The 7 Best Kitchen Knives Under 50 Dollars in 2024

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Using a comfortable, good quality, and sharp kitchen knife is crucial when it comes to cooking. For this guide, I went to search for the best kitchen knives under 50 dollars for frugal home cooks.

Here, you’ll find my recommended 7 best kitchen knives under 50 $ with a great bang for the buck, along with my 3 top picks, so you can choose the one that most fits your needs.

Best Kitchen Knife under 50 Dollars - Imarku Japanese Chef Knife - Best Kitchen

Best Overall

Imarku 8″ Chef’s Knife

Best overall Chef’s Knife in weight, sharpness, good warranty, comfort, and sturdiness.

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Best Kitchen Knife under 50 Dollars - Santoku Haru Chef Knife

Best Japanese

Santoku Haru 8″ Chef’s Knife

Lovely Japanese style Chef’s Knife with great sharpness and a wooden ebony handle.

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Best Kitchen Knife under 50 Dollars - Zwilling J.A. Henckels Kitchen Knife

Best Sturdiness

Zwilling J.A. Henckels

Slightly heavier and very sturdy German-style Chef’s Knife with an ergonomic and safe grip.

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Best Kitchen Knives under 50 $ – Table of Contents


Introduction

A kitchen knife is not only the most used cooking equipment, but it also has the greatest importance when it comes to cooking. Therefore, a good kitchen knife is the primary kitchen essential that you should get. Especially if you get more serious about cooking. A good kitchen knife is indispensable when it comes to a wide range of food preparation tasks like:

  • cutting/slicing
  • chopping
  • peeling
  • dicing
  • fillet
  • carving
  • trimming

And while there are different types of knives that suit a particular type of preparation or technique, you definitely don’t need to start with a whole knife set. I’d suggest better investing in only one good knife first, instead of a whole set of crappy ones. You’re probably gonna use the same knife 90% of the time anyway.

I bought my first chef’s knife when I was 17-18 years old. This only knife, until this day, served me perfectly well for all kinds of preparations and cooking needs in the first 15 years of my cooking journey. This is also why you’ll mostly find the most versatile type of knife in this selection, the chef’s knife or santoku knife.

How to choose the right Kitchen Knife

You might ask yourself “Which is the right and best chef knife for me?”.

Next to the look, price point, or brand of the Knife, the following two points are probably the two most important selection criteria when choosing a kitchen knife. They determine whether you’ll have a kitchen knife you’re safe and happy working with for a long time.

Comfort

As kitchen knives are the number one tool you use most when cooking, it is important to work with a piece of equipment that you’re not only comfortable working with but also delivers the results you’re looking for.

Comfort, therefore plays a major role when choosing a kitchen knife. Since you don’t really know how the knife feels in your particular hand before you buy it, you have to rely on experiences with previous knives or experiences from others. There are, however, a few points like the shape of the handle or the weight, which can be crucial when it comes to comfort. 

For example, some grip shapes fit better for certain hand types and lighter knives might be more comfortable when cooking/working with them for several hours, a longer period of time.

Build Quality

Another important criterion is the build quality of the knife. Especially if you’re looking for a kitchen knife that will serve you well for several years. Things like sturdiness, blade or handle material, so as maintenance are to be considered here.

For each of the following best knives under 50$, I will briefly summarize comfort and care, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

But long story short, let’s get started!

Victorinox Fibrox 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

Best Kitchen Knife under 50 Dollars - Victorinox Fibrox Chef Knife

The Swiss brand Victorinox is one of the most well-known brands when it comes to knives of all types, not only for their world-famous Swiss army knives. We’re also speaking about a multi-generational family business that has been in the game for more than 130 years.

In terms of their Fibrox Chef’s Knife, we’re speaking about one of the most popular and widely used budget kitchen knives by many home cooks. 

The Victorinox Fibrox is not only the lightest knife in this comparison, but also the one with the softest steel or lowest HRC. This is especially beneficial when working with it in the kitchen for several hours as it is less tiring to use due to its weight. The softer steel is also more forgiving when it comes to chipping. This is great for beginner cooks who are looking for a knife that is more forgiving in usage, but also when it comes to maintenance.

The drawback, however, could be that it is slightly less balanced due to the stamped blade. The Fibrox might also be a bit less sharp out of the box compared to other ones and needs more frequent sharpening due to the softer steel. However, it is easier to sharpen compared to “harder” knives.

Another advantage might be that you can put it in the dishwasher due to its plastic handle, which also offers a comfortable and ergonomic grip for most users.

Overall, the Victorinox Fibrox 8 is a great and affordable workhorse that is easy and less tiring to work with and definitely deserves its place as one of the best kitchen knives under 50 dollars.

