The Best Japanese Chef Knives On The Market
Japan is renowned for making high-quality chef knives, so if you’re looking to a buy an incredibly versatile knife for your kitchen, then investing in one of these fantastic Japanese blade’s is a great decision.
In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the best Japanese chef knives on the market – all of which provide incredible quality, as well as great value for your money.
So without any further introduction, let’s take a look at some of the best Japanese-made blades available.
In a hurry? Here’s the top 5:
An incredible knife made from Hongasumi high carbon steel with exceptional sharpness and edge retention features. Also comes with a gorgeous rosewood handle. A beautifully handcrafted knife that's well worth the investment.
An exquisite hammer finished Japanese chef knife that uses 67 layers of high carbon stainless steel for unrivaled quality and durability.
A wonderfully designed 8-inch Chef's knife that comes with excellent VG-10 steel along with 37 layers to give the blade incredible durability and a lovely finish. It's also comfortable for both left and right hand use thanks to the double bevel edge.
An excellent chef's knife that comes with a top-notch blade that'll last you a lifetime if you care for it. Offers impeccable craftsmanship that'll never let you down.
A lightweight and incredibly comfortable professional chef's knife that features a 2.5mm blade, a gorgeous pakka wood handle, and exceptional reviews from buyers.
To begin with, we have this gorgeous Japanese chef knife from a company called Yoshihiro, which comes in a range of sizes starting at 9.5″ and finishing at 13″. It also comes in two different wooden finishes – either rosewood or magnolia wood – both of which look stunning.
It features a high-quality carbon steel sharpness and edge, complete with all the durability and convenience you’d associate with a stainless steel blade. This item is also very easy to maintain, as a simple whetstone sharpening will keep this blade razor sharp.
Overall, the performance of this blade is out of this world, and it’ll glide through any kind of fish with no trouble at all. While the cost is certainly up there with the best knives in the world, it’s safe to say that this knife delivers where it counts – as the vast majority of user reviews on Amazon also attest to. Ultimately, if you have the budget available to buy this knife, you can’t go wrong.
Here’s a revolutionary chef knife that comes with an ‘air-blade’ design, and it comes with a beautiful Tsuchime finish on the premium quality VG-10 steel blade – so it’s true to say this knife gives you incredible quality in virtually every aspect.
A great deal of thought has gone into the design of this blade, and you’ll quickly notice how comfortable this option is to use. It features a 57mm deep blade which gives you the maximum knuckle clearance possible, and this design makes it very easy to rock the blade while cutting.
As you’d expect from the price, this is a truly luxurious item, and it’s nice to know that the company backs the knife with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not happy with the quality for any reason, then they’ll be more than happy to return your money.
This knife from Dalstrong is truly an exception item, and the incredibly high average user review rating on Amazon just goes to show how well loved this product is.
It comes with all of the award-winning craftsmanship that you’d expect from the popular Dalstrong brand, and this particular knife is a great example of the quality they deliver. Of course, there’s a number of alternatives available in different sizes, too.
The knife comes with VG-10 Japanese super steel, and it boasts excellent edge retention and sharpness thanks to the 66 layers of premium high-carbon stainless steel that’s used for the knife. What’s more, the balancing is out of this world, so no matter whether you’re a keen beginner or seasoned professional, you’ll quickly fall in love with this blade.
Here’s another excellent Chef’s knife that’s genuinely made in Japan, and comes with a lovely Pakka wood handle for a truly authentic feel. Of course, this also means that it’s best washed by hand rather than placed in a dishwasher.
The blade is very comfortable to use due to its 2.5mm blade that slices through anything your role requires, and it’s generally a lightweight blade as well, making it comfortable for prolonged use whenever needed.
The Amazon reviews score this blade very highly indeed, with an average rating that’s over 4.6 out of 5.0, with over 80% of all buyers giving the product a full 5 stars.
Here’s a beautiful hammered chef’s knife that has a truly distinctive look, and it’s actually handcrafted in Japan, specifically Seki city.
