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Best Japanese Kitchen Knives 2020

KAN Core 8-Inch 67-layers Japanese Kitchen Knife

Best



  • Built with Japanese AUS 10 stainless steel


  • Knife stays extremely strong and rigid


  • A resilient knife with a unique pattern

Kessaku High Carbon Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife

Premium



  • Constructed with high-grade material


  • Comes in a very good package


  • Its handle is very comfortable to hold

Dalstrong Santoku AUS-10V 7-inch Shogun Japanese Kitchen Knife

Value



  • It is super-sharp


  • Double-edged blade


  • military-grade handle

The Top Japanese Kitchen Knife Choice on Our List that is currently Available Today:

Kessaku High Carbon Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife​

Why we like it:



  • Constructed with high-grade material


  • Comes in a very good package


  • Its handle is very comfortable to hold

Our Rating:
4.8/5

For centuries now, Japan has been known to be producers of the world’s finest blades. These blades have hardness, strength, and have made a name for retaining this cutting edge. It is not surprising that Japan is the home for some of the best kitchen knives.

Globally, Japanese kitchen knives are highly favored by both professional and amateur chefs. Their lightweight, thin, and super sharp blades make food preparation much easier and more fun. But what are the best Japanese Kitchen knives? 

Of course, there are lots of products out there, that’s why we will be reviewing the 10 best Japanese Kitchen knives to reveal to you their features, as well as their pros and cons. With this, you shouldn’t have any problem making your pick.

Our Recommended List of the Best Japanese Kitchen Knives to Buy

1. Dalstrong Santoku AUS-10V 7-inch Shogun Japanese Kitchen Knife

When it comes to kitchen knives, Dalstrong is a well-known leader in the industry, and their Japanese range is one known and given high preference globally and the Dalstrong Santoku AUS-10V 7-inch Shogun Japanese Kitchen Knife is not exempted.

It features everything anyone will ever desire in a very good and durable Japanese knife; full tang to ensure better balance and control, which means that the knife as a whole is built from just one piece of metal, and the handle grip’s two sides bolted to it. Out of all the Japanese tang types, this seems to be the strongest. The handle is also that of military-grade G-10, which is made from the composite of fiberglass applied in layers to make a high grip, tactile surface.

This Dalstrong Santoku AUS-10V 7-inch Shogun Japanese Kitchen Knife is ranked highest at 62 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, which shows how excellent the blade’s resilience is. The creation of its fine cutting edge is made using the ancient 3-step hand -finished Honbazuke method, which will be properly explained in our buying guide.

Also, this knife has the highest number of layers (67), which means that the blade is extremely strong. In the process of manufacturing, it was nitrogen-cooled, which has made the knife’s steel has added durability, safe-guarding the cutting edge. 

The downside of this knife is the sophisticated way in which it was sharpened, and when it finally gets dull, users will need to equip themselves with the sharpening techniques to keep protecting the blade. You can utilize a knife sharpener; however, if you really love to maintain your cutting edge, then using the traditional methods is still the best.

Pros



  • It is strong


  • It has 67 layers


  • It is super-sharp


  • Double-edged blade


  • military-grade handle

Cons



  • Requires complex sharpening

Summary: 

The Dalstrong Santoku AUS-10V 7-inch Shogun Japanese Kitchen Knife is everything anyone will ever desire in a very good and durable Japanese knife. The creation of its fine cutting edge is made using the ancient 3-step hand -finished Honbazuke method. It has the highest number of layers (67), which means that the blade is extremely strong. Having said this, it’s worth it investing some money in this knife, because it gives users the best strength, balance, control, and sharpness.

2. Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife

Tojiro is well known for manufacturing affordable, but authentic, high-quality Japanese kitchen knives. The pricing allows knives from Tojiro to serve as a gateway for cooks and chefs into the great world of Japanese knives.

The Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife features a Western-style wooden handle, with its blade formed by three layers of stainless steel. The knife’s core utilizes a harder steel VG-10 to ensure the knife maintains its sharpness for a long period. Its outer layer is made up of softer stainless steel that permits easier maintenance and sharpening where required. Overall, this Tojiro knife is rated on Rockwood hardness scale at 60 HRC.

From the box, the Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife comes out super sharp, so you have to be very careful as it can slice through things easily. If you have not come across a reliable Japanese knife before, then be ready to be taken aback as you slice your meat and vegetables with ease.

