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Cooking a meal at home is one of my favorite things to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s for loved ones or just for me, I always find it to be a satisfying creative outlet, highly rewarding and (normally) delicious. Being forced to use a blunt, lousy knife while preparing said meal, however, is hands-down one of my least favorite things. Just one good knife in the kitchen can seriously amp up your cooking game and I’ve scoured Amazon to bring you some of the best chef knives money can buy no matter what kind of budget you’re working with.


This standard 8” chef's knife from Mac is a top choice for everyday use in any kitchen. With a super-thin 2.5 mm blade and light 6.6-ounce pakka wood handle this knife cuts out any extra bulk making it lightweight and easy to use. The blade itself is dimpled to help the knife slide through sticky foods (think: potatoes, garlic, apples and root vegetables) eliminating the need to clean the blade between cuts. Fair warning - this particular knife is on the high end of the budget and the blade is SHARP so proceed with caution to avoid a trip to the ER if you go this route.

With a 4.5 star rating on Amazon it’s fairly obvious that purchasers feel that the end justifies the means despite the price tag:

“This is truly an excellent knife. I could feel the difference from the very first cut. I successfully cut tomatoes, peppers, tough produce like butternut squash and turnips. This knife handles it all without a problem. And this thing keeps an edge for a good time, I'm talking months after almost daily use. Once it does lose its edge, it's very easy to sharpen it right back up. I highly recommend this knife. Simply excellent,” one reviewer wrote.


Don’t be fooled by the low price on this knife from the trusted JA Henckels brand. Although it may be a budget pick it is an absolute workhorse in the kitchen. The well thought out design creates a seamless transition from blade to handle to provide balance while cutting anything and everything from chopping potatoes to mincing shallots making this a wonderful and confident choice if it’s the only good knife in your arsenal. 

Boasting a solid 4.6 stars from over 1,200 customers on Amazon this 8” chef knife has quite the reputation:

“If you're a chef on a budget or perhaps a beginning chef looking to graduate to a real instrument as opposed to the dull discount-store knives you've been working with up until now, I really can't recommend this knife highly enough. I would imagine even professionals would be happy to use it. Treat it well and keep it sharpened and you'll have a wonderful tool in your kitchen for many years to come,” one reviewer writes.


I can personally vouch for this knife from Victorinox as I have purchased it for both my mother and my boyfriend to show them what a difference one good knife can make. It is far from fancy but always gets the job done whether you’re dicing, chopping or mincing and has a wider stainless steel blade than other models making it almost effortless to work with. A simple honing with any knife sharpener every now and then will ensure the quality of this low budget pick for years to come.

Obviously a fan favorite among Amazon users, this knife has a 4.8-star rating from almost 4,000 reviews:

“I find myself not having to sharpen this knife as often as I sharpen my far more expensive knives. Also, the handle from which you hold it from fits perfect in my hand making it more comfortable when cutting slicing chopping or whatever. It has quickly become my most favorite knife to use in spite of my more expensive kni[f]e that I own,” one reviewer writes.


If you are more of a seasoned chef that already knows you prefer a German-style chef knife you are probably already familiar with the WÜSTHOF name. Though this particular make is a bit heavier than other chef knives out there which isn't necessarily a bad thing as it only attests to its strength and durability. The blade of this knife is actually forged from a single block of high carbon stainless steel so, truth be told, it should be heavy! With that strength comes a high price tag, however, so if you’re looking for a more affordable German-style this option from Mercer Culinary costs around $40 and has a strong backing on Amazon.


Japanese style chef knives are generally lighter and sharper than their German counterparts which makes them better suited for delicate tasks in the kitchen though they can be used for anything once you get the hang of it. This Dalstrong Shogun Series 8” knife has a hammered tsuchime finish that not only makes it stunning in appearance but also reduces the drag of the blade to eliminate stuck-on foods. The dainty Japanese style is more prone to chipping if used primarily for heavy-duty jobs so if you’d like to try your hand without spending over $100 this Santoku Knife really makes the cut coming in at under $30.