12 Best Sushi Knives – Japanese Approve

Although heavily associated with the Japanese culture, sushi originates roughly 3,000 miles away. First created in the bountiful rice paddies of Southeast Asia, sushi has been fully incorporated into Japanese cuisine, becoming the culture’s culinary icon. Today, the vinegar-flavored morsels come with an assortment of toppings – including tamago or egg, ikura or roe, and the iconic sashimi or raw fish.

Since being introduced into the western world in the 1960s, the delicacy has become so widespread that anyone can make their own version of the basic sushi blueprint with nothing more than some creativity and the best sushi knife. In fact, many households incorporate sushi into their rotating weekly schedule, especially because the hearty recipe can be infinitely easy – as long as you have the right tools for the job.

While every item in the itamae or sushi chef’s arsenal is important, the sushi knife is paramount. So if you’re hoping to make your very own sushi at home, our vetted picks for the best knife for sushi making should help you achieve authentic Japanese outcomes.

Our Top 12 Best Sushi Knives

Have you ever tried peeling a delicate piece of fruit with a butcher’s knife? Or slicing into a piece of raw beef shank with a filleting knife? Needless to say, the subtle changes in the shape, size, and thickness of a knife’s blade makes a world’s worth of difference in terms of its function. And because the careful art of sushi making requires unique precision, coming equipped with a proper knife should be a no-brainer.

We went through the sushi knife market to search for the top performers. After shortlisting some of the best picks by reading through verified user reviews, we ranked each choice based on how it matched up to our set of standards. We looked into build quality, ease of maintenance, ease of handling, versatility, durability, and overall value. And these knives came out to be the sharpest of them all.

 

Editor choice 1 Yoshihiro VGYA240SH Hongasumi
10
Yoshihiro VGYA240SH Hongasumi
(Best Japanese Knife)

Forged by Japanese artisans, the Yoshihiro VGYA240SH Hongasumi VG-10 sushi knife was designed to turn any home cook into a skilled itamae with its precision cutting edge and its beautiful symmetry.

10
Best value 2 Yoshihiro Kasumi
9.9
Yoshihiro Kasumi
(Best Sushi Knife Set)

Bringing you a complete knife bundle, the Yoshihiro Kasumi knife set includes everything you need to bump up your kitchen skills and adapt the style of a full-fledged itamae.

9.9
3 DALSTRONG Santoku
9.8
DALSTRONG Santoku
(Best Sushi Knife for Cutting Rolls)

The DALSTRONG Santoku is your all-around kitchen knife, designed to withstand heavy abuse in the hands of both skilled kitchen masters and budding sushi makers.

9.8
4 Cool Knife VG10 Damascus
9.6
Cool Knife VG10 Damascus
(Best Sushi Knife Under $100)

The budget-conscious VG10 Damascus from Cool Knife is a practical kitchen addition that brings cutting-edge precision in a cost-effective package.

9.6
5 KYOKU Samurai Series Yanagiba
9.5
KYOKU Samurai Series Yanagiba
(Best Sushi Knife for the Money)

The KYOKU Samurai Series Yanagiba can cut through the toughest of ingredients with a single, light-handed stroke, making it a formidable knife that doesn’t break the bank.

9.5
6 Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series AUS-10
9.3
Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series AUS-10
(Best Sushi Knife for Beginners)

Built for novice hands, the Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal AUS-10 Damascus knife is easy and effortless, lending any rookie the confidence they need to dominate the kitchen.

9.3
7 SETO Damascus Petty Knife
9.0
SETO Damascus Petty Knife
(Best Japanese Light Sushi Knife)

Perfect for delicate peeling, slicing, dicing, and garnishing, the SETO Japanese Chef Knives Damascus Petty Knife makes the ideal companion for general kitchen preparations, and for skillful sushi creation.

9.0
8 Kai 6715D
8.8
Kai 6715D
(Best Deba Sushi Knife)

A necessity in any kitchen, the Kai 6715D is your standard workhorse – forged for those intensive jobs that require the heavy-duty performance of a forceful knife.

8.8
9 TATARA Santoku
8.7
TATARA Santoku
(Best Sushi Knife for Gifting)

Perfectly and thoughtfully packaged, the TATARA Santoku Knife tops off its reliable kitchen performance with exquisite aesthetics that make it a worthy gift for a budding chef or an avid home cook.

