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Have you ever owned a Japanese Knife? If you did, you must have enjoyed how stylish, sharp, and comfortable it is to use for all your cutting tasks around the kitchen. Compared to their western counterparts, Japanese blades are a bit lighter with a sharper edge, all thanks to the fine traditional manufacturing techniques used in their making.
The thing is; from full-blown budget options such as Cangshan Knives to premium blades like Kamikoto Knives and Shun Knives, making a choice may seem pretty hard. Thankfully, you don’t actually have to pick a brand, as you can get the best of both the eastern and western blade craft by filling your kitchen drawer with Miyabi Knives, which are Japanese blades manufacturer under the supervision of J.A. Henckels, the infamous German manufacturer that rival big names such as Wusthof Knives and Yoshihiro Knives.
So, do Miyabi Knives live up to the Henckels name? Are they worth your time and money? Find out through our Miyabi knives review.
Myabi Knives Review Center 2019
|#1 - Miyabi Birchwood GS2 7-pc Knife Block Set||99%|
|#2 - Miyabi Kaizen 10-Piece Block Knife Set||96%|
|#3 - Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7in Santoku Knife||93%|
|#4 - Miyabi 34373-203 Chef's Knife||89%|
|#5 - Miyabi Kaizen 6-Inch Chutoh Utility Knife||85%|
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Now that you’ve seen our top 5 recommendations, we’ll give you more detail on each of them, including why we liked them. When you’re ready, click the yellow button to get the best price on Amazon!
#1 – Miyabi Birchwood GS2 7-pc Knife Block Set
The first thing you’ll notice when checking the Birchwood set is how beautiful the knives are. They boast a stylish Damascus pattern on both sides, and elegant round birch handles that are both comfortable and well-balanced.
The set includes all the essentials for a thorough cutlery arsenal, including a Chef’s knife, Santoku knife, paring knife, along with a Bread knife, Shears, Birchwood Handle Steel, all with a 12-Slot Bamboo Block that can house this collection and give you extra slots for your other cutlery items.
For the material, the Miyabi Birchwood set boasts an SG2 stainless steel construction, which makes them quite durable and sharp.
All right, so the set is complete, the knives are beautiful, and the blades are pretty impressive on paper, but how well do they actually perform?
It turns out they’re quite efficient. The knives boast a 63-rating in the Rockwell scale of hardness, which is a pretty good number if you’re not familiar with the metric. The factory edge sits between 9.5 and 12 degrees, depending on where on the knife you check, making these blades incredibly sharp out of the box, and allowing them to hold their edge for long. Furthermore, they’re forgiving when it comes to maintenance, and you can go months without sharpening if you use a proper Knife Sharpener every time.
The set doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the handles either, as you get traditional Japanese Karelian Birch handles which match the style of the block and offer great comfort and balance.
What we like about it:
Granted, the price of this set is indeed steep, but for the quality and efficiency you’re getting, it’s worth every penny. The blades boast a double bevel design that makes them incredibly sharp, and they’re made of SG2 steel that allows them to score 63 on the Rockwell scale of hardness. The moment you touch these knives, you won’t be able to stop cutting and slicing your veggies, and you’ll surely forget about your other cutting appliances such as your Onion Chopper and Apple Slicer.
#2 – Miyabi Kaizen 10-Piece Block Knife Set
Why settle with a set that includes everything you need when you can shoot for the moon and get a set that offers both the essentials and some extras? If the Miyabi Birchwood set seems too limited for your needs, maybe consider getting the Kaizen set, which includes two chef’s knives, a 6-inch and an 8-inch one, a vegetable knife, paring knife, Santoku knife, Bread Knife, and a slicing knife, along with a kitchen shear and sharpening steel for maintenance, all of which are conveniently stacked inside a stylish bamboo block, which is one of the most beautiful Knife Blocks that we’ve reviewed.
As far as the knives themselves go, you get a set of VG10 knives which are handcrafted following the same three-step Honbazuke process mentioned above. Now, although the VG10 German stainless steel isn’t as hard as the SG2 steel used in the Birchwood set (60 on the Rockwell scale for the VG10 vs. 63 for the SG2), it still comes with a lot of perks. Basically, VG10 is strong enough to withstand chipping, hard enough to keep an edge for long, and flexible enough to resist breaking, making it one of the most durable materials available today.
As with many Japanese knives available today, the Kaizen knives feature a set of Damascus patterns that will make you feel right at home when swinging these blades around. Furthermore, the double bevel design means that you don’t need to learn any additional cutting techniques to use these knives, which adds to the convenience.
Besides durability, convenience, and sharpness, the knives in the Kaizen set offer excellent comfort and balance thanks to the refined D-shaped Japanese-style handles that made of black linen Micarta and that feature a wood-like texture for extra comfort.
