12 Best Japanese Kitchen Knives Reviews in 2020

Best Japanese kitchen knives

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Are you in the hunt for a high-quality kitchen knife for all your culinary preparations? No kitchen across the world is without a knife, and if you are a chef, knife may be your lifetime partner. Just kidding!

There are so many types of knives available in the market. Today, we are focusing, one the most popular type ‘Japanese Kitchen Knives’. Culinary perfection, award-winning craftsmanship, awe-inspiring elegant design, cutting edge technology, the use of best materials – all these characterize Japanese knives, no wonder they are regarded the best in both the domestic and professional front.

These knives are durable, sharp, and bear outstanding quality. Here, you will find the review of best Japanese kitchen knives and a buying guide followed by a FAQ section. We suggest you to read from start to finish to know everything about Japanese kitchen knives.

12 Best Japanese Kitchen knives List

Do not have enough time to read? Choose your best one from this quick buying decision list:

 

1. ZELITE INFINITY 7-Inch Santoku Knife

ZELITE INFINITY Santoku Knife 7 Inch - Alpha-Royal Series - Best Quality Japanese AUS10 Super Steel 67 Layer High Carbon Stainless Steel, Incredible G10 Handle, Full-tang, Razor Sharp Chef Blade

Let’s kick start our search for the best Japanese kitchen knives with one of the most well-known and cult favorites Japanese knives in the market today: the 7-inch Santoku Knife from none other than ZELITE INFINITY’s Alpha Royal Series.

The Alpha-Royal Series 7-inch Santoku Knife is made from imported Japanese stainless steel,- the very coveted AUS10. It is made with 67 layers of compressed and sandwiched high carbon steel that creates something truly solid and striking.

The blade is also nitrogen cooled for enhanced durability and hardness. Speaking of which, this knife scores a hardness of 61 Rockwell which is pretty impressive for a Santoku knife this affordable.

And it is resistant to rusting too! With a cutting edge of 12°on each side, this chef’s knife can do a whole array of work in the kitchen like a pro.  Glides through food like it’s nothing! Now, getting to the handle, the Alpha-Royal Series 7-inch Santoku Knife features a triple riveted and full tang G10 handle.

It has a nice and rounded contour which fits into your palms like a puzzle. It also features an uncommon tapered bolster on the knife for added comfort and unparallel grip. What you get is a smooth, buttery slicing and dicing experience without the fatigue or resistance.

Aesthetics wise, the Alpha-Royal Series 7-inch Santoku Knife is quite the theatrical piece. It features the very popular Tsunami Rose Damascus pattern with just the right amount of drama. If you are looking a for chef’s life that’s going to wow you and your guests, then the Alpha-Royal Series 7-inch Santoku Knife from ZELITE INFINITY is a great way to start!

But wait, that’s nearly not it. The Alpha-Royal Series 7-inch Santoku Knife also comes with a protective sheath. You also enjoy a 100% satisfaction with money back guarantee. To add to all these, you furthermore get a lifetime warranty against any defects from the manufacture’s side.

Pros
  • Highly robust, durable, and rust-resistant.
  • Ergonomic design with rounded handles.
  • Offers the best value for money.
  • Triple-riveted for optimum strength.
  • Money back guarantee available.
Cons
  • Heavy

Verdict

Our final verdict would be ‘JUST GO FOR IT’. On unboxing the package, you will discover a stunning blade. It is a standard chef knife sure to take your cooking experience to the next level.

 

2. DALSTRONG Shogun Series Chef’s Knife

DALSTRONG Chef's Knife - Shogun Series X Gyuto - Damascus - Japanese AUS-10V - Vacuum Treated - Hammered Finish - 8

Did you really think we’d put together a list for the Best Japanese kitchen knives without DALSTRONG? Nope! DALSTRONG produces some of the most high performance and quality knives out there. And the 8-inch Chef’s Knife Shogun Series X Gyuto surely lives up to its name!

The DALSTRONG 8-inch Chef’s Knife is made from the super sharp AUS-10V vacuum treated and 66 compressed layers of premium high-carbon Japanese stainless steel.  It resists corrosion and rusting and also produces a super smooth gliding and knife feel to slice through food like magic.

