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The Best Japanese Knives In The World: Top Picks, Reviews & Buying Guides

Kitchen knives are one of the most essential items for a chef. And when talking about highest quality kitchen knives, we will think about Japanese knives. Many professional chefs trust and use Japanese knife. If you are looking for the best Japanese knives, we will help you in this article.

Contents

In-depth Reviews of The Best Japanese Knives

1. TUO Chef Knife Dark Knight 8″ – Best for Classy Design

Product highlights

Are you looking for a practical and stylish knife set? If the answer is yes, then the Black Knight series knife will be your best choice. This Japanese kitchen knife set features a classy black look, sharp edges, and rust-resistant blades for easy cutting. 

TUO has high carbon Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel material. Which has high performance in anti-rust and anti-corrosion. The sharp edge and good balance make the best japanese chefs knives faster and more efficient in everyday kitchen tasks.

Classic black Pakkawood handle and sepia coil. With its anti-slip design, the high-quality ergonomic grip provides a well-balanced grip for optimal control.

TUO Chef Knife 8" - Japanese Gyuto Knife Super Sharp Chefs Knives Black Titanium Coated Blade - Premium AUS-8 Stainless Steel Ergonomic Pakkawood Handle - Dark Knight Series with Sheath & Gift Box

3 new from $62.95
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 22, 2022 7:12 am

Pros

  • Comes with a great design and appearance.
  • Razor-sharp edge.
  • Superior edge retention.
  • Resistant to rust, heat and moisture.
  • Ergonomic, flexible and well-balanced.

Cons

  • Need special care and maintenance.

Bottom line

Along with its beautiful design and outstanding features, the 8 chef’s knife is a perfect choice for you. Upgrade your kitchen space with this Dark Knight knife set from TUO!

2. TUO Nakiri Knife TC0717 – Best for Vegetables Slicing

Product highlights

Believe it or not, vegetables need their own knives because of their fibrous and chewy ingredients. So, the TUO nakiri knife is among the best japanese knives for this. Individuals looking for something versatile and handy for slicing their broccoli will be happy.

This knife is made from unpainted steel, is razor sharp and has excellent edge retention. Because this is a Nakiri knife, the blade is rectangular and honed to a sharp finish on one side. Patent-pending Packkawood handle, stain and corrosion resistant for improved user experience.

TUO Nakiri Knife - Vegetable Cleaver Kitchen Knives - Japanese Chef Knife German X50CrMoV15 Stainless Steel - Pakkawood Handle - 6.5" - Fiery Series

16 new from $33.95
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 22, 2022 7:12 am

Pros

  • Gently curved blade.
  • Easy sharpening.
  • Provides edge retention.
  • Anti-stain and anti-corrosion.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • The handle is not comfortable to hold.

Bottom line

A lifetime warranty is included with each purchase. TUO also adds a satisfaction guarantee so you can get your money back if you’re not satisfied with the performance of this 6.5-in blade.

3. Usuki Gyuto Knife B08JM3F22B – Best for Versatile Use

Product highlights

These best Japanese chef knives are made of 3 layers of alloy steel for durability and sturdiness. The double-sided blade has excellent retention of sharpness and cuts with precision. The classic Japanese handle is octagonal for a comfortable, non-slip grip.

The bevels on the wooden handle make it easy to hold it at various angles if skillfully cut for presentation. The dimple pattern on the blade prevents starchy foods like potatoes from sticking to the blade.

Gyuto Chef’s Knife, 8 inch Japanese Chef Knife 3 layers 9CR18MOV Clad Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife, Alloy Steel Gyuto Knife for Kitchen/Restaurant, Octagonal Handle, Gift Box (8 inch chef knife)

Amazon.com
as of September 22, 2022 7:12 am

Pros

  • Balance processing.
  • Well designed.
  • Comfortable in your hand.
  • Nice ending.
  • Sharp blade.

Cons

  • You should be careful with the super sharp blade.

