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Best AUS 10 Japanese steel knives | Extra tough with high-carbon stainless steel

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  May 25, 2022

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AUS-10 is hard to work with. That’s why it’s only reserved for the best quality Japanese knives.

The Hudson 8-Inch Damascus Chef’s Knife is the most versatile and useful AUS 10 chef’s knife for your kitchen because it’s so sharp that it can slice through any ingredient with one motion.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through what to look for when buying one and some of the other top choices.

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel knives | Extra tough with high-carbon stainless steel

I’m reviewing all the best AUS 10 steel Japanese knives but first, check out the preview table of all the products.

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel knivesImages
Best overall & best chef’s AUS 10 Japanese steel knife: Hudson 8-Inch Damascus Chef’s KnifeBest overall & best chef's AUS 10 Japanese steel knife- Hudson 8-Inch Damascus Chef’s Knife

 

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Best budget AUS 10 Japanese steel knife: Jaco Master 6″ Utility Chef KnifeBest budget AUS 10 Japanese steel knife- Jaco Master 6 Utility Chef Knife

 

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Best AUS 10 Japanese steel knife for chefs: Mikarto Japanese Chef Knife 8 Inch GyutoBest AUS 10 Japanese steel knife for chefs- Mikarto Japanese Chef Knife 8 Inch Gyuto

 

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Best AUS 10 Japanese steel knife for vegetables: Zelite Infinity Nakiri Chef Knife 6 InchBest AUS 10 Japanese steel knife for vegetables- Zelite Infinity Nakiri Chef Knife 6 Inch

 

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Best AUS 10 Japanese steel fish knife: TUO Sashimi Sushi Yanagiba KnifeBest AUS 10 Japanese steel fish knife- TUO Sashimi Sushi Yanagiba Knife

 

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Best AUS 10 Japanese steel boning knife: Regalia 6 inch Boning / Fillet KnifeBest AUS 10 Japanese steel boning knife- Regalia Boning : Fillet Knife

 

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Best complete AUS 10 Japanese steel knife set: Best Buy Damascus High Carbon Core Full TangBest complete AUS 10 Japanese steel knife set- Best Buy Damascus High Carbon Core Full Tang

 

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Best budget AUS 10 Japanese steel knife set: SIXILANG Damascus three Kitchen KnivesBest budget AUS 10 Japanese steel knife set- SIXILANG Damascus three Kitchen Knives

 

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Learn all about the different knives that are a must-have in Japanese cooking

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AUS-10 knives buying guide

When you’re in the market for a new knife, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Edge retention: AUS 10 steel is known for its excellent edge retention. This means that your knife will stay sharp for longer, even with heavy use.
  • Toughness: AUS 10 steel is tough steel, but it’s not as tough as some other types of steel out there. It can be more prone to chipping, so if you’re looking for a knife that can take a lot of abuse, this may not be the best choice.
  • Ease of sharpening: AUS 10 steel is relatively easy to sharpen, even for beginners.
  • Corrosion resistance: AUS 10 steel has good corrosion resistance, but it’s not as good as some other stainless steel.

Now let’s look at the features you need to consider:

Type

This review features many different types of needs for various cutting tasks in the kitchen.

The Japanese chef’s knife, also called gyuto in Japanese, is the most popular and most versatile type of knife. It can be used for everything from slicing and dicing vegetables to chopping meat.

The Nakiri knife is a vegetable knife that is perfect for slicing, dicing, and mincing vegetables. It has a rectangular blade with a cleaver shape.

I’ve also included a boning knife for those who need to remove the bones from meat and fish. This type of knife has a sharp, narrow blade that is perfect for getting in between joints and removing bones.

There’s a special fish knife too because Japanese cuisine often includes sushi and sashimi. These knives have a long, thin blade that is perfect for slicing fish.

Finally, I’ve included knife sets if you want to switch your current bad dull knives to razor-sharp AUS 10 steel.