Using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method, this chef’s knife is hand finished to have a cutting edge of 8 to 12° on each side. This offers you the ability to use the knife for a variety of purposes without the fight and friction. The knife is nitrogen cooled to create a blade that’s truly solid and durable.

It has a 62+ Rockwell hardness and is definitely not flimsy light blades. One thing we really like about the blade, in particular, is the height of this thing. It has a good 55mm height which offers your knuckles sufficient deal of protection while you are slicing away with the blade. Losing a finger to this knife would be too nice, would it?

Now, let’s get to the handle which is no less important the blade. The handle of the DALSTRONG 8-inch Chef’s Knife showcases a military grade G10 handle that’s handcrafted and hand polished to fit into the contours of your palm like a glove. It is a full tang tile riveted handle so you know it will not do you injustice from all the long hours of slicing.

As for the looks of it, you know it’s going to be good if it’s coming from DALSTRONG. This knife features a gorgeous tsunami-rose Damascus layer that’s sure to catch some eyes. And to counter that jazzy blade is a subtle and muted handle that makes the overall piece truly elegant and graceful.

Definitely a wower!

And last but not least, the DALSTRONG 8-inch Chef’s Knife Shogun Series X Gyuto includes a sheath,  comes with a 100% satisfaction or money back guarantee as well as a lifetime warranty on defects! Not bad. Not bad at all.

Pros
  • AUS-10V premium Japanese super steel.
  • No dragging and does not get stuck on food.
  • Perfect balance and comfortable pinch grip.
  • Triple-riveted.
  • Easy to maintain.
Cons
  • The cutting edge isn’t the sharpest

Verdict

The Dalstrong chef knife is an ultimate flag bearer of the whole Shogun Series and the master of performance and versatility, featuring an amazing cutting prowess. If you love high brand product, this product is for you.

 

3. ZELITE INFINITY 8-inch Chef Knife

ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 inch - Alpha-Royal Series - Best Quality Japanese AUS10 Super Steel 67 Layer Damascus - Razor Sharp, Superb Edge Retention, Stain & Corrosion Resistant Chefs Knives

The third one in our list of the Best Japanese kitchen knives is a full circle back to ZELITE INFINITY.

Only this time, we are back with the 8-inch Chef Knife Alpha-Royal Series!

The 8-inch Chef Knife Alpha-Royal Series is made from high carbon Japanese stainless steel that made by compressing 67 layers of AUS-10 steel into a solid and robust blade.

The blade is hand polished and finished to have a Tsunami Rose Damascus pattern, which isn’t just beautiful to look at but makes the knife non-stick. What you essentially get long slicing motions that are smooth and interrupted and void of any resistance.

Made with the traditional 3-Step Honbazuke method, this knife is hand fished to features a cutting edge that’s 12° of pure razor sharpness. The blade of the ZELITE INFINITY 8-inch Chef Knife Alpha-Royal Series is also nitrogen cooled to the point of Rockwell hardness of 61. And the fact that it is rust and stain resistance also does wonder!

This chef’s knife is capable of doing a wide range of kitchen chores without the need to bring out your specialist knives. As for the handle, this chef’s knife feature a triple riveted and full tang G10 handle that is designed to echo the shape of your palms.

As a result, you get to use this knife more comfortable and confidently without user fatigue or risk of slipping and slicing a thumb. You will also be awed by how beautiful looking the overall knife is with its distorted mirror-like pattern and a super elegant handle. Great showoff in the kitchen!

And then finally, for easy and safe storage, the knife comes with a protective sheath.

But that’s not all. You also get a 100% satisfaction and money back guarantee along with a lifetime warranty on defects. A great deal!

Pros
  • Mirror polished edges.
  • AUS-10 imported super steel.
  • Japanese tsunami rose Damascus pattern.
  • Rust resistant.
  • Durable and ultra-sharp.
Cons
  • Heavy

Verdict

This brand needs no further introduction. If you do a lot of cooking, then this is an incredible knife. The knife is state-of-the-art and uses Japanese VG10 super steel. This product is suitable for a professional chef and provides the best value for money.

