Best Chef Knife Under 100

Best Chef Knife Under 100

If you’re like me and enjoy cooking and spending time in the kitchen, then you are probably also like me in that you want the best kitchen tools you can get.  That is why my latest post is focused on finding the best chef knife under 100. 

This post is a continuation of my series of reviewing the best budget-minded tools for your kitchen.  In my previous posts, I reviewed the best pasta strainers and kitchen knife sets.

Quick Note:  This post contains Amazon affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement for details. Thank you.

 

If you are in a hurry, here are the knives that I reviewed and my pick for best chef knife under $100 based on price and Amazon customer reviews.

 

 

 

I based my review on three main criteria. 

The first was the price.  My focus for this post was finding the best chef knife under $100.  Although pricing can change, at the time of this writing all items reviewed were under 100.

 

The second was the style of the blade.  I tend to prefer a heavier, thicker blade similar to the traditional German-style knives.

 

The third criteria was Amazon customer reviews from those who have already purchased the knife and given it a trial in their kitchen. 

 

Looking for related kitchen product reviews?  Here are a few of my recent reviews:

Best Kitchen Knife Block Sets under $200

Best Pasta Strainer

Best Cookie Mixer for 2020

 

Sometimes you have to take customer reviews with a grain of salt.  Some of the complaints (such as blade rusting) I attribute to the purchaser not knowing how to properly wash and clean a quality knife.  

 

What knives did I review?

 

Shun Sora Chef’s Knife, 8 Inch, Model VB0706 

If you’re interested in a thinner, more flexible blade, then you might really like the Shun line of knives.

Pros

  • 16-degree cutting edge
  • Easy-grip composite handle

Cons

  • Partial tang

 

WÜSTHOF 8-Inch, Model 4562-7/20

 

I am a big fan of the Wusthof line of knives.  Wusthof knives are German made and have been around for 200 years. 

As we discussed before, German knives tend to be heavier than the Japanese style knives.  Both are good and offer great features, but I am just partial to the German style.

Pros

  • German made
  • Full tang
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Comfortable synthetic handle

Cons

  • Gourmet line of Wusthof knives vs the more highly rated Classic line

 

Global 8″ Chef’s Knife

 

Pros

  • Molybdenum / vanadium stainless steel
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Stamped vs forged
  • Customer complaints of difficulty returning product

 

J.A. Henckels, 8-Inch, Model 31071-203

 

Pros

  • Forged vs stamped
  • Ice hardened Friodur blade
  • German made
  • Comfortable polypropylene handle
  • Bolster
  • Full tang
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Customer complaints of the knife not staying sharp

 

Mac Knife TH-80 Series Hollow Edge, 8-Inch

 

Pros

  • Dimples in blade aid in cutting vegetables
  • Pakkawood handle
  • Similar to MTH series with bolster

Cons

  • Customer complaints of brittle blade

 

Wusthof, 6-Inch, Model# 4582/16 

Pros

  • Bolster
  • Lifetime warranty
  • German made
  • Part of Classic line of Wusthof knives

Cons

 

J.A. Henckels, 6-Inch, Model #31161-161

 

Pros

  • Forged vs stamped
  • Full tang

Cons

  • German stainless steel blade, but made in Spain
  • Customer complaints of the knife not staying sharp

 

Shun Classic, 6-Inch VG-MAX Blade Steel

Pros

  • Strong VG-Max blade
  • Pakkawood handle
  • 16-degree edge
  • D-shaped handle for easy grip

Cons

  • Customer complaints of staining and/or rusting blade

 

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Model #31071-183

 

Pros

  • German made
  • Forged
  • 4 Star series

Cons

 

Messermeister San Moritz Elite, 6-Inch

 

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Forged
  • Comfortable ergonomic handle
  • German made

Cons

 

What is a chef’s knife used for?

The chef’s knife (also known as a cook’s knives) was originally designed to cut and disjoint beef, but today it’s typically the workhorse of the kitchen.  

 

What brand knives do professional chef’s use?

Of course, it may vary from chef to chef and everyone has their preference in weight, length, or style; but the brands most commonly use include Global, Mac, Wusthof, Messermeister, Henkles, and Shun. 

Not coincidentally, those are also the brands that performed well in my review.

 

What is the difference between stainless and carbon steel?

When you research chef knives, you will find that blades are typically made of carbon or stainless steel.  There are pros and cons to each. 

 

Carbon steel is an alloy of iron and carbon.  Carbon blades tend to be a little easier to sharpen than stainless steel (and often hold their sharpness a bit longer), but are a bit more susceptible to stain spots on the blade and rust.

 

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron and 10-15% chromium, nickel, or molybdenum with a small amount of carbon. 

 

Lower grades of stainless steel cannot take as sharp an edge as good-quality high-carbon steels, but are resistant to corrosion, and are inexpensive. Higher grade and ‘exotic’ stainless steels (mostly from Japan) are extremely sharp with excellent edge retention, and equal or outperform carbon steel blades.

 

What length Chef Knife should I get?

Most chef knives used in home kitchens are 8 – 10 inches in length with the 8 inches being a bit more popular.  However, chef knife models can range from 6 inches – 14 inches.

 

Home chefs often find the 8-inch to be the most versatile length.    

 

Outside of home kitchens, many pro chefs prefer to use 12-inch blades with some even opting for the 14-inch blade.

 

It’s best to pick a length that fits your hand size and intended use.  I went with the 8-inch blade because that length feels better in my hands. 

If you are a novice chef, you may want to opt for a 6-inch version.  If you have questions about which length is best for your, visit your local cutlery store a get a feel      

 

What is the difference between a chef’s knife and santoku knife?

 

The chef’s knife is an all-purpose knife that is used for chopping, slicing, mincing, and dining. 

 

The blade comes in sizes. It’s best you choose the blade size according to your hand size as this helps with handling. You can also add a bolster to prevent the knife from slipping. Chef’s knife is a must for your kitchen.

 

Santoku knife is a Japanese knife that is composed of the Chef’s knife and the Cleaver. This knife is quite similar to the chef’s knife in most functions except for the difference in shape and construction.

 

Santoku knife has a wider blade, thinner in thickness, shorter in length, and curves up at the end. The Santoku is used for chopping, dicing, and slicing of food into fine pieces.

 

This knife is a bit expensive to purchase as it is precision made to be well-balanced for ease of handling and control.

 

How to hold a chef’s knife

 

Technique for the use of a chef’s knife is an individual preference. For more precise control, most cooks prefer to grip the blade itself, with the thumb and the index finger grasping the blade just to the front of the finger guard and the middle finger placed just opposite, on the handle side of the finger guard below the bolster. This is commonly referred to as a “pinch grip”.

 

Those without culinary training often grip the handle, with all four fingers and the thumb gathered underneath.

 

For fine slicing, the handle is raised up and down while the tip remains in contact with the cutting board and the cut object is pushed under the blade.

 

Thank you so much for reading!

 

Anne

 

 

 

 

 



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