7 Best Japanese Knives of 2021

Best Japanese Knives
Image by Canva Photos

It’s common knowledge that the best Japanese kitchen knives are among the finest tools to have in your kitchen. These knives are hard to beat, and you can find designs fitted for a variety of purposes. Due to the incredible number of Japanese knife brands and sets out there, it can be hard to choose which is best for your kitchen.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of everything of the best Japanese knives in the world, including the best Japanese knives set for the money. Keep reading for what you need to know to help you make an informed decision.

Our Top Picks

Latim’s Professional Chef Japanese KnifeBest Overall: Latim’s Professional Chef Japanese Knife
Our overall top pick for the best Japanese knife is built for everyday use in the kitchen. It easily slices through almost everything you put in front of it.
Nakiri Japanese KnifeRunner-Up: Nakiri Japanese Knife
Runner-up for the best Japanese knife is known for its comfortability, efficiency, and style. It’s a great option if you’re seeking a professional-grade knife for your cooking at home. 
TUO Chef Japanese KnifeBest Budget: TUO Chef Japanese Knife
Buying a Japanese knife doesn’t mean breaking the bank. Here is a product with all the excellent features of its competitors but at a fraction of the cost. 
DFITO Kitchen Japanese Knife SetBest Knife Set: DFITO Kitchen Japanese Knife Set
Maybe you don’t want just one Japanese knife but instead an entire set. Here is a product for you to consider that provides you with various knives for an affordable price. 
Mikarto Professional Grade Japanese KnifeHighest Quality: Mikarto Professional Grade Japanese Knife
If splurging is what you’re looking for in your Japanese knife, look no further. This is a top-of-the-line Japanese knife that you are sure to love. 
Sashimi Professional Grade Sushi KnifeBest Sushi: Sashimi Professional Grade Sushi Knife
Sushi lovers everywhere should pay attention to this sushi knife from Sashimi. It’s a professional-grade product that truly is hard to beat. 
Fanteck Japanese Kitchen KnifeBest for Prolonged Use: Fanteck Japanese Kitchen Knife
For a Japanese knife fit for prolonged use, check out this one. It’s designed for everything from paring to chopping. 
 

A Closer Look: Best Japanese Knives

For specialty purposes, we think it’s best to look a bit deeper. We’ve done just that with each of these Japanese knives below.

1. Latim’s Professional Chef Japanese Knife

The best Japanese knife overall

Latim’s Professional Chef Japanese Knife

Brand: Latim’s | Blade Length: 8-inches | Blade Hardness: 60/62 HRC | Handle: G10, Fiberglass | Price: 💰💰💰

Our overall top pick for the best Japanese knife is this one from Latim. This ultra-sharp, stainless steel blade is hard to beat. It comes with an ergonomic handle, making slicing and dicing with this knife a breeze. Feel free to use it on everything from meat to vegetables. It’s easy to sharpen this knife at home, although it rarely requires it. It comes beautifully designed, so it looks as good as it feels to use. Check out this blade if you’re looking for a versatile, high-quality knife. 

  • Beautiful design, well packaged upon arrival
  • Weight of the blade to handle is well balanced
  • Handle is also ergonomically designed to fit within the palm perfectly
  • Might be expensive for some budgets
  • Do not try to cut through frozen foods

2. Nakiri Japanese Knife

The best runner-up Japanese knife

Nakiri Japanese Knife

Brand: Nakiri | Blade Length: 5 to 12-inch blades | Blade Hardness: 60+HRC | Handle: Rosewood | Price: 💰💰

Nakiri’s Japanese knife is our runner-up choice for the best Japanese knife. It’s part of a family of blades that works to balance comfortability, efficiency, and style. This blade is perfect for slicing and dicing meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits. The handle does not have an ergonomic design like some of its competitors. Still, the weighted balance between the handle and blade is a characteristic reviewers consistently highlight as a favorite feature. Consider this Japanese knife if you want a professional-grade blade for everyday use in your kitchen. 

We also chose this brand for best Japanese Santoku Knives. It’s one of the 6 options in this style, and it’s simply superb. 

  • Arrives fast and in excellent packaging
  • Very affordable option for a high-quality blade
  • Aesthetically, there’s little left to ask for with this knife
  • Needs frequent sharpening
  • Unable to cut through frozen foods
  • Blade began to rust for some reviewers

3. TUO Chef Japanese Knife

The best budget Japanese knife

TUO Chef Japanese Knife

Brand: TUO | Blade Length: 9.5-inches | Blade Hardness: Japanese-AUS 8 Steel | Handle: Pakkawood | Price: 💰

Our pick for best affordable Japanese knives favorite is part of the Ring Life series – a set of blades from TUO Chef that continues to impress their users. A skid-proof handle and added protection on the rear of the blade to prevent your fingers from getting cut make this knife one of the safest to use. The blades undergo a precise vacuum-heat treatment that creates a final product with excellent firmness, durability, and strength. Not all Japanese knives are expensive; you can purchase a quality knife without breaking the bank. 

