The Best Sushi Knife That Beginners Should Know About
Thinking of making your own sushi at home? This post will give you suggestions and pointers on how to get the best sushi knife.
I’m a huge fan of sushi and a frequent visitor of Japanese restaurants These places, however, aren’t cheap, so I’ve decided to learn how to make Japanese food at home.
I was not professionally trained in cooking. I’m a humble home cook who loves cooking and eating! I know that making sushi is serious business, so I made sure that I’d practice <a lot> and got myself some quality tools—including a good knife.
There are simply so many types to choose from, so I will focus on the most popular ones, as well as those that are easy to find.
I can pretty much summarize kitchen knives like this: a good knife is not cheap, and a cheap knife is most likely not that good! If you’re looking for the best sushi knife, you will need to shell out some a fair amount cash—trust me, this will be worth it!
The items below are for both home cooks and professionals. Take a look and see which one will fit your cooking style best!
If you are interested in other kitchen gadgets, refer here: Best Choises
What is The Difference Between a Regular Kitchen Knife And a Sushi Knife?
Japanese chefs and cooks have special sets of cutlery for all sorts of dishes. There are simply too many to mention—factors such as construction, weight, and blade type are just some of the things to consider.
Before I bought myself a Japanese knife, I was using a German chef’s knife. When I felt the need to buy a new knife, I deliberated over which one to get.
I did my research on the basic differences between the two and here’s what I found:Western knives are usually heavier than their Japanese counterparts. My chef's knife is about 9 ounces, while its Japanese equivalent is only around 5 ounces.
In terms of shape, Western knives are usually curved, whereas Japanese knives are usually straight. Japanese knives are also significantly thinner than Western knives.
My Western knife is still being used in my kitchen on a regular basis, but I have fallen in love with my Japanese knife! It’s not only for sushi—I use it for lots of other dishes as well.
The Advantages of Using a Sushi Knife
If you’re considering getting a Japanese/sushi knife, I suggest that you first consider the food that you prepare on a regular basis <not just the sushi!>.
Japanese knives are built to be very sharp and light, which means that it’s best for more delicate processes and more precise work—ie. slicing raw seafood for sushi and sashimi. This requires a lot of practice, but trust me, it’s all worth it once you get the hang of it!
Sushi knives, because they are thinner and more lightweight, have a version that have the tendency to be more prone to chipping. I advise that if you’re going to get a sushi knife, it should be used on only delicate, non-hard ingredients.
Brand, Price, and Other Things to Consider When Buying a Sushi Knife
When buying a sushi knife <or any Japanese knife in general>, consider the price.
Always remember that expensive doesn’t necessarily mean best. If this is your first time to buy a sushi knife, do not get a fancy one—you don’t deserve that $500 knife yet! Be realistic and get something that you can afford.
There are so many good Japanese knife brands out there. Make sure that before you buy, you’ll read up on the company, as well as peoples’ reviews. You can either go straight to the manufacturer’s website and read what customers have to say or turn to Amazon’s user reviews—Or it could be simpler by reading this post.
This is one of the most important things to consider when buying any knife. You need to be comfortable with the knife, so see if the grip is good. You have to feel it in your hand—if it feels off, don’t get it! If you’re ordering online, exchange it for something else!
Styles and Lengths
Japanese knives come in different shapes and sizes. The most comon ones are as follows:
- The Gyuto is the Japanese version of the chef's knife--but usually sharper and thinner. This is an all-purpose knife that can do tasks like slicing fish, meat, and vegetables.
- The Santoku is also a multi-purpose knife that can be used for meat, fish, and veggies. This is usually used by home cooks and beginners.
- The Yanagi, a long and thin knife that's used for slicing raw fish. This knife will allow the cook to simply make a smooth pull through the fish--very little force is needed!
- The Sushikiri is the type of knife for sushi rolls. The curved blade is for items that need longer strokes.
The Search for The Best Sushi Knife: Five Models You Can Choose From
It took me some time to adjust to a Japanese knife, but I kept practicing. Now, it’s almost effortless! Just keep using yours for you to really get to know it.
Here are some of the best knives of 2017. Pay attention to the positive and negative aspects, and I suggest that you do further research once you find the one you think is right for you.
The 8-inch Tatara Japanese VG10 Chef Knife has an 8-12 degree cutting edge that allows cooks to cut effortlessly and precisely.
The handle is a military grade G-10 that provides a firm and comfortable grip. This also comes with a beautiful black pinewood casing and a polishing cloth.
- Gorgeous design.
- Comes with a sturdy box where you can store it safely.
- The blade is extremely sharp—perfect for cutting raw fish for sushi or sashimi.
- Compared to the other knives on this list this is relatively heavier. This is because of the VG10 metal, a type of high-grade stainless steel.
