The 9 Best Japanese Knives in 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide

It’s impossible to find a kitchen across the globe that does not have a knife. Are you a chef? If so, a knife is your lifetime cooking partner.

There are lots of knives available; however, Japanese kitchen knives allow you to prepare meals like a pro. They are famous for their cutting edge technology, award-winning craftsmanship, and incredible designs and patterns.

Moreover, their culinary perfection makes them stand out in the professional and the domestic forefront.

These are commonly made using top-grade materials that are sharp and durable. Through this post, let’s find out the top best Japanese knives that you can add to your cutlery collection.

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Comparison Table

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Here we have detailed reviews of the best 9 Japanese Knives in the market:

1. Zelite Infinity 7-Inch Santoku Knife

Beginners Choice

Need a Japanese knife that is well known in the market? That would be none other than the 7-inch Santoku knife made by the ZELITE INFINITY. It belongs to the Alpha royal series range.

Pros

  • Consists of good quality Japanese super stainless steel AUS 10 that’s imported.
  • Has 67 layers of sandwiched and compressed high carbon steel material.
  • Multiple layers make it more striking and sturdy.
  • The blade has excellent hardness and durability as it’s nitrogen cooled. As for the hardness, it has an impressive score of 61 Rockwell.
  • Offers excellent resistance to rust.· Suitable for doing a variety of tasks in the kitchen.
  • Glides perfectly throw food items.
  • As for the handle, it has a full tang G10 handle with the triple-rivet.
  • Since the contour is round; it fits perfectly into the palm of your hands.
  • You can see a tapered bolster that gives unparalleled grip and extra comfort.
  • Gives a smooth and excellent dicing and slicing experience devoid of any resistance.
  • Considering the aesthetical look, it’s more like a theatrical item.
  • Has the well-known tsunami rose Damascus design on it.
  • This one comes with a protective sheath.

Cons

  • Some uses find it quite heavy.

Conclusion:

In addition to all the above aspects, it offers a lifetime warranty. In case you come across any defects, you can get the item replaced.

2. Traditional Japanese Gyuto Kitchen Professional Chefs Knife

Great For Sushi

Wish to add a professional level Japanese knife to your cutlery set? Traditional Japanese Professional Gyuto Kitchen Chefs is way too similar to the western type cutters. This one also consists of an 8-inch blade.

Pros

  • The blade contains 420HC stainless steel material.
  • To attain maximum hardness and high durability, the blade is further treated with heat.
  • You can sharpen it using a razor after using it for some time.
  • The steel material used is resistant to corrosion and ultra-sharp with high durability.
  • Suitable for making specific food items.
  • The surface won't rust; this is because oxidation won’t take place even when it comes in contact with meat or other food items.
  • As the blade size is huge, you don’t have to keep adjusting the position.
  • You can make precise cuts using this ultra shop model as the edges have a single bevel.
  • By using the sharp edge, you can cut with perfection.
  • The food slices can be easily separated by using the flattened end.
  • The handles contain premium grade rosewood, which gives a superior aesthetic experience.
  • The handle is of good quality materials and will stay safe for years to come.
  • The strong blades are easy to cut through hard meats like pork belly.
  • Has a hardness score of 55 Rockwell.
  • The blades are hand sharpened individually to an accurate 15° angle on the right end to give it an optimum level of sharpness.
  • It has a perfect length of 210 mm.

Cons

  • Does not provide good value for the price paid.

Conclusion:

This blade is an ideal option for would-be chefs who are starting. This is because it gives you a balanced feeling while you work with food products.

3. Zelite Infinity 8-inch Chef Knife

Professionals Choice

Do you like cooking and you need an impressive blade to make meals quickly? This 8-inch chef cutter from the Alpha Royal series by ZELITE INFINITY is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Made using Japanese stainless steel of high carbon materials.
  • Compressed with 67 layers of AUS 10 stainless steel to form a robust and sturdy blade.
  • Manufactured using the traditional three-step method known as Honbazuke.
  • The cutter is hand finished to provide a 12° cutting edge with razor sharpness.
  • As for the blade, it’s nitrogen-cooled up to a hardness level of 61 Rockwell.
  • The best part is the blade is resistant to any type of staining and rusting.
  • The handle comes with a triple river and full tang G10 material.
  • Has a great look due to its elegant handle and the distorted mirror-like design on the blade.
  • The handle is specially designed to go well with your palms. Hence you don’t have to worry about it slipping or slicing your fingers.
  • For safety and ease in storage, the cutter comes in a protective sheath.
  • The manufacturer offers a 100% money-back guarantee with a lifetime warranty in case of any damages or defects.

Cons

  • Quite heavy, hence not suitable for use for a long time.

