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Japanese Knife

T he untrained eye will always have difficulties telling knife types apart, but when you start to carefully analyze the blades and handles, you will notice either significant or subtle differences. Japanese knives differ from American and European knives quite considerably as they have particular aesthetic styles and are more diverse in design. These knives are generally multi-purpose and make a suited addition to the cuisine of any conscious cook due to this aspect. If you don’t have a Japanese knife yet or you are seeking to expand your existing collection as you are pleased by the cutlery’s durability, make sure to check out the entries presented in this article and give them a second thought as we vouch for their quality.

7. GOUGIRI RYU VG10 Gyuto



Specifications:

  • Blade length: 8”
  • Overall length: 13.4”
  • Blade material: 33 layers Damascus steel
  • Blade design: Full tang
  • Blade thickness: N/A
  • Handle material: Pakka wood
  • Dishwasher safe:
  • Hardness: HRC 57-60
  • Weight: 6.2 oz.
  • Warranty: Money back guarantee


Pretty much regardless of how you seek to use the knife, whether you want to cut into a lobster, chop vegetables, or slice meat that you prepare during your barbecues, with this Gyuto knife you won’t have trouble getting the job finished fast and easy. With time, it retains sharpness, so you will not have to take out the electric or manual sharpener for upkeep all that often.

For crafting the blade, the producing company uses 33 layers of steel, which assures that lastingness is not an issue to worry over with this cutlery piece. If the manufacturing material of the blade was not sufficient to convince you of this aspect, know that it is rated 57-60 on the Rockwell hardness scale, which considerably surpasses the industry standard.

The stylish handle it is fitted with is made using a great-quality material as well, more precisely Pakkawood, and it boasts an ingenious D-shape, so comfort and a good grip are guaranteed when you utilize it.

What we like:
  • Rated at 57-60 on the Rockwell hardness scale
  • The handle is D-shaped so that it offers a comfortable, snug grip
  • It weighs only 6.2 ounces
  • Pakka wood handle withstands humidity

6. LauKingdom H&PC-70749



Specifications:

  • Blade length: 8”
  • Overall length: 13”
  • Blade material: 67 layers Damascus steel
  • Blade design: Full tang
  • Blade thickness: 2.5 mm
  • Handle material: Wood
  • Dishwasher safe:
  • Hardness: HRC 60-62
  • Weight: 6.5 oz.
  • Warranty: Lifetime


The 67 layers of Damascus steel that go into the crafting of the knife’s 8-inch long blade make it approximately two times sharper than other models on the market.

As this is a chef’s knife, you can confidently go ahead and utilize it for basically any cooking and food preparation chore that you can think of, which makes it a complete tool any cook should own in their kitchen. Wood is utilized for the crafting of the handle, and it is thought to feel comfortable when you hold it in your hand, all while adding a sophisticated look and feel to the knife.

The blade boasts an acute 15-degree angle that guarantees it maintains its sharpness, serving well even when confronted with the most difficult of food preparation duties.

What we like:
  • It presents minimal slicing resistance
  • Stylish 5-inch wooden handle
  • Weighs only 6.5 ounces
  • The blade is 0.1-inch thick
  • 60-day money-back guarantee

5. Kamosoto KAM552



Specifications:

  • Blade length: 8”
  • Overall length: 14.5”
  • Blade material: 67 layers VG-10 Damascus steel
  • Blade design: Full tang
  • Blade thickness: 2.2 mm
  • Handle material: G10 steel
  • Dishwasher safe:
  • Hardness: HRC 60-62
  • Weight: 16 oz.
  • Warranty: Lifetime


The core of the knife is made of 67 layers of high carbon stainless steel, thus guaranteeing that the cutlery will not corrode, get stained, or have any signs of blade wear as time passes. The 2.2-millimeter thick blade is capable of doing anything that you could think of, and it is rated at 60-62 on the Rockwell hardness scale, which on its own proves that this is a lasting, dependable knife.

As the handle is ergonomic, it feels great in the hand when you chop, cut, mince, and slice, helping you move naturally as you perform the required food preparation tasks.

Another neat trait of the handle is that it is non-slip, so you can hold it steady without feeling discomfort. This handle design also ensures that no unpleasant incidents take place while you are preparing your meals.

