Best Japanese Knives in 2021 – The Ultimate Guide

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Japan is renowned for many good things, and their knives are one of them. Japanese knives rank as one of the best knives found worldwide. Thanks to the professional and experienced craftsmen who integrate locally rooted techniques and modern designs to make them.

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Japanese knives are not famous for nothing. There are a lot of advantages attached to these knives. If you are looking for an extremely sharp knife, those from Japan will not disappoint you. It is the reason Japanese knives are ideal for cutting many things.

The way they come crafted enables them to slice various things like meat, vegetables, fruits, and fish precisely and delicately. No wonder they are a favorite of all chefs. Professional and budding chefs love using them for their convenience. You will also find them in the kitchens of most households.

This article is for you if you are looking for the best Japanese knives to add to your kitchen or cutlery collection. Fortunately, the market has gotten flooded with countless Japanese knives. Whether it’s your first time or not, choosing the right knife for you might be tricky.

The knives come in various designs, shapes, sizes, handles, and materials used in their making. What’s exciting is that the artisans of these knives keep on invented new ones. If you bought one with ease last time, the next time round becomes a daunting task due to the many options.

But you need not worry about that; as experts in research, we searched for the top Japanese knives one can find today. We shall give you their reviews to help you make the right decision when buying a Japanese knife.

You will also learn about the Japanese knives’ history, types, brands, and where to buy them. It is easy to make mistakes when purchasing Japanese knives. That’s why in this article, you will learn factors to consider before purchasing a knife from Japan. But first, let’s look at the history of these knives. It will help us understand the Japanese knives better.

Comparison Table

Best Choice
Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch - Alpha-Royal...
Mac Knife Japanese Series Vegetable Cleaver,...
Shun Sora 6 inch Utility Knife with VG10 Cutting Edge...
Yoshihiro Mizu Yaki Blue High Carbon Steel #1 Kurouchi...
Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto...
Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch - Alpha-Royal...
Mac Knife Japanese Series Vegetable Cleaver,...
Shun Sora 6 inch Utility Knife with VG10 Cutting Edge...
Yoshihiro Mizu Yaki Blue High Carbon Steel #1 Kurouchi...
Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto...
Brand
Zelite
IMPCU MacKnife
Kai
Yoshihiro
Yoshihiro
Material
High Carbon Stainless Steel
Molydenum steel and pakka wood handle
Stainless steel
High Carbon Steel
VG Stainless Steel
Purpose
Cutting, slicing, and chopping meat and vegetable varieties
Cutting and slicing vegetables
Cutting, slicing, and chopping meat and vegetable varieties
Cutting, slicing, and chopping vegetables and boneless meat varieties
Cutting, slicing, and chopping fresh produce
Size
12.52 by 0.94 by 1.77 - inches
6.5 by 1 by 1 - inches
11 by 0.63 by I - inch
7 – inches handle
15.5 by 0.8 by 2 - inches
Weight
9.9 Ounces
0.24 Ounces
2.37 Ounces
2 Ounces
6.2 Ounces
Best Choice
Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch - Alpha-Royal...
Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch - Alpha-Royal...
Brand
Zelite
Material
High Carbon Stainless Steel
Purpose
Cutting, slicing, and chopping meat and vegetable varieties
Size
12.52 by 0.94 by 1.77 - inches
Weight
9.9 Ounces
Mac Knife Japanese Series Vegetable Cleaver,...
Mac Knife Japanese Series Vegetable Cleaver,...
Brand
IMPCU MacKnife
Material
Molydenum steel and pakka wood handle
Purpose
Cutting and slicing vegetables
Size
6.5 by 1 by 1 - inches
Weight
0.24 Ounces
Shun Sora 6 inch Utility Knife with VG10 Cutting Edge...
Shun Sora 6 inch Utility Knife with VG10 Cutting Edge...
Brand
Kai
Material
Stainless steel
Purpose
Cutting, slicing, and chopping meat and vegetable varieties
Size
11 by 0.63 by I - inch
Weight
2.37 Ounces
Yoshihiro Mizu Yaki Blue High Carbon Steel #1 Kurouchi...
Yoshihiro Mizu Yaki Blue High Carbon Steel #1 Kurouchi...
Brand
Yoshihiro
Material
High Carbon Steel
Purpose
Cutting, slicing, and chopping vegetables and boneless meat varieties
Size
7 – inches handle
Weight
2 Ounces
Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto...
Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto...
Brand
Yoshihiro
Material
VG Stainless Steel
Purpose
Cutting, slicing, and chopping fresh produce
Size
15.5 by 0.8 by 2 - inches
Weight
6.2 Ounces

With the above knowledge of the top Japanese knives, you may feel compelled to add some to your kitchen. If so, you need to consider some factors before buying. As a result, you will get a knife that suits your needs and budget.