Conclusion:

You will find that the blade is beautifully polished and finished using hands to bring about a Tsunami Rose Damascus pattern. This not only provides an aesthetic appearance but also offers a nonstick coating to the blade.

4. DALSTRONG Shogun Series Chef’s Knife

Top Performance

Who wouldn’t wish to own a knife from a reputable and famous cutlery brand in the industry? The 8-inch chefs' knife by DALSTRONG is what we’re talking about. Moreover, it belongs to the Shogun Series X Gyuto. This all-purpose cutlery is not only famous for his incredible construction but also its intricate details.

Pros

  • Made using vacuum treated stainless steel AUS 10V materials.
  • This super sharp blade has 66 layers of high carbon premium Japanese stainless steel material that is perfectly compressed together.
  • Due to the presence of high-quality materials, the cutter is resistant to rusting and corrosion.
  • It ensures an impressive smooth gliding feel that will help you to slice or dice through food items easily.
  • Made using the traditional three-step method called Honbazuke.· The cutter is hand finished to provide a cutting edge ranging from 8 - 12° on either side.
  • It enables you to use the cutter for various purposes without having to wrestle against friction.
  • It’s cooled using nitrogen to provide incredible levels of durability and sturdiness.
  • It has a hardness level of above 62 Rockwell, making it suitable for handling tough meat.
  • Has a great height of 55 mm. This provides sufficient protection for your fingers and knuckles as you slice through the veggies.
  • Has a full tang title riveting, making it apt for use for extended periods.
  • Has a beautiful appearance due to the tsunami rose Damascus layer.
  • This elegant piece offers you a lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee for any damages.

Cons

  • The cutting edge is not sharp enough.
  • As for the blade, it gets easily stained.

Conclusion:

When it comes to the handle, it’s made using military-grade G 10 material. It’s hand polish and handcrafted to suit the shape of your palms.

5. Yoshihiro VG-10 Hammered Damascus 46 Layers

Great Design

On the hunt for the perfect blade to finely chop up your veggies? The professional-grade option from Yoshihiro does the job well. This model belongs to the Hammered Damascus Gyuto Series. Known as the Gyuto cutter in Japanese, it’s a popular choice across the globe.

Pros

  • Versatile choice and essential cutlery in every cook's kitchen.
  • The curved blade helps you to rock back and forth effortlessly.
  • The extended tip helps you to do the job quickly with high speed.
  • Suitable for chopping meat, veggies, fish, or any other food items.
  • Made using 46 layers of well hammered and forged stainless steel VG 10 core in Damascus tradition.
  • The hammered texture prevents the food items from sticking onto the cutter.
  • The blazer is ultra-sharp and double-beveled to 15°.
  • The unique texture prevents you from fighting against friction.
  • Well complimented using traditional and handcrafted Wa style octagonal handle.
  • The inner core consists of Nickel VG-10 Gold with high carbon core materials.
  • As for the bolster, it’s made using water buffalo horn and fixed between the blade and the handle.
  • Variable shades and colors are available.· Handcrafted using mahogany wood.
  • Has a hardness level that measures to point 60 Rockwell.
  • The handles are ergonomic and light in weight and molds perfectly into your hands for use seamlessly.
  • It’s a combination of incredible value, excellent performance, and amazing beauty.
  • The overall length is 8.25 in.

Cons

  • The blades are incredibly sharp, making it unsuitable for starters.

Conclusion:

For further protection, it comes along with a wooden sheath known as Saya. These not only safeguards the cutter but also increments towards the aesthetic looks while you’re not using.

6. BGT Japanese High-Grade 67-layer VG-10 Damascus Steel Knives

Extremely Sharp

Need super sharp professional cutlery for slicing in perfection? BGT Japanese High Grade manufactures high-quality options. The set comes in handy to take care of most of the tasks in the kitchen.

Pros

  • Made using ultra-sharp and super Damascus VG 10 stainless steel materials.
  • The handle is specially made using teak wood, giving it a beautiful appearance.
  • Made using top-grade materials, hence suitable for long use.
  • Consist of six items - 7" Santoku cutter, 8" Chef's cutter, 5" Utility cutter, 8" Bread cutter,   3.5" Paring cutter, and an 8" Honing rod.
  • As it’s available in a rolling bag, it’s portable and easy to take it around. The bag includes a shoulder strap and handle.
  • Non-slip and ergonomically comfortable handles keep you from getting tired.
  • Hand washes it after use to prolong the life span of the items.
  • Suitable for dicing and chopping all sorts of food items.
  • Made using materials that are resistant to corrosion and rusting.
  • The blade has a uniform thickness and a unique design on the surface.
  • The superior edger retention and sharpness makes it easy and quick to cut.
  • Sharpen the knife using the honing rod every 3 to 4 months.

Cons

  • Not suitable for slicing frozen food items.
  • Cutting extremely hard items can break or chip the blade.
  • The blades might be slightly curved since it’s crafted by hand.
  • Not suitable for washing in a dishwasher as it is very sharp.

Conclusion:

As the cutters are hand-hammered, it provides extra durability to the product. It’s suitable to give as a gift to your loved ones or family members for occasions.

7. Shun DM0706 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Great Overall

Wish to re-create the Japanese cuisines in your kitchen at home? Well, Japanese cuisines involve high precision when it comes to slicing fishes, meat, and veggies. Hence this 8-inch high-grade DM0706 model chef cutter from Shun is the best pick.

Pros

  • The razor blade consists of 34 layers of compressed stainless steel forged with top-grade carbon on either end. This totals to 68 layers of steel coating with an extra VG MAX coat.
  • The blade has a patterned surface with an aesthetic Damascus steel appearance.
  • The blade is resistant to rusting and extremely durable due to the presence of chromium.
  • The handle is well crafted using black pakka wood materials, giving it a walnut finishing.
  • As for the handles, it offers balance and comfort as your dice meat or fish with perfection.
  • The slip-proof material used in the handles keeps you from getting hurt or slipping off.
  • The VG 10 stainless steel materials offer excellent durability.
  • The handle is ergonomically designed in a D shape.
  • The VG MAX steel formula comes with additional tungsten layering to provide more sharpness.
  • For sturdiness and striking effect, it consists of extra carbon and cobalt.

Cons

  • This item is quite pricey.
  • There are chances the blade tip might chip off.

Conclusion:

It is made using well balanced and high-quality materials. The 8-inch blade is the perfect length for handling most of the tasks in the kitchen.

8. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged Knife Set

Good Value

Need cutlery that is perfect from tip to tang so that you can work on your recipes with confidence? Ginsu Gourmet from the Chikara Series is the apt one for you.

Pros

  • This cutlery set is available at an affordable price range.
  • As for the storage, it’s made using hardwood block finishing that has stylish toffee stains.
  • Consists of the following. 5” Serrated Utility cutter, 3.5” Paring cutter, 8” Chef's cutter, 5” Utility cutter, 7” Santoku cutter, Four 4.5” Steak cutters, Honing Rod and shears.
  • The blades are well balanced and forged with precision.
  • Made using materials that are resistant to corrosion and rusting.
  • It consists of 12 pieces that are ultra sharp and easy to cut.
  • Consists of premium grade stainless steel material.
  • This set of knives require very little maintenance and lasts for long.
  • The set is suitable for preparing delicious and elaborate meals.
  • Available in a variety of styles and shades. This makes it ideal for choosing the best one that will suit your kitchen items.

Cons

  • The quality control of the cutters is lacking.

Conclusion:

This knife set is popularly rated as the best option in the market. Moreover, it has a lifetime warranty in case of any manufacturing defects.

9. ChefWave Chef Knife 8 Inch

Comfortable Option

Looking for fine cutlery that you can use as a multipurpose cutting tool? This 8-inch chef cutter from ChefWave Is a piece of cake. This one is tough enough to handle most of the tasks in the kitchen.

Pros

  • The ergonomic framework of the handles provides a convenient slip.
  • This one belongs to the Ryori kitchen series.
  • The handles consist of G 10 military-grade and anti-slip material to prevent slippages.
  • The hammered finishing gives it a unique look.
  • Suitable for dicing, cutting, mincing, chopping, slicing, and so on.
  • This ultra-sharp option has a sharpness that’s similar to a scalpel.
  • As for the sharpness, it’s available at an incredible 11 - 15° angle on each side.
  • The edge retention goes up to about 59 Rockwell, enabling you to cut for long.
  • Helps you to cut slices as thin as your need.
  • Made using a composition of premium stainless steel material.
  • It consists of super steel AUS 10 core coupled with vacuum-sealed treatment.
  • Well compressed and forged with 67 layers of Damascus steel material.
  • The various layers ensure extraordinary robustness and strength to the blade.
  • The manufacture offers a lifetime warranty for any defects or damages.

Cons

  • After prolonged use, the plates may start rusting.

Conclusion:

As for the handles, to gain extra resilience, they are triple-riveted. The cutter has a stylish appearance that is sure to adorn your kitchen.

Best Japanese Knives - Buying Guide

image of the best japanese knives

History Of The Japanese Knives

The Japanese are incredibly skilled with knife making craftsmanship. To make top-grade knives, you need skilled artisans and radical tools. As for the Japanese, they’re well known for crafting katanas or samurai swords. This earned them the reputation for creating incredibly sharp cutters.