What we like:
  • Rated at 60-62 on the Rockwell hardness scale
  • Non-slip and soft-grip G10 handle for safety and convenience in use
  • Ergonomic blade design
  • Highly resilient to corrosion, wear, and spatter

4. Simple Song Traditional Gyuto Chef’s Knife



Specifications:

  • Blade length: 8”
  • Overall length: 14.1”
  • Blade material: 420HC stainless steel
  • Blade design: Full tang
  • Blade thickness: N/A
  • Handle material: Rosewood
  • Dishwasher safe:
  • Hardness: HRC 59
  • Weight: 15.2 oz.
  • Warranty: 30-day money back guarantee


With a superior edge sharpness retention and a perfect 8-inch long blade that makes it appropriate for a wide range of kitchen applications, the Gyuto is a must-have for all cooks who appreciate the gracefulness of Japanese cutlery. It retains blade sharpness over time and provides balanced precision when using it due to the full tang design.

The material used in the crafting of the blade is 420HC stainless steel, and it is heat-treated to keep its hardness and sharpness unlike any other blade does. Moreover, the stainless steel and chromium combination helps it withstand rusting as time passes, so it maintains its aspect and shape even if you make it your primary food preparation tool.

The beautiful Rosewood handle is hand polished and makes it stand out, all while supplying it with superior resilience. When it comes to backing, the manufacturer provides a 30-day money-back assurance so that you can return it and receive a full refund if you are displeased with the acquisition within this period.

What we like:
  • Made with 420HC stainless steel
  • Hand polished Rosewood handle
  • Chromium element makes it resist smudges and rust
  • Full tang design for balance

3. Imarku SC10-01



Specifications:

  • Blade length: 8”
  • Overall length: 13”
  • Blade material: High-carbon stainless steel, 16-18% chrome
  • Blade design: Full tang
  • Blade thickness: 2.2 mm
  • Handle material: Pakka wood
  • Dishwasher safe:
  • Hardness: HRC 56-58
  • Weight: 6.9 oz.
  • Warranty: Satisfaction guarantee


A popular choice among customers who seek a Gyutou knife, this model is versatile in use, all while coming at a reasonable price considering its lastingness. As it is a multi-functional cooking tool, you can utilize it to cut, slice, dice, chop, and even separate meat from the bone.

The 56-58 score on the Rockwell hardness scale it boasts makes it one of the toughest knives in its class. The strong profile is granted by the materials utilized in its manufacturing – high-carbon stainless steel that adds to its toughness and 16-18% chrome that offers it a glossy finish and tarnish or corrode over time.

It holds an edge well and boasts quite a satisfying weight-balance ratio that makes it simple even for rookie cooks to work with it. Furthermore, to provide effortless maneuvering and a good grip, the handle is crafted with Pakka wood.

What we like:
  • 56-58 Rockwell hardness score
  • A good weight-balance ratio
  • Chrome element for corrosion resistance
  • The sturdy handle is crafted with Pakka wood
  • The glossy blade finish will not tarnish with time

2. Zelite Infinity VG10 8-Inch



Specifications:

  • Blade length: 8”
  • Overall length: 12.9”
  • Blade material: 67 layers high carbon stainless steel
  • Blade design: Full tang
  • Blade thickness: 2.4 mm
  • Handle material: Military-grade G10 steel
  • Dishwasher safe:
  • Hardness: HRC 61
  • Weight: 9.8 oz.
  • Warranty: Lifetime


Due to the razor-sharp edge, you can utilize it regardless of the task you take up as the cutlery will provide a perfect cut every time.

The blade is 8 inches long, which suffices for any situation, while the handle provides a good grip over the tool so that you may handle it like a pro. For added ease when maneuvering the knife, the handle is ergonomically designed as well.

Sharpness, durability, and stylish design are all granted by the 67 layers of high-carbon stainless steel of the blade. If what we told you up to now was not sufficient to convince you, the lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturing company is certain to do the trick.

What we like:
  • The rounded handle adds to convenience in use
  • 12-15 degree edge ensures an incredible sharpness and safety in use
  • Optimum balance ensured by the full tang blade
  • Tapered bolster guarantees comfort in use

1. Yoshihiro VG10 HDGY21



Specifications:

  • Blade length: 8”
  • Overall length: 13.4”
  • Blade material: 16 layers hammered outer steel
  • Blade design: Full tang
  • Blade thickness: 3 mm
  • Handle material: Mahogany wood
  • Dishwasher safe:
  • Hardness: HRC 60
  • Weight: 6 oz.
  • Warranty: 100% satisfaction guarantee


The 3-layer composition of this knife’s core and the 16 sheets of hammered steel on the exterior of the blade make it a mandatory presence in the kitchen of any passionate cook. The Mahogany wood handle makes it simple to maneuver and convenient to use, all while enhancing its design by giving it a sumptuous aspect.

