a chef's knife under $80 U.S.

Hi I read the posts re knives from October 2015 and they concentrate on good knives from $80 to $150 and non Japanese style. I am looking for a decent all-purpose chef’s type knife that is under $80. There is a bewildering array of brands out there, especially Japanese. Suggestions?

I use a Victorinox 8 inch chef’s knife (model 40520) that is around $45 currently on Amazon and is the one regularly recommended by Cook’s Illustrated. It works pretty well, has a comfortable handle. I also have a Japanese knife, a Tojiro DP 240mm gyutou, that is around $65 on Amazon right now. It’s been mostly sitting my drawer though as I am a little afraid of sharpening it. I’ve started to practice sharpening my Victorinox on a Japanese water stone and its pretty scratched up right now (but sharp).


I too would look at Victorinox/Forschner models.


Aside from <$80, any other preference? The typical recommendations are:
Victorinox Chef’s knife ~$40 (several under Victorinox)

Dexter Russell Chef’s knife ~$30:
Wusthof Pro Cook’s knife ~$30:

Tojiro DP Gyuto ~$60:

Fujiwara FKM ~$70:

Now if you don’t mind a carbon steel knife, then I hear reasonably good thing about the Tojiro low-end carbon steel knife ~$60:

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Thank you all very much!! I have ordered the Victorinox 40520 (and a knife guard). It was $45 Canadian on Amazon.ca, so a very reasonable price. I also noticed, in addition to your comments, that it got good reviews on Amazon. Problem solved and now I have a future reference in your discussions if I need to get any more knives. Mae

I love the look of this knife. Wood handles are key for me, and the shape and size looks like it would work well for my hands.

Thank you for the info. I’m going Amazoning now. :slight_smile:

just for future reference – I run through the housewares departments of discounters like Ross, HomeGoods, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx (TK Maxx for Harters…)

I don’t always score, but I’ve picked up an entire rack full of Wusthofs over the years for well under $25 each (sometimes the smaller ones are less than $10). They seem to have Wusthof and Henkels most often, although Victorinox occasionally show up.

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If you get a chance to buy a discontinued All Clad chef’s knife–take it. This is just an illustrative example:

a good tip, thx!

I like to add a few points. Although you didn’t ask, but they are generally good advises.

  1. A good knife bring both safety and comfort to your cooking.
  2. While you may need 3-10 cooking vessels, you only need one good knife, so makes it counts. Most people will interact with it very often.
    e.g. In one meal, I may use a wok. In another meal, I may use a pot. Then I may use the fry pan for my third meal. However, I use a knife all the time.
  3. An average steel knife which is well maintained (sharpened, honed) is better than a high quality steel knife being ignored.

A knife absolutely pays you back. You treat it well, and it will treat you well. You abuse it, and it will abuse you. While money is important, money alone does not dictate you have a good knife or not.


For some strange reasons, I don’t use a lot of my Wusthof chef knife but smaller knives. Personally, I like something lighter and find chef knife a tag too heavy.

Just curious. Is your Wusthof knife putting you off because it is a little too heavy or a little too large? If you don’t mind the size, and only dislike the weight, then there are many good quality knives which are much lighter (basically, thinner blades and lighter handles).

“I think one of those Wushof Classic 8” chef’s knives is around 250-260 g – A Konosuke 240 is around 150 g, nearly half the weight of what you are used to."


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I think it’s the case, I feel bulky using it, less flexible in movement. But I just weighed my chef knife, it’s 176 g (not that heavy it seems), I have another chef knife that I use even less, it’s lighter (156 g) but the same size. My other knives that I use often are 107 g and 77 g respectively, I think I just like smaller knives.

That is interesting. Yours probably is not the Wusthof Classic Chef’s knife then. “Classic” is the flagship of Wusthof. The Classic 8" Chef’s knife should weight ~250 g.

“8” chef’s knife: 8"-long blade; 5"-long handle; 8.5 oz"

“58 Rockwell hardness; 3mm thick at the spine, 9.4-oz (267 grams)”

It’s a 7" - 18 cm not the 8" - 20 cm. Interesting, that the weight varies so much