Best Takobiki Japanese slicer knife | The perfect tool for filleting fish

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  June 25, 2022

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If you’re looking for the best Japanese slicer knife on the market, look no further than the Takobiki!

This knife is perfect for slicing fish for sashimi and sushi due to its sharp blade and long handle.

It has a special blunt tip that maintains the flesh in the best condition so the fillets look flawless.

Best Takobiki Japanese slicer knife | The perfect tool for filleting fish

The best overall Takobiki knife is the Japanese Chef’s Knife ARITSUGU Takobiki because it’s a combination of value and performance. This super sharp blade allows you to make precise, clean cuts and doesn’t tear the fish.

You’ll be able to slice the long tentacles of the octopus in one swift motion!

It’s generally harder to find a takobiki knife compared to other Japanese fish knives because it’s not as commonly used.

But, I’ve put together a list of the best options and my reviews will guide you in your search for the perfect fish knife for octopus, sushi, and sashimi.

Best Takobiki (Japanese slicer) knifeImages
Best traditional Japanese takobiki knife & best overall: Japanese Chef’s Knife ARITSUGUBest traditional Japanese takobiki knife & best overall- Japanese Chef's Knife ARITSUGU
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Best budget takobiki knife: Sakai Takayuki KasumitogiBest budget takobiki knife- Sakai Takayuki Kasumitogi
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Best premium takobiki knife & best for professional chefs: Yoshihiro Suminagashi Blue Steel #1Best premium takobiki knife & best for professional chefs- Yoshihiro Suminagashi Blue Steel #1 Sakimaru
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Best multi-purposes slicer knife: DALSTRONG Slicing & Carving KnifeBest multi-purposes slicer knife- DALSTRONG Slicing & Carving Knife
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Find a complete list of the 14 best sushi fish types (and their common names)

Buying guide

There’s a bit of confusion around the knife’s name – it is sometimes labeled as a Japanese chef knife but the takobiki does not look like the gyuto knife.

The gyuto is the Japanese chef knife people are used to hearing about.

The Takobiki knife is differentiated by its unique shape and the fact that it’s used primarily for slicing fish and cutting octopus.

So, if you see it called takobiki sushi sashimi slicing knife, then you know it’s this dull-tipped knife.

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Watch sashimi being sliced paper thin with a takobiki here:

Blade tip

Most Japanese knives have a sharp tip but the takobiki stands out because it has an elegant thin blade with a blunt tip.

The blunt tip is not as sharp as other sushi knives and this is intentional. However, it’s still a blunt sharp tip so don’t run it across your fingers carelessly.

The reason for the dull tip is that the takobiki is used to slice fish with delicate skin. If the tip were sharp, it would cut through the fish skin too easily and damage the flesh.

Also, the blunt tip helps you when cutting and cleaning octopus (for making delicious takoyaki for example!)

A blunt tip also helps to glide through the fish skin without damaging the flesh.

Blade length

The takobiki is a long slicing knife so the blade is usually between 10 and 12 inches (25-30 cm). The long blade is necessary for slicing through large fish.

But the long blade also makes it one of the best Japanese kitchen knives for filleting fish and meat.

The long blade helps to minimize the number of strokes needed to fillet a fish which is important because each stroke with a knife can damage the delicate meat.

Handle

The handle of the takobiki is usually made from wood or plastic.

The wood handles are more traditional but the plastic ones are becoming more popular because they’re more durable and easier to care for.

There are many other composites handles as well which are high quality and durable. G10 and micarta are two materials that are often used in knife handles.

The blade and handle of the takobiki are usually connected with a full tang.

This means that the metal of the blade extends all the way to the end of the handle.

A full tang provides more stability and balance to the knife.

The handle should be comfortable to hold and have a good grip. The last thing you want is for the knife to slip out of your hand while you’re slicing fish.

There are many different brands of takobiki knives and they all have different handle designs.

