Top 10 Best Japanese Chef Knife: 2020 Reviews & Buying Guide

About cutlery, Japanese blades are known for being the absolute best-cutting instruments on the planet. Culinary specialists and home cooks all agree that their commitment to quality and craftsmanship makes them favored even despite the sticker price. However, there are a lot of reasonable alternatives out there, as well. Regardless of whether you’re on the chase for the ideal gourmet expert’s blade or need an exceptional Best Japanese Chef Knife for cutting meat, vegetables, or fish, these edges are probably the best Japanese cutlery available at this moment. 

Many of these blades are made from carbon steel, which requires additional consideration to abstain from rusting. Make a point to peruse up cautiously on the consideration guidelines when acquiring one of these Gyuto knives to guarantee it has a long life in your kitchen. You unquestionably would not prefer to put in two or three hundred bucks on a kitchen knife that will only be usable for a couple of months.

In today’s hot cutlery showcase, the essential contrasts among Western and Japanese cutting knife relate to the materials utilized in development, and particular structures for explicit purposes. 

So how about we have a more intensive look at these wonderful kitchen knives to see precisely what the distinctions are and whether they’ll be a solid match for your culinary practices and aptitudes. When you comprehend their various natures, you can be guaranteed that you’re prepared with the information to find the best Japanese chef knives set for you.

Top 10 Best Japanese Chef Knives of 2020

Which is the Best Japanese Chef Knife also known as the Gyuto Knife. We’ve selected 10 of of the best knives. Together with a team of three chef cooks and two home cooks we’ve reviewed and tested the knives to find out which one is the best of 2020. So without further ado let’s head right into our top 10.

1 – Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core (Best Pick 🥇)

The Shun Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife is skillfully created in Japan to be the main Gyuto you will require. It is made from a similar hand-completed custom as that of a samurai sword. This blade is ideal for everybody, whether it is your first purchase or your tenth. It can deal with the entirety of your chopping, dicing, and cutting requirements. The perfect combination of VG10 steel and SUS410 high carbon steel makes it erosion free. These metals enable the blade to keep up its sharp edge for a significant long time. The 32 layers of steel provide the blade an excellent designed surface that resembles water blemishes on the cutting edge. This surface gives adaptable quality, notwithstanding excellence. It additionally decreases grating while at the same time cutting and cleaving. With its D shaped design, it is super easy to handle & fits perfectly in your palm. It is weighted to keep the blade from sneaking out of your hand while being used. You can wash this knife in the dishwasher, yet hand washing is prescribed for longer life. It additionally accompanies a lifetime guarantee. 

Key Features

  • VG-MAX Cutting core
  • PakkaWood Handle
  • Handcrafted in Japan
  • 8″ razor sharp knife

Pros

  • Free blade sharpening
  • 32 layers of collapsed steel to give magnificence and capacity
  • Weighted handle for solace and control
  • All purpose knife

Cons

  • It’s for right-handed users
  • Logo on the knife fades away over time

2 – Yoshihiro VG10

It is Suitable for apprentice gourmet specialists and cooks as it can dice and cut, chop and carve. The Gyuto is the most adaptable Japanese knife that a culinary expert can have. Every piece is made with high-quality material by Japanese tradesmen. The cutting edge has a surface that has been pounded to expel contact and keeps food from adhering to the blade. The more noteworthy the hardness, the more slender the edge can be made, and the thinner the edge, the keener the sharp edge is. The more honed the cutting edge, the simpler it can slice through any food item. The center of this blade has an HRC 60, which makes it particularly sharp, giving it ideal edge maintenance. This Gyuto is extraordinarily strong and simple to hone. Its mahogany wood handle allows a solid grip and also a great look. The handle is comfortably planned and sits easily in your palm. Yoshihiro spends significant time in carefully assembled Japanese kitchen blades. Their blades are created by craftsmen that have tens of years of experience and strategies. Their blades return to medieval occasions and swordsmiths who consummated the utilization of fire, iron, and water to create the perfect sword. 