Key Specifications of the Victorinox Fibrox 8

Weight6.1 oz / 172g
Warrantylife time
Manufacturing CountrySwitzerland
Blade MaterialStainless Steel
Blade length7.9 In / 20cm
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)56 HRC
Construction TypeStamped
Handle MaterialTextured Plastic TPE
Dishwasher SafeYes

Pro’s

  • lightweight
  • warranty
  • ergonomic shape & comfortable handle
  • easier to sharpen / less prone to chipping
  • forgiving & durable

Con’s

  • requires more frequent sharpening (soft steel / low HRD)
  • no excellent balance (stamped / blade heavier than handle)
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Imarku 8 Inch Japanese Chef Knife

Best Kitchen Knife under 50 Dollars - Imarku Japanese Chef Knife - Best Kitchen

Imarku knives are known to be one of the best-selling budget knives there is.

This particular Gyoto Kitchen Knife essentially is an equivalent to the Western Chef’s knife. The Imarku 8 Chef’s Knife comes super sharp out of the box with a great carbon steel blade and a rather high HRC, which makes it a knife that retains its sharpness for a longer period of time.

In addition, the blade design and length make it a great and well-balanced kitchen knife which is still a rather light and non-tiring tool to work with. The Imarku Chef’s Knife is a good-looking knife in the Japanese style, also due to its round or oval Pakka wood handle.

As with all carbon steel blades and wooden handles, the knife is not dishwasher safe and is recommended to handwash and dry afterward to avoid rusting. This all-rounder chef’s knife is great and best suitable for most cutting applications.

With its harder blade, you’ll get a budget kitchen knife that will stay sharp for a long time. Therefore it becomes a little more vulnerable to chipping, so be sure to not let it fall or use it on too hard materials. However, if you treat, clean, and maintain this knife the right way, you’ll benefit from a great and sharp cutting allrounder for everyday cutting and kitchen tasks.

Key Specifications of the Imarku 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

Weight6.6 oz / 187g
Warrantylife time
Manufacturing CountryJapan / China
Blade MaterialHigh Carbon Stainless Steel
Blade length8 Inches / 20cm
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)56-58 HRC
Construction TypeForged
Handle MaterialPakka wood
Dishwasher SafeNo, Handwash recommended

Pro’s

  • warranty
  • carbon stainless steel
  • lightweight
  • great sharpness

Con’s

  • handwash only
  • may fade
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Zwilling J.A. Henckels 8 Inch Chef Knife

Best Kitchen Knife under 50 Dollars - Zwilling J.A. Henckels Kitchen Knife

The German brand Zwilling is one of the leading brands when it comes to all kinds of cooking equipment. Also, their kitchen knife series is well known for sturdiness and high quality, so as providing users with precision and control during chopping, slicing, and dicing.

Their J.A. Henckels 8 Inch Chef’s Knife is no exception in this regard. This Western-style / German-style kitchen knife is forged out of a single piece of solid German stainless steel. This results in a great balanced but also super sharp knife, which is particularly beneficial for beginners.

Also, the Henckels Chef’s Knife has an ergonomic shape and comfortable handle made out of PP, similar to the Victorinox Fibrox. This makes the knife easier to hold for a longer period of time and easy to clean. This kitchen knife is also specified as dishwasher-safe, but due to the carbon stainless steel, it is still recommended to handwash it and dry it off to avoid rusting.

With the rather higher HRC (harder steel) the Zwilling Henckels Chefs Knife has an excellent edge retention and stays sharp for a longer period of time.

This knife is also slightly heavier than some other budget knives in this list. This can give you some better control and you might be also safe to cut/chop some harder materials like smaller bones etc. due to the thicker and heavier blade. The drawback of this could be, that the heavier knife may be a bit more tiring when using it for a longer period of time.

Then there is another feature of this knife that we need to look at, the bolster. This, in my opinion, could be the main argument for or against this knife. The bolster is the bridge between the handle and the blade. This is clearly visible on this knife by the thick metal part between the blade and handle.

The bolster often is a principal characteristic when it comes to Western knives, especially German chef knives. A thick bolster keeps your fingers away from the blade which gives you more safety and also a better balance in this regard. This can definitely be an advantage for inexperienced cooks who are just starting out working with a chef’s knife.

On the other hand, due to the full bolster, you’re not able to use the full length of the blade for cutting. Also, it makes sharpening the edge more difficult. However, the main disadvantage for many people might be the fact that you can’t easily hold the knife in the widely popular pinch grip position. If you prefer the pinch grip or the use of the full blade length, I’d rather go with a Japanese-style Chef’s knife like the following ones.

Overall, the Zwilling J.A Henckels Chef’s Knife is a fantastic kitchen knife for its price point, especially if you’re looking for a sturdy, durable, well-balanced, and sharp knife that keeps your fingers in a safe distance from the blade.

