Top 16 Best Japanese Knives 2019: Reviews and Buying Guide

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If you are a professional chef or even just a home cook, the cutlery is one of the most important things to have in your kitchen. If you do not have decent knives, they will not cut your meats and veggies properly. Knives that are from Japan tend to be the best knives out there to use for cooking. Japanese knives are the go-to knives for any professional chef, so why not cook as the pros do? Finding out what the best Japanese knives are can be important to know when trying to find knives for chopping and cooking.

Top 10 Best Japanese Knives: Editor’s Pick

Japanese Knives Model
Editor's Rating
Price
Tojiro DP Gyutou - 8.2"
Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX
Shun Cutlery Premier 8” Chef’s Knife
Kasumi 88020 8-inch Chef's Knife
Kyocera Advanced Ceramic LTD Series Chef Knife
Misono UX10 Sujihiki 9.4"
Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch
Global G-2 8-inch Chef’s Knife

There are a lot of great knives out there from Japan, imported to America and other places around the world. The question remains, though, which knives are the best Japanese knives to use? What do the professionals use, and what should you be using? These questions and more will end up answered in this article, so keep reading!

Best Japanese Knives Reviews

There are a lot of Japanese knives reviews out there online. You can even go to Amazon.com to view other people’s review about the best Japanese knives that are available on Amazon. But this in-depth product review here will give you each of these best Japanese kitchen knives a thorough review so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

1. Tojiro DP Gyutou – 8.2″

The Tojiro DP Gyutou knife is one of the best Japanese cooking knives due to its high-quality steel and very sharp edge. This knife is made in Japan, by Fuji Cutlery which is a large factory from Fujitora Industries. They make some of the best Japanese chef knives in Japan. This knife is stain resistant, so when you use it for cooking and chopping your food, you do not have to worry about anything staining the silver metal. If you are left-handed or right-handed, this knife is the knife for you! It works for people of both handedness, so you can rest assured that this knife will work for you.

The Tojiro DP Gyutou knife also has a black handle with a silver blade, that is 1.7 inches in height and 8.2 inches in length and is a double bevel. It weighs 9.6 ounces, so you know you are getting a quality knife. To care for this knife, you need to hand wash it when you are done using it. You should never put this knife or any other knives of this high quality in the dishwasher, as it will eventually ruin it. The detergent and heat cycles used in a dishwasher will end up degrading the knife over time, which will make it less sharp quicker compared to handwashing it. Always take good care of your Japanese knives and make sure to follow all the instructions provided with it.

Highlighted Features:

  • Stain-resistant
  • Left and right-handed use
  • Blade height 1.7.”
  • Blade length of 8.2.”
  • Silver
  • 6 oz

2. Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Ebony PakkaWood Handle

This Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife has alternating layers of steel, including a VG-MAX core. This type of steel has carbon, cobalt, tungsten, and chromium to ensure its durability, strength, and sharpness. It also helps reduce corrosion of the steel itself, which allows for longer-lasting life. This blade is an all-purpose use blade, where you can use it for mincing herbs and even use this knife to cut the fat off of the meat. It has a D-shaped handle that is for right-handed people only; however, you can special order this as a reverse D-shaped handle if you are left-handed.

This Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife also is not to be used in an electric sharpener; it is better to use a sharpening stone or get it professionally sharpened instead. It is a very lightweight knife, at 7.2 ounces, so care needs to be taken when sharpening it. This knife’s handle is from ebony PakkaWood, which is a hardwood that has been infused with resin to allow for its water resistance and to make it very durable. This knife can get cleaned by hand washing, and there is a specific way you need to learn how to use this knife for proper slicing. First, you need to push the knife forward and then down while you cut any food. You repeat this process as you are cutting, so you can prevent chipping and allow for smoother cuts of your food. This knife is a great gift for everyone, including newlyweds, cooks, or even aspiring chefs.

