Best Chef Knives For Under $50: Which Is The Best Budget Chef Knife?

* This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure here.*

A chef knife is one of the first investments people make in their culinary journey.

And while a lot of professional chefs sport really expensive thousand-dollar knives, you don’t have to bust the bank to get a high-quality one.

In this article, we’ll be looking at knives that fall under the $50 mark.

These knives are very affordable and can do a whole lot in the kitchen.

And while there are a lot of cheap knives out there that perform well, we’ll only be looking at the best ones in this article.

The knives featured on this list are great for beginners and home cooks as they are razor-sharp, have a great build, and are very affordable.

So If you’ve been searching for the best chef knife under $50, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more.

Best Chef Knives Under $50 – Quick Comparison

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A Guide To Buying A Chef Knife For Under $50

best chef knives under 50

1. The Blade

One of the first things you need to make sure of when buying a budget chef knife is the blade.

One of the best materials is high-carbon stainless steel.

This is a very tough steel that can be sharpened very finely and retain its edge for a long time.

Typically, a chef knife will be sharpened to an edge of 15-30 degrees, depending on the style used in making it.

Sometimes, it won’t be that sharp right out of the box, and if you aren’t experienced with a whetstone, we highly recommend you get it sharpened professionally before use.

2. Handle

After you have found a good blade, you have to make sure the handle is well-made.

In this price range, you’ll probably find a lot of knives with a Santropene or wooden handle.

More premium knives will have G10 handles or higher quality wood.

Santoprene handles are very low maintenance, sanitary, and fit in your hand very nicely.

Wooden handles have a similar feeling in the hands but offer a more rustic look.

3. Size

A lot of professional chefs can be found with chef knives that are up to 12” in length.

While this is great in a hot kitchen, it may not be ideal for home cooks and beginners.

We recommend home cooks and beginner chefs to get smaller, 8”-10” chef knives for them to get a proper feel of using a chef knife before moving on to larger blades.

Those with smaller hands should also get smaller blades as they can control them better.

A good rule of thumb to follow is that the blade should be as long as the chef’s forearm.

4. Feel

Lastly, you have to be comfortable holding your knife.

That way you can work faster, more efficiently, and with more safety.

And the only way to figure out if something feels right is to hold it in your hands.

If you get the opportunity before buying, try holding it and going through your regular cutting motions.

A good one should feel natural in your hands, and you also have to feel like you have a good sense of control over your knife when cutting.

Reviews Of The Best Chef Knives For Under $300

1. Imarku Professional (Editor’s Choice)

-32% Sale
imarku Chef Knife - Pro Kitchen Knife 8 Inch Chef's Knives...
  • High-carbon stainless steel blade-It is manufactured from high-quality...
  • Multi-functional knife-The gyutou knife is classified and designed to...
  • Ergonomic pakka handle-To make it more professional and minimize any...

Imarku is well-known as one of the best budget brands for cutlery.

This particular model has a high-carbon stainless steel blade that’s around 0.70% carbon.

This is great because most knives in this range only have around 0.30% carbon.

It is a Gyotu, which is the Japanese version of a chef knife.

It shares the same measurements, but it tends to have a thinner and sharper edge.

Its handle is made of Pakka, which is a premium material that’s nice to see on a budget option like this.

Using it in the kitchen can be really fun as it has a great balance and a very sharp edge.

Would make a great addition to any home cook’s kitchen.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9.5/10
  • Handling: 9.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 9/10


  • Very affordable
  • Made of high-carbon stainless steel
  • Full tang
  • Comfortable handle


  • May need to be sharpened regularly

Other great collections:

2. Cultuxe (2nd Runner-up)

-20% Sale
CUTLUXE Chef Knife – 8" Chopping Knife – Forged High...
  • UNPARALLELED PERFORMANCE – Perfectly balanced multipurpose 8 inch...
  • PREMIUM GERMAN STEEL – Precisely forged of high-carbon German steel...
  • FULL TANG ERGONOMIC DESIGN - Luxury pakkawood handle that is...

Next up on our list is an 8-inch blade with a very classy and elegant design.

The size gives you a lot of flexibility.

You can use it to slice meat, chop vegetables, and dice fruits with it easily.