8.7
10 Mercer Culinary Genesis
8.4
Mercer Culinary Genesis
(Best Sushi Knife for Safe Grip)

Butter fingers no more with the Mercer Culinary Genesis Santoku Knife. Fitted with an ergonomic santoprene handle, this NSF-approved knife can make the most rigorous slicing sessions completely accident-free.

8.4
Best seller 11 Imarku Chef Knife
8.1
Imarku Chef Knife
(Best Gyutou Sushi Knife)

Intended for working on delicate, soft pieces of produce, the Imarku Chef Knife is a must-have in any kitchen, and works to help you achieve pristine sushi rolls with maximum precision.

8.1
Best price 12 Kitchen + Home SE-009
7.9
Kitchen + Home SE-009
(Best Budget Sushi Knife)

The inexpensive Kitchen + Home Sushi Knife aims to make a skilled itamae out of even the most inexperienced cooks, letting you enjoy the satisfying slice of a sharp sushi knife without having to step over your budget.

7.9
1 Editor choice

Yoshihiro VGYA240SH Hongasumi – Best Japanese Knife

Features

  • Blade length: 9.5 inches
  • Material: VG10 stainless steel
  • Available in 9.5, 10.5, and 11.8-inch models
  • Stain-resistant
  • Sheath included

It really doesn’t get any better than this. The Yoshihiro VGYA240SH Hongasumi VG-10 sushi knife is the paragon of premium Japanese cutlery. Each knife is made by the hands of expert Japanese metalworkers, with a premiere blade that boasts precise anatomy rooted in Japanese customs. Forged by artisans, each one of the VGYA240SH knives in existence is a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Made from VG-10 stainless steel, this ultra-thin knife was designed for long, uninterrupted strokes, producing seamless cuts with fully preserved flavor and texture. The stain-resistant material is also particularly easy to maintain, holding well against corrosion and retaining its shiny, sleek metal aesthetic through years of heavy abuse.

To add an extra touch of decorative appeal, its octagonal rosewood handle lends unrivaled sophistication and class, perfectly matching its lacquered magnolia wood sheath.

The long 9.5-inch blade was designed for precise, uninterrupted strokes, ideal for the accurate art of sushi making.

If there’s anything we found to be amiss, it’s that the blade’s sheath isn’t a perfect fit and is slightly bigger than it should be. Other than that, the textured panel on the beveled side of the blade can require a little extra effort to clean, but shouldn’t be a total deal-breaker.

Positives
  • Ultra-thin blade measures just 3mm at the spine’s heel, making it incredibly precise
  • Elongated silhouette allows long, uninterrupted strokes for pristine cuts with perfect texture and preserved flavor
  • Octagonal rosewood handle adds a touch of decorative appeal and sophistication
  • Lacquered magnolia blade sheath or saya comes included with the package and helps protect the blade during transport and storage
  • Precision curves along the back of the blade reinforce the steel at its most vulnerable areas for added durability and edge retention
Negatives
  • Sheath fits a little on the loose side
  • Textured panel on the bevel side may require more intensive cleaning
2 Best value

Yoshihiro Kasumi – Best Sushi Knife Set

Features

  • Blade length: 10.7 inches (yanagi), 7.7 inches (usuba), 7 inches (deba)
  • Material: carbon steel and iron
  • Magnolia wood handles
  • Water buffalo horn bolsters
  • Sheath included

For those in search of something a little more comprehensive, the Yoshihiro Kasumi sushi knife set should be a sound choice. Bringing you three different knife types all intended for sushi making, the set aims to help humble house-cooks achieve next level itamae skills. Including a yanagi, usuba-bocho, and deba-bocho, this bundle lets you prepare everything from fresh fish and vegetables to make sushi from scratch.

Each knife in the set is made from premium carbon steel – the hardest material in the modern sushi knife market. This is then coated in a softer iron layer that reinforces the material for better resistance to wear and tear.

The handles – made from magnolia wood – are held in place by water buffalo bolsters that enhance the knives’ overall aesthetic. And of course, Yoshihiro makes it a point to include a magnolia wood sheath to protect the blade of each knife when not in use.

