Sushi is a very complicated dish. It may look very simple when you are eating it, but it is totally different when you are the one making it. For this reason, there are many tools needed to create the best sushi, including a rice cooker, a rice paddle, a bamboo mat, and of course, the best sushi knife.
Among these kitchen tools, the sushi knife is among the most important because, when making sushi, you’d need to cut through the rolled ingredients without damaging it. This means that the knife should be made precisely for that purpose.
Best Sushi Knife Reviews
1. Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba Knife
The Wasabi Black Yanagiba Knife from Kai is a traditional Japanese-style Yanagiba knife that is specially designed to be used when making dishes like sushi and sashimi, which require ultra-thin raw fish slices.
Kai is a highly regarded Japanese brand in the culinary utensil industry, and it is especially known for its range of kitchen knives.
The Yanagiba knife is made using Daido 16K high-carbon stainless steel and is a standard product in their line of traditional Japanese knives. The steel is manufactured to provide extreme edge retention even when the knife is used regularly and for long periods.
The design of the blade is single-sided, allowing you to cut food effortlessly. In addition, when you are cutting with it, you can expect that food would not stick to it at all. This, in turn, makes slicing and cutting far easier.
The blade of the Yanagiba knife is engraved with the Japanese character for wasabi, which invokes a traditional and authentic feel. It also distinguishes this knife from regular kitchen knives. Bead-blasting is also used to obtain an attractive finish for the blade.
The handle is crafted using polypropylene combined with bamboo, along with an antibacterial agent for maintaining hygiene. This is a blended material that is not commonly found in other knives.
Another valuable feature that sets this knife apart is that it is completely safe for use in dishwashers. Most general-purpose knives lack this capability. However, Kai suggests that washing this knife by hand is still the best option.
What's to like about the Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba Knife
The fact that this knife is dishwasher safe is one that is not normally an option for this kind of knife, making it very convenient to clean compared to its counterparts.
What's not to like about the Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba Knife
The handle of this knife is heavier than the blade, which is why using it requires some getting used to. Most knives over this length are normally heavier on the blade side.
2. Lucky Cook Sushi Knife
Lucky Cook is still new in the kitchenware market, but it has already proven itself as one of the best because of the high-quality products that it produces. The new Lucky Cook Sushi Knife is one of the brand’s masterpieces, and it is also one of the most sought-after options in the market.
The Lucky Cook 10-Inch Sushi Knife was made precisely for slicing, cutting, and filleting delicate foods like sushi rolls, raw fish, and more. It is a very sharp knife that would allow you to cut these delicate ingredients without tearing or damaging its actual structure.
This sushi knife has a long asymmetric blade that would allow you to fillet a fish in just a few movements. It has the right shape, and it is narrow enough to prevent any damage to the fish when you are cutting it.
The same goes when cutting sushi. There are so many ingredients packed inside the rice, so you need a really sharp knife to make sure that the ingredients will be cut properly.
The Lucky Cook Sushi Knife is also made from the best quality stainless steel blade, and it features a non-slip wood handle. This knife is also a good gift for people who love to make sushi or sashimi. It comes with a stylish box, so it can serve as a great gift.
What's to like about the Lucky Cook Sushi Knife
The best thing about the Lucky Cook Sushi Knife is its actual design. It is made from high-quality stainless steel and a light brown wooden handle, so it looks sophisticated and modern. The box is also eye-catching, and it is perfect if you want to give gifts to chefs or people who love to cook.
This knife is known for its durability as well. Sushi knives are very delicate because they are not as thick as regular knives. They are usually thin and narrow to allow you to cut fish and sushi perfectly. Regardless of its thin and narrow structure, it remains durable as long as you know how to take care of it.
What's not to like about the Lucky Cook Sushi Knife
Most people think that the blade is too thick for sushi or sashimi. Basically, when it comes to blade thickness, it is a matter of preference. Some might say that the blade is too thick, while some would say that it is just right.
3. Kyoku Samurai Series – Yanagiba Sushi Knife
The Kyoku Samurai Series is definitely one of the most popular sets of knives made for slicing sushi and sashimi. Let’s check out some of its amazing features.
The Kyoku Samurai Series – Yanagiba Sushi Knife is known for its ultra-sharp blade made from superior steel. The steel cutting core is actually cryogenically treated at HRC 56 - 58 hardness.
This knife has amazing edge retention, and it provides great performance when cutting sushi and sashimi. It also offers a balanced performance for the users. It is very comfortable to use, and it can literally slice through fish and meat easily. You won’t even hurt your fingers nor easily experience fatigue because of its unique design.
