Best Sushi Knife | 10 best for Sashimi, meat & fish cleavers

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  June 7, 2020

Whether you are an entry or professional sushi chef, you will definitely need a sushi knife to assist in the preparation of sushi.

These knives are essential tools, which are perfect for cutting the ingredients you need to prepare your sushi, as well as cut through your sushi for the perfect presentation.

However, there is one challenge that most of us face—choosing the best sushi knife since there are hundreds of choices in today’s market.

two trays of sushi and a knife next to them

You don’t want to end up using a regular kitchen knife because the results won’t be as expected.

Here are the Diaries of a Master Sushi chef to show you what you can do with the right tools:

When choosing the best sushi knife, you will need a knife that feels good in your hands, as well as one that’s made of good quality and durable materials.

I’ll take you through the top choices here first, and after that, I’ll give you some background information on the different types of knives and these top brands:

When choosing the best sushi knife, you will need a knife that feels good in your hands, as well as one that’s made of good quality and durable materials.

I’ll take you through the top choices here first, and after that, I’ll give you some background information on the different types of knives and these top brands:

Sushi Knife type Images
Best bones and cartilage cleaver (Deba-bocho): Sane Tatsu Japanese Yasugi Sane Tatsu Deba Bocho sushi knife(view more images)
Best vegetable knife (Usuba-bocho): Shane Classic Nakiri Knife Shun Nakiri shushi knife for vegetables(view more images)
Best Sashimi knife (Yanagiba): Yoshihiro Yanagi knife Yoshiro Yanagiba sashimi knife(view more images)
Budget Sashimi knife: Kai Wasabi Black Budget sashimi knife Kai Wasabi Black(view more images)
Best long Sashimi knife: Mercer Yanagi Best long Sashimi knife Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Yanagi(view more images)
Best Ceramic Sashimi knife: Kyocera Kyotop Kyocera sashimi knife ceramic(view more images)

Also read our post on Sushi for beginners

Just a quick heads up. My posts may contain affiliate links, and if you buy something that I recommend through one of those links, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

So, if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like, I’m glad my blog could help you make your decision. Learn more

Different kinds of sushi knives

So, how do you choose the best sushi knife?

First, you need to know the different sushi knives available.

Deba-bocho

This is a heavy-duty meat cleaver, and it is ideal for cutting through the cartilage of fish and bones. The sushi knife is not ideal for home sushi makers.

This is a heavy-duty meat cleaver, and it is ideal for cutting through the cartilage of fish and bones. The sushi knife is not ideal for home sushi makers.

(view more images)

 Mostly, it’s used by pro sushi chefs who spend most of their time preparing a whole fish for sushi.

The Seba Bocho has to be sharp and heavy, and this Sane Tatsu Japanese Yasugi Forged steel knife is the best you can get.

It’s a single-bevel, high-end pro-knife that is ideal for slicing through steak and fish bones with lots of ease. Its extraordinarily thick blade, of up to 6mm, is designed to last for several years.

The Yasugi Forged Steel is specifically designed to cut through steaks, fish, as well as handle any other tough job.

It has been forged from high-grade chromium-molybdenum stainless steel, which means the knife cannot rust, unlike other blades.

This knife is handcrafted using top-grade steel, which means it meets the highest standards of top quality sushi knives.

Usuba-bocho

This is a vegetable knife uses for peeling, fine cutting, slicing, and chopping. Usuba can be translated to a thin blade, that’s used for slicing and chopping thin sheets from veggies.Shun Nakiri shushi knife for vegetables

Nakiri is Japanese for ‘vegetable knife,’ and with this Classic 6.5-inch Nakiri Knife, Shun delivers a vegetable knife that combines the beauty of an elegant design with the practicality of a sharp, clean and durable kitchen tool.

They created these patterns in the Damascus steel by grinding and bead-blasting until they had the perfect form to fit with the more classic lines of the D-shaped handle.

The result is a great looking but extremely functional knife with an ebony PakkaWood grip.

The Nakiri makes sure any fruit or vegetable you’ll be slicing with this knife will always cut through with a single push, so it is great to lighten the strain on your hands from other types of knives.