So, it’s important to choose a knife with a handle that feels comfortable in your hand.

The shape of the handle is important too: traditional knives have octagonal or D-shaped handles but there are also round and Western-style handles available.

The most important thing is to choose a handle that feels comfy in your hand so you can execute precise cuts.

Material

The best takobiki knives are made from high-carbon steel. This is the same material used in other Japanese kitchen knives like the gyuto and santoku.

High-carbon steel is a durable material that can take a sharp edge and hold it for a long time. It’s also easy to sharpen.

White steel is the top choice for a sharp blade.

White steel, also called shirogami refers to white paper steel. White steel is popular for the forging of a long slicing knife like the takobiki.

The carbon in white steel is very pure which makes it easier to get a sharp edge. It’s also softer steel so it’s easier to sharpen.

Then there’s blue steel, also called aogami.

The blue in the name refers to the blue-black color of the steel. It’s made by adding chromium and tungsten to the steel.

The blue steel is harder than white steel which means it can take a sharper edge. But it’s also more prone to chipping.

The downside of high-carbon steel is that it’s prone to rusting so you need to take care of the knife and make sure it’s dry after each use.

Learn how to properly handle and clean your Japanese knives so they won’t rust

Bevel

Traditional Japanese knives are usually single-bevel which means that only one side of the blade is ground.

The other side is left unsharpened. So, it’s razor-sharp on a single edge.

But there are also double-bevel knives available, which means that both sides of the blade are ground.

These knives are easier to use for left-handed and right-handed people.

Western knives tend to be double bevel whereas Japanese knives are usually single bevel.

Takobiki knives are mostly single-edge and super sharp so they’re best for right-handed users.

Price

You can expect to pay a lot more money for a takobiki slicing Japanese chef knife because this is a rare type of slicing sushi and sashimi knife.

The price range for a budget quality takobiki is $200 – $300.

But, if you want a top-of-the-line knife then you could be looking at a price tag of $1000 or more.

This kind of knife is mostly used by professional sushi chefs so it’s not a kitchen knife that most home cooks would need.

But, if you’re a serious home cook who values a handcrafted knife, then the takobiki would be a great addition to your kitchen.

Most Japanese handcraft the takobiki to ensure they create high-quality knives that are worth the price.

If you are looking for a more budget-friendly and multifunctional option, check out my top 15 best knives for sushi and sashimi

Top takobiki knives reviewed

Takobiki knives are very special tools and picking the right one is not easy.

Let me help you by showing some of the best Japanese slicer knives on the market.

Best traditional Japanese takobiki knife & best overall: Japanese Chef’s Knife ARITSUGU

A handcrafted takobiki knife is the best choice for those who want a perfect slicing knife for sushi and sashimi.

It’s also the best choice for cutting and chopping the hard chewy octopus flesh.

Best traditional Japanese takobiki knife & best overall- Japanese Chef's Knife ARITSUGU on cutting board

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  • blade size: 11.8 inches
  • blade material: white paper steel
  • handle: wood
  • bevel: single

The blunt tip can help you remove the octopus head without damaging the meat. It’s also useful for slicing fish fillets that have skin on them.

If you’re looking for a top-quality, traditional Japanese knife then the ARITSUGU Takobiki is the best option.

Master artisans hand forge these knives and if properly maintained, this knife can last a lifetime!

The blade is made from white paper steel which is a high-quality, durable material. The blade is also single-beveled which makes it razor-sharp.

White steel takobiki knives are the most sought-after and they’re known for how sharp they are. They will fillet fish flesh without causing any bruising.

The handle is made from wood and it’s octagonal in shape which is traditional for Japanese knives.

My only criticism is that for the price, a protective wooden sheath is not included (find a review of the best saya, or knife sheaths here).

The ARITSUGU Takobiki knife is also on the expensive side but it’s worth the price for a top-quality knife.