Sharpness is one of the main strengths of this sushi knife. The extremely sharp edge was made by the best and seasoned artisans. It is extremely hard, flexible, and it has corrosion resistance at the same time.
This knife has a Wenge wooden handle with an authentic style, and it is very easy to hold. Thanks to this, it won’t easily slip your hand. The knife also comes with a lifetime warranty, and you can exchange or return it if the item is defective after you receive it.
What's to like about the Kyoku Samurai Series – Yanagiba Sushi Knife
The best thing about the Kyoku Samurai Series – Yanagiba Sushi Knife is the blade itself. Most of you are always looking for a thin and narrow knife when cutting sushi or sashimi, but this knife has an extra-thick knife blade. As a result, it allows for a smoother slice on the ingredients that you are cutting.
The blade is also manually edged on one side, which makes it a great choice for cutting delicate ingredients. It comes with sheath and case if you want to send it as a gift to your friends or family members. The knife also has a sophisticated look, and you will surely love it.
What's not to like about the Kyoku Samurai Series – Yanagiba Sushi Knife
The only issue about this knife is the gap between the handle and the blade, which may actually cause rust or even contamination. Then again, if used properly and maintained correctly, this can be prevented.
4. Dalstrong Shogun Series Sujihiki
Dalstrong made a strong statement with its 10.5-inch Shogun Series Sujihiki – Damascus, which is presently known as the ultimate slicer because it can be used for almost any type of meat. Let’s have a look at its amazing features.
Dalstrong Shogun Series Sujihiki is known as a multi-purpose slicer. It is not only made for cutting sushi and sashimi because you can also use it for slicing different kinds of meat. It is durable enough to cut other types of meat, and it has the right thickness for sushi and sashimi. It has a scalpel-like edge with a mirror polish.
The blade is also nitrogen-cooled, which can enhance its flexibility, hardness, and also its resistance to corrosion. It contains double-patterned rock hollow divots that would boost its non-stick properties. Yes, this is a non-stick knife, making it easier to use compared to others.
This is a full-tang knife, a design choice that helps to improve its robustness. In addition to that, it is also triple-riveted for improved resilience. This knife has 67 layers of high-carbon stainless steel, which will make sure that it is durable, providing you with the strength that you need to cut through any ingredient.
What’s more, this knife is equipped with a G-10 premium handle that is military-grade. This ergonomic handle provides life-long durability to the knife, as well as the best hand control, comfort, and agility when slicing.
What's to like about the Dalstrong Shogun Series Sujihiki
The best thing about this knife is the fact that it is multi-purpose. Most of the sushi knives that you can find right now are only made for sushi and sashimi as they are too thin to cut through other types of meat. The Dalstrong Shogun Series Sujihiki, on the other hand, is a multi-purpose knife and it can be used for almost anything because it is durable and robust enough to slice any type of ingredient.
This knife also offers 100% satisfaction and a money-back guarantee. Therefore, there really is no risk in trying it. The knife also comes with a lifetime warranty against defects, especially if you bought and received a defective product.
What's not to like about the Dalstrong Shogun Series Sujihiki
The problem we had with this knife is that the weight seems to be lacking even with its size. We also noticed that the handle is a bit thin. If you are not comfortable using a thin handle, then this is not a good choice for you.
5. Yoshihiro Hongasumi White Steel Yanagi – Kiritsuke
The last entry comes from Yoshihiro, and this knife is one of the simplest and the most elegant on the list. If there is something worth mentioning about the Yoshihiro Hongasumi White Steel Yanagi – Kiritsuke, it would be its elegant and simple design. Let’s have a look at its features.
This Yoshihiro Hongasumi White Steel Yanagi – Kiritsuke is crafted by the best master artisans that they have. It is forged with iron to actually create mist patterns and make the knife look more elegant. This is a long knife that is designed to create thin slices of fish for your sushi and sashimi.
The Yoshihiro Hongasumi White Steel Yanagi – Kiritsuke is a bit heavy compared with the Yanagi, and the blade is also wider. The tip of the knife can help balance the actual weight of the whole knife, and it is the perfect choice for the people who prefer to use a Yanagi but wanted a knife that is a bit heavier.
This knife comes with a wooden sheath known as Saya, and it will protect your knife and improve its appearance at the same time. It also has a traditional Japanese handcrafted Octagonal handle, which is very lightweight and is made to provide comfort while you are using it.
What's to like about the Yoshihiro Hongasumi White Steel Yanagi – Kiritsuke
The design and the length of the blade are probably some of the most important features that the Yoshihiro Hongasumi White Steel Yanagi – Kiritsuke has to offer. The blade is very long, so it will allow you to slice fish as thinly as possible. This is perfect for chefs who want to create the best sushi and sashimi.