For your better understanding, the following are what you need to have in mind when buying a Japanese knife.

Reviews of the Top Japanese Knives According to Our Research

1. Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch – The Best Japanese Knife of the Alpha-Royal Series

Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch - Alpha-Royal...
  • ✅ SETTING THE NEW STANDARD FOR SANTOKU KNIVES >>> Impress Guests with your...

Pros & Cons of Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch

Pros
  • Made with the most robust Japanese steel
  • Serves for many years
  • Cuts or slice precisely
  • Ideal for chopping, cutting, or slicing various foodstuffs
  • It comes with razor sharpness for optimal results
  • It has a beautiful design
  • The knife is rust and stain resistant
  • It is ideal for giving as a gift
  • The packaging is secure and premium
  • Excellent performance
  • Suitable for any kitchen
  • Offers value for your money with its lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Some users may find it expensive

The design and shape of this knife will upgrade any kitchen, thanks to its refinement and style. You will get impressed by this knife’s minimal slicing resistance. It is a knife to consider if you want services for many years. The sturdy premium Japanese steel used in its makes attributes to its longevity.

Zelite Infinity Santoku knives come with hollow ground blades to avoid sticking to whatever you are slicing or chopping. The knives’ tempering gets made of liquid nitrogen and consists of the Exquisite Tsunami Rose Damascus pattern. That’s why these knives never rust or get stained and live for many years.

Working with the knife is a piece of cake. It comes with an attractive handle designed for easy grip and comfort. The handle is also round and triple riveted for super strength and extended lifetime. You will enjoy the incredible balance of this knife when using it. Thanks to its entire structure and shape.

If you are looking for the perfect gift to give your chef friend, you may need to consider this knife. It comes with premium packaging and unrivaled performance. Any chef will adore it and feel special when gifted this knife.

You can use it to cut almost anything in your kitchen. Its makers designed it for vegetables, fish, fruits, meat, and other foodstuffs. The slices don’t get squished or torn, thanks to its razor sharpness. The knife offers precise slices or cuts. Every time you use this knife, you will enjoy nothing less than ruthless efficiency!

What may amaze you about this knife is its risk-free status. The manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee. It means that what you experience with this knife is 100% satisfaction. If you find any manufacturing defect, the producer will correct the problem for free or exchange it for you with another one. It is a real deal for your money!


2. Mac Knife Japanese Series Vegetable Cleaver – The Best Japanese Knife for Cutting Vegetables

Pros & Cons of Mac Knife Japanese Series Vegetable Cleaver

Pros
  • It cuts or slices all kinds of vegetables fast and precisely
  • The knife serves you for many years
  • It gets made with the most rigid steel
  • The blade is razor-sharp
  • It’s pleasing to the eyes
  • The handle is durable, easy to grip, and very comfortable
  • Easy to clean
  • Explicitly made in Japan
  • It comes at a pocket-friendly price
  • Ideal for any kitchen
Cons
  • You can only hand wash this knife as machine washing will damage it.

Are you tired of squishing or tearing your vegetables while cutting them? The problem could be the knife used. The makers of the Mac Knife Series had that issue in mind when making them. As a result, they created this great knife to sort all your vegetable problems.

The knife is visually attractive and crafted in Japan. Its blade is rectangular with a slightly bent front end for optimal results. With its 2.5mm blade size, you cut, slice, or chop all kinds of vegetables and fruits with precision and ease.

It is the most comfortable knife to hold, thanks to its pakka wood-made handle. Any chef’s hand comfortably grip the handle and enjoy the knife’s balance when using it. If you have been renewing your blades due to wearing out quickly, this knife may impressive you. The manufacturer uses Molybdenum steel to make it, explaining when it lasts for many years.

