7 Best Chef’s Knives Under $50

The chef’s knife is the all-rounder, capable of slicing, dicing, chopping and smashing. It can be used for 95% of your kitchen knife requirements, so it’s always worth taking your time to choose the chef’s knife which is right for you.

Chef’s knives can be expensive, they are such an important knife that a huge amount of focus has been placed on forging very high quality and specialized chef’s knives, perfectly formed for comfort and a razor-sharp edge. A top-quality chef’s knife can easily cost more than $100.

But what about those of us who are looking for a bit more value. Yes, the top-end chef’s knives are justifiably expensive, they have been crafted with absolute precision. But do we really all need such a high-quality chef’s knife, or are there options available for chef’s knives of great quality, at a more affordable price?

The answer: YES! There absolutely are brilliant chef’s knives out there which you can buy for under $50.

In this article, I’m going to list some fantastic chef’s knives which all cost less than $50. There are going to be some big-name brands in this list which produce some of the best knives in the world, I guarantee you will be able to find a knife which is right for you, at a brilliant price.

The best chef’s knife I would recommend below $50 is the Mercer Culinary Renaissance. It’s a very well-built forged knife using materials usually found in knives double the price.

View My Top Recommendation
You can take a look at the Mercer Culinary Renaissance Chef’s Knife on Amazon here.(opens new tab)

There are plenty of other options too which I’ll list below. You might prefer a chef’s knife of a slightly different shape or size to the Dalstrong so it’s worth having a browse through them.

The best chef’s knives under $50

You can get some great chef’s knives from some of the best brands for under $50, here’s my list of recommendations.

Scroll down for a further review of each knife.

NamePriceCheck current price
Dalstrong Gladiator Series 8-Inch Chef’s Knife $50 (when on offer)Link to Amazon
Zelite Infinity Comfort-Pro Series$20 – $30Link to Amazon
J.A. Henckels International Statement Chef’s Knife$30 – $40Link to Amazon
Mercer Culinary Renaissance Chef’s Knife (my top pick)$40 – $50Link to Amazon
Mercer Culinary Genesis Chef’s Knife$30 – $40Link to Amazon
Victorinox Rosewood Chef’s Knife (most stylish)$40 – $50Link to Amazon
Mad Shark Pro Kitchen Knife$20 – $30Link to Amazon

You may also want to invest in some maintenance tools for your knife to keep it well-honed and sharp, so if you’re interested in that then scroll to the bottom of the article.

Dalstrong Gladiator Series 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

My Top Pick
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Dalstrong Gladiator Series 8-Inch Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeX50CrMoV15 (German steel that’s ideal for durability)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 56-58
Factory edge15 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialG10 (fiberglass laminate)
ProsDurable and low price

Dalstrong are quite new to the knife scene. They use quality materials, but because they are a Chinese company the manufacturing costs are kept low these savings are passed onto the customer.

What results is a brilliant range of both German and Japanese influenced knives, using genuine German and Japanese materials, but for a very low price.

For their Western-style Gladiator range, Dalstrong use to same X50CrMoV15 steel as many of the high-quality western-style knife producers, known for its durability you can easily pay more than $150 for a forged steel knife using X50CrMoV15 from one of the larger German brands.

It has a full bolster and is full tang into the triple riveted handle. The handle is made from G10, a fiberglass laminate.

It has the perfect combination of being extremely lightweight and very tough. It will be able to withstand any of the standard pressure of a kitchen.

If you’re ever looking for a really good value knife, Dalstrong is a great brand to look at.

They’re not the genuine article in regard to having truly German or Japanese heritage within the company, but the materials they use are just as good as those most historical brands, and their knives are often around half the cost.

Zelite Infinity Comfort-Pro Series

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Zelite Infinity Comfort-Pro Series Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeX50CrMoV15 (German steel that’s ideal for durability)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 56
Factory edge15-18 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialThermoplastic
ProsGreat materials and comfortable

Zelite produce their knives in China but used imported German and Japanese steels, what you end up with is a quality product for a very low price.

Their Comfort Pro series is no different, the quality is there but you’re able to get their fantastic 8-inch chef’s knife from this range for under $50, an absolute bargain in my opinion.

The blade is made from X50CrMoV15 a German steel specifically designed for durability. As a result, the blade of this knife is both durable and strong, with a razor-sharp edge.

The blade itself has a decent width, personally I’d like something just a touch wider but that is all up to individual preference. The blade is well curved allowing for a good rock chopping motion when using the knife.

The handle is full tang and has been specifically designed with ergonomics in mind to create a unique and extremely comfortable handle. There is a lovely sweeping bolster on the knife that shouts out quality and it’s very easy to choke the blade using your index finger and thumb for extra control.

The handle is also very comfortable to hold with your whole hand and it is the most comfortable handle of all on this list.

It’s a fantastic knife and the only drawbacks for me are the slightly narrow width and the slightly smaller heel. But for under $50 you really do get a top-quality product for your money.

J.A. Henckels International Statement Chef’s Knife

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J.A. Henckels International Statement Chef’s Knife Review Table

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

J.A. Henckels is another giant in the knife manufacting world.

