Best Japanese Kitchen Knives – Top 9 Our Reviews 2020

Every chef loves to cut their food items with utmost ease but some dull knives make this almost impossible. A Japanese kitchen knife can provide the ultimate solution with its exceptionally sharp and durable blade. All you need to do is acquire one of the best Japanese kitchen knives on the market to enjoy their many benefits.

Top 9 Best Japanese Kitchen Knives from Our Reviews

Rank

Knife

Image

Blade Material

Price

#1

Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife

Carbon

#2

Global 8" Chef's Knife

Molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel

#3

Tojiro DP Gyutou - 8.2" (21cm)

Stainless Steel

#4

DALSTRONG Nakiri Vegetable Knife

AUS10VSteel

#5

Yoshihiro VG10 Gyuto Japanese Chef’s Knife

VG-10 Steel Core

#6

Miyabi 34373-203 Chef's Knife

Stainless Steel

#7

MAC MIGHTY Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef's Knife

Stainless Steel

#8

KUMA Professional Damascus Steel Knife

High Carbon Stainless Steel

#9

Misono UX10 Gyutou 9.4" (24cm)

Steel

We deployed experts to the market and they carried out thorough research work to identify the best Japanese kitchen knives. They identified the top 9 available and they are:

1. Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife

This amazing chef's knife is manufactured by Shun, a name inspired by a seasonal food at the peak of its freshness and flavor. That’s also the case with this 7.1-ounce knife that boasts of ultra-premium performance and exquisite beauty. Everyone loves a sharp knife that does its job efficiently but it’s also important that it lasts long doing the job.

This model comes with a blade comprising of 69 total layers – proprietary VG-MAX steel and 68 layers of alternating steel. VG-MAX steel contains, extra tungsten for a very sharp edge, additional carbon and cobalt for durability and strength, and more chromium for resistance to corrosion.  In addition, this knife boasts of a handle made of ebony Pakkawood, a hardwood infused with resin to get a water-resistant, durable finish. This handle fits well into your hand for a secure and comfortable grip.

Furthermore, this knife seamlessly rocks through herbs for easy mincing. Also, the blade’s size and width make it perfect for preparing fruits, vegetables, proteins, and several other foods. No doubt, this product is one of the best Japanese chef knives on the market with reliable qualities.

Pros and Benefits

  • Versatile
  • Rugged and durable
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Reliable handle

2. Global 8" Chef's Knife

If you’re looking for a multipurpose workhorse for your kitchen, we got you a great option in this Chef’s knife. Made in Japan, it is perfect for chopping, prep work, mincing, cutting, and slicing. For reliable and strong performance, this tool boasts of a blade made of hard molybdenum, chromium, and vanadium stainless steel. This blade is crafted in a unique way that makes it hard enough to retain its sharpness, yet just soft enough for sharpening with a whetstone. With the chromium content, you can be assured your blade is resistant to staining and rust.

Having a sharp and rugged knife is not enough, ease of use is also very important, hence the need for a comfortable handle. Weighing, 7.8 ounces, this knife features stainless steel handle that is dimpled to resist slipping and molded to fit your hand. Even, small-handed cooks can find it easy to grasp and use conveniently.

Also, this tool should be hand washed to protect its edges. This manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty against breakage and defects.

Pros and Benefits

  • Edge retains sharpness well
  • Resistant to rust and staining
  • Convenient to hold
  • Lifetime warranty against breakage and defects

3. Tojiro DP Gyutou - 8.2" (21cm)

Are you on the lookout for a Japenese kitchen knife that is even edged and can be used by right and left-handed users? This product is just right for you. It features a blade made of cobalt alloy steel (VG10) with 13 layers for extreme sharpness. The density/viscosity of fat doesn’t stop this blade from cutting meat easily. Not only that, but it also cuts through vegetables and trims steaks quite conveniently. Most importantly, with a length of 8.2 inches, this blade stays sharp for a long period of time.

Weighing 4.8 ounces, this knife is lightweight and maintains a perfect balance. Its handle is made of reinforced laminated material that delivers a comfortable grip. Also, it fits well into your hand.

Moreover, this tool has the ability to help you hone your knife skills as you use it day in day out. Apart from that, it is also easy to sharpen the blade with a whetstone, assuring you of durable service.

Pros and Benefits

  • Lightweight and perfectly balanced
  • Handle delivers a comfortable grip
  • Blade stays sharp for a long time
  • Easy to sharpen

4. DALSTRONG Nakiri Vegetable Knife

This kitchen boasts of awe-inspiring design and breakthrough cutting-edge technology. This tool boasts of an ultra-sharp AUS-10V Japanese super steel cutting core with extraordinary edge retention and performance. Also, there are 66 layers of premium high carbon stainless steel to ensure stain resistance, durability, and strength. The 55mm blade width enables improved knuckle clearance.