While in any kitchen, it enhances the status of the other cutlery. But you wouldn’t expect anything less than that from a classy knife like the Mac Knife Japanese Series Vegetable Cleaver!

Chefs around the world love this knife for its razor-sharpness. Cutting vegetables and fruits with it is like a downhill task. You take a short time chopping or cutting your vegetables. Maintaining the knife is easy. You only need to hand wash it. Using a dishwasher will damage it.

Despite all these fantastic features, this knife is very affordable. Anyone can own it with ease.


3. Shun Sora 6 – Inch Utility Knife with VG10 Cutting Edge and Traditional Japanese Handle – The Best Hand Crafted Japanese Knife for Cutting, Peeling, and Trimming

Shun Sora 6 inch Utility Knife with VG10 Cutting Edge...
  • Perfect size for handheld use or on a cutting board, the Shun Utility Knife provides...

Pros & Cons of Shun Sora 6 – Inch Utility Knife

Pros
  • Elegantly handcrafted in Japan
  • Very sharp and does multiple tasks
  • Ideal size for handholding
  • The knife comes with a comfortable and durable handle for griping
  • It comes with a blade with two sections for laser cuts
  • Offers services for many years
  • Crafted with quality materials
  • Made with top-notch technology for high performance
  • It comes with a traditional handle design and an attractive wavy pattern
  • Affordable
Cons
  • You may need to boost the sharpness the first time you receive the knife for optimal results

Are you looking for a perfect knife to carry out various tasks in your kitchen? Having multiple blades for different specific jobs may make your cutlery drawer or storage place look crowded. A knife to carry out more than one task minimizes the number of knives to have and keep. It is this concept that the manufacturer of this knife considered when crafting it.

The Shun Sora 6 – Inch knife will do all your kitchen chopping, trimming, slicing, peeling, and cutting. You don’t have to look for several knives to do all these tasks. As a result, this knife saves you money and time, explaining why most chefs worldwide have it as their favorite.

It comes with a size ideal for handholding while cutting foodstuffs on the cutting board or when handheld. All cuts from this knife come precise, making in an excellent performer. The knife’s 6 – inch blade offers control and agility, making it one of the best and comfortable Japanese knives to use.

Do you love things with a traditional touch? You will love this knife. Its handle comes traditionally crafted with a blend of textured PP/TPE polymer, making it easy to grip and durable. You will admire it while in your kitchen because its contemporary design makes it sleek and elegant.

Thanks to the sturdy stainless steel used in this knife’s making. It lasts long and does not stain or rust. Sora uses the composite blade technology to make the blade, explaining the knife’s high performance and precise cuts. It’s also handcrafted in Japan, demonstrating the knife’s premium quality.

The blade comes in two sections fit together and permanently joined through brazing welding. The sections consist of an attractive wavy pattern like those in the traditional Japanese swords and offer laser cuts.

What’s exciting about this knife is its pocket-friendly price. You don’t have to break a bank or stress yourself with a budget to get this knife.


4. Yoshihiro Mizu Yaki Blue High Carbon Steel #1 Kurouchi Kiritsuke Japanese Multipurpose Knife – The Best Multipurpose Japanese Knife with a Shitan Handle

Yoshihiro Mizu Yaki Blue High Carbon Steel #1 Kurouchi...
  • Our handmade Yoshihiro Mizu Yaki Kurouchi Series are unparalleled in their...

Pros & Cons of Yoshihiro Mizu Yaki Blue High Carbon Steel

Pros
  • Handmade top-notch quality
  • Very sharp and performs highly
  • Easy to use
  • It has a comfortable handle
  • Very appealing
  • It uses the best quality steel
  • Serves for a long time
  • Performs various purposes
  • It has an ergonomic and lightweight handle
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • Requires extra attention and care

It’s a knife to consider if you are looking for unmatched performance. The artisans handcraft it using the Mizu Yaki technology. The process involves drawing out the refined steel’s hardness and infusing it with optimal resiliency for best performance.