Highlighted Features:

  • VG-MAX core steel
  • Ebony PakkaWood handle
  • 8” blade
  • Carbon, stainless steel blade
  • 2 oz

3. Shun Cutlery Premier 8” Chef’s Knife

This Shun Cutlery Premier 8” Chef’s Knife is one of the best Japanese cooking knives available. It is lightweight and agile, with a comfortable handle for those of any handedness. This easy to use knife comes with a razor-sharp blade in a box and is great for shopping and slicing any kinds of food. This knife has a thin, lightweight blade that allows for longer use before your hand gets tired. Even at 10.4 ounces, the knife is easy on the hand and can get used on any foods. These foods include vegetables, fruit, and even meats. The handle is from walnut PakkaWood with a hammered tsuchime finish which allows the food to fall off the blade easily while cutting it. You can also get a decently smooth, clean-cut while using this blade.

This Shun Cutlery Premier 8” Chef’s Knife also has an 8-inch blade, which allows for better cutting and makes cooking more fun. This knife has a 16-degree double bevel blade along with a VG-MAX cutting core that has 34 layers of Damascus cladding on both sides. This cladding allows for effective food preparation, and it looks like a great addition in your kitchen for aesthetics. Everyone will wonder where you got this knife from, and they will see how well it cuts, therefore wanting one for themselves as well. It is a great addition to any kitchen, both professional and homestyle. These knives are handcrafted and hand-sharpened in Japan and are great for use by anyone, from parents to grandparents, and even aspiring chefs.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lightweight
  • Walnut PakkaWood handle
  • 8” blade
  • Comfortable for any hand
  • 4 oz

4. Kasumi 88020 8-inch Chef’s Knife

This Kasumi 88020 8-inch Chef’s Knife has a Damascus pattern on the blade, which allows for it to be rust free while also looking nice and smooth. This knife is 10 inches with a longer blade length that allows for better ingredient preps. You can use this knife to prep any vegetables or fruit, even meats as well. It has a beveled edge on both sides of the blade and is a lot larger compared to the American or European versions of chef’s knives. This bevel also allows it to create a much sharper edge, making it easier to chop, slice, and dice your various foods. These knives are from Seki, Japan and by Sumikama Cutlery. They made this particular knife with an asymmetrical handle that has multiple layers of wood mixed with the plastic resin. They riveted this handle to the full tang.

This Kasumi 88020 8-inch Chef’s Knife also has 32 layers of fine stainless steel along with being made from VG-10 super stainless steel and high carbon, which allows for a finer cut and a lighter blade. This knife is only 11.7 ounces, which makes it much more lightweight than you would expect, and it has a rounded handle with a very good balance. This knife is in its original box and needs to get sharpened with a stone, not anything else. This quality, professional knife comes already sharpened, more than you would have expected it to be.

Highlighted Features:

  • Damascus Pattern
  • Beveled edge on both sides
  • 10” blade
  • Asymmetrical handle
  • 7 oz

5. Kyocera Advanced Ceramic LTD Series Chef Knife

This Kyocera Advanced Ceramic LTD Series Chef Knife is one of the best Japanese kitchen knives that are sharp, durable, and also affordable. This knife has a hand-finished blade that is ceramic, made from zirconia that does not brown your food as you chop it. Its ceramic blade is ultra-sharp, allowing you to keep your blade sharp ten times longer than blade made from steel. This knife is produced in Japan and has a stainless-steel bolster with rivets that mimic the traditional style that Japanese cutlery is known for, along with being great for cutting vegetables, fruit, and boneless meats.

This Kyocera Advanced Ceramic LTD Series Chef Knife can cut almost anything but is recommended not to be used on frozen or specifically hard foods. The reason is that ceramic blades can tend to chip quite easily, whether by dropping it or trying to cut something hard. You should only use this blade on softer items, nothing too hard. It is also rust-proof, so that is a bonus, along with being resistant to any acids. This knife is also lightweight, along with being easy to clean also has a 7-inch blade, for the smaller cuts you may need to make. This knife has a black blade along with a black handle, allowing it also to be aesthetically pleasing to view. The Kyocera ceramic gets made from a specially designed zirconia formula that is only made by them in Japan. Their ceramic formula is unique to their company, so you know you are getting a great deal with their hand-crafted ceramic knives.

