10 Best Japanese Kitchen Knives In 2021

Japanese knives are coveted for their detailed designs and the quality of cuts they make. They have become popular around the world and among renowned chefs as they accentuate, enhance and preserve the ingredients. The best Japanese knives make precise cuts that are perfect for delicate tasks such as slicing fish or chopping vegetables.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Zelite InfinityZelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch, Damascus Japanese AUS-10 Super Stainless Steel BladeCheck Price on Amazon
imarkuimarku Chef Knife 10 inch, Pro Kitchen Chopping Sharp KnifeCheck Price on Amazon
TUOTUO Chef Knife - 6 inch Professional Kitchen Knife - Japanese Gyuto Knife -Check Price on Amazon
ShunShun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Ebony PakkaWood HandleCheck Price on Amazon
KiaitreKiaitre Meat Cleaver Knife 7 Inch – Vegetable Cleaver Knife High Carbon German SteelCheck Price on Amazon

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A Japanese knife can be a great addition to your kitchen tool. It allows you to create masterpieces from simple ingredients. Making sushi will be easier too!

We’ve seen several Japanese knives with standout features and we have listed them for you. Check out also our buyer’s guide so you’ll know what factors to consider to get the best Japanese knife.

10 Best Japanese Knives

1. Zelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch, Damascus Japanese AUS-10 Super Stainless Steel

Zelite Infinity is another brand known for making some of the best Japanese chef knives. In fact, their Alpha-Royal Japanese knives series are preferred by many professional and home chefs around the world.

If you are looking for an authentic santoku knife, this product is one of the best we’ve seen. The Zelite 8-inch Chef Knife is a popular choice among those who prefer to use traditional Japanese knives over western style knives. If you try to use this santoku knife you’ll easily notice that it is well-balanced and it only requires minimal effort to use. This in turn helps prevent wrist tension that is common if you are using heavy and poorly constructed knives.

Also considered as a proper gyuto knife, the blade of this product is made from real 67-layer high-carbon steel. It has a double bevel and is finished with the traditional 3-step Honbazuke Method which is the gold standard in the industry. Additionally, it has a military grade G10 handle that is comfortable to grip. With its design and construction, we can tell that it is a great multi-functional gyuto knife for beginner home cooks and experienced Michelin chefs.

If you need a special gift that will impress someone, this Japanese knife makes a perfect choice. It comes in a beautiful box that will surely impress.

Pros:
  • A true santoku and gyuto knife
  • Multifunctional and easy to use
  • Solid construction made from high quality materials
Cons:
  • It’s on the expensive side

Buy it now: Amazon


2. Imarku Chef Knife 10 inch, Pro Chopping Knife

The best Japanese knife is one that is versatile, makes precise cut and is effortless to use. And you can find these qualities in imarku chef’s knife.

This 10-inch Japanese chef’s knife is considered as a professional multi-functional knife. It is well-designed to handle slicing, dicing, chopping and mincing. You can use it on fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and bread. Not only that, since it is designed for versatility, you can also use it as a sushi chef knife.

By looking at this Japanese knife, it is easy to say that it has a solid construction. The blade is made from steel composed of high carbon. It has a perfect curvature of 10-15 degrees per side, which means that it has less cutting resistance. Even with frequent use, it will stay sharp for a long time.

Moreover, this Japanese chef knife has an ergonomic handle that follows that curves and angles of the hand. It’s comfortable to hold and it is also designed for ambidextrous handling.

Pros:
  • Edge retention is good
  • Works as a sushi chef’s knife
  • Solid construction
  • Minimizes cutting resistance
  • With lifetime guarantee
Cons:
  • Long handle which can be a con for some users with short hands

Buy it now: Amazon


3. TUO Chef Knife – 6-inch Japanese Gyuto Knife

If you are looking for an authentic gyuto knife, the Tuo chef knife is one of the best choices there is. A gyuto knife is great for cutting stiffer produce like carrots and potatoes. You can effortlessly rock-chop them with less effort.

This Japanese gyuto knife is forged using German stainless steel and is vacuum-heat treated. It also undergoes nitrogen cryogenic tempering, making it highly corrosion resistant. The edge of the blade is manually polished to get the right sharpness for stunning cutting ability. Moreover, it has a rating of 56+ in the HRC hardness.

