Best Japanese Knife Makers: Top Rated Japanese Knife Brands

best japanese knife makers

Using a good knife while preparing meals can take your cooking experience to a whole new level. Therefore, it is important to know which knife brand and type you like. If you like Japanese knives and are still testing the different brands before choosing a favorite one, we have reviewed some options that you may like to try. So, what makes one knife brand better than the other? Tough question, huh? On brand may be good, but you may not like their knives for one reason or another. Therefore, from our review of the best Japanese knife makers, select from different choices. So, enjoy reading, and we hope you get what you are looking for.

Which Japanese knifes are the best?

Best Japanese Knife Brands

1. Mercer Knives

Mercer is a well-known Japanese chef knife manufacturer that produces low-cost knives. When you have a Mercer knife in your hand, food preparation becomes a thrilling experience. This Japanese company has been producing excellent kitchen knives and cutlery for quite a long time.

Mercer's promise of quality isn't just a catchphrase, making it the best Japanese knife brand among others. While embracing innovation, this knife maker also looks into science when creating its knives. As a result, the blades have unrivaled durability and performance.

Get yourself a Mercer knife if you want a sleek and modern knife. The brand features a sophisticated style that appeals to various tastes.

a). Mercer Culinary Millenia 10" Bread Knife

Sale
Mercer Culinary M23210 Millennia 10-Inch Wide Wavy Edge Bread Knife, Black
  • Ergonomic Handle – a combination of Santoprene for Comfort and polypropylene for durability
  • Textured finger points provide slip resistance, grip, and safety. Protective finger guard.
  • Hand wash knives for blade edge and surface care. Note: It is not recommended to wash your knife in...

Like many people out there, I'm sure you like high-quality products. For that reason, this knife is a great addition to any home, as it is made with high-quality Japanese steel, which makes it highly durable. In addition, the high carbon stainless steel is also stain-resistant, which ensures that your knife remains easy to clean.

For ease of use, this Mercer bread knife features an ergonomic handle. The handle is made from polypropylene, enhancing durability, and Santoprene, which ensures you feel comfortable while holding the knife.

It exemplifies an extraordinary blend of design, quality, materials, and superb craftsmanship. The rough fingertips and protective guard help to improve grip and safety. It's great for expert hands because of the richness and warmth of premium quality rosewood combined with the precision of a razor-sharp steel blade.

Pros

  • Sharp blade
  • Pocket-friendly and great value for money
  • Efficient
  • Retains sharpness
  • Great and attractive design

Cons

  • Does not come with a blade cover

2. Global Knives

With its headquarters in Tsubame, Japan, GLOBAL is a well-known Japanese kitchen knife company. The company, founded in 1985, has continued to be the market leader in kitchenware and supplementary items. GLOBAL has evolved into a successful brand of professional kitchen knives since its humble beginnings.

GLOBAL knives are still made in Yoshikin's factory to the same exacting standards. Over the last three decades, GLOBAL has gained widespread appreciation for its superior quality and has won countless accolades.

A GLOBAL knife achieves the ideal blend of revolutionary design and balance. For unparalleled durability, the blades are composed of high-quality Canon stainless steel. In addition, Cromova 18 stainless steel is used to maintain a razor-sharp edge on these knives.

Knives that are stain, rust, and corrosion resistant are considerably sharper, making it easier to cut foods.

b). Global 8" Chef's Knife

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Global 8" Chef's Knife
  • Lightweight, precisely balanced 8-inch or 20cm chef's knife
  • Blade made of high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel
  • Edge retains razor sharpness exceptionally well

Global makes some of the best Japanese knives, and this 8" chef's knife is among them. It is a great professional kitchen knife. The edge of any knife is its most vital attribute, and the GLOBAL edge is truly its signature. The majority of GLOBAL knives, like Western-style knives, are honed or ground on both sides of the blade. But, on the other hand, their edges are sharply ground to a point.

The blade is made with Cromova 18 stainless steel, making it hard enough for a sharp blade. However, this steel is also soft such that it can be sharpened with a whetstone. In addition, the high chromium component of the knives provides great rust and stain resistance.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Comfortable and safe grip handle
  • Lifetime warranty against defects
  • Retains a very sharp edge over time
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • The handle is too light

3. Miyabi Knives

Another well-known Japanese knife brand features a work of expert craftsmanship. Miyabi is a young but successful subsidiary of the venerable Zwilling, which has a more than two-and-a-half-century history.

They used to build their knives in Europe, but later in the twenty-first century, they found a well-known Japanese manufacturer in Seki City, Japan. Since then, they've been producing all of these knives at their factory in Japan.

Some may claim Miyabi is a European company as it has a German parent; however, that's not the case as the company is based in Japan and distributes Japanese-style knives worldwide.

c). Miyabi Chef's Knife

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Miyabi Chef's Knife
  • Sg2 micro-carbide powder steel
  • Authentic thin Japanese blade profile
  • Hand-honed using the three-step Honbazuke process for a 9.5 to 12 degree edge

Miyabi is among the best Japanese knife brands that offer what they promise to the customers. This Miyabi knife is a great addition to any chef who likes Japanese knives.

This Japanese-designed, German-engineered knife is beautiful to hold and puts perfection and precision in your hands. It provides the highest sharpness, durability, attractiveness, and comfort.