Highlighted Features:

  • Handcrafted PakkaWood handle
  • 7” blade
  • Black blade and handle
  • Ceramic blade
  • Stainless steel bolster and rivets
  • Lightweight
  • Rustproof

6.  Misono UX10 Sujihiki 9.4″

This Misono UX10 Sujihiki 9.4″ knife has a 9.4-inch blade along with being for right-handed individuals. It is made in Japan and has its blade sharpened before shipping. It keeps its sharp blade even after a few uses. It comes with a Swedish stain-resistant steel blade, and the handle is from composite wood. It only weighs 14.9 ounces, which is a great weight for those looking for a little bit of a heavier knife, but not wanting something too heavy. With the blade’s sharper edge, it allows you to slice, dice, and chop any foods you want.

This Misono UX10 Sujihiki 9.4″ knife also has a 15-degree single-sided blade, which allows for better honing of your blade. If you use an 800-whetstone, you can sharpen the blade with a little bit of ease. This knife is great for cutting things thin, such as flank steak, sashimi, or any other meats you desire. It comes sharpened in a box when it arrives at your house, and it is actually nice and lightweight, but not so lightweight it does not feel like it is there. You can still get a good grip on it and cut with ease, and still, have a little resistance. This knife is suitable for all types of chefs, beginner, intermediate, advanced, or professional. Anyone can use this knife is their kitchen, and as long as you take proper care of the blade and handle, this knife will last you a very long time.

Highlighted Features:

  • 4” blade
  • Right-handed
  • 9 oz
  • 15 degrees single-sided
  • Nice and sharp

7. Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch – Alpha-Royal Series

This Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife is one of the best Japanese knives out there on the market today. This knife has a full tang and is from imported Japanese AUS10 super steel. It has a 67-layer high carbon stainless steel which includes a hollow ground blade that allows this knife to be non-stick. It has a tsunami rose Damascus pattern with a liquid nitrogen tempering, which makes this rust and stain-resistant. The handle is triple-riveted to the full tang, allowing for extra durability and strength in your knife. The tapered bolster is very rare for knives and allows for great knife balance while cutting and is very comfortable.

This Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife it has a lifetime warranty, which not all manufacturers include with their knives. It has a three-metal mosaic rivet, making this a very nice-looking knife to own. Its handle is ergonomically designed and rounded, which allows for a comfortable and secured grip while cutting. With this knife, you get a razor-sharp edge along with minimal slicing resistance, which allows you to cut almost anything with precision, including vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and more. This knife allows for a more efficient cut every time you slice, dice, and chop. This knife is great for chefs of all kinds, including beginners to professionals. It is part of the Alpha-Royal Japanese Knife Series, and only weighs 9.9 ounces, which makes this knife extremely lightweight cutlery to have in your kitchen. This knife is a great addition to anyone’s kitchen.

Highlighted Features:

  • Full tang
  • 67-layer high carbon stainless steel
  • 7” blade
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 9 oz

8. Global G-2 8-inch Chef’s Knife

This Global G-2 8-inch Chef’s Knife comes from Cromova 18 stainless steel, which has a mixture of vanadium, molybdenum, and chromium. This steel allows the knives to keep its sharpness by being nice and hard, while also having a softness to allow sharpening on a whetstone. It has high chromium content which reduces the risk of staining and rusting of the knife. This knife comes with the GLOBAL edge, which is their signature knife edge. This edge allows it to be ground steep enough and in an acute angle, making for a sharper knife which will stay sharper for longer than the regular Western or European knives.

This Global G-2 8-inch Chef’s Knife also has such a large and prominent knife-edge, that you can see with the naked eye. It extends about a quarter of an inch upwards from the knife tip. This knife has a stainless-steel handle as well, which is dimpled to ensure a safe and comfortable grip. You can find these knives in Yoshikin’s factory over in Niigata, Japan. The Global series knives are razor-sharp, so you know you will be getting a good cut on anything you chop. These knives are also lightweight, which help reduces the possibility of hand fatigue. Many professional chefs, such as Ludo LeFebvre, and even home chefs, use these knives. This knife also comes with a lifetime warranty in case you have any issues with it, such as defects or even breakage.