- Made for right-handed people. Left-handed people, may struggle with the grip.
The Yoshihiro Namiuchi 9.5-inch chef's knife has a single-edged blade with a traditional grind.
This knife is forged from high carbon blue steel #2 with HRC 63-64--extremely sharp, especially when it's sharpened with a high-quality whetstone.
It has a rosewood octagon handle and shitan bolster for a good, light grip.
- Can effortlessly cut through fish. All you need to do is to start cutting, and just pull the knife back—No effort needed.
- Only needs to be sharpened on one side. Get an equally-good whetstone for this!
- It has a minimalist, elegant style. If you’re looking for something sleek, this one delivers.
- This knife is not cheap! But if you’re looking for a good investment, this is the one for you.
- This isn’t an entry-level knife. If you’re a beginner (as in you’re just making sushi as a hobby), this may not be the best one to have.
Made in Japan, the Yoshihiro VGYA240SH stainless sushi and sashimi knife has a VG Stainless steel blade with HRC 62-63.
Its handle is a hand-crafted Rosewood Japanese D-shaped handle and a shitan bolster. It's also stain and odor-resistant.
- Handmade and meticulously crafted by an expert.
- Not mass produced.
- Great for both sushi and sashimi. If you would like to up your sushi game at home, this is an excellent choice.
- Has a tendency to chip. Get a good whetstone for this.
- The blade has a tendency to lose sharpness quickly
The Damascus sushi and sashimi knife, a 10.5" blade, is made of a premium Japanese VG10 stainless steel. The blade went through vacuum heat treatment and nitrogen cooling technique.
The sleek, black ebony wood handle with an octagonal design is durable, and is skid-resistant, allowing better grip and comfort.
- Handmade and not mass-produced.
- Great for slicing both sushi and sashimi.
- Excellent balanced weight—not light, but not heavy either.
- Has a tendency to lose sharpness quickly.
- Best for sushi and sashimi only, and not hard food like vegetables and frozen meat.
- Handle has a tendency to turn loose
Made of premium Japanese steel, the Zelite Infinity Chef's knife has a tsunami rose Damascus pattern and tempered with liquid nitrogen.
It has a triple-riveted, rounded handle is adorned with Zelite Infinity 3-metal grip.
- Recommended for both professional chefs and home cooks.
- The blade is extremely sharp
- Has a good balanced weight.
- Experts will know right away that the steel is of high quality, allowing you to effortlessly cut through raw fish and meat
- If you want your Japanese knife to come from Japan, then this one may not be for you. This is made in a state-of-the-art facility in Yangjiang, China (the blade, however, is from Japan). Note: Yangjiang is a place famous for manufacturing the best knives and cutlery—it may not be made in Japan, but the knife undergoes a painstaking process and with only the most exquisite craftsmanship.
- Has a tendency to lose sharpness quickly.
Which Knife Takes The Cake? Here’s My Pick!
The 9.5-inch Rosewood Yoshihiro Chef’s knife never fails to amaze me every single time I use it. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a quality Japanese knife at home!
It is not cheap, but for a Japanese knife, it’s not expensive either. The price of this knife is just right for someone who likes to seriously cook at home.
However, I also strongly suggest that you take a closer look at the others! Do further research on the other items on this list if this is your first time to get a Japanese knife. We have different needs in the kitchen!
Tips for Using a Japanese Knife
Before we end the article, let me give you some safety precautions to take note of when using a sushi knife:
Japanese knives are extremely thin and sharp. A lot of home cooks, <myself included>) has had a number of minor accidents in the kitchen due to carelessness.
In terms of holding the knife, the best method that I can suggest is for you to use your index finger and thumb to hold the base of the blade. Wrap your three other fingers around the handle—this will allow you to take full control of your knife!
Also, you must always follow the rule for all types of knives—your fingers should all be tucked in!
Make sure that you always <I repeat: ALWAYS>) have a safe spot for your Japanese knife. You need to know the exact, safe place to put it. You can either place it in a box or a leather case, preferably in a cabinet and drawer.
Or better yet, invest in a good wall mounted knife block or a magnetic wall rack. This is one of the most sanitary ways to store knives.
Most of these knives <and Japanese knives in general>, are right-handed. If you’re left-handed, send a message to the knife company/seller, and ask if they can make a left-handed version for you. You may need to pay extra for this.
There You Have It!
If you’re serious about getting yourself the best sushi knife, you’ll need to lots of research. These things are not cheap, so you really need to read up and deliberate!
Shifting from a Western knife to a Japanese knife was a big decision for me, so when I finally got my first Japanese knife, I made sure that I took it very seriously, I’d like to believe that my sushi and sashimi skills have dramatically improved!
I hope this post shed light on the important things you need to know about Japanese and sushi knives! Share your thoughts in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you!
Good luck on your search! Until next time!