Top 10 Best Chef Knives For The Money: Which One Would You Choose?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 11/25/20 •  22 min read

So, you’re still looking for the best chef knives for your kitchen?

Then you’ve come to the right place.

Because what I have for you today is a list of top-rated kitchen knives from famous brands.

They’re sharp, affordable, safe to use.

And most importantly, they can perform your many different cooking tasks with ease.

If you don’t want to waste time anymore, take a look at the following comparison table.

Then spend a few minutes scanning through their reviews.

I’m sure you will soon find what you’re looking for.

Best Chef Knives for the Money (Updated List)

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What is a Chef Knife Used For?

A chef’s knife is undoubtedly the most versatile knife you can have in your kitchen.

The broad, sharp, and flexible blades make it multi-purpose hence favorable for undertaking numerous tasks out there.

The average length of the knife is 6-14 inches.

Ideally, you can use these knives for tasks such as cutting meat, slicing herbs, dicing vegetables, disjointing some cuts, and cracking nuts.

The knives are however not suitable for carving dense meat, cleaving meat bones, etc.

How to Choose the Best Chef’s Knife

It should be clear by now that you need good knives in your kitchen.

But choosing the right one might not be that easier.

That’s why I suggest you take a look at the following tips.

They will help you bring in a good blade instead of wasting your hard-earned money.

Choose your size

These knives often come in different sizes.

Famous people opt for large ones such as those 12-inch models and even larger ones.

On the other hand, ordinary people prefer using smaller blades.

The ideal size to settle for when shopping for these choppers depends on your preferred use.

If you will mostly be using it for domestic and simple chores in the kitchen, you do not have to buy an excessively large blade.

Check the weight of the product

You know what?

The weight of a knife has a great impact on its ease of use and reliability.

For instance, if you plan on spending up to 20 minutes chopping vegetables or smashing hard food items, then you should settle on a heavy knife.

Alternatively, for people planning on using their kitchen knives for simple tasks like slicing and dicing soft foods, then opting for a lighter blade is a great choice.

Ideally, your choice should help you accomplish your intended cutting and chopping tasks without straining your arms.

Have a budget for your knife

When it comes to price, the following factors often come into play.

Those factors include quality, brand, and size.

This is why you need to have a budget for your desired cutlery tool, especially when it’s a special one.

It is also worth noting that the high-end model often costs a lot more than the standard ones.

This is why you should not only focus on cheap brands, as their qualities may be poor hence making the blade unreliable and less durable.

Although there are high-quality knives that are still very affordable, you should expect to pay around $100 or more for a good one.

Decide on a knife handle that is right for you

The handle is the sole determinant of whether the knife feels comfortable in your hands.

They are made using different materials and are shaped in diverse ways for ease of use and firmness when holding the blades.

Additionally, the handle also determines its balance and consequently, the efficiency of the knife.

As such, you need to be cautious when choosing the best handle so that you settle on the best one with excellent functional properties.

Wood and hardened rubber are the most popular materials used in making handles for chef blades.

Type of blades

There are two common types of blades: forged or stamped.

Forged blades are more durable and reliable as compared to the stamped ones.

This is because the forged ones are molded from the liquid mold while the stamped ones are cut from sheets of steel.

However, with the recent advancements in laser technology, stamped blades are now being produced and reinforced superiorly.

Thereby making them as reliable and dependable as the forged ones.

Before settling on it, it is necessary that you check whether the blade is made through stamping or forging.

Where to shop

It is recommendable to shop around for different available knives in the market.

This makes it easy for you to identify better choices based on your budget.

Additionally, comparing available options can also help you in identifying a specific type of cutter that is designed for multi-purpose use.

A good product might be economical in the long run since it will save you the trouble of replacing your tool yearly.

See also:

Reviews of the Best Chef Knife Brands

Dalstrong Shogun Series X Gyuto Chef’s Knife (Best Overall)

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The Dalstrong company has produced a great 7.5-inch traditional Western blade that redefines meal preparation.

