If you are a cooking addict who is looking for a good Japanese kitchen knife or set on a bit of a budget, this article should be helpful.
We’ll begin with some affordable Japanese kitchen knife set at the end.
In terms of Japanese knives, most of the people know Japanese brands like Shun and Kyocera, impressed by their amazing performance. Of course, they let some people stop because of their so much expensive prices. But there are some excellent mid-range knife brands like Letcase that also deliver great value. If you are looking to get started with a Japanese knife, this guide will help you find what you need regardless of your budget.
We rounded up some of the best Japanese kitchen knives from popular brands to fit your specific slicing, dicing, and chopping needs.
Our Top Picks
- Best Budget-friendly Knife Set: 10-PIECE STAINLESS STEEL JAPANESE KITCHEN KNIFE SET
- Best Ceramic Knife Set: CERAMIC KNIFE SET WITH BLOCK
- The Best Investment Knife Set: JAPANESE VG10 DAMASCENE STEEL KNIVES
- Best Overall Knife Set: KITCHEN KNIFE SET WITH HOLDER
- Best Visually Stunning Knife Set: HAND FORGED DAMASCUS KITCHEN KNIFE SET
Before you make your decision, you have to know what things you should consider when you buying a knife set.
Things to consider
The cost of a knife set can range from $10 up to a couple of thousand. Some much more expensive models tend to be handmade, carbon steel specialist sets. Usually, we need to pay attention to the steel and the construction.
1. About steel
There are four commonly used knifemaking materials: stainless steel, carbon steel, Damascus steel, and ceramic.
1.1 Stainless steel
Stainless steel knife is the most common type of knife, which is easy to sharpen and anti-rusty. They’re prone to bending and going blunt fairly quickly because it’s a kind of softer metal compared with carbon steel, but, if you know how to sharpen knives, it’s not a problem. Moreover, it’s always at an affordable price. you can experience a professional knife set at a relatively low price.
1.2 Carbon steel
Carbon steel is a kind of traditional knife-making material, as it can stay sharp for a longer time. However, compared with stainless steel carbon steel knives are easier to rust (seasoning it with mineral oil will help prevent this), thus it requires more care and maintenance on the blade. But if you’re not working within a budget, carbon steel is the choice to choose from.
1.3 Damascus steel
Damascus steel knives have a carbon steel core, usually, the VG10 steel or AUS10, covered with a stainless steel exterior. They’re outstanding by their unique Damascus pattern on the blades. At the same time, the price Damascus knife is also expensive – they’re usually handmade. Note that some stainless steel knives also look like a Damascus pattern, this kind of knife should be a lower price than the Damascus chef knife.
The last knife material is ceramic. Ceramic knives are ultra-sharp the lightweight. And they aren’t too expensive. They don’t rust and rarely need to be sharpened, but every coin has two sides, It is because the ceramic knives are extremely sharp that they are difficult to maintain. You usually have to send them back to the supplier to sharpen, which is trouble.
2. About construction
In terms of construction, you need to focus on the balance, the knife handle design, and if the knife is full-tang.
The weight of a knife should be balanced equally between the handle and the blade. a well-balanced knife can provide great cutting performance. If the blade is too lightweight, it won’t cut as effectively. If the blade is too heavy, it’ll be uncomfortable to use.
Some knives handle are molded to fit the contours of the hand, some polished knife handle can provide extra grip to offer a comfortable grip. You need to ensure the knife handle doesn’t have angular or sharp edges that will harm your hand.
Usually, the full-tang design knife is always the best choice, as it usually has better balance and a more robust design. You can see some knife handles are fastened by rivets. The half-tang design means the blade is one solid piece of metal that runs down the full length of the handle which makes the knife run the risk of snapping when it’s going through much press.
Different Types of Kitchen Knives
With a variety of different knives on the market, each with their own cutting task – some of the more specialist ones include parmesan knives, oyster knives, and even salmon knives – it’s easy to get confused. But here are the commonly used ones to consider:
1. Chef knife
This is the most versatile knife suitable for most tasks. The heel of a chef’s knife is thicker than other parts, making it perfect for hard root vegetables, potatoes, and meats.
2. Santoku knife
The Santoku knife originated in Japan and is populated in North American recently, similar to a chef knife, it’s also a multi-purpose knife. The blade is thinner than a chef’s knife which makes it more effective when dicing, chopping, and mincing.
3. Paring knife
The paring knife featuring a short blade for enhanced accuracy and precision. Its lightweight and small blade makes it ideal for fiddly tasks such as peeling, coring, and finely slicing.
4. Utility knife
Even though the chef knife is versatile, there is some cutting task it can’t fix or not convenient to fix, thus a smaller version of a chef’s knife-utility knife is right for you, it’s great for carving chicken breast or slicing small vegetables.
5. Bread knife
As the name implied, the bread knife good for cutting bread. It features a sharp serrated edge to easily cut through crusts and rusks. At the same time, they’re also great for cutting fruits with fibrous skins, such as pineapples without tearing them apart.
6. Kiritsuke knife
Kiritsuke knife is excellent for slicing fish, and usually, the people who use this kind of knife own high status in society.
7. Boning knife
The boning knife is used for removing bones from meat, the flexibility and shape of its blade allow you to maneuver in tight places, its slender tip can easily break away the cartilage in joints. Which makes it helpful for cutting a chicken into different cuts, especially good for handling Thanksgiving turkey!
8. Slicing knife
Generally, the slicing knives feature thinner and narrow blades, it is good for cutting smoked or cooked fish, poultry, or any meat. And it’s also to create thinner slices and cut.
