Best Chef Knife Under $50 In 2021 (6 Models Reviewed)

A good and reliable chef knife is an integral part of every kitchen. It is the most used piece of cutlery and should therefore be chosen wisely.

If you’ve decided to get a quality chef knife because you’ve realized its importance, most of the recommendations you will get are models from Zwilling, Wusthof, and similar high-end knife manufacturers.

While those knives are perfect in performance and the quality of the materials, they start from $100, which is more than what most people can afford or want to pay for a budget knife set, let alone a single knife.

Through research, we found that most people aren’t willing to spend more than $50 for a chef knife, and the good news is that there are quite a few options in this price range.

But since there are so many options, which one to choose and trust? To solve this problem, we’ve compiled a list of the 6 best chef knives under 50.

All of the models that are on the list are thoroughly reviewed in terms of the quality of the materials, performance, and value for the money so that you can have peace of mind knowing that the knife is reliable and safe!

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Our Pick
Chef Knife - PAUDIN N1 8 inch Kitchen Knife, German High Carbon Stainless Steel Sharp Knife, Professional Meat Knife with Ergonomic Handle and Gift Box for Family & Restaurant
Best Santoku
Santoku Knife - imarku 7 inch Kitchen Knife Ultra Sharp Asian Knife Japanese Chef Knife - German HC Stainless Steel 7Cr17Mov - Ergonomic Pakkawood Handle, Best Choice for Home Kitchen, Brown
Best Budget
Mercer Culinary Millennia Black Handle, 8-Inch, Chef's Knife
Chef Knife, Professional Japanese Knife 8 inch Gyuto Chef Knife Kitchen Knife, Forged German High Carbon Stainless Steel Japanese Chef Knife with Octagon Wood Handle- KEEMAKE
Victorinox 10 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife
Product
PAUDIN 8-Inch Chef's Knife
Imarku 7-inch Santoku Knife
Mercer Culinary Millennia
KEEMAKE Japanese Chef Knife
Victorinox Fibrox Chef's Knife
Blade Material
5Cr15MoV German Stainless Steel
7Cr17Mov Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
High Carbon Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel
Handle
Red Wood
Pakkawood
Plastic
Ebony
Fibrox
Full-Tang
Blade Length
8 Inches
7 Inches
8 Inches
8 Inches
10 Inches
Our Pick
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Chef Knife - PAUDIN N1 8 inch Kitchen Knife, German High Carbon Stainless Steel Sharp Knife, Professional Meat Knife with Ergonomic Handle and Gift Box for Family & Restaurant
Product
PAUDIN 8-Inch Chef's Knife
Blade Material
5Cr15MoV German Stainless Steel
Handle
Red Wood
Full-Tang
Blade Length
8 Inches
Where To Buy
Best Santoku
Image
Santoku Knife - imarku 7 inch Kitchen Knife Ultra Sharp Asian Knife Japanese Chef Knife - German HC Stainless Steel 7Cr17Mov - Ergonomic Pakkawood Handle, Best Choice for Home Kitchen, Brown
Product
Imarku 7-inch Santoku Knife
Blade Material
7Cr17Mov Stainless Steel
Handle
Pakkawood
Full-Tang
Blade Length
7 Inches
Where To Buy
Best Budget
Image
Mercer Culinary Millennia Black Handle, 8-Inch, Chef's Knife
Product
Mercer Culinary Millennia
Blade Material
Stainless Steel
Handle
Plastic
Full-Tang
Blade Length
8 Inches
Where To Buy
Image
Chef Knife, Professional Japanese Knife 8 inch Gyuto Chef Knife Kitchen Knife, Forged German High Carbon Stainless Steel Japanese Chef Knife with Octagon Wood Handle- KEEMAKE
Product
KEEMAKE Japanese Chef Knife
Blade Material
High Carbon Stainless Steel
Handle
Ebony
Full-Tang
Blade Length
8 Inches
Where To Buy
Image
Victorinox 10 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife
Product
Victorinox Fibrox Chef's Knife
Blade Material
Stainless Steel
Handle
Fibrox
Full-Tang
Blade Length
10 Inches
Where To Buy

Last update on 2021-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Chef Knife Under 50 – Reviews


Because there are so many options on the market, we started our research with more than 40 knives that all claimed to be the best chef knife under $50. When we finished our research, only 6 models met our strict criteria and made our list.