Incredibly sharp straight out of the box, the Yoshihiro Kasumi knife set is almost perfect. One of the minor flaws we ran into with the knives is that the magnolia wood tends to get slippery especially if you’re handling fish and similar ingredients.

Another thing worth mentioning is maintenance. The knives use iron and carbon steel – both of which are prone to rust and corrosion. Proper maintenance should keep the blades in good condition for several years.

Positives
  • Complete knife set brings you everything you need to prepare sushi ingredients from scratch
  • Heavy-duty construction makes each knife perfect for heavy kitchen abuse
  • Reinforced carbon steel material layered with iron can be particularly long-wearing and durable with proper care
  • Ultra-sharp and thin blades are ready for use straight out of the box, ideal for precision cutting
  • Impressive edge retention keeps the blade impeccably sharp even after months of use
Negatives
  • Magnolia wood handles can become slippery with exposure to fish and other moist ingredients
  • Carbon steel blades require extra care to prevent corrosion and rust
3

DALSTRONG Santoku – Best Sushi Knife for Cutting Rolls

Features

  • Blade length: 7 inches
  • Material: high-carbon steel
  • Premium military-grade G10 handle
  • Sheath included
  • Lifetime warranty

Incorporating the benefits of Damascus forged steel, the DALSTRONG Santoku knife is your all-around Japanese kitchen knife, designed to perform in sushi making and more. The 7-inch heavyweight blade brandishes a thin, scalpel-thin edge that’s intended for high precision, helping you slice and cut through the toughest meat, fish, and vegetables with incredible accuracy.

Fitted with a G10 handle, the ergonomic knife can feel exceedingly comfortable to handle. Along the blade’s face, rectangular ‘Rockhollow’ divots minimize surface resistance and prevent moist ingredient slices from clinging to the knife’s metal. And of course, to protect the beautiful, heavy-duty blade from mechanical damage and moisture exposure, it comes with a PerfectFit Dalstrong Sheath.

But as you might expect, it isn’t without a few drawbacks. For starters, we noticed that the G10 handle material tends to smudge quite easily, making it a chore to keep clean. And just like the knives from the Yoshihiro set, the DALSTRONG Santoku may become difficult to grip as your hands become moist as you handle ingredients like fish and vegetables. Factor in its substantial weight, and it’s easy to see how grip might become an issue during use.

Positives
  • All-around design works well with everything from tough meat cuts to delicate garnishes
  • Precision, ultra-sharp blade comes out of the box perfectly honed and ready for use
  • Military-grade G10 handle was designed for comfortable use over extended meal prep sessions
  • Rockhollow divots prevent thin food slices from clinging to the blade for fast, precision use
  • Comes with a durable sheath to protect the blade against mechanical damage during storage
Negatives
  • G10 handle smudges easily, making it difficult to maintain that clean, blemish-free look
  • Handle may become slippery with moisture and sweat
4

Cool Knife VG10 Damascus – Best Sushi Knife Under $100

Features

  • Blade length: 8 inches
  • Material: VG10 stainless steel
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Sharpener included
  • Lifetime warranty

At under $100, the Cool Knife VG10 Damascus is both affordable and practical, perfect for a budding itamae hoping to create their own signature sushi roll every now and then. The cost-effective blade features authentic Damascus forging and touts a thin precision edge that can slice through the thickest, toughest meat cuts like a hot knife through butter.

The swirling metal patterns on the knife’s blade are the result of 67 layers of VG10 steel, repeatedly enveloped over one another to create a knife with incredible tensile strength. And to make sure that the edge is razor-sharp straight out of the box, the Cool Knife VG10 Damascus goes through 150 cycles of polishing for a perfectly aligned, ultra-thin edge.

Finally, the entire construction is fitted with an ergonomic handle, designed to maximize hand control and dexterity so that every swipe and slice produces perfect outcomes.

So, why didn’t the Cool Knife VG10 Damascus manage to climb any higher on our list? For one thing, we noticed that the swirling patterns on the sides of the blade were etched on, which makes it difficult to tell whether the knife was actually forged using the Damascus technique. Secondly, the dull border of the knife may need some extra refining, especially if you’re going to press down on the spine with your palm during use.

