Knives are vitality in every kitchen across the world. Japanese cutlery more so knives holds an invaluable spot in the market and cooking industry. They are thus popular since their forging rests on centuries’ worth of harnessed skill due to the Japanese rich history of cutlery forging. Therefore, these knives are usually a work of art.
Nevertheless, the Japanese knives also come with different features such as manufacturing materials, finishing, handle designs, among other features that collectively rank a select few as the best of the Japanese knives. This article, therefore, lists and reviews some of the best Japanese knives currently in the market.
Best Japanese kitchen knives List & Review
|Shun Classic - Best Japanese Chef Knife with 8-inch Blade||Check On Amazon|
|Miyabi 34313-273 - Best Japanese Chef's Knife with 10-inch Blade||Check On Amazon|
|KATSU Kiritsuke - Best Japanese Chef Knife for Gifts||Check On Amazon|
|DALSTRONG AUS - Best Japanese Vacuum Treated Chef Knife||Check On Amazon|
|Enso Large Chef's 10" - HD Series Hammered Damascus Stainless Steel Knife||Check On Amazon|
|Yoshihiro VG-10 46 - Best Japanese Chefs Knife (Recommended)||Check On Amazon|
|Yoshihiro Blue - #1 Masashi Kurouchi Series Kiritsuke Japanese Multipurpose Knife||Check On Amazon|
|Oshihiro VG-10 - Best Premium Japanese Chef Knife||Check On Amazon|
|Enso HD - Best Japanese Gyuto Chef Knife||Check On Amazon|
|Shun Cutlery’s Classic - best japanese cooking knife||Check On Amazon|
|Wusthof Classic - Best Rated Japanese Chef Knife||Check On Amazon|
|Dalstrong Rocking Herb- Best Full Stainless Steel Japanese Knife||Check On Amazon|
1. Shun Classic - Best Japanese Chef Knife with 8-inch Blade
This is an all-purpose knife for your kitchen. It is, therefore, ideal for every kitchen out there since it can fulfill a variety of tasks in the kitchen, and this can be attributed to its unique design and special features.
These knives are usually manufactured from high-quality materials such as stainless steel infused with carbon, which improves their durability. The chromium and cobalt finishing further guarantees rust and corrosion-proof use. The knives have a shiny appearance, which is beautiful and stylish, complementing your kitchenware and decors.
The PakkaWood handles are also infused with resin, which makes them strong and water-resistant for easy cleaning and increased durability. The 8-inch long blades with the wide bellies make them adequately sized for comfortable and smooth cutting/chopping of food. These also make transferring the cut foods to the pan easy. The knives are well balanced from crafting, and this, coupled with the razor-sharp edges, guarantees zero fatigue during use.
Why This Is Top Pick
The Shun classic chef knives are premium quality and thus popular among many home users and professional chefs in restaurants. These knives guarantee an exceptional cutting/chopping experience making cooking exemplary.
2. Miyabi 34313-273 - Best Japanese Chef’s Knife with 10-inch Blade
These also constitute some of the best knife brands. The Miyabi Fusion blades are quite unique in their designs as they combine both the Western and Japanese techniques to provide you with a great and satisfying knife.
These knives are top-rated among both amateur and professional cooks. The VG-10 super steel is protected by the 64-layer Damascus pattern, which collectively contributes to the aesthetics of the knife and their strength and durability. The Miyabi Fusion blades are very sharp with their 9.5 to 12-degree three-step Honzabuke processed hand sharpened edges.
The blades are also CRYDUR and ice-hardened to a rating of 60 for strength and improved retention of sharpness. They weigh about 9.6 ounces, which is quite lightweight thus easy to use. The knives’ handles are also quite unique; for instance, they are made from enhanced POM with three rivets made from glass beads, which is easy to clean and maintain. The handles are black for style with rounded spine and heel for a comfortable and ergonomic grip.
Why This Is Top Pick
These knives are great and well balanced, thus forms a great addition to your cutlery. The features ensure an enjoyable and prolonged use of the knife at a fair price. Therefore, they are highly recommended for any cooking environment, and the warranty further adds to their value.
