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What’s holding many chefs from acquiring a Japanese Knife, or a set of them, to delve into the Asian cuisine is their high price tag. If you’re an aspiring cook still in the bud of his culinary journey or a culinary student looking to save up on his College Kitchen Essentials, you must have felt terrified the first time you laid your eyes on the prices of Shun Knives, Yoshihiro Knives, or Kamikoto Knives. Panic no more, as there is an affordable alternative that can help you unveil the secrets of the Japanese cuisine; Tojiro Knives.
Although not as good as the high-end brands mentioned above, Tojiro knives earn high marks from many professional chefs around the world, and they surely offer what you’d need in a good knife, including high-quality materials, decent sharpness, and excellent edge retention. It’s pretty hard to rival what Tojiro DP has to offer at its price range, making it a go-to solution for those looking for quality Japanese blades without breaking the bank.
Tojiro Knives Review Center 2019
|#1 - Tojiro DP Damascus 3-piece Knife Set||99%|
|#2 - Tojiro DP 2-piece Chef's Knife Set||96%|
|#3 - Tojiro DP Damascus 2-piece Starter Knife Set||93%|
|#4 - Tojiro DP Gyutou||89%|
|#5 - Tojiro Kitchen Knife F-807||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 – Tojiro DP Damascus 3-piece Knife Set
What if I told you can get a complete knife set that includes everything you may need to get your foot in the Asian cuisine door for the price of a single chef’s knife from Shun or Wusthof Knives? Too good to be true? Well, brace yourself as your dream will come true when you get the Tojiro DP Damascus 3-piece Knife Set.
The set includes three essential knives that would form a solid cornerstone for any cutlery arsenal; a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a Bread Knife. Nothing fancy here, no Kitchen Shear, no Knife Blocks, just a no-frills set that’s more than enough to kickstart your journey.
Despite their low price tag, these knives are forged, with a VG10 core made of premium cobalt alloy steel that’s covered by 37 layers of both low carbon and high carbon stainless steel to form a beautiful Damascus pattern that would appeal to anyone. Not only are they beautiful though, as they’re also quite sharp and offer good sharp retention. In the blade craft lingo, they score 60 in the Rockwell scale of hardness, meaning that you can expect razor-sharp blades right out of the box, ones that will hold their edge for long without making your occasional sharpening sessions a hell on earth.
The Micarta blades are equally appealing and efficient, as they feature three stainless steel rivets for a good balance and comfy grip no matter how long you keep using your knives. The bolster, besides protecting your blades, does a great job of adding heft and balance.
What we like about it:
These knives are of both high and low carbon variants of high-quality stainless steel along with a VG10 core, which makes for excellent durability and great sharpness. Their handles are comfortable to use and offer a firm, balanced grip, making them an excellent choice for both professional and home chefs looking for a new addition to their cutlery arsenal without blowing a hole in their budget. For the occasional cook, budget seeker, and/or culinary student, this is all you’ll need for all your chopping, slicing, and dicing tasks around the kitchen.
#2 – Tojiro DP 2-piece Chef’s Knife Set
If you’re a true believer in “the more, the merrier,” you’ll definitely like the Tojiro DP 2-piece Chef’s Knife Set. Two multi-purpose knives are included in this set; a chef’s knife, and a Paring Knife, because when something is good and efficient, one is not enough, right?
These Tojiro knives feature a VG10 core, the same used in the 3-piece set mentioned above in our Tojiro knives review, that’s sandwiched between two layers of highly-rigid stainless steel alloy to form a 3-layer clad construction for a genuine Japanese blade experience. Again, just like the set above, these blades score 60 degrees in the Rockwell Hardness scale, with 12-degree edge angles, a number that’s hard to beat, even by big knife brands such as Kasumi Knives.
No Damascus pattern here, unfortunately, as Tojiro took the Da Vinci approach in this set, following his famous quote ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. As the looks are more of a subjective thing, we can’t really class the lack of the patterns as a disadvantage, so take that however you may.
The triple-riveted Micarta handles boast a full tang design, which means that you needn’t worry about balance if you’re interested in this set.
Now, addressing every cook’s biggest concern; how easy are these knives to sharpen? It turns out, it’s pretty easy and effortless, thanks to the hand-crafted finish and the closed bolster, which not only adds to the balance but also makes honing the full blade a piece of cake, especially if you’re using a quality Knife Sharpener.
What we like about it:
Everything you need as a base to your culinary arsenal? Check. Good, durable materials? Check. Well-balanced blades that are easy to sharpen? Check, check, and check! If you’re interested in exploring the wonders of the eastern cuisine without having to shell out hundreds of dollars on your knives, Tojiro’s DP 2-piece Chef’s Knife Set is a good place to start. Just get yourself a decent Sharpening Steel to care for the blades, and you’ll be good to go.
#3 – Tojiro DP Damascus 2-Piece Starter Knife Set
I’m starting to think that Tojiro should probably use “high quality at a crazy good price” as their slogan because that’s exactly what you’re getting in the Tojiro DP Damascus 2-Piece Starter Knife Set, which includes a paring knife and a chef’s knife.
Now, you may be wondering “What? A chef’s and a paring knife? Isn’t that what the above set is offering?” Well, yes and no, the two sets do have some similarities, but they feature some differences that can make prefer one over the other.
The main difference is the construction. The knives in this set feature a VG10 core made of premium cobalt alloy steel and covered in 37 layers of a blend of high and low carbon stainless steel to form the desired Damascus pattern, which means that this set will give you a closer feel to a Japanese blade. The hardness score is where the sets meet though, as both of them score 60 degrees on the Rockwell scale of hardness.
Both the paring knife and chef’s knife come razor sharp out of the box as they’ve been hand-sharpened by skilled artisans in Japan, and they are effortless to care for and hone. If you’re more into the traditional maintenance techniques, you can even use a Sharpening Stone.
As with the other Tojiro DP reviews, these knives come with bolsters for added heft and balance, and they feature triple-riveted Micarta handles that are comfortable to use even for the longest of periods.
What we like about it:
All in all, the Tojiro DP Damascus 2-Piece Starter Knife Set is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to bolster their cutlery arsenal with a set of razor-sharp Japanese knife without breaking the bank. These blades will give you a genuine Japanese cutlery experience, all thanks to their premium materials, Damascus pattern, closed bolster collars, and comfortable handles, all of which allow for a seamless cutting no matter the dish you’re preparing.
#4 – Tojiro DP Gyutou
If you’re worried that getting a chef’s knife won’t give you an authentic Japanese experience, consider getting its Asian counterpart, the Tojiro DP Gyuto knife. In this price range, it’s pretty hard to beat the sharpness, efficiency, and durability of Tojiro’s Japanese chef’s knife.
The Tojiro DP Gyutou boasts a double-bevel blade that comes extremely sharp right out of the box, which is to be expected from a true Japanese knife. Add that to the 9 to 12-degree grind, and you’ve got yourself a winner when it comes to sharpness. This knife can truly cut through anything like butter.
The European double bevel design allows for easy use in either hand, which gives this knife the edge (pun intended) over standard single-bevel Japanese blades.
Besides being sharp, this knife is also pretty hard, with a 60-degree score on the Rockwell scale of hardness, and it can hold an edge for long, which reduces the honing frequency and gives you more time between your sharpening sessions.
In playing to both the western and eastern crowds, the Tojiro DP Gyutou does come with a few compromises. For starters, The tip is truly Japanese, as it’s angled in a unique way that inhibits certain types of chopping and slicing motions and makes it hard for you to get the blade high off the Cutting Board before it gets in your way. Even if you use the tip as a pivot, you may end up breaking or chipping your knife. And second, the very hardness of this blade means that you’re better off handing it to someone with more expertise for maintenance, as the honing requires a slightly different set of tools than what you’d use for a western chef’s knife. It’s time to get that local cutlery store number, right?
What we like about it:
The Tojiro DP Gyutou is a knife that will give you the best of both the western and eastern blade worlds. It boasts a comfortable handle, decent balance for the price, a razor-sharp blade that can hold an edge really, really well, and a pretty hard construction that makes any cutting task a breeze. Sure, it does come with some nizzles, but for the price you’re paying, it’s worth every penny, and you won’t find anything offering similar performance in this price range.
#5 – Tojiro Kitchen Knife F-807
Another multi-purpose Kitchen Utility Knife from Tojiro, one that’s suitable for different chopping, slicing, and dicing tasks around the kitchen, but that doesn’t cost a fortune.