It is a forged one, which is a surprising thing to find in this price range and is made of high-carbon German stainless steel.

The blade has a Rockwell hardness rating of 56+ which may not be the hardest, but that’s to be expected in this price range.

It has a beautiful black handle made of Pakkawood which gives cooks a very comfortable grip when cutting.

On top of that, it also has a full-tang construction, which means the blade runs through the entire knife, giving you exceptional balance when cutting through ingredients.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9/10
  • Handling: 9/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10


  • Forged construction
  • Made from high-carbon German stainless steel
  • Comfortable Pakkawood handle
  • Sharpened to an incredibly share 14-degree angle
  • The laminated handle is sanitary


  • Doesn’t hold its edge very long

3. Mercer Culinary Millennia (Best for Slip Resistance)

Mercer Culinary, Blue Millennia Chef's Knife, 8 Inch, 8-Inch
  • ergonomic handle – a combination of santoprene for comfort and...
  • textured finger points provide slip resistance, grip, and safety....
  • hand wash knives for blade edge and surface care

Mercer Culinary isn’t the most well-known brand outside the culinary world, but they are a great brand to go to if you’re looking for a quality blade on a budget.

It has a Santropene handle, which is largely considered a budget material, but it makes for a very comfortable grip.

The handle is also very durable and sanitary, and when paired with a Japanese stainless steel blade, you have a quality product.

It isn’t the most premium model out there, but it’s still one of the best you can find in this price range.

It’s full-tang, so you will get a great balance out of it, which can help a lot if you’re just starting in the culinary world.

It would be great as your go-to choice.

It’s affordable, has a good balance, and has a sharp blade.

If you don’t have a high-quality chef knife in your kitchen yet, this can be a great choice if you don’t want to bust the bank.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9/10
  • Handling: 9.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8/10


  • Very affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Sharp blade right out of the box
  • Comfortable and safe handle
  • Slip-resistant


  • Not recommended for professional use

4. PAUDIN (Best Design)

Chef Knife - PAUDIN N1 8 inch Kitchen Knife, German High...
  • 【Professional Chef's Knife】: This kitchen knife is suitable for...
  • 【Multi-Functional Chef Knife】: This 8 inch chef knife can easily...
  • 【Ultra Sharp Knife】: Sharpness is the most important feature for a...

This might be one of the best budget knives for those who are looking for an elegant aesthetic with their chef knives.

This one has a beautiful design with a classy handle that feels very comfortable in the hand.

It is made with German stainless steel and the blade has a Rockwell hardness rating of 58+, which is close to that of knives in a more expensive price range.

You can use it for just about any prep job in the kitchen.

It can really make a huge difference in your workflow, especially if you tend to cook for a lot of people and need to do a bunch of prep.

It’s an 8” chef knife with a very thin blade, which allows you to do more intricate cutting jobs like slicing fish and sushi.

It has a great look and is very functional, which you won’t come across too often in this price range.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 8.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10


  • Well-designed
  • Comfortable handle
  • Sharp blade
  • Full-tang
  • Affordable


  • Not the most durable knife out there

5. MOSFiATA (Budget Choice)

MOSFiATA 8" Super Sharp Professional Chef's Knife with...
  • 【8 Inch Chef's Knife】: This MOSFiATA 8 Inch Chef Knife is made of...
  • 【Sharp Edge & 14~16° Sharpening Angle】: Sharpness is key....
  • 【Sturdy Design & Micarta Handle】: The solid Micarta handle...

If you ask any connoisseur out there where to look for a good budget chef knife, they’ll probably tell you to check out MOSFiATA.

This is the one that a lot of professionals start with because of how functional it is relative to the price.

And if you enjoy the look of a Damascus pattern but can’t afford a Damascus chef knife at the moment, then this will be a good choice for you.

This would make a great gift to a home cook or a culinary student.

It comes with a gift box and a sharpener, both of which could help a person out when it comes to the storage and maintenance of their knives.

The edge on this blade is very sharp and the handle feels comfortable in the hands.