The blade is seamlessly integrated in the handle so that when you use it, you can feel the ideal balance for ease in maneuvering. Also, the G10 anti-skid handle of this Japanese knife is comfortable in the hand. This helps avoid wrist fatigue which is common if you are using a heavy knife.

Pros:
  • Blade is corrosion resistant
  • Well balanced and feels great in the hand
  • Versatile Japanese knife
Cons:
  • Finger guard is very thin
  • Smaller than a conventional chef’s knife

Buy it now: Amazon


4. Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife

Shun is a brand known for its high quality and heavy duty Japanese knives. Shun Classics are the company’s original products and the first Japanese knives to be marketed to a global audience.

Unlike many western style knives that have a heavy ponderous blade, Shun Classics are fitted with lighter sharp edges that are made from advanced steel. These Japanese knives have lighter handles that allow you to have a comfortable and effortless grip while making precise cuts.

The 8-inch blade of this Shun Classic knife is perfect for all-around use. It works great for slicing, cutting, chopping and dicing fruits and vegetables. The blade is made of VG-MAX steel with extra tungsten to give it a sharper edge and chromium to make it resistant to corrosion.

Handcrafted in Japan, this Japanese knife comes with a PakkaWood handle. This is the same material used in Shun cutlery premier 8 which is also another popular Shun knife. This material is hardwood infused with resin, making it extra durable and water-resistant.

The overall construction of this chef knife is excellent, making it one of the best Japanese knives in the market. It is perfect for commercial and home kitchens.

This

Pros:
  • Versatile knife
  • Extremely durable blade and handle
  • Razor-sharp blade
  • With a curved blade for ease in cutting
Cons:
  • A bit fragile

Buy it now: Amazon


5. Kiaitre Meat Cleaver Knife 7 Inch Knife

If you are looking for a solid Japanese kitchen knife that you can use for cutting vegetables, fruits and meat, then this product is worth checking out. The 7-inch blade of this Japanese knife is made of German stainless steel and is extremely sharp. You can use it for cutting different types of produce including fish meat as well as soft and thin bones.

As this Japanese knife uses German stainless steel, you’ll feel confident that it will last long and will not rust or corrode over time. The blade passes through vacuum treatment to improve its hardness which is recorded at 56±HRC. As for the edges, you’ll notice that it is honed at a 15-degree angle per side, which means that it is sharper that many traditional Japanese knives or western style knives that go around an 18- to 22-degree angle. Based on the design and construction of the blade, you can tell that it is a long-lasting knife that delivers good performance.

Moreover, the handle is made of Pakkawood and this material has a comfortable grip. It’s important to get a chef’s knife that feels comfortable to hold so that your hand will not easily tire even for an extended time of using it.

Pros:
  • 100% satisfaction warranty or lifetime free replacement
  • Extremely sharp
  • Can even cut thin and soft bones
  • Ergonomic handle
Cons:
  • Some users say that the handle is a bit slippery to use

Buy it now: Amazon


6. Nakiri Knife 7 Inch Classic Japanese Knife

If you want a budget-friendly Japanese home chef’s knife, the Nakiri 7-inch knife might just be for you. This is one of the least expensive Japanese knives in our list, yet we can see that it is also a well-made cutting tool.

Constructed using high carbon steel, it is notable for its straight-edge blade design. This design makes it easier to cut all the way though what you are working on in a single chop without exerting much effort to push or pull. More so, with its flat blade, you can make thinner and even slices easily. It’s an excellent Japanese Nakiri vegetable knife.

It’s also worth mentioning that the blades of Nakiri knives 7-inch modelshave a hammered finish. This feature is quite ergonomic as it reduces drag while you are cutting, and it reduces the likelihood of food sticking into the cutting edge.

The handle of this knife is made of PakkaWood which is one of the commonly used materials among professional chefs knives whether made in Japan or somewhere else. The handle contours to your hand to allow a firm and comfortable grip.

Pros:
  • A real nakiri vegetable knife that works great on delicate vegetables
  • Stainless steel blade is sharp and durable
  • Non-slip handle
  • Budget-friendly
Cons:
  • Not your all-around Japanese knife

Buy it now: Amazon


7. Fukep Kitchen 5″ Utility Knives with VG10 67 Layers Damascus Steel Blade

Another well-made product that’s a good addition to our list of best Japanese knives is the Fukep Kitchen 5″ Utility Knife. It is constructed using VG10 Japanese Damascus steel that is cryogenically treated with the addition of cobalt. The 67 layers of high quality carbon stainless steel ensures exceptional durability, strength and stain resistance. The blade has a Rockwell Hardness of HRC 60-62.

Moreover, the ergonomic handle of this Japanese chef knife is made from G10 that’s riveted three times to the forged full tang for superior strength. Moreover, the handle has a curvature that promotes a comfortable grip.

This Japanese kitchen knife is ideal for home and professional use. As this knife is easy to handle, you can comfortably use it to chop, dice, slice and mince almost any type of produce.

Pros:
  • Blade is superior in quality
  • Works great for home and professional chefs
  • Easy to use and comfortable to handle
  • Excellent edge retention
Cons:
  • Blade is short

Buy it now: Amazon


8. Kessaku Santoku Knife – 7 Inch Samurai Series Japanese Knives

If you are looking for a perfect gift for someone who loves to prepare food, consider getting this knife. It comes in a premium gift box for any special occasion.

Designed in Japan, the Kessaku Santoku Knives Samurai series use high carbon 7CR17MOV steel and made to be rust and corrosion resistant. You can make this chef knife your “go to” knife due to its versatility.

This Japanese Santoku chef’s knife has a 7-inch blade that is mirror polished. It is hand sharpened for precision cutting edge at a 16-degree angle each side making it razor sharp. Although thin, the blade of this Santoku knife has a Rockwell hardness rating of 58, which means that it is quite strong and durable. On the other hand, the blade handle is made with Smooth Pakka Wood that is comfortable to grip. This material is cold, heat and moisture resistant so you know it will last long.

The Santoku knife Samurai series performs well for slicing, dicing and mincing. It is designed in such a way that the blade, handle and tang are well-balanced for effortless use.

Pros:
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Extra durable wood handle
  • Good edge retention
  • Blade is hard and razor sharp
Cons:
  • Not made in Japan, although it is designed in that country

Buy it now: Amazon


9. Chef Knife 8 Inch Professional Japanese Knives

The Japanese Chef Knife 8-inch is one of the best options for professional and home chefs who are looking for an all-around traditional Japanese knife. This Japanese knife that’s made of high-carbon manganese steel works great for cutting meat and vegetables with ease. A Japanese chef’s knife such as this one is a good addition to your kitchen tools.

The blade of this knife has a hardness of up to 58 HRC. This means that you can’t easily bend it. Moreover, the steel blades have exceptional edge retention even when frequently used. It also does not rust or corrode.

This chef’s knife has a full tang handle with the blade fully integrated into it without soldering. This construction technique makes the knife solid and firm. The ergonomic shape of the handle also ensures the right balance so that you can move it with ease.

Pros:
  • Solid construction
  • Hard blade so it does not easily bend
  • Long edge retention
Cons:
  • Short warranty period of only 12 months

Buy it now: Amazon


10. LaTim’s Chef Knife 8 Inch Professional Japanese Knives

This budget-friendly Japanese chef knife will make your everyday cutting tasks such as chopping, dicing and slicing a lot easier. It works on fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. Due to its versatility, it has become one of the well-liked Japanese knives among home and professional chefs.

Made of high quality German stainless steel, the blade of this knife is said to be twice as durable as regular chef knives. It is also resistant to corrosion, rust and discoloration. When most chef knives lose their sharpness after a month of use, this one performs better according to reviews.

The ergonomic handle of this knife improves user experience. It’s comfortable to hold and will not cause wrist strain because of its well-balanced design.

This great-looking knife is a perfect choice for a gift especially if you are on a budget.

