All kitchens need a good-quality chef’s knife. It’s the most practical tool for preparing ingredients. Since you’ll use your chef’s knife more than any other knife, from slicing to mincing to deboning meat, you’d want to make sure that it can handle the job.
While there are many options in the market, investing in a good-quality kitchen knife doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You can get a decent chef’s knife for around or less than $100. With many options in this price range, it can be hard to pick one. This article will help you on finding the most suitable chef’s knife.
Why a chef’s knife?
Most kitchen knives are designed with a specific purpose in mind. Take a paring knife as an example. It has the right blade size and thickness for peeling and slicing vegetables and fruits. The same goes for serrated knives – which are used for cutting bread.
A chef’s knife is all you need for an all-purpose tool. You can use it to slice, chop, and break down large ingredients like a whole chicken into pieces or disjoint any other large cuts of meats. With so many uses, a chef’s knife is a must in every kitchen.
Product recommendations for chef’s knife under $100
We want to get the most out of your money when buying a chef’s knife like every other item. With chef’s knives, however, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Every cook has their own preferences, and one chef’s knife that fits you may not suit another person.
With that in mind, it’s better to understand your needs. Consider what you demand from a chef’s knife to find the best one for you – more on that down below.
HDMD Serbian Chef’s Knife – $79.00
The Serbian chef’s knife features a 3.7-inch blade width that makes it excellent for cutting soft bones and meat. Don’t let its size make you think otherwise; it’s suitable for everyday cutting needs like chopping onions, slicing apples, or other fruit and vegetables.
The Serbian chef’s knife stands out with its durability. The hardened high carbon steel enables it to keep an edge for a very long time, narrowing the time frame you need to sharpen it. It’s a great choice for cooks looking for something a little extra in their chef’s knives.
Main features of HDMD Serbian chef’s knife
HDMD Serbian chef’s knife is made to use for everything. It’s an all-purpose chef’s knife you can use to chop, slice, debone, and work with fishes.
The slightly curved blade allows for turning ingredients into smaller pieces effortlessly, and the pointy tip helps make incisions. You can also utilize the blade to crush ingredients that don’t need cutting without any other tool.
HDMD Serbian chef’s knife advantages
- Made to last and with reasonable care, it will perform as it was brand new every day.
- Lengthy handle (4.7-inches) allows for a comfortable yet firm grip when cutting.
- The extreme sharpness and the blade’s weight aid in slicing. You won’t have issues slicing through relatively hard ingredients like chicken bones and fish.
- The 0.3cm blade thickness allows for making delicate, thin cuts.
- 100 percent handmade.
HDMD Serbian chef’s knife disadvantages
- It’s prone to chip if used for dense ingredients like large bones or frozen food.
- Peeling fruits and vegetables poses a challenge due to the blade size. Matching it with a paring knife to prep vegetables and fruits is highly recommended.
- Due to the high-carbon steel, the blade demands a little more care from its user, like applying food-grade mineral oil every now and then.
- Weighing at 331 grams, some may find it a bit too heavy, but this is also an advantage, depending on what you’re cutting, as the weight will assist in cutting.
HDMD Hand Forged Chef’s Knife – $79.00
The HDMD Hand Forged chef’s knife is the ultimate choice for those looking to get everything from their chef’s knife. The large blade allows it to be used as a cleaver to cut through large pieces of meat and everyday veggies.
Despite the size of the blade, you can use it to chop, slice, and mince ingredients easily as it has a noticeable curvature. This feature comes in handy when preparing ingredients for family gatherings. Need to chop a basket full of tomatoes? No problems. You can get it done fast and effortlessly.
The artisan blacksmith hammering technique that goes into the making of the HDMD Hand Forged chef’s knife gives a superb edge-retention that won’t wear down even after a substantial amount of use.
Main features of HDMD Hand Forged chef’s knife
The HDMD Hand Forged chef’s knife is an all-purpose chef’s knife that is designed to be used for all intentions. As long as you have something to cut, it will do the job.
It features a high-carbon steel blade that is heat-treated and hardened to ensure that it lasts for many years to come. The western handle made from black pakkawood delivers a safe, firm grip so that every cut is precise and easy to control.
HDMD Hand Forged chef’s knife advantages
- The blade is highly durable and resists chipping and cracking when cut through meat and soft bones.
