Best Japanese Sushi Knives – No Fish Can Stand Against These

Best Japanese Sushi Knives – No Fish Can Stand Against These

Best Japanese Sushi knives are actually the Japanese version of the chef’s knives called Yanagi or Yanagiba. They are designed razor-sharp to enable you to make thin slices from raw fish and meat without much effort. No fish can stand against these incredibly sharp blades that are made out of the toughest materials that rank high on Rockwell Hardness Scale. In comparison to regular chef’s knives, they are much narrower and much sharper. On average, their sharpness degrees range between 15° to 17°.

Many knife manufacturers indeed produce high-quality chef’s knives that can cut and slice all kinds of meat vigorously. However, the Japanese add extra features to their exclusive blades. We call these exceptional cutters as Eastern style knives simply because they retain extreme sharpness only on one side of the blade. It is easier for the food being cut to release from the knife if the blade is honed only on one side.

My favorite feature of a Japanese sushi knife is that you can cut raw fish or meat without applying much pressure. This is probably because of the material used in their production. You will notice that the sharpest Japanese knives are made from high carbon instead of stainless steel. Plus, they have perfect balance and easy-grip handles with the non-slip feature.

Here are the top rated, high-quality Japanese sushi knives that I fancy.

Yoshihiro VGYA270SH Hongasumi VG-10 Stainless Steel — 10 ½ Inch

 

Yoshihiro VGYA270SH Hongasumi VG-10 Stainless Steel Yanagi...
  • This knife delivers Hongasumi grade high carbon steel sharpness and edge...
  • VG Stainless steel blade with HRC 62-63 combines exceptional sharpness and...
  • 10.5 inch (270mm) single edged blade with a traditional grind. Completely...
  • Simple and elegant design with a handcrafted Japanese Octagonal Rosewood...
  • Lacquer coated magnolia wooden sheath provides odor and stain resistance...

If you are looking for an extra quality Japanese Yanagi knife that would last for years and generations, then this is an outstanding option for you. It is hand crafted in Japan with the finest raw materials available. Make no mistake; these knives are never mass produced. Each and every one is manufactured under strict supervision and guidance according to the requirements set by the Yoshihiro Cutlery. The techniques used by the Artisans dates back to hundreds of years.

This one is a bit pricey but deserves every penny because of the proficiency applied. It would not be exaggerating, to say the least, that the unmatched mastery behind this knife is influential. However, there are other more economical options listed below for your reference. It is just to note that this is an outstanding item if you have the budget for it. I went through other blades before this one and can easily say that it is hard to match its capabilities unless you are shopping for the very high-end items that cost way more than this one.

The long blade of Yoshihiro Yanagi knife is mainly developed to slice fish easily. Often times, it is beneficial to work with a longer blade when handling raw meat. I slice raw fish with one glide, no need to saw back and forth, this knife is extremely sharp and thin.  What I also like a lot is the fact that this Yoshihiro knife is stain resistant.

The company made a unique blade that resists the forming of rust. This is great that you do not have to wipe it constantly while you are working with it. The blade is manufactured from Hongasumi grade high carbon steel. It comes with perfect edge retention and is extremely sharp. Keep in mind that you should only sharpen it with water whetstones, never use regular sharpeners with this beautiful knife.

Yoshihiro VGYA270SH Hongasumi VG-10 Stainless Steel Yanagi...

Buy on Amazon

The blade is made with traditional Japanese techniques. The front side is completely flat (Shinogi), the back side has a concave grind (Urasuki). You have the chance to cut the food without damaging thanks to this combination. This is also called single bevel construction.

It is not only the blade that is handcrafted, the ergonomic handle is also handcrafted as well. Make sure you hand wash only. Never put this knife in the dishwasher. It needs to be dried really well for longer lifespan. The knife comes with a Saya style wooden protective sheath that is produced from rosewood. This is a right-handed version, but you can also order a left-handed version. If you like to make sushi at home, then you will be very pleased with the results Yoshihiro offers. You can also use this knife at busy restaurants.

Features:

  • Blade length: 10.5 inches
  • Total length: 16 inches
  • Weighs 5.9 ounces
  • Hongasumi grade
  • Made in Japan

 

Seki Gold Kotobuki St — 9 ½ Inch

 

Sale
Seki Gold Kotobuki St Sashimi Knife 240mm Ak-1106
  • KAI Seki Magoroku Kinju AK-1106 Yanagiba with a blade length of 24 cm is...
  • This knife is primarily suitable for filleting fish and meat
  • Thanks to its strong and heavy blade, it is particularly suitable for...
  • With Japanese V-cut and a blade hardness of 58 (+-1) HRC, giving them extra...
  • Blade length: 24 cm, handle length: 13.9 cm.