 

4. Traditional Japanese Gyuto Kitchen Professional Chefs Knife

Traditional Japanese Professional Gyuto Kitchen Chefs Knife - Premium 8-inch High Carbon Stainless Steel Gyuto Sushi Knife with High Corrosion Resistance in a Single Bevel Chisel Edge Grind

Are you looking for a high-quality stainless steel professional-grade Japanese knife? Gyuto Kitchen Chef’s Knife is a 420HC stainless steel blade which is heat-treated for extreme durability and optimum hardness. It can be razor sharpened again after you have used it for a while. The steel is ultra-sharp, durable, corrosion-resistant and meant for certain specific kinds of food preparations in the kitchen.

Rust will never accumulate on the surface as no oxidation will take place on coming in contact with fruits, veggie, and meats. The blade is almost the size of the knife, so you can carry out cutting quite conveniently, there is no need to adjust the position of the knife again and again.

The edge of the knife is single bevel, making it ultra-sharp to enable precise cuts. Use the flat side to separate food slices and the ground sharp edge to cut precisely. What else do you want in a knife? Its handles are premium-grade rosewood handles to render superior aesthetics to the knife. The handle is of very good quality and stands the test of time.

It is a typical ‘beef sword’ and a be-all-and-end-all professional knife for would-be-chefs. The knife gives a sort of balanced feel when manipulating food.

Pros
  • Utilizes the best quality stainless steel material.
  • Corrosion resistant blade.
  • Premier-grade knife perfect for beginner chefs.
  • Extremely sharp edges.
  • Rosewood handle.
Cons
  • Not best value for money.

Verdict

The traditional Japanese knife is beautifully crafted and uses premium-grade materials. The knife is good for tough meat like pork belly.

 

5. Imarku Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Imarku Pro Kitchen 8 Inch Chef's Knife High Carbon Stainless Steel Sharp Gyutou Knives Ergonomic Equipment

The Imarku gyutou professional-grade 8” knife is one of the best Japanese kitchen knives because it is a multipurpose device and ideal for a variety of tasks such as chopping, cutting, slicing and dicing fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and other items. You can use this knife to get rid of flesh from the bones and also for smashing and pounding foodstuff.

Do you know what makes Imarku Pro Kitchen 8” knife the best? This particular professional-grade Japanese knife is crafted with German engineering where the stainless steel blade is extremely toughened for durability and longevity. The blade of this knife is 2.3 mm thick and comprises of 0.6% to 0.75% carbon. The handle is 5 inches in length, making the total length of the knife 13 inches. The blade is rust and corrosion-resistant as it is made up of 16-18% chromium material.

This knife is a high-quality and reliable knife which may be used for varied purposes. This strong and durable knife is perfect for tough tasks, its size and weight feel well-balanced so that the user doesn’t feel its weight. It is classy and versatile, extremely user-friendly, and has superb ergonomics.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built grip.
  • User-friendly and ergonomic design.
  • Ultra-sharp blade perfect for tough tasks.
  • Long-lasting and strong.
  • Reliable brand and reliable knife.
Cons
  • Not suitable for slicing through frozen foods

Verdict

This knife is ultra-sharp, strong, durable, and user-friendly with superior ergonomics. This product is recommended for multipurpose use.

 

6. Yoshihiro VG-10 Hammered Damascus 46 Layers

Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife (Octagonal Ambrosia Handle) (8.25

The Yoshihiro VG-10 professional grade knife belongs to the Hammered Damascus Gyuto Series that combines beauty, performance, and amazing value. The series is a perennial bestseller in the realm of Japanese chef knives. Addressed as a Gyuto knife in Japanese, it is a versatile knife and an essential component of every chef’s kitchen.

The Gyuto has a curved blade rocking back and forth smoothly while the tip is extended for quick and speedy chopping. You may use it to chop a variety of things like veggies, meats, fish, or anything. Made in Japan, this Gyuto knife has 46 layers of DAMASCUS VG-10 and is hammered with up to 46 steel layers with the VG-10 core.