This is definitely one of the best Japanese kitchen knives for the money. If you are set to try your first Japanese knife and wish to get the best service for your money, then the Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife is a great place to begin.

 

On Amazon, the knife comes in two sizes – 8.2 inches (21 cm) or 10.49 inches (27 cm). The price of these sizes seems to fluctuate, but you can check Amazon to know what the price is now.

Pros



  • It is very affordable


  • Easily maintained


  • Comes out of the box super sharp

Cons



  • The knife is a bit heavier compared to other Japanese knives

Summary:

The Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife features a Western-style wooden handle, with its blade formed by three layers of stainless steel. Its outer layer is made up of softer stainless steel that permits easier maintenance and sharpening where required. This is definitely one of the best Japanese kitchen knives for the money.

3. Shun Classic VG-MAX Cutting Core Japanese Kitchen Knife

Shun is another well-recognized brand for delivering high-quality Japanese kitchen knives and the Shun Classic VG-MAX Cutting Core Japanese Kitchen Knife is not exempted. Its price seems to be on the high side, so it’s advisable that beginners wait for a discount or a sale when buying this kitchen knife.

The design looks like a blend of Japanese and German knives. The blade seems more curved than normal Japanese gyuto. It has a similar shape to the knives of the Western-style chef but has a much sharper and thinner blade. The blade’s curved nature makes it very useful for chopping rocks.

The handle is D-shaped – a more traditional Japanese style. This knife only suits right-handed people due to the handle’s shape. If needed, you can make a customized order for a left-handed version. The blade is produced from a hard stainless steel core. It is also cladded with 32 layers of Damascus stainless steel that is softer and patterned. The combination of soft and hard steel makes the knife easier to use and maintain. Overall, this knife is rated 60-61 by Rockwell Hardness

Generally, this knife is perfect and may serve those searching for a blend between Japanese and Western-style knives. The downside here is that, compared to majority of other entry-level alternatives, it is expensive

Pros



  • This knife looks great with wood-pattern blade and traditional Japanese handle


  • Comes out of the box super-sharp


  • Curved blade profile most likely preferred by chefs

Cons



  • It is overpriced – try to wait for sale or discount price

Summary:

The design of the Shun Classic VG-MAX Cutting Core Japanese Kitchen Knife looks like a blend of Japanese and German knives. The blade seems more curved than normal Japanese gyuto. It has a similar shape to the knives of the Western-style chef but has a much sharper and thinner blade. The blade’s curved nature makes it very useful for chopping rocks. The handle is D-shaped and suitable for only right-handed users, though left-handed users can order a customized version

4. Yoshiro Cutlery VG10 16 Layer Gyuto Japanese Kitchen Knife

Another well-known entry-level gyuto is the Yoshiro Cutlery VG10 16 Layer Gyuto Japanese Kitchen Knife. This hand-crafted, stylish knife has a similar construction to the Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife.

The knife comes with a triple-layer construction, made from hard VG10 stainless steel core; this is to ensure the knife retains its sharpness for a long time. Softer steel was used for the outer layer; this is to allow for easier sharpening as well as maintenance where necessary. Overall, the hardness of this knife is rated at HRC 60 (Just like the Tojiro DP knife).

The unique appearance of the Yoshiro Cutlery VG10 is one feature that sets this kitchen knife apart. Its outer cladding is produced with hammered Damascus steel, which gives it a pattern that is wavy and unique. Some users prefer this style, while some others just love simple-looking steel. This is a great looking knife, with its Western style handle produced from premium mahogany. 

Generally, the Yoshiro VG10 16 Layer Gyuto Japanese Kitchen Knife is another reliable entry-level kitchen knife. It comes out of the package super sharp and it is rated high by different buyers. So far, it has just one downside and this is because it is a little bit expensive compared to the Tojiro DP knife.

Pros



  • Knife comes out of the package very sharp


  • Damascus steel pattern used in handcrafting it


  • It has a perfect weight and it is easy to handle

Cons



  • It is a bit expensive compared to the Tojiro DP knife

Summary: 

The Yoshiro Cutlery VG10 16 Layer Gyuto Japanese Kitchen Knife comes with a triple-layer construction, made from hard VG10 stainless steel core; this is to ensure the knife retains its sharpness for a long time. Overall, the hardness of this knife is rated at HRC 60 (Just like the Tojiro DP knife). The unique appearance of the Yoshiro VG10 is one feature that sets this kitchen knife apart.

5. Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife

Zelite Infinity is another popular name in the knife industry of Japan. The Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife is a perfect example of what the company can produce, not just because it is elegant and will fit into any kitchen, but because it serves chefs and seems to be the most versatile out of all the knives reviewed. This knife can solve virtually any kitchen-related issue.

Like the Dalstrong Santoku AUS-10V 7-inch Shogun Japanese Kitchen Knife, it features a G-10 handle and a full tang. It has an impressive score of 61 in the Rockwell Hardness Scale. 

This Zelite infinity knife also utilizes the traditional Honbazuke sharpening method to help get the best results. Aside from this, to protect the blade’s cutting edge, it is nitrogen cooled. It has 45 layers but compared to that of Dalstrong, it’s clear that the Dalstrong knife beats it in some crucial categories.

The downside of this product is that the handle is longer, and the blade is broader compared to majority of similar knives in its category, which means that it seems more cumbersome to use. If this knife is utilized for long hours, it may lead to added strain on your wrists and hands.

Generally speaking, the Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife is stylish and performs well. It also holds its sharpness. This knife is far more than its good looks 

Pros



  • It has great stylish


  • It is Nitrogen cooled


  • Its hardness score is 61


  • Honbazuke sharpened

Cons



  • Compared to other knives in its category, this knife seems heavier

Summary: 

The Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife is elegant and will fit into any kitchen. This knife can solve virtually any kitchen-related issue. It features a G-10 handle and a full tang. It has an impressive score of 61 in the Rockwell Hardness Scale. It also utilizes the traditional Honbazuke sharpening method to help get the best results. Generally, this knife is great. 

6. Yoshiro Cutlery VG-10 46 Layers Japanese Kitchen Knife

The Yoshiro company makes knives in an old-fashioned way. This they achieve by handcrafting each of them to ensure the traditions of knife making of the Japanese is kept alive.

Just like the Zelite and the Dalstrong, the Yoshiro Cutlery VG-10 46 Layers Japanese Kitchen Knife has a full tang. However, it features a traditional hexagonal magnolia handle instead of the Military grade variety. It has an impressive Rockwell hardness score at 60. Its Damascus steel blade is also hand-hammered; this is done to create those dimples, to reduce friction when dicing or cutting ingredients.

Due to the fact that the blade is made traditionally, modern innovations such as nitrogen cooling is not employed. On the downside, due to the fact that each Yoshiro knife is made individually by hand, get ready to pay a high price to acquire it. The knife is very tactile and beautiful, but it is also very expensive.

Having said this, if we are preparing a case for Knives made in Japan, then we would be negligent if the handcrafted option is left out, most especially considering the skills required to craft this type of knife

Pros



  • It is totally individual


  • It is handcrafted


  • Its hardness score is 60


  • Handle made traditionally

Cons



  • It’s not nitrogen-cooled to protect the edge of the blade


  • It is very expensive

Summary: 

The Yoshiro Cutlery VG-10 46 Layers Japanese Kitchen Knife features a traditional hexagonal magnolia handle. It has an impressive Rockwell hardness score of 60. Its Damascus steel blade is also hand-hammered; this is done to create those dimples, to reduce friction when dicing or cutting ingredients. Due to the fact that the blade is made traditionally, modern innovations such as nitrogen cooling is not employed

7. AUGYMER 8-Inch High Carbon Stainless Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife

When you think of the fact that to buy a premium-grade Japanese kitchen knife you’ll spend at least $100, then the AUGYMER 8-Inch High Carbon Stainless Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife is a very remarkable choice due to its price.

Due to its price tag, it’s obvious that the knife will lack some of the important things distinguishing a quality and reliable Japanese knife from one considered as a budget option such as this knife from AUGYMER. 

There’s no full tang in this knife, so users should not expect this knife to have the same control and balance as other reliable knives. Also, layered steel is not used in the construction, rather, it makes use of one piece of stainless steel. Though we don’t expect this to rust, it lacks the strength brought by layered steel.

The blade’s pattern is lasered on to give the Damascus steel appearance. Also, it has an ergonomic wooden handle that ensures the cutting experience is more comfortable.