It is fitted with an 8-inch long blade that makes it appropriate for almost any food preparation undertaking that comes to mind. Moreover, as it flaunts superior blade sharpness and edge retention, you are guaranteed to make a long-lasting investment, one that you will not have to invest much time in when it comes to resharpening and general upkeep.

The full tang blade is another highlight seeing how it enhances balance in use, permitting you to dice, slice, mince, and chop anything you desire with it, all without putting in too much effort.

What we like:
  • It weighs only 6 ounces for easy maneuvering
  • 1/12-inch thick blade for multi-purpose use
  • The mahogany wood handle feels and looks great
  • The full tang blade ensures balance while handling it

Top 7 Japanese Knives Compared

Photo
Product
Blade length
Blade material
Dishwasher safe
Warranty
Price

Best Overall
8”
16 layers hammered outer steel
100% satisfaction guarantee

Editor’s Choice
8”
67 layers high carbon stainless steel
Lifetime

Best Under $50
8”
High-carbon stainless steel, 16-18% chrome
Satisfaction guarantee
8”
420HC stainless steel
30-day money back guarantee

Best for the Money
8”
67 layers VG-10 Damascus steel
Lifetime
8”
67 layers Damascus steel
Lifetime

Best for Cutting Meat
8”
33 layers Damascus steel
Money back guarantee



Japanese Cutlery 101


With so many knife assortments available to pick from, you are probably wondering what makes Japanese style knives special and what sets them apart from American and European knives. First of all, their design is unlike any other in terms of diversity and aesthetics. Moreover, uncommon materials are utilized in the production process, materials that add durability, and grant versatility in use.

Secondly, there are multiple Japanese kitchen knives types, which differ depending on their purpose and certain design details. Some are intended to be multipurpose cutlery, like santoku and gyuto knives, while others are specialized for specific activities, like debas and yanagibas .

It is hard to find unifying characteristics for Asian style knives as they differ so much, but there are a few commonalities among them. For example, they are manufactured with high-quality steels that are treated to high levels of hardness as opposed to western knives. This makes them more accurate as they have more acute bevel angles. On the downside, Japanese cutlery inclines to be more delicate, so extra caution is needed when it comes to storage and caring.

Blade Sharpening Guide

Proper storing and regular upkeep are the two important aspects you should never neglect if you want to upkeep cutlery, and the same goes for Japanese types. When the knife is well-maintained and sharp, you have an easy time performing the food preparation tasks you take up, and what you might not have known is that sharpness also influences the food’s taste. Moreover, a sharp edge encourages safe utilization as you cut through foods as you intended in one go.

If the knife does not cut properly anymore, sharpen it using a medium whetstone in combination with the finishing whetstone. If it has developed nicks or has become blunt, use a rough whetstone first, and then sharpen it normally using the medium whetstone followed by the finishing whetstone.
Steps to follow:
  • Place the reverse side flat on the whetstone and proceed to pass it on the surface using the reverse side – face side sequence until the edge forms. Remember to finish with the reverse side.
  • If a sharpening sludge forms, flip it to the face side and hold the blade opposing the whetstone from the ridges to the edge, sharpening by sliding it tip-to-heel.
  • Run the ball of your finger along the blade side to check for burrs. What you must do is to sharpen the reverse side until the burr is eliminated.
  • When you are done, wash the sludge and smooth it out using the finishing whetstone.
  • Sharpen the beveled edge for a few times to strengthen this part as well.
  • Wash the cutlery using hot water and wipe away the moisture. Then, apply oil coating and wrap it in plastic, and store it in a dry space.



Japanese Knives vs European Knives

  • Hardness – It plays a crucial role in establishing the cutlery’s quality as harder steel ensures a longer edge sharpness retention. A traditional European knife has a hardness rating that ranges from HRC 52 to HRC 56. However, Japanese cutlery boasts a superior hardness as it is commonly rated from HRC 58 to HRC 65.
  • Steel Type – European cutlery is made of fairly similar types of steel, so there is no variety in their construction. On the opposite side of the spectrum sits the Japanese cutlery. It is made of various alloys and steels, thus boasting more options in terms of finish and use.
  • Blade Angle – Unlike European cutlery, Japanese models can be whetted to a very fine angle at the edge. This is feasible due to the hard steel blade that does not break easily. Thus, it can be utilized for all food preparation activities.
  • Weight and Thickness – European style knives incline to be heavy and thick, featuring a robust blade with a larger angle at the cutting edge. This design makes them perfect for cutting through tough foods, but disastrous options in regards to cutting thin slices. However, Japanese models are a lot lighter, and they feature thinner blades, thus perfect for preparing fruits and veggies. Additionally, this light and aesthetically pleasing design makes them easier to handle, ensuring you will not get tired too quickly when cooking.



