It doesn’t matter whether you are an amateur or a professional chef in the kitchen, knowing about the functionalities of each chef knife is important. Not only does it allow you to have a better perspective in the kitchen, but it also enables you to cook like a pro without any drawbacks. However, with such a variety of chef’s knife available in the kitchen, it becomes extremely difficult for people to choose the best chef knives.
From the ones for cutting vegetables to the ones meant for cutting raw meat and fish sashimi, they come with multiple uses. Before purchasing any metal or stainless steel chef knife, you need to ensure that you invest in options that are worth the price you pay.
If you peek into any professional kitchen, you will realize that there is not one category but multiple categories of the best chef knives. Some are priced above $100 and some are priced under $100. Which ones you choose completely depends on your budget and the quality of the purchase that you are making. However, if there’s one thing we wouldn’t recommend you to budge on is the material. Either opt for the standard stainless steel or the high-carbon stainless steel, if you are on a budget. However, if you can spare a little more, opt for the German stainless steel instead.
Here, we will be discussing everything there is to know about the best chef knife under 100 and all the factors you need to be mindful of before choosing a chef knife set for your kitchen.
Table of Contents
- Best Chef Knife Under $100 in 2021
- What is the Anatomy of a Chef Knife?
- Things to Consider Before Buying a Chef’s Knife
- How to Sharpen a Chef’s Knife?
- How to Take Care of a Chef’s Knife?
- What is the best material for a Chef’s Knife?
Best Chef Knife Under $100 in 2021
What is the Anatomy of a Chef Knife?
It doesn’t matter whether you are getting an 8-inch chef’s knife or a 4-inch chef’s knife, you need to be mindful of the anatomy and the shape. Although the size can be variant, the shape is pretty consistent in all of them.
Following are some of the parts of a chef knife that you need to be mindful of:
The first and likely the most important part of any of the chef knives under 100 is the point. This is the fine point of the blade that is often sharpened and used for making finer cuts like julienned and other chopping expertise. You can also use this part of the chef knife to score through the meat or the other items that you are likely chopping.
The next part of the chef knife that makes up the quintessential part is the blade. This is the primary part of the knife that you use to cut the items, be it vegetables or meat. Often, it is made with different materials like high-carbon stainless steel, german stainless steel, and even titanium, if you want to go over the budget.
The edge of the blade is what you cut the different products with. This is also the part that the chefs re-sharpen before usage. If the edge isn’t finely ground, chances are that you will be left with a blunt end of a knife that doesn’t even go through the meat and the vegetables that you cut.
As you guessed it, the spine of the chef’s knife is the blunt upperside which you press down on for added support while you are cutting the different meats and vegetables. Also, keeping a check on the thickness of the blade is extremely important. If it is too small or narrow, you will end up with a poorly constructed knife with no girth and stability to it.
Coming to the next part of the chef knife, we have the tang. While not many amateur’s would pay much attention to it, this is the part of the knife next to the bolster. This is where the chef’s generally pressed down on the knife for making smoother and uniform cuts along with the meats and vegetables.
It goes without saying that another part of the chef’s knife that plays the most important role in seamless cutting and chopping is the knife. Most of the chef’s knives are either carved with a wooden handle or even sometimes with a ceramic handle, depending on the price of the knives that you are buying. Also, most of the high-quality chef’s knives are designed with rivets, allowing you to use them for extended periods without any risks of damage or slipping.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Chef’s Knife
Although it is true that chef’s knives are available in different price ranges, it is also true that you need to find options that match your budget and needs. Among all the different variations of the chef knives under 100, there are a few quintessential factors that you can’t bypass before making the final purchase.
While shortlisting some of the good chef’s knives, we wanted to ensure that our readers get access to some of the best products and be aware of all the necessary highlights involved when it comes to purchasing a good-quality chef knife.
So, the following are some of the most important factors that you need to look out for when buying the best chef knife under 100.
When looking at the durability and quality of chef’s knives, the first thing that you need to be mindful of is the Rockwell hardness scale. The harder the knife is the more you can use it without having to worry about risks of wear and tear over time. So, when choosing the best chef knife under 100, try to choose between the available options between high-carbon stainless steel or german steel, if you are on a budget.
The 18-piece Alltripal Knife Set is one of the most budget-friendly options you can get your hands on, especially if you are looking for something under $100. Also, if we had to suggest a premium option, we’d recommend looking into the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional Chef Knife. This is a standard 8-inch chef’s knife with a german stainless steel blade.
