Best Japanese Knives That Are Light, Sharp and Agile

Best Japanese Knives

Looking for the best Japanese knives? Look no more! The following article will answer all your questions about and guide you through the process of buying a kitchen knife. I’ll discuss everything you need to know about Japanese knives, from the different types of steel to the differences between handles (rosewood vs. bamboo) and blades to help save you time, money, and frustration as you search for that perfect Japanese knife.

5 Best Japanese Kitchen Knives in 2022

Why Choose a Japanese Chef’s Knife? Japanese chef knives, or ninjatos, have a reputation for being among the very best chef’s knives in the entire world. Thus, Anyone who has used one can attest that they are light, sharp, and agile.

Japanese-style kitchen knives are truly unique in that they are lighter in weight and sharper than European-style knives.

A Japanese chef’s knife can be as different from a German knife as a katana is from a broadsword. Japanese kitchen knives are lighter and thinner than German ones, allowing cooks to perform intricate tasks with greater ease. This is why, Japanese knives are a favourite of professional chefs around the world.

Let’s take a look at Best Japanese Knives in the market today

Shun Classic 8” Knife:

Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife

The Shun Classic 8-Inch Knife is designed by Master Bladesmiths in Seki City, Japan.

It is used by top master chefs in Japan, who value the precision and control it gives them, thanks to Shun’s proprietary high-performance VG-MAX blade steel clad with 32 layers of stainless steel on each side. The razor-sharp blade glides through food with ease. For instance, this versatile chef’s knife easily chops, dices, minces, and slices fruits, vegetables, fish, or meat.

The D-shaped handle fits comfortably in hand and is made of a durable material that won’t crack, chip or peel. As a result, it is a top choice for both left- and right-handed users.

Shun’s Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is the perfect choice for skilled cooking and carving.

When you’re cutting food in the kitchen, you need a knife that will slice through ingredients and not wear out quickly. This Japanese knife features fine-cutting and sharpness above average.

Check out our Review on Kamikoto Knives

PROS

  • Superior Knife for chopping, Dicing, and Fine cutting
  • Blade Stays sharp without honing
  • VG-Max Blade steel clad with 32 layers
  • D Shaped handle fits Comfortably
  • The 69 layers of high-quality stainless steel are compressed and forged to create a durable cutting edge that resists rust and corrosion.
  • Well balanced knife
  • Odor Resistant

CONS

  • Edge may chip after few weeks
  • Knife may get dulled after few months

SPECIFICATIONS

Knife Type:  chef

Use of Knife: Slicing, Fish, BBQ, Vegetables and Fruits

Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty

Blade Length: 8 Inch

Blade Steel: VG- MAX

Blade Steel Layers: 69 Layer Damascus

Edge: Non-Serrated

Handle: Pakkawood

MEASUREMENTS

Knife Length: 13.5″

Weight: 7.1 oz. / 201 gram

Blade Length: 8.19″

Blade Height: 1.88″

Blade Thickness: 2.2 mm

Shun Sora 6 Inch:

Shun Sora 6 Inch Chef's Knife

The Shun Sora 6-in. Japanese Chef’s Knife is the ideal all-purpose kitchen knife. Though shorter in stature than traditional chef’s knives, it’s still packed with features to ensure versatile cutting performance for years to come

It has a VG-MAX cutting core, made from a 69 layers of stainless steel bonded together for perfect balance and uniform sharpness. VG-MAX steel in the Sora provides three characteristics in one:

  1. Stainless steel, which means it will not rust.
  2. High carbon steel, which means extreme sharpness.
  3. Alloy steel, which means a little flexibility to meet the 16-degree angle of the blade.

Shun Sora 6-inch Chef’s Knife is the perfect kitchen tool that can handle both luxury and everyday tasks. With its thin blade and D-shaped ebony Pakkawood handle, it’s comfortable to use with either hand and easy to keep clean thanks to the high-karat razor edge. The flat blade also allows you to make smooth cuts. While the classic, Western-style bevels allow for fine-tuning when cutting ingredients.

This knife is ideal for anyone who wants a multipurpose knife that’s easier to maneuver and lighter in weight. Its wide blade and deep belly make it a natural for chopping, dicing, mincing, and slicing fruits, vegetables, and even meats. Moreover, This knife will surely add wonders to your kitchen, allowing you to be a master chef in your own home!