Size & blade length

The size of the knife is important because it needs to fit your hand comfortably. The blade length is also something to consider because a longer blade can be more difficult to control.

Longer knives are used for slicing meat and fish while shorter knives are better for chopping vegetables.

I’ve included a variety of sizes and blade lengths in this review so that you can find the perfect knife for your needs.

Bevel

The bevel is the angle of the blade. A higher bevel means that the blade is sharper but it’s also more fragile.

A lower bevel means that the blade is tougher but not as sharp.

Most of the knives in this review have a 50/50 bevel, which is a good balance between sharpness and durability.

Also, it’s important to differentiate between double-edged and single edge knives.

A double bevel knife can be used for both left and right-handed people while a single bevel is made for either left or right-handedness.

Finish

Most AUS 10 knives have a Damascus finish or a hammered finish. The Damascus finish is created by etching the steel with an acid to create a beautiful swirl pattern.

The hammered finish is created by pounding the steel with a hammer to create a dimpled texture.

Having a textured finish or a Granton edge ensures that food doesn’t stick to the blade and makes slicing and chopping much easier.

Handle

The handle is important because it needs to be comfortable to hold and should not slip in your hand when wet.

The most common type of handle is made from wood, but there are also handles made from plastic, horn, or bone.

  • Wood handles are classic but they can crack and splinter over time.
  • Plastic handles are more durable but they’re not as attractive.
  • Horn and bone handles are beautiful but they can be more expensive.
  • G10 handles are the new “it” material because they’re made from composite fibers that are heat and water-resistant. They’re also very durable and have a nice grip.

Learn all about the difference between Japanese Wa handles and Western handles here

Weight and balance

The weight and balance of the knife are important because it affects how the knife feels in your hand.

A heavier knife will be more durable but it can be difficult to control. A lighter knife is easier to control but it’s not as tough.

I prefer a balanced knife because it’s easy to control and still has a good weight to it.

Make sure you store your Japanese knives properly in a quality knife stand, or maybe even a traditional saya (knife sheath)

Best AUS-10 Japanese knives reviewed

Now you know if an AUS-10 steel knife is for you or not.

Let’s look at some of the best AUS-10 knives on the market, so you can see what is available, and what makes them so good.

Best overall & best chef’s AUS 10 Japanese steel knife: Hudson 8-Inch Damascus Chef’s Knife

Best overall & best chef's AUS 10 Japanese steel knife- Hudson 8-Inch Damascus Chef’s Knife with cutting board

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A chef’s knife is undoubtedly the most important kitchen knife for any home cook or chef. It’s versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks, from chopping vegetables to slicing meat.

The Hudson 8-Inch Damascus Chef’s Knife is my top pick because it’s made from AUS-10V steel, which is incredibly tough and razor-sharp but it’s also hand-sharpened to 11/12 degree angles for maximum precision when cutting all food textures.

The knife has a beautiful hammered finish combined with a Damascus wavy pattern finish. The dimples of the hammering prevent the food from sticking to the sides of the blade.

It’s also well-balanced and has a perfect weight, making it easy to control. Users are raving about how comfortable this knife is to hold because it’s very balanced.

The blade and handle are perfectly balanced in the middle. However, the knife is a tad bit heavier than you might expect, probably as a result of the heavier resin handle.

Resin handles are comfy to hold, durable, and easy to clean. This one fits in your hand, even if you have smaller hands.

Also, this knife can be used by left-handed users too because of the double bevel so it’s the universal chef’s knife you can use for most cooking tasks.

The only downside is that the knife is not dishwasher safe.

Also, the AUS 10 steel is more sensitive than other steel varieties, so you should avoid using this knife to cut through very hard root vegetables or bones. This can chip or even break the blade.

Overall, if you want a knife that can replace all your other kitchen knives, this is the one because it’s cheaper than a Yoshihiro gyuto yet has the hammered finish which makes it easier to make clean, precise cuts.

If you’re looking for the best value AUS-10 chef’s knife, the Hudson is the one you want.