The eye-catching finish, also known as the ‘Kuroch finish,’ gives this knife an aesthetic appeal. It consists of a carbonized coat attained during the heat-treating process. The high edge retention of the Blue high carbon steel used in its making attributes to the knife’s hardness, durability, and strength.

You will love this knife’s easy sharpening ability, which results from incorporating the traditional Warikomi design in its making. Making these knives is possible only with top-notch skills. Kudos to the artisans’ extraordinary skills; they have succeeded in making high-quality knives with optimal performance.

The exquisite beauty and exceptional performance of these knives have made their respected statement on the market. Any chef using or owning this knife gets respected. It’s the kind of blade you will love in your kitchen.

Cooking becomes fun and quick with this knife, thanks to easy handling and razor sharpness. If you are looking for an essential and versatile knife to have in your kitchen, the Yoshihiro Mizu Yaki Blue High Carbon Steel knife will not let you down.

The knife comes with a curved tip. It’s also wide and contains a straight end, explaining why it does an excellent job in slicing or cutting meat and fish. You will not tire using this knife, thanks to its ergonomic and lightweight handle.

You can protect your knife with a wooden sheath made for its security. The sheath is called Saya, and it gets sold separately. While inside the protective sheath, the blade becomes secure, and its appearance appeals more.

Like other Japanese knives, these knives come with sharp edges, meaning they require care and attention. You will need to use water whetstones only to hone and sharpen this knife. It’s also get cleaned by hand only. A washing machine will destroy the blade.

Hard objects like frozen foods, bones, and nutshells will damage the blade. You will also need to oil this knife regularly to avoid oxidation. The price may not be favorable to many buyers.


5. Yoshihiro VG – 10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife

Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto...
  • Grade : NSW Damascus / Knife Type: Gyuto(Chef’s Essential Knife)

Pros & Cons of Yoshihiro VG – 10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus

Pros
  • Artisans crafts it using top-notch materials
  • It comes with an incredible lifespan
  • You can use it for various purposes
  • The design and structure are attractive
  • It consists of a very sharp blade
  • The handle is comfortable and offers a firm grip
  • It comes with a protective sheath that improves its look when not in use
  • You don’t experience any resistance while cutting
  • The foodstuffs does not stick on to the knife
  • It does not rust
  • It’s handcrafted by professional artisans, explaining its beauty
Cons
  • It’s expensive

With combined beauty, performance, and extraordinary value, this knife has emerged as one of the best sellers on the market. Its makers use the Damascus tradition to craft it. That’s why the blade comes hammered with steel layers for durability and excellent performance.

As a chef, nothing means much than preparing a delicious meal for your client or loved one. The best way to do so is using valuable tools like this Gyuto knife. It will chop, dice, and slice with precise, fresh produce from the market or farm without interfering with their texture.

The knife will also cut your chicken, meat, or fish as you like it for grilling, oven, frying, or roasting. You will find the structure and sturdiness of this knife fascinating. Artisans who handcraft this knife utilize old Japanese techniques used in making swords.

The thin blade’s super hardness makes it possible to give the best seamless cuts to anything subjected to the knife. While cutting the foodstuffs, you don’t experience any friction or resistance, thanks to the hammered texture of this knife. The food also does not stick to the blade, making it easy to use.

Do you see black stains on the foodstuff after cutting or chopping? It means that your knife corrodes, leaving rust stains on your food. Such food may cause health problems. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that with this knife. The Damascus steel used in its making is rust and stain-free.

With its octagonal handle crafted from natural Shitan Rosewood, your hand holds it comfortably and makes the knife balance properly while in use. While not in use, you keep it safely in its protective Magnolia sheath.

Some users may find the price a bit high, but every penny is worth it.


How the Japanese Knives Have Evolved Throughout the Years

The crafting of the Japanese knives started in 710 – 794, during the Nara Era. If you want to glimpse how the blades looked like, you can visit the Imperial Treasure House in Shosoin. The knives are well displayed for everyone to see.

The knives had narrow and long blades and handles. They consisted of a 2cm width and 40cm length. According to sources, the aristocracy used them for religious purposes. They used them in a ceremony called Hocho-Shiki, meaning ‘knife ceremony.’ The elite would break down cranes and carps to a musical tune with these knives during the occasion.

