15+ Best Japanese Knives for Chefs & Home Cooks 
Irrespective of why you need a knife, I think we can all agree that Japanese knives are the best in the market.
Japanese kitchen knives have maintained an impeccable reputation throughout the years, making them a must-have for professional chef or every serious home chef.
They are made with superior standard materials that make them long-lasting. Nobody wants to buy a knife and have it rendered unusable after a few weeks.
If you’re on the hunt for the best Japanese knives for chefs or home cooks, don’t fret—we have you covered.
In this review, we’ll be exploring the world of various types of Japanese kitchen knives, and as a knife enthusiast, I will share my opinion on the best Japanese kitchen knives available.
Without further delay, fasten your seatbelts because you’re in for an unforgettable ride.
Best Gyuto Knife (i.e., Chef Knives)
Gyuto knives have a thin, sharp blade. Gyuto translates to English as “Cow Sword.” These knives were constructed by Artisans to cut larger meat portions.
There are Gyuto knives with Japanese handles known as Wa-Gyuto.
A chef’s knife were made to let you cut through large chunks of meat effortlessly. Moreover, these blades can efficiently cut through tough exteriors of fruits.
Arguably, a knife is an essential kitchen tool. Japan prides itself on making the best blades. We’ll be taking an in-depth review of various types of Japanese kitchen knives.
First, we’ll start by exclusively covering the best Japanese chef knives. Here are our best picks;
 Tojiro DP Gyutou - Budget_Choice
Suppose you’re looking for an excellent chef knife that is affordable. In such a case, you should check the Tojiro DP Gyutou because it has a lot to offer. It is indeed our best value kitchen knife.
Besides, if you’re a beginner, you’ll enjoy using this gyuto chef knife because it’s easy to use.
Furthermore, its double beveled edge, so both the right and left-handed chefs can utilize it. It’s considered a mid-weight knife in Japan, but it’s a lightweight knife in Western settings.
Careful, it’s very sharp!
Tojiro DP Gyutou has VG10 steel. It is incredibly sharp. Also, the VG10 steel is covered in 13 chrome stainless steel.
Clearly, the blade is powerful and effortless to maintain. It’s highly advisable to use a wet stone while sharpening this knife.
Tojiro DP Gyutou is our best chef knife under $100, which is constructed from forged steel, unlike others made from stamped steel.
This aspect is fascinating because most knives from forged steel are relatively expensive and fall above the $100 range.
However, this is also our best affordable kitchen knife because its price averages at $85. Great, right?
 Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife - Best Choice
If you are on the hunt for a premium Asian-style chef knife, you need to look into Shun Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife.
We purposely chose this model because it’s one of the best Japanese cooking knives.
We firmly believe that it’s an excellent choice for anyone aspiring to be a successful chef.
This is one of the best Japanese chef knife, which is made by following 100 handcrafted steps, from completing the process of adding substantial raw materials until it’s a finished product.
Also, this knife is constructed using the Samurai sword tradition. Pretty cool, right?
The 8” chef knife is quite versatile in what it cuts. Well, it’s precisely made to slice vegetables, poultry, and fish.
What’s more? It’s beneficial; you definitely won’t find any difficulties working around this knife.
Peak performance that’s Ideal for every serious chef…
If you want a great kitchen knife, look for a knife that has VG-10 steel, that way, you’ll know you’re buying a high-end knife that will perform well.
The is made of strong steel well known for being very sharp.
Say goodbye to discomfort…
This knife’s handle is made from Pakka Wood, mainly used in blades that provide superior abilities.
The Shun 8 inch classic chef knife is easy to use due to this excellent feature. Also, the handle is moisture resistant and comfortable.
When cutting vegetables that need more effort, you need a knife that will be more manageable. This way, not only will you have a useful knife that’s easy to use, but also you’ll be safe.
 Yoshihiro VG10 Gyuto Chef's Knife - Also Great
Without a doubt, cutting is one of the essential components of cooking. Low-quality blades can damage the value of your food.