This brand isn’t as well known as some of the other Japanese knife makers but their knives are just as good, if not better.

For example, it can be compared to the Shun knife which is a more popular brand. The Shun knife costs about the same as the ARITSUGU Takobiki but it’s not as well-crafted.

The Shun knife is also double-beveled which makes it less sharp than the ARITSUGU.

Check the latest prices here

Best budget takobiki knife: Sakai Takayuki Kasumitogi

It’s nearly impossible to find a good cheap takobiki knife.

However, the Sakai knife is of amazing quality and less than $200 – that’s quite a good price for such a knife!

Best budget takobiki knife- Sakai Takayuki Kasumitogi

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  • blade size: 10.6 inches
  • blade material: white paper steel
  • handle: wood
  • bevel: single

This takobiki knife allows you to cut paper-thin slices so it’s an excellent sushi and sashimi knife.

I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a good quality knife but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money.

Sakai is one of Japan’s oldest and most reputable knife manufacturers. The company has been making knives for over 700 years so they know a thing or two about knife-making!

The blade is made from white paper steel which is a high-quality, durable material. The blade is also single-beveled which means it’s extremely sharp.

In fact, Sakai knives are well-known for excellent their edge retention.

While the knife is strong and durable overall, it does have otherwise vulnerable edges since it’s so sharp and single-beveled.

The handle is made from wood and it’s octagonal in shape which is traditional for Japanese knives.

Sakai knives are very popular in Japan. They’re known for being some of the best quality knives available.

While they’re more expensive than most Western knives, they’re still a good value considering their quality. Other similar brands include Shun and Global.

The Sakai takobiki is unique though because it offers such good quality at a reasonable price and the other brands don’t manufacture this type of slicing knife.

Check the latest prices here

Aritsugu vs Sakai Takobiki

If you’re trying to decide between the Aritsugu and Sakai Takobiki knives, it really depends on your budget.

The Sakai is about half the price of the Aritsugu and it’s still an excellent quality knife.

If you’re a professional sushi and sashimi chef, then you might want to invest in the Aritsugu.

But, if you’re a home cook who wants a quality slicing knife, that will slice paper thin slices of fish, you can’t go wrong with a Sakai blade.

The main difference is that the Sakai has a bit of a shorter blade and it’s not made from quite as high-quality materials.

So, if you’re looking for the best possible takobiki knife then the Aritsugu is the way to go.

But, if you’re looking for a high-quality knife that won’t break the bank and still last you for decades, Sakai is a reputable brand you can trust.

Both of these knives have a magnolia wood handles, they’re both made of white steel but you can see exceptional performance from the pricier Aritsugu knife.

It’s the perfect Japanese chef’s knife for fish.

Best premium takobiki knife & best for professional chefs: Yoshihiro Suminagashi Blue Steel #1

If you’re a professional sushi and sashimi chef, then you know that it’s worth investing in high-quality premium knives like this Yoshihiro Suminagashi Blue Steel knife.

It’s nothing like those cheap mass-produced knives amateurs use.

The handmade Yoshihiro takobiki is perfect for thinly slicing and filleting fresh fish.

Best premium takobiki knife & best for professional chefs- Yoshihiro Suminagashi Blue Steel #1 Sakimaru on table

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  • blade size: 11.8 inches
  • blade material: blue steel
  • handle: ebony
  • bevel: single

The blade is made from blue steel which is a high-quality, durable material.

Suminagashi translates to “floating ink” and that’s exactly what this knife’s blade looks like.

The rippled pattern is created by forge welding several layers of steel together.

This process not only makes the knife stronger and more durable, but also creates a beautiful pattern.

I have to admit it’s one of the most beautiful knives I’ve seen and it’s sure to impress diners while you cook.

The handle is made of ebony wood which is extremely strong and comfortable to hold.

It’s a classic octagonal Wa-handle which is the traditional shape for Japanese knives.