3. KATSU Kiritsuke - Best Japanese Chef Knife for Gifts
This is also among the top-rated Japanese knives currently in the market. This model is a must-have for chefs, and it is also multi-functional, thus convenient on many occasions.
These knives measure about 2.2 mm in thickness and are very sharp, which makes the cutting and chopping much simpler. The wooden octagonal handles with buffalo horn bolster are gorgeous and ergonomically designed to fit perfectly in the user’s hands for comfort. The 67-layer Damascus steel is also straightforward to sharpen and perfectly retains its sharpness over time. This also guarantees the durability of these knives. The knife is also thin and lightweight, making it easy to maneuver around with minimal fatigue. The knife’s wooden magnetic Saya style sheath is also aesthetic and convenient for carrying to different locations and storing the knife safely.
Why This Is Top Pick
This knife’s ability to be utilized in many environments with easy movement capability makes it a popular brand in the market today. It makes cutting and chopping of foodstuffs much simple and fun for the user. Thus, it is highly recommended by many users.
4. DALSTRONG AUS - Best Japanese Vacuum Treated Chef Knife
Dalstrong is a popular Japanese knives suppliers for decades. Their knives are exceptionally designed with various features making them qualify to be ranked among the best Japanese knives currently in the market.
These knives are also very popular in the contemporary food preparation industry. They are manufactured from high-quality materials for exceptional results. Thus, they are super sharp and thin, with edges about 8 to 12 degrees slant per side. They are also nitrogen cooled for increased hardness and hand sharpened using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method.
The super steel ensures durability while also assisting in retaining the sharpness for the longest time possible. The knives are hand polished for elegance and the handles ergonomically designed for comfortable gripping and use. The hammered tsuchime finish is also essential as it reduces drag, minimizes stuck on food while also giving the knife a unique and stylish look for your kitchen.
Why This Is Top Pick
Generally, this knife was designed for longevity and smooth use. This is due to the materials used in its manufacture, which typically improves its hardness, robustness, corrosion resistance while retaining sharpness and increasing durability. Thus, with the price range, this knife qualifies as a great addition to your kitchenware collection.
5. Enso Large Chef’s 10” - HD Series Hammered Damascus Stainless Steel Knife
Enso products are wonderfully crafted from Japan. Their design allows for a wide range of actions such as slicing, dicing, and chopping of a variety of products from fruits, vegetables to all sorts of food types. Thus making them quite valuable in the kitchen.
These knives qualify to the top of the list for the best Japanese kitchen knives due to these features. For instance, the full tang handle designs with the seamless construction, incorporated steel rivets, bolster, and end cap ensures that the black canvas micarta is robust, durable, and well balanced for comfortable handling and use without worries of breaking. The blades from VG-10 super steel constructed to 37 layers ensures further hardness with excellent ability to retain sharpness. These blades are, therefore, very hard, thin, and super sharp for a smooth and enjoyable cutting experience. The blades are also hammered with a tsuchime finish for further benefits on minimizing stuck foods and improving the general appearance.
Why This Is Top Pick
Enso knives are trusted products that have dominated the markets for close to a century. Thus, these knives were manufactured by combining both the advanced technology and the traditional Japanese craftsmanship for the perfect knife. The resulting features, therefore, guarantees an unforgettable experience at fair pricing and an assuring warranty cover for any defects.
6. Yoshihiro VG-10 46 - Best Japanese Chef’s Knife (Recommended)
This is another versatile product quite popular among many amateur and professional cooks. Yoshihiro is a famous brand for its high-quality and outstanding cutlery products. Thus, this model of knives is also remarkable and quite exceptional.
The features mentioned above facilitate an exceptional cutting and slicing session by these knives. Thus, the hardness levels of these knives on the HRC scale exceeds that of most knives at approximately level 60 due to the manufacturing VG-10 stainless steel and the 46 layers. This facilitates the sharpening of the knife to ultra-thin thickness at the cutting edge for razor-sharp feel while also being able to retain the sharpness for prolonged periods.
Damascus steel is also essential as it is rust and corrosion-proof, thus improving the durability of the knives. The knife is double-edged for both hands usage, and the Ambrosia handle, octagonal in shape, lightweight, and ergonomically designed, thus perfectly fits into the user’s hands for seamless use. The hammered finish prevents sticking of food on the blade by reducing friction and the wooded sheath, Saya protects the knife during storage or movement.
Why This Is Top Pick
These are some exceptional knives that should be part of your kitchenware collections. The high-quality materials with unique and handcrafted artistic designs are a fulfillment to every cook’s desires. Thus, it is highly recommended.
7. Yoshihiro Blue - #1 Masashi Kurouchi Series Kiritsuke Japanese Multipurpose Knife
This is another excellent and popular knife in the market that makes it to the list of the best Japanese Kitchen Knives. These also have unique features incorporated in their designs, prompting a smooth and precise cutting.
From the above-highlighted features, it is quite clear that these knives are quite hard on their core; thus, they can be sharpened to super-thin cutting edges for razor-sharp feeling. The hard materials are also liable for the excellent retention of the knives. The final blades are usually of a black forged finish developed from the carbonized coating resulting from the heat treatment. This type of finish usually brings about a characteristic rusty but stylish appearance, which is quite elegant.
These knives are quite strong and very durable due to their strength. The blade design is also suitable for versatility in kitchen functions such as chopping of vegetables, meat, fruits, and even fish effectively. The rosewood handle is also lightweight and ergonomic, thus making it very straightforward and simple to use. Optionally and additionally, these knives also come with a protective wooden Saya sheath for storage and safekeeping of the knives.
Why This Is Top Pick
You should, therefore, consider these knives for your kitchen collection because they are in themselves a proud work of art by Japanese artisans. Thus, they play a huge role in a chef’s life, whether at home or in a restaurant kitchen. Their pricing and the features are fair for an exceptional cooking experience.
8. Yoshihiro VG-10 - Best Premium Japanese Chef Knife
This is another product knife brand from Yoshihiro, which cuts it to the top positions among the best Japanese kitchen knives too. These knives are specially crafted with quality and precision to produce quite exceptional and premium products for your kitchen.
This knife is usually the favorite of many chefs all over attributing to the features. These features have developed and facilitated for some to call them utility knives or Santoku, meaning three virtues in Japanese. Thus, these knives are very versatile and handy in the kitchen arena. The knife’s super hardcore is also vital as it guarantees razor-sharp sharpening and exceptional sharpness retention. The stainless steel also ensures durability as it guarantees rust and corrosion resistance. The hammered finish is essential in eliminating friction and sticking of food to the blade. It also contributes to the elegant look of the outer surface of the blade. The handcrafted handle is also strong and ergonomically fits the hands for seamless use.
Why This Is Top Pick
All in all, this is quite a unique knife; thus, it should be a must addition to your kitchenware collection. These knives are designed and handcrafted perfectly with the size and strength of performing both light and heavy tasks while being able to be stored in small spaces, unlike the bigger knives. Thus, they are recommended for any individual willing to purchase an outstanding and exceptional knife.
9. Enso HD - Best Japanese Gyuto Chef Knife
This knife is another model from the Enso suppliers in Japan. These are also handcrafted works of art designed and incorporated with special features for maximal performance during cutting and slicing of your food.
The blades of these knives are quite unique in their construction for exemplary performance. The blade’s outer surface and core are very hard, which makes them quite excellent for sharpening and retention. The shashimi finish on the outer surface also contributes to elegance while preventing occasional sticking of food on the blade. Typically, these guarantees that the knife is strong, durable, and long-lasting.
The blade’s cutting edge is also very thin with about a 12-degree angle, and the blade’s spine is also thin to about 1.5 mm thickness contributing to the low weight. The double bevel edge ensures that both left and right-handed individuals can use the knife. The handle, on the other hand, is very sturdy fitted with steel rivets, bolster, and an end cap, all ensuring that the construction is ergonomic to perfectly fit into the user’s hand for comfortable, seamless and well-balanced use.
