Types of Japanese Knives – The Best Durable Knives in 2021

Types of Japanese Knives – The Best Durable Knives in 2021

Japanese knives are known not only for their delicate and unique designs but also for their exceptional abilities to perform. Their blades are so thin and delicate; you can say breakable if you don’t handle them properly. If this is so, you might be thinking “What makes them so special in knives then?” well, there’s a lot. Although they are thin and delicate, but stronger and sharper than all other knives.

They are ideal for chopping and cutting vegetables, fruits, and meat. You’ll get to see the bread knives, chef knives, normal use kitchen knives, heavy cutlery knives, butcher knives, and so many other varieties; all within the range of Japanese Knives. You can have them sharpened according to your need for use and then keep using them for years. Because they’re just fantastic!

Japanese Kitchen Knives Types

Without any doubt, all types of Japanese knives work great. They are strong, sharp, and highly durable. What makes a difference is which best knife do you choose. Because the best Japanese knife would definitely be the one that works best for you particularly.

16 Best Japanese Knives Types

Being the experts about the Japanese Knives, we have shortlisted the 16 Best Types of Japanese Knives.

1: Santoku – All-Purpose Knives

Santoku – All-Purpose Knives

The word Santoku means “Three-Purpose”, which actually highlights its capabilities of cutting, chopping, and slicing the meat, vegetables, and fish. These are multipurpose knives and used commonly in Japan. The blade of a Santoku knife has a flat edge and steeply curved sheepsfoot at its point.

 

2: Deba – For Fish Butchery

Deba knives are a bit heavy in weight and they serve the special purpose of butchering and filleting the fish, other than being used for poultry purposes. They easily cut through the fish head and bones because of their extra sharp blade while the pointed sharp edge is used for fileting the flesh from the bones.

 

3: Nakiri – Ideal for Vegetable Chopping

Nakiri knives are the classic type of Japanese knives specially designed for easy and quick chopping of vegetables. They have a wide blade with a flat edge instead of a pointed or curved one that entirely touches the cutting board at once. This allows you to chop the vegetables with great speed and uniformity.

 

4: Petty – General Purpose Knives

Petty knives are super helpful for hand-peeling fruits and vegetables. They are usually not used for heavy kitchen tasks but serve great for normal use on cutting boards. They have thin and agile blades which makes them a perfect choice for normal, daily use in the kitchen.

 

5: Kiritsuke – For Slicing Fish

Kiritsuke knives are not as handy to use as other types of Japanese knives. This is because of its long blade and angled edge that it is difficult to use and is therefore used by only the expert chefs. They are excellent knives for slicing fish.

 

6: Gyutou – Best for Beef Breakdown

Gyutou knives are specially for chef use. They are great for the fish, meat, and vegetable cutlery but more specifically, they are greatly used for making western cuisines. They are used both for rock-chopping stiffer produce and for making fine cuts using the tip of the knife.

 

7: Honesuki – Boning Knives

Honesuki knives are great for normal use and for cutting smaller animals such as hens and rabbits. Other than this, they also excel in larger butchering and filleting the fish. The edge of the blade is relatively thin, used for precise cuts while the rest of the blade is thicker for easy cutting and scrapping of meat.

8: Sujihiki – Slicer Knives

Sujihiki – Slicer Knives

Sujihiki knives have sharp, thin, and long blades. Sujihiki basically means “Fresh Slicer” and they serve this purpose very well. They ae great for slicing the meat or vegetables smoothly and also preserve the freshness of the ingredients.

 

9: Usaba – Veggies Cutting Tool

Usaba knives have pretty thin blades that guarantee the perfect cutting of vegetables without cracking them, even if they’re hard and firm. They have a wider blade with a flat edge.

 

10: Takobiki – Long Slicing Knives

Takobiki knives are pretty long knives used to slice fish into paper-thin slices. They are specially used in Japanese Cuisine, for making sashimi. Also, the sharp edges on their blunt blades can be used to cut long tentacles of octopi.

 

11: Pankiri – Bread Knives

Pankisi knives do not have wide blades as they serve for slicing bread and other baked items. Their blades are long and thin throughout their length and hence, they expertly cut the items into slices without crushing them. They are useful for cutting braised meat as well!

 

12: Mukimono – For Decorative Garnishing

Mukimono – For Decorative Garnishing

Mukimo is the Japanese traditional art of decorating garnishes. Vegetables and fruits are carved into a variety of shapes including flowers, twists, and fan-shaped vegetables, as well as carving traditional images into their skins.  Hence, Mukimono is small and sharply pointed knives that are specifically designed for Mukimono carvings.

