Best Chef Knives For Under $300: Which One Would You Pick Up?

A lot of people might think that a high-quality, professional chef knife has to cost upwards of $500.

But that is far from the case.

In fact, there are so many knives out there used by professional chefs that cost below $300.

And these knives come from very well respected brands, too.

But since there are so many different knives and brands in this price range, figuring out which ones are good and which ones aren’t can be difficult.

That’s where we come in.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 7 best chef knives for under $300, and we’ve also included a buying guide for those of you shopping in this range.

So if you’ve been on the hunt for a chef knife but can’t seem to decide which one is best for you, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more.

Best Chef Knives Under $300 – Quick Comparison

Reviews Of The Best Chef Knives For Under $300

1. DALSTRONG Shogun Series X Gyuto

DALSTRONG Chef's Knife - Shogun Series X Gyuto - Damascus -...
  • Chef's Knife Perfection: A Dalstrong culinary revolution combining...
  • Unrivaled Performance: Ruthlessly sharp scalpel like edge is hand...
  • Dalstrong Power: This chef knife features an ultra sharp AUS-10V...

To start things off, we have a knife from the DALSTRONG Shogun Series X.

The knives in this line of the highest quality and this specific Gyuto is excellent proof of why.

It is made of forged Damascus steel with an AUS-10V Super steel core.

This cutting core gives it a Rockwell hardness rating of 62+, which makes it incredibly durable.

The Damascus steel also gives the blade a beautiful look and a razor-sharp edge that won’t need regular sharpening.

The blade is sharpened to an incredibly thin 13-degree angle, so right out of the box, this can slice through paper like it’s butter.

The handle on this is G10, which is a very strong, waterproof, and sanitary material.

It’s also shaped very ergonomically to allow for a comfortable yet firm grip on it.

This knife is also relatively inexpensive, especially compared to other blades with the same features.

Highly recommended for both professional chefs and students.

Pros:

  • Razor-sharp right out of the box
  • Damascus steel
  • AUS-10V super steel core
  • Comfortable handle
  • Full tang

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher friendly

2. Zelite Infinity

Zelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch, Damascus Japanese AUS-10...
  • SEASONED CHEFS AND HOME COOKS WILL NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE IMMEDIATELY...
  • OUR COMPETITORS WILL ADMIT WE ARE NOT THE SAME - Beware of cheaper...
  • HAND SHARPENED AND READY WHEN IT ARRIVES - Search ‘sharp’ in our...

This is another knife made of Damascus steel, so you can expect a beautiful pattern on the blade, a razor-sharp edge, and a very corrosion resistant blade.

This is a Gyuto knife, which is the Japanese equivalent of a chef knife.

It retains most of the dimensions such as an 8-inch blade, but it is sharpened very thinly.

This will allow you to slice through ingredients very precisely.

It’s a perfect knife if you find yourself prepping delicate ingredients such as fish, fruits, and vegetables often.

It has a tapered bolster, which allows you to use the pinch grip.

This grip gives you a lot of control when using it, which can be very important since it is so sharp.

Like other models in this price range, this has a G10 handle.

But another great thing about this is the box that it comes in.

It’s a beautiful box that perfectly showcases the pattern on the blade, making this model a great idea for anyone looking to gift a chef knife to someone special.

Pros:

  • Comes with a gift box
  • Very sharp
  • Well-balanced
  • Damascus steel
  • Hand sharpened to a 12-degree angle

Cons:

  • Requires a fair amount of maintenance

3. KATSU Kiritsuke

KATSU Kiritsuke Chef Knife - Damascus - Japanese Kitchen...
  • Kiritsuke knives are the true multipurpose knives in Japanese cutlery,...
  • A traditional Japanese convex grind (Hamaguri-ba) damascus blade that...
  • Handcrafted octagonal ebony wood handle with buffalo horn bolster is...

Next up, we have a Kiritsuke knife.

A kiritsuke is one of the most versatile knives in the Japanese kitchen.

It measures 8” in length, and it has a different shape than the classic western chef knife a lot of us are familiar with.

This knife is made with Damascus steel and has an incredibly sharp edge.

It has a convex grind which gives it a durable, sharp, and precise edge that’s very easy to sharpen and maintain.

The handle of this is made of ebony wood and the bolster is made of buffalo horn which gives it a very classy look.

If you’re looking for a Kiritsuke for under $300, this might be the best pick on the market today.

It’s easy to maintain, comes from a trusted brand, and is razor-sharp right out fo the box.

There isn’t much more you can ask for.

