Japanese knives are known for their sharpness and longevity. They’re the perfect tool to help you prepare your favorite dishes. But with so many options available, how do you know which one is right for you? In this blog post we’ll go over what makes a good knife great, as well as some of our favorites. You can use these guidelines to find the best Japanese knives for your needs today!
- Types Of Japanese Chef Knives
- List of 7 Best Japanese Knives
- 1. TUO Damascus Kitchen Knife Set 3 Piece
- 2. Professional Japanese Knife 8 inch Gyuto Chef Knife Kitchen Knife
- 3. FAMCÜTE Japanese Chef Knife Set
- 4. Usuki- Gyuto Chef’s Knife, 8 inch Japanese Chef Knife
- 5. SANDEWILY – Professional Kitchen Knives High Carbon Stainless Steel Chef Knife Set
- 6. FINDKING Dynasty Series 4pcs in One Kitchen Knife Set
- 7. Kiritsuke Chef’s Knife 8 Inch Damascus Japanese
- How We Tested
- How To Choose A Japanese Knife
- Best Japanese Knives FAQs
- 1. What Is The Best Japanese Knife?
- 2. Which Steel Is Best? I Heard That This Brand Of Steel Is Better Than The Others. What Kind Of Knife Do You Use?
- 3. Which Is Better: Carbon Steel Or Stainless?
- 4. Why Are Japanese Knives Considered Good Quality?
- 5. How Can I Care For My Japanese Knife?
- 6. What Are Some Popular Japanese Knives?
- 7. Should I Buy A German Or Japanese Knife?
- 8. Why Japanese Chef’s Knives Are So Expensive
Types Of Japanese Chef Knives
When you’re looking to buy the best Japanese chef knife, it is important to do your research. There are many different types of Japanese knives that are used for different tasks in the kitchen, and one may be better suited for your needs than another. Below are some examples of common knife styles so you can make the best possible decision.
A santoku knife , also known as a Japanese multi-purpose knife, is a great all-purpose kitchen knife. The name “santoku” roughly translates to “three virtues”, and the knife is meant to be used for three different tasks: slicing, dicing, and mincing. This blade shape makes it easy to cut all of these, but it’s also suited for many other tasks as well.
The santoku is a good choice for those who are new to using Japanese knives since it has a shallow blade height and typically has a sharp point. Although the curvature of the blade isn’t quite as deep as on some other styles, this knife is still very sharp, making it the perfect choice for cutting, chopping, or mincing vegetables, fruit, meat, or fish.
The santoku is a little shorter than some other Japanese knives, which means that working with this knife may require you to have more control over your cuts and make accurate slices. This also makes these types of knives easier to store, since many have a smaller handle and edge area. The blade is also slightly straighter than on some other styles, which makes it easier for cooks to maintain a steady grip while preparing foods.
A gyuto knife is a versatile Japanese knife that can be used for chopping, cutting meat, dicing vegetables, and slicing bread. This type of blade is thicker than the santoku knife but still slightly thinner than other styles. The curved edge on this style may make it more challenging to handle for cooks who are new to Japanese knives, but it is still an appropriate choice for professionals or those who are experienced with other knife styles. This blade shape may be considered easier to use by some since the gentler curve of this style makes it easier to rock back and forth while chopping foods.
A deba knife, also known as a Japanese fish knife, is the ideal choice for filleting or cutting apart raw fish. The blade on this style of knife is very sturdy and has a strong tip, making it easy to use for many different tasks. This type of Japanese chef knife can also be used to chop vegetables by using the back edge of the blade instead of the sharp front point.
A nakiri knife is a Japanese style of blade that is similar to the santoku knife, but it doesn’t have as much curvature to the blade. The edge on this knife type isn’t quite as sharp as other types, so although it can cut through ingredients easily, it also might take more effort to slice through foods. The straight blade on the nakiri knife also makes it slightly more challenging to utilize for rocking motions, so this might be a better choice for experienced chefs who are used to using knives with straighter blades.
A yanagiba knife is ideal for slicing raw fish, but it can also be used to cut through other types of ingredients. These knives are similar to sushi knifes, which are also designed for cutting raw fish, but yanagiba knives have a longer blade that many chefs prefer.
