Best Japanese Chef - Kitchen Knives In The World 2017

Best Japanese Chef – Kitchen Knives 2017

Have you seen professional chefs chopping vegetables quickly and admired them? Have you always wanted to be like them and prepare fabulous meals? It all starts with the good knife.

A professional knife is a fundamental part of every kitchen, the tool of the master. The Japanese knives are famous in the world by their quality, design, and durability. Today, we’re testing and reviewing the best Japanese knives in the world.

If you’re a beginner, you have to know that there is no need for an expensive knife, and that you need to get used to a quality Japanese knife. That process takes time, and you have to be patient.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for the best of the best today, you’re at the right place; we’re guiding you to choose the perfect Japanese knife for yourself. First we’ll provide reviews of the best models today, and then give you some info on what to look for in a knife, and finally, our selection & recommendation.

Let’s dive in!


What to look for when buying a Japanese knife?

Blade quality

Naturally, the general reason why we buy knives is the blade itself, so that should be your main focus of interest. Things like design, patterns or even handles are all far less important than the material used in making of the blade.

The simplest ones are made from stainless steel but the blade will dull very quickly, leaving you with a knife that is more of a nuisance than help. Look for knives that are based on the best possible Japanese steel and are combined with other elements.

Chromium is a start, but Molybdenum and Vanadium are better at preserving sharpness. When it comes to reasonably priced Japanese chef knives your best bet are High Carbon Steel knives (e.g. VG-10).

Best Japanese Kitchen Knives in the world


Since we are all searching for the knife to make our cooking faster and more fun, the wisest thing would be to find a versatile multi-purpose knife. For that perfect kitchen knife, the length of the blade should between 6.5 and 10 inches.

For a versatile knife, look for a blade that is wider at the handle end and has a slightly curved edge. This will certainly add precision and speed but is also your safest option.


The handle is somewhat neglected and often it is valued for its appearance rather than its practical use. However, this is a mistake and you shouldn’t favor looks over handling.

Evert chef has his or hers own preference which is mostly based on the style of the grip and the sheer volume of hand but there are factors that are important for everyone regardless.

Wooden handles are much less slippery than metal or plastic ones, while the length and design of the handle can have a huge influence on your precision. Find a handle that sits perfectly in your hand and thoroughly inspect the knife you are buying for any crevices or other faults in manufacturing.

How to look after your Japanese knife

To achieve the fabled sharpness of Japanese kitchen knives, the manufacturers have to make the blade as thin as possible. This means that even though they will cut through mostly anything, they should not be used on anything that requires extreme force such as frozen food, bones, and joints. Also, your cutting board has to be as soft possible for the same reason, try not to use Japanese knives on marble or granite.

Certain designers claim their knives are washable in a dishwasher, but you should always hand wash a Japanese chef’s knife and dry it thoroughly. Dishwashing might damage the wood and dull the blade.

best japanese chef knives in the world

Reviews of the Best Japanese Knives in the World

Okami Santoku Kitchen Knife

Okami Santoku Kitchen Knife Review

Considered by many to be the best Santoku knife, this 7-inch work of art is definitely an item on any top list when it comes to the best Japanese chef knives in the world. The first thing you’ll notice in both the name and on the packaging is the Okami wolf.

An interesting tale about morals and purity of heart fits perfectly with this exceptional knife. Assembled in China but made from VG-10 finest Japanese steel, it shows the metaphorical balance of a samurai combined with the sturdiness of a samurai sword.

We shall let tales be tales and focus on the knife itself. Okami Santoku kitchen knife is very versatile and capable of fulfilling most of the general tasks you will have in the kitchen. We already mentioned a popular counterpart of Santoku knives, the Gyoto knives, but when it comes to Gyoto vs Santoku, we have to give versatility points to Santoku.

Currently on sale, it is probably the best knife priced under $100. The Okami Company, being new to the market, has gone the length of supplying micro-fiber cloth among other things.

Things we liked

  • Great versatility in the kitchen, suitable for almost any kind of knife work.
  • Grooves in the blade are not letting even the most persistent types of food to stick.
  • High grade materials make this really knife stand out.