This knife is manufactured by the popular cutlery brand Kai who also produces the Shun Cutlery items. It is as sharp as it gets. You can always expect high-quality from Kai brand, and this is by far no exception. Made in Seki, Japan where the company has been producing knives for over 100 years. This knife possesses all the unique qualities of a razor-sharp sushi blade except for its price. It is sold at only a fraction of what others charge for this kind of product.

However, the price is not the only factor that you should take into consideration. For starters, this one has a perfect balance. The knife is not heavy or feather light, making it possible for you to perform efficiently without hurting your wrist and get a good balance at the same time. It has a single blade design that prevents the food from sticking.

You are going to love that it is rust resistant. Most Japanese sushi knives are made from carbon steel that makes them vulnerable to rust and corrosion in the long run. Special coating must be applied to make them rust resistant. Seki Gold Kotobuki knife is made from molybdenum vanadium stainless steel to provide the best sharpness level and sturdiness.

The handle is made from laminated wood, and It has an octagonal shape. The only thing that I don’t like is that the sheath is not included with the package. However, I don’t think that anybody would mind that at this price range.

Seki Gold Kotobuki St Sashimi Knife 240mm Ak-1106

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Blade length: 9.5 inches
  • Total length: 14.9 inches
  • Weighs 5.6 ounces
  • Made in Japan

 

JapanBargain S-1553 Japanese Sushi Chef Knife — 9 ½ Inch

 

JapanBargain S-1553, Japanese Yanagiba Sashimi Sushi Chef...
  • Blade Length: 8-1/8 in & Overall Length: 14 in^Sashimi -- Slicing: Slicing...
  • Made in Japan

Here is a budget friendly sushi knife that is made in Japan. It gets 5-star reviews all the time. Made from carbon stainless steel as with many other Eastern knives. It is extremely sharp and durable. This is a highly skilled raw fish slicer. All you need to do is to glide lightly and it will slice all kinds of meat like you are slicing butter with a sharp cutter.

The long and thin blade makes your sushi preparation a breeze. I also cut steaks with this. You can use it for cutting all kinds of food, but be careful not to use on the bones as it could get damaged. It needs proper maintenance and care to retain its sharpness. Use water whetstones to sharpen it. Do not wash in the dishwasher, and make sure you dry it well afterwards to protect against any rust or discoloration. Stay away from scrub brushes with hard surfaces as they would dull the knife immensely.

The blade of the knife is sturdy, and the handle is extra light. I think it has a good balance overall. Keep in mind that it is an economic knife, but it will give you all the necessary features you would expect from a Japanese sushi knife. It is probably the best choice for novice sushi makers.

JapanBargain S-1553, Japanese Yanagiba Sashimi Sushi Chef...

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Blade length: 9.5 inches
  • Total length: 14 inches
  • Weighs 5.6 ounces
  • Made in Japan

 

SETO Japanese Chef Knives — 9 ½ Inch

 

SETO Japanese Chef Knives: Damascus Forged Steel from World...
  • Handmade in Seki, Japan!!! Quality blades of Forged Steel!!!!
  • Produced by Mr. Yoshinori knife Seto YOSHI knife representative is a member...
  • union custom knife is a testament to the world's largest manufacturer
  • of kitchen knives and reliable technology Jihei Iseya (Producer Yoshinori...
  • but it is a matter of course, the beauty of the finish is excellent.

Seto knives are handmade in Seki, Japan with the highest standards. This company was founded by a master sword maker; Yoshi Seto. It was his ambition to make the best living blades in Japan. He had the chance to train with the best sword producers of his time, and mastered knife manufacturing. Today, Seto knives are very famous and have a long history in Japan.

This is an exceptional sushi knife with stylish looks. Its blade is produced from forged VG-10 stainless steel – Damascus. The forging of blades is somewhat an art that has been employed for hundreds of years now. It makes the knife highly durable this way. You will also notice that the blade is extremely sharp as the company takes pride in the advanced sharpness level of its knives.

The comfortable D-shaped handle is made from red sandalwood. It has a good grip that does not slip away from your hand. It comes with a fancy bolster. Note that it is not dishwasher safe, you should hand wash only. Sharpening and maintenance is fairly easy. It will stay rust free as long as you dry it well after each wash. You only need to sharpen it once or twice a year; it has a tendency to stay sharp for a long time. Keep in mind that the sheath is not included with the knife.

SETO Japanese Chef Knives: Damascus Forged Steel from World...

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Blade length: 9.5 inches
  • Total length: 14.3 inches
  • Weighs 1.76 ounces
  • Made in Japan

 

DALSTRONG – Yanagiba Sushi Knife – Shogun Series S — 10 ½ Inch

 

DALSTRONG - Yanagiba Sushi Knife - Shogun Series S - Single...
  • The ultimate yanagiba knife: A Dalstrong culinary revolution combining...
  • Unrivaled Performance: Ruthlessly sharp single-bevel scalpel like edge is...
  • Dalstrong Power: An ultra sharp AUS-10V Japanese super steel cutting core...
  • The traditional octagon shaped handle is meticulously constructed of a...
  • Dalstrong Trust: Rocksolid 100% SATISFACTION OR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE, try...

