Japanese Chef Knives

By 
Devin Carlson
   ·   
Published Jun 22, 2021
   ·   
Affiliate Disclaimer

If you are a professional chef or even just a home cook, 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.

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 read on.

Our Top Picks For Japanese Chef Knives

Reviews Of The Best Japanese Chef Knives From Our Research

1. Tojiro DP Gyutou – 8.2″

Tojiro DP Gyutou - 8.2" (21cm)
  • Stain resistant chef knife
  • Usable to both left and right handed users as it's even edged
  • Blade Height: 1.7" , Blade Length: 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 them.

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

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Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Ebony PakkaWood Handle; All-Purpose Blade for a Full Range of Cutting Tasks with Curved Blade for Easy Cuts; Cutlery Handcrafted in Japan
  • VG-MAX steel is a formula exclusive to Shun with extra tungsten for a sharper edge, more chromium for corrosion resistance and additional cobalt and carbon for strength and durability
  • Handle is ebony PakkaWood; PakkaWood is a hardwood infused with resin for a durable, water resistant finish, perfect for easy cleaning and tough enough for constant use
  • For proper slicing, push the knife forward and down while cutting through food and then pull it up and back, repeating the process in a “locomotive” motion; this prevents chipping for smooth cuts
  • “Shun” the Japanese word indicates a food’s peak ripeness; Shun draws on its Japanese roots and traditional blade-making practices to produce knives that perform excellently
  • The 8-inch Chef’s Knife is a staple kitchen utensil and a great gift for newlyweds, homeowners, parents, grandparents, cooks, aspiring chefs, hostesses or to keep as a personal kitchen tool

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 Pakka Wood, 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

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Shun Cutlery Premier 8” Chef’s Knife; Lightweight, Agile, Extremely Comfortable Grip, Perfect for Slicing, Dicing and Chopping a Full Range of Foods, Beautiful and Versatile, Handcrafted in Japan
  • Premier 8-inch Chef’s knife will quickly become the most used knife in the kitchen; lightweight, agile and offering an extremely comfortable grip, users never want to set the knife down
  • Razor-sharp edge of blade is perfect for slicing, dicing and chopping a full range of fruits, vegetables and other foods; thinner, lighter blade makes this knife less tiring to use
  • Contoured, walnut-colored PakkaWood handle rests comfortably in any hand; hammered tsuchime finish helps release food easily when cutting for a smooth clean cut
  • Shun Cutlery knives make prep work fun and takes a typically mundane task from boring to exciting; Shun’s knives are hand-sharpened, handcrafted and have a strong Japanese heritage
  • Very comfortable and easy to use: hosts, hostess, chefs, families, husbands, wives, grandparents, entertainer, party hosts, cooks, aspiring chefs, homeowners and newlyweds will love it

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 kind 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 food. These foods include vegetables, fruit, and even meats.

The handle is from walnut Pakka Wood 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 to 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

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Kasumi - 8 inch Chef's Knife
  • Kasumi 10-inch Chef’s knife; Classic shape, slightly longer blade length for prepping ingredients
  • Damascus pattern is eye catching and rust free
  • The edge is beveled on both sides, but the bevel is much larger than the bevel on a European or American brand and creates a sharper edge
  • The asymmetrical handle is made from multiple layers of wood impregnated with a plastic resin and is riveted to the full tang
  • Kasumi knives are produced by Sumikama Cutlery in Seki, Japan

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 level 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 Sumi kama 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, the 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

Kyocera Advanced Ceramic LTD Series Chef Knife with Handcrafted Pakka Wood Handle, 7-Inch, Black Blade
  • Hand-finished ceramic blades are made from Kyocera's proprietary zirconia material produced in Japan for exceptional quality and beauty
  • Ultra-sharp, pure advanced ceramic blades will maintain their edge up to 10x longer than steel blades
  • Stainless steel bolster and rivets represent the traditional style of Japanese cutlery
  • Lightweight and easy to clean, Kyocera ceramic blades will not brown food, are rust-proof and resistant to acids
  • Ideal for slicing fruits, vegetables and boneless meats, not to be used on hard or frozen foods

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 a 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.

