Any chef worth their salt will tell you that a good set of kitchen tools is crucial to success in the kitchen –most especially a quality chef’s knife. Japanese chef knives are some of the best in today’s market, what with their sleek design and premium quality service. When you get one of these knives, you get a sturdy, safe, comfortable-to-use knife with efficient blade construction. Japanese knives are created from the harder steel, and their blades are sharper, thinner, and lighter. Are you interested in getting one for your kitchen? We have reviewed the top 10 Best Japanese Knives money can buy.
10. Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2” Chef’s Knife ($88.00)
Combining both function and value, the Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2” Chef’s Knife is a great pick for entry-level chefs. Its stain-resistant VG10 stainless steel blade is even-edged and slightly thicker than other knives on this list, which will serve you well in a wide range of challenges.
9. Miyabi Kaizen 8” Chef’s Knife ($159.95)
According to Knives and Tools, Japanese knives require a lot of maintenance for proper functioning. This can be attributed to their ultra-thin construction, which allows them to make delicate and precise cuts. While delicate, the Miyabi Kaizen 8” Chef’s Knife has an ice-hardened VG10 stainless steel blade built for durability. The knife, which is rafted in Seki City, Japan, also comes with a micarta linen composite handle that is both beautiful and has a stable grip.
8. Shun Classic 10” Chef’s Knife ($179.95)
The Shun Classic 10” Chef’s Knife will serve you no matter the task. As one of the first Japanese chef knives made accessible to chefs in North America, this masterpiece is ideal for both expert and learner chefs. Its blade is slightly thicker, sharper, and has a longer edge than other Shun knives. Like its cousins, however, you can expect the strong PakkaWood handle and rust-resistant VG-MAX Shun steel.
7. Zelite Infinity 7” Santoku Knife ($118.99)
This knife features a Japanese VG10 stainless steel blade produced in Takefu, Japan, and crafted in the company’s top-tier factory in China. When you buy the Infinity 7” knife, you are buying durability – the blade is rust and stain-resistant as well as tempered with liquid nitrogen. Additionally, the handle is safe-rounded, comfortable, and ergonomically designed.
6. Sakai Takayuki Gyutou 9.4” Chef’s Knife ($244.00)
The Sakai Takayuki Gyutou 9.4” Chef’s Knife is arguably the most versatile Japanese chef knife available today. Its hammered Damascus VG10 stainless steel blade is not just rust-resistant; it can also slice easily through fish, fruit, delicate herbs, meat, and root vegetables. Additionally, thanks to its heavy plywood handle, the knife sits safely and comfortably in your arm, giving you the perfect cutting experience.
5. Global Model X 8” Chef’s Knife ($159.95)
According to some chefs, a clean cut goes a long way in improving the taste of prepared sushi. The Model X 8” by Global is the perfect knife for such a delicate job, thanks to its clean slice. The knife is ergonomically designed, crafted from Cromova 18 stainless steel, and can cut through everything from vegetables to meat. For a stable grip, its hollow, slip-resistant handle is filled with sand – a design feature that ensures optimal balance and weight control.
4. Simple Song Gyuto 8” Kitchen Chef’s Knife ($45.85)
Number four on our list of the Best Japanese Chef Knives is the Simple Song Gyuto 8” Kitchen Chef’s Knife. If you dream of becoming a chef one day, this handsome and practical piece is a great place to start. It is one of the most durable options on our list. Its blade is heat-treated and made from high carbon stainless steel, making it rust and oxidation-resistant. At $45.85, the Simple Song Gyuto is a steal, especially with such fine and sharp results. You can use this knife to slice through everything from tough, sinewy meats to delicate sashimi. One thing is for sure – this Japanese chef knife will serve you for a very long time.
3. Kyocera Ceramic Revolution Series 7” Chef’s Knife ($49.13)
Japanese chef knives are usually made from a wide range of materials, including ceramic and steel. The Kyocera Ceramic Revolution Series 7” Chef’s Knife is constructed from ceramic zirconia – a quality proprietary material made in Japan. This material is designed to withstand breaks and chips while maintaining its sharpness, which makes it a reliable pick for beginner chefs. Additionally, the blade is acid-proof and dishwasher-safe. One setback might be that it cannot handle tasks that require a flexible blade, such as prying, boning, and carving. Otherwise, you will love the ergonomically-designed handle.
2. Shun Cutlery Premier 6” Chef’s Knife ($174.95)
The Shun Cutlery Premier 6” Chef’s Knife is a heat-treated handcrafted piece originating from Seki City, Japan. A truly premium pick, this knife is agile and sharp, yet very delicate, which makes it ideal for sensitive tasks like sushi preparation. The blade is made from VG-MAX fine-grained steel – a material only used by Shun – and topped up with a hammered (tsuchime) finish. As an added perk, Shun offers free knife sharpening services for a lifetime when you buy the Shun Cutlery Premier 6” Chef’s Knife.
1. Yoshihiro Gyutou 8.25” Chef’s Knife ($225.00)
Yoshihiro has made a name for itself in the market as a producer of highly precise and reliable knives. The Gyutou 8.25” Chef’s Knife is one of their best offerings and is certainly worth considering. Formed from VG-10 hammered Damascus stainless steel, the knife’s blade will not stain easily and will easily cut through any weight. The handle is made from Shitan rosewood, and the bolster is mahogany, which means the grip on this knife is perfect. Generally, this beautiful knife is the perfect blend of traditional bladesmith skills and modern technology. It is a tough knife that will slice through vegetables, meat, and fish. Even better, it comes with a blade cover made from magnolia saya for safe storage.
Upgrading your kitchen tools with even one of the Best Japanese Knives discussed here will bring a wealth of flavor and efficiency to your kitchen. If you are still unsure of which option to pick, brands like Yoshihiro, Miyabi, and Shun will never let you down – they are popular in the cutlery world for their unrivaled precision and craftsmanship. That said, you should always consider your personal needs. Do you cook a lot of meat? Are you a vegetarian? How large is your budget? Answering these questions will help you choose the best Japanese Chef knife for you.