Check out our article on Gyuto vs Santoku Knives

PROS

  • 69 layer of stainless steel
  • The shorter blade makes the knife incredibly nimble and agile, perfect for small chopping jobs in or out of the kitchen
  • Extreme Sharpness
  • 6 inch Chef’s Knife is small but lightning-fast
  • 16 Degree angle of blade
  • Makes smooth cuts

CONS

  • Handle feels like made of plastic

SPECIFICATIONS

Knife Type:  Chef

Use of Knife: Slicing, Fish, BBQ, Vegetables and Fruits

Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty

Blade Length: 6 Inch

Blade Steel: VG- MAX

Blade Steel Layers: 69 Layer Damascus

Edge: Non-Serrated

Handle: Pakkawood

MEASUREMENTS

Knife Length: 11.25″

Weight: 4.32 oz. / 122.46 grams

Wide at heel: 1.5”

Blade Thickness: 1.7 mm

Miyabi Chef’s Knife 8-Inch, Birch/Stainless Steel:

Miyabi Chef's Knife 8 Inch

The Miyabi 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is one of the most widely used knives in home kitchens today. It features a powder steel core protected by 100 layers of high carbon steel with a Damascus pattern and a katana edge for increased sharpness. The curvature of the blade runs through the spine from heel to tip.

8-Inch Miyabi Chef’s Knife is ideal for ultra-precise cutting, dicing, and mincing. Also, It has a 20 cm blade that can easily cut through any kind of meat or vegetable, thanks to its high-grade steel core construction.

Miyabi’s sleek and stylish knife is the undoubtedly perfect addition to any cutlery collection. Its ergonomic D-shaped handle features a reserved Elmwood inlay that ensures that it sits perfectly balanced and steady in your grip no matter how you hold the knife.

To summarize, this knife can take on everything from vegetables to meat and fish.

Miyabi 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is designed by a team of engineers in Japan who specialize in creating the highest quality knives possible. Hence, It’s an excellent choice for experienced chefs and budding newcomers alike, as it takes standard sharpening methods and adds its own unique spin.

Check out our Review on Miyabi Knives

PROS

  • Powder Steel Core
  • High Carbon Steel
  • 20 cm blade that can easily cut
  • Balanced Steady grip
  • Katana Edge
  • Precise Cutting

CONS

  • Poor customer service
  • Problems with spine finishing

SPECIFICATIONS

Knife Type:  Chef

Use of Knife: Slicing, Dicing, Fish, BBQ, Vegetables and Fruits

Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty

Blade Length: 8 Inch

Blade Steel: micro-carbide powder steel

Blade Steel Layers: 100 Layer Damascus Flower pattern

Edge: Honbazuke edge

Handle: Birch wooden handle

MEASUREMENTS

Net weight: 0.38 lbs. / 172.5 gram

Length of product: 13.27 in

Width of product: 0.91 in

Height of product: 1.85 in

Blade length: 7.87 in

Handle length: 5.39 in

Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch:

Mac Knife Professional 8 Inch

The MAC Hollow Edge Chefs 8″ Knife is perfect for those who are passionate about cooking. It is made up of molybdenum-vanadium steel, which is strong enough to stay sharp for a long time without rusting or needs to be sharpened as often. Meanwhile, The hollow edge of this knife is similar to the MAC Professional series.

MAC Hollow Edge Chef’s 8-inch knife is a knife for everyday use. If you could combine the sharpness of MAC’s professional knives with the edge retention of their hollow-ground series, as a result, it could only be the Chef Knife from the brand’s new Hollow Edge collection.

Crafted from fine steel, it boasts a lightweight feel and an attractive pakkawood handle that ensures a comfortable grip and a first-rate slicing experience. It’s ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hand for slicing, chopping, and dicing, or any other kind of food preparation on a cutting board.

Also, it is durable as it’ll last for years with proper care, but we recommend you to hand wash Mac Hollow Edge Chef’s 8″ Knife instead of dishwasher safe.

