Traditional Japanese Knives Crushing in 2022 | Tools Of Chef

Traditional Japanese knives are honored as one of the most excellent culinary tools in the world followed by German knives. In fact, Japanese originated stuff do perform pretty well and there is very little to no exception for this.

The best Japanese knives do everything for you in the kitchen. Whether you are a home chef, a beginner, or serving the restaurants like a pro. You can never underestimate the immense deliverance of these knives.

If you have been in the food industry for a long time, Japanese knives won’t be covered by you. However, if you are just starting your career as a chef & just heard about Japanese knives, you are lucky to get to know about them right from the start. This guide would serve you to get your first traditional Japanese knives.

As Japanese knives are well-performing ones in the world; you will find a lot of brands with hundreds of so-called Japanese knives. But, this is not the real case, unfortunately. You will find a lot of replicas & knives with Japanese designs, but they aren’t necessarily real & traditional.

Although, those knives may perform more compellingly than typical and standard knives. But, they are meant for beginners & home chefs specifically due to their affordable pricing. By the way, the best & traditional Japanese knives come for an expensive upfront investment most of the time.

In order to get the right Japanese knife, you must know some of the main things. This will help you invest the amount in the right knife. And, if this investment goes perfectly, you don’t have to get another knife for the next couple of years. But first, let’s find why and how you should choose the best Traditional Japanese knives.

Why & How to Pick the Right Traditional Japanese knife?

Alright, why should you pick the traditional Japanese knife? Let us explain it briefly.

If you are tired of replacing your knives after using them just for a couple of months, you must have to get the traditional one. Normally, the standard knives aren’t supposed to last for long as they are meant as practicing tools for newbies. Such knives come for a cheap price & their build couldn’t be the top of the line.

If you want to practice with knives, the Cheap Japanese knives are the ideal selection. But, you should never stick to them after mastering them. They will not work in your professional hands. Those knives were just for practice & you will never be able to use them in a professional career.

So, these ideal cases make traditional Japanese knives a must-go for you. Now, you have to select the ideal knife for that. Let us briefly describe this as well.

How to Pick the Best Traditional Japanese knives?

To pick the right knife, you need to know some of the differences. Most of the Japanese knives come with a double bevel blade but the right Japanese knife doesn’t. These knives come for a single bevel traditionally just like Swords. And, this is the main difference why these knives are sharper than western ones.

Now, a Japanese knife with double bevel blades doesn’t necessarily mean that it is not the right knife. In fact, some Japanese knife brands will make their knives in double bevels for the ease of the chef as most of the western chefs are used to double bevel blades as you find in Wusthof knives. Single bevel knives aren’t easy to handle due to their sharpness & they could easily make or break your cutting.

After the sharpness of the knife, the main part comes with its durability & versatility. Depending on the brand, the right Japanese knife could have been made up of several sorts of culinary steel, but they must be forged rather than being stamped. Forged Japanese steel knives deliver the finest & durable edge.

Replica knives, on the other hand; don’t hold their edge for a long time. Such knives are mostly formed through stamping & laser itching to provide a bit of support to them. But, it all depends on their price as this has a direct relation with the quality.

Further, the best Japanese knife doesn’t come with a bolster at all as this part only comes for the German knives. Even without a bolster, the right Japanese knife still features a handful of versatility & this will never be compromised at all. They will either be rightly balanced or with bulky handles to make them easy to glide.

So, these are some of the main things you must consider while purchasing a knife. To get in-depth coverage about it, take a look at Knives Buying Guide. Now, let’s dive deeper into our selection of traditional Japanese knives.

Our Top 3 Picks of Best Traditional Japanese knives

DALSTRONG - Ronin Series - Usuba Knife - 7-inches
DALSTRONG – Ronin Series – Usuba Knife – 7-inches
  • Material: High Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 28.96 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 17.1 x 6.3 x 1.9 inches
  • Manufacturer: Dalstrong
Miyabi 8-Inch Chef's Knife
Miyabi 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 18.88 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 3.31 x 1.38 x 15.13 inches
  • Manufacturer: Miyabi
Shun Sora 6 Inch Chef’s Knife
Shun Sora 6 Inch Chef’s Knife
  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 4.3 Ounces
  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 0.63 x 1.5 inches
  • Manufacturer: Kai