Bottom line

These are multi-purpose Japanese knives that can be used to cut, slice, mince foods such as fruits, meat, fish, vegetables. The manufacturer guarantees satisfaction and will replace the knife if it is defective.

View more: Best Japanese Whetstone

4. Enowo Damascus Chef Knife – Best for Durable Use

Product highlights

We know that Damascus carbon steel is one of the finest ingredients in a traditional Japanese kitchen knife. For enowo, they took this Japanese knife to the next level. That’s why we ranked it 4th in this list of best Japanese knives.

The special water ripples on the Damascus chef blade and hand-polished mirror surface are not only beautiful, but also help reduce drag and cling on food. Ensuring the best taste of food.

This top military grade VG-10 black handle with three gorgeous studs and a full design secures the handle to the blade. It provides better durability and reliability.

enowo Damascus Chef Knife 8 Inch with Premium G10 Handle&Triple Rivet,Razor Sharp Kitchen Knife Japanese VG-10 Stainless Steel,Gift Box,Ergonomic,Superb Edge Retention, Stain & Corrosion Resistant

2 new from $79.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 22, 2022 7:12 am

Pros

  • High quality Damascus steel.
  • Ultra-sharp cutting core.
  • Durable and reliable.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Beautiful and luxurious design.

Cons

  • The packaging is a bit loose.

Bottom line

The Enowo cooking knife has a unique and beautiful natural wave pattern with an elegant non-slip handle, housed in a custom black gift box. Making it the perfect gift for your family and friends.

5. Yoshihiro Nakiri/Usuba Knife – Best for Premium Use

Product highlights

Yoshihiro used 100% original stainless steel for cutlery from Japan, which is quite durable. It is a bit expensive and uses non-corrosive materials. It is one of the most durable cutlery materials, having been used in high-end knives. 

This is fairly easy to sharpen. But for the first time you need to be careful as it requires a bit of effort and is easy to injure your fingers. It has 46 layers of Damascus steel, has been precision hardened and is highly durable.

Finally, the handle is made of rosewood, which is extremely worthwhile and comfortable to use. Plus, the shape is octagonal, which makes the grip even high. The knife comes with a sheath. Which is also surprisingly premium, as it is made of Mongolian wood.

Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Nakiri/Usuba Japanese Vegetable Chefs Knife (Octagonal Ambrosia Handle)

Amazon.com
as of September 22, 2022 7:12 am

Pros

  • Authentic and high-end design.
  • Durable and reliable.
  • Graded Damascus Steel.
  • Rockwell hardness HRC61.
  • Comfortable using a knife.

Cons

  • Extremely small cuts are quite difficult to obtain.

Bottom line

Since these Japanese knives come from the best Japanese knives brand Yoshihiro, you can rest assured about the quality. This is a Japanese Nakiri knife, which has a rectangular blade shape with the ability to cut both sides. The cutting process is fast and sharp due to the lower angles. 

6. iMarku Japanese Knife Set – Best for Japanese Knife Set

Product highlights

In the 6th place on this best Japanese cooking knives list, we have a collection of 11 products from iMarku.

This professional stainless steel kitchen knife set includes 8 chef knives, 7 cutters, 8 bread knives, kitchen scissors, knife sharpener, knife block, cutting board and 4 pieces 4.5 knives steak. This is a complete set that not only allows you to prepare and cook a variety of meals, but also serve them. As it also comes with a steak knife.

The material of these blades is high carbon stainless steel. Which is a very hard material and can hold its edge for quite a long time. They also have a beautiful rosewood handle that adds to the aesthetic appeal.

Knife Set, imarku 11-Piece Kitchen Knife Sets with Block, Stainless Steel Chef Knife Set with Wooden Cutting Board, Knife Block Set with Sharpener

3 new from $249.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 22, 2022 7:12 am

Pros

  • Full tang Japanese knives.
  • Beautiful aesthetic.
  • The complete set for any kitchen.
  • Relatively affordable.
  • Comes with a beautiful wooden handle.

