Depending on the size of your kitchen and your personal preference based on specific budgets, you may have a variety of appliances, ranging from cookers to pasta makers. Investing in a new set of kitchen utensils, nevertheless, is not a complete task without a chef’s knife, honestly.
Practically, you may be willing to say no to Chinese steak knives, making an excuse of cultural preconception and quality unreliability, but I bet you cannot resist the temptation of Japanese Chef’s knives on account of their extraordinary offerings.
Are Japanese knives really second-to-none? What sets them apart from their competitive opponents on the market? You may effortlessly chop vegetables or carve meats and sushi like a Samurai warrior carefreely playing with his sharp Katana thanks to narrow-sharp blades, guaranteeing your blade will remain sharp as desired for years to come.
However, before pursuing your cooking passion without constraint, getting home one suitable for your warm corner is a must. Check out the best Japanese knives for 2021 below to make sure you get what you actually want!
Table of Contents
- 6 Best Japanese Knives for 2021 Reviews
- The 8 Styles of Japanese Chef Knives
- How To Use Every Japanese Knife | Method Mastery
6 Best Japanese Knives for 2021 Reviews
Best Overall: Shun Cutlery Premier 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
Have you ever thought that you are born for all jobs apart from a chef, and felt upset about that? Whether you are a professional chef or a family culinary lover, a lightweight agile knife will be best to serve people scrumptious food and simultaneously save your cooking effort.
If you are in need of such a product, not keeping an eye on this Shun Cutlery Premier is obviously a mistake. With a sharp edge of a blade, every type of fruit, vegetable will be ready-made foods under your hands after a range of culinary actions such as slicing, dicing and even chopping, being the best Japanese knife.
Furthermore, hammered tsuchime finish aids you greatly when it comes to food release, giving the most smooth clean cut ever, compared to many other rivals at the same price range.
For many customers, a knife is not only a cooking tool but also a way of cultural exchange. If you are obsessed with Japanese heritage and want to keep a bit of Japanese flavor in every slicing, here you are.
The products offered by Shun stores are hand-sharpened, handcrafted, giving a sense of pleasure, making your kitchen time a lot more culturally meaningful. Not born in Japan, not living in the country, but still engrossed in the Japanese culinary culture? This set of knives will not let you down, anyway, because it is the best overall of all, I promise!
- Why we love it: lightweight, agile, sharp edge of a blade, able to deliver Japanese flavor, and hand-sharpened.
- Why you should be careful: If you are looking for a knife featuring durability, this is not a good fit.
Runner-up: Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7-Inch
Being a perfectionist and accustomed to the feel of stunning visuals as well as extreme performance? Why do you need to look around for a better option, when here it already is.
This Santoku knife is worth being the runner-up, as it is not only visually stunning, but also works pretty well in terms of slicing and chopping. At times, having the best Japanese knife with minimal slicing resistance seems to lessen the challenge of cooking and food preparation, also.
Moreover, aside from visually satisfying customers, this Santoku will demonstrate its balanced capability in ergonomically rounded handles, ensuring both comfort and security, for your dinner to perfect itself before your taste comes with an evaluation in the end.
In case you are a material-conscious chef, you may be attentive to the best Japanese knives manufactured based on Japanese steel technology like this. Heavy-duty blades with high-carbon stainless steel incorporated will certainly stand the test of time and the carelessness of humans.
Additionally, you can expect rust-resistance when getting home Santoku’s products as well. Even though not overall excelling like the first one as aforementioned, this set of knives still highlight the best traits, serving you well whether for music-based grilled chicken barbecue outdoors or traditional family gathering parties indoors.
- Why we love it: perfect visual, slicing-resistant, good handles and Japanese-based steel tech.
- Why you should be careful: it is impossible to see steel layers, considered to be half the purpose of purchasing a damascus steel knife, for sure.
Best Set: Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set
Sometimes, money cannot make up for convenience, and I suppose you also value the latter over the former. If so, a set of Shun classic knives would probably be the first priority for you, because it offers a range of best Japanese kitchen knives with a vast variety of functions.
D-shaped handles are heavy-duty, durable and moisture-resistant, ensuring every touch to be a relaxing and desirable experience for each housewife.
Additionally, in case you are occupied with restaurant stuff as a chef and yearn for time-efficient kitchen tools, this set of products is able to provide a “fast and furious” drying experience as well. Just imagine you can clean it and get it ready for food preparation in no time, that sounds amazing, right?
If breathtaking landscapes are a source of motivation for professional photographers, a talented chef needs reliable “cooking assistants” to fulfill the expectation of taste and personal preferences. Having these best Japanese knives literally means you enjoy hand-sharpened and stainless Japanese quintessential of steel, making your culinary tasks far greater with ease.
- Why we love it: a set of useful knives; heavy-duty, durable and moisture-resistant.
- Why you should be careful: These would be the best Japanese kitchen knives in the case that their design is not a tradeoff of sharpness for durability as such.
Best High-End: Miyabi Chef’s Knife, 8-Inch
You have just made friends with home-cooked meals in the sense that money and trust cannot be a waste for junk foods with high calories of unhealthy ingredients? This product is strong enough for many types of vegetables but still delicate for a range of herbs in a way, alleviating your concern of being clumsy.
