Japanese knives are known as some of the best kitchen knives in the world. The Japanese pride themselves on their rich heritage and attention to detail, both of which are on full display in this type of kitchen knife. Each blade is made with extreme precision, with a sharp edge to cut even the finest of sashimi and sushi.
The Japanese were so particular about how precisely they needed to make their food that they had to create their own style of kitchen knife. The result? The signature razor-like edge on the Japanese kitchen knives.
Japanese chef knives are incredibly precise when slicing and can make the thinnest of cuts. However, because they’re so sharp, not everyone is meant to hold a Japanese knife. The hard steel blades need to be handled with care, or else they may break.
Japanese Knives Review Center 2018
Now we’re going to go into what we consider to be the best choices for Japanese knives. Once you’ve decided which is right for you, click the link to get the best price on Amazon.
Best Japanese Chef Knives
I absolutely adore Shun Knives due to their beauty and amazing sharpness. While the Shun Classic chef knife is never going to be the cheapest Japanese kitchen knife, it will be by far the sharpest knife in your drawer.
The Shun Classic chef knife is by far the best Japanese chef knife. It’s also one of the best Japanese chef knives made of the world-renowned hard VG-10 steel. The VG-10 steel is made of a high carbon steel that’s exclusively graded in Japan.
The hefty handle combined with the sharp edge allows for the perfect balance, giving you complete control over the drop and maneuver; letting you cut the thickest slabs of meat or fish without fail.
If you desire an even more premium Japanese kitchen knife (read: expensive professional Japanese knife), go for the highly-rated Shun Premier. It’s only around $40 more than the Shun Classic (and is worth every penny).
The Shun Premier is a gorgeous Damascus-layered chef knife that is capable of cuts no other knife will be able to make. The ripest of fruit to the toughest pork shoulder are no match for the Shun Premier.
On the other hand, if you’re in love with the Damascus design but can’t afford the Shun Premier chef knife, then you should give the Yoshihiro Gyuto knife a look. The Gyuto knife is another Japanese chef knife. With the Yoshihiro Gyuto knife, you get the best of both worlds – the price of around that of the Shun classic, and the beautiful hammered layers of VG-10 steel.
The full tang of the Yoshihiro Gyuto knife comes complete with a polished mahogany wood handle. We also love how this Japanese chef knife comes in a slightly less common 7-inch size, as well as the standard 8-inch knife size.
Also, the V-shaped beveled edge is able to retain the sharpness (please note: be careful handling this out of the box. It’s really, really sharp!). When you buy this chef knife, maintain it only using sharpeing stones or ceramic sharpeners, rather than an electric knife sharpener. You’re making an investment and definitely want to take care in maintaining the sharp edge.
Best Japanese Kitchen Knife Sets
For us, the best Japanese kitchen knives set in the world would be a whole set of the best-rated Shun Classic knives. The set comes complete with all necessary knives, sharpening steel, shears, and a wonderful bamboo block.
We think this is the best value since the classic Shun knife alone costs over $100, while this set is usually below $500. This may seem like a lot, but remember you’re making an investment in a knife set that will last you for many years.
If you want a more budget-friendly set of Japanese kitchen knives, then you need to look at the Ginsu Chikara knife set. The quality is pretty good considering the lower price point. In fact, I recommend this set if you’re a college student or just getting your own apartment.
This highly-rated forged knives set is great for anyone looking for a set of cheap Japanese kitchen knives. For a set of cheap knives, you’re getting a lot with the Ginsu Chikara knives. We found they have a really good balance and heft to them. This will let you more accurately control each and every cut that you make.
The Ginsu Chikara knives are going to hold up as long as you maintain them. Remember, proper Japanese knives maintenance involves honing them and wiping them dry after each use and wash. They are stainless steel, so it’s best to dry them with a cloth. Just be careful, they’re sharp!
Best Japanese Utility Knife
The Japanese Utility knife is also called a Santoku knife. It’s becoming very popular because of it’s superior edge retention compared to your standard utility knife. The Santoku knife is shaped slightly differently compared to the common utility knife. This makes it require a different cutting technique. Rest assured, it’s not hard to learn.
If you want a decent Santoku knife, you don’t need to pay a high price. We love the Kershaw Santoku knife because it’s affordable (usually less than $20), light, handy, and sharp! This Japanese knife is awesome for prepping veggies. With a perfect 6.5-inch size, it is very easy to maneuver. The grip and thin blade are also really balanced!
Don’t be concerned about the paint. The paint is food grade and shouldn’t ever come off. Also, the hollow ground blade helps to avoid sticking. Thankfully, it’s super easy to clean this knife and maintenance is quick and easy!
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