7 Best Chef’s Knives Under $150


The chef’s knife is the most important knife in the kitchen, in fact it’s probably the most important tool in your kitchen.

So it’s worth taking a little time to consider which is right for you.

In this article I’m going to show you some fantastic knives you can get for under $150. It’s not a bad price point as it lets you get a quality knife that uses durable materials without breaking the bank.

My personal recommendation would be the J.A. Henckels Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife. It’s a classic chef’s knife both in design and materials used. It’s well-built and durable, it’s a reliable knife that won’t let you down and that’s one of the most important features of a good chef’s knife.

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Take a look at the J.A. Henckels Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife on Amazon here (opens new tab).

If the classic design of the Henckels isn’t quite what you’re after then take a look at my detailed reviews below. I’m certain you’ll find a knife that fits your style and budget.

7 Best Chef’s Knives Under $150

Here’s my full list of recommended chef’s knives, put in order of price from highest to lowest.

For a detailed review of each one just scroll down the article.

NamePriceCheck current price (opens new tab)
Global 8 Inch (most durable)$150 – $170Link to Amazon
Zelite Infinity 8 Inch$130 – $150Link to Amazon
Dalstrong Shogun 8 Inch$120 – $140Link to Amazon
Ferrum Estate 8 Inch$110 – $130Link to Amazon
J.A. Henckels Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife (my top pick)$90 – $110Link to Amazon
Shun Sora 8 Inch Chef’s Knife$80 – $100Link to Amazon
Wüsthof Gourmet 8 Inch Chef’s Knife$80 – $100Link to Amazon

Global 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

Most Durable
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Global 8 Inch Review Table

Country of manufactureJapan
Steel typeChromova18 (high rust-resistant Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 58-60
Factory edge15 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialSteel
ProsIncredibly rust-resistant and lightweight

I’ve added this Global 8 Inch knife to the list because not only is the knife-edge razor-sharp and made from top-quality steel, but the whole knife is made from the same block of steel making it extremely durable. Often the first thing to go wrong with a knife can be the handle, and that just will not happen with this one piece of steel Global knife.

Global uses highly durable steel for this knife. It’s also high in carbon which gives the knife more strength and allows for a sharper and longer-lasting cutting edge.

The steel used is Cromova 18. The 18 stands for 18% chromium. Chromium is the element that makes stainless steel knives resistant to rust and corrosion. 15% chromium is considered to produce highly rust-resistant steel so 18% means that you’ll struggle to find a high-quality chef’s knife with better rust and corrosion resistance to this one.

Since the blade and the handle are made from one block of steel there is no bolster. The handle has been completely covered in a molded dimpled surface to ensure that you can still grip the handle well. The handle is a tapered cylinder in shape.

The knife is very lightweight, especially considering it is all steel. One reason for this is that the handle is actually hollow, making the balance between the handle and the blade fantastic.

This is an extremely durable knife and could continue to perform well even after some pretty rough treatment. All the knives on this list are very well built and durable, but I’d say this knife is the best one if you’re looking for ultimate durability.

Zelite Infinity 8 Inch

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Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeAUS-10 (High-quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 61
Factory edge12 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialG10 (fiberglass laminate)
ProsIncredible materials for a relatively low price

Zelite makes a range of top-quality kitchen knives with a Japanese influence, this Zelite Infinity 8 Inch is one of their best. Zelite knives are manufactured in China using imported German or Japanese steels, as a result, you get incredible quality knives but for a relatively low price.

The knife blade is made from a top-quality, very high carbon steel called AUS-10. This is a well-renowned steel in the knife world. As high carbon knives can become quite brittle, this steel has added nickel, manganese and silicon to improve the flexibility of the blade.

The addition of vanadium, chrome and molybdenum to the steel also increases its resistance to rust and corrosion. Overall this highly technical steel is super strong, allowing for a great cutting edge, whilst still remaining durable.

The blade is polished with Zelitles own ‘Tsunami Rose Damascus Pattern’, in a typically Japanese style. The knife has a partial bolster and full tang into the handle. The handle is triple-riveted and shaped ergonomically, with a humped back and completely smooth circular length made specifically for comfort. Zelite is excellent at designing their knives for maximum comfort and they have certainly achieved that here.