The edge on this type of Japanese chef knife is extremely sharp so it can easily slice through even the most delicate foods, but this also means that it can be difficult to handle when slicing foods, especially if they are slippery. To make use of the sharp edge on these knives, chefs might benefit from practicing their cuts before prepping food for cooking or serving to others.
A sashimi knife is designed specifically for cutting very thin slices of raw fish. The blade on this style of knife is extremely sharp and typically has a thinner edge, which makes it delicate to use. That’s why many chefs prefer to use a yanagiba knife for slicing raw fish since it can make thicker cuts. These knives are best used by experienced chefs who already have a good handle on handling various types of Japanese knives.
List of 7 Best Japanese Knives
1. TUO Damascus Kitchen Knife Set 3 Piece
The new multi-functional blade of TUO Damascus knives is made of Japanese AUS10 Damascus steel with the hardness between HRC 0.62 and HRC 61, ensuring a high-level rust resistance, wear-resistance and long-lasting performance in your kitchen. The Knife Series comes in 3 pieces which include a Slicer, Chef’s Knife, and Utility Knife all nicely boxed up in sturdy gift wrapping to give as a gift when they’re not using it!
This 3-piece Damascus knife set is designed for the chef who needs a high-quality, versatile blade to handle heavy-duty tasks. This series of knives offers versatility with its utility blade and serrated bread and tomato knives, but also has a precise slicing cleaver that is razor-sharp with every cut you make.
One of the most important features in this kitchen knife set is our ergonomic G10 Handle which provides plenty of support and hand control while never getting fatigued from prolonged use!
- Durable Japanese AUS10 steel with HRC between 0.62-0.92 ensures a high level of sharpness, wear resistance, and long-lasting performance
- A multi-functional utility knife can slice meats, cut vegetables, peel fruits, cut through salmon skin, etc.
- Ergonomic G10 handle provides plenty of support and hand control while never getting fatigued from prolonged use!
- Classic design brings out the beauty of your kitchen
2. Professional Japanese Knife 8 inch Gyuto Chef Knife Kitchen Knife
This Kiku series premium knife set is forged out of the finest German high-carbon stainless steel. Its sharpness and abrasion resistance is unrivaled in its price range due to the molybdenum and vanadium that go into it. It has a particularly long lifespan compared to other knives, making it perfect for any home chef. We recommend this knife set because of its affordability, durability, edge retention
The Professional Japanese Knife has a full-tang blade, so the careful use of water and flipping protectors is recommended. The 8-inch height falls in line with international guidelines for a chef knife to be suitable for most users who are dexterous enough to handle knives well. The size of a polished ebony wood handle makes it easy to grip this popular kitchen knife firmly while using the blade on different foods like veggies, meat, seafood (i.e. table scraps), all while maintaining your safety.
- Premium Japanese Knife; forged out of the finest German high-carbon stainless steel and sharpened to a 16° angle for flawless cutting.
- Full tang blade with an ebony handle that is easy to grip for safe, confident usage; full metal forging increases balance and weight for more efficient workouts.
3. FAMCÜTE Japanese Chef Knife Set
The FAMCÜTE Chef Knife Set is an essential tool for any true sushi chef. It includes 8 blades with handles consisting of shrimp, salmon, octopus, crab stick, and boiled egg holders for the most adventurous culinary chefs! From these basic strips, you can make beautiful presentations like nigiri (the fish-on-seaweed classic), hosomaki (a small roll typically stuffed with ingredients), ikura tama kushi (salmon roe over sticky rice), or ebi shiitake maki (tofu fried with shrimp tempura).
FAMCÜTE Japanese Chef Knife Set is crafted with Japanese steel blades, and is engineered for both precision cutting and endurance. The overall ergonomic design is unrivaled in the industry, so you can use it comfortably all day long. Appreciate the high-quality materials used to make this product for a premium feel every time you cook!
You’ll be able to chop and slice like a pro, avoiding wear and tear on your fingers by using ergonomic designs that are perfect for slicing, dicing, cubing. Such uniquely designed high-quality steel blades made from top tempered composites including layered heat-treated Damascus razor-sharp stainless steel make these knives are sharper than any other blade. Once you go FAMCÜTE you won’t need another knife set ever again!