Key Features

  • Made following the Damascus tradition of 16 layers of steel
  • One of the most versatile knifes for in any kitchen
  • Premium Mahogany wood handle
  • 8.25″ blade

Pros

  • Stain and rust proof
  • Made from VG 10 gold steel
  • Supported by hundreds of years of craftsman craftsmanship
  • Suitable for every cook from a beginner to a professional chef

Cons

  • Can only be sharpened with a whetstone
  • Can only be washed by hand

3 – Shun Cutlery Premier 8” Chef’s Knife

Carefully assembled by master craftsmen in Japan, this Shun Premier kitchen specialist’s knives include 34 layers of Damascus treated steel. Every single Premier blade is pounded by hand with a method known as Tsuchime to a delightful completion that lessens drag when cutting, keeping food from adhering to the sharp edge. Ultra-slight edge holds an enduring and extremely sharp edge for exactness on the cutting board. Furthermore, the Shun Cutlery Premier 8″ is extremely lightweight which makes it very agile and it comes with an incredibly comfortable grip. With this knife you’ll never get tired.

Key Features

  • Lightweight 8″ Knife
  • Walnut-colored PakkaWood handle
  • Made in Japan
  • Made from VG-MAX steel

Pros

  • Very comfortable due to its lightweight
  • Despite continuous usage, it holds its sharpness requiring infrequent sharpening
  • The food doesn’t stick to the blade due to the Tsuchime finish
  • You won’t get tired from using this knife due to how comfortable and lightweight the knife is.

Cons

  • Not dishwasher proof
  • Doesn’t go well with chopping around the bone

4 – Misono UX10 Sujihiki

Misono UX10 is the highest point of the line inside the Misono assortment. The edge is made out of high-quality Swedish stain safe steel that furnishes the client with the longest enduring edge maintenance inside the Misono brand. A distinctive element of the UX10 blade is the bolted nickel silver reinforce, which improves solidness just as equalizations the heaviness of the cutting edge and handle. Misono’s creation procedure is fundamentally the same as that of customary Japanese style Knives, as they are generally made by hand. Misono guarantees durable edge maintenance for proficient use by utilizing hard steel and hand got done with honing. To ensure that all Misono blades are of the best, knives don’t leave the organization without passing a few degrees of quality checks. The sujihiki is expected to cut boneless food. The short stature of the sharp edge makes less grating when cutting, and the edge draws through fish and meat quickly. 

Key Features

  • 9.4″ blade
  • Japan made
  • Made from Swedish stain resistant steel
  • Composite wood handle
  • Comes with a box

Pros

  • Suitable for everyday use
  • Very light and sharp

Cons

  • Food can stick to the blad due to the smoothness of the knife
  • Quality of the steel is less than the other alternatives

5 – Yoshihiro VG-10 Hammered Damascus

The most flexible and fundamental of all blades a cook can have is a Japanese culinary specialist’s knife known as a Gyuto knife. Getting delightful ready suppers begins with taking healthy fixings and utilizing the best apparatuses to make each dinner into something unique. From dicing, cutting, and cleaving new produce to cutting a meal chicken directly from the grill, even the most straightforward assignments are raised with a high-quality blade that is as wonderful as it is utilitarian. Fashioned and pounded with 46 layers of steel in the Damascus convention with a Nickel VG-10 Gold Core, this blade is commended with a usual Japanese style carefully assembled typical Magnolia handle. Each module from Yoshihiro is correctly assembled by ace craftsmen making an exceptional stand-out masterpiece. These are accessible in 7-inch, 8.2-inch, and 9.5-inch with a restricted lifetime guarantee.

