Getting the right chef’s knife can make a lot of difference in everyday cooking tasks, but with so many expensive options in the market, are there any affordable alternatives?
So, what are the best chef’s knives under $50? The best chef’s knives combine quality, durability, sharpness, and value. While there are plenty of premium options, you can easily find a high-quality all-purpose knife for under $50. We recommend going with an 8-inch high-carbon stainless steel knife for the best value!
Read below to learn more about the right type of chef’s knife, some key things to look out for, and our recommendations!
The Importance Of A Chef’s Knife
A chef’s knife is not just a precise cutting tool, but a symbol of culinary culture.
No other tool has this much importance — having the wrong knife can spell disaster, especially in a professional setting!
Chef’s knives are designed to be all-purpose cutting tools that are designed with superior materials and arguably better manufacturing processes.
The result is a durable and versatile knife that can not only stand the test of time, but it can also make everyday cooking tasks fun and easy.
If you have been looking for a good chef’s knife, then chances are that you might have come across a few expensive options.
But why are these knives so expensive to begin with?
Well, some of it is branding — but most of it comes down to the quality and prestige of the product.
Most chef’s knives are built using high-carbon stainless steel. This material helps maintain the sharpness of the knife and adds years, if not decades, to its lifespan.
Expert knife makers handcraft the knife using superior and traditional best practices which produce a razor-sharp cutting tool that is fit for Michelin Star Chefs.
Luckily, there are also some chef’s knives that can easily get the job done without costing an arm and a leg!
Can You Get A Less Expensive Knife?
Affordable knives may not have the same high-quality grip or finishing, but they are just as capable and worthy of being in your kitchen.
These knives can sometimes even be indistinguishable from the more expensive knives because of how well they are built. So, it truly comes down to picking the right kind of chef’s knife!
Getting a less expensive knife, rather than going straight for a hefty long-term investment, is a great strategy for beginners.
Once you get a hang of a cheaper chef’s knife, you can then perhaps graduate and invest in its more expensive counterpart!
Before you jump into the recommendations, please go through our buyer’s guide below.
Buyer’s Guide For The Best Chef’s Knives Under $50
Here are some of the things you need to look out for:
- Build Quality
- Weight And Size
The build quality of the knife will be the deciding factor when purchasing an affordable chef’s knife.
We recommend starting with your personal preference in mind. Remember: apart from its sharpness, a knife is only ever as good as its user.
If you purchase a knife that doesn’t work well with your requirements, then you might just end up wasting money.
Go for a high-quality stainless-steel knife that is preferably made from reinforced Damascus steel. This type of blade will have a higher carbon content, which will make it extra durable.
You can also go for a ceramic knife! These knives are similarly durable and do not rust.
However, they have some disadvantages when it comes to cutting hard or dense foods — but in most cases, they are very suitable for everyday cooking tasks.
Begin by inspecting the blade, starting from the heel to the tip.
The blade should have a smooth finish with zero imperfections or blemishes. Look for nicked edges or chipped corners around the tip and heel of the blade.
Move on to the handle of the knife and inspect it just as closely — make sure that it is made from high-quality materials.
Since we are going for a less expensive knife, you will likely come across plastic handles — and that’s alright! Most plastic handles can provide a great grip and full control over the blade.
We mentioned the build quality of the handle, but its comfort is just as important. An uncomfortable knife can truly take all the fun out of cooking food!
We recommend going for a grippy handle that you can use to rest your palm and fingers.
There are plenty of handle designs to choose from, but the best way to pick one for your needs is to go for a design that you have already used before.
Some handles have a straight or flat design while others may have a cylindrical grip with grooves around the bottom of the handle.
Please keep in mind that having a comfortable handle can not only make a huge difference in your cutting skills, but it can also potentially help avoid accidents and other hazards that come with working with a sharp knife.
Weight And Size
The weight may seem inconsequential in choosing a knife but this one factor will matter a lot in the long run.
Trust us, you are better off with a well-balanced knife rather than a blade that is super thick and heavy. A heavy knife can put stress on your wrist and may even impact how you cut food.
Similarly, the size of the knife will play an equally important role. A chef’s knife can be anywhere from 6-12 inches, but an 8-inch knife is usually the most common option.
A larger size will require experience — if you don’t have it, then you might just end up wasting time and effort during everyday cutting tasks.
We recommend going with an 8-inch or smaller chef’s knife, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience using bigger cutlery.
Best Chef’s Knives Under $50
Now that you know how to pick a great and affordable chef’s knife, here are some of our recommendations!
All of these knives have been chosen as per our buyer’s guide, which is why we suggest that you go through all of them before making a purchase decision.
|Victorinox Fibrox Pro Knife
|A professional knife that can also be used by novices. Offers excellent build quality and superb comfort.
|Mercer Culinary Ultimate White
|High-carbon stainless steel — built to last! Provides superior cutting capabilities and a comfortable grip.
|WÜSTHOF Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
|A great all-purpose knife that is built according to Japanese knife standards.
|Babish High-Carbon German Steel Chef Knife
|Rounded handle and an extremely high-quality finish. The perfect everyday knife for beginners and professionals!
|J.A. Henckels Premio Chef's Knife
|Get all the benefits of a high-quality and traditional chef’s knife without the hefty price tag.
|HENCKELS Solution Starter Set
|A fantastic starter pack for people who want the most value out of their purchase.
|Farberware Ceramic Chef Knife
|A great ceramic alternative to stainless-steel knives. Offers a classy design and everyday utility!
|Mercer Culinary Genesis Granton Edge Chef's Knife
|Beautifully crafted and extremely durable chef’s knife that can fit the needs of any type of novice or professional chef.
|Dexter-Russell 8-Inch Chef's Knife
|Built with safety and quality in mind. One of the best chef’s knives for beginners!
1. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Knife
This 8-inch chef’s knife is an extremely popular option for several reasons.
It is built using high-quality stainless steel, which means that it will last way longer than other types of cheaper knives.
The Victorinox Pro Knife is designed for both novices and professionals. It features a comfortable grip and a well-balanced blade that is neither too light nor too heavy!
Made with precision in mind, the handle fits like a glove and is specifically built to provide full control over where and how the blade lands on the cutting board.
We recommend this knife to anyone who is looking for a long-term cutting solution that is easy to use, affordable, and a breeze to maintain!
2. Mercer Culinary Ultimate White
Here’s a classic 8-inch chef’s knife that is specifically built for all types of cutting tasks.
The Mercer Culinary knife is designed to fit the needs of every type of chef.
It is the perfect knife for people who are looking for a professional-level tool — without the exorbitant price tag.
It’s made from high-carbon stainless steel that can withstand the test of time. It is extremely durable and well-balanced, and the blade edge is likely to maintain its sharpness for a long time.
This knife is easy to clean and comes equipped with an ergonomic, universal-size plastic handle that can comfortably fit in anyone’s hand.
3. WÜSTHOF Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
This traditionally designed 8-inch knife will be a great investment for people who are looking for not just a great cutting tool, but also a knife that looks professional.
We think that this is one of the best-designed knives on the market because of its overall design and finishing.
You can expect a razor-sharp edge, a comfortable grip, and an extremely balanced blade that feels natural in the hand.
Whether it’s slicing, chopping, or dicing — you can use any type of technique to cut food just the way you like it!
4. Babish High-Carbon German Steel Chef Knife
Looking for a precise and extremely sharp chef’s knife? Then we have just the tool for you!
The Babish chef’s knife is made using high-carbon German stainless steel that will live up to its hype. The blade is precision-sharpened and will hold its edge for a long time.
This 8-inch knife features a rounded handle at the bottom, which is designed to provide you with maximum grip.
It also has a very neat and professional finish that is bound to impress anyone! If you are new to chef’s knives, then we truly think that this knife will add value to your kitchen.
5. J.A. Henckels Premio Chef’s Knife
Get ready to expand your cooking skills!
The 8-inch J. A Henckels Premio knife is a professional-grade knife that ticks all the boxes without breaking the bank.
Take a look at the finish and quality of this knife before you glance at the price tag — we guarantee that you will be blown away by just how much value this knife provides!
It is made from high-quality stainless steel and its design follows all the best practices that you can expect from premium knives.
Even though this knife is equipped with a plastic handle, the design and grip of the handle will far outweigh its perception of being “inferior.”
Keep in mind that it is better to go with a comfortable knife than one that costs several hundred dollars and yet feels mediocre in your hand.
6. HENCKELS Solution Starter Set
Get three knives for the price of one!
You might think that going for a cheaper knife set may not be wise — but in this case, we suggest that you consider making an exception.
What makes this set so great is its focus on value and utility.
Unlike other cheap sets, you don’t just get similar-looking knives, but rather a useful set that you can truly get the most out of when it comes to various cutting tasks.
These knives are made using high-quality stainless steel and each one brings something unique to the table.
The chef’s knife can be used for most bulk tasks, while the smaller paring and cutting knives can be indispensable in tasks like peeling, scoring, or skinning.
7. Farberware Ceramic Chef Knife
Ceramic knives may seem inferior to stainless-steel knives — but you can easily get more or less the same utility from them!
These knives are made from reinforced, high-quality ceramic that is specifically shaped and sharpened to a razor-sharp edge.
While ceramic knives may not be able to hold their sharpness for longer, they are still extremely capable and easy to maintain.
This knife is specifically designed using all the best practices that produce a sharp and extremely precise knife.
It measures in at 6 inches, which means that it will suit a lot of novices and can even help you with peeling tasks — something that large chef’s knives struggle with!
If you have been looking for a lightweight and shorter knife that can keep up with almost every common kitchen task, then purchasing this ceramic knife would prove to be a great investment.
8. Mercer Culinary Genesis Granton Edge Chef’s Knife
Not only does this knife sport a fantastic finish over its blade, but it is also an extremely ergonomic cutting tool that can fit the needs of most chefs.
The Mercer Genesis knife is truly a great starter option for anyone who wants to get acquainted with professional knives.
This knife is designed to provide all the benefits of a professional knife, but at a very reasonable cost. It cuts corners by going for a rather plain handle – but its overall ergonomic qualities more than make up for its shortcomings.
It’s made from high-carbon stainless steel and is designed to replace all the inferior-quality knives that you may have stacked in your knife drawer.
9. Dexter-Russell 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
If safety and comfort are a huge concern then we highly recommend that you check out this knife.
It’s made from high-grade stainless steel and is designed to maintain its sharpness even after repeated use.
This knife is more than capable of dealing with everyday kitchen tasks — it is perhaps the best option for people who are hesitant about using a larger knife!
Chop food using a sliding or rocking motion without worry.
The handle of this knife features a secondary heel just before the edge of the blade, so you get double protection from the edge of the blade as it comes down!