- Made in Japan blade and razor-sharp edge
- High carbon steel blade, hardness up to HRC 60
- Exceptionally sharp knife, easy to slice meat and fish fillets without squashing them
4. Usuki- Gyuto Chef’s Knife, 8 inch Japanese Chef Knife
This chef knife is made of full-bodied 9CR18MOV steel, making it a great choice for any chef. With an HRC of 60+, you can expect your knife will not wear down easily with the quality construction. The octagonal handle offers both a comfortable grip and durability. Usuki Traditional Gyuto Chef’s Knife is perfect for all chefs from beginners to professionals!
The Usuki- Gyuto Chef’s Knife is perfect for any chef. It may be small, but it does the job to perfection with its 60+/-2 HRC that will help you extend your knife’s life. With a comfortable grip Octagonal handle, this lightweight gyuto knife is easy to hold and sturdy enough to make tough choppings quick work.
- Blade Length: 8 inches
- Total Length: 13.5 inches
- Weight: 5 ounces
- HRC: 60 +/- 2
- Handle Material: Octagonal Pakka wood handle, Stainless steel bolster, and buttcap for balance and durability
- Balance Point: Right at the first finger grip point (Just like a Katana)
5. SANDEWILY – Professional Kitchen Knives High Carbon Stainless Steel Chef Knife Set
This set includes both large and small blades, two sizes to tackle all your cutting needs. The 8-inch blade offers a protective sheath for safe storage when not in use; the 7.5-inch knife is perfect for smaller tasks like slicing cucumbers or onions with precision, and the 5-inch paring knife will make chopping fresh herbs a breeze! Tired of dull blades after continuous use? Get these knives now! Don’t forget about their sleek design – they were built to reduce dough clumping, which saves time by getting past this step quickly. In addition, these knives feature Japanese high carbon stainless steel that won’t rust over time
With professional kitchen knives, cutting becomes flatter and effortless. This set of 3-piece high carbon stainless steel chef knives is a perfect choice for a professional chef. With their narrow blade edge which can cut through fruits, vegetables, or meats easily without crushing them, these knives are also your dependable companion in cooking to make your cooking effortless.
The knives are perfect for home use and enjoy the performance that’s comparable with professional kitchen knives–the perfect balance of hardness, ductility, elasticity and toughness. The handles are designed with Pakka wood which offers better grip strength over time as well as comfort to reduce fatigue. Each knife has a sheath for protecting your hands when not being used!
- High carbon stainless steel
- Narrow blade edge cuts easily through fruits, vegetables or meats
- Pakka wood handle offers better grip and comfort
6. FINDKING Dynasty Series 4pcs in One Kitchen Knife Set
Outfit your kitchen with the FINDKING Dynasty Series 4pcs in One Kitchen Knife Set. This set features an ergonomic handle that’s both beautiful and comfortable to offer the cook balance, stability, and precision in cuts perfect for precision or endurance cuts.
The Findking Dynasty Series 4-piece Knife set has an HRC of 60+/-2 for strong performance, angled blade geometry to allow smooth cutting, and clad dimples for food release. Perfect for use on vegetables, fruit, fish or meat.
With this kitchen knife set, you get four knives in one. From chopping large vegetables to slicing delicate herbs, the proprietary blade shapes are perfect for all cooking tasks–both professional and at home. The ergonomic handles are designed with balance points that make it comfortable for any cook to use their strength efficiently while providing precise cuts every time.
- Ergonomic handle designed with balance points for comfort and precision
- Proprietary blade geometry provides smooth cuts
- Works perfectly on vegetables, fruit, fish, or meat
- HRC of 60+/-2 for strong performance and durability
- Four knives in one: angled vegetable knife, all-purpose cleaver, straight cutting knife, and mincing knife
7. Kiritsuke Chef’s Knife 8 Inch Damascus Japanese
This Japanese-style chef knife is made of the best ingredients known to man. It’s 66 layers of high carbon stainless Damascus steel make it resistant to corrosion and rust. Plus, our industry expert forges this blade with an authentic Japanese VG-10 “Super Steel” cutting core that ensures maximum edge retention without dulling or chipping.
The Kiritsuke Chef’s Knife 8 Inch Damascus Japanese is a well-made knife that will last for years to come. It was designed with many features that ensure the best cooking experience, such as a sharp Damascus steel cutting core and high-quality stainless steel cladding. Thinly slicing meat, vegetables, fruit or anything else couldn’t be easier when this blade glides through food easily and chops without effort. For any chef who demands the finest quality in their work, deciding between our best products can prove difficult – but we think you’ll find the perfect fit in this knife!
- 8 inch blade
- Damascus steel material
- Stainless steel material for durability
How We Tested
A Japanese chef knife is usually made by the traditional technique of Samurai swordsmiths. The high hardness (about 60HRC) enables very fine cutting and also keeps sharp for a long time. However, it is extremely difficult to craft with such steel. It’s easy to know the quality of the blade just by looking at its appearance which tells you how masterly it was made. Besides that, I would like to show you the way we check the quality of blades in our store.
Firstly, we do an edge test on new knives. Here are some photos were taken when doing so on Henckels Miyabi Kaizen Series knives. A paper cutter is placed under an angle about 30° from the edge perpendicularly and pulled up vertically with moderate strength. This is repeated for 40-50 times to check the strength of the anti-corrosion coating along with that of steel.
Performed correctly, it should not catch or leave any marks on the blade while cutting paper smoothly at the same time. When doing this test carefully, you will feel the blade has no friction against paper due to fine polishing and high hardness which enables great sharpness to come out easily even when using moderate force. However, if it does not pass this rigorous test even after all those efforts, I won’t touch it nor recommend my customers to buy such knives either because its quality is simply too bad for professional use. On another hand, if you are looking for very high-performance blades then you can try our extra hard ZDP-189 which is much more expensive than Miyabi Kaizen Series but you will have an unforgettable cutting experience with it.
Our next step of quality control is to check how well the blade is fixed onto the handle. Frankly speaking, there has been many poor blades having beautiful appearance and sharpness as we tested above which fall apart from their handles or become loose after several months of daily use because of bad welding between blade and handle. We pay considerable attention to such problems and carefully perform this test for all new knives before putting them into stock on the shelf.
This time we put boards on both sides of sheet metal and then stick a knife perpendicularly onto one of those using adhesive (epoxy resin in this case) and then put another board on top of it. If you check the photo carefully, you will notice that there is a gap between blade and handle where the adhesive doesn’t fill in (red circle). This means epoxy resin was not fully dried out though we already let them dry for 24 hours in room temperature.
If they pass this test, we don’t mind if their blades are slightly above or below the center of handles because in such cases we properly fix them manually in our store when customers purchase knives after sharpening. However, if the blades show any sign of falling down during testing then we just return them to manufacturers without any hesitation. As mentioned previously, I would like to emphasize that all these quality control processes are absolutely essential to deliver professional knives to our customers.
Lastly, we check the quality of both blades and handles as a whole. Of course, it is already verified when making those but still I would like to make sure they do not have any problems after putting them into stock. We put our products on the upper shelves which are about 3 meters high over my head and take photos from various angles then compare those with reference photos taken before shipment
How To Choose A Japanese Knife
As with buying anything in this world, there are varying qualities of Japanese knives. The best way to purchase one is to do some research on what you like and read reviews on the different brands available.
Types of Steel
The steel, or “hagane”, that is used to forge Japanese knives can vary depending on the brand. Some of the most popular steels are Shirogami, blue paper #2 steel, and white paper #1 steel. These types of steel are more likely to be found in carbon steel blades; however, there are also stainless steel blades made from the same types of steel.
Types of Handle
The handle can also vary depending on the brand and model you purchase. Each knife is recommended to fit your hand comfortably, so there are many different sizes that will be available to fit your preference. Some handles are made with wood or plastic, while others may be metal. The material that is best for you will depend on your preferences and how you plan to use the knife.
One of the most important things to consider when buying a Japanese knife is sharpness. You can’t tell how sharp it is unless you cut something with it, so make sure to go try it on some vegetables or fruit. You should also consider if you are more comfortable with a flexible blade or a stiffer blade.
It is important to think about how you will be using the knife. If you plan on chopping a lot of vegetables, then it would be best to get a model that is heavier and has a wider blade for more stability because it can reduce fatigue in your hands. A knife with this type of design is known as “deba” style.
Also, think about how you will be transporting your knife. Some knives come with a saya, or a protective case made from wood or plastic to cover the blade when it is stored in a drawer. This also keeps the blade sharp longer because there won’t be anything touching the edge. If this isn’t important to you, then you can choose a knife without this accessory.
When bringing the knife with you, make sure to carry it in your hand or put it away in its case. Also, never carry a Japanese knife with anything else in the same pocket. There are specially made knives that are meant for carrying on your person.
Another important thing to consider when purchasing a Japanese knife is the maintenance process. Depending on how often you use your knife, you may want to take extra steps in keeping it clean and maintaining its blade.
If the handle is made with wood, then make sure to oil it regularly; otherwise, it can crack or warp over time. If the handle isn’t made with wood, then you should hand wash and towel dry it after each use. You can also put your knife in the dishwasher; however, this isn’t recommended because the heat and water may damage its wooden handle or rust the blade.
An important thing to consider when taking care of a Japanese knife is sharpening it. There are a variety of tools that you can use to sharpen a blade. You can buy a whetstone or stone and then learn how to do it yourself, or you could also take the knife into a professional if need be.
Best Japanese Knives FAQs
1. What Is The Best Japanese Knife?
the best Japanese knife is debatable since it is a matter of personal preference. Some people may think that it is the most expensive knife they can afford, while others may think that it is the oldest one. This question has no exact answer, but there are some knives that are generally considered as top-quality Japanese blades, such as Masamoto knives.
2. Which Steel Is Best? I Heard That This Brand Of Steel Is Better Than The Others. What Kind Of Knife Do You Use?
There are many types of steel used to make knives, both in Japan and elsewhere. Some steels are more resilient to rusting, some are harder/tougher, some don’t hold an edge well, some are easier to sharpen, etc. If you have a preference for a certain type of steel, you will likely find a knife on the market with your preferred steel.
3. Which Is Better: Carbon Steel Or Stainless?
Typically people choose between carbon and stainless because they want their knives to have good rust resistance or they don’t want to have to oil their knives. Carbon is more vulnerable to rust, but it is easier to sharpen. Stainless does not require as much maintenance, but it is harder to sharpen.
4. Why Are Japanese Knives Considered Good Quality?
There’re multiple reasons:
- They stay sharp longer than many other types of knives.
- Their steel has a high carbon content, which gives it a high hardness and edge retention.
- They are usually lighter than European knives, but not as light as Chinese ones.
5. How Can I Care For My Japanese Knife?
Maintenance is very easy! Just wash it with water right after using it (no dishwashing soap), let it dry completely, and oil it with camellia oil once a month. A lot of people go even less than that, but the manufacturer’s suggestion is at least once a month.
6. What Are Some Popular Japanese Knives?
Some famous brands are Masamoto, Shun, Sakai Takayuki, etc., but there are many smaller manufacturers and custom makers.
7. Should I Buy A German Or Japanese Knife?
Some people prefer German knives because they are very strong and durable, but the best steel is in Japan so you will get a better edge if you go with a Japanese knife. So it all depends on what type of blade you’re looking for (German vs. Japanese) and what you need the knife to do (smash, slice, chop, etc.).
8. Why Japanese Chef’s Knives Are So Expensive
The knives were made by craftsmen in Japan, and they are known for their quality. The blades of these Japanese knives will not rust or corrode as other kitchen knives do. If you want the best kitchen knife set on the market today that is affordable, then this one from Japan is a great option to consider. One thing we found out about these knives was that they can be sharpened with any stone (even glass) without damaging them at all! This makes it easy to keep your favorite blade razor-sharp and ready for use whenever needed.
We hope this article has been helpful as well as informative because there’s always so much information out there on what might seem like an easy decision but really isn’t. We really want you to make this decision’s Knife & wisely because it can be difficult or easy depending on what kind of information you have.