What we like about it:
The real question is; what is there not to like about this knife set? The Kaizen collection includes everything you need for a seamless culinary experience. The knives are made of VG10 steel, which is both durable and sharp, and they boast excellent wood-textured handles that offer great comfort and balance. In other words, these blades check every box when it comes to quality knife criteria, and they come at a cheaper price point than the Birchwood set, making them a real bargain.
#3 – Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7in Santoku Knife
If you don’t need a whole set, and you’re just looking for a kitchen workhorse that can take care of all your chopping, slicing, and dicing needs when you’re prepping your Korean Bibimbap dinner, then don’t think twice before getting the Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7in Santoku Knife, which can replace both your Chef’s knife and Kitchen Utility Knife.
The Birchwood Santoku boasts a unique, hard construction composed of a strong core of SG2 micro-carbide powder steel covered in 100 layers of steel, which says a helluva lot about the hardness and durability you can expect. It also offers the same edge factory mentioned above in our Miyabi knife review.
As for sharpness, these blades are hand-honed following the three-step Honbazuke process to a 9.5 to 12-degree edge, which means that they can cut through virtually anything with ease. You’ll also feel right at home thanks to two Japanese properties; the authentic Japanese profile and the Damascus pattern found on both sides of the blade, which makes this knife a real gem in the Asian blade craft world.
The well designed, durable, and sharp blade is complemented by an equally excellent Karelian Birch handle, which offers the same level of durability along with a stylish exterior and a comfortable, well-balanced grip for your experience to be seamless when you’re chopping and slicing.
What we like about it:
The Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7in Santoku Knife is a high-end blade that’s beautiful from the inside and the outside, which justifies its high price point. It’s composed of an SG2 steel core and a Karelian Birch handle, which means that it’s sharp, can hold an edge for long, comfortable, and durable. If you’re one of the many chefs that prefer Santoku knives over other utility blades, you shouldn’t miss the Damascus pattern/ sharp factory grind combo that Miyabi is offering in its 7-inch Santoku.
#4– Miyabi 34373-203 Chef’s Knife
Whether you’re a home or a professional cook, you can’t go about around the kitchen without a quality chef’s knife, one that can be a reliable workhorse and reflect how serious you are about your culinary journey at the same time. Miyabi promises to deliver exactly that through its exquisite and ergonomic Chef’s Knife designed to look good and perform well.
The Miyabi 34373-203 Chef’s Knife boasts an excellent SG2 core construction, which means that it’s durable and can hold an edge for long with minimal maintenance. Just hone the edge using a good sharpening steel every now and then, and you’ll be cutting your veggies on your Cutting Board for months on end. Furthermore, the core is protected by 100 layers of steel, which allow for great durability.
The edge of the Miyabi chef’s knife is hand-crafted by expert artisans who know the tricks of the trade to a factory edge is between 9.5 and 12 degrees, making this blade quite delicate and efficient, giving it the edge over other chef’s knives that are mainly designed for heavy use around the kitchen. Besides, you get the same Damascus pattern featured in other Miyabi knives, which makes it a godsend for those seeking compliments from their guests.
As for the handle, you can rest assured if you opt for this knife as it features a straight, round birch handle that can give you a firm, comfortable grip while looking absolutely perfect.
What we like about it:
Miyabi’s 34373-203 Chef’s Knife is another premium Japanese-style blade from a well-known manufacturer that has been in the industry for years. It offers a solid, reliable SG2 construction, a beautiful Damascus blade, excellent edge retention, and an exceptional comfort thanks to a well-balanced, ergonomic handle. All that for an affordable price considering the quality you’re getting. If you’re looking for Japanese style all-purpose knife for all your chopping, slicing, and dicing tasks around the kitchen, look no further than the Miyabi 34373-203 Chef’s Knife.
#5 – Miyabi Kaizen 6-Inch Chutoh Utility Knife
The Utility knife is an integral part of any cutlery arsenal. Why wouldn’t it be, considering that it’s a general-purpose blade that can get all of your small cutting tasks done with ease? The Kaizen 6-Inch Chutoh Utility Knife from Miyabi offers the same features found in the Kaizen set mentioned above in our Miyabi knives review, but it’s more suitable for those seeking a single all-around blade rather than a full set.
Miyabi’s Chutoh utility knife uses the VG10 super steel as the core material, which means that it can last for a lifetime with proper maintenance. Thanks to the hardness of the VGold steel, which is ice-hardened to Rockwell 60, you’ll get an excellent edge retention capability, which would appeal to both professional and hobbyist chefs.