The 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″

Misono UX10 Sujihiki 9.4" (24cm) - Right
  • 24 cm. Misono UX10 24 cm. Sujibiki
  • Made in Japan

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 in 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

Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch - Alpha-Royal Series - Japanese AUS-10 Super Steel 67-Layer Damascus - Razor Sharp, Superb Edge Retention
  • ✅ SETTING THE NEW STANDARD FOR SANTOKU KNIVES >>> Impress Guests with your Visually Stunning, Extreme Performance Best Santoku Knife – Chefs Knife adding Refinement and Style to any Modern Kitchen! Minimal Slicing Resistance, Satisfying Heft, Full Tang & Premium Materials!
  • ✅ PREMIUM JAPANESE STEEL – RAZOR SHARP >>> Imported Japanese AUS10 Super Steel with 67-layer High Carbon Stainless Steel that incorporates a Hollow Ground Blade meaning Non-Stick, Exquisite Tsunami Rose Damascus Pattern and Liquid Nitrogen Tempering ensuring Long Lasting Performance! Stain & Rust Resistant Chef’s Knife
  • ✅ STUNNING TRIPLE RIVETED, ROUNDED HANDLE >>> G10 Handle Triple Riveted to the Full Tang for Extra Strength & Durability, Tastefully Adorned with the Zelite Infinity 3-Metal Mosaic Rivet. Ergonomically Designed Rounded Handles to ensure a Secure and Comfortable Grip! RARE Tapered Bolster for Extreme Comfort, Perfect Balance!
  • ✅ BEST VALUE, PREMIUM PACKAGING, UNRIVALLED PERFORMANCE >>> Don't compare on Price, You get what you Pay for! Razor Sharp Edge for Maximum Sharpness & Safety. Meat, Fish, Vegetables, Fruit and more are Precision Sliced. No tearing or squishing, only Ruthless Efficiency, Every Time!
  • ✅ 100% SATISFACTION or MONEY BACK GUARANTEE – TRY IT RISK FREE >>> Lifetime Warranty against Manufacturing Defects (only if purchased direct from ‘Zelite Infinity’ – check item is “sold by Zelite Infinity”). Our Santoku Knife has been built with Perfection in Mind. Ideal Gift (Christmas, Weddings, Birthdays, Fathers Day, Mothers Day), for Home Cooks, Professional Chefs, Culinary Students and more. You can’t lose. Limited Supply, Order Now before they are Sold Out!

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.

The Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 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

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Global 8" Chef's Knife
  • Lightweight, precisely balanced 8-inch or 20cm chef's knife
  • Blade made of high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel
  • Edge retains razor sharpness exceptionally well
  • Stainless-steel handle molded for Comfort, dimpled for safe grip
  • Lifetime warranty against defects and breakage

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 their 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 at an acute angle, making for a sharper knife that 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 helps reduce 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

YOSHIHIRO Ice Hardened High Carbon Stainless Steel Wa Gyuto Japanese Chef Knife 9.5" (240mm)
  • Yoshihiro- Molybdenum Steel Wa Gyuto Chef Knife 9.5" (240mm)
  • Made in Japan
  • Gyuto Chef Knife

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.

The 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

Miyabi Fusion Morimoto Edition Chef's Knife, 10-inch, Black w/Red Accent/Stainless Steel
  • VG10 super steel
  • Authentic thin Japanese blade profile
  • Hand-honed using the three-step Honbazuke process to 9.5 to 12 degree edge
  • CRYODUR blade ice-hardened to Rockwell 60
  • 65-layer flower Damascus design with a katana edge

The 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

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Miyabi Chef's Knife, 8-Inch, Birch/Stainless Steel
  • G2 micro carbide powder steel
  • Authentic thin Japanese blade profile
  • Hand honed using the three step Honbazuke process to a 9.5 to 12 degree edge
  • Handle length:5.39 inch

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 to 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

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Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 4.5-inch Utility Knife, Black Handle, White Blade - FK-110 WH
  • A great first-time introduction to using a Kyocera ceramic knife in the kitchen, especially for the beginning home cook at a value
  • A 4.5” utility knife for everyday kitchen prep that requires precise slicing and straight cuts
  • Ceramic blades are made from Kyocera's proprietary zirconia material produced in Japan for exceptional quality and beauty
  • Ultra-sharp, pure advanced ceramic blades will maintain their edge up to 10x longer than steel blades
  • Lightweight and easy to clean, the blades will not brown food, are rust-proof and resistant to acids

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

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Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife (8.25'' (210mm))
  • Gyuto Chef's Knife is the most versatile and essential of all chef knives perfect for dicing, slicing, and chopping fresh produce to carving a roast chicken straight from the oven.
  • 3 Layer construction with a VG-10 Japanese stainless steel center core with a HRC 60 for exceptional sharpness, edge retention, and durability with ease of sharpening.
  • An elegant 16 layer hammered outer steel is a stylish yet functional design eliminating friction and keeping food from sticking to the blade
  • A premium Mahogany wood handle with a full tang for a well balanced construction for seamless use.
  • Excellent for entry level chefs. Hand wash only and sharpen on quality whetstones. Comes ready to use out of the box. 100% handcrafted by skilled tradesmen in Japan. Not mass produced.

