If you’re looking for a chef’s knife that balances quality with affordability, then you’re in the right place. We’ll be sharing some tips on how to choose a budget chef’s knife, plus our top 5 recommended budget chef’s knives available in the UK right now.
About Chef’s Knives
What is a chef’s knife?
A chef’s knife is a versatile knife used by chef’s and cooks for a variety of tasks including slicing joints of meat and dicing vegetables. Chef’s knives come in a range of sizes, but the standard chef’s knife is 20 centimetres (8 inches) long and 3.8 cm (1.5 inches) wide.
Chef’s knives come in two main varieties: French and German. French knives have a straighter cutting edge, whereas German knifes are more curved. They both work just as well as each other, but some people prefer the shape of one to the other.
What materials are chef’s knives made of?
The blade of a chef’s knife is usually made from one of these materials:
- Stainless steel – Less sharp than carbon steel knives, but they don’t rust
- Carbon steel – Easy to sharpen but can rust
- Ceramic – Need sharpening less often, but are brittle
You can also buy knives with a ‘laminated’ blade. This means that several materials have been layered on top of each other to try to take advantage of each material’s unique qualities.
One of the most popular materials used in budget chef’s knives is high-carbon stainless steel.
How much do ‘budget’ chef’s knives cost?
Chef’s knives vary greatly in price, from under £20 to over £100. For the purposes of this article, we’ll say that ‘budget’ chef’s knives are those available for under £50. However, most of the knives reviewed here can be found for less than £30.
Best Budget Chef’s Knives in the UK (2018)
Here’s a roundup of our 5 favourite budget chef’s knives on the market in the UK right now. We hope this helps you find the right knife!
1. Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife
Size: 18 cm (7 inches)
This is the most expensive knife on this list (at the time of writing), but it’s arguably the best. It’s comes in a beautifully designed box, which makes it a great gift.
This knife comes with a nice sharp edge and shouldn’t require sharpening before you use it. If you’re not used to chef’s knives the difference is like night and day. This knife cuts very cleanly, allowing you to cut meat and dice vegetables quickly and easily.
At 18 centimetres (7 inches), it’s slightly smaller than a standard chef’s knife, but not much. It’s definitely a good size for a home kitchen.
We couldn’t find out any information about where this knife is made, but the blade is made from German high-carbon stainless steel. While this knife is very sharp, it will lose some sharpness after a few months of regular use, so you will need to sharpen it regularly.
One of the nice things about this knife is that it’s available with a money-back guarantee and a 15-year warranty if you buy it directly from Zelite Infinity. Make sure you double-check this before you buy it as not all sellers offer a guarantee and warranty.
This knife is at the upper end of the ‘budget’ price range, but if you’re serious about cooking it’s worth spending a bit more to get a higher quality product.
2. Homgeek Chef’s Knife
Size: 20.7 cm (8.15 inches)
Like the Zelite Infinity knife reviewed above, this 8-inch chef’s knife from Homgeek is made from German high-carbon stainless steel. Another similarity is that this knife this product comes in an attractive box, though the Zelite Infinity box is arguably better looking.
This knife is comfortable to use and features an ergonomically designed handle. It’s very sharp, easy to clean and dishwasher safe. It’s also available with a lifetime warranty, though you should double-check this before ordering it.
To summarise, this knife is very similar to the Zelite Infinity one reviewed above but is cheaper (at the time of writing), making it great value for money.
3. Chef’s Path Kämpfer Series Kitchen Knife
Size: 20 cm (8 inches)
The Chef’s Path Kämpfer Series Kitchen Knife is an 8-inch knife made in China using high-carbon German steel for the blade. This knife offers good value for money and is sold in a bundle including a protective sheaf, a polishing cloth and a booklet.
This knife is very sharp and has a good weight (458 g). The handle is ergonomically designed and comfortable to hold.
You can buy this knife with a money-back guarantee, but there will probably be terms and conditions so we don’t know how easy it would be to get a refund.
4. Dalstrong Chef Knife
Size: 20 cm (8 inches)
This high-carbon German steel knife is stain-resistant and triple-riveted for improved durability. It’s well balanced and quite light at 227 g.
The Dalstrong Chef Knife comes in a nice box that has a magnetic closing mechanism. It comes with a BPA-free protective sheaf, a polishing cloth and a guide booklet.
This is one of the more expensive products on this list, but it’s still good value for money. It’s comfortable to grip, sharp and well made.
5. Sanjianker Chef Knife
Size: 20 cm (8 inches)
Here’s another chef’s knife made with high-carbon German steel (are you noticing a trend here?!) One of the first things you notice about this knife is the attractive wooden handle, which gives it a distinctive look. The handle is also ergonomically designed and comfy to hold.
The Sanjianker Chef Knife has a very sharp blade, which makes light work of meat and vegetables. It’s quite light at 195 g.
This knife is made in China and offers good value for money, though it has an artificial folded steel pattern which is a bit misleading.