Why This Is Top Pick
This is a one of a kind knife designed and crafted by professional artisans in Japan. These blades are all-purpose, thus suitable for cutting, slicing, and chopping of fruits, vegetables, or even meat efficiently. Thus making the knife perfect for a professional or amateur cook, whether in a fancy restaurant kitchen or home kitchen.
10. Shun Cutlery’s Classic - best Japanese cooking knife
This is another conveniently sized kitchen knife and a must-have addition. Its design is unique, thus fulfilling unique tasks with added advantages on top of other kitchen knives. Therefore, the Shun Cutlery Classic knife qualifies to be among the best kitchen knives currently in the global market.
These knives are relatively small to the length of 5.5 inches in comparison to the majority of the Japanese kitchen knives. Their sizes are thus adequate and convenient for use in many of the kitchen tasks, which are usually medium-rated. The VG-MAX super steel core improves the retention of the sharpened edge. The further finishing with the chromium and cobalt increases durability and strength as they wear corrosion-resistant.
The vanadium, on the other hand, enhances the razor sharpness complementing the stainless steel for improved cutting performance. The hardwood handle from Pakkawood with the ebony finish is flawless and balanced for quite an ergonomic compatibility with the palms for a secure grip. The handles are also waterproof, easy to clean, and do not harbor any bacteria.
Why This Is Top Pick
These blades have attracted the attention of a broad audience with their size. They are also very light and razor-sharp. This, coupled with the hardness emulated in the crafting, and the ergonomic handles, these knives gives the user full control of the cutting process for a fulfilling session.
11. Wusthof Classic - Best Rated Japanese Chef Knife
This is another famous knife brand popular in the markets today. These are also all-purpose knives in the kitchens with versatile applications. Thus, you would not want this piece of cutlery to be missing in your kitchenware collection.
These knives are usually on top of the list because the above features usually generate abundant benefits. For instance, the high-carbon stainless steel is sufficiently hard for durability and easy razor sharpening. This, coupled with the PEtec, ensures that the blade is 20 % sharper and retains the edge. The full tang fitted by triple rivets to the comfortably and ergonomically highly durable POM handle weld to the hands perfectly, giving you the desired control during cutting and slicing. The handles are also seamless and smooth for easy cleaning. The knives also come with a full bolster and a handguard for safety during the cutting exercise.
Why This Is Top Pick
This is a great knife that should be already in your kitchen. They are multi-purpose and versatile, and with the 15 degrees cutting blade angle, the blade cuts through many foods, whether heavy-duty or light foods smoothly. Thus, making them all round knives for your kitchen and highly recommended by cooks all around the world.
12. Dalstrong Rocking Herb- Best Full Stainless Steel Japanese Knife
This is a premium product from the Dalstrong Company. These Japanese suppliers are popular for their handcrafted, high-quality kitchen knives. They constitute the best Japanese kitchen knives due to their maximal performance during use with minimal to zero compromises as they are engineered to perfection.
The thin cutting edge angle facilitates the scalpel-sharp edges for smooth cutting on any foodstuff. The hard super steel core also assists in further sharpening and edge retention, thus facilitating the ultimate performance. The outer 67 layers Damascus stainless steel is also sharpened using the traditional 3 step Honbazuke method couple with a bleeding-edge technology, which further increases blade efficiency.
The outer layer is also incorporated with an outstanding Tsunami Rose Blade pattern for an exceptionally stylish and beautiful appearance. The handle is also ergonomic with a tapered bolster providing a zero-balance feel and finger protection for comfortable and controlled grip and use. Included is also a Saya sheath with a traditional pin and a string locking mechanism for safety and protection.
Why This Is Top Pick
This is quite an exceptional kitchen knife with features adding to the strength and durability of the knife. This, coupled with other features such as sharpness, balance, and weight, while not forgetting the fair pricing, guarantees a perfect service delivery. Thus, this knife is number one and comes highly recommended in many cooking environments.
