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Best Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 Reviews – Dec. 2021

Japanese chef knives are world-famous for their quality, durability, and performance, that is why most of the famous chefs around the world use them in their daily routine. Now if you are not here by accident, you are interested in having one for yourself but not sure which one you should buy. We are here to help you find the best Japanese chef knife under $100 because you don’t need an expensive knife if a budget knife can work for you in the same manner.

Our Top Picks for Best Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 in 2021!

  1. Best Overall Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 – FANTECK High Carbon Stainless Steel Knife (Price: $59.99)
  2. Best Runner-up Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 – FAMCUTE Professional (Price: $49.99)
  3. Best Gyuto Under $100 – Tojiro DP Gyuto Knife (Price: $82.99)
  4. Best 8-Inch Chef Knife Under $100 – Shun Sora Chef’s Knife (Price: $89.99)
  5. Best Damascus Chef Knife Under $100 – AUGYMER 8″ Professional Chefs Knife (Price: $$$$)
  6. Best Budget Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 – Japanese VG-10 Chef Knife (Price: $45.99)
  7. Greater Goods Japanese Damascus Steel Chef Knife (Price: $59.99)
  8. Best 3-Core Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 – Yaxell Mon 8″ Chef’s Knife (Price: $84.99)

Best Japanese Chef Knife Under $100

1. Best Overall Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 - FANTECK High Carbon Stainless Steel Knife

Pros:
  • Pakkawood handle
  • Super sharp edge
  • Stain-resistant blade
Cons:
  • You may find the handle a bit short

If you are looking for the best Damascus chef knife, FANTECK chef knife is the most popular Japanese chef knife on our list. It is a beautifully crafted chef knife that is designed & built to last longer than expectations. The ergonomically designed Pakkawood handle with acrylic rim makes this one of the most trusted butcher knives chefs use beside their routine kitchen work.

The blade is hand sharpened to 10-15degees each side which gives this chef knife a razor-sharp edge.

FANTECK knife can cut through the bulky food pretty easily without making you put extra weight and strength.

The 67 layers of Damascus steel keep the knife stay sharp for a long time. The Damascus steel is vacuum heat treated and nitrogen cooling techniques are also implemented to keep the steel fresh, sharp, and stain-resistant.

Overall, the FANTECK is the best chef knife under $100, that is solidly built with a razor-sharp edge that will last longer if properly taken care of.

2. Best Runner-up Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 - FAMCUTE Professional

Pros:
  • 60+ Rockwell hardness
  • Food doesn’t stick
  • Easy to clean
Cons:
  • Knife is front heavy

FAMCUTE knives use high-quality steel so that the knives can withstand harsh treatments and last longer.

With 60+/- Rockwell hardness, the blade is made to hold the edge for long and you don’t need to sharp it pretty often.

With the clad dimple design, the food doesn’t stick to the blade and this makes it easy to wash and clean the knife.

With the pinch grip, the blade length is 8” and due to the blade design, it easy to maneuver the blade for food cutting.

The handle is made out of African rosewood that is non-slip and gives you a comfortable grip.

Overall, FAMCUTE has perfectly designed this 8-inch Japanese chef knife that will cost you well under $100 and will be a great help for you in your kitchen.

3. Best Gyuto Under $100 - Tojiro DP Gyuto Chef Knife

Pros:
  • Weight is about 250g
  • Stamina wood handle
  • Sharpened out of the box
Cons:
  • Not rust resistant

Tojiro DP Gyuto Japanese chef knife weight is around 250g.

Tojiro DP, the best Gyuto under $100, is a VG10 standard Chef Knife with a three-layer sandwiched cladding on either side of the core.

It has a triple-riveted handle with full tang going through it.

Spine thickness Gyuto chef knife is just about 2mm coming out of the bolster and almost keeps the same thickness to about 3/4th of the spine length.