On the other hand, the Yoshihiro VG10 Chef’s Knife is the best Gyuto knife for you if you need a versatile knife with a sharp edge.
Superior VG-10 Steel…
This handcrafted chef knife consists of a 16 layer Damascus steel and a VG-10 steel core that makes it capable of cutting, dicing, mincing, slicing, chopping, and disjointing.
Furthermore, this steel lasts longer, therefore, letting you use the knife for years. This is our best Damascus chef knife you can get in the market.
Unlike the other Japanese chef’s knives that we’ve elaborated on, this knife has a premium Mahogany handle instead of a Pakkawood handle.
The handle is relatively comfortable, and you can extend its life by taking regular care.
Furthermore, the blade extends through this Mahogany handle, giving you a comfortable grip as you carry on with your kitchen duties.
Best Santoku Knives (i.e., Multi-Purpose Knives)
What is a Santoku knife? Well, this knife type is a multi-purpose Asian style knife that creates air pockets, thus preventing food from sticking.
This knife can cut through ingredients such as meat, vegetables, and fruits.
Santoku simply means “three virtues” or “three uses.” Therefore, one can use a santoku knife for three purposes which are cutting, chopping, and dicing.
Ancient Japanese Samurai became knife makers and constructed these blades to make work more effortless in the kitchen.
Well, in this santoku knife review, we’ll be exploring different knives that will offer peak performance.
 Global G-48-7 inch Santoku Knife - Budget_Choice
The global G-48-7 inch knife is multi-purpose and aesthetically pleasing.
Its blade is built of molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel that’s resistant to rust and stain.
Furthermore, it’s very sharp; therefore, you need to be careful when dealing with this powerful knife.
This knife has various unique features. One of them is its handle; unlike the knives that we’ve already covered, their handles are not made from Pakkawood or Mahogany.
However, this knife’s handle is constructed out of Molybdenum/Vanadium stainless steel; the same applies to its blade, made from the same material. Also, the knife is dimpled; this guarantees a comfortable grip.
The blade doesn’t have a bolster…
This factor allows for full-edge use, and you can hone the entire blade.
Just like other Santoku knives, this knife is very honed, lightweight, and simple to use.
 Yoshihiro Carbon Kurouchi Knife - Best Choice
Mizu Yaki is a careful method of pure water quenching; this process draws out steel’s hardness while making it resilient enough to work consistently in various conditions.
On the other hand, kurouchi means “Black forged.” Kurouchi is a traditional method of producing high carbon steel knives that are resistant to rust and stains.
Top of its class….
Without a doubt, this knife is considered the best Santoku knife for chefs. Its hardness on the Rockwell scale averages at 64-65.
Besides, it’s ranked above blue steel #1. No santoku knife can beat the Yoshihiro Mizu Super Blue High Carbon Steel Kurouchi Knife when it comes to hardness and edge retention.
It’s a multi-purpose knife with a round trip. Its blade is thinner and shorter; this makes it good enough for home cooking.
As we mentioned earlier, santoku means “three ways.” Therefore, one can use this knife for fish, vegetables, and meat. Also, it can dice, slice, and chop.
 Shun DM0702 Santoku Knife - Also Great
Undoubtedly, a classic Shun knife that has managed to keep the same design has improved its performance throughout the years.
Constructed with superior materials…
Its blade is made out of forged high carbon steel, making it extra sharp and enabling it to have excellent edge retention.
The knife’s handle is built from Pakkawood. Besides, the handle is a full tang; this allows for a comfortable grip.
Best Nakiri Knives (i.e., Vegetable Knives)
A Nakiri knife has a rectangular blade, efficient in cutting vegetables. “Nakiri” translates to “A Knife for Cutting Greens.”
The handle of the knife differs. This knife type can either have a Japanese or a Western-style handle.
As a chef, you need to choose a knife considered one of the best Japanese knives to function correctly in the kitchen. Cutting is one of the essential aspects of the kitchen.