The knife’s Rockwell Hardness score stands at 56-58. When compared to the more expensive model and considering the fact that it is one of the cheapest models in the market, it is important to note that the AUGYMER 8-Inch High Carbon Stainless Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife is still highly-rated on Amazon despite its low price

Pros



  • It has a very affordable price


  • Hardness score is 56-58


  • Wooden handle is ergonomic


  • Stainless steel is made from high carbon

Cons



  • It has no layers


  • Has issues with its build quality


  • The knife’s blade dulls easily


  • Its Damascus pattern is lasered

Summary: 

The AUGYMER 8-Inch High Carbon Stainless Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife is a reliable knife that comes at a low price. Despite its low price and missing out on some features compared to other Japanese knives in this review, it has lots of positive reviews on Amazon. This is because it offers great value. 

8. Tojiro DP Santoku 6.7 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife

Tojiro is always known for producing authentic, budget-friendly knives, and the Tojiro DP Santoku 6.7 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife is not an exception.

VG-10 stainless steel was used in making the core of the blade. This ensures the knife can handle sharp edges and retain this over time. The blade’s outer part was made using softer stainless steel, which makes the knife very easy to sharpen when necessary and reduces its possibility of chipping. Also, this gives the knife more flexibility, making it a great choice for amateur chefs.

The Tojiro DP Santoku 6.7 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife utilizes a Western/hybrid wood-made handle and well-secured with three rivets. It has a strong handle and it is strong and durable enough for use by professionals.

The knife comes out of the package super sharp so you have to be very careful as it can slice through things easily. If you have not come across a reliable Japanese knife before, then be ready to be taken aback as you slice your meat and vegetables with ease.

The Tojiro DP Santoku 6.7 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife is widely regarded as one of the best santoku best-entry knives out there. If you are searching for a high-quality no-nonsense santoku that you can utilize for your day to day cooking, then this one’s for you.

Pros



  • Knife comes out of the package sharp


  • It is easily maintained


  • Handle well secured with three rivets


  • It is budget-friendly

Cons



  • It seems heavy

Summary: 

The Tojiro DP Santoku 6.7 Inch Japanese Kitchen Knife is a budget-friendly knife and can meet all your kitchen needs. Its blade core was made with VG-10 stainless steel to ensure the knife can handle sharp edges and retain this over time. It has a Western/hybrid wood-made handle and well-secured with three rivets. Generally, this Japanese kitchen knife is strong and durable enough for use by professionals.

9. KAN Core 8-Inch 67-layers Japanese Kitchen Knife

KAN is one of the well-known Japanese brands that manufacture the best Japanese kitchen knives in the world and the KAN Core 8-Inch 67-layers Japanese Kitchen Knife is no exception

Now, you must be wondering why and how this knife is special and better than most knives out there. This is because it was designed with the special AUS 10 steel of Japan, which is definitely the best material to use for knives.

The coating of the AUS 10 makes the knife very strong and rigid and ensures the blade doesn’t become fragile with time. So, there’s no need to worry because this knife will serve you for a long time. Just the core was made after forging 66 Damascus steel layers which ensures that the knife is very strong and resilient and gives it a unique look and pattern.

For the knife’s optimal performance to be retained, it is important that it stays in balance at the tweak. Dark wood was used for the handles; this is to ensure the knife stays balanced while cutting.

However, there’s a need to take proper care of the knife if you wish that its quality is maintained. To keep its quality intact, there’s a need to wash the knife and wipe it dry after every use.

Pros



  • A resilient knife with a unique pattern


  • Built with Japanese AUS 10 stainless steel


  • Knife stays extremely strong and rigid

Cons



  • No visible cons.

Summary: 

The KAN Core 8-Inch 67 layers Japanese Kitchen Knife was designed with the special AUS 10 steel of Japan, which is the best material to use for knives. Its coating with the AUS 10 makes the knife very strong and rigid and ensures the blade doesn’t become fragile with time. Out of 133 ratings on Amazon, not even a single customer complained about the knife with 98% of percent of verified buyers rating it 5 stars and the remaining 2% rating it 4 stars.

10. Kessaku High Carbon Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife

When we talk of Japanese knives, the first idea that comes to mind is that the knife must be very sharp. Well, the Kessaku High Carbon Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife lives up to this expectation.

Kessaku as a brand produces amazing professional kitchen knives that have the most superior quality. The Kessaku High Carbon Steel knife is one of the very reliable creations from the company that will slice anything accurately. It is specially made to meet all the kitchen requirements of potential users and it is made with the best material and cutting edge technology.