It has numerous amazing features but those that stand out are as follows:

Handle – Its G-10 handle is ultra-premium for longevity. It is ergonomic for comfort, agility, and superior control. The spine of the blade promotes the pinch grip.

Performance – It has a superior cutting core made from Japanese super steel. It also has a perfect balance for safety. This product is razor-sharp, flexible, corrosion-resistant, and superbly robust for unparalleled resilience.

Durability – The high carbon steel facilitates stain resistance and exceptional strength.

Design – It is truly a work of art as you can see. What a beauty, isn’t it?

Our scores:



Other great collections:

Imarku Pro Chef’s Knife (2nd Runner-up)

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Imarku brand is famous for its ergonomic knives and this 8 inch one is no exception.

Its most notable features comprise of the following:

Longevity – The blade is anti-tarnish and corrosion-resistant for a durable but beautiful finish.

Edge – It is made with an extremely sharp edge for optimum cuts. It is a sharpness that does not diminish with time.

Ergonomic – This product has a pakkawood handle to reduce fatigue. And it provides the product with a great look. You won’t feel finger aches and numbness anymore when using this multipurpose knife.

Functionality – It chops, slices, dices, and cuts. It rates 56 – 58 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale.

Performance – The stainless steel blade is rich in carbon for sturdiness and durability.

Our scores:



Wusthof Classic 8 Inch Chef Knife – Best Bang for Your Bucks

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Wusthof offers this 8-inch kitchen accessory for those who admire competence.

The features of this Wusthof classic model are:

Handle – It is made with an ergonomic black handle for maximum comfort.

Safety – This Wusthof cutter cares about the safety of the user thus comes with a finger guard.

Multi-purpose -Wusthof classic can be used for more than just chopping food, it can perform other tasks as well.

Our scores:




Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife – Best User-friendly

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I really like this one.

Victorinox has outdone itself once again by producing this exemplary product.

The features of this Western-style knife include the following:

Versatility – It can be used to perform different functions in the kitchen such as dicing, slicing, mincing, and chopping.

Stainless steel blade – This blade is made of stainless steel with high carbon content. This allows for edge retention and maximum sharpness.

Handle – The product’s handle is constructed using thermoplastic material elastomers for durability.

Design – It is ergonomically designed for your comfort, features slip resistance and its handle is textured for maximum grip.

Our scores:



Zelite Infinity Comfort-Pro Series X50 Chef’s Knife – Best for Balance

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This is a quality product from the Pro series of Zelite Infinity.

It is an aesthetically appealing product as you can see.

And it has some interesting features that you’ll surely love:

Visual appealing – This model is visually appealing, which is a good thing. Because you can show it off to your friends when they visit you. Cool idea, isn’t it?

Multipurpose – You can utilize it for mincing, dicing, slicing, and chopping.

Quality steel – It is manufactured using high-quality German steel that is stain, rust, and corrosion-resistant. This means it requires minimal effort to maintain.

Comfort – It is ergonomic in that it has a rounded handle, a rare tapered bolster, and a full tang. It promotes a pinch grip, has perfect balance and control.

Performance – The blade is of high performance because of its side cutting angle for optimum edge retention and sharpness. You can be sure of precision cutting with this product.

Our scores:



Other great collections:

J.A. Henckels International Classic – Best for Dishwasher-safe

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This is yet another top-notch product on this list.

This classic Western cutter boasts of many features, but the main ones include the following:

Stainless steel – It is manufactured using German stainless steel, this is of top-notch quality by all standards.

Multi-purpose – Consumers can achieve a lot with this knife i.e. dicing, slicing, mincing, and chopping.

Cleaning – It is safe to clean it in a dishwasher.

Construction – This classic edition product is fully forged to provide durability as well as a smooth transition from the blade to the handle.

Design – It is ergonomically designed and is fitted with the traditional triple-rivet handle to provide comfort and balance.