10 Best Traditional Japanese knives At A Glance

Overall Best
DALSTRONG - Ronin Series - Usuba Knife - 7-inches
DALSTRONG – Ronin Series – Usuba Knife – 7-inches
  • Benefits: Single bevel sharp blade, A Non-Stick durable knife, Balanced & Comfortable, An Impressive sharpness, Also comes with a sheath
Shop Here
The Professional
Shun DM0707 Classic Ebony - 10 Inch
Shun DM0707 Classic Ebony – 10 Inch
  • Benefits: VG-MAX Japanese Blade, Maneuverable sharpness, Versatile & balanced knife, Best knife for professionals, Easy to sharpen chef knife
Shop Here
The Most Durable
Yoshihiro Gyuto VG-10 46 Layers Hammered (8.25-inches)
Yoshihiro Gyuto VG-10 46 Layers Hammered (8.25-inches)
  • Benefits: With Layered Japanese steel, Hammered Non-Stick knife, Superior & a versatile blade, An easy to maneuver blade, Stain & rust-resistant knife
Shop Here
Exceptionally Versatile
Shun Kanso 7 Inch Hollow Ground Santoku
Shun Kanso 7 Inch Hollow Ground Santoku
  • Benefits: Durable AUS10 steel blade, Versatile & balanced knife, A Maneuverable sharpness, Rust Resistant blade knife, Comfortable & Full-Tang handle
Shop Here
Best for Vegetable
DALSTRONG Japanese Nakiri Vegetable Knife 6
DALSTRONG Japanese Nakiri Vegetable Knife 6″ Shogun Series X
  • Benefits: Superior Edge Retention, The Non-Stick Blade Knife, Features 60HRC hardness, Razor Sharp & versatile, Best for professional chefs
Shop Here
Cheapest Single Bevel
Chef’s Single Bevel Chisel Edge Grind 8-inch Gyuto
Chef’s Single Bevel Chisel Edge Grind 8-inch Gyuto
  • Benefits: Best for casual use, A Single bevel knife, Rust-Resistant blade, Impressive versatility, Above average sharpness
Shop Here
The Classical Handle
Shun Sora 6 Inch Chef’s Knife
Shun Sora 6 Inch Chef’s Knife
  • Benefits: A Lightweight Chef Knife, The Double bevel knife, Responsive & balanced, Durable steel blade knife, A Universal Chef knife
Shop Here
The long-lasting
Miyabi 8-Inch Chef's Knife
Miyabi 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
  • Benefits: Perfect Cutting ability, A Precious SG2 blade, Sleek Birchwood Handle, Maneuverable Chef knife, Ideal for gift & Professionals
Shop Here
The Professional Assistant
Mac 8 Inch Hollow Edge Professional Chef Knife
Mac 8 Inch Hollow Edge Professional Chef Knife
  • Benefits: A Versatile Chef Knife, The Full-Tang handle, For a reasonable price, Best blade for chopping, A Non-Stick Blade Knife
Shop Here
Sharpest & Rust-Resistant
Global G-48-7 inch Hollow Ground Stainless Santoku
Global G-48-7 inch Hollow Ground Stainless Santoku
  • Benefits: Comfortable dimpled handle, The Exceptional sharpness, Flawless & Non-Stick Cutting, Balanced & a lightweight knife
Shop Here

Best Traditional Japanese knives | Our Best Picks & Review

1. DALSTRONG – Ronin Series – Usuba Knife – 7-inches

 DALSTRONG - Ronin Series - Usuba Knife - 7-inches japanese knives types

Dalstrong at the opening of the list with one of the best knives in its fleet. They launched this knife back in 2019 & several updates throughout the Ronin Series have made it stand out. It is offered in up to three sizes & knife types out there.

Build Quality & Material:

Being a guy from Dalstrong, this blade features the most spectacular steel that forms its entire blade. This is a masterpiece of AUS-10V that is heat treated and forged steel. It provides exceptional strength to the blade & makes it almost unbreakable. The blade is now rated at the Rockwell Hardness of up to 62 HRC.