The 5 Best Japanese Kitchen Knives
1. 10 PIECES PROFESSIONAL KITCHEN KNIVES SET
On the market, the most popular blade material is stainless steel, an iron alloy with at least 10.5% chromium (and possibly nickel or molybdenum), anti-rust, and anti-corrosion, with reasonable maintenance, it can last for several years. and extremely durable.
Variety: this stainless steel kitchen knife set includes a 10-piece kitchen knife, which including almost all commonly used knives. even though you are a professional chef, this knife collection can meet your specific needs.
Handle: These are pretty beautiful and sturdy color wood handles, mirror polished process makes it won’t expand or shrink over time, it offers great grip and being somewhat moisture wicking. The handles look beautiful too.
Stainless steel: These knives are made of premium Japanese stainless steel, is resistant to rust and corrosion and features a very sharp edge. It’s also easy to clean and sharpen.
Price: With a wide range of kitchen knife sets, it’s under$200, which is definitely an affordable price.
No knife block: This knife set comes with no storage block, you have to buy an extra knife block to store it.
Warm tips: Even though the stainless steel is anti-rust, but, if you put it in a moisture place, it’ll increase the risk of rusting. So after using the knife, please wipe it y with a soft dry cloth in time before storage the knife in a knife block.
2. CERAMIC KNIFE SET WITH BLOCK
Ceramic knives have become the first choice for many families. These are not only elegant but also harder than stainless steel knives because they never corrode or rust.
Price: These knives are quite cheap, right if you don’t want to spend so much cost on a knife set, ceramic knives are a good choice.
Variety: Even though it doesn’t have so many knives, it includes the most commonly used knife: chef knife, slicing knife, utility knife, paring knife, and peeling knife. It’s enough for the home cook to make food prep.
Steel: Ceramic knives are rustproof and stainproof, so cleaning is easy with little more needed than a rinse in water.
Sharp: Ceramic knives are super-sharp, and they can hold that edge for a long time before they need sharpening, so they’re perfect for making thin, precise slices.
Block: This ceramic knife set comes with a knife block that makes it convenient to store the knife. Thus it is safe to use and can save space.
Ceramic knives are difficult to sharpen. It is better to replace them instead of resharpening them.
3. JAPANESE VG10 DAMASCENE STEEL KNIVES
Damascus steel knives have corrosion-resistant and tough. It can be stabilized at 60±2 HRC. The unique pattern showcases stunning craftsmanship and artistic personality.
Steel: It features a VG10 core, which is is a solid material to make sure the sharpness of the knife, moreover, it’s made by 67 layers of Damascus steel, except for the VG10 core, other soft steel can hold the knife’s edge well, and reduce the need for maintenance.
Handle: It’s made of a G10 handle, which is a military-grade material, makes our handle great moisture resistance, strength, and durability. Intricate counterbalance and feature central pin add beauty.
Aesthetics: I love the Damascus pattern on the blade and the gold review design, these features make the knife looks unique and special.
Variety: The 5 piece set perfectly suits most peoples’ kitchen needs.
Price: The price here is about double our baseline, and well worth it. It’s quite a great price for what you get.
Not Dishwasher Safe: These knives are so expensive, it’s a little waste to wash them in the dishwasher. We recommend washing it by hand.
4. KITCHEN KNIFE SET WITH HOLDER
A professional knife set can meet various kitchen cutting tasks. This set includes an 8-inch chef knife, 7-inch santoku knife, 7-inch bread knife, 6-inch boning knife, 3.5-inch fruit knife, and stainless steel knife holder.
Blades: Blades are sharp, strong, and easily sharpened. For the average kitchen, it’s enough to use.
Good block: knife Block is a nice understated dark stainless with a very stylish profile. It can store the knife conveniently and safely, what’s more, it’s also a good home decor in the kitchen.
Handle: Handles are high-quality color wood. They can last a long time and are surprisingly comfortable to have in the hand.
Variety: While it doesn’t have a ton of knives, it has pretty much everything anyone will ever actually use in the kitchen. Including chef knife, Santoku knife , bread knife, you get a paring knife, a serrated utility knife, a chef’s knife, a kiritsuke prep knife, and a bread knife.
Price: This complete knife set is also at a reasonable price.
No utility knife: There isn’t a utility knife for small tasks.
5. HAND FORGED DAMASCUS KITCHEN KNIFE SET
This Damascus knife set is designed for excellent control, agility and comfort. It has been specially treated to make it extremely heat-resistant, moisture-proof, and cold-proof, with military-grade strength and lifetime sturdiness.
Steel: This knife set is made of 67 layers of Damascus steel, harder than average (60+_1 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, far above the minimum of 56 for good steel,) It holds its edge well and is durable in the long term.
Appearance: During the forged process, it formed the beautiful fishbone pattern on the blade which is pleasing to the eye. In the hand, the uneven surface helps keep food from sticking to the blade as you cut.
Handle: Ergonomically designed with triple-riveted for durability and comfortable use, full tang that provides great balance, and a tapered bolster for a proper grip. They are non-slip and moisture-wicking and don’t break down when exposed to oil.
Variety: While the set lacks some of the special knives,(Bread knife) it includes great versions of a paring knife, chef’s knife, boning knife, utility knife, and santoku knife. This covers most of the cutting needs when you make food preparation.
No storage knife block: If you don’t have a knife block in your kitchen, you have to spend money on a knife block to save these knives.
Hope you get a better understanding of the Japanese kitchen knife set, it depends on what you really need and your budget. Choose one for yourself or people you love, we need knives to make a fabulous dinner.