Key Features

  • One of the most sold Gyuto knives
  • Made from VG-10 Hammered Damascus steel
  • Handle made from reinforced Mahogany Wood
  • 7.1″ blade

Pros

  • Flexible enough to carry out all basic cutting & chopping tasks
  • Excellent quality
  • Razor sharp out of the box

Cons

  • Limited warranty

6 – Miyabi 34183-203 Chef’s Knife

The Miyabi 34183-203 Kaizen Chef’s Knife is a solid, substantial blade with a wide, solid edge and fine front line. Appropriate for chopping herbs, cutting vegetables, cutting, and dicing fish and meat. Made in Seki, Japan, this blade includes the versatile center of VG10 (CMV60) super steel is secured by a 64-layer staggering blossom Damascus design. The CRYODUR sharp edge experiences a four-advance solidifying process that expands the properties of the steel. The sturdy handle is made of dark cloth Micarta highlighting a mosaic stick, two red spacers, and end top with logo — edge measures at 8 inches in length.

Key Features

  • Traditional look and feel
  • Hand sharpened
  • Micarta handle
  • Made in Japan
  • 8″ blade

Pros

  • Exceptional sharpness and durability due to the ice harding treatment
  • The knife is very balanced which makes it easy to use
  • Good grip

Cons

  • Limited lifetime manufacturer warranty

7 – Kyocera Advanced Ceramic LTD Series

Enjoy the beauty of Kyocera award-winning limited series, hand-crafted by expert artisans in Seki, Japan. Their handle comes with a stainless steel rivet which provides amazing gripping, and its ceramic blades are made from high-quality zirconium. This knife is perfect for slicing & chopping. For long-time durability, avoid to use it on frozen or hard material.

Key Features

  • 7″ Ceramic blade
  • Ergonomic PakkaWood handle
  • Very Lightweight

Pros

  • Awesome Grip
  • Manufacturer’s lifetime warranty
  • Rust proof
  • Extremely sharp

Cons

  • Cannot use on tougher materials
  • Hand wash only but very easy to clean

8 – Miyabi Mizu SG2 Chef’s Knife

The Miyabi Mizu SG2 Chef’s Knife is utilized for cleaving, dicing, mincing, and cutting meats and vegetables. Miyabi Mizu SG2 begins with the Tsuchime technique, comprising of 3-layers of SG2 steel with a pounded completion. Next, the Honbazuke procedure includes the Katana edge being honed with an old 3-advance procedure, which hones the cutting edge twice on whetstones, trailed by reflecting cleaning on a calfskin wheel. This procedure was utilized more than 1000 years back for samurai swords to make an absolute sharpness. The Criodur procedure gives the steel hardness for cutting edge maintenance, adaptability, and exceptionally safe. To convey the remarkable execution, the cutting edge is hand-sharpened at the conventional Japanese edge of 9 to 12° on each side, which brings about a surgical blade-like sharpness. This exceptional performing cutting edge is praised by a large, sturdy D-shape Micarta handle, highlighting a mosaic stick, red spacers, and a metal end-top with a logo that includes balance. High quality in Seki, Japan, with a lifetime guarantee.

Key Features

  • Blade from Micro Carbide powder steel
  • Damascus Hammered finish
  • 63 Rockwell hardness
  • Handcrafted in Seki Japan
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee

Pros

  • The Micarta D-shape handle gives you incredible grip
  • The knife is double bevel
  • Very thin knife which makes it easy to cut extremely precise

Cons

  • Quite expensive

9 – Shun Hiro SG2 8-inch Chef’s Knife

The Shun Hiro SG2 Chef’s Knife includes a generally useful sharp edge, perfect for a wide assortment of cutting undertakings. Intended for getting ready organic products, vegetables, proteins, and different nourishments. The wide edge keeps knuckles off the cutting board and is additional convenient when moving slice food from board to container. With its bent paunch, the Chef’s knife can be delicately shaken through fresh herbs or flavors to create an extremely fine mince. Disregard Hiro SG2 joins, hitting excellence with excellent execution. In Japanese, the name Hiro is known as “plentiful,” “liberal,” and “prosperous.” The Hiro is made of SG2 small scale carbide steel. This ultra-fine-grained steel is amazingly hard and thick, empowering Shun to make more thin edges that can be honed to a razor-like 16° cutting point. 