The immense heat treatment has taken its durability to the next level. After this treatment, the blade has got a non-stick pattern and it is further cooled through liquid nitrogen. So, its impressive steel composition & durability won’t get lost. This entire build has improved the blade performance pretty much.

Cutting & Performance:

This usuba from the Ronin series is packed with a single bevel blade. Yes, you heard it right! It is the first and one of a few Japanese knives with single bevel blades. To validate its sharpness, Dalstrong has crafted its blade up to 20° of bevel.

Not just is its blade sharp, it’s also durable like we said earlier. This knife is loaded with the sharpest and durable edge that leads to maneuverable edge retention. The knife holds its edge for a long time & takes its performance to a next level.

On top of the blade, it has also got a so-called yet beautiful Damascus pattern that makes the knife non-stick pretty much. The blade is considerably thicker and it allows you to use it aggressively. Overall, this traditional knife is worth it.


  • Single bevel sharp blade
  • A Non-Stick durable knife
  • Balanced & Comfortable
  • An Impressive sharpness
  • Also comes with a sheath


  • Could rust if not taken care

2. Shun DM0707 Classic Ebony – 10 Inch

Shun DM0707 Classic Ebony - 10 Inch japanese knives uk

DM0707 from Shun is going to be the runner-up of this mighty list. This 10-inches classic knife is one of their successful launches & it is also balanced considerably. Shun offers this knife in up to 04 sizes but the 10-inch version is the most versatile as longer blades tend to deliver smoothly.

Build Quality & Material:

Unboxing the deal and you will get a spectacular knife right in the box. This knife is a result of the superior steel that is custom made of Shun known as VG-10 MAX. The VG-10 steel is normally forged but this one comes with additional layers.

In this blade, you will get 69-layered stainless steel that composes its durable and finest profile. The addition of chromium sort of elements has provided you with the added beauty & this looks very gorgeous at the countertop & in hands.

With all this composition, the knife becomes fairly durable. You will get a Rockwell hardness of something less than 60 HRC but it also prevents the blade from chipping. Meanwhile, the blade itself is rust-resistant & doesn’t lose its sharpness.

Cutting & Performance:

Shun has been popular for making the sharpest and compelling knives including this one. You will also find this knife in our dedicated Shun review out there. Additionally, Shun never disappoints and they add meaningful performance.

This knife features a versatile blade and you will get loaded sharpness through its profile. The blade is slim and that’s why it’s not bulky either. Further, the blade doesn’t hold any bolster & later expands all the way to its spine pretty decently.

To make it non-stick; Shun adds a gorgeous pattern but it could be better by the way. However, the blade is easy to glide & sharpness doesn’t judge your patience. Along with that, the encrypted handle provides a comfortable grip.


  • VG-MAX Japanese Blade
  • Maneuverable sharpness
  • Versatile & balanced knife
  • Best knife for professionals
  • Easy to sharpen chef knife


  • Requires frequent care

3. Yoshihiro Gyuto VG-10 46 Layers Hammered (8.25-inches)

Yoshihiro Gyuto VG-10 46 Layers Hammered (8.25-inches) handmade japanese knives

Yoshihiro is here with his chef knife being the successor of Shun in this list. It is one of the successful launches by Yoshihiro and you will love this out. Yoshihiro launches it in three sizes 7, 8 & 9.5-inches; while 9.5” being the bulkiest version. Additionally, all these knives come with a wooden sheath to protect them.

Build Quality & Material:

Yoshihiro makes this knife from a superior Japanese steel VG-10 as it is already mentioned. This best knife features a layered construction for its blade that is formed through hot forging right there. You will get 46 layers in it by the way.

Yoshihiro utilizes heat treatment and forging a lot better to make it a durable knife. In addition to this, the knife has captured 60HRC at Rockwell Hardness. Along with that, the knife features hammered steel cladding that you may never get in any other knife on this list. Additionally, it also makes the knife stain-resistant.

Cutting & Performance:

This Gyuto is already boosted with the impressive build; the sharpness & versatility has further made the knife more effective in use. It is a versatile blade it is also slightly curved that lets you glide the knife easily. You will also 

As compared to the other knives, it has got an extended tip exactly like the traditional knives. This provides you with a good reference and the ability to chop the ingredients nicely without losing stability. You can use it on almost everything.