Things we didn’t like

  • Even though it is extremely sharp right out of the box, the knife requires frequent sharpening when used.
  • The handle could be small for certain users.
  • More suitable for home kitchens rather than restaurant businesses.
Santoku Knife 7 Inch, VG10 Damascus Kitchen Steel, Edge Guard, Hollow Ground, Fast Cutting, Makes Cooking, Chopping & Dicing fun, Best Cutlery Gift for Stylish & Sharp Cooks by Okami Knives
213 Reviews
Santoku Knife 7 Inch, VG10 Damascus Kitchen Steel, Edge Guard, Hollow Ground, Fast Cutting, Makes Cooking, Chopping & Dicing fun, Best Cutlery Gift for Stylish & Sharp Cooks by Okami Knives
  • MODERN 7-inch hollow-edge Santoku knife, precise cuts, control, fast cutting, chopping, mincing, dicing & slicing
  • DESIGNS, Our stunning packaging portrays an old Japanese legend, where the Wolf (OKAMI) is the mountain spirit. A Samurai, who ventured too far in the mountain & got lost in the mist, calls for the spirit's help. Howling at the moon under a blossoming cheery tree the Wolf awakens (can you see it?). Moral judge, he will look in the heart of the caller & decide whether to save or attack him. Our knife carries the Okami's spirit. Take good care of it and it will help & reward you without fail
  • KNIVES, NOT DIAMONDS, ARE A COOK'S BEST FRIEND, Many Chefs are not paid enough for the hard work they perform. They can't afford to splurge but when they do, it's on knives, the tool they use and like the most. This is why our knife collection is called Tomodachi (friends in Japanese). LIGHT, it will greatly help reduce fatigue from extended usage. LOYAL, it will be by your side for years to come. SHARP and BALANCED it won't let you down. Look no further your new BUDDY is here.
  • LET'S ROCK THE BOAT, We believe in challenging the status quo. This is why we were the first to offer PREMIUM PACKAGING (quality, design) and EXTRAS (edge guard, cleaning cloth) with our knives. We have INSPIRED many competitors since, for the benefit of all consumers. By rocking our Santoku Knife you will help us to rock the boat and to set higher standards in the industry.
  • CUSTOMER SATISFACTION GUARANTEED, You are making the right decision doing business with our company. We'll provide you with the finest product and service, or your money back! Add your 7'' Santoku Hollow Edge Knife to your cart with no risk and enjoy the difference a good knife makes.

Zelite Infinity Chef’s Knife

Visually the most enticing of all the Japanese chef knives in our reviews, Zelite Infinity is both a wonderful detail in your kitchen as much as it is a powerful tool in the hands of a professional.

The blade is patterned with a gorgeous looking Damascus pattern – the Tsunami Rose. By combining high carbon and stainless steel this model has managed to get the best out of both worlds – the anti-rust properties of steel combined with blade sharpness that it gets from high carbon.

Zelite Infinity is made in the most popular size – the 8 inches – for the price slightly over $100 as you can currently find it on sale. Being heavier and with a larger handle than other Japanese kitchen knives, it feels like an extension of your arm rather than just a simple tool. Somewhat heavier than its counterparts, Zelite Infinity is a masterfully done crossbreed of a Japanese and American style kitchen knife.

Things we liked

  • Elegantly designed, it will sit perfectly in any modern kitchen.
  • Impressively sharp even when taken right out of the box.
  • Built for precise and fast chopping or slicing.

