Professional chefs handle their knives in an unparalleled way and also, you will surely wonder why they use different knives when they could use only one for everything. The truth is that sushi knives have unique characteristics.
The master chef has to cut and clean the whole fish and then cut it in tin fillets, something that cannot be done with a common knife. A good sushi knife has a very specific mission that is to allow us to cut the meat fish with great precision and in a single pass to create pieces of perfect aesthetics. Therefore, the best sushi knife must have a good sharp and proper length.
What to consider when choosing a sushi knife
Types of sushi knives
Personally, I would recommend all of them except Usuba knives, since they are considered to be more of a vegetable knife and less versatile. You can learn more about each type in my nakiri knife article.
Type of Steel
Japanese steels are well known for their supreme quality. They are divided into two types “honyaki and kasumi”. Honyaki knives are crafted with one type of metal known as “hagane”, while this type offers high resistance and an incredible sharpness, Honyaki knives require frequent maintenance to avoid warping under intense pressure.
On the other hand, kasumi knives are forged with a special mixture of hagane and jigane or soft iron. This results in harder yet sharper blades but more importantly is that kasumi knives are easier to maintain compared to honyaki.
The typical length of a sushi knife is 8 to 8.5 inches. While it’s true that is the most preferred size to make a single clean cut through your fish. I would still recommend you to get an ideal length that fit your hand size to secure great maneuverability.
Type of Tang
Tang is the part of a knife that is connected to the blade and the handle. Also, it refers to a handle design that gives the knife user a good grip. There are six types of tangs:
- Full tang
- Partial tang
- Push tang
- Encapsulated tang
- Hidden tang
- Stick tang (Rat tail tang)
each type has its uses and advantages which you can find more about it in our types of knives guide. However, you don’t really need to get a full tang for your sushi knife to achieve precise cuts. Most of the types mentioned above would work just fine.
Best Sushi Knife for 2020
TUO Yanagiba Knife
If you love preparing Japanese food at home to have a special evening with an oriental touch, then you will surely need the best knife to cut sushi and sashimi. Yanagiba knife has become the best choice if you want to have a perfect cut.
Ideal design to prepare sushi and sashimi
You can cut and fillet the raw fish perfectly. TUO Yanagiba is 8.25’’ long and very thin. So you can apply the typical Japanese cutting technique at once with the simple movement of the blade. Simply start the cut and pull the knife without fear obtaining a precise cut. In addition, you will not compromise the taste and quality of food.
It is made with premium materials
Forged with 34 layers of Japanese VG10 stainless steel, all with the high quality of the craftsmen tradition of Damascus. In addition, the hardness of the knife at 62 HRC has ensured thanks to a vacuum heat treatment and implementing the nitrogen cooling technique. On the other hand, the blade has a single curvature at one end, the rest being flat. This allows precise control and ease of sharpening.
It is profitable
This type of sushi knives will be your best investment. With daily maintenance, you will have a knife for life, which makes it one of the most profitable investments.
It has an ergonomic handle
The handle of Tuo Yanagiba is made with top-grade black ebony wood. In addition to transmitting quality and attractive finishes, the handle is durable, resistant and hard. On the other hand, it has an octagonal shape, a design that improves slip resistance, and gives a feeling of comfort to the person who grabs it.
If you are looking for a knife to make sushi and sashimi that offers excellent cuts and it’s made with durable material, Then this Yanagiba knife is your model. The premium quality of its materials and its robustness are exceptional and it is considered as a high-end Japanese knife.
Yoshihiro Kasumi Knife 3p Set
In Japan, the preparation of sushi and sashimi is a very serious matter. One of the most important requirements is that sliced fish meat is soft, bright and crisp. This kind of precision can only be achieved with a special knife like a Yoshihiro Kasumi. On this occasion, to speed up your culinary tasks, we present a set of 3 knives that includes a Yanagi (10.7’’), an Usuba (7.7’’) and a Deba (7’’).
