Top 8 Japanese Kitchen Knvies

The Japanese knife-making techniques people use today are the same techniques invented to create Samurai swords and other weapons in Japan thousands of years ago.

japanese kitchen knife being sharpened

Today, professional chefs of all ethnicities favor Japanese knives in the kitchen for their lightweight feel and hard thin, sharp steel.

The sharpness and flexibility of Japanese knives help them hold a sharp edge for a longer time than most western made knives.

Famous chefs from around the world choose popular Japanese brands like Shun and Yoshihiro for their professional and personal knives because of how long they last and the perfect balance between the blade and the handle. 

Finding the best Japanese knife for your kitchen can be difficult based on your needs. Choosing a brand, length, and blade material are all crucial components to picking the best knife, whether it’s for you or a loved one. 

Below, I’ve researched and listed the eight best Japanese kitchen knives to make your search easier. 

Tojiro DP 8.2 inches Gyutou knife

The Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2 inch knife is a high-quality well-rated Japanese knife.

It’s predominantly used for cutting up meat, vegetables, and other cooking materials in the kitchen.

The handle and blade were made with formidable stainless steel, and the knife weighs 7.4 ounces. 

Gyutou is an admired Japanese knife brand and the Tojiro DP rates as #5 in their collection. In my opinion, the Tojiro DP is a top-notch knife for a home chef or a small restaurateur.

The cutter is durable and easy to hold and maneuver. It’s also stain-resistant, only increasing its longevity. 

The Tojiro DP is even-handed, meaning left and right-handed chefs or home cooks can use it.

Shun Classic 8 inches Chef’s Knife

The Shun 8 inch cooks knife is called a classic for a reason.

The handcrafted Japanese knife is made with an impenetrable carbon steel blade with an ebony-colored resin-infused hardwood handle.

The cutter comes in 6 inches, 8 inches, and 10 inches, and the 8-inch blade is the most popular. 

I recommend the Shun Classic Chef’s knife for home chefs or as a wedding gift, graduation gift, or housewarming gift.

Shun is the Japanese word for when fruit, vegetable, or meat is at its most ripe and flavorful, and the knives made by the Shun brand were some of the first to be used in North America. 

KUMA Professional Damascus 8-inch Chef Knife

The 8-inch Kuma Professional Damascus Chef Knife is one of the most highly rated Japanese knives online.

Forgers make the knife using 67 individual micro-layers of resilient Damascus steel, which keeps the knife’s edge sharp and keeps the blade flexible and firm for years.  

I was impressed by corrosion and stain resistance, which is crucial for any kitchen knife.

Unlike some of its competitors, the Kuma Professional 8-inch Chef Knife ranked highly in reviews about durability, comfort, and how easy it is to use and hold.

The knife should last a lifetime if it’s cleaned, sharpened, and maintained well.

Miyabi Kaizen 8’’ Chef’s Knife

Miyabi Kaizen is a traditional Japanese knife brand.

Their 8-inch Chef’s Knife is made with 65-layers of Damascus steel, which gives the knife its trademark thin edge and watery looking design.

The blade of the knife is honed using a three-step process to make it durable and sharp. 

The handle of the knife is a D-shape and designed with red accents. It’s a great beginner knife for anyone who hasn’t used a Japanese knife before or a gift for the chef or aspiring chef in your life.

I appreciate how lightweight the Miyabi Kaizen Chef’s Knife is and found it perfect for cutting tougher root vegetables or thick meats.

Yoshihiro Gyuto High Carbon Chef Knife

Yoshihiro is a well-liked Japanese knife-making brand that produces an 8.25-inch blade and a 9.5-inch.

The blade is made of hard carbon steel and is silver with Japanese symbols inlaid near the handle. It’s hardened using ice, making the blade resilient, firm, and razor-thin.  

The Yoshihiro High Carbon Chef Knife is handcrafted in Japan and has a traditional Shitan rosewood handle that flawlessly balances the thickness of the two-millimeter blade. 

I recommend the knife to home chefs or anyone who works with many fresh fruits, vegetables, or meats. The tool works best with fresh ingredients. 

Global Model X 8″ Chef’s Knife

The Global Model X Chef’s Knife is made in Japan and comes with a fine or hollow-edged blade.

The blade and the knife’s handle are made from quality stainless steel called Cromova 18.

The knife’s hollow sand-filled handle is designed to create the perfect balance between blade and handle. 

The Global Model X Chef’s Knife is hardened and tempered using ice, which keeps the blade sharp for longer than other methods.

I recommend this knife because of the slip-resistant handle and comfortable hold, making it the ultimate knife for precision chopping, cutting, or slicing.

Mac Knife Series 8-Inch Hollow Edge Chef’s Knife

The Mac Professional Hollow Edge Chef’s Knife is ranked #20 in the Best Chef’s Knives list on Amazon.

I appreciated how balanced yet sturdy the knife is, as it weighs 10 ounces, slightly heavier than other Japanese-made knives.

It measures 8 x 1 x 1 inch, an ideal size for a kitchen drawer, or knife block on the counter. 

The Mac Series Hollow Edge Chef’s Knife has dimples, making cutting up harder produce like apples and squash a breeze.

Its blade is made of alloy steel and is silver in color with the Mac Knife logo imprinted on the side.  

Enso Japanese Guyot Chef Knife

The Enso Japanese Guyot Chef Knife is the most unique-looking knife on my list.

The blade is made from hammered Damascus stainless steel, giving it wave or mountain-looking ridges on the top and a watery design towards the sharp edge.

The handle is made of black canvas micarta to prevent cracking. 

I like how the Enso Japanese Guyot Knife looks, but I also appreciate the curved belly of the blade, which makes mincing herbs or plants easy.

The knife is designed for slicing, dicing, and chopping food, and the tool ranks 61 on the Rockwell scale of hardness. 

Any of the knives on this list will get the job done if you’re looking for the best Japanese kitchen knife for yourself, as a gift for a loved one, or the home chef in your life. 

Japanese knives are known for their durability, sharpness, and longevity, making them some of the most sought-after knives in the world. The brands on this list have high quality chef knives, meat cleavers, and more.

All the kitchen knives on this list have different specifications and are created using a distinct mix of materials from Damascus steel to ebony PakkaWood. They are all stain and corrosion-resistant and have an edge sharp enough to cut tough root vegetables right out of the box. 

Find every type of knife you need from a Japanese brand, or check out our top picks from around the world.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.