The material used in constructing it is high carbon steel, which prevents rusts, discoloration, or corrosion from the blade. It also gives the blade a shiny look. When using a knife, it must be comfortable, if not, the user will go through much stress and pain for a long period. Kessaku had this in mind and used proper ergonomics for the construction to help users have comfort and ease while using the knife.

Most people love good packaging, and when you invest much to get a knife, you should expect some good packaging as well. This Japanese kitchen knife is well packaged in a beautiful box having magnetic closure which is great for storing the knife after each use. It also serves as a perfect gift box. This knife is one you can put your faith in without any worry and you won’t be disappointed.

Pros



  • It is very sharp


  • Constructed with high-grade material


  • Comes in a very good package


  • Its handle is very comfortable to hold

Cons



  • No visible cons

Summary: 

Kessaku High Carbon Steel Japanese Kitchen Knife is a very sharp knife made to give users so much ease while cutting. It is very sharp, and it is made from high-quality materials that prevent the blade from rusting and discoloring. It is also well packaged in a quality box that can serve as the perfect gift box. Generally, this knife is great and will meet all your kitchen demands.

Buying Guide

How we made our pick

Japanese knives are known to be the best kitchen knives in the world. These knives come in different types and they vary in prices, quality, durability, sharpness, and flexibility. We have done well to provide you with top quality information about these knives. We used the following factors to select our best Japanese knives.

Sharpness: Japanese knives are known to have very sharp blades. But some of these knives have sharper blades than others. We made sure the best knives here have very sharp blades. 

Durability: Japanese knives differ in terms of durability. This is based on the type of material used for making them and the type of handle they have. High carbon steel knives are more durable than stainless steel knives.

What are Japanese Knives?

Japanese knives are a type of kitchen tool used for cutting food items. There are various types of Japanese knives. This kitchen knife requires the use of traditional Japanese blacksmithing skills for their production. One of the features this knife offers its users is the ease of use. It requires less effort to use, unlike other conventional kitchen knives.  

These knives are known for their sharpness and toughness. Santoku and Gyuto are the most renowned manufacturers. These knives are either made of stainless steel or carbon steel. Carbon steel knives are known to be easier to sharpen and harder. 

Japanese knives are not only used for cutting and slicing, but they can also be used for carving. With this knife, cooking is made easy. This wonderful kitchen tool is something you would never regret having in your kitchen. For some years, Japan has been known to be a producer of some of the best blades in the world and till now, Japanese knives remain the best kitchen knives in the world.

Types of Japanese knives

Japanese knives come in various types and each of them is used for specific purposes, except the Santoku and Gyuto knives that are used for general purposes. 

Usuba

In the Japanese language, Usuba is translated as a “thin blade.” Usuba knives are very thin behind the edge. This type of Japanese knife looks like a western-style meat cleaver, although a cleaver has heavier and thicker blade suitable for chopping and hacking. 

An usuba knife features an extremely sharp and thin blade that is great for slicing vegetables and fruits. It is a single bevel knife that gives more precise cuts. 

Gyuto

Gyuto is one of the most commonly used Japanese knives. These knives are indeed the true definition of the chef’s knife. It features a thinner, sharper, and lighter blade. The blade size of these knives ranges between eight and ten inches in length. They can be used by professional chefs. You can add this knife to your kitchen tools if you have none.

Gyuto knives are just like the typical European kitchen knife. Gyuto is made of tougher steel and as such, has a firmer and better edge. Some knives are not easy to sharpen, but that is not the case for Gyuto knives. 

Deba

Deba knives are shorter and they are best used for cutting fish. This type of knife features a curved spine and tip which makes it ideal for cutting tougher fish bones. The blade of this knife is thicker than the majority of Japanese knives. However, it shouldn’t be used for cutting tougher animal bones. This type of knife allows for easier maintenance and sharpening. 

Deba knives are known to be single-bevel knives that are designed for butchering fish. These heavyweight Japanese knives have very thick spines. If you want to cut through any type of fish bone, consider using Deba knives. Deba knives are not as flexible as the Western filet knives. These knives cut through the rib bones of any type of fish. 

