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.
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:
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|Best bones and cartilage cleaver (Deba-bocho): Sane Tatsu Japanese Yasugi Forged steel knife|
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|Best vegetable knife (Usuba-bocho): Shane Classic Nakiri Knife|
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|Best Sashimi knife (Yanagiba): Yoshihiro Yanagi knife|
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|Budget Sashimi knife: Kai Wasabi Black|
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|Best long Sashimi knife: Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Yanagi|
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|Best Ceramic Sashimi knife: Kyocera Kyotop|
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Also read our post on Sushi for beginners
Different kinds of sushi knives
So, how do you choose the best sushi knife?
First, you need to know the different sushi knives available.
This is a heavy-duty meat clever, and it is ideal for cutting through the cartilage of fish and bones. The sushi knife is not ideal for home sushi makers.
Mostly, it’s used by pro sushi chefs who spend most of their times 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 allow 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.
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.
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.
The flowing patterns of the Damascus stainless-steel cladding revealed through a process of grinding and bead-blasting, pairs elegantly with the classic lines of the D-shaped, ebony PakkaWood handle for a knife which offers as much in aesthetics as it does in functionality.
Ideal for food preparation, the Classic Nakiri ensures that any fruit or vegetable can be effortlessly sliced, diced, chopped, julienned, or styled with a simple push cut, resulting in precise, easy meal prep.
The excellent workmanship of this handcrafted knife makes the mundane task of vegetable prep fast and fun, meaning less time in the kitchen and more quality time with friends and family. Shun’s Classic Nakiri knife performs to the highest standards every time.
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 features a rosewood non-slip handle.
Yoshihiro knives have a long history in Japan.
The Yoshihiro VGYA240SH Stainless Hongasumi Yanagi Sushi Knife allows you to enjoy high-grade 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, which features double ebony bolster 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.
- This knife delivers top-grade high carbon steel sharpness and edge retention with stainless steel durability and ease of care
- The VG Stainless steel blade with HRC 62-63 gives you exceptional sharpness, as well as optimal edge retention with stain resistance.
- 9.5-inch single-edged blade with a traditional grind
- Completely flat ground on the front, concave ground with a flat rim on the back
- Simple and elegant design with a handcrafted Japanese Octagonal Rosewood Shitan handle, and a Double Ebony Bolster for light and well-balanced construction
- Lacquer coated magnolia wooden sheath provides odor and stain resistance with ease of cleaning.
- Hand wash only and sharpen on quality whetstones. Comes ready to use out of the box.
- 100% handcrafted in Japan
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.
Budget Sashimi knife: Kai Wasabi Black
The traditional Japanese Yanagiba style designs the single-sided and ultra-thin Kai Wasabi Black Sushi knife.
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 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.
- Japanese style yanagiba knife, used for slicing ultra-thin slices for dishes such as sushi and sashimi
- Made with Daido 1K6 high-carbon, stainless steel for superior edge retention
- Unique, single-sided blade design, embellished with the Japanese character for ‘wasabi’
- Blades are bead-blasted to an attractive finish,
- Handle is sturdy, clean polypropylene blend
- Dishwasher safe, hand washing recommended
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Made in Japan
TUO Cutlery 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 quality Japanese VG10 stainless steel, which comes with 33 layers of premium 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.
- The knife is designed to prepare raw fish like sashimi
- Its handle is made with top-grade black ebony wood—which gives it an attractive appearance
- Designed with Japanese VG10 stainless steel, with 33 layers of top quality stainless steel
- Angled only from one side with the other side of the blade being flat, allowing control in the blade angle for delicate cutting and allows for ease of sharpening
Best long Sashimi knife: Mercer Culinary Asian Collection 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 Culinary Asian Collection 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.
It’s 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.
- Razor-sharp, high-carbon steel material,
- The stainless steel material resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration
- Single-edge blade is taper ground with a fine stone finishing
- Offered with a traditional wood handle or an NSF certified slip-resistant Santoprene handle
- Limited Lifetime warranty
Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi Chef Knife
This sashimi chef knife is seemingly the best bargain when compered 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 a traditional 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 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.