The knife also comes with a protective wooden sheath called saya which is made of Magnolia wood.

You can only sharpen the sensitive blade with a water whetstone and you need to avoid cutting through bones or else the blade with chip and break.

The knife is also single-beveled which means it’s extremely sharp. In fact, it’s known for superior sharpness.

Yoshihiro is one of the best Japanese knife brands on the market and this knife is their top-of-the-line takobiki model.

It’s the best possible option for professional sushi and sashimi chefs. It can be compared to the Aritsugu knife mentioned earlier.

But, it’s also twice the price. So, if you’re not a professional chef, you might not need this one.

Check prices and availability here

Have you ever wondered what a Japanese hibachi chef is called?

Best multi-purposes slicer knife: DALSTRONG Slicing & Carving Knife

Well, the Dalstrong slicing and carving knife isn’t quite a true takobiki knife but it has a very similar blade shape and similar blunt tip.

It’s a great option for those who want a versatile knife that can be used for slicing and carving meat, fish, and vegetables.

It’s not just for fish and octopus and thus it’s super versatile.

Best multi-purposes slicer knife- DALSTRONG Slicing & Carving Knife on table

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  • blade size: 12 inches
  • blade material: high carbon steel
  • handle: G10 composite
  • bevel: double

This knife is also cheaper so it’s a great option for those on a budget.

The blade is made with high carbon steel which is extremely durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

It’s made of a high carbon steel that has a black titanium design which makes the knife look very sleek and modern.

It’s not like the traditional Japanese knives you’re used to seeing.

The handle is made of G10 composite which is a material that’s often used in knives because it’s extremely strong and comfortable to hold.

It’s quite a lightweight handle and aerodynamic so you can make swift cuts.

The main criticism is that this handle doesn’t offer the best grip and can become slippery. Also, the knife should be hand washed and this can be a hassle for some.

The knife is also double-beveled which means it’s sharp on both sides and can be used by both right and left-handed users, so it’s a bit different from the others.

People are using this knife to slice anything from fish to seafood, to chicken and brisket. This blade is not as sensitive as the others so you can use it to cut all kinds of meats.

The knife also comes with a leather sheath to protect the blade when you’re not using it.

Dalstrong is a cheaper to mid-priced knife brand but they make excellent knives, especially for home cooks.

You can compare Dalstrong to other knife brands like Shun, Wusthof, and Zwilling.

Dalstrong’s slicing knife is made with this innovative titanium carbon steel material which lasts longer and holds its edge very well.

Check the latest prices here

Premium Yoshihiro vs Dalstrong slicing knife

It’s hard to compare these two very different knives. The Yoshihiro is a much more traditional Japanese knife while the Dalstrong is a bit more modern.

Yoshihiro premium handmade knives are extremely expensive and designed for restaurant and professional chef use.

They will cut and slice through fish and octopus like butter, even the slimy parts.

The Dalstrong slicing knife is also a great option for those who want a multi-purpose knife that can cut through all meat types with ease.

The Yoshihiro has a narrow blade which is better for slicing fish while the Dalstrong has a wider blade which is better for carving meat and cutting through tough cuts like brisket.

Both knives have a dull tip but the material is what sets these apart. The Yoshihiro takobiki is made of blue steel whereas the Dalstrong is made of high carbon steel.

The handle is also different as the Yoshihiro has an ebony handle compared to the cheaper G10 handle of the Dalstrong.

The Dalstrong slicing knife is double-beveled which means it can be used by both right and left-handed people.

The Yoshihiro is only sharp on one side so it can only be used comfortably by righties.

What is a Takobiki knife?

The Takobiki is a Japanese slicing knife also known as an “octopus cutter”.

This slicing knife has a long narrow blade and a blunt tip. Its weight allows it to slice through harder-to-cut foods like octopus.

Octopus flesh is very slippery which makes it difficult to slice with a regular kitchen knife.