Positives
  • Versatile design performs well for sushi making and many other kitchen functions
  • Ergonomic handle is easy to grip, reducing tension on the handle muscles and maximizing control
  • Bundled with a sharpener for easier maintenance and more accurate sharpening
  • Budget-friendly price point doesn’t sacrifice the knife’s performance or quality
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty despite its affordable cost
Negatives
  • Swirling patterns are etched on and are not the result of Damascus forging
  • Spine may need to be refined for added safety and versatility
5

KYOKU Samurai Series Yanagiba – Best Sushi Knife for the Money

Features

  • Blade length: 10.5 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Wenge wood handle
  • Extra sharp finish
  • Lifetime warranty

Another cost-effective choice is the KYOKU Samurai Series Yanagiba. This sleek, ultra-thin knife was designed for slicing through sushi rolls and boasts an extra-long silhouette for single, continuous strokes. Its lightweight design and easy-grip handle make it perfect for rookies, and help to make the entire experience far less taxing on the hand muscles.

The knife uses premium, heat-treated stainless steel fitted with a wenge wood handle for added aesthetic appeal. The spine of the knife is designed to be slightly thicker than the usual, giving the design extended durability that’s ideal for frequent to heavy kitchen use.

To top it all off, the premier knife incorporates a ruthlessly sharp edge that’s ready to slice through the toughest meats and fish straight out of the box.

Coming with a lifetime warranty, the KYOKU Samurai Series Yanagiba is a cost-effective investment for any kitchen. If anything, we found the little nook between the blade and the handle to be a potential starting point for rust and corrosion. And since it is rather affordable, you should expect that the blade won’t have such stellar edge retention.

Positives
  • Lightweight construction allows easy handling and comfortable use
  • Ultra-thing blade and sleek silhouette permits precision cuts
  • Long blade lets you cut through meats, fish, and vegetables with accurate, uninterrupted strokes
  • Wenge wood handle looks polished and sophisticated for added decorative appeal
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty despite its affordable cost
Negatives
  • Edge retention could use some improvement
  • Nook between the blade and the handle might usher in the beginning of rust and corrosion
6

Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series AUS-10 – Best Sushi Knife for Beginners

Features

  • Blade length: 10 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • G10 handle
  • Rust resistant
  • Extra deep blade silhouette

Fashioned for the hands of rookies and newbies, the Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series AUS-10 sushi knife can guide anyone to itamae-level mastery. This Damascus forged knife features an ultra-deep blade for ultimate control and also brandishes a gently curved edge for effortless rocking. During use, the knife will basically guide your hands to help you achieve perfect, pristine cuts and slices each and every time.

The AUS-10’s handles are made from military-grade G10 for added strength and durability. The thick grip maximizes comfort and relieves the stress and tension often experienced by the inner muscles of the hand during knife handling. And to add extra force to every swipe, the knife features a double sharpened edge that’s polished on both sides, producing a severely sharpened blade that cuts through the toughest ingredients like nothing.

Some drawbacks worth considering include the harsh curve that might be too steep for the knife’s length. Of course, it does may rocking far easier. But if you’re interested in mastering other knife skills like dicing or french cutting, then the angled belly might be hard to work with. That said, this knife definitely isn’t something that will evolve with you. So, as you improve in your knife handling skills, you may find it necessary to buy a more advanced design.

Positives
  • Simplified silhouette makes knife handling a no-brainer, helping rookies get the hang of basic knife techniques in no time
  • Ergonomic G10 handle allows maximum control and comfort for prolonged periods of meal prep
  • Rust-resistant material minimizes the likelihood of corrosion and rust over years of use
  • Deep silhouette lets you cut through tough ingredients with greater force and control
  • Ideal weight is just the perfect heaviness for ease of use and maxed out force
Negatives
  • Rocking angle might be a little too steep for certain cutting techniques
  • Doesn’t evolve with you as you learn new knife skills
7

SETO Damascus Petty Knife – Best Japanese Light Sushi Knife

Features

  • Blade length: 8.25 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Hammered texture
  • Handmade in Japan
  • Lightweight construction

Handmade in Japan by artisan locals, the SETO Japanese Chef Knives Damascus Petty Knife is as authentic as it gets. Developed for general kitchen functions involving vegetables, fruit, and herbs, this knife is lightweight, easy to handle, and incredibly effortless to control. Its ideal length and masterfully shaped grip come together to create a comfortable knife for long bouts of meal preparation.