Key Specifications of the Zwilling Henckels Chef’s Knife

Weight8.6 oz / 243g
Warrantylifetime
Manufacturing CountryGermany
Blade MaterialCarbon Stainless Steel
Blade length8 Inches / 20cm
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)57 HRC
Construction TypeForged
Handle MaterialPolypropylene
Dishwasher SafeYes, Handwash recommended

Pro’s

  • sturdiness
  • carbon stainless steel
  • warranty
  • ergonomic handle
  • Bolster (if you like the separation to the blade)

Con’s

  • Bolster (sharpening, no pinch grip)
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Paudin 8 Inch Chef Knife

This Japanese-style kitchen knife can easily handle your daily kitchen tasks like slicing, dicing or mincing. With the Paudin 8 Inch Chef’s Knife, you’ll get a pretty good-looking but budget kitchen knife with a hard and sharp forged carbon stainless steel blade and a Japanese-style wooden handle.

The Paudin chef knife is also considered as well balanced in weight. With its 6.9 ounces / 195 grams, it is not too light but also not too heavy and might be just right in terms of knife control and non-tiring usage.

With this knife, you’ll also get a well-designed budget kitchen knife that is known for its sharp blade out of the box made of german stainless steel.

On the other hand, some people mentioned that it wasn’t the most comfortable handle for them and that the blade didn’t hold its sharpness for a very long time. However, if you don’t mind some regular sharpening and if you handwash and dry the knife afterward to avoid rusting, you’ll get a good-performing and pretty-looking kitchen knife in its price range.

I also think that the Paudin 8″ Chef’s Knife might be a great value as a gift for a beginner cook who doesn’t own a chef’s knife already. With this one, you’ll get a good-looking blade that looks like a Japanese Damascus-steel knife (which actually isn’t) for under 50 Dollars that may be well-liked because of its appearance.

However, if you’re looking for a more sturdy and durable beginner kitchen knife, I think a Zwilling Henckels, the Victorinox Fibrox, or the following Japanese Knife might be a better choice.

Key Specifications of the Paudin 8 Inch Chef Knife

Weight6.9 oz / 195g
Warranty12 months
Manufacturing CountryChina
Blade MaterialCarbon Stainless Steel
Blade length8 Inches / 20cm
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)56 HRC
Construction TypeForged
Handle MaterialWood
Dishwasher SafeNo, Handwash recommended

Pro’s

  • german stainless steel
  • good looking
  • great weight ratio
  • German steel and sharpness
  • comfortable hold

Con’s

  • warranty
  • handwash only
  • may rust if not dried
  • not great for hard materials/bones
  • not the most durable
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Santoku Haru (はると) 8 Inch Chef Knife

Best Kitchen Knife under 50 Dollars - Santoku Haru Chef Knife

Santokuknives is an online supplier of high quality, great-looking, and super-sharp Japanese knives. I’m recently using several knives of this brand myself and I’ve to say that they are one of the sharpest kitchen knives I’ve used out of the box so far.

The Haru-Series is one of the cheapest kitchen knives in their range, that not only offers you a good-looking and super sharp blade with a high HRC, but also a Japanese-style wooden handle out of ebony wood.

With the Haru Chef’s knife, you’ll get a well-balanced and rather light knife that fits most of your cutting needs. The blade might be more prone to chipping and the knife is not dishwasher safe. But if you tread this kitchen knife well in terms of cleaning and maintenance, you’ll get yourself a lovely and long-lasting cutting tool for everyday use for a pretty affordable price.

Also, if you prefer one of their best knives from another range, you can use my discount code “FLAVORTHOUGHTS” and receive a 10% discount on the entire shopping cart.

Key Specifications of the Santoku Haru Chef Knife

Weight6.4 oz / 182g
Warrantylifetime
Manufacturing Country
Blade Material440C steel
Blade length7.5 Inches / 19cm
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)60 HRC
Construction TypeForged
Handle MaterialEbony
Dishwasher SafeNo, Handwash recommended

Pro’s

  • high HRC
  • warranty
  • lightweight

Con’s

  • handwash only
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Imarku 7 Inch Santoku Knife

Best Kitchen Knife under 50 Dollars - Imarku 7 Inch Santoku Knife

As the only kitchen knife with a Santoku-style blade, a second knife from the Imarku brand made it into my selection of the best kitchen knives under 50 dollars.

Next to the Chef knife, a Japanese Santoku knife is the second most used and popular kitchen knife by many home cooks or professionals. A Santoku knife offers a mix/compromise between a chef’s knife and a Japanese Nakiri knife in terms of blade design. The cutting edge of the chef’s knife offers a generous curve for cutting techniques like the “rock chop” where the tip of the knife stays on the board.