Highlighted Features:

  • 8” blade
  • Lightweight
  • Stainless steel handle for maximum comfort
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 8 oz

9. YOSHIHIRO Ice Hardened High Carbon Stainless Steel Wa Gyuto Japanese Chef Knife 8.25″

This YOSHIHIRO Ice Hardened High Carbon Stainless Steel Wa Gyuto Japanese Chef Knife has an 8.25-inch blade and is one of the sharpest knives out there. This knife gets created by forging together a single piece of high carbon Aus-8 stainless steel. This process helps to make the refined steel harder while also allowing it to be lightweight and have a great resiliency so it can perform in almost any condition. You should use water whetstone to sharpen your blade. You need to hand wash and dry this knife when cleaning, and also do it right away if you use any acidic ingredients on it.

This YOSHIHIRO Ice Hardened High Carbon Stainless Steel Wa Gyuto Japanese Chef Knife has a thin, double edge, razor-sharp blade to ensure the finest cuts of any ingredients. It has an Octagonal Handle for ergonomic use along with also being lightweight. Its handle is a traditional Shitan Rosewood handle, and it fits any size hand, giving its user a comfortable grip every time. This knife is stain resistant, but you need to make sure you keep both the handle and the blade clean. This 12.8-ounce knife is very lightweight, allowing for smooth transitions between cutting. You can cut any vegetables, meats, or fish needed for cooking. This knife comes from Japan, so you know you have a good quality knife. Its blade thickness is ~2mm and is a Gyuto Chef Knife. This knife is great for everyone, from beginner, intermediate, and advanced chefs to professionals.

Highlighted Features:

  • Ice hardened molybdenum blades
  • Lightweight
  • 25” blade
  • Stain-resistant
  • 8 oz

10. Miyabi 34313-273 Fusion Morimoto Edition Chef’s Knife

This Miyabi 34313-273 Fusion Morimoto Edition Chef’s Knife is a combination of both Western and Japanese techniques. It has a Western-inspired ergonomic design with a Japanese blade and steel. It has a MIYABI Fusion blade with a 9.5 to 12-degree three-step Honzabuke processed hand-sharpened edge. The blade is VG10 super steel that is protected by a 64-layer Damascus pattern allowing the beautiful Japanese aesthetics with strength and durability. This blade is very sharp and thin, allowing for the perfect cut every time. The POM handle is easy to take care of and made Western-style, allowing for a thicker end to prevent slipping along with comfort for multiple cutting with ease.

This Miyabi 34313-273 Fusion Morimoto Edition Chef’s Knife is only 9.6 ounces, making for an extremely lightweight chef’s knife. It has a thin 10-inch blade that allows for precision cutting. Its handle is black with a red accent, and the knife is stainless steel. The blade is CRYDUR and ice-hardened to a Rockwell 60 rating. The knife’s handle has a rounded spine and heel along with three-rivets made out of glass bead enhanced POM. You know this exquisite knife is a great deal made with great quality materials. The bevel is 50/50 and is an excellent knife for both left and right-handed users. These knives are a great addition to anyone’s kitchen, including the very beginner up to professional chefs. With the addition of a warranty for any defects or manufacturer’s mistakes, you know you will get a great quality knife with the ability to return it if needed.

Highlighted Features:

  • VG10 super steel
  • Thin blade
  • 10” blade
  • 65-layer flower Damascus design
  • 6 oz

11.  Miyabi 34373-203 Chef’s Knife, 8-inch, Birch/Stainless Steel

This Miyabi 34373-203 Chef’s Knife is one of the heavier knives out of the best Japanese knives list here. This knife weighs 1.18 pounds and has a firm, steady grip. It is great for those that do not prefer lightweight knives. Its SG2 micro carbide powder steel core is protected by 100 layers of steel, allowing for its unique sharpness. It also goes through an ice-hardening process, which locks in its sharp CRYODUR blade. Its flower Damascus pattern not only looks beautiful and exquisite but also helps provide some added durability to the knife. Its handle comes from Karelian Masur Birch. Not only does this knife look beautiful but is also cuts beautifully as well.

