If there’s one thing that the best knives under $100 have shown us; it’s that you can find excellent quality knives when you have a plan and know where to look. We planned to find knives that offer the finest balance between price, performance, and durability.
We want to bring you knives that feel premium in your hands and give you a taste of what class-leading knives can offer – without their hefty price tags. We’ve put together this review so that you don’t have to spend hours combing through the countless budget knives and don’t have to deal with the disappointment when they don’t live up to their claims. Let’s go!
Table of Contents
- Top 3 – Best Knives Under $100
- Top 7 Best Knives Under $100 Review in 2020
- What to Know Before Buying Your Next Sub-$100 Knife
- Final Thoughts
Top 3 – Best Knives Under $100
|Kershaw Blur Folding Knife||Check Price|
|Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife||Check Price|
|Opinel Folding Pocket Knife||Check Price|
Top 7 Best Knives Under $100 Review in 2020
We carefully selected these knives to bring you knives that are worth your attention. These knives don’t make many compromises while still managing to keep their price affordable. While you’re not going to get the best-of-the-best, these knives can easily earn their place in your kitchen or tool kit. The value for money they offer you makes it worth your time to see what they can do for you.
We’ll show you what’s unique about each knife, how it stands out above the rest, and what they can do for you. You’ll find what we liked and didn’t like about the knives so that you can build genuine expectations for how they’ll perform in your hands. Let’s dive into our best knives under $100 reviews!
Let’s start with one of the most popular pocket knives to grace the sub-$100 markets. Kershaw is known to make some of the greatest pocket knives for the mid-range and budget markets. If you’re a fan of the speed and convenience of assisted opening knives – you might love this one. The SpeedSafe assisted opening is snappy and smooth.
It gives you a consistent and reliable action that you get used to very quickly. There’s a built-in thumb stud for excellent blade engagement and it’s not too obtrusive. With this stud, you’ll get total control over the opening and closing action of the blade; safely building up the muscle memory you’ll need for switching over to a manual blade in the future.
There’s a reversible pocket clip that gives you a broad selection of mounting and carrying options – from bags to belts, to your boot – you’ll find that you can mount this knife anywhere. Linear locks keep the blade secure and locked in place with very little wiggle room.
You might need to tighten or loosen them to your liking for a more customized setup. You’re getting an exceptionally comfortable and non-slip handle with Trac-Tek inlays. These give you fantastic grip strength and let you hold the knife in different grips easily.
Finally, the edge is sharp and the serrated portion of the knife is one of the better ones in this price range. You’re getting excellent edge retention and resistance to corrosion and rusting. It’s hands-down one of the best knives under $100 on the market.
- Excellent quality non-slip easy to use handle
- Reversible pocket clip
- Resistant to rust and corrosion
- Lightweight, sleek, and compact profile
- Black coating can come off over time
- Doesn’t come very sharp out the box
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At 8”, this knife falls perfectly into the size range you’d want a chef’s knife in. You’re getting a fantastic low-cost chef’s knife for home use and even light professional use. The blade’s edge is gently tapered, giving it some awesome cutting power and makes it one of the easier chef knives to keep sharp.
It’s been laser tested to ensure the edge is as good as it can get, so it comes razor-sharp out the box and ready to use. It’s versatile and well-suited to general kitchen work like mincing, slicing, carving, chopping, and dicing. While the handle is made from TPE, it’s well-treated and doesn’t feel too cheap.
On the plus side, it is non-slip and textured to give you all the grip strength you need to handle both intricate and heavier cutting tasks. Despite using a seemingly lightweight handle, this knife is very balanced and guides your fingers into an effective pinch grip.
In terms of cleaning and maintenance, all parts have been designed to be dishwasher friendly – though we still recommend you clean it by hand. Edge retention is great and the edge can be consistently honed to razor sharpness. Overall, you’re getting value for your money and one of the best inexpensive knives for budding chefs and enthusiasts.
