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Welcome to Under a Hundo, where your faithful VICE editors find the best versions of anything and everything you're desperately seeking—all for under $100. Whether it’s fancy knives, instant-vacation-vibes patio furniture, or suspiciously underpriced ghost-hunting equipment, we’ve got your thrifty needs covered.
All the best stuff for under $100.
Listen, we’re not here to disrespect the giant knife block you got when you moved into your first apartment. We’re not here to harp on about how most of the knives in that overpriced hunk of wood are essentially for show (who needs six serrated steak knives?), and we’re certainly not here to tell you to toss the whole thing. The truth is, even if they're bogarting a valuable chunk of your kitchen space, knife blocks look pretty sweet sitting on a countertop. However, most home cooks really only need to invest in three knives: a paring knife, a bread knife, and—most importantly—a solid chef’s knife. The problem with buying large knife block sets is that you’re paying for tons of things you don’t need—namely, too many of those serrated steak knives, and the big ol’ chunk of wood they all rest in—when you could be putting that cash towards a nicer chef knife. Frankly, big knife sets should fade into history alongside those obsolete, overblown entertainment centers that rich people got in the 00s that have like five different remotes that all seemingly feed into one humongous universal remote that never works. If you’ve ever been to your aunt’s house, you know what we mean. (She also has one of those knife blocks, and hasn’t sharpened any of its knives in 15 years.)Using a quality chef’s knife after mashing tomatoes and hacking away at meats like a 19th-century doctor for years is a serious sensory experience. Gliding through ingredient prep makes cooking infinitely more enjoyable—and there’s no better feeling than absolutely massacring entire generations of onions and mushrooms before dumping them into a big pot. (Oh, and make sure you keep that blade sharpened and honed. A dull knife can actually be more dangerous than a sharp knife, so get your knives professionally sharpened from time to time—or, invest in a whetstone set.)
Unfortunately, lots of high-end chef’s knives are really, really expensive, which is why for the most part, people tend to stick with what they’ve got in the block. Lucky for you, we put together a little listeroni of some of our favorite chef’s knives for under a hundred dollars. To put it bluntly, unless you’re a knife freak or a professional-level chef, a knife from this list should be perfect for the home cooking you’re doing. Because, honestly, using a $300 Japanese blue carbon steel gyuto on frozen pizza and cheeseburgers is kind of a waste.So peruse these affordable chef’s knives, and join us as we get one step closer to playing real-life Fruit Ninja.
The smooth lines. The pastel colors. The minimalist branding. The quality products. It’s all there—and at a reasonable price. The brand’s 8” model is made with Japanese AUS-10 high-carbon stainless steel and has a lifetime warranty. We swear by them, and if you’re still not convinced, you can also take one on a “60-Day Test Drive,” with free returns.
A millenial-ish cookware brand we actually stan
It’s one chef’s knife, Michael. What could it cost, $34? (Yes, Lucille, $40 indeed.) With an ergonomic handle and almost 12,000 reviews on Amazon, this VICE editor- and reader-fave Imarku chef’s knife is the way to go if you’re just dipping your toe into the really-good-knife game. (Rest in sweet, sweet peace, Jessica Walter.) It’s made with Japanese steel, with a sturdy but easy to handle weight, and it stays super-sharp for months and months.
The affordable Japanese steel chef’s knife we all love
This Japanese knife not only looks cooler than any knife-block blade, but it’s also massively on sale. It’s made of VG10 super steel clad with stainless steel, creating a san mai edge that pairs cutting performance with durability, according to the knife people, whom we’ll trust.
Shun Sora’s pro-grade chef’s knife
This Miyabi santoku knife, which is a reference to the style and shape of the blade, is nearly half off, and is a worthy addition to any culinary arsenal. Using a santoku knife is best when you’re looking to chop up and down, rather than the classic rocking motion you’d use with a chef’s knife.
A Miyabi santoku knife that does it all
This 8-inch, high carbon stainless steel knife from Mercer is way sharp and literally costs less than $20. This is truly proof that one doesn’t need an expensive knife to make great cuts.
Mercer Culinary’s surprisingly great knife for under 20 bucks
Cheese, knives, mountains, a willingness to say “fuck off” to Uncle Sam? The Swiss get all the cool stuff. (We want to sit at their lunch table.) This sweet, 8-inch chef’s knife has a non-slip handle and a sharp, extra-wide blade—perfect for grilled meat, and it is, dear friends, grilling season. Truly a great knife right here.
Victorinox’s Fibrox knife, because the Swiss know what they’re doing
Material’s 8-inch chef’s knife is lauded for its full tang blade with excellent weight distribution, meaning it’s easy on the hand (and eyes, TBH) but goes hard on veggies and proteins.
Find some balance in your life with Material’s flawless blade
High-quality German stainless steel and a traditional, triple-rivet handle make this kitchen workhorse functional and ~fashionable~. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe—though we really, really think you should be washing your nice knives by hand.
A classic from Zwilling J.A. Henckels
Globals are a somewhat polarizing knife—some people rant and rave about their quality and construction while others can’t get past the unique, solid-steel handle look. They are, however, great for people with small hands, and if you don’t plan on growing larger hands any time soon, this small, 5.25” model is the way to go.
Global’s compact but practical chef’s knife
Made In worked with chefs and artisan blade makers alike to birth its 6” chef’s knife unto this earth. Loved by both home cooks and pros, this little homie is made from one solid piece of stainless steel, and is built to last.
Made In’s six-incher that you’ll use every day
But why is there no umlaut in the word “umlaut?” We may never know. At any rate, Wüsthof is a classic knife and cookware company that simply won't let you down. They last forever, and as long as you don’t beat them up too badly (or subject them to a pull-through sharpener) you won’t have to cash in the included lifetime warranty.
Wüsthof’s classic chef’s knife (that makes a great gift)
When it comes to Zwilling’s offerings, this big boy holds a mighty throne for the price. “Virtually unbreakable handles,” “a proprietary steel developed over 280 years and ice-hardened for increased durability,” and a slew of other grandiose characteristics earn this knife a spot on our list.Stay sharp out there, folks.
The ultra-durable knife for big jobs
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