PROS

  • Made up of Molybdenum-vanadium steel
  • It keeps your cut items looking nice because of the sharp edge and sleek design
  • Lasts for years without rusting
  • Sleek Design
  • Lightweight feel
  • Comfortable grip

CONS

  • Doesn’t work well with hard items including hard vegetables

SPECIFICATIONS

Knife Type:  Chef (Home Use)

Use of Knife: Slicing, Dicing, Fish, BBQ, Vegetables and Fruits

Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty

Blade Length: 8 Inch

Blade Steel: Molybdenum-vanadium steel

Edge: Hollow edge

Handle: Pakkawood handle

MEASUREMENTS

Knife Length: 12.65″

Weight: 6 oz. / 171 gram

Blade Length: 7.88″

Blade Height: 1.90″

Blade Thickness: 2.0 mm

Zelite Infinity 8’’ Santoku Knife:

Zelite Infinity 8’’ Santoku Knife

The Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Santoku Knife is an outstanding blade, both in terms of performance and aesthetics. It’s made with a 67-layer high carbon Damascus stainless steel that gives it a sharpness that stays sharp.

The blade comes with a tsunami rose Damascus pattern and HRCC 61 hardness, protecting it against corrosion and rust — For this reason, Zelite Infinity 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is the prize of any kitchen.

The sharp blade features a 12-15 degree edge that sits atop an ergonomic hump handle with stainless steel bolsters — Thus, making it ideal for an acrobatics performance of intricate cuts.

The Zelite Infinity 8 Inch is the razor-sharp blade that will help you get through any culinary task. Also, this razor-sharp chef’s knife excels at chopping meat, cutting through vegetables, and dicing fruit. The humpback handle is perfect for people who hold their knives in a traditional grip.

PROS

  • HRCC61 Hardness protecting against corrosion and rust
  • Easy control
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • The humpback handle also has a balance that makes it easy to control
  • It comes with blade guard to keep your knife sharp
  • It can chop meat, vegetables, fruits easily
  • Ergonomic Hump Handle with stainless steel bolsters

CONS

  • Slightly heavy knife

SPECIFICATIONS

Knife Type:  Chef (Home Use)

Use of Knife: Slicing, Dicing, Meat, BBQ, Vegetables and Fruits

Warranty: Lifetime Warranty (only if purchased from Zelite Infinity)

Blade Length: 8 Inch

Blade Steel: 67-layer high carbon Damascus+ AUS 10 stainless steel

Edge: 12-15 degree per side

Handle: Hump Back Handle

MEASUREMENTS

Knife Length: 13.5″

Weight: 10.8 oz. / 306 gram

Blade Thickness: 2.4 mm

Final Verdict

Japan makes some of the best kitchen knives in the world certainly, with the top-quality materials and manufacturing processes, they are coveted all around the world.

Manufacturers in Japan have been honing their craft for generations, and with newer technology and techniques entering the market, they’ve developed a modern take on the classic Japanese kitchen knife.

The only downside is that they break more easily than their German counterparts. That’s because the traditional method used to sharpen them can leave small chips in the blade as a result of the repeated heating and cooling.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Japanese Knives

Japanese chef knives are a great choice for those who cook a lot, but only if you choose your knife wisely, there are handful factors that you should consider before buying a Japanese knife

  • Blade Length
  • Use of Knife
  • Warranty
  • Handle

Blade Length:

The blade length makes the biggest difference on how the knife will perform. The longer a blade, the easier it is to cut through tough ingredients, but the shorter a blade, the easier it is to handle in smaller kitchens.

I recommend that you get a blade that is 6 inches long or above, but below 8 inches to avoid weighing down your knife too much. If you are an amateur cook with little experience in handling knives, then a 4-inch blade might be better.

Use of Knife:

You should also consider how you will use the knife. A Japanese knife won’t cut through heavy meat, so you need to pick one suitable for your task. You can find out what blade steel is used on a knife by looking at its packaging; the lower the carbon concentration, the better

Warranty:

Warranty is another factor to consider before buying a knife, as it shows the trust and belief that the manufacturer has in their product.

Handle:

A high-quality knife should also have a comfortable handle that fits your hand and offers a secure grip. It should be easy to clean and maintain — even after heavy use in the kitchen.

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