The knife also comes with a useful blade sheath which protects the knife from damage when stored and helps to keep the blade sharp for longer. It’s a great knife using quality materials with a very bold design, Zelitle is a relatively small family company but they have amassed a strong reputation for quality. You can see why with this knife.

Dalstrong Shogun 8 Inch

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Dalstrong Shogun 8 Inch Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeAUS-10 (High-quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 61
Factory edge12 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialG10 (fiberglass laminate)
ProsIncredible materials for a relatively low price

As you’d imagine from a knife with Shogun in the name, the Dalstrong Shogun 8 Inch knife is another knife that takes its inspiration from the Japanese style.

Dalstrong knives are manufactured in China using imported German or Japanese steels, as a result, you get incredible quality knives but for a relatively low price.

Like the Zelite knife, this knife uses AUS-10 as the steel for its blade. It has a very high carbon content making it extremely strong as well as a mixture of nickel, manganese, silicon, vanadium, chrome and molybdenum which combine to make it resistant to rust and corrosion and to add a little flexibility since high carbon knives tend to be brittle. It’s a top-quality steel and it makes for a fantastic blade with a sharp cutting edge that retains the sharpness very well.

The blade edge has a nice curve allowing for the rock chopping technique. The blade has a partial bolster and a full tang into the handle. The handle itself is a mix between the classic western style and the more cylindrical Japanese style of handle and as a result, it’s very well rounded and comfortable to use. It’s riveted and the material used for the handle is a fiber-glass like material called G-10 Garolite.

This means the handle is light and incredibly durable, chemically inert and resistant to water and temperature changes it shouldn’t corrode or deform at all. There is also a generously sized heel to the knife, leaving plenty of room for your knuckles whilst chopping.

The balance between the knife and the blade is perfect and it is an extremely lightweight knife and comfortable to use over long periods. This is a great knife with an attractive Damascus wave pattern on the blade, typical of that Japanese style. The knife also comes with a useful blade sheath to protect it when it’s being stored.

Ferrum Estate 8 Inch

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Ferrum Estate 8 Inch Review Table

Country of manufactureUSA (Oregon)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 61
Factory edge16 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialMaple wood
ProsBeautiful design and classic shape

Ferrum is a small producer of kitchen knives and they make a truly beautiful range. Ferrum offers a handmade knife, made to a high standard using great materials. I love their Ferrum Estate 8 Inch and I think it offers one of the best value for money items on this list.

Ferrum employs a technique more commonly used in the medical device industry to forge the steel for their blades. They use a method of mixing different types of powdered metals and shaping the blade in a similar fashion to injection molding. They claim to be the first cutlery producer in the world to use this method and it results in a sharper edge with better edge retention. This can certainly be seen on this Estate model which has a cutting edge of 16 degrees, which is pretty much as sharp as you can get on a western-style chef’s knife.

The blade edge is beautifully curved and perfect for rock chopping, the blade has a partial bolster and full tang going into the very special, maple wood handle. The maple wood brings a great aesthetic quality to the already attractive blade and it’s a smart choice of wood, being strong and durable. The Estate line is certainly that and it’s known as the ‘workhorse’ line of Ferrum’s knife range. The handle has also been well rounded so it feels very comfortable and sturdy to hold.

There is a generously sized heel on the blade, leaving plenty of room for your knuckles and combining well with the curved blade edge to make this knife ideal for rock chopping.

This is a truly beautiful knife made with some unique but high-quality materials, it’s super sharp, well designed and offers something a bit more unique than the knives from the larger brands.

J.A. Henckels International Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

My Top Pick
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J.A. Henckels International 8-Inch Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureSpain
Steel typeX50CrMoV15 (German steel that’s ideal for durability)
Rockwell hardness57
Factory edge15 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPOM (thermoplastic)
ProsDurable materials and traditional design

J.A. Henckels are a well-known manufacturer of western-style kitchen knives.

Not to be confused with the (higher quality) ZWILLING J.A. Henckels brands, knives using the J.A. Henckels name only are manufactured outside of Germany, such as this knife from their International range which is made in Spain.

That brings down the cost, which in turn is passed onto the customer. However, their long history of knife production is clear in the end products, which always offer fantastic value for money.