Things we didn’t like

  • One of the most expensive in its class (although now it is on sale, so you should definitely seize the moment).
  • Requires more TLC because of the high carbon materials used.
  • Regular sharpening is a must because of the low angle of the blade.
ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 inch - Alpha-Royal Series - Best Quality Japanese VG10 Super Steel 67 Layer Damascus - Razor Sharp, Superb Edge Retention, Stain & Corrosion Resistant Chefs Knives
539 Reviews
ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 inch - Alpha-Royal Series - Best Quality Japanese VG10 Super Steel 67 Layer Damascus - Razor Sharp, Superb Edge Retention, Stain & Corrosion Resistant Chefs Knives
  • ✅ SETTING THE NEW STANDARD FOR CHEFS KNIVES >>> Impress Guests with your Visually Stunning, Extreme Performance Best Chefs Knife adding Refinement and Style to any Modern Kitchen! Minimal Slicing Resistance, Satisfying Heft, Full Tang & Premium Materials! Set in a Premium Packaged Box, Value-for-Money Never Looked So Good! Welcome to the ZELITE Club!
  • ✅ PREMIUM JAPANESE STEEL - RAZOR SHARP BLADES >>> Imported Japanese Takefu VG-10 Super Steel with 67-layer High Carbon Stainless Steel - our VG 10 Chef Knife Asian Gyutou is Non-Stick, has an Exquisite Japan Tsunami Rose Damascus Pattern and is Liquid Nitrogen Tempered ensuring Long Lasting Performance! Stain & Rust Resistant 8-inch Blade. Butcher like a Pro!
  • ✅ STUNNING TRIPLE RIVETED, ROUNDED HANDLE >>> This is what Differentiates Zelite Knives from the Competition - Our Handles Were Built with YOU in mind! A Top Military Grade G10 Black Handle Triple Riveted to the Forged Full Tang for Extra Strength & Durability, Tastefully Adorned with the Zelite Infinity Classic 3-Metal Mosaic Rivet. Ergonomically Designed -ROUNDED- Handles to ensure a Secure and Comfortable Grip! RARE Tapered Bolster for Extreme Comfort, Perfect Balance!
  • ✅ UNRIVALED PERFORMANCE, RUTHLESSLY SHARP >>> Hand Finished using the Traditional 3-Step Honbazuke Method this 8" Gyuto has an Incredible 12 degree pro razor edge per Side, Mirror Polished Cutting Angle Ensuring Maximum Sharpness & Safety, Effortless Slicing of Meat, Fish -Sushi, Vegetable, Fruit and more, bringing Excitement back to Cooking. Premier Razor Sharpness Ensures your Rocking Motion Chopping is done Effortlessly! You want to Step Up to Executive Chef Level, make the Smart Choice
  • ✅ 100% SATISFACTION or MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - TRY IT RISK FREE >>> Lifetime Warranty against Manufacturing Defects (only if purchased direct from 'Zelite Infinity' - check item is "sold by Zelite-Infinity"). Our Chef Knifes have been built with Perfection in Mind. Ideal Multipurpose Cutlery Gift (Christmas, Weddings, Birthdays, Fathers Day, Mothers Day), for Home Cooks, Professional Chef's, Culinary Students and more. You can't lose. Limited Supply, Order Now before they are Sold Out!

Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife review

As its name clearly implies, Shun DM0706 is really a classic chef’s knife made to be used as versatile tool in the kitchen. The blade is made to set at a 16-degree angle, making this knife the sharpest out of the box.

The PakkaWood D-shaped handle is not only there for show but also provides comfort and great handling. VG-10 stainless steel in no less than 32 layers gives you the feeling of being a samurai when slicing with this knife.

We would recommend getting the standard 8-inch version, but there are also a 6-inch and a 10-inch one. The 8-inch Shun is affordable, especially if you managed to get it on a sale; in that case, you might find yourself owning the best Japanese chef knife under $100.

The knife is double-beveled which is more of a European style than Japanese but this actually makes it even easier to work with. All things considered, we might be looking at a professional Japanese chef knife that is being sold for basically a bargain.

Things we liked

  • If maintained accordingly, the blade will remain sharp and sturdy for a long time.
  • Patterned blade – no food sticking.
  • Perfect for beginner cooks.

Things we didn’t like

  • Not suitable for meat cutting around joints and bones.
  • Requires a suitable chopping board if you want to avoid blade damage.
  • Even though the manufacturer claims it is safe to wash it in a dishwasher, do not do it. Hand wash and dry thoroughly.
Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife
  • 8-inch chef's knife for versatile slicing, chopping, dicing, and more
  • Made from VG-10 stainless steel clad with 32 layers of high-carbon stainless steel
  • Patterned, layered surface; stunning look of Damascus steel with added rust resistance
  • Black laminated PakkaWood D-shaped handle provides maximum comfort
  • Measures approximately 12 by 2 inches; dishwasher-safe; limited lifetime warranty

Global G-2 Chef's Knife

Global G-2 Chef's Knife review

Global G-2 is surely one of a kind chef knife on the market because it is made as a kind of a unibody from a single piece of metal. The combination of metals used is even more interesting with 18 percent of chromium along with vanadium and molybdenum.

This all sounds like some technical mumbo-jumbo, but it translates to excellent durability, stain resistance and long-serving sharpness. As an addition, having a unibody allows this knife to be longer lasting than other knives because there are no crevices where food can get stuck making those divots a potential hazard.

Global went for the sole option of 8 inches with the price nearly under $200 which is why this knife is one of the most sold in 2017.

With the weight of 7.8 ounces which is fairly light for an 8-inch knife, you can have free movement and speed in your cooking. It is quite a nice detail that you get a lifetime warranty against breakage.