The 6 knives we choose are all made of high-quality materials, are durable, and super sharp. We’ve included German and Japanese models since those two are the most sought after when it comes to chef’s knives.

Our Pick

PAUDIN 8-Inch Chef's Knife

PAUDIN 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Blade Material: 5Cr15MoV German Stainless Steel

Handle: Wood

Blade Length: 8 Inches

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The number one knife on our list is the PAUDIN chef’s knife. Its quality and performance are way beyond this price range. It has all the features we want in a reliable chef’s knife and will be able to handle every kitchen task you put it up to.

Materials

The materials used for this knife are high-grade and are something we see more often in knives that are in the around $100 range.

Let’s start with the blade. It is made of German 5Cr15MoV Stainless steel that has excellent corrosion resistance and is super easy to sharpen. This type of blade will last a long time, given you take good care of it.

The steel isn’t Damascus but is made to look that way for better aesthetics with laser engraving. It doesn’t take away anything from the quality of this blade, and the fact that the company is transparent about this goes to show that they appreciate their customers and don’t hold any information back.

The handle is made of wood that feels very tough and sturdy. It will last as long as the blade and will sustain pressure with ease.

The handle is also full-tang, which is what we want. This provides stability, better balance, and longevity of the handle and the whole knife.

Size

PAUDIN 8-Inch Chef's Knife

The blade is 8 inches long, which is the standard for chef’s knives. It has enough length to cut through the food of any size or shape.

The angle of the blade is around 15 degrees. It provides optimal performance and is suited for most people. The thickness of the blade is 2mm, which is again a great thickness to start with as it works great for most folks.

The handle is 5 inches long and has enough room for people of all sizes. Because of the optimal length, most people will be able to use this handle comfortably.

We really like the weight of this knife as it makes it so easy to maneuver. It weighs 7.2oz, which is lightweight for a chef’s knife, making it great for beginners that are having trouble handling heavier knives.

Performance

This is where this knife shines and goes above the rest of the competition. It’s by far the best performing knife on our list, and that’s why it has cemented its position in the first place.

The blade cuts through every food like slicing a sheet of paper. It is unbelievably sharp out of the box and stays that way for a long time. We are confident that you can use this knife for just about any kitchen task with no issues whatsoever. It’s the most versatile chef knife on our list.

The handle is one of those parts that manufacturers of budget knives usually cheap out on as they focus mostly on the blade. This is not the case with this chef’s knife, as it makes holding it in hand an enjoyable experience!

It’s shaped to give more grip and cause less fatigue when using the knife for extended periods. It stays in hand even when your hands get wet or oily.

We also like the balance of the knife very much as it is near perfect. This gives you more control and easier handling of the knife making you more confident and your work more efficient!

Affordability

PAUDIN 8-Inch Chef's Knife

This PAUDIN chef’s knife is around the middle when it comes to the best knives under $50. It’s not the most affordable knife on our list but its price to performance ratio is without a doubt the best.

You get the most for your money with this knife, and that’s why it is, in our opinion, the best chef knife under 50 you can find!

Looks

Budget knife manufacturers are getting better and better at producing knives that resemble the high-end ones and have that premium look with a modest price tag.

This is precisely what PAUDIN has achieved as they’ve managed to create a knife that not only performs close to the high-end one but looks like it!

The knife has a stylish laser engraved Damascus steel blade design that goes all the way to the elegant bolster, bordering the steel and the beautiful reddish wooden handle.

Since it comes with an elegant box, this knife makes a perfect inexpensive gift that every kitchen will appreciate!

Verdict

This knife has it all. The looks, the price, and the performance, all ideal. We couldn’t find anything to criticize as the PAUDIN has done a terrific job with this budget chef’s knife.

If you don’t want to spend more than $50 on a chef’s knife but want to get as close to the high-end chef knives as you can get, this is the knife to go for!

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Imarku 7-inch Santoku Knife

Imarku 7-inch Santoku Knife

Blade Material: 7Cr17Mov Stainless Steel

Handle: Pakkawood 

Blade Length: 7 Inches

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Since the first knife on our list is a western chef’s knife, we wanted to include a Santoku chef’s knife under $50 as well. The Japanese general purpose knife is becoming more and more popular because of its ease of use and versatility. This the model that we feel gives the best performance and is under $50 as well.