Therefore, you need to pick the most ideal blade for you. To do that let’s take a tour to our best Nakiri knives.
 Global 14cm Vegetable Knife - Budget_Choice
It’s constructed from the famous Japanese Nakiri style. It’s an excellent knife for cutting vegetables.
If you’re planning on transitioning to a vegan, then this is the ideal knife for you! Furthermore, it’s quite affordable as well.
It has a fluted edge, which discourages vegetables from getting stuck on the blade. This feature works by collecting pockets of air in the knife’s fluted area while slicing your vegetables.
 Shun Premier Nakiri Knife - Best Choice
If you adore Asian style knives, you’ll fall in love with this one!
This knife was made using the ancient Japanese Tsuchime forging method.
This way, the blade stays highly durable while also being eye-catching.
Lightweight and Balanced…
The knife is very lightweight, therefore, letting you use it efficiently. Its white steel construction enables it to be well balanced and light.
It’s very suitable for people with smaller hands; this is because it’s comfortable to use. Also, its sharpness is a plus.
If you are a real traditionalist, you’ll find this model fascinating. The blade has a beautiful hammered finish. The blade is textured, enabling it to slice through vegetables easily.
Also, the handle is constructed from Pakkawood. This is indeed the best Nakiri knife available in the market.
 Yoshihiro Vegetable Knife - Also Great
This Yoshihiro G-10 is one of the best vegetable knife that you need to look into if you look for a great alternative to the vegetable knives we mentioned earlier.
Hammered and forged with 16 layers of steel…
This knife is very durable because it was hammered and forged with 16 layers of steel with a VG-10 core. It’s a traditional knife that is very efficient in multiple tasks.
Damascus series knives have attracted a wide variety of consumers globally, making them a bestseller because of their peak performance.
Premium western style handle…
This knife boasts a premium western style handle that is a full tang. The handle is satisfying and makes the knife simple to use.
Best Petty Knife (i.e., Paring Knife)
Petty knives are small utility knives that are used for various kitchen tasks. What’s more? They are entirely versatile, letting you use them efficiently during come and go duties.
Their little size makes them simple to use. These knives can be used for mincing, carving, peeling, and slicing different vegetables, fruits, and herbs.
Petty knife is a kitchen essential because it can be crucial in handling delicate tasks such as removing eyes from the potatoes, peeling, paring, decorating, and cutting the apple quarters’ cores.
Besides, you can use petty knives for particular tasks such as garnishing. Without further delay, let’s explore the best petty knife.
 Tojiro DP Utility Knife - Best Choice
Tojiro DP Damascus is astounding because of its sharp blade.
Furthermore, if you’re on a budget, you’ll be happy to know that this utility knife is very affordable.
Crafted from VG-10 stainless steel…
This knife’s blade is constructed from VG-10 steel; therefore, it’s durable enough to handle
heavy-duty work maintaining a sharp edge.
Furthermore, it has excellent edge retention, and it’s easy to maintain.
It has an ergonomic handle that offers a comfortable grip making it straightforward to use the knife. If you’re all about saving the planet, you’ll be happy to know this knife is environmentally-friendly.
Best Pankiri Knife (i.e., Bread Knife)
Pankiri knives are a must-have for any serious home chef. These are serrated knives that are used to cut baked goods.
It has a serrated edge, therefore, it can slice through baked goods without crushing the whole thing.
This are essential because they are capable of cutting through crusts without crushing the bread itself. Below is the best Pankiri knife.
 Tojiro Bread Slicer 235mm F-737
If you are a professional chef or love baking at home, this knife was exclusively made for you!
It’s made with superior substances that make it too sharp.
Furthermore, its serrated blade cuts through the bread without crushing it.
The Tojiro bread slicer is a versatile and durable unit. Its blade is full-tang. Therefore, it’s easy to use. What’s more? Its handle is entirely comfortable, and its blade is very sharp.
Best Sujihiki Knife (Slicer)
The Sujihiki knife has a thin and hard blade useful in slicing. Moreover, this knife doesn’t require much sharpening.