Ideal set for beginners
This set is the perfect gift if you are a chef with a great career and an ideal option if you are starting to experiment in the kitchen. Generally, sushi masters use different knives, that is why if you are a beginner, Yoshihiro Kasumi Knife is what you need because this set will give you precise cuts and flexibility when working. On the other hand, those who have more experience will be able to appreciate their handmade manufacturing turning each knife into a unique piece and incomparable to any other.
Yanagi, Deba, and Usuba knives
This set includes the Yanagi knife which is the best sushi knife due to its shape. It is a knife designed for filleting, with a very long and thin blade. The Deba knife, on the other hand, has a wide blade which makes it the ideal knife for cutting chicken and fish. It has an edge on one side that makes it a different and effective tool. It is required when preparing large pieces of sushi that will be filleted. As for the Usuba knife, it has a very wide and straight blade that facilitates the cutting on the board. As with all wide blade knives, it is especially suitable for slicing thin slices. In Japanese gastronomy it is used, mainly to peel and chop fruits and vegetables.
The knives of this set are made of magnolia wood. This natural material makes the knives light allowing you to make more agile movements, avoiding discomfort when holding them without losing their high-quality cuts. Their design and color make the steel knives stand out due to the reinforcement they have made of water buffalo horn. This material prevents the handle from breaking or separating from the blade, i.e., we are facing three high-strength knives and a life-long duration.
Lifelong steel blades
These knives are made of Shiroko high carbon steel. Also, they have a thin iron coating that gives the blades more smoothness. Both materials are a great combination since they provide hardness but at the same time much flexibility.
This set is really worth it, the three are a beauty. You can see their handmade confection with a handle and blade that form a single piece and with a balanced weight so that the joints do not suffer during repetitive cutting tasks. I believe that a good investment will have its reward in duration and precision.
Yoshihiro Hongasumi Yanagi Sushi Knife
This spectacular Yoshihiro VGYA240SH knife belongs to Yanagi, a classic fish fillet. Its high-quality materials make it easy to care and maintenance without giving up the excellent edge of this Japanese knife at all. The high quality of this knife is due to its special characteristics in the manufacturing system, which has allowed them to be recognized and admired throughout the world.
Elegant and very sharp blade
The 9.5’’ handmade blade offers high performance since it has been manufactured from high-grade rust-resistant Hongasumi grade carbon steel. The main characteristic of this material is to give a greater edge and at the same time creates fog patterns, which has been polished with the highest attention to detail. Its edge allows you to create fine and effortless cuts thanks to its blade design.
Traditional Japanese handle
This knife features an octagonal ergonomic handle made with rosewood shitan. This material helps to make the knife light and easy to handle. Another detail is the double ebony reinforcement which allows the weight to be distributed along with the knife for better handling. Magnolia wood cannot be missing. Therefore, this handle has this natural material accompanied by a layer of lacquer to help protect it from stains.
100% handmade Japanese knife
Handmade in Japan with traditional techniques, manufactured with extraordinary skill by master craftsmen to create high-quality knives that are indispensable in their craftsmanship and performance. This artisan technique has never been changed, that is why we obtain unique pieces of incomparable quality.
Is it worth buying this Yoshihiro Hongasumi knife?? Well, if you make sushi or sashimi with relative frequency either at home or if you are a chef, then the answer is yes. It is a very practical knife with an aesthetic that will make you proud. It is light and with an impeccable edge. I definitely recommend it.
Lucky Cook Sushi Knife
If you are looking for a sushi knife that gives you the best precision, this is the tool that your hands need. This 10'' length knife will allow you to cut fish of different dimensions.
Slice your fish perfectly
Fish meat is delicate, so you need a knife that can make precise cuts in a single pass. The good thing is that Lucky Cook 10'' gives you what you are looking for since it fillets the fish in a clean way due to its maximum edge and unique asymmetrical design. The width of its blade makes it ideal for preparing sushi and sashimi in a homemade or professional way.
Both cooking masters and novices require a high-level kitchen knife that stands out on its edge and in its blade material. One of the best materials used in making sushi knives is carbon steel and this knife has it all. Its excellent quality material also allows its handle to provide a good grip and balance in its handling.