  • Very easy to sharpen and maintain
  • Diverse functionality, users get their money worth
  • Differences between this and other blades favors heavily this blade
  • Steel is not as durable as other brands
  • Some reviewers remark that the handle is heavy

4. DFITO Kitchen Japanese Knife Set

The best Japanese kitchen knife set

DFITO Kitchen Japanese Knife Set

Brand: DFITO | Blade Length: 3.5 to 5-inches | Blade Hardness: 54+ HRC | Handle: Pakkawood | Price: 💰💰💰

For an affordable set of Japanese knives for your kitchen, look no further. The simplest set comes with five knives and costs less than $70. Each blade is crafted from high carbon stainless steel and designed for a specific purpose, ensuring you have a quality knife for every kind of cutting you need to do. They all come with a strong bolster to keep the blade and handle balanced. The handle itself is ergonomic, fitting firmly in your grip. If a Japanese knife set is what you’re seeking, definitely check out this one. 

  • Set comes with covers for each of the knives
  • Perfectly meets the needs of any kitchen creations
  • Well-made and beautiful knives that come securely packaged
  • Handle can get slippery when wet
  • Set doesn’t come with blade steels

5. Mikarto Professional Grade Japanese Knife

The best quality Japanese knives

Mikarto Professional Grade Japanese Knife

Brand: Mikarto | Blade Length: 8-Inches | Blade Hardness: 62+ HRC | Handle: Military-grade Garolite | Price: 💰💰💰💰

This vacuum-treated, Damascus steel Japanese knife from Mikarto is one of the finest Japanese knives you can invite into your kitchen. It’s composed of 67 layers of steel, making it one of the toughest blades on the market. The ergonomic handle is specially designed for maximum safety when in use. The blade itself is made from Japanese super steel and finished with a nitrogen cooling process. All this combined ensures that this blade is truly the most powerful in your kitchen. Professional and at-home chefs have nothing but incredible things to say about this knife. 

  • Slices through essentially anything with ease
  • Feels sturdy and comfortable within the hand
  • Comes in a solid protective box for easy shipping and storage
  • Very expensive for most budgets
  • Incredibly sharp, must be careful when slicing

6. Sashimi Professional Grade Sushi Knife

The best sushi Japanese knife

Sashimi Professional Grade Sushi Knife

Brand: Sashimi | Blade Length: 10-Inches | Blade Hardness: 56-58 HRC | Handle: Pakkawood | Price: 💰💰

If you’re a sushi connoisseur, this knife might be the one for you. This sashimi sushi knife blade is high carbon stainless steel, resulting in a final blade unmatched in sharpness. The handle will fit perfectly in your hand, and it won’t become slippery when wet, promising that you always have a sturdy grip on the knife. The blade itself has only a single bevel. This promotes precision when it comes to delicately slicing through your favorite sushi. Anyone who regularly cooks sushi will adore this Japanese knife. 

  • The perfect blade for any cutting job within the kitchen
  • Incredible customer service from the manufacturer
  • Able to slice through sticky rice without losing a single grain
  • Must be washed and dried by hand immediately after use
  • Users must have caution as the blade is exceptionally sharp

7. Fanteck Japanese Kitchen Knife

The best Japanese knife for prolonged use

Fanteck Japanese Kitchen Knife

Brand: Fanteck | Blade Length: 8-Inches | Blade Hardness: 60 HRC | Handle: Pakkawood with Acrylic Rim | Price: 💰💰

If you cook at home a lot, you probably also do a lot of cutting. Some recipes call for more cutting than others. When this is the case, here is the blade to answer that call. The blade itself is 67 layers of Damascus steel, giving it impressive durability. A curved design on the handle allows it to adopt a rocking motion as it cuts. This enables you to have precise movement without causing any muscle fatigue. When using this Japanese knife, you will have no problem slicing and dicing through mountains of ingredients. Reviews love how well designed this knife is and feel that it makes an excellent addition to their kitchen. 

  • One of the best Japanese knives for the price
  • Comes with an edge protector for the blade when not in use
  • Breaking this knife would take a considerable amount of force
  • Somewhat small handle 
  • Some reviewers needed to sharpen the knife right out of the box

How to Keep the Best Japanese Knives High-Quality

Chef preparing a meal with one of the best japanese knives
Image by Vladimir Mironov / Canva Photos

When using and maintaining your Japanese knife, there are a few things to keep in mind. You should have a safe place to store the knife when it’s not in use. Whether this is a knife block, a magnetic knife strip on the wall, or in a drawer with a cover over the blade, storing the knife properly will prevent accidents and give the knife a longer lifespan. Another factor that contributes to the overall lifespan of your Japanese knife is how you clean it after use. The majority of Japanese knives are not meant to be washed in the dishwasher. You must wash and dry them by hand after use. If this is not done properly, the blade may rust and become dull. 

Now that we’ve looked at some of the best Japanese blades on the market, it’s time for you to choose the best one for your kitchen. 

Our Process

For this guide on the best Japanese knives, our team spent 2 hours researching the most popular options from over 15 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred and thirty user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each Japanese knife. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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