Other than its razor sharpness, the knife itself is a piece of art. You will get hammered cladding on top of the blade that makes it non-stick to eventually make you productive while cutting. The hexagonal handle might not be so comfortable for some people, but it will surely provide an up to mark grip.


  • With Layered Japanese steel
  • Hammered Non-Stick knife
  • Superior & a versatile blade
  • An easy to maneuver blade
  • Stain & rust-resistant knife


  • Nothing to complain about

4. Shun Kanso 7 Inch Hollow Ground Santoku

Shun Kanso 7 Inch Hollow Ground Santoku best japanese knife blacksmith

Shun for the second time on this list. This time, we grab their Santoku knife from the flagship Kanso series that doesn’t need any intro. This knife model launched back in 2015 & you will not get a size or any other sort of variant into this knife.

Build Quality & Material:

This time, Shun makes their knife from AUS-10 steel that is also exceptional indeed but VG-10 Max (Shun DM0707) is at the next level. However, to make things impressive, Shun modifies the composition itself. Now, it has stainless steel bass and it hosts vanadium & chromium ratio as well.

With these additions, the knife gets a fine and beautiful finishing out of the box. Along with that, its core also grabs the durability of the rest of the blade. Thankfully, you still get the layered steel into this blade that enhances it more.

Due to an impressive composition, the Rockwell Hardness reaches up to 60 HRC but it is no more than 58HRC which is also a good thing. With this hardness, you get a balance between durability and stiffness that eventually leads to longevity.

Cutting & Performance:

Exploring the main part and you will be loving it. Kanso holds a 07-inches medium blade but it is still considerably versatile. The knife features a contoured blade that gradually meets its spine. This gives it a pretty balanced and performing profile. The sharpness is undoubtedly the best again & maneuverability is not a big deal here.

Being a Japanese knife, you won’t get any bolster here. But this knife is still maneuverable. The handle uses a textured design but it is full tang just like the other ones. Further, it is also riveted that eventually prevents it from parting off.


  • Durable AUS10 steel blade
  • Versatile & balanced knife
  • A Maneuverable sharpness
  • Rust Resistant blade knife
  • Comfortable & Full-Tang handle


  • Resharpening takes time

5. Chef’s Single Bevel Chisel Edge Grind 8-inch Gyuto

Chef’s Single Bevel Chisel Edge Grind 8-inch Gyuto 
japanese knives brands

If you just want to test Japanese knives without spending hundreds of bucks, this knife is meant for you then. This lightweight & Japanese style knife is an ideal match for an amateur to casual chefs to use in their kitchens. However, it only comes in a single version without any size variant. Still, its 08-inches blade is enough. 

Build Quality & Material:

Starting from its build quality and material that determines the caliber of a knife in the long run. In this knife, you will get its blade in a high carbon steel core. This makes it comparatively bulky and its maneuverability depends from person to person. However, it doesn’t rust if you properly take care of it. More, you can find in our exclusive guide on How to prevent Rust on knives.

Though the knife features a durable blade and its construction is significantly hard. However, it is not considered as long-lasting as such. And this is the reason, we don’t recommend it for professional chefs at all. Even being a cheap knife, this is still heat treated to make it durable as much as it could right out of the box.

Cutting & Performance:

It is another knife with a single bevel blade and it spectacularly features a 15° bevel. This makes it considerably easy to sharpen but it also requires frequent sharpening to get the most out of it. Comparatively, the cutting edge isn’t the sharpest one, but it still gives a tough time to FamCute knives out there.

Additionally, the edge here is no doubt better and the versatility is also decent. Of course, you can use it with veggies sort of stuff but it isn’t for Sushi. The spectacular handle makes it joyful to use due to its traditionally round handle.


  • Best for casual use
  • A Single bevel knife
  • Rust-Resistant blade
  • Impressive versatility
  • Above average sharpness


  • Not for professional use

6. DALSTRONG Japanese Nakiri Vegetable Knife 6″ Shogun Series X

DALSTRONG Japanese Nakiri Vegetable Knife 6 Shogun Series X 
japanese butcher knife

Dalstrong for the last time on this list with its only Vegetable knife from their magnificent Shogun Series X. They launched this back in 2016 and frequent customization has made it stand out nicely in the market. You will get this knife in three blade designs and the same goes for its blade sizes as well.

