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Top 5 Best Japanese Kitchen Knives 2024

Shun Classic 8 Chef’s Knife

Shun Cutlery Classic Chef's...
  • JAPANESE CHEF'S KNIFE: The Shun 8-inch Classic Chef's knife is the perfect all-purpose kitchen knife....
  • WIDE, CURVED BLADE: This Japanese kitchen knife has a wide blade that keeps knuckles off the cutting...
  • HIGH-QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Constructed with Shun's proprietary VG-MAX cutting core and clad in 68 layers...

Shun’s Classic Damascus 8-inch chef knife is handcrafted in Japan, with each piece requiring 100 steps. This Damascus steel blade features 34 layers on each side, totaling 69 layers of Damascus steel to demonstrate the hardness of the steel blade. The steel blade is made up of a combination of carbon, tungsten, chromium, and cobalt, making it extremely tough.

The blade has also been treated with anti-stain and anti-corrosion compounds. This blade’s gently curved edge, sharpened to a steep angle of 16 degrees, makes it an all-purpose Damascus knife capable of performing a wide range of cutting jobs. The handle is also composed of PakkaWood, a hardwood that has been treated with resin to give you a tighter hold on the knife. PakkaWood is also water-resistant, easy to clean, and long-lasting, with no room for bacteria to thrive.

The Shun Classic chef knife is the best Japanese kitchen knives and feels great in hands. It is very sharp and well-balanced and is perfect for right handed users for performing multiple kitchen tasks.

Yoshihiro Stainless Steel Wa Gyoto Knife

Yoshihiro AUS10 Ice Hardened...
  • Blade Material: Aus10 Stainless Steel / Edge Angle: Double Edged / Grade: Ice Hardened / Handle Shape:...
  • Our Ice Hardened Molybdenum series are made by forging a single piece of high carbon Aus10 stainless...
  • Aus10 is commonly used in high-end Japanese knives and provides a good foundation to build a knife with...

Yoshihiro produces some of the finest Japanese knives on the market, and the Gyutou 8.25″ Chef’s Knife is no exception. The blade is composed of stain-resistant VG-10 hammered Damascus stainless steel, and the grip is crafted of Shitan rosewood with a mahogany bolster. This elegant yet robust Gyutou quickly rocks through meat, fish, and veggies, thanks to a perfect blend of modern invention and centuries of Japanese bladesmith craftsmanship. The magnolia saya blade cover adds a nice finishing touch to the safe storage of the blade.

The Yoshirhiro is the best all-purpose Japanese knife with amazing precision-cutting capabilities. It is not suitable for cutting denser materials though.

Zelite Infinity 8’’ Japanese Chef Knife

Zelite Infinity Damascus Chef...
  • ✅ Highest quality - our military grade G10 handle, and real 67-layer high carbon Japanese AUS-10...
  • ✅ Sharpest Chef Knife – thanks to the 12-degree Damascus steel blade edge, slicing meat, chicken,...
  • ✅ Perfectly Balanced - our Japanese chef knife (8-inch) is sharp, robust, and comfortable to work with...

The Zelite Infinity 7″ Santoku Knife is made from Japanese VG10 stainless steel from Takefu, Japan, and is then assembled in Zelite’s top-of-the-line workshop in China. The Infinity’s blade is hardened with liquid nitrogen and is stain- and rust-resistant, so it’ll last in the kitchen. Enjoy a rounded handle that is both pleasant and safe, and was built with ergonomics in mind. You’ll be slicing your way to become a top chef in no time.

The Zelite Infinity Chef’s knife is comfortable and offers a good grip. Though it is a bit heavy but the comfortable and secure grip doesn’t let you feel difficulty while using.

Victorinox 8’’ Fibrox Pro Chef Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army...
  • An all-purpose chef’s knife provides ultimate control to mince your way through any culinary challenge
  • Contemporary, textured handle with a non-slip grip -- even when wet; The handle is ergonomically designed...
  • Hygienic, dishwasher safe, slip-resistant and NSF approved; These exceptional knives are weighted and...

The Fibrox Pro chef’s knife from Victorinox is the best value of any knife I’ve tried. It isn’t as well-made as some of the others on this list, but it is frequently available for less than $40. It boasts an almost nonstick finish and keeps an edge well—nothing adheres to this blade, not even fresh cilantro. If you’re just getting started in the kitchen, this is a terrific first chef’s knife that will last you for years.

The Victorinox is the best budget Japanese knife and is the bestseller on Amazon. If you need a premium quality knife in affordable price, this knife is the ideal one.