Take a glance at its blade, and you’ll find hundreds of dents that add texture to the steel. In effect, the knife resists the cling of various types of ingredients, letting you rapidly work with vegetables and fruits without having to take breaks in between slices.

Altogether, the SETO Petty Knife is light, nimble, and beautifully balanced – perfect for delicate slicing and cutting jobs for sushi prep.

One thing that we found might need some improvement is the knife’s lack of knuckle clearance. That is, as you drive the knife down into a piece of fruit or veg, you’re likely to knock down on the chopping board with your knuckles because of the blade’s shallow depth. Another thing is that the knife might not be razor-sharp out of the box. Make sure you’ve got your whetstone at the ready.

Positives
  • Light blade and handle combination allows easy handling and better comfort
  • Textured blade resists the cling of various types of ingredients for uninterrupted, rapid knife use
  • Wooden handle is easy to grip and becomes even less slippery when wet
  • Beautiful craftsmanship makes the knife both functional and decorative
  • Material is far less prone to rust and corrosion
Negatives
  • Lacks knife depth for proper knuckle clearance
  • Doesn’t come razor sharp out of the box
8

Kai 6715D – Best Deba Sushi Knife

Features

  • Blade length: 6 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Pakkawood resin-impregnated hardwood handle
  • Contemporary design
  • Lifetime warranty

The deba-bocho is a Japanese kitchen workhorse, designed to perform some of the most intensive tasks in the sushi-ya. These knives are heavyweights that dismantle whole tuna fish, among others, straight from the sea.

On our list, the best deba-bocho comes from Kai, in the form of their 6715D Deba Knife. The 6-inch knife touts a contemporary aesthetic, unlike the other knives we’ve explored on this list. Streamlined and minimalist, this knife can easily blend in with the rest of your cutlery.

Its high-carbon stainless steel material was developed to resist rust and holds well against wear and tear. This gives the knife exquisite edge retention, extending the time between each sharpening session. Its hardwood handle feels rubbery to the touch and maximizes your grip for greater control and comfort.

If there’s anything that could improve the Kai 6715D’s overall performance, it’s the handle’s girth. Adding a little extra thickness to the grip could have enhanced the user experience since the knife was intended for frequent, intense use. It’s also worth noting that the weight of the knife seems to center closer to the tip of the blade, which may cause some strain for long periods of meal preparation.

Positives
  • Exaggerated knife depth for complete knuckle clearance
  • Heavy-duty design works well for demanding kitchen tasks
  • Hardwood handle is easy to grip and feels slightly rubberized for added traction
  • Sleek contemporary silhouette can match most cutlery sets
  • Inexpensive knife for intensive kitchen tasks and general meal preparation
Negatives
  • Handle lacks girth for bigger hands
  • Weight is centered closer to the tip which may cause some fatigue after long periods of use
9

TATARA Santoku – Best Sushi Knife for Gifting

Features

  • Blade length: 7 inches
  • Material: VG10 stainless steel
  • Military-grade G10 handle
  • Comes with a wooden case and polishing cloth
  • Lifetime warranty

Got a home cook in the family who’s celebrating a special day? The TATARA Santoku Knife can be a thoughtful gift choice. This expertly crafted design comes in a beautiful wooden box with a polishing cloth tossed in with the bundle. The exquisite design might make it look like the perfect addition to a china cabinet, but it’s intended for much more than simply collecting dust on a display shelf.

The ruthlessly sharpened edge is precise and effortless, slicing through the most delicate ingredients without damaging their sensitive membranes. The result is a beautiful, accurate, and clean slice every time, letting you prepare all the necessary ingredients for authentic sushi right in the comfort of home.

Fitted with a military-grade G10 ergonomic handle, the TATARA makes long periods of kitchen work a breeze. Comfortable and agile, this general knife can find sound purpose in your daily kitchen routine.

No doubt, the TATARA Santoku Knife’s presentation makes it a smart gift choice. Do keep in mind that it is relatively heavy which might dampen its efficiency for a chef with smaller hands. Another consideration is that the actual knife might not appear as it does in the manufacturer’s photos, with a far lighter metal and no divots in the blade.