The Japanese knives were handed down to generations, making them family heirlooms. People used them daily for various purposes, but they degenerated over time. That’s why it’s challenging to find a surviving knife used in the olden Japanese times. Fortunately, there exist numerous scrolls, drawings, written records, and paintings of ancient Japanese knives.

The evolution of the Japanese knives was a result of the Samurai swords. The Samurai was a military personality assigned to serve a feudal lord. Swords known as Katana got designed for the Samurais only. Later on, the Samurais increased, leading to the swords’ demand skyrocketing. As a result, the craftsmen became innovative in producing and developing more blades.

The blade technology picked up, and in 1454 – 1573, during the Sengoku Era, when there occurred the tumulus feudal unrest, many regions in Japan could produce blades. There was a sword production location in Nara, Kanagawa, Okayama, Gifu, and Kyoto.

The blade production was in these five areas because the feudal warlocks reigned above the rest. Thanks to the peace experienced after the war, the demand for swords decreased. Instead, the need for knives and other small tools like saws, hatches, and axes increased. It was from 1603 – 1868, during the Edo Era.

Because there was no war at this time, the Japanese opted for a normal and non-combative lifestyle. They resulted in cooking their delicacies and farming their lands, increasing the need for kitchen knives and other farm tools.

In 1868, the Japanese government banned the making and owning of weapons through the Sword Abolishment Edict. It marked the end of the Samurai sword – Katana, and other blades. In return, the sword craftsmen and smiths were out of employment.

The lack of work for the sword makers was a turning point in producing the Japanese knives. The sword-smiths switched to making knives. The craftsmen used the experience and skills they had in making swords to make the knives.

A great example is the Sakai knives, made in the Osaka region. The area was renowned for making the best swords, tobacco cutting knives, and guns. Today, the Sakai region still crafts top-notch Japanese blades that have won the hearts of many worldwide chefs.

The Japanese knives developed throughout the years. Up to today, the creativity and innovation of the Japanese artisans are evident. Some merge the old with the new techniques for optimal results. As a result, the market today spoils you with options of Japanese knives.

That is why the Japanese knives are of various types that embody beauty and excellent functionality. Each blade has a purpose; they come designed for specific tasks. Some can do it all. To enlighten you, the following are various Japanese knives you can find on the market today.

Types of Japanese Knives

If you opt to go for all kinds of Japanese knives, you may not exhaust them as they are numerous. But no need to worry; go for what will meet your needs. There are knife kinds ideal for professionals, budding chefs, and home use. In this list, we shall name them all. The knife types come in the following three clusters;

  • Special Knives
  • Japan-rooted knives Not Used in Japanese Cooking
  • General knives

A. Special Knives

The knives come crafted for a specific task. Chefs specializing in a particular field use these Japanese knives. For example, if a chef deals with sushi, he or she will own or use several Sashimi knives. The chef cannot use other knives like Menkiri because they are not ideal for cutting or slicing sushi.

I. Takohiki Bocho

Artisans craft them to slice sashimi, explaining why they are also called the Sashimi-bocho. They come rectangular-shaped and utilized mainly in the Kanto area.

II. Honekiri Bocho

It’s ideal for butcheries dealing with heavy meat. Chefs use them to cut pike conger’s sharp and long bones. They are also used to remove fat from the skin without damaging the skin. The knife’s structure is heavy and comes with a straight edge to help crush and cut through the bones.

III. Unagisaki Bocho

The Unagi, a freshwater eel, is a delicacy but very slippery. The artisans crafted this knife to cut through the eel, found in plenty during the humid weather. The blades come in five styles according to the place of origin and the style used in preparing the eel. They include;

  • Edo saki
  • Nagoya saki
  • Osaka saki
  • Kyo saki
  • Kyushu saki

Chefs use the knife’s sharp tip to cut through the eel’s thick skin. Afterward, the eel gets cut into fillets. In Kanto, the chef cut eels on their back and prepare them by first steaming, then grilling. The knives are used in Kansai to cut the eels on their stomach, then grill them as the only preparation method.

In Ngoya, eels are cut either way – on their back or stomach, using these knives.