Yanagiba

This is the standard sashimi knife, ideal for slicing raw fish and fish fillets.

Yaginaba is the ideal knife used for preparing sashimi and sushi that is required to meet certain requirements in Japanese sushi cuisine.

 

These knives are designed for precision slicing of sashimi.

You’ll want to look out for a knife suitable for professional chefs who have been looking for fine Yanagiba or Deba Bocho, but less maintenance than traditional high carbon made Bocho.

A knife like this Yoshihiro Yanagi Sashimi knife, which has a rosewood handle for extra comfort and precision when cutting.

Processing and fluorine coating and concave to fit the balance between the cutting edge and the handle of the knife feature a rosewood non-slip handle.

Yoshihiro knives have a long history in Japan.

The Yoshihiro Hongasumi Yanagi is perfect for Sushi and allows you to enjoy high-grade blade edge retention, as well as carbon steel sharpness.

This knife has easy-of-care, and it’s very durable. Its blade is made of a VG stainless steel material, with HRC 62 – 63. One notable thing about the knife is that it has a traditional grind, as well as a 9.5” single-edged blade.

The knife comes with a flat rim on its back, fully flat ground, and concave ground on the front.

Its handle is made of handcrafted Japanese Octagonal Rosewood, for light and well-balanced design.

The design of the handle makes it ideal for people who work for long hours in the kitchen. You will always find this handle very comfortable, even if you work for long periods of time.

The handle doesn’t wear so easily, and it maintains its grip, even after extended periods of use.

The Yoshihiro VGYA240SH Stainless Hongasumi Yanagi Sushi Knife is one of the most popular sushi knifes you will ever find because of several reasons.

One of the reasons is that the knife comes with a lacquer-coated magnolia-wooden sheath. In addition, you can use the knife to cut pieces of sushi and sashimi.

Lastly, the best knife for both entry, intermediate, and professional level chefs, regardless of its limited lifetime warranty.

NOTABLE FEATURES:

Check out the latest prices here

A company founded by a master sword maker; whose desire was to make the greatest living blades in his country. Yoshi Hiro trained with the top sword makers of his day and made a name for himself that is still known in present-day Japan.

Even though he is no longer alive, his company is still carrying on his tradition of making the best swords and knives possible, each which is made with beauty and elegance.

Yoshihiro knives are high-quality blades of forged steel sold at very affordable prices.

Beautiful pieces for both professional chefs and cooks at home In Japan, metal forging is appreciated as art, rather than work. The forging of blades is an ancient technique that is still employed today.

Also read: 5 main types of traditional Japanese sushi

The process yields stronger products than does metal casting due to the constant beating of the metal.

You can buy the Yoshihiro knife here

Also read: 5 main types of traditional Japanese sushi

a plate of sashimi and sushi, and a glass of hot tea

The process yields stronger products than does metal casting due to the constant beating of the metal.

You can buy the Yoshihiro knife here

Budget Sashimi knife: Kai Wasabi Black

The traditional Japanese Yanagiba style designs the single-sided and ultra-thin Kai Wasabi Sushi knife.

 

Get your quick start in enjoying Japanese cuisine here with our top recommended tools

This is one of the best sushi knives you will find out there in the market, specifically because of its notable characteristics, as well as its affordable price.

The core of this knife is made with a superior Daido 1K6 high-carbon stainless steel, with remarkable blade edge retention when compared to other knives.

The designers of this sushi knife use bead-blast to give this knife a striking blade finish.

This Kai Wasabi sushi knife has a distinctively new handle material, bamboo powder blended with polypropylene.

In addition, the handle is joined using an antibacterial object, which makes it completely safe for food handling.

The sushi knife is hand washable, as well as dishwasher safe—and air drying is recommended. It 100% Japanese product, and it comes with a limited lifetime warranty. This is one of the best sushi knives that you will find in less than $100.

NOTABLE FEATURES

Check out the latest prices here on Amazon

TUO Yanagiba Damascus Sushi & Sashimi Knife

This sushi knife is one of the best knives for entry-level users. It comes with an 8.5” long blade, which is created with superior Japanese stainless steel (VG10), which comes with 33 layers of quality soft steel.