  • type: chef’s knife (gyuto)
  • size: 8 inches
  • bevel: double
  • finish: Damascus & hammered
  • handle: resin
  • weight: 1.25 lbs

Check the latest prices here

Best budget AUS 10 Japanese steel knife: Jaco Master 6″ Utility Chef Knife

Best budget AUS 10 Japanese steel knife- Jaco Master 6 Utility Chef Knife with cutting board

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If you’re on a budget but still want to try out the supreme sharpness of AUS 10 steel, the Jaco Master 6-inch knife is a great starter blade.

This knife is a cross between a traditional chef’s knife and a smaller multi-purpose utility knife. Thus, it’s smaller than your average chef’s knife and suitable for all types of cutting, including precision cutting, dicing, and slicing.

The blade is hand-crafted from high-quality AUS 10 Japanese steel with a hardness rating of 61 on the Rockwell scale.

The steel has been heat-treated and tempered to ensure long-lasting sharpness and durability.

It has a beautiful Damascus finish with a wavy pattern that’s been achieved through a process of repeatedly folding 66 layers of steel. Honestly, you wouldn’t guess this knife is less than $20 when looking at it.

You can use this utility knife to do everything from slicing meat and vegetables to precision cutting and dicing.

The 6-inch blade is the perfect size for maneuvering around small spaces and getting those delicate, precise cuts.

It’s also lightweight at only 9.9 ounces so you can use it for long periods of time without your arm getting tired.

The handle is made from pakkawood, which is a type of composite wood that’s been impregnated with resin to make it water-resistant and durable.

It has a comfortable grip that’s easy to hold, even if your hands are wet. The knife is well-balanced and sits comfortably in your hand.

The only drawback is that the pakkawood handle is not as durable as some of the other materials used in high-end knives.

It’s also not dishwasher safe, so you’ll need to hand wash this knife.

However, this knife’s blade is thinner than a pricey 200-dollar Shun knife so it’s easy to get clean cuts without ripping the meat and veggie fibers.

But don’t expect the blade to last as long as a Shun knife. It will chip after a while but it’s still usable if sharpened regularly.

Overall, the Jaco Master 6-inch utility knife is an excellent starter blade for those who want to try out AUS 10 steel without breaking the bank.

  • type: utility
  • size: 6 inches
  • bevel: single
  • finish: Damascus
  • handle: pakkawood
  • weight: 9.9 oz

Check the latest prices here

Hudson chef’s knife vs Jaco utility budget knife

The Hudson chef’s knife is the better overall knife due to its superior construction and materials.

The AUS 10 steel is of higher quality, and the handle is made of resin, which is a more durable material than pakkawood.

However, the Jaco utility knife is a more affordable option and still offers great performance.

It’s also smaller and lighter than the Hudson chef’s knife, making it easier to maneuver around small spaces.

When it comes to use, the Hudson is a true gyuto knife while the Jaco is more of a utility knife.

So, it really depends on what you need the knife for. If you need a versatile all-purpose knife, go for the Jaco.

But if you want a true chef’s knife that will last longer and perform better, the Hudson is the better option.

Since both knives have a Damascus finish, they both look very nice and would make a great addition to any kitchen.

Overall, the Hudson chef knife is more user-friendly and is comfy to work with, even for lefties.

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel knife for chefs: Mikarto Japanese Chef Knife 8 Inch Gyuto

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel knife for chefs- Mikarto Japanese Chef Knife 8 Inch Gyuto being sharpened

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Working in a professional kitchen requires a heavy-duty gyuto that is well built.

The Mikarto is among the best knives for chefs because it meets all the criteria for a top-quality knife: it’s sharp, it holds its edge, and the handle is comfy.

The 8-inch blade is made from AUS 10 Japanese steel, which is extremely sharp and holds an edge well. It also has a nice Damascus and hammered edge just like the Dalstrong knives.

The Damascus finish not only looks beautiful but it also helps to prevent rusting and staining.