IV. Yanagiba Bocho

It’s also known as ‘willow blade’ or ‘Sashimi-bocho’ and comes designed to slice sashimi’s raw fish blocks. The blade comes slim and long, with a curved blade tip. You will find these knives in Kansai.

V. Fugu Hiki

The structure is the same as that of Yangiba, but its blade is thinner and narrower. The craftsmen designed them for slicing or cutting Fugu, the pufferfish.

VI. Menkiri Bocho

Do you love noodles? Then you will love this knife. Its purpose is to cut soba and udon noodles. The edge is straight, and the overall weight is heavy. Have you ever seen a cleaver? It looks like one, with its blade extending to the handle.

B. Japan-rooted knives Not Used in Japanese Cooking.

These kinds of knives originate from Japan but usually don’t get used in cooking Japanese food. They are known to have adopted the western way of cooking. Because of this, they don’t get regarded per se as traditional Japanese knives. What makes them fall in this list of specialties is their originality. Home cooks and chefs also use them for specific tasks.

VII. Gyuto – Chef’s Knife

The knife comes crafted for all purposes, like the famous western chef’s knife. People also refer to it as the ‘cow knife.’ The knives come in various ranges, starting from 210mm to 270mm. Their heels are tall and come with pointed tips and curved blades.

When comparing them to the Sankotu knives, they look alike, with the Sakotu’s tip shorter and more angled. Gyuto is also more costly.

Though these knives’ prices are higher, they are excellent in rocking motions and piercing. It makes every dime worth spending! Chefs love these knives.

VIII. Garasuki and Honesuki Knives

The knives are perfect versions of the boning knives. Chefs use them to break down red meat and poultry excellently. 

The two knives feature a tough bladesharp tip, and triangular blade. The only difference between the two knives is that Garasuki is heavier and larger.

Thanks to their nifty blades, the knives don’t cut through bones but are excellent in maneuvering around tight spaces.

C. General Knives

The knives come designed to carry out the basic tasks in the kitchen for preparing any meal.

IX. Nakiri Bocho

It is the best knife for slicing or chopping fruits and vegetables, thanks to its straight and thin blade. Nakiri knives also come with a double-beveled structure, making it easy to cut through any vegetable or fruit. The knives made in Kansai come with a rounded tip, while those crafted in Kanto have rectangular tips.

These knives’ lengths range from 240mm to 300mm and are very easy to sharpen. Chefs and home cooks love the fact Nakiri knives are affordable.

X. Santoku Bocho

It’s a versatile knife that chops and cuts meat, vegetables, and fish. No wonder it’s renowned as an accomplished of ‘three virtues.’ The Santoku knife got invented during the Meiji era. It was when the Japanese got used to western cuisine and started comparing it to theirs.

The knife excellently cuts long strokes and chops, making it a favorite with most people.

XI. Deba Bocho

The knife comes with a chunkier blade, explaining its purpose in breaking down, gutting, and descaling fish. The craftsmen make them in three sizes to accommodate all fish sizes. They include;

  • Kodeba: Its blade length range from 90mm to 120mm
  • Hondeba: It has a standard blade size of approximately 210mm
  • Miokoshi Deba : The blade size range from 180mm to 270mm

XII. Usuba Bocho

You can easily confuse it for a Nakiri. The only difference is that it comes single-beveled and has got a thinner blade edge. It is the reason most chefs utilize these knives for cutting paper-thin, decorative cuts, and slices.

With the above insight into various Japanese knives, you may want to know the best brands available today. Let’s dig in and find out.

The Top Japanese Knife Brands

After the sword era, the artisans used the skills they had to craft knives for various purposes. They used the best materials and meticulously crafted top-notch designs that gave birth to the brands available today. Over the years, the Japanese knife brands have topped the list of the best cutlery producers.

Japanese companies producing knives are many. We shall discuss a few of the best. They include the following;

a. The Yoshihiro Cutlery

The brand has been in operation for the last 700 years, making it the oldest Japanese knife-producing company. The entity started by making swords but changed into producing knives about 100 years ago. In the earlier times, the company was renowned for its skilled and experienced sword smiths who crafted unique and quality swords.

The company used its sword-making techniques to make special knives. No wonder their knives are unique, top-quality, and famous today.