The handle is made of Stamina wood which feels comfortable and durable. It’s a bit meaty, a bit longer and angular. It has a straighter spine and belly curve, which reduces your rocking, chopping, and cutting motions.

Handle’s fit n finish is excellent. And If you have big hands, you will find it easier to use it because of its slightly more substantial and meatier handle.

When holding the knife for the first time, I mean the first time out of the box, plz check if the spine and the bolster areas are sandpaper treated, if not you need to do that yourself because there might be some sharp edges around these areas, so you can prevent yourself from getting hurt.

The knife is ready to use and sharpened out of the box. I will rate the “out of the box sharpness” a pretty decent 6 or 7 out of 10. You can sure make it extra sharp by putting your edge on it.

The general profile of the knife is not too flat and not too curvy, but you tend to go a bit higher while rocking, the point of the blade can get stuck in the cutting board.

4. Best 8-Inch Chef Knife Under $100 - Shun Sora Chef’s Knife

Pros:
  • Hand-sharpened blade
  • VG-10 quality blade
  • Reasonable length
Cons:
  • Plastic handle

A good chef knife is the essential kitchen knife. But what you probably don’t know is that since the Sora line from Shun, features traditional Japanese blade and handle shapes, the Sora chef’s knife would be called a Gyuto.

It is used for all the same purposes as any standard chef’s knife—all-around food preparation. But the Sora chef’s cheap Japanese chef knives have less curve than a Western chef’s knife, which means it contacts the cutting board along its length, so more food is cut per slice.

The Sora has a gentle roll off the tip compared to the large roll of a western-style knife, so the Sora needs to be lifted less, which makes cutting more effective.

5. Best Damascus Chef Knife Under $100 - AUGYMER 8″ Professional Chefs Knife

Pros:
  • Anti corrosion
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Life time warranty
Cons:
  • Metal stains easily

 

AUGYMER 8″ Professional Japanese Chefs Knife is an excellent quality razor-sharp knife.

The blade is a quality piece of stainless steel with a perfect profile and a nice rocking curve. Nicely balanced and a very comfortable handle.

It comes with the blade guards in the box.

The knife is good for vegetables, meat, regular cutting but not for fish filet nor sashimi for work.

The blade is not a real “Damascus” but patterned like one.

It has a slightly curvy blade when carefully viewed along the edge, which helps you while rocking on the cutting board.

It has a nice balanced weight, but it entirely depends on your preference.

This knife has many great customer reviews.

6. Best Budget Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 - Japanese VG-10 Chef Knife

Pros:
  • VG10 Damascus steel
  • Sharp right out of the box
  • Pakkawood handle
Cons:
  • Not original Damascus

XITUO is one of the best Japanese chef knives, made of VG-10 High Carbon Stainless Steel, and is an excellent chef knife for most kitchen purposes.

The knife steel is a basic 440a stainless steel that will hold the edge for a fairly long period.

The shape of the knife can be compared with Wusthof’s Classic Ikon series, but its blade is nearly 5mm thinner than Wusthof Ikon. You will not notice until you do some heavy cutting and chopping through fruits, vegetables, and meat.

It normally comes with an already razor-sharpened blade, but there are a few instances where the buyers have experienced a factory-sharped blade that will need to be sharpened as per your requirement.

I must say that the blade is NOT real “Damascus” but laser patterned for Damascus effect. We don’t expect a Damascus blade in this price range.

It has a nice glossy handle made of wood and is thick enough to feel comfortable in hand.

It is well balanced and relatively lighter in weight as compared to other cheap Japanese knives of this length.

7. Greater Goods Japanese Damascus Chef Knife

Pros:
  • Hand Crafted Damascus Steel
  • High carbon steel blade
  • Thin blade
  • Need maintenance
Cons:
  • Handle is a bit heavy

Greater Goods, hand-crafted Damascus steel Japanese kitchen knife offers the best budget Japanese Chef knives with superior quality carbon steel blade that will retain its edge for long and will serve you for longer than your expectations.