The G10 composite handle is extremely comfortable to hold and provides a good grip, even when your hands are wet.

The knife is also well balanced and has a nice heft to it.

It’s not too heavy or too light, making it easy to use for long periods of time.

But what really impresses users is that the blade just falls through the food since it’s razor-sharp. It’s an excellent meat knife for large steaks, and roasts and thus you can use it for Yakiniku.

It even slices onions with one swift motion, you won’t have to struggle to chop and mince anything with this knife.

The only downside is that you can experience small chips right at the edge of the blade if you accidentally touch bones or hard cartilage.

Many people compare this knife to the Dalstrong gyutos, but the Mikarto is a bit cheaper and just as good.

So, if you’re looking for a top-quality chef knife that won’t break the bank, the Mikarto gyuto is a great option.

You can see the Mikarto 8″ Gyuto knife in action here as it slices through grilled beef:

  • type: gyuto (chef knife)
  • size: 8 inches
  • bevel: single
  • finish: Damascus & hammered
  • handle: G10 composite
  • weight: 1.53 lbs

Check the latest prices here

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel knife for vegetables: Zelite Infinity Nakiri Chef Knife 6 Inch

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel knife for vegetables- Zelite Infinity Nakiri Chef Knife 6 Inch with vegetables

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Every home cooks needs a good vegetable knife. What makes Japanese nakiri veggie knives special is that they are cleavers with a rectangular blade.

This Zelite Infinity Nakiri knife is a great option for those who want to try out this because this blade is one of the strongest from the AUS 10 options.

Thus, with the Zelite knife you’ll be chopping fresh produce in no time.

The 6-inch blade is made from high-quality AUS 10 Japanese steel with a hardness rating of 61 on the Rockwell scale.

It has a beautiful Damascus finish to ensure slippery foods like cucumbers don’t stick to the sides of the blade.

This Zelite knife is best for cutting up lettuce, cabbage, carrots, hard root vegetables, and fruits.

With its razor-sharp edge, you can make precision cuts without having to worry about the blade slipping.

The blade is also easy to sharpen when it starts to dull. Overall this knife has excellent edge retention.

The pakkawood handle is designed for comfort and has a smooth, comfortable grip. Even lefties can use this knife with ease because it has a double bevel.

The handle is made of G10 composite, which is a durable material that can withstand high temperatures.

This knife is quite hefty and weighs 1.2 lbs even though it has a relatively short blade. There’s a lot of steel and the military-grade handle is heavier than pakkawood, for example.

People are comparing this Zelite nakiri to the more expensive Yoshihiro or Shun knives and are super impressed at how razor-sharp and durable this one is.

The knife is well balanced and it has the perfect shape for working with all types of vegetables – soft or hard. The low angle of the edge helps you make more precise cuts.

Overall, the Zelite Infinity Nakiri knife is a great option for those who want a durable and sharp knife that will make quick work of vegetables and ensure you eat lots of fresh produce.

  • type: nakiri (vegetable cleaver)
  • size: 6 inches
  • bevel: double
  • finish: Damascus
  • handle: G10 composite
  • weight: 1.2 lbs

Check the latest prices here

To keep the sharp edge, it is important to use a quality whetstone to sharpen your Japanese knives

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel fish knife: TUO Sashimi Sushi Yanagiba Knife

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel fish knife- TUO Sashimi Sushi Yanagiba Knife with fish

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If you like to make sushi or sashimi and prep the fresh fish, you need to get a yanagiba knife that has a longer and narrower blade.

This TUO knife is a great option for those who want to invest in a good-quality fish knife. The 8.25-inch blade is made from AUS 10 Japanese steel with a hardness rating of 61 on the Rockwell scale.

The steel has a high carbon content, which makes it super sharp and easy to maintain.

The knife also has a unique floating cloud pattern on the blade, which is created by forge welding two types of steel together.

