3 Best Japanese Knife Makers

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Do you love traditional assets in your kitchen? Then Japanese knives should give your kitchen the classical traditional look.

There is a lot of traditional craftsmanship and Japanese blades keep being refined over the years.

Through my time in my home kitchen, I have had the opportunity to use dozens of Japanese knives and I can say, they really serve their purpose well.

Since there are many Japanese products finding a perfect one would be a little difficult. In this review, I’ll introduce you to some of the best Japanese knives you will find in the market.

1. Shun Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife

Indeed knife making is an art and all arts are perfected with lots of practice and dedication. Shun is known to be a leading brand for the Japanese.

The brand has been in the industry for more than 100 years and each knife is handcrafted.

Before being packed and sold their products go through 100 manufacturing steps and that’s more than enough to produce high-quality products.

The Santoku 7-inch knife is a perfect place to start. It is a well-balanced knife that I’ve always had the pleasure of using.

Thanks to the lightness and sharpness, every cut seems to glide through the air.

The blade is forged from high carbon stainless steel and has a total of 16 layers which ensure durability and great corrosion resistance.

The forging and honing processes make the blade razor-sharp and the edge requires minimum re-sharpening.

The handle is made out of Pakkawood, which is a durable and lightweight wood. This makes it comfortable and very light to handle.

For better balance, the handle and blade are joined with an offset steel bolster giving the knife better balance, which makes it ergonomic.

If I were to pick a Japanese knife, it’d be this Santoku 7-inch knife.

It’s quite versatile and can be used to slice anything, chop meat, fish and cut through vegetables.

Pros

  • Traditional Japanese craftsmanship
  • Has a razor sharp edge
  • Made of durable high-carbon steel construction

Cons

  • It’s a perfect knife with no downsides

2. Miyabi Utility Knife   

This Miyabi knife is often referred to as a pairing or utility knife. It resembles a smaller version of the chef’s knife and it’s perfect for small cutting jobs.

I love this small knife because it’s very easy to handle and cutting using it is simple. It has a blade that measures 5.5 inches, which is a perfect size for a professional setting.

For petty knives like this one, you don’t have to be keen on the sharpness because you’ll only use it for small, undemanding jobs. That’s why I have included Miyabi’s utility knife in this review.

The knife is made out of carbide steel alloy that has been ice-hardened, giving it excellent edge retention and maximum sharpness.

This type of knife is easy to produce and that’s why it isn’t as expensive as other knives.

It also has a synthetic handle with three rivets which give a good balance and grip.

The handle and blade are combined by a small bolster, giving the knife a comfortable shape that’s perfect for trimming, pairing, and slicing.

If you love a petty knife, this will be a great addition to your kitchen. It’s also a great alternative to a paring knife.

Pros

  • Affordable and versatile
  • Great when paired with a Japanese knife set

Cons

  • It has an in-between size which might not be suitable for too small or large hands

3. Shun Classic 6-Piece Slim Knife Block Set

Although I love Western-style, Japanese knives are worth investing in and the classic 6-piece slim knife block set from Shun is a must-have.

Shun’s knives are known to be Japanese’s best blades and it’s for good reason. The classic series is made out of handcrafted Damascus steel and pakkawood handles.

This set is ideal for both home and professional kitchens. The set will cover all your bases thanks to the 3.5-inch paring knife, 8-inch gyuto chef’s knife, and the 7-inch santoku knife.

The knives are then complemented by kitchen shears, honing steel, and a slim knife block. The good thing about this set is that you don’t have to sharpen them, Shun has excellent customer service that offers re-sharpening services.

Pros

  • A complete selection of Japanese knives at a good price
  • Easy to sharpen

Cons

  • Comes with shears and honing steel which you might not need

So, what are the 3 best Japanese Knive makers?

Although there are so many Japanese knives out there on the market, I’d highly recommend you get these 3 knives:

  • Shun Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife
  • Miyabi Utility Knife   
  • Shun Classic 6-Piece Slim Knife Block Set

However, of all the 3 if I were to pick one it’d definitely be the Shun Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife because of its durability and razor-sharp edge.