Whether you are an expert cook, a cooking enthusiast, or someone who enters a kitchen because you need food to survive, knives can be one of the most important accessories.
Top brand chef knives may demand hundreds of dollars from your pockets, while cheap products bought without proper knowledge can fall victim to rusting within weeks.
Luckily, we are here to help you find the best of both. Chef knives, if you know what you’re looking for, can cost as little as 50 dollars or less. We now bring to you the top five competing for the title of the best chef knife under 50.
The Top Five Chef Knives under 50
We will cut straight to it, no pun intended, and start ranking our best products. These knives have been shortlisted based on multiple criteria such as sharpness of the blade, quality of the metal, handle design, and others.
1. Newild Kitchen Knife 8 Inch Chefs Knife
Kicking us off is our top pick, this beautiful steel knife from Newild. Made of high carbon German stainless steel, 7Cr17, it solves the first issue of durability with its top quality material. The entire thing is rustproof.
In terms of actual function, its crafted manual edge offers excellent sharpness and lets you get through most of your daily kitchen work with the utmost ease. The design also makes sure your cutting is adhesion-free and does not leave bits stringing along to the edges of the blade.
Moving on to how these are forged, these knives are made using precision forging, with extremely high temperature forging methods and cryogenics to create an extremely sturdy product. It also brings you a heat-treated cast for vastly enhanced performance when in use.
As for the structure, it is based on an ergonomic design that looks after your hands as you work, making sure they don’t get too sore.
Once you are done with your cutting, the knife is easy to clean. Something which becomes very important as a knife gets older and the more you use it. You may use a soap and a duster cloth afterwards for drying. It also makes for good visual appeal with its wave-patterned blade.
2. imarku Chef Knife - Pro Kitchen Knife
At number 2, we have the Pro Kitchen Knife from imarku. This strong, robust piece of cutlery is also manufactured with stainless steel.
The metal used is of very high quality, with 0.6 to 0.75 carbon. This is higher than most close competitors who only contain around 0.3 carbon. Its construction gives it a very sturdy nature and ensures long-lasting service regardless of how much you use it.
Moreover, the knife is multipurpose, suitable for all kinds of uses. You can cut, slice, dice, chop, and do just about anything else in the kitchen that may require a knife. As for the hardness, it comes with an HRC (Rockwell Hardness Scale) of 56 to 58, making it one of the toughest products on the market today.
And the handle is made from Pakka, a material native to certain regions in Africa and known for the comfort and stability it provides when holding. It also follows an ergonomic design that ensures pain-free experience for the user.
You can work with this knife for long periods without suffering from soreness, numbness, or aches. Moving on to the sharpness, the blade is made with the latest German engineering techniques to give it an ultra-sharp edge. It can cut through difficult targets such as tough meat and meat off the bones.
Moreover, the sharpness does not fade with increasing use, furthering improving the longevity factor associated with this product.
3. J.A. Henckels 31161-161 CLASSIC Chef's Knife
Up next, say hello to this classic knife from J.A. Hecnkels. The Spanish made chef knife is another stainless steel construction, with only the finest quality of metal being used while making the blade.
It brings you a fully forged construction, ensuring long-lasting service, durability, and very robust nature. The handle-to-blade transition is also seamless, making it easier for the user to get to grips with it.
As for the blade, it gives you precision cutting and is designed to retain its sharpness after long periods of use. The edges are all finely honed. It is also made with a professional satin finish for good visual appeal to go with its excellent service.
The handle construction follows an ergonomic model, specifically made for user comfort when in constant use. You can spend as much as you want, cutting meat or chopping vegetables. Your hands will not start to pain when doing so with this knife.
And its range of uses is also relatively wide, from slicing beef to chopping carrots to whatever else your cooking requires.
Finally, the knife is relatively easy to clean. You may even put it into a dishwasher if you want to save the manual effort. J. A. Henckels also has one of the most illustrious reputations in this line of products, having been around since the late 19th century.
4. Messermeister Four Seasons Chef's Knife
The penultimate entry on our list is the Four Season’s knife from Messermeister. Handcrafted from Santa Catarina, Portugal, once again, it is a product made using German carbon steel, dry cut from a single billet of the stamping steel material.
And the carbon composition in this one is at 1.4116. The blade, a stainless steel alloy, is extremely resistant against degradative processes such as rusting and corrosion, remains tough and durable, and the sharpness of the blade is preserved over considerable periods of time.
Furthermore, the blade can also be re-sharpened in case the edges somewhat lose their razor-like characteristics. This knife is given a Rockwell rating of 56-58, after heat treating and subsequent cooling during the forging process.
Moreover, the entire line is one-piece stamped, bringing to you blades that are consistent in their strength from tip to the bottom of the handle.
