Finding a chef knife comes down to personal preference. What may be the best knife for someone may feel too heavy to you. It’s important to determine what factors in a knife matter to you, such as dishwasher safety, sharpness, and maintenance. These key factors will help you find the best chef knife for under $200!
Our pick for the best knife for under $200 is the Shun Classic 8’’ knife. It can cut through almost anything in any professional or amateur kitchen. It is well-balanced, comfortable to hold, and can be used every day. We’ll talk more about the other chef knives we suggest later in this article.
Top 6 Chef Knives Under $200
1. Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife – Editor’s Choice
The Shun Classic 8’’ Chef’s Knife is the editor’s choice for the best knife because it has the highest number of reviews, best rank, and the best price. It is one of the most versatile knives on the market for under $200.
Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife Specifications
You can protect your knife by hand washing it with gentle dish soap. Do not use soaps with citrus extract or bleach as these promote rust. Rinse the knife and dry immediately, making sure to get all the moisture and water off the cutting edge.
This knife is dishwasher safe however to preserve it, you should handwash it.
About the knife
The Shun Classic 8’ inch chef’s Knife is made from proprietary Damascus cladding that has added rust resistance. It also has a PakkaWood D-shaped handle that is extremely comfortable to hold for a long time.
It is a well-balanced and lightweight knife that is a staple for every kitchen because of its versatility. The knife will equip any cook with the ability to perform a variety of common kitchen tasks, including preparing fruit, vegetables, and proteins. The extra width of the knife makes chopping larger vegetables effortless. The slightly upward curved blade allows for fast and fine mincing of small foods, such as herbs, ginger, or garlic.
This knife can handle daily use and is sharp enough to cut through anything. It was reviewed as one of the sharpest blades most home chefs have used. You won’t have to worry about this knife dulling after a couple of uses. No home is complete without a Shun Classic 8-inch chef’s Knife!
- Well-balanced and light
- Can be used daily
- Sharp, can cut through anything
- Needs to be professionally sharpened
2. ZWILLING Professional S Chef Knife – Best German Chef Knife Under $200
This Zwilling Professional S Chef Knife is the best German-made knife under $200, with a blade of German stainless steel that is razer sharp and easy to care for.
Zwilling Professional S Chef Knife Specifications
This knife is theoretically dishwasher safe up to 130 degrees F. However, the manufacturer strongly recommends that the knife be hand-washed to extend its lifetime. It can be washed in lukewarm water with a mild detergent and a non-scratch cloth or sponge. It should be dried immediately after washing and put away in a safe place.
About the knife
The Zwilling Professional S Class Knife is manufactured with a special proprietary formula that will keep the blade hard, sharp, and it will not stain or chip. This is a workhorse knife, ideal for chopping, mincing, dicing, as well as slicing fruit, vegetables, fish, and proteins.
The knife comes with a precision-honed blade and laser-controlled edge. This will allow you to cut with precision and the knife will remain sharp even with daily use. The sturdy bolster provides the right balance and acts as a finger guard, making it comfortable to hold when meal prepping for hours in the kitchen. The handle is ergonomic with a full tang, giving you extra stability and confidence that the knife can handle cutting even the hardest vegetables. It is an all-around helper for amateur and professional chefs alike and is rustproof
- Comfortable to hold
- Very sharp
- Sturdy and easy to use
- Needs professional sharpening
- Handle can crack over time
3. Shun Classic Chef Knife 6 Inch – 2nd Best Overall Japanese Chef Knife
The Shun Classic 6-inch Chef’s Knife is a smaller version of the 8-inch knife, is made of premium steel, and has a harder blade that stays sharp longer. It is the best Japanese chef’s knife for under $200.
Shun Classic Chef Knife 6 Inch Specifications
This knife is NOT dishwasher safe. It is recommended that the user handwash the knife with a gentle soap that does not contain citrus or bleach. The user should then towel dry and clean immediately. Never leave the knife in a sink of soapy water!
About the knife
This is a smaller version of the 8-inch chef’s knife, making it more maneuverable. This knife is lightweight and better for smaller hands. It is versatile and can be easily used by beginners. The smaller length makes it easier to handle cutting smaller items with ease, such as mincing garlic. It’s a great all-purpose knife that can handle slicing and dicing without frequent sharpening, just like the larger 8-inch knife. You won’t be disappointed with this knife.
- Small, lightweight
- Great for beginners
- Needs minimal sharpening
- All purpose
- Should only use soft wood board
- Can chip easily if used on hard surface
- Not made for big hands
The WÜSTHOF Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife is a beginner cook’s dream – it cuts through fruits, vegetables, and meat with ease.
WÜSTHOF Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife Specifications
Most suitable for
Head Of Lettuce, Herbs, Meat, Vegetables –
also good for heavier duty work
like thicker vegetables and meat
This knife is not dishwasher safe. It should be hand-washed in warm, soapy water and with a soft sponge. It needs to be dried immediately after washing to prevent rust.
About the knife
The WUSTERHOF classic 8-inch chef’s knife makes food preparation pleasurable. It can cut and chop almost anything, making it perfect for a novice chef looking for a versatile knife. The knife can be used for almost any kitchen task, but it is particularly good for thicker cuts of meat and larger vegetables.