Things we liked

  • The price is an enormous bonus by itself for such an extraordinaire knife.
  • Lightness and the design of the handle make it very easy to work with.
  • Perfectly balanced, a feature accomplished because of its unusual appearance.

Things we didn’t like

  • The blade is not the strongest one; avoid tougher tasks for this knife.
  • Because of its metal handle, the knife is slippery especially if your hands are oily.
  • Only comes in the 8-inch variation.
Global G-2 - 8 inch, 20cm Chef's Knife
489 Reviews
Global G-2 - 8 inch, 20cm Chef's Knife
  • Lightweight, precisely balanced 8-inch or 20cm chef's knife
  • Blade made of high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel
  • Edge retains razor sharpness exceptionally well
  • Stainless-steel handle molded for comfort, dimpled for safe grip
  • Lifetime warranty against defects and breakage

Yoshihiro VG-10 Hammered Damascus Gyuto Chef’s Knife

Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife review

Yoshihiro VG-10 is one of the best Japanese Gyoto knives out there, maid perfectly for an all-around use in the kitchen (slicing, chopping, etc.). The first thing you’ll notice about this knife is the layered design of the blade.

Although aesthetically beautiful, its primary assignment is to reduce friction and the annoying food that sticks to the knife. The VG-10 is the mark of the special stainless steel center core that increases sharpness and durability.

Considering that the knife is hand-made by Japanese manufacturers and that it comes with overwhelming qualities, we would definitely recommend the Yoshihiro to both novices and restaurateurs.

Bear in mind that the weight also increases with the size, so be sure to pick one that suits your style the most. Making the Japanese kitchen knives review, we had amazing time using this one.

Things we liked

  • Price and quality ratio – best in class.
  • Mahogany handle and overall elegant design.
  • Sharpness that lasts for a long time.

Things we didn’t like

  • Price and quality ratio – best in class.
  • Mahogany handle and overall elegant design.
  • Sharpness that lasts for a long time.
Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife 8.25 in (Western style Mahogany Handle)
213 Reviews
Yoshihiro VG10 16 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife 8.25 in (Western style Mahogany Handle)
  • Gyuto Chef's Knife is the most versatile and essential of all chef knives perfect for dicing, slicing, and chopping fresh produce to carving a roast chicken straight from the oven.
  • 3 Layer construction with a VG-10 Japanese stainless steel center core with a HRC 60 for exceptional sharpness, edge retention, and durability with ease of sharpening.
  • An elegant 16 layer hammered outer steel is a stylish yet functional design eliminating friction and keeping food from sticking to the blade
  • A premium Mahogany wood handle with a full tang for a well balanced construction for seamless use.
  • Excellent for entry level chefs. Hand wash only and sharpen on quality whetstones. Comes ready to use out of the box. 100% handcrafted by skilled tradesmen in Japan. Not mass produced.

Ginsu 7108 Chikara 8-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set

Ginsu 7108 Chikara 8-Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set review

For the end of our reviews, we bring you an affordable set of Japanese kitchen knives. Distinguishable for their rounded handles and the famous Japanese steel, this is a kind of set everyone should have in their kitchen, the best Japanese knife set.

The set consists of the following: 8-Inch chef's knife, 7-Inch Santoku Knife, 5-Inch utility knife, 5-Inch serrated utility knife, 3.5-Inch paring knife, 8-Inch honing rod, and kitchen shears. For the purpose of storing you also get a bamboo storage block made in three levels with a pre-designed place for each kitchen tool provided.

With everything taken into consideration along with the price under $100, we can safely say that this is the best home Japanese kitchen knife set currently on the market.

Once in hand, these knives will feel and look a lot more expensive than they actually are. The secret behind it is that they are forged instead of stamped and are very well balanced.

Things we liked

  • Unbelievably affordable considering the quality being offered.
  • 6 out of 8 tools in the set are actually knives and basically cover everything you might need them to do.
  • Beautifully designed, this set will look superbly on top of any kitchen counter.