Elegant wooden handle
Its handle made of wood allows slicing the fish effortlessly, in a one-pass cut. While the handle looks very simple, its oval design is elegant and typical of a first-class Japanese knife where it balances the weight of the blade providing lightness at hand.
In my opinion, this sushi knife from Lucky Cook is a successful gift for those who are dedicated to creating 5-star dishes. In fact, it also comes in its original box ready to give away to that special person. On the other hand, this knife is of great quality by the edge of its blade, which gives the chef and home cook the perfect cuts.
Kyoku Samurai Series Yanagiba Sushi Knife
Here is another classic Japanese design knife for your fish recipes. The Kyoku Samurai Series has the perfect balance between its material and weight since its lightness is not synonymous with low quality, on the contrary, this will be a great help to cut sushi perfectly and honor your guests.
A sushi knife must have a quality for life, and that what you will get with Kyoku Samurai Series since its material is steel mixed with cobalt which provides a first level hardness but at the same time it’s flexible for those perfect cuts. On the other hand, its 10.5'' blade has the quality of maintaining its edge for a long time, something that Japanese artisans have known how to elaborate with great wisdom and improve over time.
Authentic handle style
The handle of this phenomenal knife is made of wenge wood of a dark brown color. It has a length of 6.1'' which makes it ideal to hold it without easily slipping from your hand. Its design corresponds to a typical Japanese design with an oval shape that gives it a very elegant appearance.
This knife is a single bevel, i. e., it is perfectly flat on one of its sides and therefore lacks a v-shaped edge like common knives. This craftwork features a double angle blade, excellent for cutting sushi easily and quickly as well as other meats. Its anticorrosive material will allow you to have this knife for a long time as part of your collection and utensil of culinary work as one of the best sushi knife.
What I like most is that the Kyoku Samurai Series Yanagiba Sushi Knife comes in its own sheath and box in case you want to give it away. Apart from that, if I have to evaluate its performance, it is 100% reliable and durable because of its vital component, which makes its quality recognized worldwide, is the steel.
Sunlog Sushi Knife
If you want to have a sushi knife with a perfect balance between high quality and design, then Sunlog knife should be part of your kitchen. Apart from these qualities, this knife provides precise cuts with which you can show off both in taste and perfect presentation.
Accurate and clean cuts
The cuts of sushi have a particular thickness in which, professional chefs rely on knives with perfect cuts to present traditional dishes and not ruin their presentation. The Sunlog knife has gone on the market to help you with this culinary skill you need to make fine cuts of sashimi and clean cuts of sushi.
Unique and elegant design
This knife has been manually worked by professional craftsmen who have given a textured design to the blade which gives it a unique touch. On the other hand, its blade is made of Damascus steel with 67 layers giving the knife a permanent edge capable of helping you in your Japanese recipes. Not to forget that its blade has an 8'' length, ideal for cutting large fish thanks to its double bevel.
Its beautiful handle has been made of rosewood. This material is not very heavy However, it prevents the knife from slipping from your hands. Its thick handle provides security and stability in your handling to make cuts that require precision. Also, this material will prevent the handle from smelling or being damaged.
At first glance, this knife is very well worked, that you can appreciate in its design, which makes it a very nice knife to use or give to that beloved chef who prepares your perfect sushi. I am sure that you will be fascinated not only with its appearance but also with the performance and quality that this knife has to offer.
Comparison of The Best Sushi Knives
High carbon stainless steel
Hand wash only
Shiroko high carbon steel
Hand wash only
Hongasumi high carbon steel
Hand wash only
High quality stainless steel
Hand wash only
Steel mixed with cobalt
Hand wash only
High carbon steel
Hand wash only
The Final Takeaway
For many people, choosing the best sushi knife can be a bit confusing. Therefore, I hope with this list, that task will be easier for you. My choice based on these Japanese knives is the Yoshihiro Kasumi Knife 3p Set. It’s a great option because you will get three of the best knives on the market at once with high-quality material. However, if you are on a budget then I recommend the Yoshihiro Hongasumi Sushi Knife. This knife offers high qualities to hone your cutting skills while maintaining a lightweight to be handled easily by both experts and beginners.