With a ruthlessly sharp scalpel-like edge, this knife is hand-finished to a mirror polish at 8 – 12 degrees per side. Apart from that, this product is nitrogen-cooled for corrosion resistance, flexibility, and enhanced harness. Also, it is triple-riveted for more resilience and a full tang for superb robustness. With hammered tsuchime finish, drag is reduced. In addition, this tool comes with a sheath that boasts of a string-locking mechanism and a traditional pin. Hence, your fingers and investment are kept safe.

Moreover, this 10.3-ounce knife features premium G-10 handle of military grade with life-long durability. With an ergonomic shape, it is engineered for comfort, agility, and superior control while the spine of the blade is made smooth for a ‘pinch grip', making it one of the best Japanese cooking knives out there.

Pros and Benefits

  • Excellent edge retention
  • Resistant to corrosion and stain
  • Comes with a sheath
  • Comes with satisfaction or money-back guarantee

5. Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chef’s Knife

This knife is a very versatile and essential tool for slicing, chopping, dicing fresh produce, and carving roast beef/chicken right from the oven. This product’s blade is made of Japanese stainless steel, VG-10, with HRC level (60) that exceeds that of several other stainless steel knives on the market. With exceptional hardness, the cutting edge can be crafted thinner, and thus sharper, allowing this blade to cut through nearly any food placed in front of it.

Also, this steel is clad in a softer Damascus steel so as to ensure durability and added toughness. Both the inner and outer steels are resistant to stain. Hence, they prevent rust from forming when it is left wet during use. Furthermore, this 6.4-ounce knife sports a premium handcrafted mahogany wood handle with a full tang. This makes for a well-balanced construction that ergonomically welds to your hand for comfortable use.

Moreover, this product is ideal for entry-level chefs due to its ease of use. For continued strong performance, you should only sharpen it on quality whetstones and only hand wash.

Pros and Benefits

  • Versatile
  • Reliable and powerful blade
  • Resists stains and rust
  • Comfortable to use

6. Miyabi 34373-203 Chef's Knife

This beautiful product is another impressive Japanese knife for your kitchen tasks. It combines precious materials to deliver reliable cutting power. This knife features SG2 micro-carbide powder steel. With 100 layers of steel protecting its potent core, it assures long-lasting sharpness. From breaking down meat to precision work, this blade can handle it all with ease. As far as its edge retention is concerned, you have nothing to worry about considering it’s high. Hence, you are assured of durable cutting power.

More so, the scalpel-like blade is complemented by Karelian Birch (a prized handle material) handle. Exquisite and ergonomic, this handcrafted handle feels as good as it looks. To ensure a continued comfortable grip, you should keep the handle oiled.

Weighing 1.12 ounces, this knife is perfectly balanced, ensuring added ease of use. To ensure your knife stays beautiful for a long period of time, you should avoid dirty cutting boards to prevent stains. Hence, you bask in the beauty of this tool for as long as possible.

Pros and Benefits

  • Beautiful and stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Great edge retention ability
  • Comfortable handle

7. MAC MIGHTY Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef's Knife

With this chef’s knife, it doesn’t matter if it’s deployed in a home or professional kitchen because its performance stays consistent. This product features a 2.55mm blade that allows you to cut and slice nearly any food easily. With the added dimples, you can cut through sticky foods like apples, summer squash, and potatoes. Also, this blade is great for a rocking motion when slicing or dicing. Apart from that, it maintains its razor sharpness and edge over an impressive period of time.

Made in Japan, this knife is a chef’s dream thanks to its Pakkawood handle that feels great in your hand. With it, you can enjoy smooth and seamless slicing motions through carrots, onions, etc without any noticeable hand fatigue. Weighing 10 ounces, this tool is nicely balanced.

Furthermore, this knife requires delicate handling and frequent maintenance. You should only hand wash it and dry immediately after use. A good protector or cover can help in housing this tool.

Pros and Benefits

  • Reliable sharpness
  • Retains edge well
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Easy to handle

8. KUMA Professional Damascus Steel Knife – 8-inch Chef Knife

If you’re looking for a pretty reliable kitchen knife, this product is a wise investment. With this knife, you don’t have to worry about your blade bending or breaking easily under pressure. Built-in historical YangJiang, China, this product is made of 67 layers of premium Japanese Damascus Steel to deliver extraordinary longevity and strength. This sturdy tool is quite strong and chip-resistant for solid and lasting resilience. It is put through a series of eight engineering processes and is hand-finished with a unique sharpening technology to ensure lasting sharpness.

Moreover, this knife features an ergonomically designed, lightweight, ultra-comfortable, and high-quality handle. With a minimal bolster and exquisite design for thorough and smooth cutting, this tool has a hand-polished spine for a comfortable and balanced grip even while applying pressure.