Pros:
  • Blade is corrosion and rust resistant
  • Versatile as you can use it on meat and vegetables
  • German steel is extremely durable
Cons:
  • Some users claimed that it is difficult to sharpen

Buy it now: Amazon


Japanese Knives vs. Western Style Knives

We often hear of Japanese knives and Western style knives, but what’s really the difference?

These two styles of knives differ in so many ways. For instance, a single bevel angle on Japanese knives is often sharper that their western-style counterparts. That’s because Japanese kitchen knives can have a single bevel with an angle as low as 5 degrees. The fact that Japanese kitchen knives are sharper is not only true for single bevel knives but also for double bevel knives.

Moreover, Japanese kitchen knives are generally constructed from harder steel than western knives. This allows for better edge retention for a longer time. However, while hard steel are hard to bend, they can be brittle. That is why it’s important to use the right Japanese knives for a specific task.

It’s also important to note that traditional Japanese knives are rarely curved, unlike western style knives. That’s why, when getting a sharpener, be sure to check that the product you are getting can efficiently sharpen Japanese knives.

Buyer’s Guide

When comparing Japanese chef knives, it’s important to check these features so that you’ll get the best knife for your specific needs.

Material

The blades of many Japanese kitchen knives are made of stainless steel alloy or high-carbon steel. The latter is typically used in higher-end Japanese knives which are more expensive than those blades made of stainless steel. The same knives also require thorough maintenance and regular sharpening to maintain the edge.

On the other hand, stainless steel blades are cheaper and are also durable. They are a popular choice for making multifunctional Japanese chef knives. The main drawback though with stainless steel blades is that they don’t retain their sharpness for a long time.

Blade style

Japanese kitchen knives can have a single bevel or double bevel blade. A single bevel blade has only one side ground down at an angle to form the edge. A knife with only one bevel requires less time and effort to sharpen.

Type of Knife

Japanese knives can be classified into different types based on their purpose. The most common are gyuto which is a western-style chef’s knife, santoku which is a multipurpose knife, nakiri which is a double-edged vegetable knife, and sujihiki which is ideal for slicing and filleting. Make sure to get the right knife for your intended purpose.

If you want a multifunctional knife, an authentic santoku knife is a perfect choice.

Handle

For the handle, look for a knife with an anti-skid handle and one with a contour that follows the shape of your hand. This way, the knife will feel comfortable to hold. It’s also good to choose a knife that is well-balanced in weight to reduce wrist strain.

Positive Reviews

It’s hard to choose a knife based only on the descriptions featured by the manufacturers. It will greatly help to read reviews from kitchen knife owners so you’ll get an idea of how the product actually performs. Aside from reading the positive reviews, also take note of the critical reviews as they can make or break your decision.

Conclusion

The best Japanese knife can work as an extension of your hand. It can help you accomplish many things around the kitchen. That’s why it’s vital to get one that gives the best value for your money. And beware of cheaper santoku chef’s knives because they don’t last long.

After checking some of the best knives available, our top choice for a santoku knife is the Zelite Chef Knife 8 Inch. It has an ergonomic design for ease of use and has solid construction for longer use. This knife is perfect for home and professional chefs. It also makes for a perfect gift to someone who loves cooking.

However, if you are looking for a budget-friendly choice, you may consider getting the Nakiri Knife 7 Inch Classic Japanese Knife. It comes with an exceptionally sharp blade and non-slip handle.

Having the best Japanese knife can make your food preparation easier and faster. It feels good to use a well-balanced knife, something that’s not too heavy or too light on your hand. Make sure to consider the factors we listed above when making a decision.

ProductBrandNamePrice
Zelite InfinityZelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch, Damascus Japanese AUS-10 Super Stainless Steel BladeCheck Price on Amazon
imarkuimarku Chef Knife 10 inch, Pro Kitchen Chopping Sharp KnifeCheck Price on Amazon
TUOTUO Chef Knife - 6 inch Professional Kitchen Knife - Japanese Gyuto Knife -Check Price on Amazon
ShunShun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Ebony PakkaWood HandleCheck Price on Amazon
KiaitreKiaitre Meat Cleaver Knife 7 Inch – Vegetable Cleaver Knife High Carbon German SteelCheck Price on Amazon

* If you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. For more details, please visit our Privacy policy page.

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