You will be surprised when you hold the knife in your hand for the first time, it is surprisingly light, almost like Shun.

After use, you must hand wash it and wipe it with a cloth or the water drops will leave marks on it.

This knife will need extra care, it’s certainly not a “use it 50 times and then put it in a dishwasher” kind of knife. You will need to use it on plastic or bamboo-made cutting boards.

The knife comes razor-sharp, and if you are “extra careful about your kitchen tools” kind of a person, then you can consider this, and if not, don’t go for it.

It has a thin blade which makes the blade lighter, and the handle is a bit heavier because of its size to fit in larger hands, so this makes it a bit back heavy.

To some users, the look and feel of this knife are way too higher than its price.

Perfectly designed for both hands use, and the handle is in perfect size if you have a large pair of hands.

This knife has very good reviews by its users, should check them as well before making your decision.

8. Best 3-Core Japanese Chef Knife Under $100 - Yaxell Mon 8″ Chef’s Knife

Pros:
  • 3-layer blade core
  • Sand-blast finish blade
  • 61° Rockwell hardness
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons:
  • Blade scratches easily

Since 1932 Yaxell has produced some very fine high-quality kitchen knives and surely this is one of them.

The blade is made from 3 layered VG10 superior-high-quality stainless steel, Clad by high-quality stainless steel from both sides.

The sandblasted finish gives it a superior quality look. The handle is made of resin and linen Canvas Micarta (FDA Approved), with two stainless steel rivets.

The knife weighs 209g, and the spine thickness is 2mm.

As out of the box, this knife has incredible ergonomics and the sharpest of blades.

It is so good with one slide cutting, no back n forth cutting.

For this kind of knife, you must have a soft, high-quality wooden board to keep your knives super sharp and for a long-lasting experience.

With this price range, you expect this quality, but according to some reviews, the knife is of much higher quality as compared to its price. (Must check out the customer reviews).

How to Choose the best Japanese chef knives under $100?

When choosing a Japanese chef knife that is under $100, you need to keep in mind the following important factor.

  • Blade type
  • Blade length
  • Balance of the knife
  • Handle grip

 

Blade Type:

There are three main types of blades when it comes to Japanese chef knives- the single beveled edge, the double-beveled edge, and the hybrid.

The single beveled edge is more traditional and has a sharper blade. However, it is more difficult to use and requires more practice.

The double-beveled edge is easier to use and is more popular in the Western style of knives. It is not as sharp as the single beveled edge, but it is still very effective.

The hybrid is a combination of the two types and offers the best of both worlds. It is sharper than the double-beveled edge and easier to use than the single-beveled edge.

Blade Length:

The blade length of a Japanese chef knife can range from 4 inches to 10 inches. The most common blade lengths are 6 inches and 8 inches.

When choosing a blade length, you need to consider the size of your hand and what tasks you will be using the knife for. If you have a smaller hand, then you should choose a shorter knife.

Balance:

When considering the balance of Japanese chef knives, you need to look at the weight of the knife. A well-balanced knife feels comfortable in your hand and is easy to control.

The weight of the knife is usually distributed evenly throughout the blade, handle, and bolster. However, some knives may feel a bit top-heavy or bottom-heavy.

Handle Grip:

When choosing a Japanese chef knife, you need to consider the handle grip. The most common material used for the grip of a Japanese chef knife is wood. However, there are other materials that can be used as well but those are not recommended.

When looking at the handle grip, you need to consider comfort and how it fits your hand. The size of the grip determines where it will sit in your hand, so keep that in mind when making a decision about which grip to choose.

5 Tips For Taking Care of Japanese chef knives!

If you are using a cheap Japanese kitchen knives and want to keep it running for long, there are some very important tips you need to keep into consideration that will make sure your kitchen knives are well taken care of.

Watch this short video.

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