 

The blade’s core is vacuum heat-treated to improve its hardness to 62 HRC, and also make it corrosion and rust resistance.

Because of the heating and cooling style, the TUO Cutlery Yanagiba Damascus Sushi Sashimi Knife has remarkable edge retention, unlike other carbon steel knives.

Its blade has been crafted using a beautiful electrical park logo, and it’s one side angled, and its opposite side is plane ground. These types of blades give their users full control when it comes to delicate slicing. 

To create its ergonomic and attractive handle, TUE Cutlery uses high-quality black ebony wood, which extremely durable and tough. Its octagonal shape increases the knife’s skid resistance and boosts it’s holding comfort at the same time.

The knife has been designed to prepare sushi, raw fish, as well as sashimi.

It comes with an ultra-thin, long, razor-sharp blade, which allows you to cut through any type of fish without having to use any extra pressure.

When you get this knife, you need to understand that it’s best suited for slicing, not chopping. This knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and you will get it at less than $100.

NOTABLE FEATURES

Best long Sashimi knife: Mercer Yanagi Sushi Knife

This is a single-edge blade knife, which is taper-ground with its stone finishing.

That’s the reason why the Mercer Yanagi Sushi Knife can easily cut through meat, fish, and different types of veggies without snagging or dragging.

 

It comes with a 12-inch blade with 58 HRC carbon steel material. Its carbon stainless steel material is razor-sharp and resistant to corrosion, discoloration, as well as rust. It has a straight blade, with smooth finishing.

The knife has been designed using the traditional balsam wood handle, which is non-slip, unique, and durable.

Its design includes a fully forged construction, thus giving the knife the resemblance of a normal utility knife.

Also, it is possible to get the Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Yanagi Sushi Knife with a slip-resistant Santropene handle, which is NSF certified. This knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

It is the ideal knife for chefs who are serious about preparing true Japanese foods, as well as other Asian foods. This left-handed knife is 100% Japanese product, and you will get it at a considerable price.

NOTABLE FEATURES:

Check out prices and availability here

Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife

This sashimi chef knife is seemingly the best bargain when compared to other knives in its category.

The Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife is made using Japanese white high carbon steel and comes with a single-edged 9.5-inch blade.

 

Its blade comes with an authentic grind shape and has a 62-63 Rockwell hardness. The Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife’s blade has a fully flat ground shape on its front, and a concave ground shape, which has a place rim on its back.

One notable thing with the Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife is its simple and beautiful Japanese rosewood D-shaped handle.

In addition to this, its Shitan bolster gives the knife a well-balanced and lightweight framework. Furthermore, the Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife comes with a Mongolian made sheath, Tsubaki knife oil, as well as a rust eraser.

To get the best performance from this knife, hand wash and air drying are recommended. Also, you need to make sure that you use a premium-quality water stone in sharpening and honing the knife.

The Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and it’s the best choice for both new and intermediate sushi chefs. You will get this sushi knife at less than $200.

NOTABLE FEATURES:

You can get it here on Amazon

Shun Pro Yanagiba Knife

The knife comes with a 9-inch razor-sharp blade, with a width of 1” – 0.5” and a thickness of 2.5 mm.

Its core is made of super stainless steel VG-10 material, with 60 HRC. One thing you will note with the Shun Pro Yanagiba Knife is that it has higher edge retention than other knives out there in the market.

Another interesting thing about the Shun Pro Yanagiba Knife is that its blade is designed with an artistic graffiti-imprint on the blade, which gives it a classic appearance.

Before buying the Shun Pro Yanagiba Knife, you need to note that it’s a left-handed, wide-bevel blade sushi knife, which means you can sharpen it very easily using a fine-grit whetstone.

Its classic D-shaped handle is made out of premium-grade Pakkawood. The D-shape design gives the knife a secure grip, which means you don’t have to exert a lot of pressure when cutting items.

Even though this knife is dishwasher safe, hand wash and air-drying are recommended.

Notable features:

YOSHIHIRO SHIROKO SASHIMI CHEF KNIFE

This sashimi chef knife is seemingly the best bargain when compared to other knives in its category.

The Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife is made using Japanese white high carbon steel and comes with a single-edged 9.5-inch blade.

(view more images)

Its blade comes with an authentic grind shape and has a 62-63 Rockwell hardness. The Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife’s blade has a fully flat ground shape on its front, and a concave ground shape, which has a place rim on its back.

One notable thing with the Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife is its simple and beautiful Japanese rosewood D-shaped handle.

In addition to this, its Shitan bolster gives the knife a well-balanced and lightweight framework. Furthermore, the Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife comes with a Mongolian made sheath, Tsubaki knife oil, as well as a rust eraser.

To get the best performance from this knife, hand wash and air drying are recommended. Also, you need to make sure that you use a premium-quality water stone in sharpening and honing the knife.

The Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and it’s the best choice for both new and intermediate sushi chefs. You will get this sushi knife at less than $200.

NOTABLE FEATURES:

You can get it here on Amazon

Dalstrong SS-S-10.5inch-Yanagiba

If you have never prepared sushi, then you need to note that the key part in a sushi dish is the sashimi, also known as raw fish.

Even though you can use a general sushi knife in the entire preparation process, pro chefs prefer having a sashimi knife, and Dalstrong SS-S-10.5inch-Yanagiba is one of these knives.

 

The Dalstrong SS-S-10.5inch-Yanagiba features a slender and long silhouette, associated with sushi knives.

The design of the Dalstrong SS-S-10.5inch-Yanagiba will blow you away. Its single-bevel, 10.5-inch, the hand-polished blade is made using Japanese AUS-10V super steel and comes with an amazing pattern—which will definitely capture your eye.

The handle is designed from military-grade G-10 material, which is combined with red rosewood.

Also, the Dalstrong SS-S-10.5inch-Yanagiba comes with a handmade wooden sheath, which ensures its long-term protection.

The craftsmanship used to design this knife will amaze you.

The Dalstrong SS-S-10.5inch-Yanagiba is one of the famous knives used by pro sushi chefs—thanks to its spectacular service and quality.

This knife has a durable and extremely durable blade, which should provide you with precise cuts every moment.

NOTABLE FEATURES:

Check out pricing and availability here

Read more: how to get started in sushi making

Best Ceramic Sashimi knife: Kyocera Kyotop

At times, choosing a sushi knife can be a challenge. While some chefs prefer high-carbon Japanese steel knives, others opt for ceramic blades because of their convenience.

If you are after long term sharpness, then you should opt to buy the Kyocera Kyotop (KT-200-HIP-D) sushi knife.

 

When you unpack this knife from its box, you will find one of the most beautiful knives you will ever see.

The Kyocera Kyotop (KT-200-HIP-D) has a stunning finishing, which is inspired by the traditional Japanese Damascus pattern.

This knife has a length of 14 inches, a ceramic blade of 8.25 inches, and weighs just 1.75 ounces. Despite it being lightweight, the Kyocera Kyotop (KT-200-HIP-D) is very balanced in all the steps of sushi preparation.

This is one of the costliest sushi knives, and you should expect the price to match its quality. It comes with an advanced blade, which created with a hot-isostatic pressing technology.

According to the manufacturer, its hardness is close to diamond. As a result, the material used to manufacture this knife gives it remarkable edge retention.

If you want a ling and satisfying product life, ensure that you ship this knife to Kyocera whenever you need to re-sharpen it.

NOTABLE FEATURES:

Check out this ceramic Sashimi knife here on Amazon

HOW TO FIND THE BEST SUSHI KNIVES

It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner chef or a professional sushi chef. You may want to cut and assemble your own sushi at home. If this is the case, then you need to have the best sushi knife for the job.

SASHIMI KNIVES

there isn’t much of a difference between sushi and sashimi, and the two are often used interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing. Sashimi is thinly sliced raw meat – tuna or salmon, for example. Sushi is rice mixed with other ingredients.

SUSHI KNIVES

Traditional yanagiba sushi knives have an edge that is just one-sided. So, if you are left-handed, this may not work for you. These knives should also be made of high-quality, hardened steel because you need a good, sharp knife to get the perfect cuts. It also allows the knife to retain its sharp edge for longer.