The design is also something that you should take note of because it is very unique and elegant. It is not too eye-catching like the other knife designs we’ve seen, but its simplicity is the reason why this knife is a good choice.
What's not to like about the Yoshihiro Hongasumi White Steel Yanagi – Kiritsuke
The only downside of this knife is probably the texture of the blade. It doesn’t have a smooth texture like other sushi knives, so it usually creates friction after cutting something.
6. Kai 6715D Wasabi Black Deba Knife
Our second review is of another knife from the collection of Kai. This is the Wasabi Black Deba Knife which features a traditional Japanese Deba shape.
The Wasabi Deba Knife from Kai is another masterpiece from this Japanese company. This knife can cut very thin slices, which helps ensure that delicate membranes in ingredients like herbs remain intact. The blade is constructed using Daido 1K6 high-carbon stainless steel and bead-blasted to achieve the ultimate finish.
One significant aspect of this knife is that it features a traditional Japanese single-bevel blade design but also double-bevel European shapes at the same time.
Unlike the Wasabi Yanagiba Knife, this knife has a larger radius on the cutting edge, which makes it less suitable for dishwashers. The company recommends washing this knife by hand at all times. As this is also a Wasabi knife, it is embellished with Japanese characters on the near-end of the blade.
This knife is a part of the Wasabi Black series which has additional features like smooth black handles and brushed blades, which makes the knife an excellent blend of modern and traditional designs.
7. Tatara Santoku 7 Inch Japanese Sushi Knife
Our next candidate is the 7-Inch Santoku Knife from Tatara, which is yet another vintage Japanese culinary brand. This is a premium knife with an ultra-sharp blade and a very distinctive design.
The Tatara Santoku knife features a 7-inch blade that is perfect for slicing raw fish for sushi. Its blade is extremely sharp and made up of 67 Damascus steel layers with a 62+ score on the Rockwell Hardness test. This hardness test is highly reliable and promises a premium performance from the blade.
The 8-12 degree cutting edge of this knife lets you cut delicate slices with precision. The 3 rivets on the handle in combination with a full tang are cooled using nitrogen to enhance hardness and flexibility.
This knife is easy to maintain as it does not require regular sharpening due to its tough materials. The handle is made of military-grade G-10 Garolite and lets you grip it effortlessly thanks to its ergonomic shaping.
All materials, including the steel blade, are sourced in Japan, and the final assembly takes place in China for more economical production; however, traditional Japanese methods are still used during this process in keeping with Kai’s heritage.
The sushi knife comes inside a wooden gift case with a distinctive red inset. The box also contains a free polishing cloth which can be used to help maintain the shine on the knife.
8. Dalstrong Shogun Series S Single Bevel Yanagiba Knife
If you want the ultimate Yanagiba knife with a premium, yet traditional feel, the Dalstrong Shogun Series S Single Bevel Knife is worth checking out, not least for its award-winning craftsmanship.
One of the foremost in its category, the Dalstrong Shogun Series S Single Bevel Yanagiba Knife has made a huge impression among sushi chefs. Dalstrong has created something akin to a culinary revolution with the exceptional quality of their products and awe-inspiring aesthetics. They use the absolute best materials available in Japan to make the Dalstrong Shogun series of knives.
The extremely sharp single-bevel edge with a hand finish and mirror polish has a 15-degree angle created using the 3-step Japanese Honbazuke method. It is further cooled using nitrogen to reinforce hardness, corrosion resistance, and flexibility.
Hot forging is used to prevent the blade from bending while cutting hard ingredients. The blade also features a ‘metal-storm’ pattern to minimize drag and to prevent food from sticking to the edges. This will allow you to glide through thick portions of food very quickly.
The Rockwell Hardness test of this blade produced a score higher than 62, which clearly proves its robustness and durability. Another unique feature of this knife is its traditional octagonal handle which is made using G-10 Garolite, a military-grade, and non-porous material, that further enhances the strength of this knife.
9. Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Kyotop Sashimi Knife
Our final sushi knife is a Damascus 8.25 Inch Sashimi knife from Kyocera which is known for its proprietary zirconia material produced specially in Japan that creates outstanding beauty and durable quality.
The Kyocera Sashimi Knife is one that is bound to stand out from other knives because of its distinctive and somewhat unique dark blade. The blade’s black color comes from the special material it is made from called zirconia. This material is produced in Japan for traditional sushi knives, and uses a hot-isostatic pressing process to attain the shape. It is highly regarded for its superior quality as well as aesthetically pleasing look.