Dalstrong is one of the industry leaders when it comes to professional kitchen knives. Please note that this knife is assembled in China, but all the materials are from Japan. This is one of the main differences with the other items listed in this article since all the others are made in Japan. However, you should take into consideration that the city that makes the assembling in China has been producing quality knives for over 1500 years now.

This is a great Yanagiba knife that is full tang. It is produced with an award-winning craftmanship. Expect nothing but cutting-edge technology from Dalstrong, you will sure get peak performance from this extra sharp knife. Its angle is 15° and the 3-step Honbazuke method is used to turn it into somewhat a razor. Another different feature is that it is nitrogen cooled to provide extra durability and flexibility. It is rust and corrosion resistant to provide longer lifespan to the knife.

The material used is AU10V Japanese super steel, and the Rockwell Hardness scale is 62+. If you are familiar with professional knives, then you would notice that these numbers are extreme that turns this blade into a sushi monster. It is really hard to beat these statistics. Even the octagon handle is produced from military grade G10 material with the best ergonomic design available. It is combined with red rosewood for improved aesthetics.

Dalstrong Yanagiba S knife is heavier, thicker, and less flexible compared to Western style knives. This is a superior combination that makes it perfect for sushi making. The incredible balance is also achieved this way.

It comes with a beautiful handcrafted sheath that is wooden. Dalstrong is also famous with its legendary customer service. Their products are preferred by thousands of professional chefs worldwide.

DALSTRONG - Yanagiba Sushi Knife - Shogun Series S - Single...

Buy on Amazon

Features:

  • Blade length: 10.5 inches
  • Total length: 18.6 inches
  • Weighs 1.75 ounces
  • AUS 10V Japanese Steel
  • Single bevel
  • Liquid Nitrogen cooled
  • Non-slip handle
  • Ultra-sharp; Honbazuke sharpening
  • Incredible edge retention
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee

 

What Kind of Knife do Sushi Chefs Use?

The most common knife sushi chefs use is sharp yanagi knives. The make the best slices out of raw fish and red meat. However, sushi chefs also use deba, santoku, and nakiri knives for preparing meat and vegetables to be used in sushi.

What Kind of Knives Do Japanese Chefs Use?

Japanese chefs use specific types of knives for each different task. Knives play a vital role in all Eastern cultures, and Japan has its own customs and traditions. They produce one of the most durable, sturdy, and sharp blades that get worldwide attention. Here are the most common Japanese knives and their uses:

  • Santoku; multipurpose knife (sometimes include scallops on the blade to make air pockets during slicing)
  • Bunka; general chef’s knife
  • Petty; used for pairing
  • Deba; meat blade
  • Gyutou; general chef’s knife
  • Yanagi or Yanagiba; sushi and sashimi preparation
  • Nakari; vegetable knife
  • Hankotsu; boning knife
  • Sujihiki; slicer knife for large roasts, meats, and fish
  • Honesuki; boning knife
  • Usuba; thin blade for cutting firm vegetables

Does Sharpening a Knife Wear it Down?

If you want to keep your sharp sushi knives in good state for a long time, then you must know how to care of them. First of all, sharpening a knife the wrong way wears it down and shortens its lifespan. It is true that you need to sharpen your professional knives on a regular basis, but you must also use the right method. Honing is a beneficial technique that prolongs the longevity of the blade. However, using cheap sharpeners do damage the edge of the blades in the long run. The best way to sharpen a quality knife is achieved by using water whetstones.

In Conclusion

If you are a sushi fan, then chances are that there will come a time when you will want to make some for yourself at home. It is fun and creative once you learn some basic rules and techniques. However, there are some tools that are necessary to be able to make sushi at home, and the best Japanese sushi knives are at the top of that list. Others include a soft wooden cutting board made from maple or walnut, a quality rolling mat, and of course the fresh ingredients. Yoshihiro VGYA270SH is an excellent choice if you are in search of a quality Japanese sushi knife. It is the best example for a handcrafted Yanagi knife. On the other, JapanBargain S-1553 is a fair option with an economical price tag if you are on a budget. It is a high carbon stainless steel Japanese Yanagiba that you can use for making delicious sushi, sashimi, and nigiri.

Ozgur Ozgen

Ozgur Ozgen

Cooking and writing are both my passion. I am a third-generation baker and have been lucky to work in many international food companies of all scales; both industrial and also small family restaurants. I like to share my experience with various kitchen gears since I buy too many of these!
Ozgur Ozgen

Ozgur Ozgen

Cooking and writing are both my passion. I am a third-generation baker and have been lucky to work in many international food companies of all scales; both industrial and also small family restaurants. I like to share my experience with various kitchen gears since I buy too many of these!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *