Tested 5 Sub $20 Kitchen Chefs Knives – 3 of them SUCK

Here is my list and test for the best budget knife you can buy for under $20. For $15, you can get a solid constructed and put together knife, that can get razor sharp, and hold a good edge.

Best knives
Mercer Millennia (top pick) https://burrfections.com/MercerMillennia

Kuma https://burrfections.com/Kuma

Top Picks & Burrfection Gear https://kit.com/Burrfection

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Mr Bailey says:

Im interested in drag, some knives flow throw a side way cut through meats, such as cutting thin flanks of chicken breast. One of my knives feels like I have to saw the meat like a lumberman, while one other knife, old no name knife I inherited from Grandma and its 100 yrs old flows threw it like butter. Is this were a ‘filet’ knife (not sure if its the professional name ) comes into play?

KukoCL says:

I like your videos.. But why do you make them sooo long T-T

Fernando Filipe says:

Much … Bla bla bla

mad thumbs says:

Edge angles are far more important to edge retention than the type of steel. Better steels allow good edge retention at more acute angles – and that is the reason some of us use super steel knives. Acute angles = less bruising, less tears from onions, less effort cutting hard foods, and longer shelf life for cut veg. ATK is recommending the Vic because most people watching are home cooks who don’t have decent cutting boards, or techniques.

Philippe Carphin says:

Bolsters, what a dumb idea.  I can understand the first knife ever made might have had a bolster and that should have been the last knife ever made with a bolster.

pev says:

I had to give a like just for you enduring the bruising of your finger :) A good test but you would look a bit more professional if you memorized the knives’ names (or just used some kind of off-screen help to remember them). It is somewhat jarring if a reviewer keeps saying he does not remember the brand/name of the products!

D Bahi says:

Keep it budget (knives <= $25. stone <= $25), but level the playing field. Take the Mercer budget knife (no bolster) and review 5 budget stones (like your recent love-this-kitchen comparison). No cut test. Then, do a separate sharpen and cut test (sorry for your bruise) video for each of these budget knives with your best budget stone. Finally, make MORE summary videos (<= 8min) for your comparison tests, with highlights cut from your process videos, where you just provide your findings and explain why. You can’t make everyone happy but this will reach a broader audience with increased variety. My dream knife: Any of the high-end blades that you have featured (Kramer, Masamoto, Dalstrong) that one could consider works of art. We all need more beauty in our functional world.

Josh Boucher says:

No Ikea knife. Meh lol

george l says:


GamingFreak076 says:

Kitchen knife with black coating i heard that it’s not ideal to consume that

NewYorkCityViews says:

Is he purposely stretching this video longer? he just babbles so much unnecessarily.

Mr Bailey says:

@ 32:40 was the beginning of a fascinating fact that I’ve never heard before.

Skydive Driver says:

Thank you for your reviews they have been very informational and have help me out a lot. I have been wanting to add 1 new member to my cutlery knife without spending a small fortune. Sooo you have help me in my search for that knife. Also I have been watching your sharping technique and I have learned very much from those videos. I do have one question which I know is kinda a personal preference but wondering what size knife do you preferred 8″ , 9″ or 10″ Thank you and keep up the great work.

D00MTR33 says:

No offense but this is a crappy test. Like you said, this mostly showed factory sharpening, not how a knife will perform. What if you but a $200 knife and it has a butt on the edge and can barely do 10 cuts. Does that mean that the $20 knife that did 80 cuts is better? No. You should’ve put a good edge on them or at least touch them up and then do the cut test. That way you can see which has a better grind, steel and heat treat.
And I know that a $200 knife will most likely come with a good edge but slip ups happen and you never know.

Moraco Mole says:

WAN Cut rope, hahaha
TWO cut rope, ha haha

bodosko says:

Can you test those 67 layers Damascus knives from China like Xinzuo from AliExpress?
I would like to know how they perform against these 30$ knives from Amazon. Thanks

Joseph Azzato says:

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Kiki Lang says:

Thanks. Your videos are long, but the viewer knows they are honest.

Aaron Nel says:

Hey awesome channel you have here. Beautiful video and editing quality.