The blade is distinctively etched with a wave-like water pattern to signify the fish that goes into the making of Japanese dishes. This knife is light in weight and very easy to clean. Though it cannot be washed in a dishwasher, washing it with running water should be easy due to the smooth sides of the blade.
The edge of the blade is very sharp and is attached to the handle using 3 collinear stainless steel rivets. The advanced ceramic blades can last up to 15 times longer than steel blades, and that sets this knife apart from any other. The Kyocera series knives are ideal for slicing fruits, vegetables, and boneless meats effortlessly.
Sushi Knife Buyer's Guide
Although we provided a list of the best sushi knives that you can buy on the market, it doesn’t mean that you can just rely on the list. You need to understand how to find the best sushi knife on your own based on your needs and preferences. We will provide a few simple tips on how you can find the best one.
1. Blade Quality
The most important thing to do when you are buying a sushi knife is to check the qualities of the blade. Sushi and sashimi are both delicate dishes, and you cannot use a regular knife to cut it.
Here are some of the things that you have to consider when checking the blade:
- Extremely sharp – The blade should be very sharp because a dull blade might damage the fish or the sushi when you are slicing them. A normal sharpness is not a good thing as well. It should easily slice through the meat of the fish like cutting butter.
- Extra thin blade – The blade must be very thin because it would allow you to have thin slices of fish meat, which is a very important thing for sushi and sashimi. If the blade is too thick, the slice will also be very thick.
- Long blade – The blade should be long enough to allow you to easily make a single pass while you are cutting the fish.
- Non-stick blade – You need to look for a non-stick blade to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the blade while you are slicing them.
2. Stain and Rust Resistance
Most sushi knives are made from stainless steel, and this material has a high resistance to stain and rust. However, not all knives are safe from rust. The blade might be stainless steel, but the other parts of the knife might develop rust over time.
You need to look for a knife with high resistance to rust and stain to prevent contamination. After all, you are going to be slicing meat and other ingredients meant for consumption. If your knife is already rusty, the dirt and germs will transfer to the food as well. This is something that we are trying to prevent.
The blade is the one that slices through the ingredients, but the handle will determine the level of control you will have on the blade. If the handle of the sushi knife is not comfortable to use, or if it is not a non-slip handle, there is a chance that the precision and control when cutting fish will be affected.
You have to remember that you are holding a very sharp knife. A simple mistake might damage the ingredient that you are trying to slice, or it might even get you injured. Before you buy a specific knife, try to hold the handle for a few minutes. If holding the knife is straining your hand, this means that the handle is not very comfortable to use.
4. Knife Weight
The right weight of the knife will depend solely on the user. Usually, sushi knives are very light in weight as it allows the chef or the user to slice through the fish and sushi faster. If the knife is lightweight, it will be easier to cut the meat of the fish continuously without straining your hand too much.
However, there are also chefs who prefer a heavier knife as it gives them better control when slicing sushi and sashimi. The weight of the knife will always depend on your preference.
The price is not really a big issue, but you need to be very smart when buying a sushi knife. An expensive sushi knife doesn’t mean that it is the best. In fact, it may actually have some features that you won’t really need.
The best thing to do is to look at the price of the sushi knife and then check its features. If you think that the features of the knife are similar to a knife with a lower price, then go for the more affordable choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most of you probably have a lot of questions when it comes to sushi knives. To help you out, we have decided to list down some of the most common ones, and answer them.
1. Do you really need a sushi knife when making sushi?
Yes, definitely! When you are making sushi or sashimi, you need to cut the fish as thinly as possible, but this is impossible with a regular knife. To do that, you would need an extra-thin knife, like a sushi knife, to get the thinness that you need on the fish.
2. Which is better for the blade of the sushi knife: stainless steel or carbon steel?
Traditional sushi knives are made from high-carbon steel because it can maintain a sharper edge. However, high-carbon steel sushi knives do not have a high resistance to rust.
Stainless steel knives, on the other hand, are focused on durability and rust resistance. If you want a sharper edge, go for a carbon steel sushi knife, but if you prefer better rust resistance and durability, stainless steel is the better choice.
3. What is the best length for a sushi knife?
The best length for a sushi knife should be around seven to 12 inches. Knives with a length that is shorter seven inches are not a good choice as they won’t allow you to cut through a fish in an uninterrupted stroke.
Searching for a sushi knife can be a bit daunting at first, but if you know what to look for and what to avoid, finding the best one won’t be too difficult. There are so many factors that you need to consider when buying, so you need to be very meticulous. In the end, all that matters is that you are comfortable with your choice.