This Miyabi 34373-203 Chef’s Knife has an 8-inch thin Japanese blade, which allows for precision cutting, slicing, and dicing. It comes with a rat tail rod instead of a full tang; however, it is still very good at cutting what you need cut. Its handle is comfortable and allows for the perfect grip for right-handed people. The pommel of the knife allows it to be in perfect balance, and even though it weighs more than the rest of the knives on this list so far, it can still feel a tad lightweight at times during the cutting process. The bevel is 9 degrees, and the blade length from the spine by the hilt down to the edge below it is two and a half inches. This knife is great for beginner, intermediate, and advanced users, along with being used by professionals.

Highlighted Features:

  • G2 micro carbide powder steel
  • Thin Japanese blade
  • 8” blade
  • Flower Damascus pattern
  • 18 lbs.

12. Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 4.5-inch Utility Knife

This Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 4.5-inch Utility Knife is one of the lightest and smallest knives on this list so far. It weighs only 1.76 ounces and is 4.5 inches long. Even at its small length, this ceramic knife is great for cutting, slicing, and dicing any vegetables, fruit, and boneless meats. You should not use this knife on hard or frozen foods, as it will chip or even break the ceramic blade. Due to its ceramic blade, this knife will last a very long time, in sharpness and comfort. Coming with an added warranty, they are guaranteed to last a lifetime with the proper care and sharpening. This knife is made out of zirconia Z206 blades and has dense sub-micron particles, which means fewer spaces in the blade. These particles mean its blade is denser and stronger than its competition, along with being very durable while slicing your produce and meat.

This Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 4.5-inch Utility Knife is half the weight of knives made out of steel and does not need a full tang to allow for balance like those other knives do. The blade is so light, which means it does not need any artificial weight added to keep its balance. While cutting you will receive minimal resistance, and it allows for precise, clean cuts with less pressure which makes this knife easier and more comfortable to use. This ceramic knife holds its edge ten times longer than other similar knives used in the kitchen. The ultra-sharp, lightweight knife allows for repetition without fatigue in your hands and wrists.

Highlighted Features:

  • Ceramic knife
  • Lightweight
  • 5” blade
  • Ultra-sharp
  • 76 oz

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

This Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chef’s Knife has a 3-layer construction, and it has a VG-10 Japanese stainless-steel center core and an HRC 60 to allow for better sharpness, durability, and edge retention. The HRC level is the hardness it has, which is exceptional compared to other similar knives. This hardness also makes it easier to sharpen and is more versatile than other knives that are out there. It has a 16 later hammered outer steel which allows for style and function at the same time with its design. It eliminates friction and keeps your food from sticking to the knife’s blade. The wooden handle is made out of Mahogany wood and has a full tang for balance and seamless usage. Its handle is very ergonomic and comfortable to use.

This Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chef’s Knife is also excellent for chefs that are just starting. It needs to be properly cared for though, with hand washing and drying, along with sharpened on a quality whetstone. This knife can slice, dice, and chop fresh produce and meats, allowing for precision cuts and great presentation. Which makes it very lightweight and easy to handle while remaining comfortable to use. The blade is not only very sharp but thinner than other knives on the market, which allows seamless cutting of any ingredients. This knife is stain-resistant, and even if left wet, it will not form rust during use. You can use this knife for extended periods and not have to worry about rust buildup. You do need to make sure you take proper care of this knife though, as with any knife on the market.