Our scores:



Other great knives:

Mac Knife – Best for Control

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This 8 inch and hollow edge product from Mac Knife is a bit different.

The primary features of this model are:

Maintenance – It is simply hand-washed for cleaning.

Handle – It is made using pakkawood for a prestigious and durable look.

Performance – This 8-inch product has dimples on its blade to allow it to glide through some sticky foods. These may include things like apples, potatoes, etc.

Our scores:



Mercer Culinary Millennia – Budget-Friendly

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This is a high-standard model from a reputable manufacturer i.e. Mercer Culinary.

The features of this articulate product include the following:

Colors – It is available in various colors to satisfy different tastes, these are blue, black, brown, yellow, white, red, purple, brown, and green.

Durability – It is made of high carbon content and stainless steel to provide a long service life.

Performance – It has a razor-sharp edge.

Safety – The product is fitted with a protective finger guard.

Ergonomics – It has textured finger points for grip and slip resistance.

Our scores:



Other related collections:

Newild 8-inch (Currently unavailable)

This is a unique 8-inch blade from Newild.

And it’s designed for almost every type of kitchen out there.

You will find an array of useful features this product brings along such as:

Versatility – It is suitable and designed to cut meats, fillets, vegetables with ease.

Beauty – It features a gorgeous pattern that is waved in shape.

Ergonomics – The handle and blade of this product are fully integrated. The handle facilitates maneuverability and a comfortable grip.

Quality – This 8-inch blade is easy to clean and is ultra-sharp for precision cutting. In addition, the product is durable due to anti-corrosion, anti-bacterial, non-stick, and wear-resistant blades.

Our scores:



Stainless Steel, High-Carbon, And Carbon – How Tough Are They?

The material used in constructing a blade goes a long way in determining the quality and durability of a knife.

Stainless steel, carbon stainless steel, and high-carbon stainless steel are the top most durable and reliable materials used in manufacturing.

Steel is an iron and carbon alloy that is uniquely hard and solid.

Stainless steel features chromium which is a silvery sheen metallic alloy.

The alloy resists tarnishing and corrosion.

As such, the ones made from stainless steel do not corrode or rust even when exposed to moisture and water in the kitchen.

However, stainless steel is springy and more malleable than carbon steel and hence prone to deformation.

It is also harder to sharpen than carbon steel.

High carbon stainless steel is carbon and stainless steel alloy that is incredibly harder than the other two materials.

As such, blades made using high carbon steel boasts of impressive strength and solidness but is prone to breaking and chipping since it is more brittle.

Additionally, it does not hold the edge for long as compared to stainless steel and its corrosion resistance is not the best.

However, these downsides can easily be mitigated by taking proper care of the knife.

Carbon steel is a favorite blade material for most knife manufacturers and brands.

This steel is easier to sharpen and has better edge retention.

It has a non-reflective surface and hence can easily be used in shiny natural light such as the sun without any discomfort whatsoever.

However, carbon steel corrodes easily and hence the need for proper care and attention for carbon steel blades.

It is worth noting that carbon steel knives require cleaning and oiling after every use.

When storing the blade for a long time, you should keep it in a cool dry environment and if possible not in a leather sheath.

How Are the Blades Tested?

After settling on your preferred kitchen knives, the next thing you should do is test them to assess their sharpness, ease of handling, and control and applicability in your kitchen.

You should test your blade by using it to cut through foods that you are most likely to be prepared in the kitchen.

Use the blade to cut through a tomato or onion or other foods with sleek surfaces.

You need to gauge the ease with which you cut through the surface of the food while exerting the least pressure possible.

You should also check whether the blade makes a clean and smooth cut.

If the blade is sharp, then it should make smooth cuts with little pressure and effort.

Another test you should undertake in testing is checking whether the blade can through a sheet of paper.

Hold the knife perpendicularly to the edge of the sheet and check whether the knife can slice through the paper cleanly with little effort.