 

13: Udon Kiri – For Preparing Udon noodles

Udon Kiri knives are specially designed for making udon noodles, commonly made in Japanese household kitchens. Their blades are pretty heavy and large for convenient cutting of noodles from the flattened and folded udon dough.

 

14: Hankotsu – Excellent Meat Cutters

Hankou knives are very sturdy and strong in nature, used for cutting or scraping the meat away from bones. However, they are not useful for cutting through the bones. These knives are a bit curved in shape and have pointed edges.

 

15: Yo Deba – Chef Knives

Western-style yo deba is a descendant of traditional Japanese Deba knives. The knives have a heavy blade and are used to cut fish and semi-frozen food as well as meat with minor bones. They have wider blades for convenient use.

 

16: Yanagi – For Slicing Fish

Yanagi knives are long and thin knives with finely sharp blades. Just like Takobiki Japanese knives, Yanagi knives are also used for preparing Japanese cuisines such as sashimi. These knives are great for slicing boneless fish for sashimi as well as for topping over sushi.

 

Best Japanese Kitchen Knives

Japanese Knives are comparatively expensive than other knives and they’re expensive for a reason. They are all made up of high-quality materials, are extremely durable, and serve their purposes just perfectly.

We’ll take a look at some of the best Japanese knives for kitchen use, and you would definitely want to have them in your kitchen if you don’t have them already.

Image Product Features Price
Top-Pick

Miyabi Chef’s Knife

Miyabi Chef’s Knife
  • SG2 clad microcarbide powder steel core.
  • Hand-honed Japanese blade with an angle of 9 to 12 degrees.
  • Ice-hardened special Cryodur 6000 MCT.
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Best Value

Global 8 inch Chef Knife

Global 8 inch Chef Knife
  • Perfectly balanced chef’s knife with an 8-inch or 20-cm blade.
  • Stainless steel blade made of molybdenum/vanadium.
  • The edge remains razor sharp for a long time.
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Premium Pick

TUO Nakiri Black Hawk

TUO Nakiri Black Hawk
  • Blade geometry with a blunt front and a flat profile.
  • Ensures clean cutting every time.
  • Food can be transferred using the flat blade.
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Shun Cutlery Premier Shun Cutlery Premier
  • PakkaWood Handle for a comfortable grip.
  • Added strength because of Full composite tang.
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Wusthof Classic Wusthof Classic
  • Knife with full tang, precision forged.
  • Fully-bolstered with fingerguards.
  • A razor-sharp edge that has been hand-honed.
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Mac Knife Mac Knife
  • Blade made of high-carbon steel; easy to sharpen.
  • The spine and edge are completely tapered.
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Keep reading for a review of the Japanese Kitchen Knives.

1: Miyabi chef’s Knife – 8 inch, Birch/Stainless Steel

Miyabi chef’s Knife – 8 inch, BirchStainless Steel

Miyabi knives have their merits. They are commonly used by professional chefs for powerful and quick cutting and chopping of meat and fish.

However, this knife is far superior to its counterpart in our opinion. There are 101 layers of steel in this knife (SG2 vs. VG-10), which makes it lighter, sturdier, and most of all, much more beautiful. Miyabi doesn’t appear to be a novice. The blade is beautiful, and the Damascus pattern on it is stunning.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Miyabi
  • Material: Birch/Stainless Steel
Pros
  • Steel powdered with MicroCarbide MC63.
  • “D-shaped” handle made from Masur birch.
  • Blade made of 101 layers of CRYODUR.
  • Damask pattern in floral style.
Cons
  • Must be washed manually

 

2: Shun Cutlery Premier – 8 inch, Lightweight Chef’s Knife

Shun Cutlery Premier – 8 inch, Lightweight Chef’s Knife

Designed for comfort, convenience, and slicing performance, this chef’s knife is an absolute workhorse. Their blades are thin and light in weight which ensures easy cutting. Shun’s Cutlery Premium collection is perfectly light enough for slicing vegetables and heavy enough for slicing meat. They offer a strong yet comfortable grip.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Shun
  • Material: Stainless Steel
Pros
  • “Super steel” is the core of the blade, which is extremely hard.
  • Walnut-finish PakkaWood handles provide a trigger grip.
  • Free Lifetime resharpening at its US warehouse.
Cons
  • A bit brittle and expensive too.