Another factor worth considering when buying the best chef knife under 100 is the performance. You can’t expect to buy a knife that doesn’t even cut through a simple vegetable. In such cases, the sharpness and performance of the knife are what makes or breaks it in the long run. Ideally, the performance of the knife depends on how efficiently and for how long you can use the knife for cutting vegetables or meat without making the ends blunt.
Also, you need to be mindful of the angle of the blade edge in a stainless steel knife. If the blade edge is blunt or too rounded, you are going to end up experiencing issues with the performance and efficiency. If you have the budget to spare, look for Chromium blades in the knives because those are effectively a lot more efficient as opposed to the standard stainless steel.
The Shun Dual Core 7-inch Santoku Gorgeous Blade and Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife are two of the leading 8-inch chef’s knife that you wouldn’t regret splurging out on. They are primarily for professionals, so you need to be mindful of the same without any complaints.
Another factor worth considering when buying one of the best chef knives is the maintenance that goes into it. When talking about high-quality of chef’s knives, you need to opt for stainless steel ones, mainly because of the fact that you need to keep a check on the quality and durability. Stainless steel chef’s knives, especially the ones made with high-carbon stainless steel or german stainless steel come with a rust-resistant exterior, which enables you to use them for extended periods without having to worry about extra maintenance.
Chromium blades require a little tending to, especially since they include certain chemicals that you need to be careful about maintaining every now and then. They also need to be washed by hand, you can’t throw them in the dishwasher.
Next on the list of factors that you need to consider before buying chef knives under 100 is the budget. Although we have included some of the cheaper yet high-quality options in this list, we can say for sure that if you have the budget to expand, go ahead and do that, especially if you are a professional chef.
The WÜSTHOF Gourmet Two Piece Cook’s Knife Set is a pretty amazing option if you are looking to buy Wusthof classic knives for your kitchen. They are durable, made with German stainless steel and a riveted handle for long-lasting usage. Since it is such a credible and popular brand, it isn’t surprising that they have items that are priced above $100 and come with a range of amazing features.
How to Sharpen a Chef’s Knife?
Sharpening a chef’s knife is no joke. Not only do you need to be mindful of the structure of the knife, but you also need to have a separate resharpening tool that would help you achieve the sleek sharpness to cut through pieces of meat, fish and vegetables with ease.
There are two important tools that you’d need for sharpening a chef’s knife – the primary sharpening stone and the finishing stone. If we had to suggest, we’d recommend looking into the Soulamor Store Knife Sharpening Stone Set. This consists of multiple stone layers that you can use to sharpen your chef’s knife with ease.
Once you have all the amenities needed, the next thing you need to do is follow the steps mentioned below:
- The first thing you need to do is study your knife and its quality. This is where you need to look into the anatomy of the knife and what you need to resharpen more for a precise cut.
- Once you are done with that, move onto the next step which is soaking the sharpening stones. This is a non-negotiable step that you can’t bypass. So, read the instructions on the label of the stones and then soak them accordingly.
- Keeping a consistent grip, move the stainless steel blade to and fro against the sharpening stone, making sure that you keep the knife at an angle to ensure a comfortable sharpening process. Keep your thumb on the spine of the blade and then go to and fro with the sharpening process.
- You can throw in some water on the sharpening stone while you are holding down the knife at an angle to offer more pliability and comfort during the sharpening process.
- Once you think the blades are sharp enough, you can test out the final results with the paper cut method.
As cliche, as it sounds, slicing through a piece of paper, enables you to check the sharpness of the blade and how well you have resharpened it before your next use in the kitchen.
How to Take Care of a Chef’s Knife?
If this is your first time buying a chef’s knife, there are chances that you will struggle with knowing the right ways to make the most use out of the best chef’s knife, especially when it comes to taking care of it. Not only about the sharpening but how do you clean a chef’s knife and how do you ensure that the exterior doesn’t develop a layer of rust on it?
Well, here we will be sharing some of the important tips associated with taking care of a chef’s knife the right way.
The most important thing with chef’s knives, especially the ones that come with a lifetime warranty, is that you need to avoid chucking them in the dishwasher. This is what most people are doing wrong. Even if your chef’s knife is made with high-quality materials, you can’t expect it to last long if it is chucked into a dishwasher without additional care.
Instead, what you can do is keep the knife aside after you are done using it. Once everything is done, take your kitchen knife and soak it in some hot water and soap for 2-3 minutes to get rid of the grease on the exterior.