Key Features

  • 8″ double bevel blade
  • 64° Rockwell Hardness which results in the best edge retention out there
  • Hand sharpened with an 16° angle on both sides
  • Made from 65 layers of steel
  • Charcoal PakkaWood handle

Pros

  • Unequaled edge maintenance
  • Most durable knife of the 10
  • The hammered Tsuchime finish results in the fact that the food won’t stick to the blade
  • Very comfortable to use
  • Very high quality

Cons

  • Most expensive knife of the 10 but worth the money

10 – Enso Large Chef’s Knife

Last but not least, the Enso HD Gyuto Knife. This knife is is capable for many usages like chopping, slicing and dicing. It can be used on vegetables, fruits but also for cutting meat. The Enso HD Chef’s Knife has a curved body which results in the fact that it can product very fine mince. The Enso HD Gyuto knife is one of the go to knifes for starters because it’s capable of doing a wide range of tasks and is made from high-quality material.

Key features

  • Rockwell Hardness 61
  • Made from Damascus steel
  • 10″ Double bevel blade
  • Made in Japan

Pros

  • Perfrect to perform the trademark straight slicing motion as seen on cooking shows 
  • The 37-layer stainless Damascus blades with hardness makes it very durable 
  • Its blade has a hammered finish which ensures the food doesn’t stick to the blade
  • The black canvas Micarta handle makes the knife very comfortable
  • Perfect for chef’s on a limited budget

Cons

  • Not the best choice when it comes to peeling

What are Japanese Chef Knives / Gyuto knives used for?

Japanese chef knives or Gyuto knives have a wide range of functionalities. We have listed some down here:

  • Fugu Hiki  – used to cut extremely thin cuts of the blowfish called fugu 
  • Rancho Hocho   – used to filet fish 
  • Nakiri Bocho – used to cut vegetables 
  • Oroshi Hocho – for filleting fish 
  • Santoku – all-around blade in the kitchen 
  • Soba Kiri – used to make soba 
  • Tako Hiki – utilized as sashimi slicer 
  • Udon Kiri – used to make udon 
  • Nagasaki Hocho – used to butcher and filet eel 
  • Usuba Bocho – utilized by proficient culinary experts

How are Japanese Chef Knives made?

1 – Choice of Steel and Ferrite – To make every sharp edge, the right size of steel and ferrite must be picked. 

2 – Produce Welding – The steel is gotten together with the ferrite and warmed to 1200 in a hearth. 

3 – Stretching and Forging – The produce welded cutting edge is by and by placed into the hearth, warmed, and pounded to the unpleasant shape and thickness of the last sharp edge. 

4 – Tempering – To homogenize the structure, the cutting edge is warmed at a low temperature and afterward set in straw debris to cool. 

5 – Molding – A processor or other slicing machine is accustomed to bringing the present state of the sharp edge to the right size. 

6 – Stepping – Otherwise called virus fashioning, the sharp edge is pounded at room temperature or somewhat warmed, and the metal is additionally refined, and the cutting edge is reinforced. 

7 – Treating – Solidified sharp edges with no further treating are fragile, so they are warmed until they arrive at the right degree of non-abrasiveness. In doing this, they become more diligently to chip and increasingly common sense for use. 

8 – Fixing – At the point when the sharp edge is solidified, the steel recoils somewhat, which creates some warpage. The edge is set by utilizing a copper hammer to strike the edge and address its shape. Doing this makes the sharp edge simpler to use and flawlessly straight. 

9 – Honing – A rotating whetstone is utilized to sharpen the edge. Anyway, the contact brought about by the edge scouring against the grindstone causes heat, which can relax the effectively solidified cutting edge. 

10 -Cleaning – Any cutting imprints that are left on the outside of the sharp edge can cause the development of undesirable particles or water that causes rust. To stay away from these unsanitary conditions, sandpaper is utilized to clean the edge to a nearly reflect like completion. 

11 – Connecting the Handle – While continually making moment alterations, the cutting edge is attached to the handle. To keep any water from going into the additional purpose of the handle and causing rust, the epoxy pitch is embedded, and the edge is joined.

