Kamikoto Knife Review: Are They Good Quality Knives?

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Asian-style knives are well known for their top-notch craftsmanship mingled with minimalistic artistry.

Kamikoto is one of these.

A popular brand among many professionals in the food industry, these blades have become a status symbol: you’re probably a great cook if you wield these in the kitchen.

But how good can these cutters actually be?

Let’s find out in this short guide.

Best Kamikoto Knives For the Money (Editor’s Picks)

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A Brief Brand Background

While Japan is still the leader when it comes to Asian-style kitchen knives, one small town called Yanjiang in China has also been concocting wonderfully incisive creations for over a millennium.

Up to this day, Yanjiang is still a bladesmithing hub in the country. And Kamikoto calls it home.

There isn’t a lot of information as to when or how the brand was established. But they do put out vital information:

  • The factory is in China but their corporate headquarters is in Tokyo.
  • The steel they used (Genten 420J2 and Ganjo SLD) is made in Honshu, Niigata, Japan.
  • They follow traditional Japanese methods for forging their blades.

Are Kamikoto Knives Worth It?

The price is one bit of info which the company publicize and has been the topic of a lot of discussions.

You see, a single Santoku can go as high as $800.

Sure, if you check the prices on their website right now, you will see this cut down by about 80% which means you will only have to pay a little under $200.

But $200 is still a whole lot of money for just one piece.

Generally speaking, everything we know about Kamikoto knives makes this a functional piece and may be worth that much.

But if you need a bit more convincing, please read on.

Reviews of the Best Kamikoto Knives

Senshi Dual Knife with Wooden Display Stand

Kamikoto - Senshi Dual Knife Set with Wooden Display Stand
  • Kamikoto knives are made from high-quality steel from
  • 10-inch Chef Knife
  • 5.5-inch Utility Knife

This very unassuming set of two (as the title implies) consists of a 10-inch Chef’s knife and a 5.5-inch utility blade – must-haves in any kitchen.

Blade Construction

The steel used for this collection is not specified although, as aforementioned, they do say that this was formulated in Honshu. Also, it is said to be resistant against corrosion (unlike many high Carbon Japanese knives) and is incredibly durable.

*Take note that this is the same for all the different series in the Kamikoto line.

Usual Features and Notable Ones

  • Bolster: Half
  • Tang: Full
  • Handle: Rounded (like traditional Japanese knives), made of dark Ashwood, and has a steel end cap.

Perhaps, the most interesting feature here is the edging of the blade which is Kata-ha or single-beveled. This is quite apparent in the profile of the blade where the light-colored upper part transitions to the darker bevel below.

Accompanying Accessories

This set has a wooden knife holder for the two blades. The flat board has an angled frame on the left where you can hoist the handle and small clips on the right where the tips of the blades can rest upon.

All Kamikotos come with a storage box made of the same wood used in the display stand and a certificate of authentication.

Kensei Knife Set

Kamikoto Kensei Knife Set
  • 6.5-inch Boning knife
  • 9.5-inch Kiritsuke knife
  • Single bevel 片刃 Kata-ha blade

This set has quite the interesting duo: a 6.5-inch boning knife and a 9.5-inch Kiritsuke. But if you’re the type who likes preparing a lot of meat and seafood (with a smattering of veggie side dishes), this is the perfect tool combo for you.

Form and Function

The Kiritsuke is a traditional Japanese blade that is unique from others because it can be used on a variety of ingredients.

This Kensei follows the original form of the blade – high heel, straight spine, a slight curve on a belly, and a reverse tanto tip.

The Kensei Boning knife is shorter than usual but will do the same job, thanks to the subtle concaved spine and upward curving belly to meet the high tip.

Usual Features and Notable Ones

The Kensei pieces have the same tang, bolster and handle form as the Senshi knives described above. These are also single-beveled.

Accompanying Accessories

This also comes in the same light-colored wooden box for storage with the certification document.

The Chuka Bocho Cleaver

One of the most important tools in any East Asian kitchen is the cleaver. For people who know how to use this properly, this is quite versatile.

Kamikoto understands that well that’s why they offer this as a single piece with its very own box.

Form and Function

This looks like most Chuka Bochos: broad and rectangular, with its high heel, straight spine, straight belly, and flat tip.

As noted above, this is incredibly all-purpose for someone skilled in wielding it. It can shred cabbages, slice potato sheets, julienne carrot slivers, split cartilage and soft bones, mince herbs and aromatics, and so many more.

Usual Features and Notable Ones

Kamikoto’s Chuka Bocho has the same no-nonsense tang, bolster, and handle as the two above. The only difference this has is that it is Ryoba or double-beveled.

Accompanying Accessories

This also comes in a wooden storage box plus the authentication paper.

The Steak Knife Set

Kamikoto Steak Knife Set
  • Double-bevel Ryoba blade, sharpened into an 11° angle
  • Traditional Japanese non-serrated edge
  • Handcrafted from high-grade Japanese Honshu steel from the Keiyō...

When foreign influence started to change the cultural climate of Japan in the late 1800s, their eating habits were greatly altered too.

Beef, for example, became a staple in their diet which led to the invention of the Gyuto. And steak knives became a common companion of their chopsticks.

Blade Construction

This is made from a Carbon and stainless steel alloy crafted from a town called Keiyo which is near Tokyo in Japan.

Form and Function

This has a very conventional steak knife shape: 5 inches in length, half an inch or so wide, and somewhat spear-shaped with its upward-curving tip.

However, this does not have the usual serrations which may be owed to the types of steak dishes that Japan serves.

Usual Features and Notable Ones

These are all the same as the other knives already described but this is Ryoba or double-edged.

Accompanying Accessories

The same box as the others and an authentication paper.

The Santoku Chef Knife

Kamikoto 7in. Santoku Chef Knife
  • Kamikoto knives are made from high-quality steel from Honshu 本州,...
  • 7-inch Santoku knife; High corrosion resistance
  • Both handle and blade are satin finished to a subtle, yet stunning...

After the Second World War, another kitchen tool was invented to keep up with the needs of the locals: the incredibly versatile Santoku.

Many designs cropped up in the subsequent decades – some with Granton indents, others smaller like a utility knife, and so on.

Kamikoto stuck to tradition.

Form and Function

Many like the Santoku because it feels less dangerous than other Japanese knives. Kamikoto has found a way to maintain that but also keep the striking beauty of the blade.

This has the same flat spine and slight curve to the belly but has a high heel that slants towards the handle and a longer (more drawn out) sheep’s foot tip.

Usual Features and Notable Ones
This has the same form as the others when it comes to the tang, bolster, and handle. It is also single-beveled.

Accompanying Accessories

It comes in the same box with a certification document.

Kanpeki Knife Set

Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set
  • New In Wood Display Box. Shelf Condition. Never Used, Certificate

Kamikoto doesn’t have a lot of series or collections compared to other brands but this Kanpeki set seems to be the most complete.

It includes a 7-inch Nakiri or vegetable cleaver, an 8.5-inch slicer, and a 5-inch Utility knife. When you think about it, this can do as much slicing, dicing, and chopping in the kitchen as the four essentials in the Western world.

Form and Function

All the pieces in the set are pretty much standard in terms of form.

  • The slicer is thin and long and can be used on carving meat and seafood.
  • The Nakiri is rectangular with a convex tip and is great for chopping vegetables and halving poultry.
  • The Utility knife is short yet incisive and pointy and is pretty versatile on its own.

Usual Features and Notable Ones
For the nth time, the bolster and handles of the Kanpeki pieces have the same look and feel as the others described earlier.

Accompanying Accessories

And yes, all these are presented in the same box with the same confirmation of genuineness.

The Kuro Series Set

Kamikoto Kuro Series Knife Set
  • 7-inch Kuro Series Santoku Knife, 6.5-inch Kuro Series Nakiri Knife...

Just like the Kanpeki collection, this has everything you might need: 7-inch Santoku, a 6.5-inch Nakiri, and a 5-inch Utility knife.

But this one is a breath of fresh air as it is completely different from all the other Kamikotos that has been presented here so far.

Blade Construction

Unlike the Honshu-crafted steel that the others are forged from, the Kuro pieces are made from Zirconium dioxide or, very simply, ceramic.

Ceramic knives make harder, thinner, and sharper kitchen knives. Even better, these are also less expensive than steel ones.

Form and Function

If you go past the darkness of the blades and scrutinize the form, you will see that these are pretty standard. Simply re-read the descriptions of the Santoku, Nakiri, and utility blade above!

Usual Features and Notable Ones

  • Since the blade is made of ceramic, this doesn’t have a bolster.
  • There is no clear information if it features a full tang.
  • The handle is simply noted as ‘black’, although it has a metallic covering in the end cap and where the bolster usually is.
  • This is double-edged.

Accompanying Accessories

This also comes in a box with the same authenticity credentials.

Pros of Kamikoto Knives

  • The Simplicity of the Design is Attractive
    Except for the Kuro Series described above, you can see that majority of their knives have the same look and feel, thanks to the bolster and handle designs. And to be honest, these look utterly sophisticated and would fit in any design setting.
  • Japanese-Made Steel is Reliable
    While they don’t specify the steel used for a particular variant, they have revealed the steel designation: Genten 420J2 steel and Ganjo SLD steel. Although each is completely different from the other, these two are considered premium kinds and must-haves in bladesmithing.
  • The 19-Step Process is Admirable
    Although the actual factory is in Yanjiang, China, they follow the traditional Japanese forging methods and sharpening procedures, especially for single-beveled blades.
  • Some Sets Come with High-Quality Whetstones
    The ones mentioned in this list do not come with these traditional sharpening tools. But you’ll be glad to know that others include that. And in case it doesn’t, just order a Toishi one which is also available on their website.

Cons of Kamikoto Knives

  • It’s Incredibly Expensive
    For a knife that does not mention its raw materials, it’s hard to swallow the thousand-dollar price tag it originally comes with, and trust that they just decided to lower the cost by 80%.
  • This Isn’t for Everybody… 
    A lot of their knives are single-beveled which would require a whole lot of practice to wield.
  • There’s Not a Lot of Designs to Choose From
    It is quite understandable if most think that Kamikoto has just come up with one variant. They did focus on a good design and just paired different pieces together, although that’s not a completely bad thing.
  • They Also Don’t Say It’s Made in China
    Instead of just owning up to the fact that their factory is located in China, they go for this long-winded exposition of why and how they admire Japanese knives in the About Us section of their website. And many feel that’s a bit contrived to make it seem that these are authentic Japanese pieces.

Notable Collections

Of all the sets mentioned in this list, the best in terms of comprehensiveness would be the Kanpeki with the long protein slicer, the vegetable Nakiri, and the versatile utility blade.

These three pieces are three of the essentials you need in the kitchen. You can add a paring knife and a serrated one to complete your collection although FYI: Kamikoto does not offer those.

The Kuro series which is made from ceramic blades comes as a close second, particularly if you’re a home cook and aren’t that confident with using single-beveled blades.

But, to be perfectly honest, nothing beats forged steel for knives especially if you’re a professional in the food industry.

This Needs a Bit of Mulling Over

Kamikoto is, without a doubt, a beauty to behold and incredibly functional. But with its outstanding feature – the single-beveled edge – it’s not easy to use. On top of that, it’s pricey.

But if you’re confident with your slicing and dicing skills, go for this brand and any of the sets listed. You won’t regret it.

Last Updated on October 11, 2021

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.