They only sold knives in Japan until 2008, when the company opened a factory in California’s Beverly Hills. The entity serves the locals and international clients through their online shops. You will have to choose from the 600 options the company produces.

The brand caters to all kinds of chefs. They produce a knife for every kitchen. The blades come in two categories;

  • Single-edged
  • Double-edged

Japan doesn’t have stainless steel. Though Japanese steel lasts for a lifetime, you will need to maintain it to achieve that kind of longevity. That’s why the company offers oil to their customers to help maintain the knives. All their products glide perfectly through the food and come with a wooden handle.

The brand doesn’t have a strict variety because it anticipates to keep on surprising its customers. But their knives are quality, making them worth buying.

b. Yaxell

The brand’s establishment in 1932 gave a significant boost to the cutlery industry. Chefs and home cooks worldwide enjoyed the best kinds of kitchen knives, thanks to Yaxell. The company may have come later in the industry but has served millions of restaurants, hotels, and home kitchens.

Because of their forging technique and top-notch products, Yaxell is renowned as one of the best Japanese knife brands. The materials used in making their knives are rare, but the company strives to offer and maintain quality.

All knives made from this company cater to various needs and chefs. The finishing, scalpel-like edge, and comfortable grip of this brand’s blades make them needed, rather than wanted, by people globally. The demand for their knives is always high.

c. Shun Cutlery

It is the brand with the trendiest knives. Like its name, shun, the company strives to offer the best at the right time. Kai Corporation, the makers of Shun brand, has been in operation for a century now. Their products have won the hearts of many people with their luxurious touch and full functionality.

If you are looking for a sharp knife with a touch of the Japanese traditional technique, the Shun brand is the best. You cannot compare the sharpness of a Shun knife with any European knife. The Shun’s blade edge is superior and premier.

The company uses various high-quality steel types like white, blue, VG-10, and Kasumi to make their knives. Knife handles from this brand are usually made from pakkawood, making them distinct from the rest. Shun always appreciates its customers by offering them gifts for free.

In addition to knives, the brand also makes other cutlery like cutting boards, graters, sharpening systems, and fishbone tweezers. All their products are top-notch and in plenty. They are worth considering.

d. MIYABI

The entity behind the MIYABI brand is the Zwilling Group. It makes incredibly sharp knives, explaining why most chefs all over the world love them. The company produces knives with the following three qualities;

  • Elegance
  • Purity
  • Grace

The above qualities differentiate the MIYABI knives from the rest, making them unique. Their methods of making their knives include traditional techniques. MIYABI knives also feature diamond edges and are purely crafted in Japan. The blades are worth being in any kitchen.

e. Masamoto Sohonten

A renowned craftsman named Minosuke Matsuzawa was the brain behind this fantastic knife brand. He established it in 1866, and the company has survived through many generations. The knives are loved far and wide for their professional craftsmanship, fineness, sharpness, and performance.

On buying these knives, you can use them immediately as they come sharp from the box. Sharpening them once in a while maintains their incredible sharpness. The founder was keen on quality, explaining why the company has preserved its legacy by producing top-notch knives.

With these knives, you get guaranteed many years of service, as they are a masterpiece. The blades are a darling for most celebrities and professional chefs. If you are looking for a knife with excellent value, consider giving this brand a shot.

f. Tojiro

It’s the best brand to choose for a kitchen. The company has been in operation for over 60 years, explaining how it has perfected its art of making high-quality and performing knives. Tojiro incorporates the traditional Japanese methods of making knives with modern ways.

That’s why the company is in constant consultations and research of various materials and crafting techniques. The result is in its over 800 refined professional products. The handles come in oak wood, offering the best grip.

With the above insight into the Japanese knives, you may feel the urge to add some into your kitchen cutlery but are unsure what to choose. The following are reviews of the best Japanese knives you can purchase for your kitchen.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Japanese Knife

i. Materials Used

You wouldn’t want a Japanese knife that will give you services for a few months before it wears out. That’s why you need to consider the material used in making the knife before buying it. Consider knives crafted with durable materials like steel.