More interestingly, if you consider yourself a big fan of ancient Asian knives, a curve reminiscent of this knife will be visibly striking right away, making it one of the best Japanese chef knives ever tested on the market.
What I love most about the product offered by Miyabi is its hard steel, which is less susceptible to chipping and moisture. The handle is responsible for not accidentally slipping out of your hand, so you can say goodbye to worries about daydreaming moments in the kitchen.
I am aware of the fact that you may have not been accustomed to cooking stuff, but this knife can actually boost your confidence skillfully, believe me! It may not be the best kitchen knife, but at least, it can subliminally help you get the thinnest slices of potato and onion for your breakfast, and that is worth your money.
- Why we love it: strong but delicate, a reminder of ancient knives, as well less prone to moisture and chipping.
- Why you should be careful: It is not a good fit for sushi slicing, and you may get disappointed a little bit, I guess.
Best Budget: Global 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
Some customers may be less excited with cheap kitchen tools, but the cheapest is not always the dearest, at least in this case. This global chef’s knife is superior sharp right out of your box delivered, and it may sooner or later change your assumption of product quality on the basis of price. It is smart to get an affordable knife for your adorable culinary corner, easily taking a short trip via your dishwasher and financially saving a whole lot, right?
A handle meticulously manufactured with stainless steel molded for better comfort may be another plus point overall, apart from its being dimpled for the sake of safe grip. For less expensive than a bunch of advertised Japanese pocket knives, still remaining exactly the convenience as such, why don’t you get one that lightens your forte of cooking?
- Why we love it: affordable, super sharp, easy to clean, more comfortable in general.
- Why you should be careful: It should be a bit smaller so that you can effortlessly maneuver it when needed.
Best for Vegetable: DALSTRONG Nakiri Vegetable Knife, 6-Inch
Regarding price, this Nakiri knife transparently lies at the higher end of the spectrum, but it still sells like hotcakes in light of its specialization in vegetable handling.
This product features an ultra sharp steel cutting core in the name of both exceptional performance and edge retention. With high-carbon stainless steel layers provided, users can slice snappy veggies like cutting through a ripe banana with a butter knife; you can give it a go, if suspicious. Among the best kitchen knives set, I highly recommend this kit for durability.
That said, the Dalstrong Nakiri is a balance constituted by the handle and blade, giving a heel to keep your fingers unharmful and enhance your experience of vegetable slicing, which makes it feel super safe and relaxed preparing your go-to Greek salad or favorite French onion soup. This Dalstrong, thus, can be ideally suitable for a chef considering cooking more of a chore than pleasure initially.
- Why we love it: vegetable-specialized, sharp, stainless steel layers, easy for beginners.
- Why you should be careful: the knife is more functionality-based than aesthetics-based, hence, it may not be an out-of-this-world option for an appearance-conscious chef.
The 8 Styles of Japanese Chef Knives
After a list of the best Japanese kitchen knives, if you still feel a little bit confused to choose one from these, there comes a detailed guide for your selection, based on 8 styles of Japanese chef knives as follows. While most European knives can deal with every culinary task, Japanese knives are specifically designed to meet different purposes.
Santoku is a Japanese word that literally indicates the meaning of “three virtues.” That refers to the three kinds of foods compatible: meat, fish, and of course, veggies. The Santoku is the best tool recommended in case mincing, dicing, or slicing are in need most. The knife as above is similar to a chef’s knife but it is kind of shorter, featuring a blade around 6-7 inches. Santoku is often used as the best knife for slicing brisket.
This is a multi-purpose knife traditionally similar to the knife of American chefs. In Japanese, the name Gyuto represents “cow knife.” Gyuto features a very special cutting edge that is curved to some extent towards the point, facilitating rocking motions substantially. It is the best kitchen knife set for vegetables and fruits.
It is simple to scoop big amounts of food because of its height and shape with straight cutting-edge as wished. With a double-beveled blade, Nakiri can be the first priority for every cooking enthusiast, including both right-handed and left-handed chefs.
The Japanese tiny knife is another version of Gyuto as aforementioned, ideal for minor jobs such as peeling vegetables, making aesthetic cuts, and accomplishing other delicate chores that the bigger ones cannot perform. Thus, if you intend to get Petty as a meat slicer in place of high-precision tasks, it is somewhat unnecessary in your kitchen.
Because Deba is generally far heavier than any other type of Japanese knives, it is perfect for bone slicing and cutting tasks only, leading to the reputation of a knife sharpener. You may fillet food more easily using the blade’s bevel, which is 5-13 inches in length.
Similar to the Nakiri, the Usuba features a considerably thinner blade edge than the Nakiri. In addition, its small size makes it easier to use for experts. You may use it to make ornamental cuts that are quite thin.
Sashimi is another name for this Yanagiba knife, which is prevalent in Kansai. Raw fish can be cut, sliced or portioned with this tool easily.
Comparable to carving knives, Sujihiki can be applied for the same kitchen tasks for sure. There is no need to saw back and forth for the reason that the blade glides over the protein as well.