Cons

  • The knives are stamped, not forged.

Bottom line

The kit also comes with a knife block in the same wood tone as the handle. Which helps to keep the blade safe.

With this set of iMarku knives, you can complete all your cooking tasks with ease. For an affordable price, consider this product to elevate your kitchen.

7. WEKIT Chef Knife – Best for Harsh Conditions

Product highlights

Our seventh recommendation for an impressive and durable chef’s knife is this one from WEKIT. Not only its elegant design will impress you but also its features. The blade is made of Japanese high carbon stainless steel. This will give you maximum performance and a razor-sharp edge.

In addition, it is rust-proof, wear-resistant and long-lasting. You may not need to sharpen this knife often. Ergonomic handles are designed to give you agility, control and comfort. Besides, it has been specially treated to be able to withstand humidity, heat and cold.

WEKIT Chef Knife 8 Inch Damascus Chefs Knife Japanese VG10 Kitchen Knife Sharpest 67-Layer High Carbon Stainless Steel knife, Pro Cooking Knife, Meat Cutting Gyuto Chef Knife with Sheath(type 1)

1 used from $60.51
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 22, 2022 7:12 am

Pros

  • Sharp and durable blade.
  • Anti-rust and anti-stain.
  • Unaffected by heat, humidity or cold.
  • Comfortable grip.
  • Gorgeous design.

Cons

  • Food tends to stick to the sides of the blade.

Bottom line

This knife is also great as a gift for your friend who is passionate about cooking. With its herringbone patterned surface, it can be the perfect addition to any collection.

Related: Chef Knife Set For Culinary School

Buying Guides for the Best Japanese Knives 

1. Types of Japanese kitchen knife

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Different types of Japanese kitchen knives

  • Santoku knife (All-purpose knife)

The Santoku knife is a versatile knife and can be used to prepare and cut meat, fish, and vegetables. Santoku knife roughly translates as the three virtues representing the three main cutting functions, which are chopping, slicing and cutting. 

This knife is commonly used. The spine of the blade curves down towards the relatively straight cutting edge meaning this is roughly aligned with the rest of the edge. For reference, this blade shape is very close to the shape of a French chef’s knife.

  • Gyuto knife (Japanese Chef’s knife)

Gyuto knife literally translates to ‘beef sword’, referring to its origins in the preparation of raw meat and fish, although it is a good all-purpose knife, commonly used for preparing Western dishes. and probably the closest kind of knife. 

Edge has a gentle curve towards the tip, ideal for slicing harder products like fruits and vegetables in a rocking motion. More contact with the cutting board means less user fatigue.

Usually around 8 to 12 inches in size, Gyuto knife is lightweight. It is ideal for more precise jobs, but probably not for larger and harder ingredients.

  • Nakiri knife (Vegetable knife)

The Japanese Nakiri knife is mainly used to cut vegetables. They have a thin and wide tongue and pointed tips. Straight blades are usually 150-180mm (5 to 7 inches) long.

Since it’s designed for slicing vegetables, the knife has a straight blade that can cut through long items (like eggplant, carrots). As well as ultra-thin slices from cucumbers, bitter gourds, tomatoes, and sauces. Its double bevel angle makes it perfect for both left and right handed users.

  • Petty knife (Utility knife)

Sometimes called a utility knife, the Petty is a smaller version of the Chef’s knife but larger than a paring knife. The Petty is suitable for small places that require more dexterity than larger chef knives while handling larger jobs than a paring knife can handle.

The smaller size and relatively narrow blade make the knife very agile and manoeuvrable. It is an ideal alternative to Gyuto for those with smaller hands. Its double bevel angle makes it perfect for both left and right handed users. It typically comes in lengths from 90mm to 180mm (4 and 7 inches).