This double-edged knives have a long narrow blade efficient in slicing through meat and vegetables. Believe it or not, the knife you use can change your ingredients’ flavor.
However, the best part of using Sujihiki knives is that they preserve the original flavor. We’ll be covering the best Sujihiki knife.
 Tojiro DP Sujihiki Slicer - 9.4"
Tojiro is a famous Japanese knives brand. This specific knife is made of cobalt alloy steel core, making it a great choice.
It’s a medium-length knife that meets Sujihiki standards.
These knives are excellent at slicing meats. Furthermore, they can fillet fish and cut vegetables as well.
Lastly, they are multi-purpose knives due to its double-bevel edge.
Best Chukabocho Knife (i.e., Meat Cleaver)
Anyone can recognize these knives because of their large rectangular blades. These cleavers are efficient in cutting through bones of poultry, meat, and fish. Moreover, they can also cut through frozen foods.
Undeniably, cleavers look scary, but they get the work done. Therefore, they are essential if you’re not a Vegan or Vegetarian.
Without a doubt, you can do a great deal with this weird knife. We’ll be shortly covering the best Japanese meat cleaver.
 Shun Classic 6 Inch Cleaver
Imagine having a multi-purpose knife that can carry out a variety of tasks? Incredible, right?
Well, this knife is an excellent addition to your kitchen because it’s capable of cutting through chicken bones and separating ribs.
The Shun Classic 6 inch cleaver delights in cutting through chunks of meat. Moreover, it is superlative at cutting vegetables as well.
If you’re looking for a versatile knife, then this could be the most suitable blade for you.
Constructed from AUS8A stainless steel…
This knife is highly durable and flexible since it was made using super-quality AUS8A steel.
Also, you’ll wind up with a lifetime warranty because it’s made with superior standard materials.
It’s also an excellent specimen of superior craftsmanship.
Best Deba Knife (i.e., Whole Fish Butchery)
A Deba knife is a Japanese knife useful in carrying out rough tasks. Initially, it was made to cut and fillet fish, but they are currently cut through fish, poultry, and meat.
Regardless of how these knives look, you shouldn’t use them to cut through bones.
Whenever you need to make ultra-thin slices, your best bet is the best Deba knife.
Moreover, these Japanese kitchen knives are lightweight and flexible enough to cut through fish and meat without damaging it whole.
 Shun Pro 8-1/4-Inch Deba Knife
The Shun Pro 8-14 inch Deba knife makes cutting fish and poultry easy.
This knife combines the uses of a chef’s knife and a cleaver.
It efficiently cuts through small bones of fish and the skin of poultry. Furthermore, it effectively cuts through the meat as well.
This knife has a longer blade, curved belly, and dropped point. When honed on a single side of the blade, this knife can handle bulky work like a Chef’s knife.
Single bevel design…
The single bevel design of this knife is efficient in handling delicate meat. It enables you to keep the tender meat, such as fish and poultry, intact.
Best Honesuki Knife (i.e.,Boning Knife)
If you are looking for a great knife effective at de-boning fish, meat, and poultry, you need to look into Honesuki knives.
Furthermore, they are also capable of carrying out a variety of other tasks as well. Let’s take a look at the best boning knife for your kitchen.
 Shun 4.5-Inch Honesuki Knife
This knife type is excellent at de-boning poultry and fish. It’s a lightweight knife that lets you carry out the tasks effortlessly.
Besides, its blades are short and comfortable, making the work hassle-free.
Layered Damascus from two premium-quality stainless steel…
Layering two high-quality stainless sheets of steel were quite impossible until this revolutionary knife was made. Each blade is constructed from high carbon, VG2 stainless steel, and high chromium VG10.
Best Yanagiba Knife (i.e.,Fish Slicer)
Yanagiba knives were made initially to cut thin slices of raw fish while making Sushi. One can utilize Yanagiba knives in cutting large pieces of meat due to its long and narrow blade.