In comparison, a Santoku-style knife has an almost completely flat sharp edge throughout. This makes this kind of knife more suitable for the chopping technique, where you cut the food with an up-and-down and down and down-and-forward movement.

Most of the time, Santoku knives are also slightly lighter and have a shorter blade than chef knives, which gives you better precision and a non-tiring use for longer chopping times. This makes this kitchen knife an excellent choice for chopping veggies, fruits, or other smaller ingredients or when precision work is needed.

Another benefit of this Imarku 7-inch Santoku Knife is the so-called “Granton” or “scalloped” edge. These tiny air pockets prevent the food from sticking on the blade between the different cuts.

If you mostly use the slicing, chopping, or mincing cutting techniques and if you’re looking for a precise, sharp, lightweight, and durable kitchen knife, the Imarku Santoku knife might be an excellent choice for you!

This particular kitchen knife is not only the best-selling Santoku knife on Amazon but it also offers the best deal in this price range of all seven knives with a discount between 30-60% and a price of only 27$.

Key Specifications of the Imarku 7 Inch Santoku Knife

Weight6.9 oz / 195g
Warrantylifetime
Manufacturing CountryChina
Blade MaterialCarbon Stainless Steel
Blade length7 Inches / 18cm
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)56-58 HRC
Construction TypeForged
Handle MaterialPakka wood
Dishwasher SafeNo, Handwash recommended

Pro’s

  • lightweight
  • warranty
  • carbon stainless steel
  • good hold
  • perfect balance
  • precision working

Con’s

  • handwash only
  • not the best when working with larger ingredients, larger amounts of food
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Scole 8 Inch Damascus Steel Japanese Chef Knife

Last but not least, the Scole 8-inch Japanese Chef’s knife is the only Damascus-steel knife in this series. This sturdy Japanese kitchen knife is made out of 67-layer Damascus steel and not only offers the “Damascus”, but also the hammered blade design. This might be the best kitchen knife under 50$ for all aesthetes among us.

Another key point to mention about this knife, next to the lovely look of it, is its weight. The Scole 8-inch chef’s knife comes with almost double the weight compared to its opponents. This knife is by no means lightweight and better suited for people who are looking for a heavy knife or for someone with large hands.

If you’re looking for a great-looking and cheap Damascus-steel knife, this is definitely a great deal. However, if you’re getting serious about cooking and looking for a knife for everyday use, I’d suggest going with a lighter and better-balanced kitchen knife first.

Apart from that, for its price, the Scole Japanese Chef’s knife is a great bang for the buck. I also see this knife as a great gift for an aesthetic person who only cooks occasionally and who wants to enhance the kitchen with a beautiful knife.

Key Specifications of the Scole 8 Inch Japanese Chef’s Knife

Weight16 oz / 450g
Warrantylifetime
Manufacturing CountryChina
Blade Material67 Layer Damascus Stainless Steel
Blade length8 Inches / 20cm
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)60 HRC
Construction TypeForged
Handle MaterialWhite Shadow Wood Handle
Dishwasher SafeYes, Handwash recommended

Pro’s

  • warranty
  • high HRC
  • Damascus steel
  • heavy ( for someone who prefers heavier knives)

Con’s

  • heavy (tiring when used for several hours)
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Conclusion

So, after going through my top picks and 7 best kitchen knives under 50 Dollars with different blades, shapes, handles, and from different brands, this is my final thought.

If you’re just starting out with cooking and if you’re looking for a high quality but affordable first kitchen knife for almost all cutting tasks, you’ll be fine with all of them.

Nevertheless, knives like the Imarku 8″ Chef’s knife, the Santoku Haru Chef’s knife, or the Victorinox Fibrox offer a versatile, sharp, and durable allrounder for everyday use. The latter is also the most forgiving and easiest when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.

If you’re looking for a slightly shorter blade and knife that is versatile, lightweight, and which is best used for chopping or slicing, the Imarku Santoku might be the one for you. This is for sure also the case if you like the blade design of a Santoku knife, or if you’re looking for the best deal in this price range under 50$.

The price for the studiest and best western-style Chef knives goes to the Zwilling J.A. Henckels. This is not only a sharp and durable knife but it is also great for beginners as its bolster keeps your fingers away from the blade.

Last but not least, I consider the Paudin 8″ Chef’s knife and the Scole Damascus as two of the prettiest knives with good sharpness and a sturdy forged blade that should serve you well if treated the right way. Also if you’re looking for rather heavier knives with great control, the Scole Damascus or the Zwilling Henckels could be the best choice for you.

More Guides on Cooking Equipment

Do you want to learn more about essential cooking equipment? Then you might like this article about the difference between a sauté pan and a skillet.

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