The 10 Best Japanese Kitchen Knives In The World Reviewed

There is no doubt that Japanese knives are among the most popular cutlery items in the world. But what makes them so unique?

Ask any seasoned chef and they’ll tell you that these knives are the gold-standard in this industry. They typically feature high-quality steel blades and are renowned for being quite well-made.

But even then, not all knives made from East Asian country are perfect. And it’s for that reason that we decided to compile the following review.

Best Japanese Kitchen Knives 2019 – Comparison List

A high-quality knife can go a long way in saving kitchen time and improving productivity. In that regard, the following list has all the crucial details you need to get the best bang for your bucks.

Picture
Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto...
DALSTRONG Santoku Knife - Shogun Series - Damascus -...
Yoshihiro VGYA270SH Hongasumi VG-10 Stainless Steel...
Editor's Choice
Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 12-Piece Japanese...
8 Inch Professional Gyutou Chef's Knife By Koto Satori...
Yoshihiro Kurouchi Black-Forged Blue Steel Stainless...
Product Name
Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto...
DALSTRONG Santoku Knife - Shogun Series - Damascus -...
Yoshihiro VGYA270SH Hongasumi VG-10 Stainless Steel...
Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 12-Piece Japanese...
8 Inch Professional Gyutou Chef's Knife By Koto Satori...
Yoshihiro Kurouchi Black-Forged Blue Steel Stainless...
Primary Material
Japanese stainless steel and other materials
Japanese Steel
Stainless steel
Japanese Steel
Stainless Steel
Blue Steel Stainless
Weight
1.15 pounds
1.45 pounds
0.75 pounds
3.7 pounds
1 pounds
1/4 pounds
Prime Status
-
Picture
Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto...
Product Name
Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto...
Primary Material
Japanese stainless steel and other materials
Weight
1.15 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
DALSTRONG Santoku Knife - Shogun Series - Damascus -...
Product Name
DALSTRONG Santoku Knife - Shogun Series - Damascus -...
Primary Material
Japanese Steel
Weight
1.45 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Yoshihiro VGYA270SH Hongasumi VG-10 Stainless Steel...
Product Name
Yoshihiro VGYA270SH Hongasumi VG-10 Stainless Steel...
Primary Material
Stainless steel
Weight
0.75 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Editor's Choice
Picture
Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 12-Piece Japanese...
Product Name
Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 12-Piece Japanese...
Primary Material
Japanese Steel
Weight
3.7 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
8 Inch Professional Gyutou Chef's Knife By Koto Satori...
Product Name
8 Inch Professional Gyutou Chef's Knife By Koto Satori...
Primary Material
Stainless Steel
Weight
1 pounds
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Picture
Yoshihiro Kurouchi Black-Forged Blue Steel Stainless...
Product Name
Yoshihiro Kurouchi Black-Forged Blue Steel Stainless...
Primary Material
Blue Steel Stainless
Weight
1/4 pounds
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price

The 10 Best Japanese Kitchen Knives

1. Yoshihiro VG10 Japanese Chef’s Knife

If you are looking for a stunning and versatile Japanese knife, the Yoshiro VG10 is precisely what you need. You can use it for anything from dicing to cutting and mincing.

Furthermore, the combination of price and quality is very okay. It is easy to maintain, and you will sharpen it only once a week.

Product description

The Yoshihiro VG10 is one of the most versatile chef knives you will ever come across and has a 3-layer VG10 Japanese stainless steel with HRC 60 hardness, durability, and edge-retention.

The outer steel is 16 layer-hammered to give it a stylish design free from friction and also creates a non-stick blade. It has a premium mahogany handle with a full tang and will provide the perfect balance for practical use.

It comes sharp and is fantastic for newbies.

Other features and benefits

This design of this knife features a combination of an ancient Japanese blade with the Western culinary display which includes the Mahogany Wood handle.

The stainless steel construction features three layers which enhance its sharpness, durability, and edge retention. The coatings also make it relatively easy to sharpen.

The stylish blade is non-stick due to the 16-layer hammering of the outer steel, while the Mahogany handle is well-balanced and comfortable to use.