You’ll be pleased to know that it comes with a lifetime warranty, which shows the confidence the manufacturer has in the product – and it features many of the key construction aspects you’d hope to see in a quality blade, such as multi-layered stainless steel and a reliable Rockwell Hardness of 61.
The buyer reviews are generally very positive overall, with a rating of 4.9 out of 5.0 on Amazon at the time of writing.
# 6 – SETO Japanese Chef Knife
The Japanese Cutlery brand makes a wonderful range of quality knives, and this particular Chef knife is a great buy if you’re looking for exceptional quality at a fairly reasonable price.
The knife is made exclusively in Seki, Japan, and it’s made by a very prestigious company who are renowned for their blade quality.
Of course, the finish is very good indeed, and it’s incredibly comfortable to hold and use for extended periods of time.
The reviews are very positive, just as you’d expect, and it’s rare to see a bad word said about this specific item.
Our next pick is this fantastic 8-inch blade by Okami. This knife isn’t the cheapest around, but it’s certainly in the upper tier of quality, albeit not with such a hefty price tag as many of the previously listed options.
It’s constructed from super high quality VG10 Japanese super steel, which features 67 layers of Damascus steel – making it one of the toughest and hardest wearing chef knives currently available.
What’s more, the handle is constructed from pure Pakka wood, which is equally hard wearing and feels fantastic in the hand. What’s more, comes in a lovely magnetic gift box, which adds to the overall luxurious feel this blade offers.
The edge is very sharp straight out of the box, and it manages to stay very sharp in general thanks to the strong steel construction. The balance is very comfortable, which means it’s virtually effortless to use, regardless of whether you’re dicing, slicing, or chopping.
Finally, it comes with a 60 day ‘no questions asked’ guarantee, which shows Okami certainly have a lot of confidence in their products. Review wise, this scores well on Amazon, with an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 at the time of writing.
Shun has long been a respected name in the knife world, and this blade is certainly no exception.
With the choice of 8 or 6 inches, you can choose between whichever size you prefer, and it’ll handle virtually any kitchen task you throw at it.
The blade is constructed from layered Damascus steel, and it comes with a beautiful Tsuchime finish. Additionally, the pakkawood handle is astonishingly comfortable to use, and it will elegantly follow the curve of your hand, making for a wonderful operation.
Despite the high cost, this knife oozes quality, and it also comes with a lifetime warranty – so you can rest assured it’ll last for a long time.
If you’re looking for something that’s significantly more affordable then this option by Kai is worth a closer look.
With a reliable Daido 1K6 high-carbon stainless steel blade, it’s a fantastic quality option for the price.
It also has some nice stylistic elements, such as the embellished ‘wasabi’ character, and the bead blasted finish that gives it an attractive appearance.
Finally, it’s worth pointing out that this blade comes in a variety of sizes – ranging from 4 inches to 9 inches, and there’s also a variety of styles within this range, which covers Deba, Santoku, Nakiri, Yanagiba, and more.
The Amazon user review score of 4.6 out of 5.0 (at the time of writing) also goes some way to show what a great deal this blade truly is.
Zhen offer a great range of kitchen knives, and this model in particular is well worth owning.
As a 9.5 inch blade, it’s a little longer than many of the other picks we’ve selected for this guide, and the top-quality Japanese stainless steel certainly lives up to the hype.
The core is constructed from 67 layer Damascus steel, with 33 layers on each side, and it’s very durable, and could easily last you a lifetime with proper care.
The handle is made from pakkawood, so it gives you great handling abilities, and will rarely slip in your hand.
Ultimately, this is a very good knife that’s perfect for cutting meats, vegetables, and more.
If you’re looking to buy a complete set of Japanese chef knives, then this is a great option to choose.
It comes with 9 individual pieces, along with a handy canvas carry case, which makes for an effective storage device for in the home or while traveling.
Each blade also comes with a plastic cover, which keeps the sharp edges protected, so they can’t damage the canvas casing.
Additionally, the knives are all forged from strong stainless steel, meaning they’ll stay sharp with minimal maintenance, and they’ll last a long time.
Ultimately, this makes for an excellent choice if you’re a culinary student – or even if you’re looking to buy a fabulous gift for a budding chef!