This TUO yanagiba knife is best for slicing raw fish, sushi, sashimi, and other delicate ingredients. It also glides smoothly so you can slice salmon fillets and other fish.

The sharp and narrow blade makes it easy to create thin and precise cuts. The blade is also easy to sharpen when it starts to dull.

The G10 composite handle is designed for comfort and has a smooth, comfortable grip.

One downside is that this knife is best for right-handed users since it has a single bevel. But once you learn some Japanese knife skills, you’ll do lots of quick chopping for homemade sushi.

A common issue with this knife is that it’s not as sharp out of the box as premium knives like the Shun. You can expect a bit of chipping too.

But with a little bit of honing, you can get this knife just as sharp. Overall, the TUO Sashimi Sushi Yanagiba Knife is a great option for those who want a good-quality fish knife that won’t break the bank.

  • type: yanagiba (fish & sushi knife)
  • size: 8.25 inches
  • bevel: single
  • finish: floating cloud pattern
  • handle: G10 composite
  • weight: 15.5 oz

Check the latest prices here

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel boning knife: Regalia 6 inch Boning / Fillet Knife

Best AUS 10 Japanese steel boning knife- Regalia Boning : Fillet Knife with sashimi

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Professional chefs know the value of a good boning knife. You can start carving the roast chicken straight after cooking.

What makes the boning knife special is that it has a curved and angled tip. This allows you to maneuver around the meat and get under the skin without piercing it.

The Regalia Boning / Fillet Knife is a great option if you want a versatile knife that can do more than just boning.

The 6-inch blade is made from AUS 10 Japanese steel with a 61 rating on the Rockwell hardness scale which means it’s strong and sharp but could potentially chip a bit.

It’s a mid-range knife that outperforms even pricier ones from brands like Dalstrong.

It has a beautiful Damascus finish and is designed for precision and control. It is rust-resistant and has a sharp and durable edge.

The G10 composite handle is contoured for comfort and has a textured grip. The knife is also well balanced and has a finger guard for safety.

The handle, bolster, and tang area are very well executed so it’s smooth and there are no sharp edges. You can tell this Aus series yanagiba knife is made well.

One downside of this knife is that it’s not dishwasher safe. You need to hand wash it and dry it immediately to prevent rusting.

Also, the knife is a bit heavy and not as perfectly balanced as brands like TUO.

But overall, if you do a lot of boning and filleting of fresh and cooked meat, the Regalia Boning / Fillet Knife is a great option.

  • type: boning knife
  • size: 6 inches
  • bevel: single
  • finish: Damascus
  • handle: G10 composite
  • weight: 12.8 oz

Check the latest prices here

Best complete AUS 10 Japanese steel knife set: Best Buy Damascus High Carbon Core Full Tang

Best complete AUS 10 Japanese steel knife set- Best Buy Damascus High Carbon Core Full Tang with cutting board

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Do you have a set of stainless steel knives that just can’t handle rust and gets dull instantly? Then you have to replace them with a better AUS 10 steel set like this one from Best Buy Damascus.

Preparing delicious meals starts with a good set of kitchen knives.

A razor-sharp edge can help you get through the simplest tasks even faster but it can also help cut through stronger and bigger meat cuts you usually struggle with.

This set has some of the best ratings because the knives all offer very good edge retention. The blades are also full-tang and extremely well balanced.

The set includes a paring knife, utility knife, Santoku knife, chef’s knife, bread knife, slicing knife, boning knife, and a honing rod. All the knives have a unique Damascus pattern and a G10 handle.

My favorite knife in this set is the Japanese chef’s knife because it’s well balanced and smoothly rocks in your hand as you slice and dice.

The fact that this knife set contains a honing rod is super helpful because you don’t have to pay for expensive sharpening stones separately.

These knives are rust and corrosion-proof and maintain their sharpness over time. In fact, users are saying these knives cut through anything like butter. So, these are some of the best tools for all the cooking tasks you will encounter.

