The Best Japanese Knives
Japanese Knives come in a number of different varieties. The most common types are; “deba bocho” (for filleting fish), “tako hiki” and “yanagi ba” (which are for slicing sashimi), the “nakiri bocho” and “usuba hocho” (veggie knives), and “santoku hocho” (an all-purpose knife).
This review will cover four of the top Japanese knives available.
Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
This Shun 8 inch knife is great for slicing, dicing, chopping and more. It measures about 12 by 2 inches. This is an expensive knife, so you will want to be sure it’s in your budget.
The blade is made of a VG-10 stainless steel, with 32 high carbon layers of stainless steel. With the layered and patterned surface, it gives this knife a great look, plus it is resistant to rust and easy to maintain.
With a 16 degree angle this is one of the sharpest knives available right out of the box. As well, this Japanese steel offers excellent edge retention, even after years of use.
A laminated black PakkaWood makes up the handle. It is available in D-shaped and reverse D-shaped handles to offer the user maximum comfort and control. Plus, it is certified by the NSF for use in commercial kitchens.
This knife is made in Seki City, Japan, where Samurai Swords are manufactured. It measures, 60-61 on the hardness scales. Even though this knife is dishwasher safe, hand washing is recommended. It also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Shun Premier Chef’s Knife, 8 Inch
This knife is a great addition for anyone that loves to prepare and cook food. It is an all-purpose, 8 inch knife, which is great with any task including; chopping, slicing and dicing vegetables and meats.
Tsuchime is a hand-hammered finished from Japan, which offers a striking appearance in the layered Damascus steel. This hand-hammering finish also slows any drag that occurs while cutting and keeps food from sticking to the blade of the knife.
The handles are made from a premium pakkawood, which fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Offering the user a number of different secure and comfortable grips.
This 8 inch knife measures 13-1/5 by 4/5 by 1-4/5 inches. It measures 60-61 on the Rockwell Scale of Hardness and comes with a Lifetime Limited Warranty. While, this knife is advertised as dishwasher safe, it is recommended to hand wash and air dry for long term use and care.
While most users are satisfied with the performance of this knife. Buyers should beware that the knife is very expensive, and not in everyone’s price range.
Yoshihiro Cutlery Hammered Damascus Gyuto Knife
This Yoshihiro knife is available in three different sizes, users can choose from 7, 8 and 9 ½ inch blades. Pricing varies by blade size. The 8 inch blade knife measures a total of 13.3 by 0.1 by 1.8 inches and weighs 6.4 ounces.
They are made with the Hammered Damascus steel like the Shun model listed above, giving it an attractive appearance and eliminating and drag. The blade is 16 layers of this VG-10 Hammered Damascus Steel.
Caution as the blade appears darker in pictures. The blade is double edged. It is resistant to stains and has a Rockwell Hardness rating of 60. Careful, as this knife comes sharp directly out of the box.
The handle is made of a Mahogany wood. Mahogany is one of the strongest woods available. It is triple riveted for extra durability. Users seem very happy with the performance of this knife.
It is recommended to hand wash and air dry this knife for long term use and care. Plus, make sure you are using a high quality cutting board to maintain the sharpness of your knife. Overall, this knife is easily maintained.
Ginsu 7108 Chikara 8-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set with Bamboo Block
For an 8 piece knife set with an included Bamboo Block this knife set is the most affordable product on this review list. They are specialized for excellent dexterity with dicing, chopping and slicing.
The blades are resistant to rust and hold a very sharp edge, even after multiple uses. Included in this set is; 3 ½ inch paring knife, a 5 inch utility knife, a 5 inch serrated knife, a 7 inch santoku knife and an 8 inch chef’s knife. Users will also receive a sharpening rod, bamboo storage block, and kitchen shears.
Japanese knives-style handles are a perfect complement to your knife. They are traditionally rounded and made of a water and heat resistant resin. The knives are all full tang for stability and durability when cutting.
Each of these knives is hand wash only. Be sure to follow care instructions for long term durability. A lifetime limited warranty is included with your purchase. If you have larger hands this might not be the right set for you, because the handles are slightly thin.