This mid-priced Chef’s knife by Kiya is a great choice if you’re looking to buy something that’s better than the budget options, but doesn’t come with the huge price tag.
The company, Kiya, has long been a manufacturer of quality knives – and they’ve been around for over 220 years, so they certainly have a great deal of history behind them.
Additionally, this blade is constructed from similar materials as you would find in far more expensive knives, making this knife very good value for money. Equally, this blade is actually made in Japan, too.
Review wise, this scores very well, with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5.0 on Amazon. In general, there are many positive comments from thrilled owners of this knife, and it’s rare to find any bad aspects at all given the astonishing value for money it provides.
Zhen is easily one of our favorite knife manufacturers, and it’s easy to see why.
With great quality at affordable prices, these are some of the best mid-priced blades currently available.
This set gives you an 8-inch Chef’s knife, along with a 7-inch Santoku knife, which gives you great versatility regardless of the kitchen task you’re performing.
What’s more, the blade construction is top notch. The blades consist of quality Japanese carbon stainless steel, so it’ll last a very long time with just the lightest of maintenance routines. The steel is also imported directly from Japan, with the final knife being constructed in Taiwan.
Of course, the reviews are also very positive, like most Zhen blades. The Amazon score currently sits at 4.4 out of 5.0 at the time of writing.
Rachael Ray may not have been a name you were expecting to see in this guide, but this Japanese Chef’s knife is a pretty respectable blade – especially given the fantastic price it’s on sale for over at Amazon.
The colorful orange handle gives you some visual interest (and matches many of the other products within the Rachael Ray kitchenware line), but most importantly, the blade is very strong and reliable – and made from quality Japanese steel for fantastic durability and performance.
The blade also comes with a plastic protective sheath which protects the blade for when it’s placed inside a drawer.
Overall, this is a great choice at an even better price – so it’s no surprise to see the Amazon user review score rest at a solid 4.7 out of 5.0. Obviously, the blade doesn’t compete with the high-end models, but it’s one of the better ‘budget’ choices out there right now.
Ramblewood is a lesser known name compared to some of the other blades in our guide, but this Japanese Chef’s knife is an excellent mid-priced choice that you can rely on.
Forged with 67 layers of Japanese VG-10 steel, the construction quality rivals some of the bigger, and more expensive brands – while the handle is perfectly balanced, allowing for fast, controlling chopping, slicing, mincing, and more.
The blade in incredibly durable on this model and it uses a high carbon mix with a hardness Rockwell C scale sustained at 60+.
Ultimately, you can rest assured that this is a quality blade and could easily command a higher price tag. If you give this blade to a chef and ask them to price it, they’re almost certainly going to assume it’s worth more than you paid.
Next, let’s take a closer look at a more affordable, ‘budget’ Japanese Chef’s knife that still offers great quality.
It uses a strong, dual-riveted handle that should last a long time, and it’s surprisingly comfortable in the hand.
Of course, you’re not going to confuse this blade with something that costs a great deal more, but it’s still a very respectable Chef’s knife that’ll serve any keen amateur chef very well – and for the current price, it’s pretty hard to beat.
It also comes with a decent sheath that’ll keep it safe in secure while it’s not being used.
Our final pick is this wonderfully authentic Japanese Chef’s knife from Miyabi. As a high-end knife, you can expect to pay quite a bit more for this blade – especially when compared to some of the ‘budget blades’ we’ve shown you in this guide.
But if you’re looking for unsurpassed quality and luxury, you can’t go wrong with this one. Made in Japan, and featuring 65 layers of steel, along with an attractive flower Damascus pattern – this is a sturdy blade that’s easy to use and looks fantastic in the kitchen.
It has a 60 Rockwell Hardness rating, along with a Cryodur ice-hardened blade – which simply means it’s going to remain sharp for a very, very long time – and with just a little care, it’ll last you a lifetime without any worries at all.
This blade also makes for an excellent gift – especially considering the fact that it comes in a lovely gift box when you purchase.
While this blade shares many similarities with the Shun knives, it’s a respectable choice in its own right – and you certainly wouldn’t regret owning one.