The Takobiki’s long blade and weight help to counter the slippery texture. It also helps the user remove the head and carve it out.

The Takobiki is a fish-slicing knife used to fillet and slice fish and other seafood into super thin slices for sashimi and sushi.

You can easily slice paper-thin slices with this knife.

It can also be used to fillet chicken, pork, and other meats but its blunt tip is what makes it unique.

The Takobiki knife is one of the three traditional Japanese slicing knives. The others are the Yanagiba and the Deba.

All three knives are used for different purposes depending on the type of food being cut.

Takobiki vs Yanagi

The takobiki knife resembles the yanagi knife; in fact, they’re fairly similar in both appearance and functionality.

The main difference is that a Takobiki knife is thinner and narrower.

It’s also a bit lighter and thus quite delicate. It allows for extreme precision when slicing fish.

The Yanagiba, on the other hand, is a bit thicker and heavier. It’s designed for cutting through larger chunks of flesh.

Both work for cutting octopus but the Takobiki is better suited for slicing paper-thin slices of fish and cleaning octopus.

One reason why chefs like the Takobiki is that you can make long uninterrupted strokes and use traditional techniques to slice and fillet.

Thus, the flatter blade profile better protects the flesh and integrity of the food.

When you make the sushi or sashimi it will look perfect and ready to serve, even for the pickiest customer.

Another important difference to note is that the yanagi knife has a sharp tip, not a blunt one like the Takobiki.

The blunt tip on the Takobiki is what allows it to excel in slicing octopus. It’s also effective

History of the Takobiki knife

Minosuke Matsuzawa, the Masamoto Sohonten company’s founder, created and originally crafted the takobiki as an adaptation of the traditional yanagiba knife.

It is used to cut boneless fish fillets into sashimi and is the Kanto area (Tokyo) adaptation of the Yanagi knife.

According to Japanese legend, chefs would not point the sword-like Yanagi toward their patrons, especially aristocrats, when preparing sashimi in front of guests centuries ago and that’s why they decided on a blunt tip as opposed to the razor-sharp tip of yanagi knives.

For this reason, older eateries in Tokyo still employ Takobiki knives rather than Yanagi ones nowadays.

Compared to the Yanagi, its narrow body makes cutting thin fish slices easier.

Takobiki, which translates to “octopus cutter,” refers to how well the blunt tip and balanced weight perform on challenging components like an octopus.

What is a Japanese slicing knife called? Sujihijki vs Takobiki

A traditional Japanese slicing knife is called a sujihiki knife.

It is similar to a Western-style slicing knife, but typically has a much sharper blade and a thinner blade profile.

Sujihiki knives are not the same as Takobiki knives.

Takobiki knives are a specific type of Japanese slicing knife that is designed for slicing fish and other seafood, mainly octopus.

While Sujihiki knives can be used for the same purpose, they are not as effective as Takobiki knives.

What is a slicer knife used for?

The Japanese slicing knife is used for many cooking tasks.

It is perfect for slicing meat, fish, octopus, and vegetables. It can also be used to fillet chicken, pork, and other meats.

The Takobiki is used to cut, clean, and slice fresh octopus for recipes such as Takoyaki and Takosenbei.

The Yanagiba is used to fillet fish such as tuna, salmon, and snapper.

The Deba is used to cut through the bone of fish and chicken. It can also be used to fillet fish.

Takeaway

The Takobiki Japanese slicer knife is the perfect tool for slicing fish and octopus with amazing precision.

For a knife that won’t break the bank but is still handcrafted by Japanese artisans, I recommend the Aritsugu Takobiki knife.

It’s a perfect size and weight for slicing fish fillets, and its blunt tip is ideal for cleaning octopus.

But don’t be surprised to see a hefty price tag on these slicing knives. They’re definitely an investment piece, but one that will last you a lifetime with proper care.

Read next: How to store Japanese knives | Top 7 knife stands & storage solutions

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

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.