If you will need to exert more pressure or use sawing motions only for the blade to make a ragged cut, then the knife is not sharp at all.

You will then need to sharpen the blade to your desired sharpness using your preferred sharpener such as a sharpening stone.

Other great knives & knife sets for your choices:

Eastern And Western Brands

Eastern and Western knives have more similarities than differences.

The key aspects that set these knives apart include shape, angle, thickness, type of steel, and weight.

The angle range in Western knives ranges from 20-22 degrees and features a curved shape that facilities a rocking style when chopping.

The weight of these Western blades differs from one blade to the other, but Western knives are generally heavyweights.

There are some brands of Western blades that tend to be lighter than the others.

For instance, a Wusthof model weighs approximately 9.6 ounces.

Western knives are thicker than the Eastern ones with the bolster being fairly thicker than the rest of the blade.

The thickness of these Western blades makes them ideal for chopping hard food items such as vegetables.

However, these Western knives are softer than Eastern knives with their hardness on the Rockwell-Scale ranging 56-58.

On the other hand, Eastern knives are often bolster-free and thinner than Western ones.

Due to the limitations in the thickness of the blades, they should not be used for chopping hard vegetables to prevent damage to the edge.

The angle in the blades ranges 12-15 degrees and the blades are typically harder with a Rockwell Scale of 60-61.

These knives are lightweight with a Western equivalent 8” Global Classic Knife weighing 5.5 ounces.

Generally, the edges in Eastern knives are usually straight compared to Western knives, thereby making the blades ideal for making clean slices, chopping, and halving fruits.

These knives are usually razor-sharp and therefore are suitable for precise work.

However, Eastern knives are more susceptible to cracking and chipping especially with frequent sharpening.

Both of these knives are strong and durable thereby making them an ideal choice for daily use blades in the kitchen.

The handles in the knives allow a comfortable and firm grip that consequently allows for excellent precision and control.



What are the best chef’s knives for the money?

I highly recommend you check out the ones from iMarku, Dalstrong, Victorinox, and Wusthof (a great German brand).

What chef knife does Gordon Ramsay use in his kitchen?

Gordon Ramsay is undeniably one of the most popular TV stars in present times.

He is a great chef who never shies from imparting his cooking expertise to millions of viewers across the globe.

He uses Wusthof knives and in particular, the Classic Ikon knife series.

These classic blades feature triple-riveted handle styles and designs that are specially optimized for a perfect grip and feel in the hand.

You will also see the chef occasionally use Henckels knives for his MasterClass.

How much do they usually cost?

The cost of a chef’s knife depends on several factors and varies from one blade to the other.

For starters, the brand, build quality, design, and make are some of the top aspects that influence the pricing of these blades.

When it comes to these chef’s knives, there is always a blade for any amount from as little as $10 to over $1,000.

There are some budget knives that feature superior designs and get the work just like high-end knives.

However, the cost of a knife reflects its quality, durability, versatility, and reliability.

Therefore, for the best quality blades, you should pay a considerable amount of money.

Do I also need a Santoku?

Yes. While these knives share great similarities in their function and features, they also have glaring differences.

Both are applicable in different cutting tasks due to their versatility.

The knives are interchangeable since both blades boast exceptional performance.

Some of the reasons why you may need to have both of these knives in your kitchen are:

Size- Santoku blades are smaller and hence when chopping through a huge mass of vegetables, you may need to use a chef knife due to blade length.

Santoku knives are perfect for chopping due to their wide and flat blades while the curved blade in a chef’s knife allows for multi-purpose use including slicing meat and chopping.

Other detailed product reviews:

Do US chefs use Cutco cutters in the kitchen?

Yes, US master cooks use Cutco knives.

Ideally, restaurant-level chefs are fond of using these blades since they are usually well-balanced and durable.

In addition to this, the knives are extremely versatile thereby making them ideal for a variety of culinary tasks in the kitchen.