However, the knives you use to make both sushi and sashimi are the same.

BEST SUSHI KNIFE BUYER’S GUIDE

Now, let’s take a closer look at what we need to take into consideration when finding the best sushi knife for home.

BLADE AND HANDLE MATERIALS

One of the most important factors to consider when it comes to your sushi knife is going to be the sharp edge and its ability to stay sharp for as long as possible. Hard steel alloy or something with higher carbon content is recommended. This allows for a very sharp edge and allows for improved edge retention.

The handle materials are the next most important component to consider. This also has a lot to do with the way the knife looks. You should have a good grip, and like the way your knives look. It should have an ergonomic handle that is comfortable to use.

BLADE LENGTH

Typical sushi knives come at a length of between 7 inches and 13 inches, but a professional sushi knife can also be longer. When slicing sashimi, you want single and uninterrupted pulling cuts through the meat. This leaves a nice and neat edge. So, the longer the blade of your knife is, the easier it is to accomplish these clean cuts and avoid multiple strokes.

BRANDS

As you can see from our list above, there are many big brand names mentioned as some of the best sushi knives on the market today. However, it really comes down to what you are looking for and personal preference when it comes to finding the absolute best Japanese sushi knife. You also have to seriously consider your budget as well.

BLADE PATTERNS AND DESIGNS

A lot of sushi making also has to do with presentation. For this reason, sushi chefs want to make sure they have knives they are proud to show off. Some of the higher-end sushi knives have layers of multiple steel alloys with herringbone or Suminagashi patterns. Other knives may have more intricate etchings, including symbols.

PRICE AND BUDGET

Finally, we can’t forget about the price and budget. The budget you settle on will determine the quality of the sushi chef knife you purchase. However, you can still find a good yanagiba sushi knife available that fits within many different budgets.

However, try to avoid the cheaper sushi chef knives as they will not work as well and definitely won’t last as long. A few hundred dollars, on the other hand, take you into more of a middle ground where you can still find an affordable sushi knife without having to tread into the thousands for more high-end varieties and a more professional Japanese sushi knife.

HOW MUCH IS A JAPANESE KNIFE?

Japanese knives are quite different from each other, and so are the prices. There are a few smaller ones for specific tasks, as well as razor-sharp cleavers. On average, you should expect to pay around $150 for a decent Japanese knife.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR SUSHI KNIFE

Before buying any sushi knife, you need to understand that they are very special, and they require specialized care if you need to get the best results from these knives.

In addition, you will need to pay a considerable amount of money to get the best sushi knife, which means you have to take good care of your knife. Here are a few things that you need to do to take good care of your sushi knife:

 

WHY ARE JAPANESE KNIVES SO GOOD?

Japanese knives are so good and world-renowned because of their sharpness. The reason you can get them this sharp is because of the quality steel with which they were forged, and this allows them to be sharpened at a better angle than most knives. Sharp knives like these cut through almost anything with ease and remove the need for the chef to use a lot of pressure.

ARE JAPANESE KNIVES CHEAPER IN JAPAN?

Japanese knives are substantially cheaper in Japan itself compared to America or other western countries. A lot of this has to do with the fact that they don’t have to be shipped to be able to be delivered to you. The other being, they are just kitchen knives over there and we mostly pay a bit of a premium here, just because of the name and we think they’re cool.

IS A SANTOKU KNIFE GOOD FOR SUSHI?

The Santoku is a good knife for sushi, but you can do better. If you’ve bought a Japanese knife, chances are you have a Santoku knife. It’s the most versatile knife Japanese chefs can have, and it’s suitable to use for a lot of dishes, but sushi chefs want to use the best knife for the job and will choose a separate knife for each individual task in preparing sushi.

BOTTOM LINE

As highlighted earlier, you will need a sushi knife whenever you are preparing sushi—if you need to achieve perfect results.

These knives we have described above are the perfect tools—but the one you choose will entirely depend on your preference.

If you are a beginner, just ensure that you buy a budget-friendly knife to start with, before proceeding to buy the most expensive ones.

However, you need to understand that the perfect sushi presentation doesn’t depend on the knife only—you will also need some additional tricks.

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.