The chef's knife is the number one most important knife in any set of knives, and you aren't going to find a knife that's better than the Calphalon chef's knife for less than a hundred bucks. This is the number one most used knife in most kitchens, so it's important not to skimp on quality. This blade is the workhorse and has to be able to do everything from cutting fruits and veggies to dicing and chopping various meats.
Calphalon Contemporary 8-Inch Chef's Knife
At the lower-end of the Calphalon chef's knife spectrum is the 8-inch Calphalon Contemporary Cutlery knife. This is a popular choice amongst budget-minded consumers because it offers decent quality at a low entry point. You can pick one of these knives up right now for right around $30. They are forged from high-carbon German stainless steel and feature full-tang construction. They are somewhat heavy, but that's what most people want from this type of knife. It works great for chopping, cutting and slicing, making short work of most tasks in the kitchen.
The Contemporary line may not arrive as sharp as you'd like, but they sharpen easily and hold an edge well. One thing's for sure, it would be tough to find a better knife for the money than the Calphalon Contemporary 8-Inch Chef's Knife.
There is also a 6-Inch Chef's Knife available in the Contemporary line. It costs about 5 dollars less and is good for the person looking for something lighter and shorter than the 8-inch knife.
Calphalon Katana Stainless-Steel 8-Inch Chef's Knife
This one's going to cost you more than twice what the Contemporary line of cutlery costs, but you get a beautiful blade crafted from 33 layers of Damascus steel. It's up to you to decide whether you want to spend less money and get a decent knife or spend the extra cash to get a knife you'll be proud to. Owners of this blade absolutely love it. It comes super sharp right from the box and is fun to use as well as look at. There isn't much I can say as far as negatives go, except the handle takes a little getting used to. Other than that, this is a great knife priced competitively with other knives in its class. You'd have a tough time doing better for less than a hundred dollars.
More info. on the Calphalon Katana Stainless-Steel 8-Inch Chef's Knife. If you want the same blade, just smaller, the Calphalon Katana Cutlery 6-Inch Chef's Knife offers the same quality at a significantly lower price.