The Ultimate Guide to the Best Japanese Knives
Japan is famous for a lot of things, and the best Japanese knives are no exception. Japanese knives are some of the best in the world and have been perfected by local craftspeople for generations. But what exactly makes Japanese knives so great?
For one, they are extremely sharp. They are designed to delicately yet precisely slice meat, fish, vegetables and more. Japanese knife types are also thin yet durable, meaning they can last a long time and are easy and comfortable to use.
Are you ready to add the best Japanese knives to your cutlery collection? From paring knives to butcher’s knives, and from the best Japanese chef’s knives to the best Japanese kitchen knives, there are plenty to choose from.
Browse the best Japanese knives below to learn more about each selection’s premium materials, strategic design and unique features.
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Best Japanese Chef’s Knives
1. Miyabi Koh 8" Chef's Knife
With an ice-hardened stainless steel blade and sleek pakkawood handle, this handmade knife is truly one of a kind. The Miyabi Koh 8" Chef's Knife is as functional as it is beautiful, with an octagonal shape that supports all sorts of cutting, slicing and chopping. Topping the list of best Japanese knives, this selection is designed to honor the samurai swords of eras past and makes a lovely addition to any kitchen.
- Price: $139.99
2. Miyabi Artisan 8" Chef's Knife
Looking for one of the best Japanese knives for wear-resistant use? The Miyabi Artisan 8" Chef Knife is made from high-alloy and high-carbon stainless steel and nickel, making it a durable and aesthetically pleasing option. It features a hammered tsuchime finish that keeps it from sticking to food as you’re cutting. The handle’s made from gorgeous cocobolo rosewood pakkawood and is ergonomically designed to support you as you use it.
3. Miyabi Evolution 8" Chef's Knife
The Miyabi Evolution 8" Chef's Knife combines knife-making techniques from both Japan and Germany to create one of the best Japanese knives available. It’s made in Seki, Japan from high-carbon FC61 stainless steel, which is harder, denser and far more durable than average. The blades are ice-hardened, carefully polished and sure to withstand the tests of time no matter how much of you use them.
Best Japanese Kitchen Knives
4. Kikuichi Ginsan Sanmai 7" Gyuto Knife
This Kikuichi Ginsan Sanmai 7" Gyuto Knife is one of the best Japanese knives for giving you the confidence in the kitchen to be a cut above the rest. The blade is made with not one but three layers of Ginsan steel yet is still thin enough for delicate cuts. It features an octagonal, walnut handle designed for ergonomics and a chrysanthemum graphic engraved onto the blade.
5. Kikuichi Ginsan Sanmai 6.5" Nakiri Knife
If you’re looking for a knife in a less traditional shape, this rectangular Kikuichi Ginsan Sanmai 6.5" Nakiri Knife is a great option. It’s made from three layers of engraved stainless steel and an octagonal walnut handle. The knife is quite simple in appearance but extremely practical as a multi-purpose, high-quality kitchen tool for making quick work of greens and vegetables. It’s no wonder it’s one of the best Japanese knives.
6. Kikuichi Ginsan Sanmai Petty Knife
At eight inches long, the blade of this Kikuichi Ginsan Sanmai Petty Knife is big enough to take on all sorts of proteins and produce with ease. It’s made from Ginsan stainless steel and boasts a comfortable walnut handle perfectly suited for easy use. This is one of the best Japanese knives thanks to its simple yet quality design and the top-tier materials that it is made from.
7. Kikuichi Ginsan Sanmai Paring Knife
If you are looking for a smaller knife option, this Kikuichi Ginsan Sanmai Paring Knife is perfect. What makes this one of the best Japanese knives is its Molybdenum AUS-10 stainless steel handle which is stiff and highly durable. This knife is also very thin, allowing for small, precise cutting. The walnut handle adds a beautiful finish and is comfortable in the hand.
8. Kikuichi Molybdenum Paring Knife
The Kikuichi Molybdenum Paring Knife is sleek, small and super-fine, yet just as durable as its thicker counterparts. This knife is also extremely sharp and features a Molybdenum AUS-10 stainless steel blade that stands up against wear and tear. For an introductory paring knife, this is one of the best Japanese knives for anyone who likes to cook at home.