During the late 16th century, they started creating general knives and became reputed in this area. Their creations are famous for their performance and longevity. All these unique features make it a must-have for any Japanese kitchen worldwide. 

Japanese Knives Vs. Western Competitors

Japanese knives are entirely different from their western counterparts. Japanese blades are more delicate and are suitable for a particular application or task. Moreover, they are incredibly sharp and crafted using hard steel. This is because Japanese cuisine requires precise cuts. The top models are more resilient and harder than the western ones.

As for western competitors, the knife material used is quite different. These are mainly created for multipurpose uses. That is with a single blade; you can slice, cut, dice, and chop.

For more information on the difference, check out this video below.

How To Choose The Best Japanese Knives?

Let’s have a look at some of the factors you need to keep in mind before choosing the best Japanese cutter.

Sharpness:

The sharpness level is mostly based on each person’s choice. However, sharpness does not mean the product is of high quality. It’s advisable to choose the sharpness you feel comfortable to work with.

Steel:

Different sorts of steel are usually used for making this cutlery. Go for ones that have good quality high carbon steel. This is because high carbon steel blades are more durable and sturdy than low carbon options. They are also easy to maintain a higher level of sharpness.

Hardness:

The best part of the Japanese cutters is their hardness level. You can measure the hardness level of a knife in Rockwell. For Japanese options, look out for ones that have a score of more than 61. The right amount of hardness will make sure that your blade won’t crack or chip off easily.

Finish:

The finishing determines the performance and lifespan of the cutlery. It’s advisable to go for a hammered finishing known as tsuchime. Even a Damascus rose finishing works great as it offers a non-stick coating. This prevents the food from sticking to the blade while slicing.

Handle:

The handle acts as the perfect medium between the cutting edge of the cutter and yourself. Hence ensure that you get the best one. Go for models that fit well into the contour of your palms. As for the material used, see to it that they have anti-slip properties to avoid hurting your fingers. Choose sturdy ones and light in weight. This will help you to use it for extended periods without wearing out your hands. 

Benefits Of Using The Best Japanese Knives

For centuries, Japanese craftsman has experimented with a variety of blade-making techniques. This resulted in the emergence of superior techniques that are passed down to generations. Here are some of the reasons why Japanese cutters are great options.

- Made using top steel materials.
- Light in weight and very thin, thereby suitable for precise cuts.
- Known as the sharpest knives in the world.
- The hardness level of Japanese knives is unmatchable. 

Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is It Possible To Wash Your Knife Using A Dishwasher?

No. It’s advisable not to wash or clean your cutter using a dishwasher. Throughout the washing cycle in the dishwasher, the cutter will be frequently knocked over many times. This may cause the blade to chip or crack in places. You might also find brown spots on the cutter when you clean it with other items. The stains are quite hard to remove. It’s better to clean the surface of the cutter using warm water. Remember to wipe the surface dry using a towel to prevent rusting.

How Do You Know Which Is The Best Knife Suitable for You?

You must buy based on your cooking style and preferences. To understand more concerning the details of the cutter, go through the manufacturer’s description. Also, conduct careful research on the various types of cutters and make the right choice.

What Makes Japanese Knifes The Best Option?

The Japanese cutters are ultra-sharp with a striking appearance. Each model comes with a specific application and task. They are mostly made using hard stainless steel materials. This enables you to slice or dice with precision and proficiency.

What Is The Average Height Of A Japanese Knife?

The average height is about 9.4“. The reason for this particular height is to adhere to the slicing action with sufficient separation. For example, to thinly slice the vegetables, you need soft vegetables to stay separated. If you use a blade with lesser height, the sliced pieces will lean back on the uncut piece.

You may have to move the cut slices with your hands before you can slice the next piece. By using a blade with the right height, you can separate the cut portions with ease without any breakages.

Conclusion

Selecting the best Japanese knife from the incredible collections is a daunting task. As the Japanese blades are not cheap, it’s crucial to research thoroughly before you make the final investment. We hope this post will help you make the right choice.

Our best choice goes to ZELITE INFINITY 7-Inch Santoku Knife that belongs to the Alpha royal series range. This one is a popular choice in the market when it comes to Japanese nice. It’s made you using imported, good quality super stainless steel AUS10 materials.

It comes compressed and sandwiched with 67 layers of high carbon stainless steel material. Due to the presence of these numerous layers, the blade has a strong and striking appearance. The blade is above par with an incredible hardness level having a score of 61 Rockwell.

It’s easy to use for all purposes and smooth while slicing and dicing food items. Since it does not have any resistance, you won’t feel any fatigue while using it.

Why wait? Get a Japanese knife from the above list and start cooking like a professional. Make sure that you get one that comes with a manufacturer warranty. Compare the Japanese one with the other knives to find the difference.

Happy Shopping!