Miyabi Artisan Vs Birchwood: Which Should You Choose?

If you’ve been working or looking for Japanese kitchen cutlery lately, you’ve probably come across the Miyabi brand.

They are one of the top brands in the culinary world, as they provide chefs with a wide variety of Japanese kitchen knives.

But since their catalog is so wide, a lot of people have a hard time figuring out which is the right model for them?

And to make the search easier for you, we’ll be comparing two very popular collections from the brand.

In this article, we’ll put up the Miyabi Artisan collection against the Miyabi Birchwood to see which one would fit your kitchen better.

We get up close and personal with the knives in this article, so if you’ve been looking for an in-depth comparison, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more.

Miyabi Overview

The name Miyabi comes from a Japanese term that used to mean courtly elegance.

However, nowadays, the term has come to mean happiness or pleasure.

What most people may not know, is that Miyabi isn’t actually a Japanese brand.

While they make Japanese-style knives, they are actually owned by the Zwilling company, which is based in Germany.

And as most people know, Zwilling is one of the most reliable knife brands out there, so you can easily put your trust in Miyabi.

The brand has a very wide collection of blades, all of them premium-quality and designed for professional kitchens.

So, while these knives may cost you some money, they are a very worthwhile investment.

Miyabi Artisan

The Miyabi Artisan collection is one of the more affordable picks from the brand.

But take the term “affordable” with a grain of salt, as this is still slightly more expensive than a lot of other brands out there.

When compared to other collections from the brand though, it is much more affordable.

The blade on these knives is made from a micro carbide powdered steel core, which makes it very hard.

This gives the knife great edge retention while also making it very durable.

On top of that, it features a hammered tsuchime finish which has a beautiful aesthetic while also making sure food won’t stick to the knife when it’s used.

The Artisan collection features a Rosewood PakkaWood handle.

PakkaWood is a combination of real wood and resin, which gives off a beautiful rustic aesthetic while also making for a very durable handle.

Miyabi Birchwood

The Birchwood collection is one of the premium ones from Miyabi.

It has an MC63 SG2 micro carbide powdered steel core, the same one as the artisan.

The difference is, though, is that it features a Damascus blade.

A Damascus blade consists of multiple layers of steel being hammered over a hardcore.

In the case of the Birchwood line, that means a total of 50 layers on each side.

This not only gives the blade a beautiful finish but also results in a much more durable knife.

As you might be able to tell from the name, the handle is made of high-quality Birchwood.

This is a very comfortable material to grip, and it’s also very strong, which makes it an ideal pick for a knife handle.

All in all, this would be a great option for people looking to invest in a premium knife.

Miyabi Artisan Vs. Birchwood – Which Is The Better Pick?

Now that you have a clear idea of these two collections, we’re now going to be comparing their features.

In this head-to-head comparison, we’ll find out which one suits your needs and preferences better.

The Steel

As mentioned earlier, these two models share the same type of core.

The core used for both collections is an SG2 micro carbide powdered steel.

Now, the term may sound pretty complicated, but basically, it’s a very strong and hard steel that’s ideal for knives.

Since these cores are very hard, that means that the knives will retain their edge for a very long time.

The downside of that though, is that it is harder to sharpen, which is why we recommend only sharpening these knives if you have experience with whetstones.

If not, then we suggest getting them sharpened by a professional.

The Edge

Now, it’s time to take a look at the edge.

Japanese-style blades tend to be sharper than Western ones, and that remains true with this model.

The Artisan collection features hand-honed blades sharpened down to an angle between 9 and 12 degrees.

This is a very fine angle and will result in an incredibly sharp knife.

With an Artisan blade, you’ll be able to neatly and cleanly slice through just about any ingredient in the kitchen.

This not only improves the quality of your kitchen work but can also make things much faster.

The Birchwood models are hand-honed as well but between a range of 9.5 to 12 degrees.

That means that it won’t be as sharp as the Artisan collection right out of the box, but the difference is very small.

In fact, most people won’t notice the difference between either edge right out of the box.

And since both of these collections are made with very hard and high-quality knife steel, this edge will stay sharp for a very long time.

The Handle

The next thing we’re going to be looking at is the handles.

On the Artisan collection, as we mentioned earlier, you’ll find PakkaWood handles.

PakkaWood is a combination of any real wood and resin, and in the case of the Artisan, it’s rosewood.

This makes for a very durable and water-resistant handle.

However, it also provides for a beautiful rustic finish on the knives.

If you’re into this rustic look, we highly recommend you check out the Artisan collection.

On top of that, it features a very modern design that will fit very comfortably in the hand and make it much easier to go through your kitchen tasks.

With the Birchwood collection, the handles are made out of Birchwood.

This is a bright material, so it gives off a very unique aesthetic.

It is one of the more unique models you’ll find on the market, and it also features a very ergonomic shape that makes gripping the knife very easy.

Construction

The Artisan collection uses a hard steel core, surrounded by a Damascus finish.

This means that layers upon layers are hammered on top of the core until you have a strong and durable blade.

It features the traditional tsuchime finish, which looks very nice and ensures food doesn’t stick to the knife.

On the Birchwood, you’ll also notice a Damascus finish, but a pretty different one from the Artisan.

This one is a more evident pattern and stands out more.

Both blades use a Cryodur ice-hardening process when making the blades, making the steel incredibly hard.

This makes for great edge retention and durability.

The Artisan collection features a 6000MCT process, while the Birchwood uses a 5000MCT process.

The results of the process are generally the same, however, resulting in a blade with a hardness rating of 63 Rockwell hardness.

This is much tougher than a lot of other blades you’ll find on today’s market, so you know that the edge will last you a long time.

Conclusion

So, which one is the better pick for you?

Well, that largely depends on your preferences.

The Artisan collection has a more rustic aesthetic than the Birchwood, which could be the difference-maker for you.

The Birchwood collection features a more prominent Damascus finish than the Artisan.

However, which finish is better will all depend on your tastes and preferences.

The Artisan collection is more affordable.

A lot of their blades are available for less than $200, which is fairly cheap for a knife of its quality.

The Birchwood models, however, will usually cost you upwards of $200, which is why they are mostly recommended for professional chefs.

So, if you’re looking to save money, we recommend the Artisan, but if you are willing to invest in a very sharp and high-quality kitchen knife, then you won’t go wrong choosing the Birchwood.

Last Updated on July 21, 2021 by Andy Wang

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Knife Comparisons
  4. »
  5. Miyabi Artisan Vs Birchwood: Which Should You Choose?

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.