Positives
  • Beautiful design and presentation make the knife an effortless gift option
  • Sharp straight out of the box for instant use as it arrives at your door step
  • Thin blade edge allows precision slicing for more delicate jobs involving veggies and fruit
  • Durable material has excellent edge retention for minimal maintenance
  • Heavy-duty handle is easy to grip and comfortable for extended meal preparation
Negatives
  • Slightly heavier than your average general-purpose knife
  • Might differ from the manufacturer’s photos, lacking divots and coming in a lighter metal shade (contact the seller before purchasing)
10

Mercer Culinary Genesis – Best Sushi Knife for Safe Grip

Features

  • Blade length: 7 inches
  • Material: High-carbon stainless steel
  • Santoprene handle
  • NSF- approved
  • Lifetime warranty

Slippery knives and poorly designed handles can be a major hazard in any kitchen space. So if you’ve been the victim of accidental cuts and slices before, then a safe grip should be a big consideration.

The Mercer Culinary Genesis Santoku Knife packs all the features of premium Japanese cutlery but adds an extra facet of safety with its NSF-approved handle. The santoprene material is rubbery to the touch and provides maximum traction to keep your knife safely in hand through the most rigorous precision functions.

The blade itself is high-carbon stainless steel forged in Germany. With divots along the side, the edge of the blade was intended to create thin, even slices without clinging to the metal. The material is anti-rust, resistant to corrosion, and impervious to discoloration, leaving it looking new and working sharp years into its use. And of course, since the knife does have some heft, its full-length tang runs the entire length of the handle to give you maximum control and perfect balance.

On the downside, the knife does have a rather thin spine that may make it slightly uncomfortable to press down on. We also noticed that since the rubbery handle doesn’t completely towel dry, it might be prone to mold formation after prolonged exposure to moisture.

Positives
  • Santoprene handle is effortless to grip, allowing maximum control and comfort
  • Sleek blade is thin and durable, perfect for working with tough ingredients without sacrificing precision
  • Anti-rust, corrosion resistant, discoloration resistant material maintains the blade looking and working perfectly for years
  • Easy to sharpen and hone thanks to its taper-ground edge
  • Full-length tang runs through the entire handle for symmetrical balance
Negatives
  • Thin spine makes pressing down on the knife a bit uncomfortable
  • Santoprene material isn’t the best at resisting mold and other contaminants that thrive in moist environments
11 Best seller

Imarku Chef Knife – Best Gyutou Sushi Knife

Features

  • Blade length: 8 inches
  • Material: High-carbon stainless steel
  • Pakkawood handle
  • Rust and corrosion-resistant
  • Lifetime warranty

Ideal for handling delicate ingredients like soft vegetables, fruits, garnishes, and herbs, the Imarku Chef Knife is the poster child for gyutou knives. The knife’s perfect balance and symmetry make it especially easy to handle, allowing pinpoint, paper-thin slices necessary for handling delicate produce.

At 0.1 of an inch in thickness, its blade is exquisitely forged for minimal damage on the delicate membranes of your ingredients. And for even easier use, the Imarku comes immaculately sharpened out of the box so you can get to work as soon as it arrives at your doorstep.

This multi-purpose kitchen knife combines the resilience of high-carbon stainless steel and a decorative pakkawood handle for exceptional aesthetic and long-wearing durability. Its ergonomic silhouette reduces the stress and tension on the muscles of the hand, letting you work with the knife for long periods of time without discomfort or aches.

What we think sets the Imarku Chef Knife back a few steps is its size. Because the knife is intended for delicate, soft fruit, its long blade can be clumsy to use for smaller pieces of produce. Many of those who have used the knife also claim that it might need sharpening just a few weeks or months into its use, which is definitely a little more often than the usual.

Positives
  • Ideal anatomy for precision cuts on delicate fruit and produce
  • Overall weight is neither too heavy nor too light, extending endurance for kitchen tasks
  • Ultra-thin blade doesn’t damage the membranes of ingredients to help retain flavor and texture
  • Durable design incorporates both chrome and carbon to improve the metal’s tensile strength
  • Definitely won’t put a dent in your wallet
Negatives
  • Long blade might be a little clumsy to maneuver when handling small, soft items
  • Doesn’t have the best edge retention in the bunch
12 Best price

Kitchen + Home SE-009 – Best Budget Sushi Knife

Features

  • Blade length: 8 inches
  • Material: Teflon coated surgical stainless steel
  • ABS plastic handle
  • Aerated blade
  • Lifetime warranty

Costing no more than the spare change in your pocket, the Kitchen + Home Non-Stick Sushi Knife is any recreational itamae’s dream. This ultra-affordable design makes sushi-making accessible for anyone and everyone with its budget-friendly price. But despite its attainable cost, the Kitchen + Home Non-Stick Sushi Knife doesn’t skimp out on quality, delivering a reasonable performance that won’t disappoint.