What’s more unique about these knives is that they are designed using cutting-edge technology.

As such, they are able to retain their sharpness for a long time.

What blade does Jamie Oliver use to cook his famous recipes?

Since the late 90s, Jamie Oliver has been running “The Naked Chef” TV cooking show.

The chef chooses Wusthof, a German knife brand.

These innovatively designed and styled blades boast innovative features that make the knives a perfect choice for pros.

The knives are solid and hard thereby making them long-lasting and durable.

What brands do famous persons prefer?

Manufacturing the best chef’s knife is not a simple task like most people presume.

This is why they are usually careful about their knife choices.

These are blades that use high-grade steel and flexible designs.

The top knife brands preferred by most include Henckels (Pro S), Wusthof Classic-Ikon Santoku, Shun Classic Knife, Global Santoku, and MAC MTH-80.

What type of cutters do Eastern chefs use?

Easterners, especially Japanese, are known to be biassed when it comes to their choice of the blades that they use in their kitchens.

These are blades that are uniquely designed for the best performance and multi-purpose use in the kitchen.

The top knives used by them include Gyutou, Santoku Multipurpose, Sujihiki, Honesuki, Hankotsu, and Nakiri knife brands.

What chefs use Global knives?

Global is a renowned Japanese brand that is popular for its exclusive designs, strong and solid blades, and multi-purpose functionality.

These knives are used by famous people with notable users of these blades include Michel Roux Jr, Anthony Bourdain, and Ludo Lefebvre among others.

The blades are popular for their ease of handling, conventional handles that provide for comfortable grips, and specialized designs.

Other detailed product reviews:

Why do chefs carry their own equipment?

Despite knives being similar, they are personal items.

As such, they develop a personal attachment to their knives and therefore tag along with their knife selections to wherever they are going to prepare meals.

Using a knife that is used by another chef may be uncomfortable and bothersome to most.

Controlling a knife that you are not used to may also be quite hard and uncomfortable.

What is the difference between a chef knife and a Santoku knife?

Technically, a Santoku knife is a type of chef’s knife.

However, these two types of blades differ from each other considerably.

The first difference between these blades lies in their origin.

Chef’s knives originated in France & Germany while Santoku knives have their origins in Japan.

For example, typical German knives come with a bolster while Santoku ones lack this feature.

In addition to this, the chef knives’ blades are heavier to hold while the Santoku ones are lighter.

The average size of Santoku knives ranges between 5”-7.9” while the Western ones range between 6”-12”.

It is worth noting that chef’s knives only come in double bevels while Santoku blades can either be single or double beveled.

How many knives should a chef have?

The knife needs of a chef differ from one person to the other.

However, most only require 2-3 knives to accomplish their food preparation and cooking tasks.

The most crucial knives included in a chef’s box are a serrated knife, a paring knife, and a chef’s knife.

However, there are people who may require additional knives depending on the food they are preparing.

When you are shopping for your ideal chef’s knife, you should know the aspects to look for in the best blade.

Consider features such as weight, balance, size, make, brand, and design.

Always settle for a knife that meets your cooking needs and is affordable while offering you great value for your hard-earned cash.

Have a budget so that you know the amount of money you can spend on the knives without straining yourself financially.


Our top pick is the Dalstrong Shogun Series Chef Knife as it comes it is made with the utmost attention to detail, high-quality materials, and cutting edge technology that makes it one of the best knives on the market today.

But if you prefer blades that are closer to traditional Japanese kitchen knives, then we recommend the Miyabi Birch Chef’s Knife and the iMarku Pro Kitchen Chef knife.

Every chef and cook has their own unique tastes and preferences when it comes to chef knives, which is why we made sure to include as much variety as possible on our list.

The chef knife is the most important tool for anyone working in the kitchen, which is why chefs spend a lot of time and effort finding the best models for them.

So, I hope you’ve found what you wanted.


Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.

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