Highlighted Features:

  • VG stainless steel core
  • Mahogany wood handle
  • 25” blade
  • 16-layer outer steel
  • 4 oz

14. Kessaku Santoku Knife – Samurai Series – Japanese Etched High Carbon Steel, 7-Inch

This Kessaku Santoku Knife – Samurai Series – Japanese Etched High Carbon Steel knife is great to use in the kitchen. It has a very smooth mirror polished PakkaWood handle, which is heat, moisture, and cold-resistant with a full tang for additional strength. This handle allows for this knife to not collect any debris or dirt while cutting or sitting idle. This knife comes from high carbon 7CR17MOV stainless steel so it can resist rust and corrosion. These knives are well balanced, so you will not have issues while cutting with it. The handle is ergonomically designed to allow for reduced fatigue and aches while ensuring your comfort while cutting.

This Kessaku Santoku Knife – Samurai Series – Japanese Etched High Carbon Steel also has a razor-sharp blade that is hand sharpened at a 16-degree angle on both sides, which allows for a longer-lasting and sharper blade. It has a Rockwell hardness of 58, which means you know you will be getting a durable and strong knife that will last you a long time. This knife makes cutting, dicing and slicing feels effortless, so you do not have to worry about your hands hurting from cutting too much. This knife comes with a lifetime warranty against any manufacturing defects; however, it is unlikely to have any from the care they put into making these knives. This knife only weight 8 ounces, which means you will have a very lightweight but sturdy knife to use for a long time to come. It is great to use for beginners and professionals alike.

Highlighted Features:

  • Smooth PakkaWood handle
  • Made from high carbon stainless steel
  • 7” blade
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 8 oz

15. Misono UX10 Santoku 7.0″

This Misono UX10 Santoku 7.0″ knife comes from high-quality Swedish steel that is stain resistant. It weighs only 12 ounces and has a 7-inch-long blade. The Swedish steel provides you with long-lasting edge retention compared to other brands. This knife has a riveted nickel silver bolster that allows for the durability of the knife along with a perfect balance of the blade and handle’s weight. This knife comes from a brand of knives known for its thin and very sharp knives. They are hand-finished, and extra care is taken to inspect and make sure these knives meet their highest standards. This knife is for use for right-handed users only and can handle cutting fish, meat, and even vegetables as well. It is great for small kitchens and will keep your knuckles far from the cutting board to reduce the risk of injury.

It has a 70:30 asymmetrical bevel, which allows for extra sharpness from your knife. By sharpening the face of the blade at a steeper angle compared to the back, it allows for a thin cutting edge and great sharpness for your knife. This knife has a high HRC for sharpening, so you need to take extra care while sharpening it. You should not cut bone with this knife; however, it can cut virtually anything else. You should never use an electric sharpener on these knives, always use a whetstone. This knife is great for anyone of any cooking skill level.

Highlighted Features:

  • Swedish stain-resistant steel
  • Riveted nickel silver bolster
  • 7” blade
  • 70:30 asymmetrical bevel
  • 12 oz

16. Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set

This Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set is the best Japanese knife set on the market today. You get all the knives you may need for cutting in the kitchen, along with scissors (shears) needed for any cutting tasks. This knife set comes with a 3.5-inch paring knife, 7-inch Santoku knife, 8-inch chef’s knife, 9-inch combination honing steel, Shun multi-purpose kitchen shears, and an 8-slot knife block. This knife block should be able to fit in the smallest of kitchens with its slim design. It has a VG-MAX cutting core with 34-layers of steel on each side of the knives. It also has a stainless Damascus cladding on the knife for stain resistance while cutting.

This Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set also has a D-shaped PakkaWood handle that is ebony in color, and it allows for a durable and strong handle that can resist moisture as well. This knife set has a Rockwell Hardness of 60 to 61. The blades are double beveled with an angle of 16 degrees on each side. The whole set is 8.9 pounds and is small enough of a knife block to fit virtually anywhere in your kitchen. This knife block set comes with a lifetime warranty, and you should make sure to take proper care of it as this warranty is limited to manufacturer defects only. You need to hand wash these knives and then dry right away, do not let them sit in water. While sharpening, you need to use a whetstone, not an electric sharpener. These knives are great for anyone to use from any skill set.

Highlighted Features:

  • VG-MAX core with 34 layers on each side
  • Stainless Damascus cladding
  • 5”, 7”, 8”, and 9” blades
  • Rockwell hardness of 60-61
  • 9 lbs.