Curlygirl shawna says:

I wish the victorinox was in this video “sigh”

Kriste Isopahkala says:

I’m getting a headache from clenching my teeth constantly while he is cutting. Weird, somehow I’m very empathic about this.

ShadeTreeChef says:

So the Kuma would be the winner after you modified the bolster. Just take a grinder or a bandsaw and cut the rear at an angle. Put a semicircle back there, then boom it wins.

David Essam says:

“Future proofing” a knife like the Kuma, if you’re taking the time to sharpen it regularly, then removing a mm or 2 from the base of the bolster shouldn’t take that long.. this is why god created files and grinding wheels!
Shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, not like you guys don’t already spend way too long fussing getting a silly finish on your bevels way higher than any of these knives had to begin with, what’s a couple of minutes with a file, or 30 seconds with a powered grindstone?

Abyssic1 says:

i think you could improve this test by also testing or showing with a microscope if the edges of the knives are nicely smooth or micro-serrated. i wouldn’t be surprised if knife 2 was heavily micro-serrated and therefore does well with this fiberous material but could probably only rip thin paper instead of cutting.

Richard Red says:

“and here is what happened…..”, a dislike for your video
I liked the first video I watched from you, cheap vs expensive with expensive vs cheap on 2 knifes – test.. it was cool, informative and the title was clear as fuck. This? Is pure clickbait shit…
“this happened”, “you wont believe what came out”, “the result will surprise you”.. I was like: “mhm, I guess I sub that guy”.

Dont do that man, clickbait is shit. Hope this is your only video with clickbait.

ShadeTreeChef says:

You sold me on a Kuma. after watching a bunch of video’s with the Kuma in it. My dream knife is deffiently a blue carbon steel hand forged Nakiri from Seki City Japan.

Philippe Carphin says:

To answer the question: sharpen on that King 1000/6000 stone combo and strop.  Maybe only the top three ones.

I think the best way to spend your money on a knife is to get a decent knife like 30-50$ and a decent sharpening system.  For me a decent sharpening system is that king combo stone + a strop with green compound for what, like 70$ total.  I think your viewers would be best served by seeing the potential of a 100$ stone + strop + knife combo.

That would be the cheapest way to have a permanently scary sharp knife in the kitchen.  The rest, upgrading to chosera stones, for example will pretty much only increase the pleasure and speed of sharpening.  Having a more expensive knife will make the edge last longer, true, but it’s diminishing returns once you go over 50-70$ partly because more expensive knives tend to have nicer handles and other features that don’t contribute to edge retention.

I personally spend a lot more on sharpening supplies than on kitchen knives (though I do splurge on pocket knives where I think super-steels are more important, i.e. knife types where cutting rope is a realistic usage).  

But pocket knives aside, I upgraded from the king combo to chosera stones while I had 30$ knives in my kitchen and was happy with that for a long time until I bought a 300$ knife.  The blade has a VG10 core, so nice but nothing fancy as far as blade steel goes.  The reason I spent the money is because I wanted a nice looking knife. Wood handle and subtle demascus pattern.

Thiago Lobato says:

Omg Burr, I had asked you to test the Hamilton Beach santoku knife. Man plz. It’s a cheapest knife but cuts like a cirurgical razor

Shannon Olivas says:

Now I know what knife to use the next time I have a recipe that calls for sliced Manila hemp rope.

destinationskyline07 says:

Btw. That cheap looking knife at the end there is a 2 dollar knife you can get at Daiso.

MobileChaos says:

What about the Daily Chef knives at Sam’s Club? Someone told me they swear by them. They also have a $12 Mercer Culinary Chef Knife. Would those be any good for cheap options?

Neil oppa says:

I was hoping to see a winco chef knife.

Krawurxus says:

The price of a knife is not always indicative of it’s quality. You can pretty much sharpen any piece of steel and have it cut through most foods like a.. well.. hot knife through butter.

I own a paring knife that cost me 2 Euros 8 or 10 years ago, and since I’ve started maintaining and grinding my knives myself it’s the sharpest one I have. I just do some touching up with a honing steel before and after using it and I’ve not had to sharpen it in years.

deezynar says:

Did you sharpen them all before you started?

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