The 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 layer 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

Kessaku 7-Inch Santoku Knife - Samurai Series - Forged High Carbon 7Cr17MoV Stainless Steel - Pakkawood Handle with Blade Guard
  • SAMURAI SERIES - Sleek. Gorgeous. Ferociously formidable with unparalleled craftsmanship. Designed by our artisans in Japan, our Samurai Series Santoku Knife features a perfectly balanced & ergonomic grip for amazing comfort & safety. The traditional santoku knife has been redesigned with modern refinements to be sleek, fast, aerodynamic, and highly engineered for precision and maneuverability. Visually stylish & sure to draw the eye in any kitchen, this is one great-looking knife.
  • THE BLADE - Relentlessly sharp like a surgeon’s scalpel & made from our own specially formulated High Carbon 7CR17MOV Stainless Steel for enhanced corrosion resistance & non-stick properties. This Precision Forged blade is individually handcrafted & hand-sharpened using the traditional 3-stage Honbazuke method by our virtuoso technicians to 16° per side for clean, precise, cuts, amazing edge-retention, & it has a Rockwell Hardness of 58 for maximum strength, flexibility, & blade edge durability.
  • WONDROUS COMFORT - When you first grip the handle of this knife it will feel as if it was made for you specifically. Its Mirror-Polished Smooth Pakka Wood handle offers amazingly superior Full Tang strength (so the blade extends far into the handle for a lifetime of safe & precise use). Its seamless build ensures that no dirt or debris can ever infiltrate its pristine body, and is nearly impervious to heat, cold, and moisture.
  • CONSTRUCTED TO LAST FOREVER - This knife will be your culinary companion for life & comes with Kessaku’s 100% Lifetime Warranty. Because we work tirelessly to ensure you’re delivered true quality culinary masterpieces, all of our knives come with our Kessaku True Lifetime Warranty. Our very highest priority is that you are completely thrilled with our products & truly in love with our brand. Contact us with any issue or concerns & we will immediately do our absolute best to make it right.
  • MAKES AN AMAZING PRESENT - This exquisite knife will arrive in style, greeting you in our beautifully designed & elegant Magnetic Closure Gift Box, Custom Sheath & Polishing Cloth. Perfect for a Birthday, Wedding, Anniversary, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, House Warming, etc. Give this to your favorite chef. The astonishing quality of this lovingly crafted, professional knife means you’ll be giving them a gift that they’ll have & use for eternity so they’ll always think of you!

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 them. 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 feel 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 weighs 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″

Misono UX10 Santoku 7.0" (18cm) - Right
  • HIGHEST GRADE STEEL ✅: The blade is made out of high quality Swedish stain resistant steel that provides the user with the longest lasting edge retention within the Misono brand.
  • BALANCED & DURABLE ✅: A distinguishing feature of the UX10 knife is the riveted nickel silver bolster, which enhances construction durability as well as balances the weight of the blade and handle.
  • QUALITY ASSURANCE ✅: The brand’s famously thin and sharp knives are hand finished and inspected to ensure the highest quality product.
  • MULTI-PURPOSE ✅: The santoku, meaning "three virtues", is an all-purpose knife that takes its name from its ability to easily handle meat, fish and vegetables. The high profile of the blade makes the santoku well-suited for smaller kitchen spaces and keeps the knuckles well above the cutting board.
  • EXCEPTIONAL SHARPNESS ✅: 70:30 Asymmetrical bevel. By concentrating the sharpening on the face of the blade at a steeper angle than on the back, a thin cutting edge is created that approaches the sharpness of a traditional Japanese single edged design.

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 handles 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 at 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

Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set
  • Set includes: 3.5-inch Paring Knife, 7-inch Santoku Knife, 8-inch Chef's Knife, 9-inch Combination Honing Steel, Shun Multi-purpose Kitchen Shears, 8-slot Slim Design Dark Wood Knife Block
  • VG-MAX cutting core with 34-layers (each side) and stainless Damascus cladding
  • Rockwell Hardness: 60-61; hand-sharpened Japanese double-bevel blade angle 16° (each side)
  • D-shaped PakkaWood handle is strong, durable and resists moisture
  • Handcrafted in Seki, Japan; hand wash with gentle dish soap and dry immediately

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 Pakka Wood 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 them 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 for Japanese Chef Knives

It is important to keep the blade, materials and handles in mind the following when picking out the best Japanese chef knives.

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 depends 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 level 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 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 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 their 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.

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.


6. 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.


Final Thoughts

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 your needs are.

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