There isn’t too much to complain about when it comes to this brand.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 9/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10


  • Affordable
  • Great design
  • Sharp blade
  • Comes with a sharpener and gift box


  • Only has an artificial Damascus print

6. Mercer Culinary Genesis (Best for Western Style)

Mercer Culinary Genesis, 8-Inch Short Bolster Chef's Knife
  • Santoprene handle for comfort and safe grip, NSF certified
  • High carbon forged steel from Soligen, Germany. Stain-resistant x50 Cr...
  • Taper-ground edge allows for added stability, easy honing, long...

If you’re looking for something with a classic aesthetic, this may just be it.

It has a beautiful black handle made of Santropene that gives it a very traditional look.

It’s a forged one made of German stainless steel, so it will have better edge retention than other models you might find on this list.

It is also very sharp right out of the box, which is great for beginners who want to use it right away.

It’s a full tang model with a bolster to give you a whole lot of balance when cutting.

Even those who aren’t experienced with chef knives will have a great time using this blade.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 9/10
  • Handling: 8/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10


  • Classic look
  • Well-balanced
  • Forged blade
  • Full tang
  • Made of German stainless steel


  • Not the most premium knife out there

7. Victorinox Fibrox Pro (Best for Home Kitchens)

-30% Sale
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's
  • For home chefs & professionals. This Fibro Pro chef's knife has been...
  • Fit for all tasks. Designed to handle kitchen tasks both big and...
  • Easy handling. Each knife features an ergonomic handle made from...

Capping off our list is arguably one of the best chef knives for home cooks.

It’s easy to use, has a great feel to it, is incredibly sharp right out of the box, and it’s dishwasher friendly.

The quality of it is definitely not for a professional kitchen, but rest assured that it will stand out at home.

Beginner cooks stand by it because of how well designed it is and how the learning curve isn’t that steep with it.

This one can handle chopping, mincing, dicing, and slicing with ease, which is why it’s one of the best chef knives for under $50 on the market today.

Our scores:

  • Sharpness: 8.5/10
  • Handling: 8.5/10
  • Ease of maintenance: 9/10


  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Well-designed
  • Dishwasher friendly


  • Not suitable for professional chefs


1. What Is The Best Affordable Chef Knife?

There are a lot of great affordable knives out there, but our favorite is the Victorinox Fibrox.

We chose this because this is one of the best chef knives that a home cook can have.

It’s well balanced, very sharp, easy to use, and low-maintenance.

Though it should be mentioned that it probably won’t be the best for a professional kitchen.

2. Are Expensive Knives Worth It?

Generally speaking, expensive knives are of very high quality.

They are sharp, ergonomic, and designed to be workhorses in the kitchen.

However, for a lot of beginners and home cooks, it might be impractical to invest in a $600 blade right away.

3. What Knives Should Every Kitchen Have?

The general rule is that there are only three essential kitchen knives.

A chef knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife.

With these three blades, you’ll be able to do just about any kitchen prep job you can think of.

4. Do Chefs Bring Their Own Knives?

In professional kitchens, a chef will bring their own knife.

A set of knives is considered to be the most personal and important tool for a chef.

That is why they each have their own very specific collection that they take care of and maintain themselves, and they usually won’t let other people use that set.

5. Which One Is Best For Cutting Meat?

This depends on what type of meat you’re cutting.

But you’re generally going to want to have a sturdy and very sharp knife to cut meat like a cleaver or a large chef knife.

If you need to make more precision cuts, we recommend using a Santoku as it gives you more control.


When starting your culinary journey, it’s best to get a quality budget chef knife.

But with all the options on the internet, making the choice can be pretty tough.

We’ve researched tons of models and only selected the best picks for the money.

And based on our research, we’ve found that the best model for most chefs is the Mercer Culinary Genesis Millennia Chef’s Knife.

It features superior construction, a sharp cutting edge, and an ergonomic design that any chef would love.

We also found that the iMarku Pro Kitchen Chef Knife is another great option for chefs, with its sleek and modern design.

Another standout model was the Cutluxe Chef Knife.

While it is one of the more expensive picks under $50, you’ll be getting your money’s worth with this knife.

It’s one of the rare forged knives under $50 and features a very functional handle that chefs will find comfortable.

Further reading: 

5 Essentials in Caring for a Chef’s Knife

How To Care For Kitchen Knives: 6 Common Mistakes

Last Updated on September 22, 2021

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.