Things to consider when buying a Japanese kitchen Knife
Before committing to buying a set of or one Japanese knife, you should be familiar with certain features of these knives and several other factors to ensure that what you buy will perfectly serve your needs in an exemplary capacity. Some of these features include;
This is a vital feature of the kitchen knives more so the Japanese variety. These knives are crafted with varying levels of hardness, according to the Rockwell scale. The hardness is, however, usually dependent on the quality of the steel used to manufacture the blade’s core. Therefore, you will try to look for a Japanese knife with a Rockwell rating ranging between 55 and 60. This quite a safe range where the knives are not too hard or too soft.
Hard steel is easy to sharpen to razor sharpness; however, too hard blades usually brittle and chips easily. An adequately hard blade can also be designed to much thinner edges for lightweight and efficiency. Thus, choose wisely on the rate of hardness.
Type of steel
You should also be on the lookout for the type of steel used to manufacture the knife you are planning to buy. Thus, the steel should be high quality and either stainless or carbon steel. Stainless steel is usually much popular since they usually range in the safe hardness range, thus making your knives safe from brittleness. The carbon steel, on the other hand, is usually a little on the higher side of the Rockwell scale, making their products quite hard and strong but a little too brittle for prolonged use and other applications.
Your knife should also be very sharp. You would not want to buy a dull Japanese knife in the shop as this could be very much inconvenient. Thus, you may check for features such as the blade thickness, the cutting-edge angle, and the manufacturers’ description on the sharpness. This will guarantee that you take home a ready to use sharp Japanese knife.
The knife handles are usually vital too. This is because they are usually the determinants of the level of comfort during use. Therefore, first, you will need to look for a handle ergonomically designed to fit into your hand perfectly. Then, the handle should also be anti-slippery for a tight and perfect grip. They should also be waterproof, solid, and lightweight to guarantee at least a prolonged use time before any cased or needs for maintenance. The handles could also try to be stylish and appealing to make the process of using them even more fun.
These presents with additional benefits to the knife. For instance, some of these Japanese knives usually come with chrome-plated finishing. These improve elegance while also being rust and corrosion-resistant. Another finish design is the hammering, which is also appealing in its way while preventing food from sticking to the sides of the blade. Finally, some also have a Damascus Rose finish offering similar advantages. Thus try to choose something that is both attractive, durable, and efficient in its work.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) & Buying Guide
1. Why are Japanese Kitchen Knives popular?
This is because these knives are usually manufactured from high quality and premium materials. Furthermore, these knives are also handcrafted by skilled Japanese artisans. They, on most occasions, utilize the traditional knife crafting skills with minimal incorporation of modern design for a unique and delicate result. The knives are also designed with precise functionality. Thus, each knife has its function, which is excellent at executing. These are some of the few reasons which make the Japanese knives very popular.
2. What is the best type of steel for a kitchen knife?
This is a straightforward subject as you will want to select a steel material with a Rockwell hardness ranging between 55 to 60 ratings. This will provide you with a hard enough steel for easy sharpening and excellent retention and also soft enough to avoid brittleness and easy chipping of the blade.
3. Can you clean a Japanese Kitchen Knife in a dishwasher?
Japanese kitchen knives usually need proper and detailed care, thus washing them in the dishwashers is usually not recommended. Despite some manufactures indicating on their products the go-ahead for cleaning in a dishwasher, it presents numerous disadvantages. The knives will be knocked around the machine and thus may crack and chip. The cleaning chemicals may also damage the knife in several ways, and finally, the knives may develop some stain, which can be hard to remove. Thus generally, try as much as possible to avoid washing the Japanese kitchen knives in a dishwasher.
4. How do you clean Japanese kitchen knives?
This is quite a simple and straightforward process. All you need is some water, preferably warm water with some dish cleaning detergent. Immediately after use, you should clean the knife by hand and a piece of cloth using the water and detergent and dry it afterward using a towel. Then you may store the dry Japanese knife in a safe, dry, and moisture-free place.
Knives are just so many in the market with some premium and high quality, while others are very substandard. Thus, the buying process might be a little challenging and hence the need for this article. This article will help you in navigating through a variety of professionally select best Japanese kitchen knives that you could consider for your kitchen. Their features are exceptional for excellent results at fair prices. Further included are also some tips to help you in your search for the best Japanese kitchen knife for some of your foodstuff and cooking process.