This is a simple 8-inch knife in design but it hits all the right spots for what we want from a good chef’s knife, and it’s one of the lowest-priced knives on this list.

The reason they can offer this very well designed knife at such a reasonable price is that unlike much other quality chef’s knives which are made from forged steel, this knife is made from stamped steel. Forged steel knives are made from one single piece of steel which is hammered into shape. Stamped knives are cut from a single sheet of steel, a little bit like a cookie-cutter would do.

Forged knives are generally regarded as higher quality as they have more strength; however, the benefit of stamped steel is that it is lighter in weight and of course lighter on the wallet.

This knife has been shaped so well that I think the stamped steel blade is a fair compromise for the great price.

The blade is ideally curved and wide, making it perfect for choking the blade with your index finger and thumb and rock chopping herbs and vegetables with ease.

There is a good long heel that leaves plenty of room for your knuckles and the handle has been well designed to be comfortable over long periods of use. There is no bolster which is typical of stamped steel blades.

This is a very well-designed knife. Yes, it’s made from stamped steel and not forged but the steel used is of high stainless quality and the overall design of the knife is ideal for everything a chef’s knife needs to do.

For the price they are selling it at, this J.A. Henckels International Statement Chef’s Knife is a terrific choice for the value-conscious cook who still wants a good product.

Mercer Culinary Renaissance Chef’s Knife

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Mercer Culinary Renaissance Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureTaiwan
Steel typeX50CrMoV15 (German steel that’s ideal for durability)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 56-58
Factory edge15 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPOM (thermoplastic)
ProsDurable and low price

Mercer aren’t a company steeped in history, but the benefit they do have is they produce their knives at a low cost in Taiwan using good quality materials, mixed with good design, to create knives that are up to half the cost of knives using the same materials but produced in Europe.

I’m a fan of Mercer knives and I’ve seen them become slowly more popular because people are genuinely surprised by the quality they offer at such a low price.

The blade used forged X50CrMoV15 steel with a half bolster, going full tang into the triple riveted handle. It’s a material and design more commonly seen in knife two to three times the price.

The handle is POM, a trusty thermoplastic often used for kitchen knife handles because it’s extremely durable and resistant to most temperature and moisture fluctuations.

It’s a super knife and the fact that it’s the lowest priced item on this list certainly doesn’t make it any less worthy.

Mercer use great materials and classic design for their Renaissance range and I don’t think you could be disappointed with this knife.

Mercer Culinary Genesis Chef’s Knife

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Mercer Culinary Genesis Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureTaiwan
Steel typeX50CrMoV15 (German steel that’s ideal for durability)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 56-58
Factory edge15 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialSantoprene (thermoplastic)
ProsDurable and low price

This is the second Mercer product on my list and it comes at an even lower price than my previous entry, but still with the high-quality design and use of materials that you would expect from a Mercer knife.

The steel for this 8-inch knife is made using a German high carbon steel called x50CrMoV15. It’s a steel commonly used to make quality german knives and known for its durability and resistance to rust. This is thanks to its high Chromium content of 15%, which is the element used to qualify steel as stainless steel due to the rust resistance Chromium adds to iron, the element in steel knives which rusts when in contact with water and oxygen.

The blade of the knife is well curved so rock chopping with this knife is easy. Like the previous Mercer knife in this list, the cutting edge has a 15-degree angle which is extremely sharp for a western-style chef’s knife.

The knife has a full tang that runs into the handle, also encompassing a half bolster. The handle is very simple in design and made using a thermoplastic material with elastic properties. This makes it ultra-durable but also increases the grip of the handles making it particularly comfortable to hold and reducing the risk of slippages.

There is a well-sized heel to give plenty of room for your knuckles and the knife blade is wide, allowing for you to easily choke the blade using your index finger and thumb.

Overall this is another great knife that hits all the right sports for what we want to see in good chef’s knife design. It’s available for a great price and is one of the lowest-priced knives on this list whilst still having all of the key features you need.

Victorinox Rosewood Chef’s Knife

Most Stylish
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Victorinox Rosewood Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureSwitzerland
Steel typeX50CrMoV15 (German steel that’s ideal for durability)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 56
Factory edge15 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialRosewood
ProsDurable and attractive

I thought it was about time to bring something a bit different to this list, something a bit stylish!

Victorinox is a knife manufacturer from Switzerland, in fact, they manufacture a whole host of things from travel gear to fragrances but they started way back in 1884 making Swiss army knives so they have a pretty good pedigree in knife making.

They make some very attractive knives too. They actually make a very good chef’s knife from their Fibrox range which is cheaper than this one but I don’t think it looks anywhere near as good and this rosewood model is still under $50. But if you don’t care about the aesthetic then I’d recommend taking a look at it on Amazon here, both have the same cutting edge. 

The 8-inch blade is made from stainless steel and has been shaped perfectly for a chef’s knife. The curve of the cutting edge is ideal for rock chopping herbs and vegetables.