Its shining quality is its make – a Teflon-coated surgical carbon stainless steel – that lets you work with lots of tricky, sticky ingredients like vegetables and fish without the unwanted cling.

With little holes lining the edge of the blade, this knife works hard to make sure that every slice is seamless and interruption-free, making it possible for even novice chefs to work more rapidly with its anti-cling design. And to give you even more confidence or faster meal prep, the design is fitted with an ABS plastic handle that’s ergonomic and non-slip so you can slice and cut with maximum control. And did we mention this affordable little thing comes with a lifetime warranty?

For its inexpensive price, the Kitchen + Home Sushi Knife delivers performance that exceeds expectations. But remember – you still get what you pay for. Like all Teflon coatings, the layer of non-stick material on this knife will wear away after some use. It’s also not the best in terms of tensile strength, so try to avoid using it on ingredients that might be too tough for its metal.

Positives
  • Non-stick Teflon coating makes the knife exceedingly easy to clean and maintain
  • Aerated design prevents the annoying cling of sticky ingredients as you slice
  • Non-slip ABS handle ensures a stable, safe grip
  • Anti-rust, anti-corrosion surgical stainless steel holds up well against moisture exposure and acidic ingredients
  • Incredibly inexpensive
Negatives
  • Teflon coating has a tendency to peel off
  • Not the best in terms of tensile strength – avoid hard ingredients that cause your knife to bend

Buyer’s Guide

Sushi making is no less of an art than painting or sculpting. That said, having the right tools for the job should help guarantee the proper, artful execution of the delicate process. Browse the market, and you’ll find a sundry of knife types – all of which find their place in the arsenal of a skilled itamae.

Which one should you get? Read on to learn more about how each different type can help you create authentic Japanese sushi.

Best Sushi Knives -12

Types of Sushi Knives

Pull out an itamae’s kitchen drawer, and you’re likely to find three different types of sushi knives. Each one of these designs serves a purpose in the sushi-making process – whether in the preparation of sashimi or yasai, or in the slicing of the finished roll.

The first is the burly deba-bocho like the Kai 6715D. This heavy-duty cleaver-slash-gyuto knife is a sushi maker’s work horse. Dismantling any fresh catch, the deba-bocho finds its rightful place in the kitchen as the ideal tool for working on fish. The sharp tool can cut away fish heads on large tuna, removing all the unnecessary parts to prepare the fish meat for more delicate sashimi cutting.

The next is the usuba-bocho found in the Yoshihiro Kasumi Knife Set. The blunt-ended usuba was designed to work with vegetables and fruit. Its unique anatomy can find supreme purpose in the hands of a skilled itamae, but it may take some time to fully master the knife’s capabilities. For beginner at-home sushi makers, the usuba-bocho might not be quite as essential. However, those who want to move to the next level of sushi making, this knife may open new doors of creativity and presentation.

Finally, there’s the yanagiba or sashimi-bocho, similar to the Yoshihiro VGYA240SH Hongasumi VG-10. Its elongated, thin-blade was designed to work with incredible precision, cutting large slabs of fish or sashimi and turning them into delicate fillets perfect for laying on a bed of vinegar-flavored rice. The yanagiba’s thin blade has also made it the ideal knife for slicing into a completed sushi roll, keeping all of the glorious ingredients in place as you glide the knife into the roll.

Some other noteworthy knives include the santoku and the gyutou which are both not specifically for sushi making, but serve the purpose anyway. The santoku is a burly knife for general purposes, like the DALSTRONG Santoku, able to cut through some of the toughest vegetables in the line-up. On the other hand, knives like the Imarku Chef Knife are called gyutou knives and are more precise, designed for working with delicate fruit and vegetables.