Best Buy Damascus is offering this set of 9 knives for an unbeatable price. If you’re looking for a top-quality set that will last a lifetime, then this is the one you want.

But if you’re looking for an impressive and complete set that will make your meal preparation easier, the Best Buy Damascus Kitchen Damascus Knife Set is a great option.

  • type: Japanese knife set
  • number of pieces: 9
  • finish: Damascus
  • handle: G10

Check the latest prices here

Best budget AUS 10 Japanese steel knife set: SIXILANG Damascus three Kitchen Knives

Best budget AUS 10 Japanese steel knife set- SIXILANG Damascus three Kitchen Knives with cutting board

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If you’re not sure about the performance of the AUS series knives, the Sixilang Damascus knife set will have you convinced you need more of these knives.

The set contains 3 of the most important Japanese knives:

  • 8 inch chef knife
  • 7 inch Santoku knife
  • 5 inch utility knife

The advantage of these knives is that they are very comfortable to work with. The wooden handle is very smooth and sleek, making it easy to grip.

The bolster provides extra stability and the knife is well balanced.

The blade is made of high-quality Damascus steel and is extremely sharp. It’s also rust-resistant and has very good edge retention. The knives are also full-tang which means they’re very durable.

Compared to similar kitchen knives, these ones are a bit more pricey but you get a 3-piece bundle with the 3 most popular high carbon knives.

One downside is that the blade is brittle compared to VG-10 steel but as long as you’re careful with it, it won’t be a problem.

After all, you can’t expect the same performance from these different steel types but the advantage is that the edge stays super sharp.

Users say these knives are excellent for cutting sushi ingredients (especially the utility knife). The Santoku knife is great for cutting smaller vegetables and white meat like poultry.

The gyotu knife is the best option if you want a multipurpose knife that can be used for anything from slicing to dicing and even mincing.

People are able to cut through a spaghetti squash with a few strokes so this knife definitely outperforms a regular German stainless steel one.

So, if you’re looking for a good quality set of knives that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, the Sixilang Damascus kitchen knife set is a great option.

  • type: Japanese knife set
  • number of pieces: 3
  • finish: Damascus
  • handle: wood

Check the latest prices here

Best Buy Damascus 9 piece set vs Sixilang 3 piece set

These two knife sets are excellent for beginners. If you don’t want to spend a lot on just one handcrafted knife, you can get a bundle of the best Japanese knives.

So, if you’re looking for a set of 3 or 9 pieces that will do the job just fine, here’s a comparison of the two.

The Best Buy Damascus set contains 9 knives while the Sixilang only has 3. The Best Buy set includes a paring knife, utility knife, Santoku knife, chef’s knife, bread knife, and carving knife.

The Sixilang set is missing the paring, bread, and carving knives.

But, it’s up to you to decide if you really need the bread and carving knives. If you already won a carbon paring or carving knife, chances are the Santoku or gyuto can take over many of the cutting tasks.

Both knife sets have a similar hardness and they’re made with a Damascus steel finish.

When it comes to sharpness though, the Best Buy knives seem to hold their edge better and they resist rust.

The Best Buy set is also a full-tang knife which means the blade extends all the way to the end of the handle. This makes for a more durable knife.

As for the price, the Best Buy Damascus set is more expensive than the Sixilang.

The Sixilang knives have wood handles while the Best Buy set has a G10 handle. The main advantage of wood handles is that they’re very smooth and sleek which makes them more comfortable to grip.

Takeaway

AUS 10 is a great choice for knives because it is very durable and easy to sharpen. However, it can be brittle and is not as widely available as other types of steel.

If you’re looking for a good quality, affordable knife, AUS 10 is a great option.

But if you’re looking for a knife that can do almost everything, a chef’s knife like the Hudson 8-Inch Damascus Chef’s Knife is excellent because it can perform well in almost every kitchen task.

It’s great for slicing and cutting meat, vegetables, and even seafood.

Next, check out the top 8 best VG-10 steel knives for excellent edge retention & sharpness

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.