This knife is considered a “manual food processor” of chef’s knives. This is because of its full tang, full bolster, and finger guide. These features allow you to have full control over the knife and cut it with extreme precision. These features also make the knife heavier to hold but after a couple of uses, you don’t notice the weight and it’s easy to use. The knife is extremely sharp and can be sharpened at home, which is a huge bonus for many home cooks.
- Perfect for the beginner or novice cook
- Very sharp
- Can sharpen at home
- Heavy, well-balanced when holding
- Easy to maintain
- Full bolster interferes with sharpening
- Edges dull quite quickly
This Japanese-made Chef’s Knife is the perfect addition to any home or professional kitchen.
Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch Hollow Edge Chef Knife Specifications
Most suitable for
Especially good for sticky food like potatoes,
apples, and summer squash
because of the dimples on the blade
This knife is not dishwasher safe. Do not leave it in a sink of water as it will rust. Try not to use it to cut citrus or lemons because this will prevent the longevity of the knife. To clean, wash with a neutral detergent and warm water and use a non-abrasive sponge to wipe. To dry, use a soft cloth. Dry completely and immediately after washing. Store the knife in a dry place for longevity.
About the knife
The Mac Knife Professional 8 inch Chef Knife is a popular knife for everyday use. The knife is also made of specialized steel with a 2.5 mm blade, making it lightweight and easy to use for chefs with smaller hands.
It is an all-around workhorse that can slice and dice any kind of food. The knife works wonder on stickier fruits and vegetables like potatoes, apples, and summer squash. This is because the dimples on the blade make it harder for sticky items to stick to the blade. The extremely sharp edge of the blade also allows for precision when cutting smaller foods that can bruise easily.
- Very easy to use
- Ideal for sticky tasks
- Sharp blade
- Well balanced
- Holds edge beautifully
- Needs to be sharpened once a month
- Not great for big hands
- Some complaints of easy rusting
6. Global 8″ Chef’s Knife – Best Japanese Chef Knife Under $200
Global 8″ Chef’s Knife Specifications
This knife is not dishwasher safe. It is recommended that it be washed by hand using a mild dishwashing liquid and water. After washing, rinse the knife with water and dry immediately with a soft cloth. Do not soak the knife before cleaning.
About the knife
This knife is an amateur and professional cook’s dream designed by the legendary Komin Yamada. He made sure to design the knife to be seamless and hygienic – there are no spots on the knife where food can get caught.
The knife is lightweight and its razor-sharp edge allows it to slice through the toughest proteins and vegetables with ease. Cutting small fruits like tomatoes becomes easy because the sharp edge pierces the fruit without adding pressure and bruising. This knife is highly ranked by chefs. It’s a bonus that this sharp knife can be sharpened at home, making it easier to maintain.
- No places where food can get trapped
- “Best knife I have ever had”
- “Light changing”
- Favored by high-ranking chefs
- Can be sharpened at home
- Handle a bit uncomfortable
- Can get slippery when wet
Things to Consider When Buying a Chef Knife Under $200 – Buying Guide
One size doesn’t fit all – finding a good chef’s knife differs depending on your use case, hand size, and more. However, when purchasing a chef’s knife for under $200, there are many things to consider, but the most important are: blade material, maintenance, and warranty. $200 is a bargain for something that will be in your kitchen for a lifetime!
A long-lasting chef’s knife under $200 is a steal. A chef knife is a knife you will be using quite frequently in the kitchen so choosing the right material is essential. High-carbon steel or stainless steel are the best materials we can recommend. Carbon steel requires more maintenance but will keep your knife sharp and perfect for cutting fruits, meats, and more. Stainless steel will maintain sharpness for a while and is less maintenance than carbon steel. Ceramic blades are sharp as well but chip easily and don’t last as long.
It is incredibly important to maintain your chef’s knife for under $200 appropriately for it to last. It should be sharpened at least once a year, professionally, if possible, to maintain appearance and usefulness. However, in between professional sharpening, we recommend sharpening your knife every couple of months at home to maintain longevity and sharpness.
To maintain blade sharpness, avoid storing the knife in a wooden knife block, and instead store it in a dry place with a guard. This will prevent the knife from bumping against anything and dulling faster.
Read now >> How to tell if a knife is sharp?
To increase the longevity of your chef’s knife, it should not be placed in a dishwasher. Dishwasher detergent can break down the metal in the knife and cause them to lose its sharpness and rust.
Chef’s knives of this quality should be washed in warm, but not hot, water with a gentle soap that does not contain any citrus or bleach products. The knife should be wiped immediately after washing with a soft cloth or non-abrasive sponge. Make sure it is completely dry before putting the knife away. Do not leave the knife in soapy water for a long time to avoid rust.
We strongly recommended that you purchase a knife with a lifetime warranty. These knives are an investment in your kitchen’s future. Mistakes happen and chips and other breaks should be covered by the manufacturer on something this expensive. The lifetime warranty guarantees that you will not be left having to purchase another chef knife if something small happens to your knife.
The Shun Classic 8’’ Chef’s Knife is the editor’s choice for the best overall knife under $200 because of its sheer versatility. This is the only knife you will need in your kitchen for everyday tasks. It slices through the toughest of proteins and vegetables and if taken care of properly, can last for many years. One $200 knife is better than buying 10 lower quality knives that will not last and lose their sharpness quickly. We recommend this knife to anyone looking for a versatile chef knife.
Read also: 5 Best Chef Knives for Under $100