Also, avoid knives that corrode as they will stain your food and wear out quickly. You will also go an extra mile of oiling rusting blades frequently to maintain them. A Japanese knife made with quality materials may come at a price, but it’s worth investing in. Such a knife is easy to maintain and is cheap in the long run.

ii. Design

No one loves an ugly item. Consider a knife with a design you like. Japanese knives come in different styles and models. If you want to improve your kitchen’s look, go for a knife with an aesthetic appeal. Beautiful knives are pleasing to look at and will make your cutlery set appear attractive.

iii. Handle

The handle is an essential part of a knife. If uncomfortable to grab, you may not do an incredible job with the knife. It may also make your hand pain or tire quickly. Consider a knife with a comfortable handle and grip.

Knife handles come in different designs and shapes. Go for what pleases you. You may need to consider a handle made with durable materials. Otherwise, you will keep on replacing your knife’s handle.

iv. Size

When buying a Japanese knife, it’s crucial to keep in mind the kind and quantity of work it will perform. If you want to cut small vegetables in small amounts, a small knife will do. Large blades are ideal to use for commercial purposes because they handle a lot of foodstuffs.

v. Purpose

Japanese knives get designed for various purposes. You can use some knives to perform specific functions only. 

Others can do them all. For example, there are knives designed to cut meat, fish, or chicken only. Others are for chopping or slicing vegetables and fruits only. You can also find a knife that can do it all.

Whatever you want to do with your knife, consider one that it’s made explicitly for that purpose. It will work out better than a standard knife because it comes with unique features to make that work easier and faster.

vi. Price

The cost of Japanese knives varies. Some cost more, while others are pretty affordable. The expensive knives may have unique attributes like quality materials or super sharpness that makes their prices go up. Some brands have already made their space on the market with high standards that come with high prices.

Other aspects like designs and technology used attribute to a knife’s cost. Cheap knives may get made from inferior quality materials that cost less. But not all cheap Japanese knives are of low quality. Some may not have extra features that come with an added cost.

If you don’t have the budget, consider a cheap knife as long as it consists of robust materials and can meet your needs.

In this article, you have gotten much information on Japanese knives. But you still could be struggling with some issues about these knives. Here is the good news; check out the answers to the following frequently asked questions. You could solve your concerns and queries.

FAQs

a) What Type of Quality are the Japanese Knives?

As discussed in this article, Japanese knives get made with different types of robust steel. Some steels are stainless, while others contain carbon from iron ore. The carbon content in Japanese knives is higher than that in European knives.

Makers of the Japanese knives also incorporate tungsten and cobalt while making them, explaining why they come with tough blades. The artisans also add chrome to steel to prevent the knives from rusting, increasing their longevity and making them premier quality.

b) How Durable are Japanese Knives

A quality Japanese knife can offer you services for many years. But to enjoy this, you need to maintain it regularly and keep it clean. Always use it for the purpose it got designed for, and ensure it’s properly stored. Avoid keeping your knife wet if not in use. If any part is wooden, it may absorb water and become damaged. Materials that corrode will rust quickly if the blade is wet or kept in a humid place.

c) How Do I Test The Sharpness of My Japanese Knife?

It’s easy; take a paper with one hand and use the other hand to cut it through using your Japanese knife. Drag the blade lightly across the paper. If the knife cuts through smoothly without dragging, know that your knife is sharp.

Alternatively, you can test the knife using a tomato. If your knife cuts through without squashing the tomato, its sharpness is okay. Note that if you have to apply pressure to cut through, your knife is not sharp enough. You will need to boost it through sharpening.

Conclusion

As demonstrated above, Japanese knives are crucial tools in our homes and commercial premises like restaurants and hotels. As a serious chef, you will require reliable knives for various tasks to make a mouthwatering dish.

High-quality knives like the ones discussed above will help you save time and money. Nothing feels great as a chef than precisely chopping, cutting, or slicing your meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, fruits, and other foodstuffs with no resistance and in time.

Some knives can get into your nerves when the foodstuff you are cutting or slicing squashes or sticks on to them. That’s why Japanese knives are the best. You hardly experience such problems. Remember to consider the factors discussed above if you want to buy a knife that suits your need and budget.

If you want to buy a Japanese knife and are still confused about choosing, use our above-discussed top list as a starting point. Up your game in the kitchen with Japanese knives!

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