As for the handles, they are made of extra-sized, hygienic, specifically shaped polypropylene. This is an extremely useful attribute as it absolutely makes sure your hands remain as comfortable as possible, even if you work in the rigorous environment of a commercial kitchen.
You will find a use for it in just about every cooking task. The service and precision offered will make you choose it for your cutting and chopping, time and time again.
5. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife
Our final entry has been a staple in kitchens both at home and in restaurants run by professionals. Whether you are cooking your Sunday brunch or dealing with an order from a customer, this is a go-to knife that can handle almost anything that you may be preparing.
The craftsmanship on this is absolutely exquisite, and the tapered stainless steel edge cut through the toughest of textures with complete ease. Whether it is mincing or chopping or slicing, this all-purpose knife and its laser tested razor-sharp blade will have you covered for sure.
Furthermore, this edge is ground to an exacting angle, maximizing the cutting efficiency and helping retain sharpness for longer. The structure and design are tailor-made for maintaining balance when working.
Its handle follows an ergonomic model and is made from a thermoplastic elastomer. The grip it provides is not prone to slipping. In fact, even when wet, your hand will not be sliding off this handle.
As for maintenance, it is relatively easy to clean, and you can safely use a dishwasher to get rid of the difficult stains without worrying about the blade getting damaged in any way.
And the customer service is also up to the standards. If you have any questions regarding the product, you can ring their customer service, and they will help you in any way they can.
Buying Guide: How to Pick the Best Knife under 50
We talked about several criteria when we reviewed each of our products. Now, we go into more detail regarding these criteria and which ones to look for when you are deciding on a knife.
Arguably the most important aspect of a knife is the blade, and hence it is critical you pick one that made is of the right quality metal. Carbon stainless steel alloys are generally used for chef knives, and the best ones often have a carbon percentage of over 0.3.
A chef knife made of good steel will be more robust, resistant to damage, and ensure you won’t have to buy another one in a long time.
As the most important component of a knife, it goes without saying you can’t buy one without paying extra attention to the blade. We talked about precision-forged blades. These are made for extra hardness and retaining their sharp edges over extensive usage.
It is a helpful guide to look for these features so as to ensure the product you buy is indeed worth it. The Rockwell rating is another useful metric. Generally speaking, 56-58 on this scale is a good standard to go for.
Some blades have the option for re-sharpening; this could be another handy aspect to want in your knife.
Ease of Cleaning
After use, your knife will be dripping with juices, and various bits of meat and vegetables will be clinging to the blade. You would want to be able to clean all this up without much of a hassle.
Many knives these days are dishwasher-friendly, meaning you can automate the entire cleaning process and help save yourself a significant amount of extra effort.
Another vital component, the handle may, in many cases, be the single determining factor behind how good a knife actually is. Whether you cook at home or are the chief chef at a restaurant, you will have the knife in hand for long periods of time.
During all this cutting and slicing, a poor handle design will cause soreness, aching, and in extreme cases, even injury. Knives with ergonomic handle designs are a must, and you should look out for the ones made of extra comfortable materials such as the thermoplastic elastomer for one of our products.
Range of Use
This one is a bit obvious, but nonetheless, it is useful to talk about the importance of having a knife that can be applied to all kinds of uses. You want the same knife to be able to cut, chop, dice, slice, mince, and anything else you may need it to. Most good knives are marketed as all-purpose.
Finally, it can’t hurt to be a little extra careful even when you are buying things at a low price. Many good companies offer lifetime warranties on the knives they sell and narrowing down your choices to those that do, can help make the right decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below we attempt to answer some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes chef knives costing you less than 50 dollars:
1. How long will such a knife last?
A very long time. These knives are made to last for years, and the good ones will be resistant to processes such as rusting and corrosion.
2. What is an ergonomic handle?
In layman terms, this refers to handles that are designed in a way to minimize the stress on your hands, especially if you are using the knife for long periods at a stretch.
3. What is carbon steel, and how does it help?
It is steel that contains carbon up to a certain percentage in weight. When used in knives, it helps make the blades sturdy and robust.
4. Are cheaper knives less sharp?
Even if you are paying well under 50 dollars for a chef knife, if nothing else, it will most likely be sharp enough. No matter how inexpensive, these knives are often made with heat-treated, precision-forged blades with razor-sharp edges.
5. Will a knife under 50 be good enough for a professional?
The short answer is yes. At this price range, you will find a variety of top-notch knives that will be right at home in the kitchens and pantries of restaurants and hotels.
Cutlery is an essential part of life. This makes it important that you get it right and, ideally, do so without spending too much. As we have gone through, for less than 50 bucks, you can choose from a wide selection of excellent options to be your cutting aids in the kitchen.
We hope our reviews help you decide on the best chef knife under 50 for you.
And if you have any further questions, let us know in the comments section.