  • Deba knife (Fillet knife)

Taking its name from the delicious Japanese raw fish it is used for. The sashimi knife is designed for use in preparing a variety of raw fish from fillets to portioning and slicing. 

This knife has traditionally been beveled only on one side. Which gives the knife a particularly fine, sharp edge and a flat back for better support when cutting. 

This back is usually a hollow part of the ground to help the knife pass through the live fish. Due to the shape of the blades, these knives are sometimes called “Yanagi”, which means willow leaf. 

  • Yanagiba knife (Sashimi knife)

The Yanagiba knife is a traditional Japanese fillet knife. They are mainly used to slice boneless fish for sushi and sashimi dishes. However, they are also commonly used to skin fish.

The long, narrow blade and relatively sharp angle enable the fish to be cut with a single drawing movement, from heel to tip. Ranging from 210mm to 360mm (8 to 14 inches), their blades come in a variety of lengths.

2. Types of Steel

Most Japanese knives are made of carbon steel or stainless steel (or both), and each has its pros and cons.

Stainless steel

  • Pros: Better for the casual home cook because it’s easier to care for. It resists rust and discoloration better than carbon steel.
  • Cons: Stainless steel blades are harder to sharpen. So you may have to take them to a professional to sharpen them.

High carbon steel

  • Pros: Sharper edges stay sharp longer and are easier to self-sharpen.
  • Cons: Needs more maintenance. You need to wipe it clean and dry after use or it may be prone to discoloration and rust.

Another option is a high carbon stainless steel blade. Which means the carbon steel blade is coated (covered) with stainless steel.

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Japanese chef knife offers high quality performance

3. Layers

Japanese knives are made from several layers of steel. Depending on the local tradition and culture of the producing blacksmith, these grades can be numbered from 2 to 33. They are influenced by the type of steel used and also whether the knife will be single or beveled. double. 

This component gives the knife the perfect combination of sharpness and greater durability. The blades are made up of multiple layers of steel that are often forged and honed to produce multiple layers of steel. It creates very attractive suminagashi or damascus steel patterns.

4. Handles

The shape of the handle is important to how well the knife is balanced and how it feels in your hand. It is very important that you feel comfortable when using the knife. Not only to make it easier to use, but also to ensure that you do not cause any accidents.

Make sure to hold the knives before you buy. The handle should not be too big or too small for your hand, as otherwise it will be more difficult to control them.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Choose the best Japanese knives for precise cuts

1. Should I buy a Japanese chef’s knife?

In general, the best Japanese knives are preferred because they are much lighter than German knives, which makes them more comfortable to work with. Home cooks who are used to German knives may need to adjust their technique when using Japanese knives for the first time.

2. Is German knife or Japanese knife better?

German knives have around 57 on the scale, while Japanese knives are closer to 60 to 63. Harder Japanese knives hold better edges. However, that same harder steel is less durable and prone to chipping or even breaking.

3. Why are Japanese knives so special?

In general, the best Japanese knives are lighter, have a more balanced grip. They are characterized by stronger, thinner steel that can hold the edge for a longer time. These are exactly the reasons why they are so popular among professional chefs.

best japanese knives

Deba knife is great knife for cutting bones

4. Is a Japanese chef’s knife ideal for cutting bones?

However, do not try to cut the thicker bones. Or you will risk damaging the knife. Instead, choose the yo-deba knife, which is more specialized for cutting bones and shellfish.

5. Why is Japanese steel so good?

The best Japanese knives made by Japanese manufacturers traditionally use high carbon steel. This is a premium material for blades because it stays super sharp for longer than stainless steel. Due to its 60-61 rating on the Rockwell scale. High carbon steel is significantly harder but also more brittle.

Conclusion

Along with this article, Battersby hopes to help you find the best Japanese knives set that suits your needs. Whether Japanese style knives or Western style knives, they all have their own pros and cons. Please consider carefully and make the correct choice. A quality Japanese knife will elevate your performance in the kitchen!

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