The Yoshihiro VG-10 Hammered Damascus Series is an essential knife for every cook that helps to prepare delicious meals. When the ingredients are done properly, what you have is tasty and delicious meals. It is perfect for dicing, slicing, chopping veggies, even carving roasted chicken right from the oven. Yoshihiro functional knife uplifts even the easiest of tasks for it has a curved blade.

Pros
  • Ultra-sharp double beveled blade sharpened to 15 degrees.
  • Hammered finish to reduce friction on usage.
  • Ergonomic design and a lightweight handle.
  • Comes in a protective knife cover.
Cons
  • The blades may be very sharp, so you need to be careful.

Verdict

This is the most versatile and elegant looking knife. If you are looking for a good looking knife, Yoshihiro VG-10 may be suitable for you.

 

7. AUGYMER Professional Chef’s Knife 8-Inch

Chef Knife, AUGYMER 8 Inch Professional Chefs Knife Japanese High Carbon Stainless Steel Kitchen Sharp Chefs Knife

This knife makes use of Japanese stainless-steel material where the thickness of the blade is 0.09inch/2.3mm thickness. The approximate composition of carbon is between 0.6% to 0.75% for enhancing durability and strength. The handle has a length of 4.5”, so the overall length of the entire knife is 12.5 inches.

It is an 8-inch professional grade high-performance knife which is best for chopping, slicing, dicing veggie and mincing meats, fruits, and other stuff. When you have it in your kitchen, there is no need to mess up with several knives.

It utilizes high-quality carbon steel of premium-grade. This is why the material is referred to as super steel imported directly from Japan. This knife cuts through food quite smoothly and doesn’t get stuck up.

Pros
  • high-quality knife
  • It sharpness is amazing.
  • Rust-resistant ability.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Comes in a black gift box.
Cons
  • Some users complain about cutting vegetable.

Verdict

The ultimate chef knife is perfect for professional chefs, food caterers, and culinary experts. It may also be used by common users and is an all-purpose kitchen utility knife.

 

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

BGT Japanese 67 Layer High Grade VG-10 Super Damascus Steel Knives, Sharp, Teak Handle Professional Hammered Kitchen Knife Set with Knife Roll Bag 6Pcs Set (Silver Blade)

Are you on the lookout for a super sharp professional grade Japanese knife for cutting perfection? BGT is the leading manufacturer of Japanese chef knives featuring high-quality VG-10 ultra-sharp super Damascus stainless steel. But, mind you, don’t cut frozen food for the blades can chip or break.

Apart from the superior grade blade, this knife features a teak handle that looks great, it comes in a rolling bag, so it is easy to carry. Besides using it on your own, you can also gift this knife to your family member, it makes a wonderful Christmas present and Thanksgiving gift. As the knife is hand-hammered, the knife may be curved. The quality of the product is top grade.

The VG-10 professional grade knife is easy to maintain. After using this knife, make sure you wash it. Don’t cut food directly on the countertop or kitchen tiles, this is important to prolong the life of the knife.

Pros
  • Super sharp knife for precise cutting.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • 67-layer VG-10 steel.
  • Comes in a rolling bag.
  • Hand hammered for additional durability.
Cons
  • Cannot cut frozen food.

Verdict

Looking for a super sharp knife? This product may be suitable for you.

 

9. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged Knife Set

Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 12-Piece Japanese Steel Knife Set - Cutlery Set with 420J Stainless Steel Kitchen Knives - Finished Hardwood Block, 07132DS

Ginsu Chikara Series blades are made for balance, precision forged, rust resistant, and stain resistant. This 12-piece knife set consists of ultra-sharp knives made of stainless steel material and other accessories. The premium-grade Japanese stainless steel knives make it easy to prepare anything in the kitchen.

As the knives will do whatever you want them to do, you may approach any recipe confidently. The forged knives by Ginsu Chikara are razor sharp and remain the same for years. The set of knives are high-quality knives requiring least maintenance work. These knives are balanced expertly so you get all the power and control when inside the kitchen cooking meals. In the Consumer Report, the Ginsu Chikara is referred to as the best buy and comes with a lifetime warranty. The set has everything you require to prepare complex and delicious meals.

