kitchen. It has all the features you would expect in a chef’s knife at a higher price but still manages to stay in the chef’s knives under the $100 category. With their lifetime manufacturers defect warranty and clean look. This is a knife we would be proud to put in our kitchen. See the 4.7 out of 5 reviews here.
- German steel
- Unique handle
- Comfortable grip
- Unique design
- Lower priced
- Heavier knife
- A different look for a chef knife
Review of Schmidt Brothers Carbon 6 Chef Knife
When we went through our Schmidt brothers knives review, we left out this Carbon 6 chefs knife. It is a solid find in the lower price range of our under $100 chef knives. The reviews of this cooking knife are fairly positive, coming in with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars (read the reviews here).
These knives are made from German steel, but it’s hard to determine where they are actually made (often, it can mean China, but it’s unclear in this case). The hardness of the steel means it can keep its sharp edge longer, and the knives have a good balance to them. If you are looking for a unique chef knife under $100, this is very likely the one that you would buy.
Gunter Wilhelm Executive Chef Series 8″ Chef Knife
- Full tang (actually triple tang)
- High carbon stainless steel
- 59 Rockwell hardness
- Fully forged handle
- German made
- Extra for shipping
Review of Gunter Wilhelm Executive Chef Series 8″ Chef Knife
This knife is from the executive chef series but still comes in at a home chef’s price. It’s a beautiful-looking knife that is both sharp and elegant. This knife reminds me of one of those knives you would see in a store and think, “That is one nice looking knife.” It gets 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and its hardness means that it can keep its edge longer.
If this knife was by another name, you could easily pay double the price that it lists. Plus, it comes in at one of the most affordable chef knives under $100. For a German-made knife, this one is a great price.
Final Thoughts on the Best Chef Knives for Under $100
While all of these knives have desirable aspects, the key things to take away are the hardness (typically, the harder the steel, the more it keeps its edge), the handle, and the steel. Looking at these best cooking knives under 100, I would say it is the Shun Sora Chef Knife (though to be fair it has been going up in price, check the price here); if you don’t care for it, the runner-up is the Morimoto. It’s a solid knife at a great price point.
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