If you enjoy Sushi, you’ll love this knife. They come in a range of shapes and sizes. They are also called “Sashimi Knives”. We are going to put our center of attention on the best Yanagiba knife.
 Masahiro Stainless Yanagiba
This knife type is mainly used for slicing fish fillets used in Sushi and Sashimi dishes. However, you can use this knife to fillet meat or skin fish.
It’s a super-quality and affordable sashimi knife as well. It’s also passes all the test to be the best sushi knife to have in your kitchen drawer.
The blade of this knife is constructed out of top-quality stainless steel. The handle is made of laminated wood. The wood is water-resistant, and the knife is highly durable.
Best Japanese Knives Set
If you are a cook looking for the best Japanese knives set on a budget—don’t fret; we’ve got you covered. We have picked the best sets for you, therefore, making your selection process more comfortable.
 Tojiro DP 2-piece Chef's knife set
Undoubtedly, this set is one of the best Japanese cutlery pieces ever made.
Numerous knives are way more expensive than this set.
However, when it comes to quality, the Tojiro DP 2-piece set takes the crown.
They are excellent knives that are well made to suit a diverse range of consumers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re into Asian style knives or western style knives because this set is the perfect combination of both cultures.
 Yoshihiro Gyuto & Petty Knife Set
This set comes with both a chef’s knife and a petty knife.
The two blades are made with 16 layers of steel through the Damascus tradition process.
These knives are multi-purpose, and they are competent of carrying out various tasks.
Both knives are incredibly sharp; they easily carry out a variety of tasks very effectively. If you need to wash this Japanese kitchen knife set, you need to know that you have to use whetstones.
5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Japanese Knives
Diffrent Types of Knives to have in Your Kitchen
How are Japanese knives made?
The first step is known as the “Forging Process;” this is when steel is formed into a knife’s shape.
A knife that’s well-cut needs to have a straight spine. The rough grinding process leads to a bit of distortion of the blade; this is why Artisans sharpen the knife.
After this crucial process, the knife becomes sharp.
Artisans use a buff, a polishing agent on multifold round cloths in layers to add shine to knives.
Lastly, they end this process using a “flap wheel” to give it a lovely look like Japanese swords.
This process varies from knife to knife. For instance, some blades heat a knife and push it into the handle using a mallet.
However, other knives’ handles are fixed using rivets. They are also waxed to give it a beautiful shiny look.
Inspection and Encasement
After a thorough inspection, the final produce get into packing materials.
Are Japanese knives better than German knives?
Without a doubt, Germany and Japan are well known for producing high-quality knives.
When it comes to the knife’s hardness, German knives fall under the Rockwell scale of 57 while Japanese knives fall under 60 to 63.
While Japanese knives are harder than German knives is an advantage, it’s also a disadvantage.
As much as harder Japanese knives can better hold the edge, that same hardness makes these knives prone to chipping and breaking.
On the other hand, the softer steels in german knives are more durable. Both Japanese and German knives have a lot to offer. It depends on exactly what you need.
What are the difference between single/double bevels?
A bevel is a surface that has been forged and ground to form a knife’s edge. The difference is quite simple.
Single bevel knife: the angle is formed on one side.
Double bevel knife: the angle is formed on both sides.
Read my article single bevel vs double bevel knives to understand the difference deeply.
If you want to end up with the best Japanese knife for chefs and home cooks, you need to consider various factors. You need to know that there isn’t a knife that can be named as the best knife.
However, once you consider the factors below, you’ll wind up with the most suitable Japanese knife.
Different knives are made from materials that vary. You need to select a blade that’s constructed from a durable, rigid material.
Most people confuse a material’s hardness and toughness, but it’s quite simple. A knife that has a tough, rigid material is what you should focus on.
The quality of a handle matter. No one wants to buy a knife whose handle falls off after weeks of use.
If you plan on purchasing knives with the best handles, choose a knife with a Pakkawood handle.
Would you like to ask the question, “What is Pakkawood?” Well, it’s a human-made delicate wood composite infused with Phenolic Resin, but looks like natural wood.
Cutting Edge Angle
Most households prefer double bevel knives since they are appropriate for home cooks with average cooking skills.
However, single bevel knives are mostly used in professional settings by experts. Nonetheless, you need to choose a knife that won’t be hard to use, especially if you are a beginner.
Some people are capable of buying knives without considering the prices. However, other people need to analyze the costs carefully.
We highly recommend you settle on a knife that you can afford. Without a doubt, several knives are affordable, yet they offer excellent value.
Once you purchase a Japanese knife, you’ll need to maintain it to make sure it lasts long and improves its sharpness.
Below we have explained a few maintenance tips that you’ll find very helpful as you use a Japanese knife suitable for you.
Straightening the blade using a honing rod is very important. Most people believe a honing rod is used to sharpen a knife, but that’s not accurate.
Honing is essential since it straightens the tip of a knife and gets rid of any blade deformations.
It doesn’t matter how careful you are because, at one point, you’ll need to sharpen your knife.
Blunt knives aren’t advisable because you’ll need to apply more pressure while using these knives, leading to unwanted accidents.
A sharp knife is a safe knife. You need to take time to perfect your sharpening techniques. You can sharpen your knife using a whetstone.
Maintaining the Geometry
While you’re sharpening your knife, you need to keep it at a constant angle to avoid sharpening the wrong part of the bevel.
However, how can you do this? Well, you can try out powdered sharpening, or you can carry out freehand sharpening.
Most people tend to forget to maintain their handles. However, this part is very vital. Handle maintenance depends on the type of material used.
How to Properly Clean and Store Your Kitchen Knives?
Most Famous Japanese Knife Brands
Yoshihiro is a Japanese knife brand that produces high-quality knives made from strong steels. These knives have peak performance due to their superior standard construction.
The Yoshikin factory in Japan manufactures global knives. These knives are constructed by professionals to suit different people with different needs.
Tojiro is another famous brand based in Japan that offers exceptional knives. Tojiro’s motto is “Igo Chie,” which translates to once in a lifetime.
Their knives are incredibly sharp, but they offer comfort as well.
Don’t forget to read my article yoshihiro vs shun here.
Where to Buy Japanese Knives in the US?
If you’re planning on purchasing Japanese knives, we highly recommend you purchase from these stores;
Since we are talking about online stores, Amazon has all the knives we mentioned. You can simply download the app, search for the blades, and make a purchase.
This place is a New Orleans based store that sells Japanese knives run by a pair of former chefs. The two chefs handpick the knives as they travel to Japan.
JB Prince is a store based in Manhattan, New York. You can purchase any cookware, but they primarily offer Knives.
Carbon Knife co.
Carbon Knife Co. is a store based in Denver; they sell the best Japanese knives.
Furthermore, if you’re not sure about making a purchase, you can simply window shop before making a choice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why are Japanese knives so expensive?
Japanese knives are expensive due to several factors. These knives are constructed using delicate steps.
Furthermore, once you compare Japanese knives cutting performance, you’ll realize that they are worth every penny.
What can you not cut with a Japanese knife?
Numerous Japanese knives can carry out different tasks. However, since Japanese knives are harder than western knives, it’s best to avoid cutting frozen foods or lean meat.
What are three knives essential to a chef?
i) Chef’s knife, ii) Paring knife, and iii) Serrated knife.
Are Japanese knives cheaper in Japan?
Yes, Japanese knives are cheaper in Japan compared to the United States because of the exchange rates.
What Sets Japanese Knives Apart from Their Traditional Western Counterparts?
The main difference between Japanese knives and western knives is the hardness of the steel they use.
The Final Slice
After reading this thorough review, we hope that you will choose the best Japanese knives.
Undoubtedly, Japanese knives are the best in the market, and if you are a serious chef or home cook, you need these knives in your kitchen drawer!
But Gyuto knife is the most essential type to do your knife tasks and we are vouching for Shun Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife.
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