Ginsu has been innovating making revolutionary items since the 1970s. It also offers plenty of options in colours and styles, so you can choose something that fits your kitchen.

Pros
  • The knives stay sharp for a long period.
  • Forged knives referred to as the best buy.
  • Easy to maintain.
Cons
  • People complain of the quality control of the knife.

Verdict

Excellent grade knives! Fair pricing! What else do you want? It is highly recommended by the Consumer’s Reports.

 

10. Japanese Kitchen Knife Set of 5

Japanese Kitchen Knife Set of 5 (Wooden Box Case) Mr. Takaaki Nakamura

Are you a beginner in cooking and food preparation? For any beginner chef looking for the best Japanese kitchen knife, the best buy would be Japanese Kitchen Knife Set of 5 which comes in a wooden case box. This particular kitchen knife set is recommended for beginners.

All kinds of knives you need for cooking are covered here. There are knives to chop vegetables, fruits and fish, mincemeat, so you, need not arrange any other knife. The 5 essential knives give the best value for money as they feature ultra-sharp Damascus steel patterns with rich and elegant wooden handles. The professional grade knives remain sharp for a considerable period of time and stay resilient.

Pros
  • Birch handle.
  • Ergonomic design.
  • Stain resistant.
  • Rust resistant.
  • The knives stay sharp and elegant for years, no dulling at all.
Cons
  • Some buyers complain of chipped off edges on unboxing. This can only happen when you don’t buy from a genuine seller.

Verdict

The knives are comfy and good, they are rust resistant, stain resistant, and feature superior ergonomics. The handles are impressive, and the set offers good value for money.

 

11. Shun DM0706 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Shun Classic 8

VG Max stainless steel is typical of Shun which has more tungsten for additional sharpness, more chromium to resist corrosion, and more carbon and cobalt for additional durability and strength. Shun Classic knife is a professional grade 8” knife with an elegant Ebony wood handle and VG Max core for cutting so you can perform a range of cutting tasks.

You may be wondering what Shun implies, it stands for peak ripeness of food. The Japanese brand follows the traditional knife-making practice to manufacture something like the Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch Chef’s knife. This 8-inch knife should be featured in every kitchen and also makes for a great gift. You may gift it as a housewarming gift, the receiver will definitely thank you from their core. Gift it to a newlywed, your grandparents, parents, cooks, hostesses or anyone as a kitchen tool.

The Kai Shun Chef Knife is suitable for a wide range of food preparation processes; cutting, dicing, slicing, chopping, and mincing. Crafted in Japan, the knife is comprised of 32 layers of folded premium-grade Damascus steel that results in a more durable and sharper cutting edge.

Pros
  • All-purpose kitchen knife.
  • Curved blade.
  • Up to 68 layers of alternating steel.
  • It is a versatile chopping device.
Cons
  • Price is slightly higher.

Verdict

This product can be used as a great gift for newlyweds, homeowners, cooks, aspiring chefs, parents, grandparents, and hostesses or to keep as a personal kitchen tool.

 

12. ChefWave Chef Knife 8 Inch

ChefWave 8 Inch Chef Knife - 67 Layers of Ultra Sharp Japanese Damascus Steel - Professional AUS-10 Blade - Premium G-10 Handle, Comfort Grip, Hammered Finish - Ryori Kitchen Knives Series

The ChefWave 8” Chef Knife is one of the finest knives for various kitchen tasks. This top-quality chef knife makes you the boss of the kitchen for you can do any task with it, chopping, cutting, mincing, dicing, slicing, anything… this knife is tough. It is the best multipurpose and ultra-sharp knife that you may ever find. Having a scalpel-like sharpness, you may cut longer and move further with the cuts, so you can make a slice as thin or thick as you want.

What can we say about the material used in making the ChefWave 8” Chef Knife, this knife is an absolute class with its premier steel composition. This knife features AUS-10 super steel core backed by a vacuum-seal treatment. Its 67-layer Damascus steel is ultra-sharp with extraordinary strength and fabulous robustness.