9. Kikuichi Molybdenum Stainless Steel 6" Petty Knife
Another member of the Molybdenum stainless steel family, the Kikuichi Molybdenum Stainless Steel 6" Petty Knife is a good starter knife and one of the best Japanese knives if you’re seeking precision and value for money. Featuring a black resin handle and charming engraving, this petty is both great-looking and exceptionally reliable.
10. Kikuichi Molybdenum Stainless Steel 7" Gyuto Knife
This Kikuichi Molybdenum Stainless Steel 7" Gyuto Knife is very similar to the petty knife above but has a significantly longer blade. Longer blades allow for more leverage but at the end of the day, which one you should go for is really up to your own preference. That said, if you cook with a lot of meat, this will be one of the best Japanese knives to add to your collection.
11. Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime Paring Knife
This Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime Paring Knife holds quite heavy in the hand but is just as small and agile as one could want. It’s made of Damascus stainless steel featuring a hammered tsuchime finish and gorgeous engraving. With its eco wood handle and timeless design, it's one of the best Japanese knives of this size.
12. Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime Petty Knife
This Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime Petty Knife is incredibly designed and highly functional, featuring 17 layers of steel in its blade. What makes this one of the best Japanese knives is its fine grain structure and ultra-sharpness that allows it to glide through anything from meat to potatoes. It’s an agile kitchen knife that you’ll love for a lifetime.
13. Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime 7" Santoku Knife
The best Japanese knives with a curved top look nice and perform wonderfully, as you’ll find with this Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime 7" Santoku Knife. It’s made of stainless steel with an eco wood handle that fits comfortably in the hand as you use it. This knife has a hammered finish that both prevents the knife from sticking to food and also provides a unique appearance you are sure to love.
14. Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime 8" Gyuto Knife
If you’re searching for a large kitchen knife that will last a lifetime, this Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime 8" Gyuto Knife fits the bill. It’s made with a 9.5” blade featuring 17 layers of Damascus stainless steel. The knife also has a Rockwell hardness of 60, meaning it will retain its razor-sharp edge for longer than average.
Best Japanese Knife Sets
15. Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime 2-Pc Knife Set With Stone
For novices and experienced cooks alike, the Kikuichi Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime 2-Pc Knife Set With Stone is one of the best Japanese knife sets money can buy. The set includes a handcrafted, hand-hammered 7” santoku, perfect for working through produce and lean meats, and a 3.5” petty to expertly slice your way through delicate kitchen tasks. Best of all, the included 1,000/6,000 grit waterstone will keep your blades razor-sharp over time.
16. Shun Sora 6-Pc Basic Block Set
One of the best Japanese knife sets for a budding collector, the Sora 6-Pc Basic Block Set comes with a 3.5” paring knife, 6” utility knife, 8” chef's knife, herb shears and honing steel. Each knife’s unique composite blade combines high-performance VG10 steel on the cutting edge with corrosion-resistant Japanese 420J stainless steel on the upper blade. The included knife block has seven extra slots so you can keep growing your collection of best Japanese knives.
17. Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7-Pc Knife Block Set
Add some flair to the kitchen with the Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7-Pc Knife Block Set. Featuring some of the best Japanese knives, this stylish collection includes a 3.5” paring knife, 7” santoku, 8” chef’s knife, 9" bread knife, kitchen shears and honing steel, plus room to add to your collection. Each blade features 100 layers of micro-carbide powder steel for an exceptionally sharp edge built to last. And, the stunning Karelian Birch handles put a high-end finishing touch on an overall fantastic knife set.
If you’re looking to add a new Japanese knife to your collection, you cannot go wrong with any of the best Japanese knives on this list. Between their high-quality, layered steel blades, beautiful wood handles and enticing designs, these knives are second to none.
For even more ways to elevate your kitchen, check out chef-recommended cookware in the Cozymeal Shop.
*Prices subject to change.