Pros:

  • Very versatile in the kitchen
  • Razor-sharp right out of the box
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Comfortable handle
  • Come with a wood sheath and gift box

Cons:

  • Not dishwasher friendly

4. Enso

Enso Chef's Knife - Made in Japan - HD Series - VG10...
  • Chef Knife handcrafted in Seki City, Japan; 8 inch blade (13-3/8...
  • Japanese VG10 steel cutting core for excellent edge retention;...
  • 37-layer stainless Damascus blades with hammered (tsuchime) finish

Next up on this list, we have another Gyuto.

It’s a Japanese style knife, so it has a slight curve on the blade that allows you to use a rocking motion when cutting through ingredients.

This knife is made with 37 layers of hammered Damascus steel with a Japanese VG10 core.

This gives it a razor-sharp edge and a lot of durability.

It has a double bevel, which means it is well-balanced and can be used by both right-handed and left-handed chefs, and the blade is sharpened to a 12-degree angle.

The handle features one of Enso’s signatures, a black canvass micarta handle with rivets, which not only feels very comfortable in the hand but also gives it a great classy look.

A great knife for anyone who appreciates a balance of aesthetic and functionality.

Pros:

  • Beautifully designed
  • Full tang
  • Razor-sharp
  • Damascus steel
  • Very durable

Cons:

  • Needs to be hand-washed and dried after every use

5. Miyabi Mizu SG2

Miyabi Mizu SG2 Chef's Knife (9.5-inch)
  • Micro Carbide powder steel SG2 construction; core is surrounded with a...
  • 63 Rockwell hardness; special Criodur ice-hardening process maximizes...
  • Traditional Japanese blade hand-honed to a 9 to 12° angle

Miyabi is a very respected brand in the culinary world, and this is a great example of why.

It has a hammered Damascus construction with Micro carbide powdered steel.

This is a very well constructed knife that is very tough, very sharp, and can do just about whatever kitchen task you decide to throw at it.

It has a micarta D-shape handle, which offers a unique grip that any chef will love.

It also makes for a great knife for precision cutting, along with other kitchen tasks.

If you’re on the hunt for a good-looking, well-built, and razor-sharp knife, this might be the best pick out there for under $300.

Pros:

  • Very sharp
  • Well-constructed
  • Comfortable handle
  • Hand honed to a 12-degree angle
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • The textured finish on the blade may not be for everyone

6.WUSTHOF Classic

WÜSTHOF Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife,Black,8-Inch
  • KITCHEN WORKHORSE – The WÜSTHOF 8” Classic Chef’s Knife is...
  • WÜSTHOF CLASSIC SERIES – The full Tang, Triple Riveted handles of...
  • CHEF’S KNIFE – Features an 8” long blade, 4.5” long handle and...

This is the brand of chef knife that a lot of professionals use.

If you’re looking for a German-style chef knife, then you should definitely have this brand on the top of your list.

This knife is great for Western cuisine and can handle just about any chopping, dicing, or slicing job you can imagine.

It’s full tang and triple-riveted, which gives it a great feel when chopping and a lot of balance.

The handle also has a full-bolster and a finger guard for an added element of safety and comfort when slicing.

This is one of the more expensive models out there, but if you want a very high-quality, premium knife, you have to be ready to invest in one.

Pros:

  • Well constructed
  • Comes from a trusted brand
  • Very sharp
  • Well-balanced
  • Great edge-retention

Cons:

  • May cost more than other models on this list

7. Miyabi Birch

-14% Sale
Miyabi Chef's Knife, 8-Inch, Birch/Stainless Steel
  • G2 micro carbide powder steel
  • Authentic thin Japanese blade profile
  • Hand honed using the three step Honbazuke process to a 9.5 to 12...

This is the most expensive knife on our list, but it is also arguably the most premium.

This knife is made with G2 micro carbide powder steel, which is one of the toughest and most premium materials for knife blades today.

It’s high-quality steel that comes from Japan, and it results in a blade that can hold its edge, be razor-sharp, and be an overall joy to have in the kitchen.

This is a hand-honed knife that is sharpened to a 9.5-degree that results in an incredibly sharp blade.

Professionals from various places have lauded this for being one of the best knives in the market t0day.

It may be expensive, but if you’re willing to invest in an incredibly high-quality knife, it doesn’t get much better than this model.

Pros:

  • Very sharp
  • Premium construction
  • Great design
  • Beautiful handle
  • Hand honed

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive

A Guide To Buying Chef Knives For Under $300

best chef knives under 300

Here are some things to look out for when buying chef knives in this price range.

