If you’re looking for the best cheap kitchen knives 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 10 recommended budget chef’s knives available in the UK right now.
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.
Top 10 best cheap kitchen knives in 2020
Here’s a roundup of our 10 favourite budget chef’s knives on the market in the UK right now. We hope this helps you find the right knife!
1.Viners 0305.213 Assure 8” Chef Soft Grip Handle Safety Kitchen Knife with a 10 Year Guarantee
We haven’t got a bad word to say about the Viners Assure 8” Chef Knife. It’s amazingly affordable and genuinely high quality. The matte black handle is soft-feel and lovely to hold, and the non-stick coating means veggies and meat fall off the knife instead of sticking in place.
It stayed sharp for months and months after the initial testing and the black finish has not peeled or flaked. The block ending of the knife means there’s no sharp edge that could potentially catch your fingers while chopping.
This also makes it easy to store, because the knife can point down on a magnetic grip without fear that it would hurt anyone or catch any kitchen items if it were to fall.
2.Zelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch
One of the bestselling kitchen knives in UK and our top pick for the right reasons, the Zelite Infinity 8-inch Chef Knife is made with premium quality Japanese Damascus steel tempered with liquefied Nitrogen to ensure long-lasting performance resistance to rust. It’s a perfectly crafted kitchen knife that will add luxury and elegance to any kitchen with its seductive premium design.
But more importantly, it’s ideal multipurpose cutlery that is suitable for a wide range of kitchen tasks — peeling, slicing, cutting, mincing, and so on. And it can cut through even the toughest food ingredients with amazing ease.
The kitchen knife comes in a premium packaged box that will wow anyone at first sight (even before the nicely designed blade is uncovered) and does a great job at preventing damage in transport. The hand-finished, ruthlessly sharp, the 8-inch long blade has a pro razor edge on each side. And its cutting angles are mirror-polished to ensure maximum sharpness and safety.
3.Victorinox Classic Knife Set 3 piece
A 3-piece knife set that can be used for both cutting and paring. Considered to be some of the best value kitchen knives, Victorinox are made in Switzerland by the people who make Swiss Army Knives.Created from excellent quality stainless steel that has been hardened with ice for a precise, super sharp edge.
The handle is made from ergonomic polypropylene that is comfortable to use and exclusive to Victorinox. This Victorinox kitchen knives set can be safely washed in the dishwasher. The packaging is the perfect design for wrapping as a gift.
4.Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife – Comfort-Pro Series
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.
5.Victorinox – Chefs Knife Extra Broad 20cm
This was the sharpest knife we tested and the best all-rounder. It glides through everyday chopping tasks but is ideally shaped and flexible enough for more experienced jobs like jointing chicken or filleting fish. Simple in design, the handle was one size fits all in easy-to-clean plastic, but for more of a looker and about £8 extra, Victorinox do a very similar rosewood handled knife we were also impressed with. The knife comes with a re-usable sheath for safe storage.
6.Wüsthof CLASSIC Cook´s knife – 4582 / 20 cm
Wüsthof have been making knives in Solingen, the “City of Blades”, since 1814, and their precisely made blades have received plaudits from the likes of Tim Hayward.
While it was quite tough to choose a winner in a high-quality field, this knife stood out for me. The key reasons are sturdiness and balance – it just felt right in my hand. When held by the bolster (the lump in the middle, between the blade and the handle), neither the blade nor the handle felt overly weighty, a sign of a well-balanced knife.
7.Joseph Joseph LockBlock, Self-Locking Knife Block with 6 Knives
8.Victorinox D828 Santoku Knife, Scalloped Edge
9.Viners 0305.216 Assure 4 Piece Knife Set, Stainless Steel, Non-Stick Blades, 10 Year Guarantee
If you have young children or are simply tired of nipping yourself on knives that have been put in the drawer the wrong way round, Viners have come up with an ideal solution. Unlike classic blades, each knife in the Assure set has a completely flat tip. While this makes for a rather usual looking blade, it barely changes the way they work – you can still cut, slice and dice like you normally would. In the set you get a 6in chef’s knife, 6in santoku knife, 5in utility knife and 3.5in paring knife. This is ideal for everyday tasks but if you like to experiment with a wide variety of ingredients then you’ll likely need to supplement this set with additional knives.
10.Iridescent Rainbow Coloured Chefs Knife
This knife is great if you are wanting to add a pop of colour to your kitchen tools. It is also safe to put in the dishwasher which is convenient if you’d like to avoid extra washing up.
It does lack some of the precision and quality of the knives at the more expensive end of the price range, but it is still made from titanium and promises that food will not stick as you chop.
How do you care for best cheap kitchen knives?
Get into the habit of cleaning your knives properly, keeping them razor sharp, and storing them safely. Taking the time to look after your knives will pay dividends in the long run.
To clean your knives: Some brands will say that their knives are dishwasher safe, but if you want to ensure the longevity of your knives, we’d always advise against putting them in the dishwasher. You need nothing more than washing up liquid and water to clean knives effectively. However, if a brand claims it’s knives are dishwasher safe, we will take this into consideration in our tests.
To sharpen your knives: A sharp knife is not only safer, but it is also easier to use. Sharpening your knives regularly means the knife is less likely to slip when cutting and less effort will be needed to cut through foods.
- Manual sharpeners are a great option for those with a smaller budget who are willing to sharpen more regularly.
- Electric sharpeners are a little more expensive but produce a sharper blade thanks to the 2 or 3 step programmes on offer.
- Sharpening stones (whetstones) are the best tools for sharpening knives as they produce razor-sharp results, but it’s time-consuming and requires practice.
Whether you’re looking to upgrade a blunt set that’s seen better days, or simply need a starter set for your new home, we’ve rounded up a selection whatever your budget. You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice.