What Is A Gyuto Used For?

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The Gyuto is a Japanese knife patterned after the versatile Chef’s knife. Just like its Western contemporary, this has a long straight spine, curved belly, and pointy tip, this multi-purpose tool can cut and slice meat, fillet fish, and chop vegetables. But some think this is a better version because it is lighter, sharper, and have long edge retention.

When Japan opened up its harbors to foreigners, traditional customs began to fuse with Western ways. And this had a huge impact on the local cuisine.

One of the biggest by-products of this cultural shift was the creation of the Gyuto – a knife that can do the tasks that the Nakiri (vegetable cleaver), Deba (used for butchering meat and prepping fish), and Sujihiki (carver and slicer) individually does.

If you want to know more about this interesting piece or are thinking about swapping your Chef’s knife with this, we’ve got everything you need to know about the Gyuto below…

What Is It?

In simple terms, a Gyuto is basically the Japanese version of a chef knife.

And the main difference between this knife and the ones you’ll find in a Japanese kitchen is that they aren’t actually fully Japanese.

In English, the term “Gyuto” directly translates to “beef sword” and is the direct response to high demand in the West for quality chef’s knives.

For a lot of history, Japanese blacksmiths made a living by creating katanas and other weapons, but as time went on, the demand for weapons slowly diminished, which is why they made the shift to making kitchen knives instead, which is how the Gyuto came to be.

You can think of the Gyuto as a mix between a Western chef knife and a Japanese Nakiri.

It is roughly the same size and is used just like a chef knife, making it a real staple in the kitchen.

What Are The Uses?

As mentioned earlier, a Gyuto is used in the same way as a regular chef knife.

This means it’s an all-around workhorse in the kitchen that can be used to slice, chop, dice, and mince a bunch of different ingredients.

It works great with both vegetables and proteins, though you might have some trouble getting through heavier meat and bone, in which case you should use a cleaver.

This is a fairly long and lightweight tool and is much lighter than a regular Western-style chef knife, so it can also be used for very delicate tasks while also being able to tackle just about any prep job you throw at it.

So if you’ve been looking for a blade that you can use as an all-around tool in the kitchen and aren’t a fan of Western-style designs, then a Gyuto might be the right choice for you.

Main Features

Now, let’s take a quick look at the features of a Gyuto.

Length

As mentioned earlier, this is a Japanese version of the chef knife, so it has a blade that measures roughly the same length of around 8-12 inches.

This gives you a lot of surface area that you can use to easily slice through ingredients.

Steel

These blades can be made from a variety of steel, but they are usually made using high-quality and high-carbon steel alloys such as VG10, SG2, and AUS10 A steel.

This gives them a sharp edge that will last a long time and will also make them resistant to corrosion and staining.

Cladding

This refers to the process of wrapping one material over another to protect the inner layer.

This is common practice with Japanese blades, and with a Gyuto, don’t be surprised if it has some sort of cladding to give it more strength while also providing for a unique aesthetic.

Normally, these blades will either have a Damascus cladding or Kurouchi cladding.

Damascus clad blades have risen in popularity in recent years and are made by folding different types of steel alloys over a strong steel core to give it more durability while also giving it an eye-catching wave-like pattern.

Kurouchi cladding, on the other hand, gives off a more subdued and rustic aesthetic.

It’s done by having a hard steel core and supporting it with a softer steel cladding around it.

Handles

With a Gyuto, you will typically have to deal with two types of handles which are the Wa handle and the Yo handle.

Wa handles are the ones used with most traditional Japanese knives.

It is known for being significantly lighter than the blade, which gives you more balance.

Yo handles are Western-style handles that are heavier and attached with steel rivets.

These are ideal for chefs who prefer a heavier feel as they can offer great balance if the lightweight knives aren’t cutting it for you.

Conclusion

So there it is.

We have covered all the basics that you need to know about the Gyuto.

It’s a great all-around tool, and would be a great substitute for any Western chef knife, and can even be used as a second option in the kitchen for certain tasks.

This is a tool that would benefit both professional and home cooks, so if you think this belongs in your arsenal, it might be time for you to head out and grab one yourself!

Last Updated on August 26, 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.