- Created with a white Steel #2 with a hardness on the Rockwell scale of 62-63, and it’s forged with iron to create beautiful mist patterns called Kasumi.
- This knife is specifically designed to slice thin slices of fish for sushi and sashimi. The beauty of its elegant thin blade is its ability to slice through an ingredient in long uninterrupted strokes, preserving its integrity and freshness
- The knife has a completely flat grind on the front side, a concave grind, and a flat rim on the back. This combination allows for the blade to cut food with minimal damage to the surface and cells, therefore not spoiling the texture and taste.
- 100% Japanese product.
Shun Pro Yanagiba Knife
The knife comes with a 9-inch single-bevel razor-sharp blade, with a width of 1” – 0.5” and 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.
- 9 ½- inch blade
- Single-edged and ideal for creating razor-thin slices of fish and soft meats for sashimi
- Constructed with VG-10 stainless steel that takes and holds a sharp edge longer than comparable knives; wide blade bevel is easy to sharpen with a whetstone
- Beautiful graffiti-etched blade for a strong, classic statement
- Premium pakkawood handles in a classic d-shape to nestle comfortably into the curves of the palm, offering a secure grip
- Dishwasher safe, but hand wash and air drying recommended
- Limited lifetime warranty
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 definitely 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.
- The knife combines exceptional and award-winning artistry, innovative advanced technology, and breathtaking design.
- 67 layers of premium high-carbon stainless steel layers ensure exceptional strength, durability, and stain resistance.
- Ruthlessly sharp single-bevel scalpel-like edge is hand finished to a mirror polish at an acute 15° degree angle using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method. Gorgeously laminated and hot-forged, the “Metal-Storm” pattern on the blade minimizes drag and stuck on food while maximizing your slicing efficiency, allowing you to glide through prep.
- Perfectly balanced, the precisely tapered blade minimizes surface resistance for buttery smooth cut through and enhanced non-stick properties.
- An ultra-sharp AUS-10V Japanese super steel cutting core at 62+ Rockwell hardness: extraordinary performance and edge retention.
- The traditional octagon shaped handle is meticulously constructed of a handsome combination of G-10 Garolite, an incredibly strong military-grade, non-porous & fiberglass like material and stunning Red Rosewood. The carefully engineered handle is designed for superior hand control and tapers slightly larger towards the tail of the handle, allowing for tactile feedback for better use of your knife.
- Lifetime warranty
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 knifes other opt 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. In spite of its lightweight, the Kyocera Kyotop (KT-200-HIP-D) is very balanced in all the steps of sushi preparation.
This is one of the most costly 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.
- The hot-isostatic pressed ceramic knives are made from Kyocera’s proprietary zirconia material produced in Japan for exceptional quality and beauty
- A distinctive etched knife blade and Pakka wood handle design with 3 stainless steel rivets
- Ultra-sharp, pure advanced ceramic blades will maintain their edge up to 15x longer than steel blades
- Lightweight and easy to clean, ceramic blades will not brown food, are rust-proof and resistant to acids
- Perfectly balanced, Kyocera knives are ideal for slicing fruits, vegetables, and boneless meats, not to be used on frozen or hard foods
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:
- Although many sushi knives are categorized as dishwasher safe, never use a dishwasher
- Always ensure that you put back your sushi knife in its case/sheath, and then store it in a separate space—this can be a drawer or a rack. Use soapy water to clean your knife, rinse it thoroughly, and then dry it using a towel. This is an important thing, especially if you are using a carbon steel knife as it can rust very fast.
- Never use a sharpening steel to sharpen your sushi knife—just use a water stone
- Ensure that you frequently wipe your sushi knife, especially if you use to cut acidic foodstuffs like lime or lemon
- Never cut frozen food with your sushi knife!
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.
Read more: all the different kinds of Sushi explained