Build Quality & Material:

This is the first & only knife on the list that is made up of optimized culinary steel of AUS-10V. Dalstrong has formed its complete blade through this specific steel and immense vacuum heat treatment has made it a spectacular deal. Just like its previous series, this steel is also layered to add additional durability to the knife.

The help of vacuum heat treatment & nitrogen cooling further makes it quite more durable. And, this thing led this knife to hit the HRC 60 at the Rockwell hardness scale. It is an unbreakable knife & you must not use it on bones either.

Cutting & Performance:

Although this is a double bevel knife, Dalstrong knows how to optimize such blades. To deal with it, Dalstrong has sharpened the blade for up to 12° on both bevels. This gives an ultimately short yet sharpest profile of less than 25°. Further, they have also optimized its edge that now features superior edge retention.

On top of that, you have got Dalstrong’s dedicated Tsunami Rose blade pattern all across its blade. It enhances beauty and elevates productivity by making the knife non-stick. This thing eventually boosts its overall performance.

Together with this, it provides you with one of the most prominent handles on the list. This knife features a premium G-10 handle which is nicely polished, to be honest. Of course, it’s a full tang, but it is triple riveted.


  • Superior Edge Retention
  • The Non-Stick Blade Knife
  • Features 60HRC hardness
  • Razor Sharp & versatile
  • Best for professional chefs


  • Considerable bulky knife

7. Miyabi 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

Miyabi 8-Inch Chef's Knife 
japanese santoku knife

Miyabi chef knives are classified as one of the most practical Japanese knives in the culinary world. This specific chef knife got launched back in 2011 and we are now reviewing its latest version launched this year after renovation. It is a rightly balanced knife & you will find it in three significant sizes after paying a premium.

Build Quality & Material:

When it comes to Miyabi and a quality knife, they are using unique steel as compared to other brands. The same goes for this knife and you will get their flagship G2 micro carbide powder steel also known as SG2. In terms of wear, rust resistance & durability, this steel beats VG10 as well.

You will find VG10 knives considerably hard to sharpen in front of G2 micro carbide powder steel. To bring the knife to such an unbelievable stage, Miyabi uses next level & professional heat treatment of 100-layered steel. It elevates the properties of it & ice-hardening delivers a great touch to it eventually.

Cutting & Performance:

This knife isn’t attractive in terms of build and looks, it is also pretty impressive in terms of using this out. The knife features a straight spine throughout the blade till its end except for the contoured part. Its cutting edge gradually meets the spine to form a maneuverable cutting profile.

This guy is very maneuverable without any doubt. SG2 makes you feel proud when it comes to sharpness as you will get a sophisticated sharpness. With this, you can deal with almost anything to cut & it will never disappoint you. 

Moreover, it features the most spectacular pattern on its blade that gives it a luxury look making it completely non-stick. Birchwood handle makes it eye-catching & provides a completely comfortable grip.


  • Perfect Cutting ability
  • A Precious SG2 blade
  • Sleek Birchwood Handle
  • Maneuverable Chef knife
  • Ideal for gift & Professionals


  • An Expensive Investment

8. Mac 8 Inch Hollow Edge Professional Chef Knife

Mac 8 Inch Hollow Edge Professional Chef Knife 
best japanese knives

MAC captures the list with its chef knife that is going to please you if you have a mid-range budget to invest in a knife. They launched this knife a lot earlier, however, its latest version is getting so much exposure. Let’s find out why!

Build Quality & Material:

So, MAC makes this knife with an alloy of high carbon and stainless steel. This is a forged knife and it is also perfectly layered steel out of the box. The superior heat treatment has taken the durability to next level and made the knife stand out nicely on the cutting boards.

This knife features a Rockwell hardness of less than 58 HRC and this creates a balance between hardness and stiffness. The edge is quite delightful for the price and it is supposed to last for a long time without any doubt.

Cutting & Performance:

Drilling deeper into the deal and you will get to know about its deliverance. The knife holds a sharp cutting blade that can cut almost everything. You should not use it as a deboning knife, otherwise, you will lose its sharpness.