This blade, just like the other products in our Tojiro DP review, features a VG10 cobalt alloy steel core covered in several layers of stainless steel for an excellent hardness, which explains the 60-degree score of this Tojiro knife on the Rockwell hardness scale. The blade also excels when it comes to durability thanks to the stain-resistant steel outer layer, making maintenance a breeze for Tojiro’s F-807 Kitchen Knife.
The blade is pretty sharp out of the box and can hold an edge for quite some long, all thanks to the materials and the ‘honwarikomi’ method used in the making of this knife.
We’ve got nothing to complain about regarding the handle, as it’s made of Composite Wood and features a full tang design, which means that this Tojiro knife got you covered in both the comfort and balance departments.
What we like about it:
The Tojiro F-807 kitchen knife is a jack of all trades and master of some. It offers a pretty decent performance for the price, with a comfortable and well-balanced handle, sharp, durable blade, and premium materials, which means that you can use it for pretty much any task with ease. Of course, you need to set your expectations right to avoid disappointments. Once you do that, and you understand the value you’re getting in a knife in the sub-100 price range, you’ll be ready to get this blade and be amazed.
How We Chose the Top Tojiro Knives in Our List
Tojiro knives are affordable, and as with any affordable product, you need to be extra careful when shopping for them to avoid any nuances. Worry not though, as all of the above blades have been vetted and tested by us based on a set of essential features, which include:
Take any knife of the reviewed batch, and you’ll find that it features pretty solid construction, with a VG10 stainless steel core and a high carbon steel outer layer, making these knives a true bargain for the price.
Thanks to their premium materials, the ‘honwarikomi’ method used in their making, and the exceptional craftsmanship of the artisans that craft them, Tojiro knives come razor-sharp right out of the box. Furthermore, they offer impressive edge retention, with a thin grind of 9 to 12 degrees, a level that even high-end brands can’t achieve in their super expensive blades.
Since they’re pretty sharp and can hold an edge for long, Tojiro knives are easy to maintain and care for. Though it’s worth noting that because of the hardness they offer, honing these blades may require some special tool so you may want to consider handing them to your local cutlery store for sharpening.
All of the above knives feature comfortable handles that can give you a firm and well-balanced grip thanks to their materials and full-tang design.
Different Types of Tojiro Knives
There are two main types you need to know about:
Tojiro Gyuto Vs. Tojiro Chef’s Knife
To put it simply, the Tojiro Gyuto is a Japanese-style chef’s knife that’s harder and sharper than its western counterpart. The extra features do come at a price though, as the Gyuto is a bit harder to hone and care for in some situations. In other words, if you decide to go with a Tojiro Gyuto rather than a Tojiro Chef’s knife, you’ll probably have to get it to the nearest cutlery store whenever you need to sharpen it.
Also, the tip of the Tojiro Gyuto blade is designed in a way that inhibits certain kinds of slicing and chopping motions, which means that you need to use it carefully if you don’t want to end up chipping or breaking your knife.
As with all things knife-related, it all boils down to your personal preference, so you might want to try both. Truth be told, you can’t go wrong with either.
Why You Need the Best Tojiro Knives in Your Kitchen
Have you ever had Sushi before? If you haven’t, you should, as you’re missing out on a lot of fun. Let’s be honest though; who doesn’t know sushi? Who doesn’t love the eastern cuisine? The thing is; delving into this cuisine can be really expensive, and the prices of Japanese knives are crazy high. Thankfully, you can start preparing your sushi at home without breaking the bank by getting one of Tojiro Knives. So, why do you need the best Tojiro knife in your kitchen?
First and foremost, they’re so darn affordable. The price of single chef’s knife from other brands can get you a 2 or 3-piece set from Tojiro, making this manufacturer an ideal choice for people on a budget and home chefs that aren’t looking for a big name to slap on their kitchen counter.
Despite their price, Tojiro knives offer pretty much everything you’d find in blades from high-end brands. They’re pretty sharp, with a grind of 9 to 12 degrees, and they can hold their edge for long, which makes maintenance a breeze. We all know how frustrating dull knives can be, which makes Tojiro blades a real godsend.
Finally, the handles on these knives are comfortable and well-balanced, with premium materials and a full-tang design, thus promising an effortless cutting around the kitchen. Isn’t that every young chef’s dream come true?
Of course, Tojiro knives don’t offer the same performance and high-end features you’d find in blades from super brands, such as Shun and Yoshihiro, but for the price you’re paying, they are indeed a bargain that you shouldn’t miss.
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.