The blade is made from stamped steel so it doesn’t have a bolster. Stamped steel is more lightweight than forged steel but it is not as hard, so there’s a bit of a trade-off there. As stamped steel blades go, Victorinox is a top manufacturer so their stamped blade is very good and for under $50 I still think it’s good value for money.

The main benefit of this knife is the beautiful rosewood handle, made in a classic style it really lifts this knife out of the ordinary and into a bit of a showpiece, which is pretty hard to attain for a knife under $50.

The handle is triple-riveted for extra strength and gives off an extra look of reliability. There is a good-sized heel and the width of the blade is perfect for choosing the blade with your index finger and thumb to give more control when rock chopping.

Overall this is a beautifully designed blade, the proportions are ideal and the handle is stunning. The only drawback is the stamped steel blade as forged steel is generally considered better, but for such an attractive knife, from a reputable manufacturer which does tick most of the boxes you want from a chef’s knife, I think it’s a great choice for under $50.

Mad Shark Pro Kitchen Knife

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Mad Shark Pro Kitchen Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Rockwell hardnessHRC 56
Factory edge15 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPolypropylene (thermoplastic)
ProsNice design and super low price

Last but certainly not least is this very nicely designed chef’s knife by Mad Shark.

Mad Shark produces a range of kitchen knives taking a slightly modern twist on classic designs. They all have that nice bulky feel, really giving you something to get hold of. Some people prefer the more lightweight a delicate knife but there is always something satisfying about a knife which is a bit more chunky.

The 8-inch blade steel is made from a German stainless steel, making it both strong and durable whilst being very rust-resistant. The blade edge has a pronounced curve which is ideal for rock chopping herbs and vegetables. The blade is forged and includes a full bolster with a full tang. This provides a very strong knife and the blade flows beautifully into the sleek handle where the classic and modern inspiration is clear.

The polymer handle clearly takes its design from Japanese knives. It’s black in color with a cylindrical tapered shape much like many Japanese knives, although it is not dead straight like traditional Japanese knives and there is a slight bend to the handle. It’s a clever style as it means that no single part of the handle can dig into your hand even during prolonged use of the knife.

The comfortable handle combined with the curved edge and nice wide blade makes it very comfortable to rock chop using the blade choking technique of holding the blade with your index finger and thumb.

This is a well-designed knife that provides a bit more bulk than the others on this list. It is the only one with a full bolster and is perfect for those who like to feel the weight of the knife in their hand, and it’s still well under $50!

Parts of a chef’s knife

Bolster

The thick piece of metal connecting the blade and handle

Heel

The length between the handle and blade edge

Length

Knives are measured by the length of the blade only. An 8-inch knife has an 8-inch blade.

Tip

The sharp end of the blade

Edge

The cutting edge of the blade

Spine

The back of the blade. Sometimes this is slightly sharpened to use for descaling fish.

Caring for your chef’s knife on a budget

It doesn’t matter whether you buy a $25 knife or a $250 knife, you do need to make sure that you care for your knife properly if you really want to get your full use out of it.

The knives I’ve listed above could easily last for decades and have a razor-sharp edge if you make sure to maintain them well.

I know it seems counterintuitive to get extra sharpening equipment for a relatively inexpensive knife but it will make them last 10x longer, and I’m going to purposefully list a couple of really budget-friendly maintenance tools that will do the job.

One thing to mention before we look at the tools, there is a distinct difference between honing a sharpening. I go into detail in this article but as a quick summary.

  • Honing – Reallingins a blade. Needs to be done often with a material of equal strength to the blade i.e. use a steel honing rod for a steel knife.
  • Sharpening – Removes material from the blade to unveil a fresh layer. Needs to be done infrequently with a material stronger than the blade i.e. use ceramic or diamond sharpeners for steel knives.

Honing steel under $10

The Zulay Knife Honing Steel is 12 inches and will do a fine job of keeping your knife well-honed. I recommend you hone your knife at least every three uses if you want to keep it in top shape.

The Zulay is really inexpensive and you can take a look at it on Amazon here.

Sharpening rod under $25

I would recommend you use a ceramic sharpening rod to sharpen steel knives. You can get diamond-encrusted ones but I think they can be too abrasive and if you don’t start at the correct angle you can end up damaging your knife, ceramic rods are much more gentle.

This 12-inch ceramic rod by Shenzhen will do a good job of keeping your knife sharp. As a word of warning, ceramic is very hard but it’s also brittle, some take care of this tool and store it somewhere it won’t be bashed around and don’t drop it!

You can take a look at it on Amazon here.

A final note about maintenance

If you make sure to take proper care of your knife then it will last a very long time and you will be able to keep a razor-sharp edge. You should hone your knife after at least every three uses. If you keep to that schedule you should only need to sharpen it every 6 – 12 months in order to keep that razor-sharp finish.

All the knives I’ve mentioned are great knives for their price. Which one is right for you is really up to your own personal preference, that’s why I tried to show a range of knives with slightly different designs and shapes whilst keeping in mind what is truly important about a good chef’s knife.

I hope you find this guide useful and it helps you find the right knife for you, which you can treasure for years to come!