- Excellent sharp with good edge retention
- Textured ergonomic non-slip handle
- All parts are dishwasher friendly
- Very well-balanced feel
- Very plain and unoriginal looking knife
- Not full-tang (barb tang only)
Here’s a unique-looking folding knife that’ll whip you back into the 1980s. This knife’s design hasn’t changed much since then and will immediately catch your attention with its appearance. You lock and unlock the blade by sliding the Virobloc safety rings.
Admittedly, it’s a little on the slow side, but it’s incredibly safe and gives you robust protection against accidental slips. Opinel uses super-hard and tough stainless high-carbon steel that can be sharpened to a high-level and holds its edge fantastically.
This high-carbon stainless steel also gives you the resistance you need against rusting, wearing, and corrosion. We loved the durable Beechwood handle that’s made from quality French Beechwood. You’re getting a smooth and non-slip texture that’s shaped to follow the natural angles of your hand.
It’s exceptionally comfortable and lets you control the knife for accurate cutting, or grip it tightly for tougher cutting tasks. Overall, you’re getting one of the best knives under $100 with a unique and original appearance.
- Gorgeous handle and profile
- Safe and secure locking mechanism
- Very tough steel that’s sharp and durable
- Compact and lightweight while still having excellent cutting power
- Quite a slow opening and closing sliding mechanism
- Not designed for one-handed closing
Also Read: Best Serrated Knife Reviews And Buying Guide
Here’s a knife that’s been specifically designed for the avid or enthusiast gardener. These are top quality best knives under $100 that can take your gardening and passion to the next level. The blade is concave and steeply beveled to give it additional sturdiness.
Steeper bevels let the blade stay thick and strong, without compromising much cutting power. There’s a serrated edge on the opposite side of the blade. This lets you saw a cut through thicker bundles of weeds and roots. You can also use it for shaping bushes and cutting light branches.
It’s made from quality Japanese stainless steel and has excellent resistance to rusting and corrosion. When you pair this with the provided sheath, you get thorough all-round protection for your knife. While it’s not quite a full tang, you’re getting a mid-way tang.
This helps to keep the knife light and balanced as the handle is quite solid and weighty. Overall, you’re getting a very tough and durable knife under $100 with excellent functionality and versatility in gardening.
- Versatile and durable
- Strong saw teeth
- Robust handle with an ergonomic grip
- Fantastic sheath that’s well-fitted
- Shiny finish doesn’t last long
- Not suitable if you only go for full tang knives
You’re getting a robust kitchen set that can cover most kitchen tasks at a very affordable price. There’s a 5” tomato knife, a 6” chef’s knife, and a 3” paring knife. These combine impeccably well to give you a ton of utility and functionality in your kitchen.
The overall design and build are well-balanced and this is further improved by super-comfortable and smooth handles. They’re a pleasure to use and you’ll quickly fall in love working with them. These are lightweight and nimble knives that handle intricate and accurate cutting better than they do the heavy cutting.
We thought the blade quality is excellent and well-suited to this knife. The edges can made very sharp and they hold well when used with the right cutting boards and cutting types. These are ceramic blades and can hold their edges up to 10x longer than some steel blades.
On the other hand, they’re more fragile and need to be cared for consistently and carefully. You’re getting rust and acid resistance with these easy to clean blades too. Overall, this set offers you some of the top best knives under $100.
- Exceptional edge retention up to 10x longer than some steel blades
- Ultra-sharp and accurate to work with
- Lightweight with well-designed handles
- Versatile combination of the 3 knives in the set
- Quite fragile knives that need careful care and maintenance
- Chef’s knife is a little short at 6”
Also Read: Best Utility Knife Reviews to Buy
This is a unique offer that’ll give you massive value for money. It’s a whopping 18-piece kitchen knife set that gives you everything from a chef’s knife and a bread knife; through to fruit and steak knives. They’re crafted from German stainless steel to resist rusting and corrosion and wear better over time.
Despite the low price, these knives have sharp edges that don’t dull easily. They come sharpened and ready to use right out the box, so you’re not going to need to spend your first few hours honing the edges. If you’d like to touch them up, the set comes with a dedicated knife sharpener that works better than you’d expect.
Each knife has a well-treated and durable Pakkawood handle that’s been shaped to fit your hand well and to non-slip. There’s a small ridge where the handle meets the blade to help you better grip the knife and to stop your fingers from accidentally slipping onto the blade.
You’ll be able to store all the knives in the provided wooden block with cutouts for each of the knives. This helps to keep them easily accessible and safe from scratching and rusting. Overall, this set offers you some of the best value knives for under $100. While it’s not premium quality, it’s hard to ignore the sheer value and versatility you’re getting here.
- Possibly the best value kitchen knife set
- Ergonomic and durable handles
- Rust and corrosion resistance
- Excellent sharpness and good edge retention
- Chef’s knife is quite as sharp and well-balanced as we’d have liked
- Not very easy to clean and maintain all the knives
Our final knife review brings you one of the most popular and widely known Kershaw knives. Here’s a safe knife that’s secured by a frame lock with lockbar stabilizer. You can quickly open the blade with a well-placed thumb stud or the flipper. The action is smooth and even without leaving the blade with any wiggle room.
One of our favorite features was the deep-carry pocket clip. It can be mounted in 4 different positions and is one of the most versatile clips we’ve seen on a sub-100 pocket knife. You’ll love the look and feel of the stonewashed finish of the 3.5” blade. It helps to hide scratches and keep the blade looking new for longer.
You’re also getting a G10 handle that’s textured and reinforced to make it even more durable. The edge is fantastic and it holds well through general use and basic utility. Overall, this knife is ultra-reliable and one of the best EDC knives under $50.
- Great blade finish that’s hides signs of wearing
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Smooth opening and closing action (one-handed)
- Strong and sturdy tip
- A little harder to clean than some other similarly priced Kershaw knives
- Tough to sharpen quickly
What to Know Before Buying Your Next Sub-$100 Knife
Here are a couple of things you should consider before choosing your next knife. Take a quick read through these sections to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money and a knife that’ll work well for you.
How to Choose a Knife under $100
As with all other budget products you buy, there’s often a trade-off that needs to be made. That’s no different with knives. To keep costs low, some compromises have to made. The hard part is balancing it all out and knowing how much compromise is too much.
With this in mind, we chose knives that played a little of the give-and-take game, without leaving one aspect of the knife rejected and ignored. When you’re choosing a budget knife, you should try to list out what’s most important to you in terms of features and performance.
If you have some experience of owning quality knives, you should have a good feel for what you need most. If this is your first knife, try to do a little research beforehand to find features that match your needs. Remember that you’re not going to be able to get everything you want and there’s a little opportunity cost at play.
Stick to weeding out the knives that don’t focus on your key features or needs and compare the ones that do. This should narrow down your search and leave you with knives that’ll get you where you need to go – and save you a little cash along the way.
Also Read: Best Shun Knife Reviews to Buy
How to Get Better Value from a Sub-$100 Knife?
It’s all about your care and maintenance routine. I’ve had knives that cost me less than $50, last for more than 5 years. They’re still in decent working order to this day. On the flip side, I’ve owned knives that cost 5-6 times more and lasted less than a year because I didn’t care for them properly.
There are a few pointers for caring for your knives. Firstly is to hand wash them. Sticking your knives in a dishwasher is one of the main ways you’ll scuff, scratch, and wear out the handles. Make sure you wash them by hand and dry them thoroughly before putting them back into their storage case, sheath, or block.
One use for a knife for its intended purposes and don’t try to push its limits too far. Get a good storage case, sheath, or block; along with good composite cutting boards for your kitchen knives and you’ll find you can add years to the lifespan of your budget knives.
Now that we’ve looked at some value options, you should have a good feel for the kind of value you can get with less than $100. Go over any of the knives we showed you that stood out to you and make sure they suit your needs well.
Putting a little time into your decision will make sure you get one of the best knives under $100 – giving you massive value and catering to your need, without emptying your wallet. Good luck!