Pros

  • Extremely sharp
  • Well-balanced
  • Sturdy, high-quality construction

Cons

  • Food particles get stuck between the handle and blade

2. Dalstrong Santoku Knife- Shogun Series

Have you done basic research on Santoku knives? Then you must know that the Dalstrong Santoku knife of the Shogun series is very highly rated. Its design combines Santoku technology with Dalstrong culinary supremacy to give you a fantastic product.

Product description

The knife is constructed via the 3-step Honbazuke method which enhances the knife's strength and edge-retention capabilities. This method coupled with the Japanese VG-10 premium stainless steel will give you a durable blade for a superb performance. It features the G-10 handle which is impervious to moisture, heat, and cold.

Other features and benefits

The knife is slightly curved near the blade while the rest of the edge is flat and this will enable you to make the chopping motions comfortably. Further, the edge has a sheep's foot tip which lets you place your hand on the blade as you chop and mince food.

The blade is forged from high-carbon stainless steel, and this makes it very sturdy and durable. It is full tang and triple-riveted inside the handle so that it never breaks away from the handle as you apply pressure on it.

Still, on the blade, it has hollow edges to prevent food particles from sticking to the sides.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Razor-sharp
  • The handle is impervious to heat, cold and moisture

Cons

  • A bit hard to sharpen

3. Yoshihiro Sushi 10.5’’ Japanese Chef Knife

Although the Yoshihiro knife brand has been around for close to a century, the knives are not that popular. However, if you intend to test your cutlery skills using this brand, the Yoshihiro Sushi Chef knife to go.

Product description

The Yoshihiro brand of knives boasts of a unique sense of craftsmanship, and the Sushi Sahimi knife is no exception. They are ultra-sharp and have fantastic edge retention as the blade is crafted from VG steel which is not only stain-resistant but also has Rockwell 62 hardness with an exquisite finish.

It has a Premium Shitan Rosewood handle which is comfortable and is coated with lacquer to enhance its stain, chips, and odor resistance.

Other features and benefits 

The knife will offer you exceptional sharpness and durability as a result of the high-carbon stainless steel construction.

The VG stainless steel blade is easy to sharpen. You will only need a whetstone for sharpening -and you will be impressed with how long it will serve you before it becomes dull.

The Rosewood Shitan handle is comfortable, light, and does not retain smells or stains. It is also effortless to clean.

The knife comes ready to use.

Pros

  • Amazing edge-retention
  • Sturdy construction
  • Comfortable and stylish handle

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe

Also read: Best Fish Fillet Knife Sharpener – Compared & Top 10 Picked Review

4. Ginsu Gourmet 12-Piece Japanese Steel Knife Set

If you are looking for an affordable knife set that is of a high-quality, then the Ginsu Gourmet 12-piece set should come to mind. The Ginsu Chikara Series is ideal as a slicing and carving knife, and you can rest assured that it will serve you diligently.

Product description

This set is comprised of Four Steak knives, a Honing rod, 3.5-inch paring knife, an 8’’ Chef’s knife, a 5-Inch Serrated Utility knife, a 7’’ Santoku knife, Shears, and a 5-Inch utility knife. This set is enough to prepare and serve a meal for the family. The knives feature superior steel construction and have a fantastic edge-retention. 

The handles have a fantastic grip, and the knife comes with a lifetime manufacturer warranty.

Other features and benefits

The knives in this set arrive sharp and have a fantastic edge-retention. This means that their maintenance is relatively easy as you will sharpen them less frequently.

The blades are forged from premium Japanese steel which has a reputation for being high-quality, sturdy and durable to serve you for a long time to come.

They are well-balanced to give you the ultimate control and strength to wade through the most complicated recipe ahead of you.

They come with a Lifetime limited warranty to give you peace of mind.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Arrive sharp
  • Well-balanced

Cons

  • Not suited for small-handed people

5. Koto Satori 8” Pro Gyutou Chef’s Knife

You may have heard about the excellent reputation of Gyutou Chef knives, and you are wondering where to start. Well, the Koto Satori 8-Inch is an excellent place to start. It is highly versatile with premium construction and very professional packaging.

Product description

The blade features 67 layers of Damascus steel as well as Japanese Super steel and has a Pakkawood Handle finishing. The blade arrives ready for use and is extremely sharp and is built to resist corrosion. The edge retention is fantastic, and we recommend hand-washing to maintain its durability.

Other features and benefits

We can guarantee you that the all-around nature of this knife is going to please you. Whether it is chopping, slicing, mincing or dicing, this knife's exceptional blade will be there to serve you.

The VG-10 Japanese Super Steel is clad with 67 layers of Damascus steel, and this enhances its strength and durability. The Damascus steel also adds to its aesthetic value and gives the blade a stunning look.

The edge is rust and stain-resistant, and you can easily sharpen it to an angle of 8-12 degrees which is convenient for slicing and dicing.

The Pakkawood handle is non-slip and has a good grip and comfort to prevent fatigue and slippage as you use it.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Versatile
  • Extremely sharp

Cons

  • Not well-balanced

6. Yoshihiro Kurouchi Gyuto Chef’s Knife

If you are looking for a Japanese knife with exotic flair in its design and construction, the Yoshihiro Kurouchi Chef's Knife is what you are looking for. The belly has a sufficient curve to support the rocking motion for slicing and is amazingly slim.

Product description

The blade of this highly-rated knife is constructed out of core Blue Steel #2 and has a double-edged angle for extreme sharpness and edge retention. The knife is clad in 2 layers of Kurouchi Stainless Steel which adds to durability without compromising on sharpness.

Although the Yoshihiro knives have been in existence for over a century, they remain as rare as they can be.

Other features and benefits

To start with, this is one of the most versatile knives you will ever come across. You will have no complications in applying it for various operations in the kitchen apart from removing bones from meat.

The 2-layer Kurouchi cladding will make the knife sharp, durable, and pleasant to look at as well. It is incredibly sharp, and it can maintain this sharpness for a very long period.

The octagonal handle is hand-crafted, ergonomic and lightweight, besides being very comfortable to use without experiencing fatigue and discomfort.

The knife comes with a protective Saya sheath for protecting the blade during storage. Lastly, you should hone the knife by using water whetstones.

Pros

  • Excellent edge-retention
  • Comfortable ergonomic handle
  • Pleasant to look at

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe

7. Shun DM0706 Classic 8” Chef’s Knife

Whether you are a professional chef or just a cooking hobbyist, the Shun Classic Chef's knife is one tool that is worth having in your collection as it does not disappoint. It has incredible sharpness and balance and will deliver unrivaled performance.

Product description

The knife is crafted from VG-10 stainless steel which is reinforced with 32 layers of high-carbon stainless steel. It is rust-resistant and weighs about 0.46lbs. The 8-Inch blade measures 12 by 2 inches, and it arrives ready to use.

It has a D-shaped handle made from Pakkawood material and is well-balanced with a good grip.

Other features and benefits

The knife has a perfectly shaped blade which will be of great value to allow you to perform precision cutting. As a result, the food that you prepare and serve will come as more presentable.

The blade has a fantastic edge-retention, and it will be quite long before you need to sharpen it again.

Finally, it has a smooth handle which, surprisingly enough, has a good grip and is well-built and comfortable such that you will not be fatigued that easily as you put it to use.

It is dishwasher-safe and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Comfortable handle

Cons

  • No sheath for storage

8. Shun Premier 8” Chef’s Knife

If you are an adventurous individual in the kitchen and you enjoy trying out new recipes and tools, it is always important that you invest in knives that will give you a satisfactory performance. A sharp and easy-to-use knife easily fits the bill, and the Shun Premier 8” Chef’s Knife will do the trick.

Product description

The steel has a complicated construction with a high-carbon steel core which is coated with 16-layers of Damascus steel. The blade has a sharp double-beveled edge, each ground to 16-degrees. It has a Pakkawood handle with a brown walnut stain and is very ergonomic with a slightly heavier butt.