Wusthof Classic Cook’s Knife

WÜSTHOF Classic 8 Inch...
  • KITCHEN WORKHORSE – The WÜSTHOF 8” Classic Chef’s Knife is essential for preparing any meal. This...
  • WÜSTHOF CLASSIC SERIES – The full Tang, Triple Riveted handles of the classic line offer the widest...
  • CHEF’S KNIFE – Features an 8” long blade, 4.5” long handle and weighs 8.5 ounce Full Bolster and...

The Wüsthof Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook’s Knife is sharp and strong, and it criteria for a decent knife if you’re used to the feel of a heavier German knife. The Classic Ikon’s narrower blade cut butternut squash and carrots more smoothly than the other forged German knives we tested. When cutting away butternut squash peel and citrus rinds, we loved how easily it went around curves. However, the blade on the Classic Ikon is constructed of softer steel than the Mac MTH-80, which means it will dull faster.

The Wusthof Japanese knife is designed particularly for professional chefs. It has an ergonomic design and is perfect for cutting meat and other larger works.

How to choose the best Japanese kitchen knives

On an average, Japanese knives cost around $150. There are Japanese knives that cost lesser or more than this amount depending on your budget. However, if you have a budget of $150, you’ll get a good quality and durable Japanese knife for this price. At this price you’ll easily get a top-notch knife that will stay sharp till long. You can also buy Japanese knives under $100 and there are knives that have prices as high as $300 too.

Blade Material:
The main difference between the Japanese knives and other knives is that they are made up of different materials. The choice of material makes them different and unique from other western knives. Japanese knives are made up of hard steel and soft iron which are forge-welded together and then hardened. If you have already purchased a Japanese knife, you must have known its quality and material but if you’re a first time purchaser, you should learn to distinguish between a Japanese knife and a normal one.
A stainless steel Japanese knife is better than a carbon knife because they are easier to use. This is because carbon knives need more cleaning and maintenance as they can rust easily if left wet or dirty for long. Carbon steel knives are, however, the ones that stay sharp for long. Carbon steel and stainless steel knives are better than ceramic knives in terms of sharpness.

Size of the blade:
The profile of a knife tells us how a knife looks like from its side. For performing daily routine tasks in a kitchen, a standard knife of around 8 to 8.5 inches is mostly preferred. To choose the best size you must take the knife in your hands and do some cutting to check whether the size is suitable for you or not. If your hands are small, a small Japanese knife is all that you need. However, if you’re a beginner it is recommended to start with a standard 8 inch knife. This measurement refers only to the blade size and not the handle. There are 10 inch models of Japanese knives for professional people and the ones with larger hands.

Bevel style:
Bevel means edge of a knife, and this feature plays an important role in the performance of a knife. Most of the Japanese knives are single-beveled which means that the edge of these knives is bent inwards at an angle of 15 degrees. However, the other side of the knife goes straight down and improves precision.
Apart from the cutting edge, the area behind the edge of a knife also plays an important role in precision. A Japanese knife that is thinner behind the edge too is more suitable for cutting hard vegetables such as carrots. If the area behind the edge of the knife is thin, it will offer a smooth cutting experience till the end. These days Japanese knives are also manufactured with dual edges so it all depends on your needs.

Size of your hand:
The size of your hand is also an important factor to consider as it determines the level of comfort for the user. Most of the Japanese knives’ handles are made up of wood which improves the grip and doesn’t get slippery when wet. To find out which size of hand suits you best, you must take it in your hand and feel it. Depending on the size of your hand, you can choose a good quality knife according to its length. There are various sizes of hands available for Japanese knives, and the best way to choose is by holding them in your cutting hand.

Types of Japanese knives:
Japanese knives are of many kinds and they can be differentiated by their features. You must choose the type that is more suitable for you and is according to the nature of cutting you do on a regular basis. Following are the main types of Japanese knives:

Santoku is an all-purpose knife with a flat belly and taller blade profile as compared to other knives. It can be used for up and down chopping in a comfortable and fast manner. It can be used to chop meat, fish, and vegetables comfortably.

Gyutou resembles the European knives in profile but it has a thinner blade. This is also an all-purpose knife that can be used for a variety of tasks. This knife has a double grind edge and is made up of hard steel.

Petty is a delicate Japanese knife and it is used for carving and peeling the fruits and veggies. This knife is a must have for bartenders who need it for making salads or fresh fruit garnishes.

Sujhiki knives are almost similar to the Western knives except that they are made of hard steel and have a thinner blade. The bevel of this knife has a steep angle which allows precision cutting. These knives are used for filleting and carving.

Kiritsuke are Japanese chef knives with an angled tip. These are also all-purpose knives but they are used by professional or executive chefs only. At Japanese restaurants, these knives are used by the executive chef only and other chefs are not allowed to use it.

The Nakiri knives have a double edge and they are perfect for Julienne, allumette, and brunoise for vegetables. They are perfect for hard skin fruits and veggies.