- The 353 grams of total weight helps cut, especially good at preparing a large amount of food in chopping motion.
- The blade retains its sharpness for a very long time as if it was new. You’ll need to use it for prolonged periods before it requires sharpening again.
- It’s versatile and suitable for every cook, whether home or pro.
HDMD Hand Forged chef’s knife disadvantages
- You can’t let it stay in the sink for extended periods or clean it in the dishwasher. It must be hand-washed and dried thoroughly before storing, or oxidation may occur.
- Due to the shape of the blade, you may find honing an exhausting task, but thanks to its fantastic edge-retention, you won’t need to do it as often compared to other kitchen knives.
Top brands to consider
- HDMD Knives: HDMD Knives specialize in manufacturing handmade high-carbon steel kitchen knives designed to last long at an affordable price.
- Misen: Misen is a well-known brand that manufactures knives and cookware. They have great-functioning 8-inch chef’s knives that suit most cooks.
- Wusthof: Wusthof is a German knife manufacturer with ergonomically designed chef’s knives.
- Shun: Shun is a knife manufacturer that makes handmade Japanese knives. Although most of their products sell for over $100, some are sold for around this range.
- Global Knives: Known for their unique handle designs, Global Knives is yet another recognized brand selling chef’s knives with different lengths and sizes.
- Zwilling: Zwilling is one of the oldest knife manufacturers globally, specializing in German-style chef’s knives. They also sell different kinds of cookware.
Buyer’s guide for chef’s knives
If you can’t quite decide on what chef’s knife to buy, this part of our article can guide you on making the right decision.
Uses of a chef’s knife
A chef’s knife is used for pretty much everything. As long as it involves cutting, your chef’s knife should be able to get the job done. Here are some of the common uses of a chef’s knife.
The above list is just a representation of what you can do with a chef’s knife, but it’s certainly not limited to these. After all, it’s the chef’s knife. If a chef’s knife can’t do everything, it’s an underperforming one.
Make sure to purchase a chef’s knife that can do everything so that you don’t wander off to look for another tool except for some specific situations like peeling tiny fruits and vegetables.
Chef’s knife vs. utility knife
Utility knives and chef’s knives are compared often. Having both is better, of course, but if you’re looking for something to use in almost everything, a chef’s knife is going to be a better choice, especially one that comes with a blade design like the Serbian chef’s knife we have in our stores.
A utility knife’s blade only allows for slicing ingredients in different ways, whereas you can do these with a chef’s knife but also demand other things, like crushing, cutting through bones, and other heavy-duty tasks.
Chef’s knives are a lot sturdier and compared to the uses of utility knives, most tend to get more out of them. That’s why we recommend choosing a chef’s knife over a utility knife. Once again, having both is better and will make you a lot more productive in the kitchen.
Things to consider before buying a chef’s knife
The chef’s knife you purchase should be able to handle most of your cutting needs – if not all. Considering you’ll cut the majority of the ingredients using your chef’s knife, it needs to be sturdy and have a great edge-retention so that you don’t sharpen or hone it after using it for a few hours. Here are a few key points to consider before buying a chef’s knife.
- Care: Some knives require more maintenance than others. If caring for a knife is something that sounds too much for you, look for one that requires minimal upkeep.
- Your other knives: Take a look at your kitchen knives. If you have different kinds of knives that serve different purposes, that’s great! You may not need an all-purpose chef’s knife that can do everything. In that case, you have more to sacrifice in what you look for a chef’s knife.
- Sharpening: When you open the packaging, all chef’s knives, even the $10 ones, will have an extremely sharp edge. However, it will wear down over time; how fast this happens and how easy it is to sharpen it will mean a lot. The steel’s hardness and content are critical indicators for this. Look for hard steels with high carbon content so that you don’t need sharpening as often.
- Comfortability: Before you purchase a fancy Japanese knife with an octagon handle, see if it’s comfortable for you in the first place. Most of us are used to western handles, and picking up a Japanese knife with a wa-handle doesn’t feel as comfy, making it difficult to grip.
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The bottom line is you don’t need to spend a lot on a chef’s knife to have it competently performing. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, around $100 is a pretty good range for a good-quality kitchen knife. With enough care, frequent sharpening and honing, you’ll have a blade that doesn’t sweat you out for a very long time.