Are Japanese Chef Knives better than German or western chef knives?

Regularly when looking for knives, the primary spot to begin is choosing if you require a Japanese or a German blade, given your cooking style. The Japanese are famous for delivering the most honed of blades coming from the Samurai swords. Then again, the Germans are not dolts, and Solingen in Germany is the blade Mecca of the western world. 

The Difference in Design – German blades, for the most part, have a solid handle and support. A solid handle edge implies the cutting edge begins from the tip of the blade and proceeds as far as possible of the handle, and the reinforce is the thickest piece of steel found just before the handle invigorating it extra and maintaining a strategic distance from the wobbly feeling you may get while hacking harder vegetables with different blades. 

Japanese knives, as a general rule, have no reinforced, and the tangs fluctuate between blade creators. The Japanese steel cutting edges utilized underway is harder than German steel with a Rockwell rating between 60 to 62 on the scale for brands like Shun. It implies although the Japanese blade is built with different tangs, every tang is planned from a more grounded and harder steel when contrasting with the German Knife sharp edges. Note that hardness doesn’t mean the world. A high Rockwell hardness more than 58 will give the keenest edge maintenance however requires more noteworthy consideration as they can chip and break whenever dropped. 

All in all, which one is better? 

Indeed, everything relies upon the job that needs to be done if you ask us. On the off chance that you are performing sensitive tasks like cutting a tomato or sashimi, Japanese kitchen knives float effortlessly through the food with scarcely any exertion required. They are bound to make paper slim cuts when cutting then German Knives. It is a result of the slight degree on the Japanese edge, creating an incredibly better and keener edge. The benefit of these blade cutting edges is that they are a lot simpler to hone as they don’t have support, yet the fine edge implies they are slanted to chip all the more effectively. 

Then again, the more grounded and thicker cutting edge on the German blade holds its edge far longer, which implies yes less honing is required. Additionally, even though the Japanese knives utilize a harder and more honed steel, the more significant part of the cutting edges appear to be more slender and progressively fragile. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to sharpen a Japanese Chef knife?

You can’t utilize a standard steel sharpening pole on Japanese blades. Ordinarily, the steel in the blades is more diligently than the steel utilized in a modest “store” honing bar, so it just will do nothing, and you chance to harm your blade.

Fired sharpening pole – Ceramic sharpening bars are best utilized for normal cleaning up of the edge – frequently, we propose once per week for blades utilized consistently. Most Japanese blades are honed to the point of around 15 or 16 degrees.

Precious stone sharpening poles – If your blade has blunted somewhat more than you’d like, it may be that you have to recover that edge shape with a jewel sharpening pole before utilizing.

Honing stones – Really hoping to get a definitive edge on your blades? You will need to invest a little energy and utilize a lot of whetstones to get the most flawless outcome.
It’s a pleasant piece of owning and working with Japanese blades and the fulfillment from an occupation very much done merits the exertion, and it’s not as hard as you may suspect.

What is a Japanese chef knife called?

The official name of the Japanese Chef Knife is Gyuto knife and sometimes it’s called a Gyutou knife. But most of the people will know it as a Japanese Chef Knife due to its versatile range of functions.

How to use a Japanese chef knife?

You can use a Japanese chef knife the same way as you use a standard chef knife. It’s only very important that you read the instructions and packaging really good so you know how to take care of the knife. Some knives have to washed by hand or have to be sharpened with a whetstone. You can find very useful tips on how to use a chef knife here.

The Final Verdict

In our opinion the best Japanese Knives make cleaving and dicing a breeze while feeling great in your grasp. Of all the Japanese blades we’ve tested, the Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife is the best Japanese blade since it has 32 layers of high carbon steel to invigorate it extremely. The Shun Classic 8″ is the best value for money, its made from high quality materials and the sharpness remains for a long time. It’s also a good fit for starters as for the professional chef with years of experience. We believe that this knife is an absolute addition for every kitchen.