Sashimi

This lightweight knife gives you the flexibility you need to carry out your cooking tasks. It is thinner and suitable for chopping and filleting fish. Sashimi is sometimes called “Yanagi,” which means “willow leaf.” The word “Yanagi” describes their thin and long blade. Sashimi knives are most times beveled on a side for better cutting edge and precision. 

Santoku

Santoku knives are a type of kitchen knife known for cutting vegetables, meat, and fish. These knives are known to be ideal for a skillful chef. They are smaller than Gyuto knives. The blade size of these knives ranges between five inches and seven inches. One of the great things you will love about these knives is that they could be used for general purposes. 

These knives are very easy to control, lighter, and require less effort to use. Santoku knives are one of the most popular Japanese knives in the world. They are ideal for professionals and chefs that love to improve their cooking skills.

Sujihiki

Sujihiki knives are great for slicing just like the European slicer. Sujihiki features harder steel and better edge retention, i.e. it does not chip off. These knives make more precise cuts because of the bevel on the blade. These knives are also used for general purposes. They can be used for carving, cutting, slicing, and filleting.

Sujihiki is shorter and thinner than Santoku in order to reduce friction while cutting fish and meat. Some professional chefs prefer to use this knife to make Sushi instead of Yanagi-ba and sashimi.

Honesuki 

Honesuki is another type of Japanese knife that is used for boning. They are also regarded as a boning knife. This knife comes in a triangular shape and features a stiff blade. If you work in poultry where your task is to debone chickens, Honesuki is the best knife to use. These knives are great for boning and cutting soft joints. It can do well as a utility-style knife.

For meat sellers, these knives will do justice to your beef by offering you with a clean and precise cut. Although it is not as flexible as a Western boning knife, it is also great for butchering poultry and meat. It slips into the joints of the animal it is cutting and goes along the bone and cartilage in order to cut off much meat from the animal.

Mukimono

Mukimono knives are a type of Japanese knives used for cutting vegetables in a decorative manner. These knives are thinner than Usuba.  Due to their shorter and thinner blades, they are suitable for carrying out more delicate tasks. Sometimes, people mistake these knives for Kiritsuke which is thicker and longer. Mukimono knives have straighter blades than Kiritsuke. 

Yanagi

Yanagi is an essential kitchen tool for professional chefs like sushi chefs. The knife was named according to the willow shape of its blade.  Yanagi is one of the Japanese knives that were required for the development of Japanese cuisine. Yanagi knives are designed for slicing beef, fish, sashimi, and terrines. This knife is primarily utilized in the Kansai region of Japan.

Garasuki

Garasuki is larger than Honesuki. According to the Japanese language, Gara means tendons and chicken bones. Garasuki knives are heavier and have more metal behind their edge, making it easy to cut through hard bones. This type of Japanese knife is a great choice for chefs that perform heavier tasks. 

Garasuki knives offer flexibility for people who break down poultry. Most chefs love the knife’s shape because it is great for trimming silver skin and tendons.

Japanese knives vs. German knives

For some years now, Japanese knives have gained their popularity in the market due to the great features they offer. These knives are sharper and firmer than German knives. If you need a lightweight and flexible knife, Japanese knives are perfect for you. A Japanese knife requires more maintenance than its German counterpart, which makes it suitable for professional cooks who are not new in the game.

German knives are known for their heavyweight and bulkiness. Due to their thicker blades, they require frequent sharpening. You can use these knives for heavier tasks such as cutting a chicken. However, your preference determines which knife you opt for.

Advantages of Acquiring a Japanese Knife

A Japanese knife offers its users some benefits they may likely not get from using a conventional knife. If you use a Japanese knife you can testify to the advantages it offers. These knives offer the following advantages:

Saves time

One of the benefits you enjoy from using a Japanese knife is that it saves a great deal of time. These knives are very sharp and quick to cut tough stuff. People prefer these knives because they make cutting faster.

Easy to use

If you need a knife that is easy and simple to use, then you need to consider Japanese knives. These knives feature an ergonomic handle that is designed to give better comfort while cutting. When you need to cut meat, fish, and other hard stuff, Japanese knives are the perfect choice for you.

High Power

These knives are designed to have high powers. Their blades are very powerful and sharp, hence, any slicing task is made easier. Their sharp blades are great for cutting vegetables, fruits, meat, and bread. 

What to consider when buying Japanese Knives

There are wide varieties of Japanese knives available in the market, and the choice of what to get depends on some factors. These factors could be your budget, preference, skill level, etc. Shopping for a Japanese knife can be an overwhelming experience, especially for inexperienced chefs.

No matter how skilled you are, you will discover that a good knife makes cooking easier and more interesting. You need to consider some crucial factors before you buy a Japanese knife. These factors help you to choose the best set of Japanese knives. We discuss these factors to help you know what to go for. 

Price

This is the number one factor to consider. Your budget speaks for you, after all, you can’t give what you don’t have. Japanese knives vary in prices. You can get one that is as low as $50 and another for over $1000. Don’t be surprised! Expensive knives speak about quality. Very expensive knives are made with high-quality material like high carbon steel.

High carbon steel knives are more durable, sharper, and harder than other types of knives. These knives do not get blunt easily, only if they are not maintained properly. Regardless of the quality of the knife you buy, proper maintenance should be given top priority. You need to sharpen these knives regularly because frequent usage would make knives blunt.

The fact is that cheaper knives get blunt more easily than high-end knives. High-end knives are professional like. For an inexperienced chef, an expensive knife might not be necessary since you are just learning some cooking skills. A decent knife will do well.

Handle type

Japanese knives come with different handle types. Some come with a traditional Japanese handle while a western-style handle describes some. Traditional Japanese handles are made of wood, lightweight, and cylindrical. For people who are using this type of knife for the first time, they might feel awkward using them. But, once you get used to this knife, you will never want to stop using it. 

Knives that come with western style handles have firmer grip, are well-shaped, heavier, and more secure than other handles. Western style handles are crisp and stable in nature. In the end, what really matters is your preference. If the handle is not firm, you might likely suffer from strains and aches anytime you use it. Ensure you opt for what makes you comfortable when shopping for these knives.

Type of knife

There are wide varieties of knife types for every blade style. These knives are designed for specific usages which could be carving, butchering, etc. The two Japanese knives that can be used for general purposes are Santoku and Gyuto (Japanese chef’s knife). These two knives come with Western style blades and are multiple-purpose knives.  For starters, these knives are recommended. 

Gyuto knives feature much longer blade sizes that range between 8 to 10 inches. Santoku knives come with blade sizes that are between 6 to 7 inches long. Your choice depends on your preference, but, you can consider a Santoku if you are working within smaller spaces.

Blade style

There are two types of blade styles for Japanese knives, double bevel style or single bevel blade style. For professional chefs, a single bevel knife is recommended. This type of knife can make good cuts. Amateurs may not get used to a single-bevel knife; therefore, they should consider using double bevel knives.

Knives with double bevel blades are very easy to use. This type of blade is versatile. It serves both right and left-handed people well. It is a perfect choice for households and amateur cooks.  Single bevel blades are sometimes called asymmetrical. Knives with this type of blade give more precise cuts and they are best used for preparing dishes such as sushi.

Layers

Some Japanese knives come with layering steel. This layering allows them to be stronger and sharper. Knives that come with layered steed blades won’t scratch easily or chip off and the blade edge remains very sharp.

How to care for Japanese Knives

Japanese knives are known to be durable knives with an ergonomic handle and very sharp blades. The durability of these knives still depends on how you maintain them. No matter how sharp these Japanese knives are, if they are not well maintained, they could become rusty and blunt. Improper maintenance of these knives raises the risk of damage.

Although Japanese knives are made of carbon or stainless steel, these knives can get stained. Generally, knives should be maintained by washing them with soap and water after every use. Avoid washing Japanese knives in a dishwasher, this can alter the material, damage the edge of the blades, and can make these knives prone to rust.  The movement of items in this appliance and its high temperatures can destroy high-end knives.

 After every wash, ensure you dry your Japanese knife with a clean towel. Another important way to take care of your Japanese knives is regular sharpening. Although these knives do not become blunt easily since they have a very sharp blade. According to experts, these knives should be sharpened once in three months for a professional cook and once in 6 months for household users.

The moment you realize that you apply more effort when using your Japanese knife, then it is time you sharpen your knife’s blade. Keeping your knives sharp will help you to cut items easier, you can use a ceramic sharpening rod to maintain your knives on a daily basis. A sharpening rod keeps your knives in good condition.