Materials

We were surprised to see the 7cr17mov stainless steel on this knife as it is the one used in models that are usually priced above $50. It’s terrific steel that has excellent tensile strength, durability, and corrosion resistance. If you take care of this blade, it can last for decades!

The handle, which we like very much, is made of Pakkawood. This is one of the best materials for knife handles as it is so sturdy and reliable. It’s made of resin and thin layers of high-quality wood, giving it perfect water resistance and extra toughness.

The handle is full-tang as well, further making it more resistant and durable.

This whole knife has that quality and durability feel. You can expect it to last decades, given that you take care of it.

Size

The size of the blade is 7 inches, which is consistent with most Santoku knives being shorter than western chef knives. Yes, this takes away some of the power and strength of the knife, but it makes it more precise and easier to use if you’re a beginner cook.

The thing we are not the most impressed with is the thickness of the blade. It’s 2.5mm, which is a bit more than what we would prefer for a Santoku knife. Still, it doesn’t take away much from its performance and while it makes it a bit less Santoku, it still works great.

The 5-inch handle has the length and circumference to be comfortable in both large and small hands.

Performance

Imarku 7-inch Santoku Knife

The first and most important performance factor is the cutting performance, and this knife cuts like a dream. It goes through every type of food like butter as it’s super strong and super tough.

Cutting through tough food like large chunks of meat, bones, cartilage, and frozen food is not a problem for this knife. It definitely lives up to its name as an all-purpose kitchen knife.

The hollow edge on the side of the blade is a very convenient feature that prevents food from sticking to the blade. It also reduces friction when cutting, which improves your cutting performance and makes it a more enjoyable experience.

The Pakkawood handle feels excellent in hand and doesn’t slip when your hands get wet. Same as the blade, it is designed for chopping cutting motion rather than the rocking motion. So if you prefer to cut food that way, this knife will be perfect for your style!

Overall, this knife performs just as a good Santoku knife should be. It gives you more accuracy and works great for any kitchen task.

Looks

Imarku 7-inch Santoku Knife

We at boostuphome are big fans of imarku cutlery, especially the way they design their knives.

They are somehow always able to get that high-end premium feel to their knives, and that’s exactly what they did with this Santoku knife.

The blade design is quintessential santoku with a straight profile and shorter length. It matches the Pakkawood handle beautifully and looks stunning when you factor in the price of the knife.

This has to be the best-looking santoku chef knife under $50. Again, if you’re looking for an inexpensive gift, you can’t go wrong with this one!

Verdict

If you like Japanese cutlery and prefer using the chopping cutting motion, this is the perfect chef’s knife under 50 for you! It is very near perfect and performs just the way we want a Santoku to cut. Its stylish design and quality materials make it a worthwhile purchase!

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MOSFiATA 8-Inch Chef's Knife

MOSFiATA 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Blade Material: High Carbon Stainless Steel

Handle: Handle

Blade Length: 8 Inches

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The third knife on our list is the MOSFiATA chef’s knife which comes with a few useful extras. It is a western chef’s knife that performs excellent and is made of high-grade materials.

Materials

The blade is made of German stainless steel that has a Rockwell hardness of around 56. This means that it is hard enough for all kitchen work while still easy to sharpen. This steel has good corrosion resiting properties and is overall solid steel that should last for years if you take care of it.

While the blade is definitely good, the handle of this knife is what impressed us the most. It is a Micarta handle which happens to be one of our favorite handle materials.

It is made of resins layered with fabrics such as cotton, linen, fiberglass, and cork, which makes it virtually indestructible. These handles last for decades and are water and impact-resistant.

As we expected, the handle is also full-tang, giving it even more stability and durability.

We were really pleasantly surprised to see this type of handle in a knife in this price range.

Size

The blade is 8 inches long and is 2.5mm thick, the standard for western chef’s knives.

The edge is 14-16 degrees, again, the standard, but we really like that it’s hand polished. That’s something not expected at this price range.

The handle is 5 inches long, having enough space for people of all sizes.

Performance

This knife doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance. It is surgically sharp right out of the box and cuts through vegetables, meat, fish, frozen items, bones, and more!

It is capable of cutting all foods comfortably with no need to put pressure on them.

The handle feels perfect in hand. The grip so good, and the balance of the knife and the handle is on point.

The knife is very easy to work with because of that. The control is excellent and will make you enjoy working with this knife.