Buyer’s Guide: What You Need To Know

It is important to keep in mind the following when picking out the best Japanese chef knives, for example:

Blade

-Hardness: You need to make sure that the knife you are buying has a strong blade. Depending on the hardness of your knife, it will be an important factor in how well the knife works for you by cutting, chopping, and slicing different ingredients. When looking for this, you need to check the Rockwell rating for the knife, which means, when the rating is high, the knife will have a sharper edge for longer compared to those with lower ratings.

The best rating is between 58 and 60, which means the knife will keep its edge even after multiple sharpens. The knife rating does also depend on the quality of the material that the blade comes from, the better the materials, the better the hardness will be, which determines how long your knife will last you.

-Length: The length of your blade is an important factor as well, and it is important to have different sized blades for your kitchen knives. The various sizes allow you to use the different lengths for different foods you cut in the kitchen, whether you are slicing, dicing, or chopping meats, vegetables, or fruits, you will need different sizes and types of knives for all of these different purposes.

It is also important to factor in how far the length of the blade goes into the handle; this can determine your knife’s stability and strength for various tasks. If you would like a better balance in your knives along with control, the full-tang knives are the best Japanese knives that you can choose.

-Beveled: The bevel of the knife is important as well. You need to factor this in when you are picking out a new knife for your kitchen, for any purpose. If you are a beginner, you need a double-beveled knife, whereas professionals can use single beveled knives. The bevel determines how you sharpen your knife; the double bevel means it needs to be sharpened on both sides, whereas single bevels are only on one side that needs to get sharpened. Double bevels are easier to use than single, but also lose their sharpness sooner than the single bevels do.

Material

What is your knife made from, is it stainless steel, carbon steel, ceramic, or Damascus? These metals all can make a knife differ in its performance, quality, maintenance, and even cost.

-Stainless Steel

Stainless steel knives are more affordable compared to the carbon steel ones; however, they are not as easy to sharpen and keep sharp. They are, however, rustproof, so that is a bonus as well.

-Carbon Steel

Carbon steel knives may be easier to sharpen compared to the others, while also keeping its blade sharper like the stainless-steel ones, but they will rust easier as well. These knives are harder to care for because you need to take good care of it, so it does not rust quickly.

-Ceramic

Ceramic knives keep their blades sharper than the others; however, if you drop one of these knives, it will easily chip. Their blades come from zirconium oxide which makes these the lighter type of knives out of the four different kinds of blades.

-Damascus

If you get a knife that has a Damascus blade, you are buying a very strong and sharp knife. These knives have a carbon steel core that tends to have layers of hard and soft steel, which allows this blade to be much stronger than the other three blades. These blades can keep their sharpness for a lot longer than other blades do.

Handles

-Weight

The weight of your knife is very important to consider when buying a new Japanese knife. You need to figure out if you prefer lightweight or heavier knives because whatever you are comfortable with will work better for you in the kitchen. If you get a heavy knife when lightweight is better for you, you will have trouble using the knife. Whereas if lightweight is too light for you, then you need a heavier knife to succeed in your kitchen.

-Design

Different types of knives have different types of handles. Some knives are made for left-handed people whereas most of them are for right-handed people. It is also important to consider the size of your palm when you are looking into buying a new knife because you want one that fits your hand, not something that is too big or too small for you.

How Do You Sharpen A Japanese Knife?

Most Japanese chefs tend to sharpen their knives after daily use to keep their knives in the best condition. When you first get a knife, you need to sharpen it right away, regardless of how sharp it may already is. You need to sharpen it because it is important to have the best, strongest edge to keep it from getting dull too quickly. You should never wait until your knife is dull to sharpen it, your knife never should get to that point. Make sure you sharpen it after you try the “sharp” test. First, take a piece of paper and try to slice it with your knife. If it slices it easily, your knife is sharp enough. However, if you slice and it crumples or catches on the paper, you need to sharpen your knife.

