You know what?
The popularity of Japanese knives has increased greatly due to their blade sharpness as well as due to their superior quality build.
These blades are taken through well-articulated manufacturing processes to guarantee their quality, reliability, and durability.
With these knives, you can never go wrong when preparing meals or undertaking other knife-related tasks in your kitchen.
Since the blades are forged, they retain their sharpness for a longer time than basic kitchen blades.
Most of the best Japanese kitchen knife brands are double beveled.
This makes them durable and reliable for daily use in the kitchen.
Some of the best in the world presently include the following ones.
Top-Rated Japanese Chef Knives (Updated List)
* A Serious Contender *
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- Best Japanese chef knives under $100
- Best Japanese chef knives under $200
Which Could Be the Best Japanese Chef Knife to Purchase?
Finding the best Japanese knife to buy is not easy like most people presume.
This is because, in addition to making considerations such as cost and quality, you need to settle on a knife that will work best for you.
For starters, you need to decide what you will be using the blade for.
This is because reliability and dependability are determined by how the blade is used.
Professional chefs use their blades for an average of 40 hours weekly while home chefs use the blades for about an hour or two every week.
Depending on how often you will be using the blade, you should ensure that it of choice will serve you diligently according to your needs.
Heavy-duty blades with good edge retention are the best choice for professional chefs.
These blades are durable and will definitely last long thereby providing the chefs with reliable service throughout their life.
Home chefs necessarily need not invest in excessively high-quality blades.
This is because such knives are expensive and as such, it is not economical to buy such blades for domestic uses.
Japanese knives with double edges and solid handles are an ideal preference for professional chefs as their heavy-duty blades do not wear out easily.
They also retain their sharpness for a long time, hence you won’t need to sharpen the blade frequently.
Personal preference should also play a part in determining the ideal knife to purchase.
Like other kitchen equipment and utensils, chefs develop an attachment to their knives.
Therefore, you should only purchase a blade whose appearance you are passionate about.
This is a blade that you will find attractive and pleasant to your eyes.
Shop for knives on the Internet as online sellers have competitive prices and different qualities depending on your budget.
Additionally, the online shops allow you to check the reviews by previous buyers to discern the quality of the knives of choice.
However, when shopping online, it is necessary to be cautious as there are fraudulent sellers who can dupe you of your hard-earned cash by selling you substandard qualities.
Interesting knife comparisons:
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Reviews of the Best Products
Global G2 8 inch Chef’s Knife (Best Overall)
Made using the all-durable CROMOVA 18 stainless steel, the Global Classic G2 knife boasts of a steeply ground double bevel and a sharp forged blade.
The blade stays sharp for long without requiring re-sharpening or servicing.
This 8-inch knife is perfectly balanced and comes with a sand-filled hollow handle made from stainless steel.
The handle is dimpled to provide for safe gripping as well as molded for utmost comfort.
The design of the G2 Japanese blade has a traditional feel with a modern touch.
This makes it possess a classic appearance while not compromising on its functionality in any way.
It is worth noting that due to its outstanding design, the blade is lightweight and hence easy to use even for long durations.
Since the length of it is an impressive 8 inches, you can cut through different food pieces with ease.
Sharp and non-stick edge
There is nothing more inconveniencing like a knife’s edge onto which food particles stick.
Usually, you may need to clean or wipe the blade of such a knife with every slice.
With the Global G2 blade, you need not worry about this problem as the sharp edge is non-stick.
As such, you can use it for all your kitchen needs for slicing, chopping, or dicing through different food items.
The blade is rust and corrosion resistant and hence can be hand washed with water.
- Sharpness: 9.5/10
- Handling: 9.5/10
- Ease of maintenance: 9/10
- Quality build and design
- Rust and corrosion free
- Safe grip handle
- Precisely balanced and lightweight
- The handle can feel uncomfortable for people with large hands
Mac Knife MTH-80 (2nd Runner-up)
The professional Mac 8 Chef’s Knife is an 8” hollow edge blade manufactured using heat-treated high-quality AUS8 stainless steel.
The hollow design of the edge helps in slicing through sticky foods with great ease and accuracy.
The quality is unmatchable by other blades of its kind in the market.
The best thing about the blade is that it is rust-resistant and hence can be hand washed with water.
Black pakkawood handle
Pakkawood is known to be a high-end wood type with excellent heat-resistance qualities.
The triple-riveted handle in the MTH-80 knife is made from pakkawood.
This means that the handle is not only exceptionally durable but equally heat resistant.
This prolongs the life of it by making it possible to use the blade for a long time without the handle breaking apart or becoming loose.
The handle comes with a perfect anti-slip grip for a comfortable feel when using the blade.
Uniquely sharp edge
The MTH-80 blade features unique sharpness that enables it to cut through all food types; both hard and soft foods with a clean and smooth cut.
The sharpness is ideal for people with little experience in using and controlling it.
This is because users only need to exert minimal effort to cut through food materials with the blade.
However, care should be taken when using it as it can inflict serious cuts and injuries when mishandled.
- Sharpness: 9/10
- Handling: 9/10
- Ease of maintenance: 9/10
- Hollow edged blade
- Made using durable AUS8 steel
- High quality and durable pakkawood handle
- Ultra-sharp edge
- Can cause serious cuts if poorly handled
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Tojiro (Best for Flexibility)
Designed for chefs looking for an all-round kitchen knife that also doubles as a utility blade, this Japanese knife is one of the best Japanese knives for chefs.
The 6” knife features a comfortable handle made from composite wood.
The best thing about it is that it can also double as a santoku knife.
As such, with this blade, you save up money that you could have used to buy a santoku blade.
The quality of it is guaranteed by its limited lifetime warranty that is subject to appropriate and manufacturer-recommended use.
Stainless Steel Blade
The blade material in this knife is manufactured using fine quality stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness of 60 +/- 1.
Therefore, the blade possesses sufficient hardness to slice, dice, and mince through different food types with ease.
Additionally, this hardness enhances the durability and dependability making it a perfect choice for chefs shopping for blades that can last for a long time without extensive wear and tear.
Compact size handle
Ideally, the Tojiro knife is designed for use by everyone; the young and the old alike.
In line with this, the blade comes with a compact size handle that is comfortable to hold for everyone.
The composite handle does not get damaged by water or heat thereby making it ideal for the kitchen environment.
Additionally, the handle is triple-riveted for stability and firmness.
- Sharpness: 8.5/10
- Handling: 8/10
- Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10
- Perfect for decorative cutting
- Stain-resistant steel
- Comfortable and durable handle
- Multi-purpose utility blade
- Does not come with a knife guard
Shun Cutlery VG Max Steel Knife (Great for Design)
With a walnut-colored handle, the Shun Cutlery Premier 8 inch knife comes with an embossed end cap as one of its high-end features.
Like most other high-end Japanese knives, the blade is strong and solid thereby making it exceptionally durable.
In addition to this, the blade features a hammered tsuchime finish that allows for easy food release.
Therefore, with this knife, there is no possibility of food sticking onto the blade.
Unmatched quality and performance
One of the greatest selling points of the Shun Cutlery Japanese blade is its unparalleled performance and quality.
With this knife, you need not concern yourself with the need for sharpening the blade frequently.
Ideally, with the recommended use, the blade can last a few weeks of constant use without having to sharpen the wife.
Stable and comfortable handle
The black pakkawood handle of this Shun Japanese knife complements the superior design by highlighting its classic appearance.
The handle is water-resistant thereby making the blade a perfect choice for use in a typical kitchen environment.
What is more about this Shun knife is that the blade is made using VG Max Steel material clad in 67 layers that give the blade a Damascus-look finish.
- Sharpness: 8/10
- Handling: 8.5/10
- Ease of maintenance: 8.5/10
- Durable and reliable blade
- Non-stick cutting edge
- Stylishly designed handle
- Ideal for typical chopping, slicing and cutting needs in the kitchen
- It comes with a flat tip (not pointed) and hence may hinder your cutting needs.
Yoshihiro (Best for Control)
For chefs looking for a stylish handcrafted Japanese blade that features superior construction, this is the ideal Japanese knife to purchase.
This entry-level blade comes with a multi-layered construction that is reinforced by VG10 stainless steel that is hard and has the ability to retain sharpness for a longer time.
The blade’s out layer is made using softer steel that allows for easier maintenance as well as sharpening.
Functional and durable handle
Chefs who prefer knives with small and comfortable handles that are easy to hold and control with their hands will find this blade to be an excellent choice.
The handle is triple-riveted for firmness and stability when chopping and slicing especially through hard foods.
The black handle has a unique appearance that enhances the overall outlook of it.
The premium mahogany handle is polished and is designed using a western style.
Genuine hard stainless steel
There is nothing more annoying and inconveniencing than a knife that wears out fast and easily.
With this knife, you can rest assured that the blade will last for a long time without falling apart or wearing out.
This is because the overall construction is done professionally using genuine hard steel material.
Despite it seems simple in its design, its functional aspects and quality are unmatchable by any other blade.
- Sharpness: 9/10
- Handling: 9.5/10
- Ease of maintenance: 8/10
- Razor-sharp edge
- Features a classic Damascus steel pattern
- Easy to handle
- Perfectly balanced
- May seem uncomfortable to hold for people with massive hands
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Cutting Tips to Know When Using Japanese Knives
For people who are new to Japanese kitchen knives, it is necessary to take time to learn how to handle and use these blades.