Extras

MOSFiATA 8-Inch Chef's Knife

As we already mentioned, this knife comes with three accessories that will come in handy. The extras are:

  • Finger Guard
  • Blade Sheath
  • Two-way Sharpener

The finger guard is the addition we like the most. It is so simple and obvious, yet not many manufacturers include or even sell one of these. It’s a great little safety tool that can help beginner cooks and even experienced chefs keep their fingers safe from nasty cuts.

The blade sheath is another obvious and simple extra, but again, isn’t included with chef’s knives for some reason. It keeps the blade intact when not used and makes the storage safer.

The two-way sharpener isn’t the best and can only be used as a temporary sharpener. If you really want to sharpen your knife, get a wet stone or visit a professional that can help you with that.

Verdict

All in all, this is a great and versatile chef’s knife that has all the features we want and is priced very reasonably. It performs great and comes with a few useful extras that will improve your safety in the kitchen. If you’re on a budget and need a reliable chef’s knife, you can’t go wrong with this one.

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Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Blade Material: Stainless Steel

Handle: Plastic

Blade Length: 8 Inch

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The Mercer Culinary Millennia is the budget chef’s knife of the budget chef’s knives. It’s as cheap as you can go without sacrificing quality. Currently priced under $20, it is the most affordable knife on our list and performs way better than its competitors in this price range.

Materials

When you go this low with the price, you can’t really expect to find any high-grade materials. Still, this knife is the most decent out of all of the other models in the under $20 price range.

The blade is stamped as opposed to forged, which is the indicator of a budget knife. That means that the blade is thinner, weighs less, and has no bolster.

That being said, this blade is a quality-made stamped blade and doesn’t tend to bend or break under pressure as the really cheap models do.

It will resist corrosion and is easy to sharpen. It has no major flaws other than being lower in quality than the more expensive forged knives, but that is fully expected.

The handle is basic and made out of plastic. It is sturdy and holds the blade well. It’s simple yet effective.

You can’t really complain about anything here as the price is so low. Mercer Culinary has done everything they could to make the most out of the limited amount of money per knife they had to work with and has done their job better than any other company did.

Size

The size of the blade is standard 8 inches, while the thickness is 2mm.

The handle is 5 inches long, which is the optimal length for most people.

Again, Mercer Culinary makes it simple and effective since that seems to be a winning combo for budget knives.

Performance

Mercer Culinary Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Now comes the big question, can this knife survive, and what can it do in the kitchen. Well, surprisingly, it is capable of doing quite a few things.

While you might not be able to cut through super large chunks of meat or bones as easily as with the other knives on our list, this knife will be able to do that and many more things such as cutting vegetables, carving and going through frozen fruit.

It comes really sharp out of the box and won’t require frequent sharpening.

The handle also surprised us. It offers excellent grip thanks to the textured design that makes it stay in your hand when it gets wet.

It’s also balanced really well with the blade and is easy to handle and work with.

The performance and the toughness of such a cheap knife really took us by surprise. We can safely say that this knife is acceptable and usable for any kitchen task you put him up to.

Verdict

Mercer knows how to make good and dirt cheap knives. Their recipe is to stay simple, stick with what works, and use inexpensive materials. That formula definitely works, as this is the best chef knife under 20 that we found!

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KEEMAKE Japanese Chef Knife

KEEMAKE Japanese Chef Knife

Blade Material: High Carbon Stainless Steel

Handle: Ebony

Blade Length: 8 Inches

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This knife Japanese chef’s from KEEMAKE combines elegant looks with excellent performance. It’s a great choice for those that love the Japanese style but are used to western type cutlery. This might be the piece of cutlery that can make your Japanese knife set stand out!

Materials

Since this knife is very close to the $50 mark, it’s made of high-quality materials that enhance both the looks and the performance of the knife.

The blade is made of high-grade German Molybdenum Vanadium stainless steel that is known as a very resistant and tough type of steel.

This steel is frequently used for Japanese knives and is extremely durable. If you keep it in good shape, it can last for decades!

The handle is constructed from Ebony wood that is very dense and sturdy. This type of handle will increase the longevity of the whole knife.

One thing that we don’t like about this and many other Japanese chef knives of this type is that they aren’t full tang. That means that the blade doesn’t extend all the way to the butt of the knife.

This is to do with the traditional Japanese design and their style of cutting. The partial-tang won’t be as strong or durable as the full-tang, so that’s something to consider.

Still, we believe that this knife can last for decades in most households, but with this type of build, we wouldn’t recommend it to restaurant cooks and chefs.