1. Steel

When shopping within this price range, you’d want to make sure you’re getting a quality product.

And one of the first indicators is the steel used in making the blade.

Ideally, you’d want to get a blade made out of high-carbon stainless steel.

This is a very durable material that is resistant to corrosion and can hold its edge for a long time.

You also want to avoid getting ceramic knives, especially if you’re going to end up chopping a lot of ingredients as they can be brittle and break easily.

2. Handle

One of the key features of a knife is the handle.

A good knife should have a handle that feels good in the hand and allows your fingers to curl naturally and form a secure grip.

That’s why there are many different handle shapes, so make sure to choose one that suits your chopping style.

Before buying a knife, you should also make sure the materials used in making the handle are high quality.

In this range, you should make sure that you have either laminated wood or a G10 handle.

Santoprene handles are fine but don’t have the same premium characteristics as wooden or G10 handles.

3. Construction

If you plan on investing money in a chef knife, you have to make sure it has a forged construction.

This is the technique used by blade makers for centuries on end and has stood the test of time.

Stamped blades may be cost-effective and functional, but they lack the sharpness, durability, and quality of forged blades.

A good chef knife is one that can last you years on end without becoming worn out, and forged blades allow the knives to do that.

This is also where you can figure out if your knife is sharp enough.

Ideally, you want your knife to come out of the box sharpened to a 13-20 degree angle.

4. Bevel

The bevel or the edge of it can make a huge difference for chefs in the kitchen.

A double-beveled knife is one that is ground on both sides.

This gives a slightly more durable construction and allows you to cut through heavier ingredients with ease.

These knives can also be used by either left-handed or right-handed chefs.

Singe-bevel knives on the other hand are much sharper, thinner, and are only sharpened on one side.

This is the kind of edge you’ll find on Japanese chef knives and it allows you to cut thinner and more precisely.

However, these knives are either only right-handed or left-handed, and leftie knives might end up costing you more money.

So make sure to put that into consideration before buying a high-quality chef knife.

FAQ’s

1. What Brand Of Knives Do Professional Chefs Prefer?

There are a lot of brands out there, and each chef will have their own preference, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any brands that stand out.

In the culinary world, the Shun, WUSTHOF, Henckels, Miaybi, Global, and MAC.

2. What Are The Top Rated Chef Knives?

In the current world of chef knives, the top chef knives tend to be either German or Japanese made.

These are knives that come from premium brands like Shun, WUSTHOF, and Heckels.

Professionals like Gordon Ramsay are commonly seen using the WUSTHOF brand because their knives are so reliable.

3. Are German Or Japanese Knives Better?

This will depend on your needs in the kitchen and your cutting style.

A German-style chef knife will be a bit thicker, heavier, and will have a double bevel.

This is great if you’re going to be doing a lot of heavy cutting jobs and kitchen prep.

On the other hand, Japanese style chef knives are thinner, lighter, sharper, and are single-beveled.

This allows you to cut through small ingredients easier, and also have more precise cuts.

Ideal if you’ll find your self working with fish, sushi, and other smaller ingredients that require precision.

However, you have to make sure you have a right-handed knife if you’re right-handed, and a left-handed knife if you’re left-handed.

4. Are Expensive Knives Worth It?

Generally, expensive knives are well worth the investment.

They are sharp, last you a long time, and can really help up your productivity in the kitchen.

However, expensive knives may not be practical for beginners and home cooks, and there’s nothing wrong with starting out with a budget chef knife.

There are a lot of them out there that can easily compete with more expensive models.

5. How Much Should I Spend On A Chef Knife?

This depends on what you want.

If you want a premium chef knife for professionals, be ready to see prices in the hundreds, with some knives costing up to $1000.

However, if all you need is a reliable kitchen knife and you don’t want to bust the bank, you can find high-quality chef knives in the $150-$300 range.

In fact, there are a lot of quality knives out there that don’t even crack the $100 mark, all you have to do is know where to look.

Conclusion

A good chef knife is one that you feel comfortable using.

If you’ve been on the hunt for a chef knife, you’ve probably gotten stuck looking at countless different blades at the same time, not knowing which one to choose.

And it can get hard, especially with the wide range of options available at the click of a button.

But with this list, you can narrow down the choices and really look into the details to see which knife suits your needs the best.

And before you know it, you’ll be slicing, dicing, and chopping away in the kitchen with a brand new chef knife!

Further reading:

12 Pro Techniques Every Serious Home Cook Should Know

Recipes from Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro