Japanese Knife Vs German Knife

German Vs. Japanese Knives: What’s The Difference?

A knife is the most important tool in any kitchen. Knives can be used for many purposes, including cutting meat, vegetables, and fruit; slicing and spreading bread and pastries; opening packages; and cutting twine or other soft materials. If you’re looking to buy a new set of knives but don’t know where to start then this article will help you compare two popular brands: Japanese knives vs German knives. You’ll learn about different blade types as well as handle material before making your decision on which brand may suit your needs best.

What Is a Japanese Knife?

The Japanese knives come in a variety of forms including kitchen knives, fishing knives, cooking knives, hunting knives, etc. They are made from high-quality steel called ‘stainless steel’. Some blades even have multiple layers where each layer has different hardness and carbon content. It results in a blade that is sharp yet flexible with extremely high resistance to rusting, chipping, or shattering.

Benefits Of Owning A Japanese Knife

  • Can be used for more than one purpose (e.g., hunting)
  • The blade is very thick and sharp
  • Last a long time if you take care of it properly
  • Comes at a high price, but it’s worth every penny given its benefit

What Is The German Knife?

The German knife is usually made of stainless steel which is sharpened with some carbon content to give it a harder blade. They are more suitable for use as weapons than Japanese knives.

Benefits Of Owning A German Knife

  • Cheaper than Japanese knives
  • Can be used for multiple purposes (e.g., hunting)
  • Thicker than the average german knife – durable if you take care of it properly
  • Comes at an affordable price but will not last as long as Japanese knives gave their benefits

Difference Between Japanese Knife And German Knife


The German knives are more suitable for use as weapons than Japanese knives. Japanese knives can be used to perform a variety of tasks from slicing to chopping with their varied shape and size.

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Japanese kitchen knives differ from western kitchen knives in their ability to maintain a sharp edge.

While the German household knives have been sharpened and honed to keep them in prime condition, the Japanese knives are purposely left with a dull edge so that they can be sharpened at home.


The cutting ability of any blade is largely dependent on how sharp it is so let’s start with this point. Despite popular belief, both Japanese and European-style knives can achieve extreme levels of sharpness (if you look around the internet you will find many people claiming that their German knives are scary sharp!).

At this time I do not recommend ceramic blades for home cooking because they are brittle and chip easily – if you want a super sharp knife then stick to the metal! I can’t comment much on German knives because I haven’t used them extensively but I have used several brands of Japanese knives that were very impressive when it came to sharpness. Keep in mind that even though high-quality European knives can be extremely sharp it typically takes more effort (and skill) to get them that way.


While high-performance Japanese knives are often made from very hard steel, this hardness comes at a price – they are not as tough as German knives which are typically made from stainless steel. What’s the difference between toughness and strength? Toughness is the ability of a blade material to absorb energy before fracturing whereas strength refers to how much energy it takes to permanently bend or deform a blade. If you want more information on blade steels then please see my article titled Types of Kitchen Knives.

Japanese blades tend to be harder than German blades so they will hold their edges longer – however if they do chip then repairing them can be difficult due to the hardness of the metal.

Although they can’t hold an edge as well as harder Japanese knives, German blades are often stronger so they will deform or chip less easily than most Japanese knives.

German knives also have more lateral strength than many Japanese knives so they won’t result in bent tips as easily (a common problem with users who use a chopping motion). Note that this is usually only a concern for professional cooks because most home cooks will not require such toughness and strength.

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Each design is perfect for certain cutting tasks so the only way to know which one you like is to try them out.

German knives tend to have a blade shape that’s optimized for rocking or chopping cuts whereas Japanese blades are usually better suited for push/pull cutting techniques. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions and you can still do all of those motions with an unsuitable knife but it will be more difficult than if your blade was designed for such usage.

The geometries of these two designs vary greatly but Japanese blades tend to have a straighter edge whereas German knives typically have a more curved edge that provides a larger contact area when making slicing cuts – this allows users to slice through products more efficiently.

Performance (And Price)

One advantage of German knives is that they’re perceived to be “stronger” than Japanese blades because you can get them with harder steel and thicker edges; however, unless you actually try this out yourself using your own hands/fingers I wouldn’t worry about it… (similarly, some people think Japanese cutlery is inferior because they don’t look similar in appearance to traditional European Knives but I personally believe that they’re better for specific purposes).

So, which type of blade will work best for you? There are certainly some things to consider… Japanese knives are typically more expensive than German blades but this really depends on what type(s) of product/steel you choose. In addition, the performance characteristics aren’t as significant as most people might think because Japanese cutlery is typically lighter and easier to use regardless of the cost.

Which Are Better, Japanese Or German Knives?

When deciding between an expensive Japanese knife or a cheap German knife, the real question is which of the two do you need. If you are looking for something to use in an emergency situation, then you can go with the German knife since it is cheap and affordable. However, if you want something that lasts longer, then invest in a Japanese knife.

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The difference between the two is that Japanese knives are razor sharp and very thick, whereas German knives are more durable since they can be used for a variety of things (e.g., hunting). With the German knife, you get what you pay for but with the Japanese knife, it’s worth every penny.


In conclusion, Japanese knives are sharper and more durable than German knives. The blades of a Japanese knife have a unique shape that is different from other types of knives so they do not need to be sharpened as often or put through as much wear and tear during use. A Japanese knife will stay sharp for longer which means you may only need to sharpen it once every few months! If you’re looking for a new set of kitchen knives, we recommend getting one with at least two Japanese-style knives in your kit. You’ll love how easy these tools make cooking day-to-day meals easier on yourself while also saving time in the long run by having less work required when using them!




Walter Gallagher
Walter Gallagher

Walter Gallagher is the editor in chief and lead recipe developer at Iron Door Saloon. He’s passionate about helping people create a healthy, flavorful life for themselves with easy-to-follow recipes, smart food swaps, and new cooking techniques.

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