Size

KEEMAKE Japanese Chef Knife

The knife has an overall size of 13.3 inches. The blade takes 8 inches, while the handle measures 5.3 inches.

We like that the knife is lightweight, weighing only 7 ounces, which is light for a standard chef’s knife. This helps you get more control over the knife.

Performance

The blade really impressed us in terms of performance. It comes super sharp out of the box and just goes through every single thing you try to cut.

You can use it on every type of food, whether it’s fresh or frozen, and it won’t dissapoint.

The non-stick coating is always a convenient feature to have on the blade as it makes the cutting more continuous. You won’t have to stop and clean the blade after a few cuts since no food will stick to it!

If you haven’t tried the octagonal-shaped handle before, you will be impressed! It provides a perfect grip as no other handle can. This shape of the handle makes it stay in your hand and feel comfortable even after hours of cutting.

Looks

KEEMAKE Japanese Chef Knife

The looks of this knife are one of the main reasons people go for it. It has that premium high-end Japanese knife look that knives that cost over $1000 have.

The black coating and the hammer finish really make the blade stand out and look sleek. The bolster and the handle are elegantly designed to give the knife that traditional Japanese feel.

This knife would make a perfect gift for a friend or a family member that’s into Japanese culture. They will absolutely love it!

Verdict

This isn’t a knife that most people will go for, but those who appreciate the Japanese style and culture. It performs wonderfully for its price but is only really worth it if you like the stylish looks of this Japanese chef’s knife.

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Victorinox 10 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife

Victorinox 10 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife

Blade Material: Stainless Steel

Handle: Fibrox

Blade Length: 10 Inch

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While most chef knives are 8 inches long, people forget that there are also 10-inch chef knives that are capable of doing some tasks much more efficiently than the 8-inchers. This Victorinox is the one that stood out and is, in our opinion, the best 10-inch chef knife under 50.

Materials

This is where most people get scared as Victorinox is known to use cheaper materials than other brands at the same price range. But what they don’t know is how smart they are about it and how they can combine the basic materials and turn them into a very efficient and great performing knife.

The first thing that we see about the blade is that it’s stamped. As we already know, stamped blades are cheaper and are usually worse in quality than the forged ones.

But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case if the manufacturer knows what they’re doing, and Victorinox certainly does. After all, they are the kings of budget knives and have to protect that reputation.

This stainless steel stamped blade is unusually well made and won’t flex or bend under pressure as most others do. It’s easy to sharpen and has excellent corrosion resistance.

The handle is a famous Fibrox handle that is known to be super resistant and long-lasting. This is a handle Victorinox puts only on their more premium models, so that itself speaks of the knife’s quality.

Only Victorinox can get away with putting a stamped blade on a plastic handle because they know how to make it work. The longevity of their knives is as good as their competitors, but since their materials are cheaper, they can produce more for less money!

Size

Victorinox 10 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife

As we already mentioned, this is a 10-inch blade knife, and that’s its main advantage. You can cut large things like watermelons and squash much easier than with the 8-inch knife.

The handle is 6 inches long and has more than enough room for hands of any size.

Performance

This is where Victorinox always wins. Their knives may seem or look cheap, but they almost always perform excellently!

The blade comes razor-sharp out of the box and can start cutting steaks, roasts, and other difficult-to-cut foods. If you haven’t tried the 10-inch chef’s knife before, you will notice a huge difference when cutting larger food. It is so much more simple with this big knife.

The handle is perfectly balanced with the blade and provides excellent grip. It’s so easy to control the knife with this handle because of the weight and the feel of the Fibrox handle.

Verdict

If you don’t have a 10-inch knife, this would be the perfect choice for your first. It’s the best 10-inch chef’s knife under $50 that you can buy and performs wonderfully. Victorinox was able to combine inexpensive materials smartly and create an extremely affordable and super efficient knife!

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Conclusion


That’s all you need to know about the best chef knife under $50.

The most important thing to remember is to choose a knife with realistic expectations, not looking for 72 layers of Damascus steel bellow $50.

Any of the models we recommended don’t try to oversell and are all reliable. You can’t go wrong with any of them!

PAUDIN - Best Chef Knife Under 50

  • Blade Material: 5Cr15MoV German Stainless Steel
  • Handle: Wood
  • Blade Length: 8 Inches

Last update on 2021-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API