When sharpening your knife, you should never use an electric sharpener on a Japanese chef’s knife. You need to use a whetstone designed for sharpening knives. First, depending on the type of stone, you will need to get it wet. If it is a fine stone, splash it with some water. However, on medium or rough stones, you need to soak it first, for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, you are almost ready to cut. You need to put something down as a base, such as a wet cloth or something else that can stabilize the stone while you sharpen your knife.

Then you need to hold your knife with your index finger on the spine of it and your thumb on the flat part of the blade. The rest of your fingers need to hold the handle part of the knife. Then you use two to three fingers from your other hand to press the edge of the knife’s blade to the stone. While you sharpen the knife, you need to make sure the entire cutting edge ends up with a slight and even burr on the opposite side of the knife.

Make sure you press the edge of the knife’s blade to the stone and push along the stone, by putting pressure on it as it goes forward and releasing the pressure as the blade goes back down. Keep doing this until you achieve the desired results of the blade sharpness. Make sure you get one of the best Japanese knife sharpeners out there to sharpen your knives. It is recommended to use a whetstone, but if you can get it professionally done, that is a bonus.

Frequently Asked Questions: About Japanese Knives 

1. Why are Japanese knives the best?

Japanese knives are some of the best knives that are available online and in stores today. These knives are extremely sharp and last longer than knives of other countries. Japanese knives are built to last, as long as you properly care for them. There is a lot of information online for you to find out how to take care of one of the best Japanese knives listed here that you may end up choosing. Whether you are an experienced, professional chef, or just starting, Japanese knives are great for anyone of any skill level.

2. What are Japanese knives made of?

Japanese knives can come from many different materials, including stainless steel, carbon steel, ceramic, or Damascus materials for the blades. These different materials all have different pros and cons, as listed above in the materials section of the buyer’s guide. The handles can be made of various materials as well, including wood or steel. If you have a wooden handle, make sure you treat it with oil, wax, or whatever is recommended in the owner’s manual to keep it properly cared for, so it will last you a very long time. You should also check on how often you need to treat it, so you do not have any issues with your knife later on.

3. How do you maintain Japanese knives?

When getting a Japanese knife, you need to make sure you understand how to care for it properly. First, make sure you use a proper cutting surface for your knives, or you may risk chipping the knife and damaging the surface. Then you need to make sure you take good care of your blade which includes sharpening and cleaning it properly. You do not want to put any of these Japanese knives in the dishwasher, as it will cause them to rust, chip, and reduce their sharpness. Make sure you always sharpen your knives, regardless of dullness. You do not want to wait until the knife is dull to sharpen it, because it is harder to sharpen it then.

4.  Why are Japanese knives so sharp?

Japanese knives are designed to be very sharp because of different traditions that have been passed down through every generation and the ever-evolving technology they use to form the steel knives. Because of this, their knives tend to be the sharpest compared to other types of knives. They use the best quality materials to make their blades and handles, which allows the knives to be much sharper than the competition’s knives. They are constantly trying to find ways to improve the products they produce for the general public, which includes making the best quality knives out of the best quality materials.

5. How much do Japanese knives cost?

Japanese knives vary in cost, anywhere from $70 up to hundreds of dollars. The high cost is because of the quality materials that they use in their blades and handles, along with the hard work they put into every Japanese knife that they make. The better the quality and the materials, the higher the cost of the knife. Higher cost does equal better quality in this case; however, even $70 knives are of great quality, due to the dedication the Japanese have to make the best products they can since they use exotic steels, the more exotic, the higher the cost as well.

Final Verdict

Picking out the best Japanese knives can seem like a hard task; however, if you follow the buyer’s guide above, you will find the best knives for your specific needs. You need to make sure you get the right knife for what you need to use it for and keep in mind any preferences you may have with knives. Once you can determine that, picking out one of the above knives will be a breeze. Make sure you get a good, quality knife that will last you a very long time. And if you do not know how to sharpen a Japanese knife, you need to learn how before you buy one. Make sure you follow this review article in picking out your first Japanese knife, so you find one that is of great quality and matches what your needs are.

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