This classic 8-inch chef’s knife from their International range uses a German steel called X50CrMoV15. This is a steel commonly used in quality western-style knife production due to its high durability.

The Carbon content of X50CrMoV15 is around 0.55%. That’s not particularly high when comparing it with other quality knives; however, it’s high enough to provide sufficient strength in the blade for a 15 – 20 degree angle on each side, which is standard for western knives.

The big benefit of not having a very high Carbon content is that higher Carbon steels are usually more brittle, therefore the 0.55% content keeps the blade durable.

That’s the same with the strong Vanadium of 0.4%, Vanadium improves the resistance to wear of the steel also adding to its durability.

The Chromium content is 15% is what the 15 in X50CrMoV15 represents. Chromium is vital for the durability of steel as it’s what makes stainless steel resistant to rust.

Steel need only be 10.5% to be considered stainless, so a 15% content is high and makes this a quality stainless steel, very unlikely to rust unless extremely mistreated by the owner.

The knife has a full bolster and tang into a triple rivited handle.

The handle is made for thermoplastic, making it ultra durable and resistant to moisture and temperature changes.

It’s a durable knife, built for reliability and is a great choice for anyone search for a classic western-style chef’s knife under $150.

Shun Sora 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

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Shun Sora 8-Inch Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureJapan
Steel typeVG-10 (High quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardness60-61
Factory edge16 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPP/TPE (thermoplastic blend)
ProsGenuine Japanese knife with amazing edge retention

Shun are a fantastic Japanese producer of high-quality knives.

What makes Shun particularly special is that they combine their Japanese heritage with western influences to create knives that suit the western market but still use great Japanese materials, designed in a clearly Japanese style.

This 8-inch knife gets made with a VG-10 San Mai core with a 420J Japanese blade upper. The traditional style handle gets made from textured TPE for balance and grip.

The Carbon content is 1%, making this a truly high-carbon knife. That means the steel is stronger than most western knives and can be sharpened to a finer edge. The factory edge is 16 degrees but this steel could probably handle a 12 degree edge if you wanted to further sharpen it yourself.

Whilst the Carbon content is high, durability is not compromised and the Chromium content is a good 15%, qualifying this as a high-performing stainless steel. That means it’s very rust-resistant.

The design is slimmer than a classic western-style chef’s knife. One benefit is that it makes the knife very lightweight, but it may not suit those who prefer the bulky feel of a large chef’s knife.

Shun are one of my favorite knife brands, and whilst this isn’t a classic western style chef’s knife it simply had to go on this list.

To get a genuine Japanese knife using VG-10 steel for under $150 is a bargain. For anyone looking for a Japanese-style chef’s knife without breaking the bank, this is a brilliant choice.

Wüsthof Gourmet 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

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Wüsthof Gourmet 8-Inch Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureGermany
Steel typeX50CrMoV15 (German steel that’s ideal for durability)
Rockwell hardness56
Factory edge18 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPolypropylene (thermoplastic)
ProsLightweight and durable

Wüsthof’s knives are made in ‘The City of Blades’, also known as Solingen, Germany. They have been producing top-quality western-style knives for over two centuries and are arguably the most well-known and respected producer of chef’s knives.

The blade for their Gourmet range uses the same X50CrMoV15 steel as their more epensive Classic range. The difference is that instead of being a forged piece of steel like the Classic version is, the Gourmet chef’s knife is made from stamped steel.

That means it has effectively been stamped out of a larger sheet of steel. Historically stamped blades have been significantly less durable than forged blades, but as technology improves this difference has become less and less.

Given that the Gourmet knife is around half the price of the Classic knife and uses the same steel, the stamped blade is not a bad compromise to make.

Since the blade is stamped there is no bolster and it just goes straight into the handle.

The handle itself is made from synthetic polypropylene, a durable thermoplastic that will be able to withstand the temperature and moisture pressure of the kitchen.

It’s a lightweight knife and comfortable to use. For the home cook, I think this is a brilliant choice. You get a quality Wüsthof knife, using the same quality base materials but for half the cost of the Classic chef’s knife.

Wüsthof knives are known for their extreme durability and are one of the most popular brands amongst professional chefs. This knife from their Gourmet range is available for well under $150 and it won’t let you down.

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