 You are advised to make use of a whetstone to sharpen a Japanese knife. This whetstone helps to sharpen the blade if used correctly. If you don’t know how to use a whetstone to sharpen a knife, you can learn it. Another option for sharpening Japanese knives is ‘Pull-Through” knife sharpeners. These sharpeners are simple to use but are not as effective as a whetstone. 

Ensure your Japanese knives are kept safely in a magnetic rack, block or a chef’s case in order to protect them and keep them out of reach. If you want your knife to last long, make use of the right knife for the right task. For chopping tasks, a chopping knife should be used while a boning knife should be used for boning tasks. If you want to cut beef, use a carving knife. 

If you are cutting frozen food, bones, very hard seeds, and grates, it is advisable you utilize a boning knife. If you don’t use the right knife, your knife’s blade will get blunt easily and some parts could chip off. What a great waste!  If you want to maintain the edge of your Japanese knife, you would need to use a wooden or plastic cutting board. 

Glass and marble cutting boards can destroy the edge of your knife. These boards are too hard on your knife. If your knife comes with a wooden handle, use oil or wax to treat it. You can also inform people living around you the kind of care your knives need. You should also warn against improper use of your knives. Let them know why it is important your knives should be maintained.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Japanese knives the best?

Japanese knives are kitchen knives that are carefully carved with traditional Japanese blacksmithing skills. These knives are known to be a perfect choice for homeowners and professional chefs. These knives come in different types and they are characterized by powerful features like sharper blades, ergonomic handles, ease of use, harder steel and ability to save time. 

These knives can cut and slice food without much effort. They are suitable for both professional and amateur chefs depending on the type you choose. These knives offer you the flexibility you desire and make cooking an interesting adventure for you. Japanese knives are considered the best because of its super amazing features. 

Are Japanese knives better than German knives?

Japanese knives are much sharper than German knives. Due to their harder steel, they can be sharpened to a finer angle. These knives slice and cut through any food item with less pressure.  German knives come with thicker blades and as such need to be sharpened frequently. In terms of durability, German knives are much more durable.

German knives can be used for much heavier tasks since they have thicker blades. These knives are known for their heavyweight, unlike Japanese knives that are light. Japanese knives are recommended for chefs because of their flexibility and sharper blades. With these knives, you do not need more frequent sharpening. 

How do I care for my Japanese knives?

If you own a Japanese knife, you need to maintain it properly for it to be in good condition. No matter how sharp and effective Japanese knives are, proper maintenance should not be disregarded. The life span of these knives depends on their usage and maintenance. Ensure you wash these knives by hand using water and soap. After every wash, you need to dry them with a clean towel.

If these knives are not cared for, they are prone to rust. Use the right knife for the right task. Avoid using a chopping knife for a boning task. Your chopping knife might chip off or become blunt easily. Don’t use a dishwasher to wash your Japanese knives and keep them safely in a magnetic rack or chef’s drawer.  You should also avoid using marble and glass cutting boards.

Which type of Japanese knife is the most versatile?

Gyuto is the most versatile type of Japanese knife. This knife can be used for different types of tasks like slicing, cutting, and chopping. It is a multi-faceted knife. This knife is considered a primary knife in the kitchen while other knives are secondary. It is also regarded as a chef’s knife. 

Gyuto is a kind of Japanese knife that is thinner at the edge. Gyuto has gained its popularity over the years and it is considered a good choice for both amateur and professional chefs.  Gyuto features a double bevel blade style which makes it versatile in nature and suitable for both right and left-handed people.

Which Japanese knife has the thinnest blade?

Usuba knife has the thinnest blade among the Japanese knives. This knife has a thin and sharp blade ideal for slicing vegetables. This single-bevel knife is great for professionals. With its very sharp blade, your cuts are sure to be precise.

Final Words

To own a Japanese knife is a big plus to your cooking skill. If you need a knife that would make life as a chef an interesting one, then Japanese knives are what you should get. It is meant for professional chefs, amateur chefs, and homeowners. The great thing about these knives is that most brands offer the greatest features. 

Asides the fact that these knives have very sharp blades, they are very easy to use. Over the years, Japanese knives have become chefs’ favorite. Some of these knives are affordable, making it a reason why more homes are adding it to their kitchen tools. The production of these knives requires a high level of craftiness and creativity.

Japanese knives help you to become more skillful in cooking. With these knives, cooking becomes pleasurable to you. It has also been revealed that these knives do stand the test of time. Japan has done well to carve the best kitchen knives in the world.