The 7 Best Chef’s Knives Under $50 | Updated for 2023

Top-end chef’s knives can easily cost more than $150, but what about those of us who are looking for a bit more value? 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?

I’ve tried and tested some fantastic chef’s knives, which all cost less than $50. Here are my top picks.

Best chef’s knives under $50 – At a glance

There are plenty of other options too which I’ll list below. So for more detail take a look through the full reviews below.

My #1 Recommended Chef’s Knife Under $50

My favorite chef’s knife under $50 is the Mercer Culinary Renaissance.It’s a very well-built forged knife using materials usually found in knives triple the price. I personally use it almost every day and it easily competes with brands double and triple the price.

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Other Great Chef’s Knives Under $50

These aren’t my absolute favorite chef’s knives, but if you’re looking for something a bit different or super inexpensive, they are all really good options.

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
Mercer Culinary Genesis Chef’s Knife$30 – $40Link 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.

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 uses 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.

Victorinox Fibrox Chef’s Knife

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Victorinox Fibrox Pro 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 materialTPE (thermoplastic)
ProsDurable and lightweight

If you’re on a budget but still looking for quality then Victorinox are an excellent choice.

Victorinox are a Swiss company founded in 1884. They are the original makers of the world-famous Swiss Army Knife, so they know a thing or two about making sharp blades.

Once again the steel used for this knife is X50CrMoV15, which means it’s strong enough to have a reasonably sharp edge with good edge retention and its 15% Chromium content will prevent it from rusting.

This blade is made using stamped steel, which significantly reduces the cost but means it’s more suitable for home cooks than professionals as stamped blades tend to be less durable than forged.

Since the steel is stamped there is no bolster. The handle is made from a thermoplastic elastomer, making it comfortable and very resistant to moisture and temperature fluctuations.

It’s a lightweight knife, as stamped blades often are and there is a nice curve to the blade edge for rock chopping.

Overall it’s a quality knife for the price, manufactured by a historic producer of knives. It uses great base materials but thanks to the lower production cost it’s affordable even for people a tight budget.

J.A. Henckels International Twin Pollux Chef’s Knife

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J.A. Henckels International Twin Pollux Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureGermany
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 manufacturing world.

This is a simple 8-inch knife in design that has been made for those who prefer straight downwards slicing rather than the rock chopping technique.

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.

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.

Dalstrong Gladiator Series 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

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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.

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.

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!

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.