Along with the sharpness, its blade is also quite versatile and it is considerably easy to maneuver. The knife features a traditional Gyuto profile and it improves the dicing and chopping pretty much. Further, it holds western style cladding.

Moreover, this knife holds a traditional yet full tang handle which is equipped with three rivets to prevent it from parting off. Additionally, the handle has a round belly that provides a decent and complete grip with the palms.


  • A Versatile Chef Knife
  • The Full-Tang handle
  • For a reasonable price
  • Best blade for chopping
  • A Non-Stick Blade Knife


  • The blade could rust with water

9. Global G-48-7 inch Hollow Ground Stainless Santoku

Global G-48-7 inch Hollow Ground Stainless Santoku 
gyuto knife

Global has been a reliable knife brand over the years and this knife is also one of the reliable knives out there. This lightweight Santoku is one of the most attractive knives. Global manufactures attractive knives quite in a modern design.

Build Quality & Material:

Almost all of the Global knives are made through stainless steel of premium quality. The same goes even for this one as Global is using Cromova 18 to form the blade of this knife. It is exclusively meant to provide rust-resistance support.

Cromova 18 features a perfect combination between molybdenum, chromium, and vanadium content along with stainless steel. This certainly makes the blade breathe and forging eventually makes it a performing deal right out of the box.

Cutting & Performance:

It is a razor-sharp knife undoubtedly due to enhanced double bevels. This lets its user cut through any product with little to no effort at all. The knife holds a delightful blade profile that eventually makes your cuttings productive.

In this Santoku, you will get a western profile blade overall. Now, this blade comes with an almost straight spine that gradually turns to meet its edge. Its cutting length is sharp and it isn’t straight but holds a slight belly in the end.

Along with that, the knife provides a good cutting ability and it is further encrypted with non-stick dimples for a flawless cutting experience. In the end, you will get a completely metallic handle that is undoubtedly durable & provides a comfortable grip. It doesn’t slip as Global has crafted an engraved grip for it.


  • Comfortable dimpled handle
  • The Exceptional sharpness
  • Flawless & Non-Stick Cutting
  • Balanced & a lightweight knife


  • Needs frequent resharpening

10. Shun Sora 6 Inch Chef’s Knife

Shun Sora 6 Inch Chef’s Knife 
chubo knives

Winding up the list and we have got you with Shun once again but this time their Sora is going to capture you. This knife got launched back in 2013 and it is only offered in one blade size of 06-inches.

Build Quality & Material:

So this knife features a VG10 cutting core in its blade that makes it incredibly strong right out of the box. Further, it is encrypted with a stainless steel layer that makes it a rust-resistant thing that provides it a more than average longevity.

This blade is supposed to have a Rockwell hardness of at least 56 HRC and this enhances the overall performance of the knife. You will get a heat-treated forged blade that makes the knife outstanding. Further, its edge retention is reasonable.

Cutting & Performance:

When it comes to cutting the Sora performs very outstandingly. Though it is a double bevel knife, it still doesn’t hold a round tip. Instead, its tip is pretty sharp due to 16° bevels which are still quiet enough for a Japanese knife.

Its blade is almost similar to DM0707 as it holds almost the same profile. The spine goes straight in line towards its handle and it quickly meets the edge at front. The cutting length features a round belly and this is reasonable for rocking.

Together with this, the knife performs pretty well alongside its sharpness. This blade doesn’t rust until you take care of it properly. Dishwashers are not safe for knives but manual cleaning is recommended.


  • A Lightweight Chef Knife
  • The Double bevel knife
  • Responsive & balanced
  • Durable steel blade knife
  • A Universal Chef knife


  • The tip is a bit fragile

Frequently Asked Questions Traditional Japanese knives

Summing up the Traditional Japanese knives

So you have decided to get a Japanese knife but you are worried about the best knife? Don’t worry as we have got you captured. This list covers the best & outstanding Traditional Japanese knives that you should never skip.

These classical knives feature immense sharpness, prominent versatility, enhanced durability & all these things for a reasonable or decent upfront that is worth it. This one-time investment will save your ass & will make you productive.

As finding them out is a difficult task; this guide has provided you with some of the best knives along with the selection criteria. You won’t have to panic anymore & just skim through this guide to get your ideal companion.

Leave a Comment