Things we didn’t like

  • The set is not washable in a dishwasher.
  • Not adequate for professionals.
  • No bread knife included.
Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 8-Piece Japanese Steel Knife Set – Cutlery Set with 420J Stainless Steel Kitchen Knives – Bamboo Finish Block, 07108DS
1369 Reviews
Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 8-Piece Japanese Steel Knife Set – Cutlery Set with 420J Stainless Steel Kitchen Knives – Bamboo Finish Block, 07108DS
  • These Ginsu Chikara forged knives are one piece of premium Japanese Stainless Steel from tip to tang so you can approach every recipe with the confidence that your knives will do whatever you ask.
  • These Ginsu Chikara forged knives arrive razor sharp and stay sharp longer than the competition giving you a low-maintenance, high quality set of forged knives you can depend on meal after meal.
  • These Ginsu Chikara forged knives are expertly balanced to give you the perfect blend of power and control you need to cook through even the trickiest recipe safely and comfortably.
  • Ginsu Chikara forged knives have been named a Consumer Report "Best Buy" 5 times, and are backed by a Lifetime Limited Warranty.
  • This Ginsu Chikara forged knife set includes everything you need to prepare delicous and complex meals organized in a sophisticated Bamboo Finish Block: 8-Inch Chef's Knife, Honing Road, 5-Inch Utility Knife 7-Inch Santoku Knife, 5-Inch Serrated Utility Knife, 3.5-Inch Paring Knife, Kitchen Shears.

Best Japanese Knife Brands 2017


Best Masamoto Knife

Over 170 years of quality, and tons of amazing sushi can testify of this brand. Masamoto is the name in chef cutlery that stands for professionalism, precision, quality, and razor sharp products that last forever. The impeccable quality of these knives was recognized from the start, as the finest sushi masters accepted the trademark and connected with the brand easily.

Besides the obvious quality, the durability was the feature that attracted many more customers. Masamoto knives are among the most durable ones because of the quality of the stainless steel they invest into.

The Masamoto VG-10 Chef's Knife, for example, features durable handle grips made from special material called Duracon, to avoid shrinking over time, like happens with wood. This new material is the highest ranked one in the antibacterial testing and resilience to moisture, brute force, and steam, which are the first and foremost factors that affect the quality of a chef knife.

Masamoto knives come in various sizes and product lines, featuring lightweight materials and edges sharpened to a 70/30 ratio. Even though you won’t find a lot about it, the Masamoto brand stands for sophisticated quality, effectiveness, and durability.



Aesthetics, incredible sharpness, and impressive looks. These are the features that highlight the products from Shun. The ancient legends of sword making in Japan are the foundation of this brand.

The worldwide popular katana sword was fierce in battlefield, durable to withstand more than any other weapon, and sharp enough to cut a man in half with a single strike. The knives from Shun are handcrafted on layered foundation by highly skilled specialists, taking at least a hundred work hours to complete the final product.

When we talk about the best Japanese knife brands, we simply can’t forget Shun. The impeccable expertise of producing ultimate-quality knives is based on a centuries-old technology of sword making. The impressive quality of Shun knives is achieved by using cobalt, vanadium, and chromium to achieve the quality level.

Shun DM0706 Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife is the perfect example. With a hundred years old tradition and impressive features, knives from Shun are manufactured to be perfect, as the name suggests. The perfect timing, the perfect ingredients, and the perfect knives make the perfect food, and with Shun, that’s what you’ll get.


Global Knives

Modern, sharp, and impressive; these are the words you’d use to describe the Japanese company called Global. They strive for greatness since 1980, and they are becoming a leader on the global market. They are achieving that by designing the knives as a single piece of steel and adding the fashionable hollow handle which definitely draws attention.

Their precise crafting and light weight are the features that set Global apart from competition. Global G-42 is the perfect example of this new age design and feature set. Besides these features, Global knives are popular as very balanced, even and very comfortable knives to hold in hand. If you’re all about safety and hygiene, you’ll love Global knives.

If you’re looking for extravagant cutlery, Global will serve you with its futuristic set that will make everyone’s eyes pop. Pair that with the affordability and performance of these knives, and you get the great brand that won’t fail you.


After testing and examining all of the knives we reviewed for you today, the search for best Japanese knives in the world is nearing to an end, and we summarize our experiences. There is one knife that stands out and is the definite winner on our list.

Zelite Infinity Chef’s Knife has proven itself to be the clear winner in every aspect important for a Japanese kitchen knife. The competition was fierce but Zelite Infinity Chef’s Knife was the only knife suitable for both home and professional use, something that even the Okami Santoku can’t brag about. Being a truly modern Japanese knife, it doesn’t have the problem with the short handle such as the Yoshihiro Gyoto knife.

Read more: Best Paring Knife​

Made from the best materials (High carbon stainless steel) and with the perfect blade curve, this piece of art is not just the best knife on our review list. It is by our opinion the best Japanese kitchen knife in the world.

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