In addition, this knife comes in a sleek, custom box that includes a knife guard and high-quality sheath for safe kitchen storage. It is recommended that you wash this product by hand and dry immediately because dishwashers may harm it over time.

Pros and Benefits

  • Strong and durable
  • Lasting sharpness
  • Handle allows a comfortable grip
  • Comes with a sheath for safe storage

9. Misono UX10 Gyutou 9.4" (24cm)

This knife is the last kitchen tool on our list and it’s equally impressive. It boasts of great beauty, good finishing, and excellent performance. This tool features a blade made of Swedish stain-resistant steel with an HRC level of 59-60. This blade comes quite sharp and stays sharp over a long period of time. With a reliable whetstone, you can easily sharpen it back to its original state.

Furthermore, this knife boasts of a composite wood handle with a nickel bolster that fits nicely in your hand. This handle is quite easy to hold for any kind of task.

Weighing 1.01 pounds, this knife is greatly balanced. It slides through tomatoes, meat, fish, and delicate herbs without bruises. Made in Japan, this tool is just right for your kitchen and can deliver consistent performance for many years.

Pros and Benefits

  • Very sharp
  • Stays sharp for a long time
  • Easy to sharpen
  • Comfortable to hold and use

Features to consider when buying Japanese Kitchen Knives

There are several brands and models of Japanese kitchen knives on the market. Purchasing the right knife for your kitchen can be very challenging, hence the need for a guide to help you make the right choice. Below, we will discuss the most important features to consider before shopping for the best Japanese kitchen knives for the money.

Type of Steel

When looking to buy a Japanese kitchen knife, one of the most important features to consider is the type of steel that the blade is made from. These kitchen knives are made from different types of steel. Stainless steel knives are the most popular because they are quite durable and hardly rust. For example, VG-10 stainless steel is Japanese-formulated high carbon steel with fine microstructure and is quite harder than standard stainless steels. Some products on our list utilize this type of steel because it takes an extremely sharp edge and is durable. Therefore, it’s important that you favor stainless steel or another high-quality steel when buying your kitchen knife.

Layers

Japanese knives are crafted from layers of steel and they can number between 2 and 69 as seen in the products on our list. These layers support the hard steel core to provide great longevity and excellent sharpness. To get the best Japanese kitchen knife set, you should shop for an option with as many layers as you can get for high performance.

Use

Before buying a kitchen knife, it’s important that you buy a model for the specific purpose you need it for. For instance, if you’re looking for a knife to fillet and prepare fish, you need a specific model for that purpose. If you will be slicing or chopping vegetables regularly, a knife with a curved edge is good for you. For the preparation of meat, you will find a straight-edged blade most useful. Also, shorter blades are good for smaller foods while longer blades are ideal for larger food items.

Handle

In every knife, the handle plays a very important role because it determines how comfortable the knife is for use. Regardless of sharpness and quality of the blade, a knife with an uncomfortable handle can frustrate performance by causing hand fatigue. When selecting a kitchen knife, it’s very important to consider the shape and size of the handle. It shouldn’t be too big or too small for your hands so you can get a comfortable grip always. With excellent control, accidents can also be avoided.

FAQs About Japanese Kitchen Knives

1. Are Japanese knives better than German knives?

Japanese and German knives are very popular for their reliable performance but they differ in certain areas. Steel blades used in Japanese knives are harder than German steel with an HRC level of 60-62. German steel blades, on the other hand, are usually 56-58 in the Rockwell hardness scale. Japanese blades create finer and sharper edge while German blades boast of a thicker blade that holds its edge longer. It’s hard to choose the better knife due to their impressive capabilities. Choosing either of them usually boils down to preference or need.

2. Why are Japanese knives so good?

Japanese knives are renowned for their enormous strength and sharpness. They are so good because they utilize very sharp steel blades that hardly rust and are durable. Also, centuries of experience in knife-making help Japanese craftsmen to create knives that offer strength, precision, sharpness, and beauty.

3. How do you take care of Japanese knives?

As recommended by some manufacturers of the products on our list, it’s important that you wash your knife by hand with mild detergent immediately after use and dry with a towel. You should avoid washing a Japanese knife in a dishwasher because it will ruin the edge of its blade and also cause it to rust.

Conclusion

Japanese knives add brilliant handmade craftsmanship to the kitchen. Every chef’s desire is to have a reliable knife that cuts through any food item. As seen in most of the products we reviewed in this article, these knives promise style, excellent sharpness, and durability. They boast of different features that ensure optimum convenience and performance in your kitchen. In order to identify the best Japanese kitchen knives for your kitchen tasks, you need to study and follow our buying guide carefully.

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