Once the grease is off, you can use a dish cleaner to rub on the blade gently to get rid of the remnant grease and the stench off the blades and then leave it to dry on the side. Make sure that you always let your blades in the chef knife dry before you stack them away. Especially with a carbon steel 8-inch chef knife, you need to be careful about not leaving the knife wet when you put it back inside the casing.
2. Honing the blades
Not many people would know about this but if you want to make the most out of your 8-inch chef’s knife, you need to ensure that you get the blades honed by a professional every once in a while unless you are a professional chef yourself.
Doing this ensures that your blades get the maximum tending to that it needs, especially when it comes to the quality and durability of the material.
What is the best material for a Chef’s Knife?
Unless you are a pro in the kitchen with years of knowledge, chances are that you would be confused when it comes to choosing the right material for your chef’s knife. Be it a Japanese-style knife or a standard one, you need to prioritize the material above anything else.
Following are some of the common types of materials that you can consider looking into when buying a kitchen knife.
1. Stainless steel blades
The first and likely the most common is the stainless steel blades. They are affordable, available in a variety of options, not to mention that they are easily accessibly too. Not only does it offer more durability, but you also get the right amount of resistance with the material. Also, they are rust-resistant, which means that you won’t have to worry about replacing them every now and then.
2. Carbon steel blades
Coming to the next one, we have the carbon steel blades, which are a little superior. They are made from an alloy of carbon and iron and are rust-resistant like the previous one. Also, they are known for higher resistance and rigidity, especially when it comes to the quality and credibility of the product.
The only downside to the carbon steel blades is they are prone to discolouration and staining after a few rounds of use. This happens because they lack chromium in the stainless steel used in them. However, they are one of the best on the Rockwell hardness, which means that you wouldn’t have to worry about the durability of the product.
The Damascus Chef Knife is hands down one of the best chefs knife that you can get your hands on. It features high-carbon German steel with a good handle for better grip.
3. Ceramic blades
Although quite a new concept in the market, ceramic blades are ideal for individuals who don’t like using metal options. It features a blade made with zirconium dioxide that offers optimal durability like you will never expect. They are non-magnetic unlike the german stainless steel and the carbon steel variant.
They are often ideal for kids who are stepping inside the kitchen for the first time. However, if you check the Rockwell hardness scale, you’d be disappointed since it is not the toughest option in the market.
The QUELLANCE Ultra Sharp Professional 6-Inch Ceramic Kitchen Chef’s Knife and Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series are two good options you can consider looking into.
4. Titanium blades
If you don’t want to compromise on the quality of the blades and want to get your hands on the chef’s knives that come with a lifetime warranty, titanium blades are pretty great to look into. They are made with one of the hardest materials, so you wouldn’t have to worry about the durability of the product.
However, the only downside to the titanium blades is the price. Most of them are priced above $100, so you might have to compromise on your budget here and there.
1. What knives does Gordon Ramsay use?
If you are particularly looking to buy good-quality knives for your kitchen and want to draw inspiration from professional chefs, we’d recommend looking into the options that Gordon Ramsay believes in. Reports suggest that Gordon relies on brands like Wusthof Classic and Henckels when it comes to the knives he uses in the kitchen.
2. Can you get durable chef’s knives for under $100?
Despite what you think, it is possible to get your hands on a good knife under 100. Not just the quality, but even the size and the design matches up to all the needs. Just ensure that you are mindful of the brand and the reviews of the product that you are buying. That should clear up your queries and doubts for good.
3. What size knife should I buy?
If you are an amateur in the kitchen and just starting out with a kitchen knife, we’d recommend an 8-inch chef knife. These are the standard options and tend to your needs. However, make sure that you are getting a smaller one too for trial and testing in case the 8-inch variant is a little too long to your liking.
4. Do chef’s prefer German or Japanese knives?
The answer to this debate is subjective and depends on the needs of the chef. Japanese knives are ideal for cutting and slicing non-veg items while German knives are multipurpose. So, the needs all come down to what the chef is cutting or chopping. The German steel is often a superior and more common option in professional kitchens.
If you have been meaning to get your hands on a good quality knife under 100, we hope this article gives you all the insights that you need. From the type to the maintenance, we have tried to cover every last detail that you likely need to be mindful of with hopes that you find a worthy purchase with a lifetime warranty that stays with you in the kitchen for years.