Buying Guide

Design and Materials

It should have 67 layers of Damascus steel, this blade construction not only ensuring superior durability but guaranteeing that it will cut through anything you desire as well, being up to any kitchen task possible.

When it comes to the handle’s design, it must provide a comfortable grip so that you will not tire too quickly during use. Check for durability to humidity as well to ensure long lastingness.

Full Tang Blade

This design trait provides optimal balance when chopping, slicing, mincing, or dicing, this being the reason why we advise that you check for this feature. If it offers increased balance, you will have an easier time using it, your movements will be more precise, and food quality is bound to be better as a result.

Dishwasher Safe

Most modern people have dishwashers in their homes as they cannot afford to lose time on washing dishes and cutlery by hand. If you have a dishwasher in your kitchen, we advise that you invest in an Asian knife that is safe to clean using it as well so that there is no effort required on your part for the procedure.

Warranty Length

The length of the warranty shows for how long you can rely on the manufacturer to provide free repairs or replacements in case production defects appear. Your best choice would be to opt for a Japanese knife with lifetime backing as it shows that the producing company trusts that most likely nothing will ever happen to the cutlery.


Frequently Asked Questions



?What is Damascus?
To produce the visually stunning Damascus, two types of steel are layered and folded together. This centuries-old technique does not seem to lose its popularity as people even nowadays appreciate a quality blade. There are only a few Japanese knives forged with the real deal, which is a shame considering the sharpness retention superiority Damascus boasts.

?Are they better in terms of balance when compared to other cutlery?
When compared to other cutlery, like German cutlery, for example, Japanese-style knives indeed do tend to be better balanced. This superiority in design is a result of the careful manufacturing process of Japanese cutlery, a process that always results in the production of a unique and sharp blade.

?Does edge retention and sharpness differ in any manner?
These cutlery pieces generally feature a single bevel and high amounts of carbon in the steel of their blades. Molded after the legendary katana swords, they are some of the best knives known to man.



Conclusion

Coveted for its details and cuts, the Japanese knife has always been at the center of attention in kitchens. What makes the cutlery special is the thin design of the blade that lets you make thin and precise cuts which would be impossible to achieve with other knives. As we have provided you with the best this market has to offer, your choices are sufficiently narrowed to make a qualitative pick in the end. Nonetheless, let’s revise some of the standout models out there to freshen your memory and further help you decide before we end.

Best Japanese Knife for Sale: Yoshihiro VG10 HDGY21

What we regard as being the perfect knife is the Yoshihiro VG10 that boasts a 3-layer core and 16-layer hammered steel exterior. Thus, it is unparalleled when it comes to durability. Moreover, the ergonomically designed Mahogany handle makes maneuvering effortless.

Editor’s Choice: Zelite Infinity VG10 8-Inch

A chef’s knife you will find useful in almost all food preparation tasks, the Zelite features an 8-inch long blade that incorporates 67 layers of high-carbon stainless steel so that sharpness retention is granted for years to come. Moreover, the full tang design grants balance, making it one of the safer cutlery products to handle even if you are a beginner in the art of cooking.

Best Japanese Knife Under $50: Imarku SC10-01

A favorite among customers, the Imarku is one of the toughest knives on the market, scoring 56-58 on the Rockwell hardness scale. It also maintains its glossy finish regardless of how intensely it is used, corrosion not being an issue to worry about with it. Moreover, it costs less than $50, which is a feat on its own considering its durability and sharpness.

Best Japanese Knife for Cutting Meat: GOUGIRI RYU VG10 Gyuto

To make your barbecues a success, you must cut steaks to perfection, and for that to happen, a knife like the Gougiri that cuts through the meat as if it were butter is what you should opt for. It is rated high on the Rockwell scale, at HRC 57 to 60, so you do not need to concern over rusting as it is not a viable resolution. Moreover, the durable materials utilized in the production of the blade enable heavy-duty use without damage.

Best Japanese Knife for the Money: Kamosoto KAM552

Composed of 67 high-carbon stainless steel layers and with a 2.2-millimeter thick blade, look into the Kamosoto twice before you make a final decision as it flaunts the tough yet sharp profile you seek. Considering that you can acquire it for less than $100, it is safe to say this is a value deal any budget-smart person will appreciate. It is suited for all financial possibilities and does not sacrifice durability or sharpness for it either, so you ought to think this option over seriously as it might be the one for you.

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