Aesthetically-speaking, this knife doesn’t disappoint, as you get a 65-layer flower Damascus design with katana edge for a beautiful combination that would appeal to anyone.
The handle is just the cherry on top, as it boasts a d-shaped design and a black linen Micarta, both of which add to the durability and beauty of the Miyabi Kaizen 6-Inch Chutoh Utility Knife.
What we like about it:
The Miyabi Chutoh Utility Knife is a wonderful choice for anyone looking for a one size fits all Japanese style knife that’s suitable for different tasks around the kitchen without blowing a hole in their wallet. It has a durable VG10 construction, a beautiful 65-layer Damascus pattern, a forgiving katana edge with excellent retention, and a comfortable, well-balanced handle that can give you total control when you’re using your knife for various cutting tasks.
How We Chose the Top Miyabi Knives in Our List
Knives are an integral part of any kitchen and choosing quality ones should be one of your highest priorities when you’re just starting out, especially if you don’t have any previous experience in the culinary field. All of the Miyabi knives reviewed above offer an unmatchable performance in their price range, and they’ve been vetted and selected after going through a quality check that included looking for the following features:
Sharpness and Hardness
Miyabi blades are hand honed by expert artisans following the three-step Honbazuke technique, which was used centuries ago to produce some of the finest Japanese swords, to 9.5 to 12-degree edge, thus offering an unrivaled sharpness and allowing these knives to cut through anything. Furthermore, the VG10 or SG2 construction of Miyabi knives enable them to be extremely hard and tough while being flexible enough to resist breaking. As far as the numbers go, Miyabi knives can score anywhere from 60 to 64 on the Rockwell scale of hardness.
Due to the quality materials used in their manufacturing, whether it be VG10 stainless or SG2 steel, Miyabi knives are incredibly durable and offer excellent edge retention. Just hone them once every few months, and you’ll be good to go for a good number of weeks before having to sharpen them again. Talk about forgiving knives, huh?
Miyabi knives feature ergonomic handles that are either synthetic or wooden, and they offer a rounded conception that makes for a comfortable and firm grip every time. Should you get some Miyabi knives, you’ll be able to swing your blades for hours on end without feeling the slightest discomfort.
Different Types of Miyabi Knives
There are four types you should know about:
Miyabi VG10 Steel Vs. Miyabi SG2 Steel
Although both are durable, flexible, and super materials used in the world’s most expensive knives, there are some differences between them.
VG10, also known as V Gold 10, is a premium cutting stainless steel that’s extremely hard and tough, scoring around 60-61 on the Rockwell hardness scale. VG10 is also easy to sharpen and maintain, and it offers great edge retention.
SG2 steel is a bit more superior, as it’s a high-carbon content stainless steel that offers a consistent grain structure, which makes this material easier to sharpen and extremely durable, besides being rust-resistant and an excellent companion for fast-paced kitchen environments. On the Rockwell scale of hardness, SG2 steel easily scores 64 HRC.
Miyabi Fusion Vs. Kaizen
The Fusion and Kaizen lines from Miyabi offer the same quality, durability, and sharpness, but with a small difference that distinguishes them: the handle construction, which follows the western style in the first and the eastern in the latter.
Why You Need the Best Miyabi Knives in Your Kitchen
The Japanese blade craft market is flooded with brands offering stylish knives with ergonomic handles, single-beveled edges, and crazy high price tags. Not Miyabi though.
What makes Miyabi knives special is the fact that they go through a strict quality check before hitting the market, which is expected considering that Miyabi is basically the eastern subdivision of J.A. Henckels, the world-renowned cutlery manufacturer.
Miyabi knives offer double-beveled edges that are razor-sharp out of the box at affordable prices, making them a real bargain for anyone looking to get their foot in the door of the culinary world. They also use premium materials in their construction, such as the VG10 and SG2 steels, both of which offer excellent durability, great edge retention, and unmatchable hardness, which allows them to cut through virtually anything.
Despite their affordable prices, Miyabi knives offer a stylish exterior, with elegant handles and an aesthetically-appealing Damascus pattern on both sides of each blade, which means that you can proudly display them on your kitchen counter for your guests to be blown away by your cutlery items.
If you’re on a knife-edge (pun intended) and trying to build your cutlery arsenal or expand an existing one, just get yourself the best Miyabi knives, and you’ll be good to go. They offer quality, they offer durability, they offer sharpness, and they come at an affordable price. What else could you possibly ask for in a kitchen knife brand?
While you’re here, check out some of our other kitchen accessories and knives! As always, we recommend you keep your knives sharp with an electric knife sharpener, as well as safely kept in either a knife block or on a magnetic knife strip held safely in your kitchen pantry or kitchen island.