The Best Budget Kitchen Knives can rival the performance of some high end knives. When it comes down to it, sharp is sharp. The main difference between a quality knife and a cheap knife really comes down to how well it holds it edge. You can get a one dollar knife to perform as well as a thousand dollar knife. Most would be surprised to learn that most professional cook use cheap and affordable knives. They need something that they can abuse and use as a workhorse. The people who buy really expensive knives are generally hobbyist.
Best Budget Kitchen Knives List
Below you will find a list of some of the Best Budget Kitchen Knives.
Victorinox Culinary 4 Piece Set
|Handle||thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)|
|Steel||High-quality, lightweight European steel (x50CR MO)|
|Blade Angle||15 Degree|
|Rockwell Hardness||Around 55-56|
|Place of Manufacturer||Switzerland|
|Reviewed Cookware||Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Knife Set, 4-Piece|
Victorinox is famous for their swiss army knife. However, their kitchen knives is actually one of the best in the world. While they use a stamped blade, this blade holds its edge really well. Even compared to some high end knife, they will still outperform them. The only downside is that it feels cheap and flimsy. The thin blade and plastic handle looks and feels like something that came out of China. However, just because it feels that way, doesnt mean that it performs that way. America Test Kitchen constantly rate them as one of the best performing knife on the market. This 4 piece set comes with all the knife that you will need for a home kitchen.
Mercer Culinary Millennia
Mercer Culinary 4 Piece Set
|Steel||HIGH-CARBON JAPANESE STEEL|
|Blade Angle||15 Degree|
|Rockwell Hardness||Around 53-54|
|Place of Manufacturer||Taiwan|
|Reviewed Cookware||Mercer Culinary Millennia 5-Piece Magnetic Board Set with Black Handles, Acacia|
Mercer Culinary is actually more well known in the professional kitchen. They use a Japanese steel that rivals that of victorinox. The handle feels a bit more substantial than victorinox and its more ergonomic. The handle comes in various color but I recommend that you stick with the black one. The multi color one looks a bit tacky. Much like the victorinox knife, the 4 piece set lets you cook anything you would need in a kitchen. You do not need to buy a whole set as these are the essential. You can read my full Review on the Mercer Culinary Knife for more information.
Tojiro DP (Mid Range)
|Categories||Tojiro Dp Gyuto 8.2 inch|
|Handle||Laminated Plastic Most likely Micarta|
|Steel||VG-10 Core between 13 Chrome Stainless Steel|
|Blade Angle||9-12 Degree|
|Place of Manufacturer||Japan|
|Reviewed Knife||Tojiro DP Gyutou – 8.2″ (21cm)|
Tojiro is a Budget Line of Japanese knife. They have all the qualities of a high end knife, just without the marketing. You as the consumer will get see the saving cost of this. From the shape and the construction, they will perform just as well as shun knives. If you want a taste of how a high end knife is, this is the way to go. However, these knives are generally hard. I would not go cutting harder stuff like you would with the other two stamped option. You can read my Full Review on Torjio DP for more information.
Cheap vs Expensive Knives
There are several factor that sets a cheap knife apart from an expensive knife. Things like handle, blade shape, metal and finish are all a factor. This leads to overall feel and durability of it.
For lower end knives, the handle are generally made of a durable plastic. They might not be the prettiest or the most comfortable. But they are functional and textured to help you maintain grip. Higher end knives will use things like Synthetic Wood like Pakkawood or actually use real high end wood. These material feel and look better but the handle from the less expensive knives will work just as well.
For example, the handle on the victorinox knife is fat and bulging. Its not really the most ergonomic but its texture helps you maintain an excellent grip. On the other hand, the handle on the wusthof knife is more well refined and slimed down. In your hand, it just feels nicer. Vitorinox do make wooden handle that are shaped similarly, but those feel cheap also.
On the higher end knives, the blades are usually forged but sometimes they are stamped. They generally last longer and have a longer manufacturing time. For lower end knives, almost all of them are stamped. A stamped knife is where they get a sheet of metal and stamp out the shape of it. This lets manufacturer mass produce knife quickly and efficiently. In the past, forged knives hold an edge better than stamped knife. Today, this isnt necessarily true. Manufacturing technology has gotten to a point that the difference in minimal.
Hardness of the knife is something that is different as well. Higher end knife will usually have a rockwell hardness of 58 plus. This lets manufacture sharpen the knife to a steeper angle. This makes it sharper and lets the blade keep the edge. If you use the same angle on a blade with a hardness of around 54, they will dull quickly. The good thing about these softer knife is that they are more ductile and call handle more abuse. They can chop chicken bones and butternut squash without much issue. Try whacking that on one of those fancy japanese knife and it can snap in half.
How Many Knives do I need?
In reality, you can pretty much do anything you need with a chef knife. However, for practicality, you should have a chef knife for general task. A smaller pairing knife of around 4 inch for finer work. A serrated bread knife for bread and tougher food. A general utility knife is also great for mid size food. I like using it to cut stuff like cheese. The extra knife that you see in those sets are generally pointless and a waste of money. Unless you will be cutting with that specialty knife day in and day out, its not worth it.
Best Budget Kitchen Knives Thoughts
While these Budget Knives generally feel cheaper, their performance are not. If your main focus is on performance, you cannot go wrong with these budget knife. You should be able to do anything you would need in a kitchen. Plus, you can use and abuse them. They are affordable so it wont break the bank to replace them. If you want to try out how a higher end knife feel like, I recommend you try the tojiro dp. They are well made and cheap for what they are. They can rival that of higher end Japanese knife.
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