 

3: Wüsthof Classic 8 Inch Cook’s Knife – Carbon Stainless Steel

Wüsthof Classic 8 Inch Cook’s Knife – Carbon Stainless Steel

The Wusthof’s classic 8-inch cook knives are all-rounder kitchen knives. This knife is an essential piece of equipment for every professional chef and a home cook since it can be used for chopping, dicing, mincing, and cutting any edible item. A Wusthof knife is definitely one of the most exceptional kitchen tools in the world.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Wusthof
  • Material: Stainless Steel
Pros
  • Incredible blades that work great for many years.
  • Tri-riveted full tang for added control and stability.
  • Durable and long-lasting knives.
Cons
  • Expensive and heavy in weight.

 

4: Mac Knife – Professional 8-inch Chef Knife

Mac Knife – Professional 8-inch Chef Knife

Mac Knives are the most popular and handy knives for everyday kitchen use. This 8-inch mac knife is super light in weight and with its thin 2.5mm blade and bolster, this knife can easily slice, dice, and cut almost any food. With Mac Knife Hollow Edge 8-In Chef’s Knife, you won’t have any difficulties cutting through sticky foods, because of its specially designed dimples.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Mac
  • Material: Alloy Steel
Pros
  • Sharp blade and a well-balanced handle.
  • The ideal length for both kitchen and professional use.
  • Great for cutting and chopping sticky foods.
Cons
  • Must be washed manually
  • Expensive

 

5: Global Chef Knife – 8-inch

Global Chef Knife - 8-inch

The best thing about Global chef knives is that they are made from a single piece of stainless steel and hence are super thin and light in weight. The edge is very sharp, so it’s perfect for hacking through the meat. The dimpled handle provides slip-proof control and is perfectly balanced for easy handling.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Global
  • Material: Carbon Stainless Steel
Pros
  • Have thinner blades and lightweight composition.
  • Dimples provide a slip-resistant grip.
  • Perfect for professional kitchen use.
Cons
  • Handles are a bit smaller as compared to its competitors.

 

6: TUO Nakiri Black Hawk – Chef’s Knife

TUO Nakiri Black Hawk – Chef’s Knife

Nakiri’s black hawk knives are definitely a worthy investment. They are super high-end knives, perfect for chopping and cutting with great speed. They are extremely sharp and the grip is super secure and ergonomic. Anyone new to Japanese knives, looking for a professional chef knife that is light in weight and comfortable to use, this knife is a must buy.

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: Nakiri
  • Material: High Carbon Steel
Pros
  • Lightweight knives with super sharp blades.
  • A long blade that is comfortable to use.
  • Well balanced and secure grip.
Cons
  • Super sharp right out of the box. This could be a problem for some users.

 

Products Technical Details

PRODUCT Manufacturer Service Model No/ASIN Dimensions Weight Material Date First Available
Miyabi chef’s Knife – 8 inch Miyabi Cookware 34373-203 3.31 x 1.38 x 15.13 inches 1.18 pounds Birch/Stainless Steel 10th August 2011
Shun Cutlery Premier – 8 inch Shun Unisex Adulto B003B66YKA 13.25 x 0.82 x 1.82 inches 7.7 ounces Stainless Steel 5th March 2010
Wüsthof Classic 8 Inch Wusthof Wusthof ‎1040100120 ‎2.79 x 19.05 x 10.92 cm 226.8 grams Stainless Steel 8th July 2020
Mac Knife – 8-inch Mac  MAC MIGHTY B000N5H2XU 8 x 1 x 1 inches 0.16 ounces Alloy Steel 22nd November 2006
Global Chef Knife – 8-inch Yoshikin Cookware B00005OL44 G-2 14.72 x 3.46 x 0.94 inches 7.8 ounces Carbon Stainless Steel 10th October 2019
Nakiri Black Hawk Nakiri Nakiri TC1206S 14.21 x 3.86 x 1.61 inches 1.1 pounds High Carbon Steel 29th September 2019

 

Conclusion

These were our top choices for the Japanese Knives. If you’re new to Japanese knives, you definitely don’t need to look at hundreds of different Japanese knives available out there. You can simply take a look at our top picks and purchase one for yourself. You won’t regret it.

FAQ’s

Why are Japanese knives expensive?
Japanese knives are usually lighter in weight. They are the most comfortable knives to use and feel super balanced in hands. Moreover, they are very durable and last for years. Hence, they are expensive too.
Are Japanese knives worth it?
Japanese knives are definitely worth it. The sharpness and durability of knives have always been more important to the Japanese than any other thing.
Why are Japanese knives so good?
For many years, Japan has been known for making the very best chisels, wood planes, saws, swords, knives, and other tools. To create an excellent kitchen knife, you need three qualities: thinner, harder, sharper. And that’s all within the Japanese knives.

 

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