This is because these blades can cause serious injuries if mishandled.
For starters, the handling of these blades is quite different from that of basic kitchen knives.
It is worth noting that these blades are designed to cut in a slicing motion without exerting too much effort.
When cutting with the blade, you need not exert too much pressure as it should be pushed in a forward and downward motion.
This provides for a smooth and clean cut.
Additionally, these blades should not be used for boning, cutting through frozen foods, or thick-skinned vegetables like melons or pumpkins.
Avoid using these knives on granite, tiles, or ceramics as these are hard surfaces that are likely to dent the edge.
Instead, you should use a soft board as it does not affect the sharpness in any way.
Is Takayuki a Good Japanese Brand to Buy From?
Even though I haven’t had a chance to work with a knife from this brand, but I have heard many good things about them.
So yes, you can definitely try them out.
Make sure to let me know how you feel.
Should I Also Buy a Gyuto Knife? How About a Santoku?
Even though these 2 knives are a bit different than a traditional chef knife, I highly recommend you buy them all if you can.
Especially if you’re a serious chef who wants only the best for your kitchen.
How to Take Care of a Japanese Chef Knife
Japanese knives should not be washed in a dishwasher.
Most manufacturers recommend that their knife brands be washed by hand using soap and running water.
You should never use dish soaps that contain bleach or citrus extracts.
This is because such soaps can damage the blade thereby making it wear out at a faster rate.
After washing the blade, you should use a soft cloth to dry it off.
This cloth does not scratch the blade’s surface thus not interfering with the durability and reliability of it.
You should never air dry a Japanese chef blade or let it soak in water.
This increases the likelihood of knife rusting and corroding.
Additionally, soaking the blade in water can affect the sharpness.
Avoid keeping it in humid conditions as humidity can cause the blade to develop rust spots.
These spots affect the overall quality of it and hence making it less reliable.
For knives with wooden handles, the moisture can cause swelling on the handle and it will eventually warp.
Only use the manufacturer’s recommended sharpening stones and grits.
What’s more about these blades is that they use different sharpening techniques.
As such, you should follow the manufacturer’s provisions and guidelines on sharpening the blade of choice.
The frequency of sharpening the blade depends on the quality of it, the frequency of use as well as the sharpening technique used.
Care should be taken when sharpening the blades so as not to inflict injuries or cuts on your hands.
Overall, investing in a high-quality blade will not only save you money in the long run but will also provide you with reliable service throughout its life.
However, if you are buying a Japanese knife for use at home, you should not break your bank by buying an excessively expensive blade.
A medium-priced fair quality blade will serve you well for all your home cutting needs.
It is recommendable to invest in a multi-purpose Japanese knife that you can use for a wide range of cutting uses in the kitchen.
Always settle on a blade that will give you reliable service and is not overly expensive while giving you great value for your hard-earned cash.
Should You Invest in a Japanese Knife?
The Japanese chef blade of choice should make preparing meals an enjoyable and fun experience.
Using the blade for the first time can be overwhelming but you can rely on online tutorials for guidance on using these blades.
Amateur chefs can rely on these blades for honing their skills to polish how they cut or slice different food types.
Most high-end manufacturers offer lifetime warranties on their knives and hence you can be guaranteed to get the best out of these blades.
These blades come in different sizes and therefore, you should settle on the size that will work best for you.
Ideally, when shopping for these blades, ensure that your ideal choice meets your preferences and needs.
In our list, we have reviews of some of the best Japanese chef knife picks for home cooks and professional chefs alike.
For professional chefs ready to invest in a premium blade for their kitchen, you can’t go wrong with the Yoshihiro VG10 Gyuto.
With a Damascus steel construction and a Mahogany handle, this is one of the best-looking and most functional blades you can have in your kitchen.
But if you prefer a knife that has a more traditional design, we recommend the Findking-Dynasty 8” Chef knife.
With a traditional Japanese wa handle and hammered tsuchime finish, you’ll be able to glide through a wide variety of ingredients with ease.
And for chefs shopping on a budget, the Tojiro DP Gyutou would be the best pick.
While it’s an affordable knife, this model sports a very sharp blade and well-designed handle that can last you many years in the kitchen.
- Top-Rated Japanese Chef Knives (Updated List)
- Which Could Be the Best Japanese Chef Knife to Purchase?
- Reviews of the Best Products
- Cutting Tips to Know When Using Japanese Knives
- Is Takayuki a Good Japanese Brand to Buy From?
- Should I Also Buy a Gyuto Knife? How About a Santoku?
- How to Take Care of a Japanese Chef Knife
- Should You Invest in a Japanese Knife?
Last Updated on October 11, 2021