Other features and benefits

This knife is superbly sharp, and we attribute this to the combination of high-carbon VG-10 Japanese steel with the double-beveled edge. The Damascus steel coating will contribute to its overall strength.

The knife is very lightweight, well-balanced, and easy to use. It is also safe to use by both left and right-handed individuals.

The Pakkawood handle is not only comfortable with a fantastic grip but is also very pleasant to the eye. The hand-hammered finish also enhances the aesthetic value of the knife.

Pros

  • Has safety features
  • Comfortable handle
  • Extremely sharp and durable

Cons

  •  Food particles stick on the surface

9. Yoshihiro Kasumi Japanese Deba Knife

The Yoshihiro brand has been in existence for over a century, and it is only in 2008 when it started selling its knives in the USA via Amazon. The Yoshikiro Kasumi Deba knife, as with all other Japanese knives, is designed to make your life in the kitchen easier.

Product description

The blade of this knife is constructed from high-carbon steel and is extremely hard, scoring between 62 and 63 on the Rockwell scale. It has a stunning Kasumi pattern which makes it a joy to look at and makes it very soft for the hands.

It has a rounded Shitan Rosewood handle which enhances the overall balance of the knife. It comes with a traditional style sheath, and you should use a Japanese Premium water stone to sharpen the blade.

Other features and benefits

The blade is sturdy due to the high-carbon steel construction, and this makes it suitable for heavy-duty tasks in the kitchen.

It has a decent edge-retention, and it arrives with a knife sheath for safe and proper storage.

The handle is a rounded Shitan rosewood one which is ergonomic with a good grip and comfortable to use for long periods.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Comfortable handle
  • Knife-sheath included for storage

Cons

  • Expensive

10. Miyabi Kaizen 8’’ Chef’s Knife

Whether you are a veteran or a newbie, and you have a great taste in knives, then the Miyabi Kaizen 8" Chef's knife is one which is worthy of being part of your collection. It has a slim look, is razor-sharp and is more suited for slicing.

Product description 

The knife is constructed from top-notch VG-10 super steel and is coated with 65 layers of Damascus steel for strength. The blade undergoes the 3-Step Hobanzuke sharpening process for extreme sharpness. The Cryodur Ice-hardening process will enhance its durability and edge-retention qualities, while the Micarta D-shaped handle is ergonomic and comfortable to use.

Other features and benefits

The Hobanzuke sharpening process up to a 9-12 degree edge will result in a super-sharp knife for effective slicing. The steel is ice-hardened up to level 60 on the Rockwell scale and will serve you for a long time to come.

It has a Mircata handle which has a steel end cap and is D-shaped to give it a stunning and stylish look. It is very comfortable to hold for long periods without causing fatigue.

Lastly, as per the Japanese culture, the aesthetic value of the knife is very impressive, and you will be carried away with its physical appearance.

Pros

  • Extremely sharp
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Fantastic edge-retention

Cons

  • Handle not suitable for lefties

The Buying Guide

In order to make an informed verdict on the ideal knife from the Japanese manufacturers, it makes sense to look at it from the following dimensions.

Hardness: Japanese knives are known for having a higher carbon component in their steel. But still, it makes perfect sense to insist on getting a knife that’s resilient and most importantly one that makes slicing more effective.

Type of Steel: While weighing on the quality of steel, your best bet is to lookout for labels like SG2, inox, Molybdenum, VG-Max, and VG-10. Our favorite so far is Molybdenum as it retains sharpness besides being corrosion-resistant.

Knife Design: You basically want to settle for a knife whose design provides you with diversity. The knife should be evenly balanced so it’s also easy to use even at fast speeds.

Which One Is The Best?

The Ginsu Gourmet 12-Piece Japanese Steel Knife Set is in our view the best deal available for this knife category. Not only does it provide you with a wide variety of knives to choose from but also all the appliances seem pretty well-made.

Final Thoughts

What’s your idea of the best Japanese kitchen knives in the world? We believe that the best answer to that question ultimately depends on your unique preferences.

But even then, we’re of the opinion that at any given time, quality should always precede quantity. So, it’s out hope that the guidelines above will help you make a quality-oriented choice.

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