12 Best Sushi Knives-1

Make and Material

Another thing that sets the sushi knife apart from other types of knives is the way that it’s made. Through the expert craftsmanship of forgers, sushi knives are designed with superb durability, tensile strength, edge retention, and corrosion resistance. These days, there’s more than one way to make a sushi knife. And depending on the forging method and the materials used, each knife can offer unique performance.

Present-day sushi knives are made from either carbon steel or stainless steel. While the first can be far more durable and robust, the trade-off is that it’s more prone to rust since the metal doesn’t contain as much chromium. Stainless steel, on the other hand, can be far more resistant to corrosion, which is ideal when working with the acidic ingredients typically used in sushi. Yet, it can have much lower tensile strength.

The forging of a sushi knife is an art in its own right. Today, expert craftsmen can create traditional sushi knives in one of four ways:

  • Honayaki – The most expensive class of sushi knife, made from a single material through and through.
  • Kasumi – Two layers of brittle cutting steel forged together with softer protective steel. They’re more flexible than honayaki blades.
  • San Mai – A layer of brittle cutting steel with one layer of softer protective material on each side, creating something of a sandwich of steel. Far less prone to corrosion, but may require daily sharpening, reducing its lifespan to less than 3 years.
  • Damascus – Multiple layers of two different types of material forged together, creating the iconic swirl pattern. This method of forging has been around since the BC’s and is believed to have emerged from the Arabic culture.

12 Best Sushi Knives

Maintenance

A sushi knife’s sharpness is its biggest asset and is essentially what makes it effective at its craft. As a knife owner, your job is to preserve its sharp edge, aiming to prevent the many different types of damage that it might incur. That includes corrosion and mechanical damage like chips and dents.

Stainless steel knives similar to the KYOKU Samurai Series Yanagiba stand up better against corrosion, but they’re far more prone to wear and tear from use and storage. That said, always keep your knife in its own separate drawer, or sheath the knife before placing it with other utensils. Hand washing your knife should also prevent nicks and dents to the blade, as opposed to throwing it into a dishwasher.

For carbon steel knives like the Yoshihiro Kasumi Knife Set, mechanical damage should be the least of your worries. However, they are particularly prone to corrosion because of steel’s chemical composition. With that in mind, carbon steel knives are best maintained by keeping them dry and free from excess moisture. If you’re dealing with acidic ingredients, make sure to rinse the knife thoroughly during use to prevent the metal from being soaked in the corrosive agent.

FAQs

That depends on how often you use it. Sushi knives that are employed in the high-energy kitchens of Japanese restaurants can be sharpened daily. But unless your kitchen chugs out sushi rolls by the hundreds, then that kind of intensive maintenance might not be necessary. Some experts recommend a sharpening schedule of as little as once or twice a year for sushi knives used in household settings. If you use your knife more often, then sharpening every quarter might be more than sufficient.

Sharpening is often the go-to solution for people with a blunt knife. But that’s not the end-all-be-all for knife maintenance. What many knife owners don’t know is that honing is just as important as sharpening, and may even help delay the time between sharpening sessions if done properly.

Honing is the process of pushing the knife’s blade back into alignment. This can be done daily with a proper honing tool. According to experts, a well-honed knife should be able to last longer between sharpenings and may even be more resistant to corrosion.

Electric knife sharpeners can be exceedingly efficient, but they shave off too much of the blade that they may end up damaging your knife’s initial anatomy. In the process of caring for a sushi knife, it’s always ideal to use traditional sharpening methods to maintain the edge – especially if you’ve got a single-bezel sushi knife.

A whetstone can be an inexpensive tool for sharpening, but it does take some skill to master. If you’re not sure how to sharpen your knife, there are loads of guides that share the basics of sushi knife maintenance and sharpening. There are also lots of professional services that offer to take on the job for a minimal fee.

Best Sushi Knives -11

What’s the Best Sushi Knife?

After rigorous research and comparisons, we’ve found the Yoshihiro VGYA240SH Hongasumi to be the best sushi knife presently available. Designed by Japanese artisans, this authentic piece of Japanese kitchen cutlery brandishes the silhouette, the style, and the satisfying function of a true-blue sushi knife for all levels of expertise.

Looking for something a little different? We’ve got you covered. Check out our 11 other vetted picks – from deba knives to stable santokas – and unravel some of the best performing sushi knives that made the cut.

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