Again, its handles are triple-riveted for that additional resilience. The blade or knife is stylish to look at and comfortable to use. The design is ergonomic for convenient gripping. Its G-10 handle is military-grade and the grip is anti-slip. Its hammered finish makes it a stylish knife to form an essential and stylish component of your kitchen.

Pros
  • AUS-10 super steel core Japanese grade.
  • Multipurpose chopping knife for a variety of tasks.
  • Lifetime warranty available.
  • Comfortable gripping and a stylish design.
Cons
  • Rust after some use.

Verdict

Having the ChefWave 8” Knife in your kitchen is a win-win situation. It is the finest grade knife for a variety of cutting tasks.

 

How to Buy the Best Japanese Kitchen knife? Buying Tips You Must Follow

Steel

There are several different types of steel to choose from, but whatever it is that your choice, just make sure that try and get something along the likes and quality of high carbon steel. High carbon steel blade tends to be more solid and durable than your low carbon kinds. They also need less maintenance and sharpening.

Sharpness

There’s not much to say about the sharpness of a knife since it is always a personal preference. What we will say though is that sharp doesn’t always ensure quality. Stick to the level of sharpness you know you can work with and then gradually move upwards.

Hardness

But if there’s anything that is always constant about good Japanese knives, or any knives at all for that matter, it is the hardness. The hardness of a knife is measured in Rockwell and for a Japanese chef’s knife; you want to look for something at 61 or above. Proper hardness will ensure that your blade is not as vulnerable to chipping or cracking.

Handle

The handle is the medium between your and the cutting edge of the knife so you want to make sure you get it right. Try and get something that is made to fit into your hands. Also makes sure that the material of the handle is immune from getting slippery from the moisture of your hands. Try and get something that is solid, but yet, lightweight enough to not wear out your wrists.

Finish

And finally, you have the finish of the knife. The finish of a knife will determine a lot about its performance and longevity. We personally recommend getting a hammered finish, called tsuchime in Japanese. Or, the Damascus rose finish which is known to create a non-stick barrier so that foods do not stick to the blade of the knife.

 

FAQs about Japanese Kitchen Knives

What are the recommendations for buying a Japanese knife?

You should buy a Japanese knife as per your cooking preference. To learn about the details of the knife, you should go through the description. Also, know about the various kinds of knives and then make a choice.

Can I gift a Japanese knife? Isn’t it bad to gift a knife?

Yes! Many superstitious beliefs shroud the tradition of gifting a knife, but according to folklore, gifting a knife will preserve your friendship forever. A knife is also meant for self-defense, and so you may gift it. Besides, it will prove a useful gift for anyone around. Still, if you are superstitious, you can tie a coin against the knife and let the receiver gift you that.  This way the bad spell will be broken and your friend will start using it for slicing, chopping, and cutting like a pro.

Can I clean my knife in a dishwasher?

No! You shouldn’t clean your knife in a dishwasher. All through the washing cycle inside a dishwasher, your knife will be knocked here and there, the blade may crack and chip. Your knife can also get brown spots that are tough to remove, this happens when you clean other items along with the knife. Cleaning a Japanese knife is very easy, just take warm water and clean the surface. Use a towel to wipe the surface.

Can I etch on the blade of my blade?

You can, but we aren’t too convinced the manufacturers here are going do that for you, though. But you may have some luck getting it done at a professional blacksmith.

Is there a way to prevent rusting?

The first thing to do is to get a rust-resistant Japanese knife in the first place. But to prevent rusting, you can do a very effective and inexpensive DIY of rubbing the blade and handle with the lightest layer of coconut oil.

 

Final Words

So, what are you waiting for? Buy a Japanese knife from the above-mentioned names and start cutting like a pro. Avoid cutting through frozen food for that can damage the blade. Look for a Japanese knife which comes with a warranty. The construction technique to forge a Japanese knife is simply unique and this is the reason for its popularity. Using a Japanese knife, you can cut, slice, dice, and slice quite neatly and like a professional chef. Compare the result you get with a Japanese knife with other types of knives, you will know the difference.

You may also love to read:  Best Nakiri Knife Reviews

 

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