The Miyabi Chef's knife mixes the past and present to deliver an unparalleled knife experience, using contemporary techniques and ancient approaches. The blade of this Miyabi knife has been hand-honed. The tool has a one-of-a-kind cocobolo rosewood Pakkawood handle that complements the blade's elegance.

Pros

  • Great for larger hands
  • Excellent edge retention
  • Sharp
  • Comfortable
  • Nice looking

Cons

  • Slightly heavy

4. SHUN Knives

Even if you don't know much about knife manufacturers, you've probably heard of SHUN. The company strives to make the best knives for everyday use. However, people used heavy kitchen knives before Shun cutlery was introduced.

However, Shun introduced professional chefs and home cooks to lightweight precision cutlery. In addition, shun had a competitive advantage that heavier blades couldn't match thanks to lighter, thinner blades with sharper edges.

Shun is proud of its 100-year history in the industry. It's now one of the most well-known Japanese chef knife brands available. It has been imitated, admired, and recognized for its quality and originality with numerous prizes.

Shun has offered high-performance Japanese kitchen cutlery with great beauty and exquisite precision using innovative materials, devotion, and style.

d). Shun Classic 8" Chef's knife

Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and Ebony PakkaWood Handle; All-Purpose...
  • VG-MAX steel is a formula exclusive to Shun with extra tungsten for a sharper edge, more chromium...
  • Handle is ebony PakkaWood; PakkaWood is a hardwood infused with resin for a durable, water resistant...
  • For proper slicing, push the knife forward and down while cutting through food and then pull it up...

Shun Classic Chef's Knife has a design that is a cross between German and Japanese knives. The blade has a more curved profile than a conventional Japanese gyuto knife. It has a blade that is much thinner and sharper than a conventional Western chef's knife. It's better for rock chopping because of the curved blade.

It features a D-shaped wooden handle, common in traditional Japanese-style knives. It is only for righthand users due to the handle. On the other hand, the blade is constructed of 32 layers of softer Damascus steel, with a firm VG-10 stainless steel core. The knife's hard and soft steel combination helps it keep its sharpness while making it easy to maintain and use.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Stays sharp for longer
  • Durable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Logo wears off

5. Dalstrong Knives

Dalstrong is another Japanese brand that manufactures knives are some of the most attractive ones on our list. Dalstrong offers high-quality knives with a beautiful appearance at an affordable price. Knives are made using cutting-edge technology. They provide a variety of knives in response to chef requests, leaving everyone happy in the kitchen.

Dalstrong uses VG-10 steel, which is hard and keeps an incredibly sharp edge. Unfortunately, this brand does not manufacture knives using hands; instead, they use machines. This, however, does not make their knives any lower in terms of quality.

Although it is a Japanese knife brand, Dalstrong manufactures its knives in China. The four different series of knives that this knife brand manufactures include;

  • Shogun series
  • Infinity series
  • Phantom series
  • Gladiator series

e). Dalstrong Chef Knife 9.5" Phantom Series

DALSTRONG Chef Knife - 9.5 inch - Phantom Series - Japanese High-Carbon AUS8 Steel Kitchen Knife -...
  • Powerhouse Knife. Masterfully elegant, perfectly balanced, razor sharp and with exceptional...
  • Peak Performance: Mercilessly sharp, the Phantom Series edge is painstakingly honed by experts...
  • The Dalstrong Touch: Full tang and precision forged from a single piece of ice tempered,...

If you need a good knife from the best Japanese knife brands like Dalstrong, this 9.5" Phantom series will work perfectly for you. It offers excellent performance for all your needs. The sharpness is on another level, and it is also honed to about 14 degrees and nitrogen cooled. This makes the knife edge harder, corrosion-resistant and more flexible.

The blade of this Japanese chef's knife is made with precision-forged imported Japanese AUS-8 steel. It is a single piece and wear-resistant with excellent hardness for durability and edge retention. In addition, the high levels of chromium added to the blade of this knife gives it more stain resistance capabilities, making it stay cleaner and more long-lasting.

The handle is a premium quality laminated Pakkawood with a traditional Japanese D-shape that makes it easy to tack in your palm for superior control and comfort.

Pros

  • Comes with a blade guard for safety
  • Pocket friendly
  • Comfortable to handle
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Non-slip grip
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • None

Factors to Consider When Selecting Japanese Knives

Before you buy the best knife for your needs, you may need to consider a few factors. Regardless of the brand you decide to buy from, and it is important to ensure that the features you need are all present. It will make your kitchen work easier as you will have selected what works best for you. So, we would like to take you through these factors.

a). Handle Type

Another feature to consider is the handle style. Japanese knives feature traditional or Western-style handles. The Western handle is thicker, has a grip shape, and is riveted to the blade's tang.

They have a more solid feel and are better suited to cutting chores that need raw effort. Japanese handles are cylindrical, lightweight, and always made of wood in the traditional sense.

Traditional Japanese style handles may feel weird to individuals who have never used them before, but once used to the sensation, they can provide a more delicate touch and control.

However, in the end, the handle type you choose is a personal preference and what feels most comfortable to you.

b). Type of Knife

There are several knife varieties for each blade style (e.g., Western or Traditional). Although these knife varieties have specific uses, two Japanese knives can be used in every situation-Gyuto and Santoku knives. They both use the double bevel style and are commonly known as all-purpose knives.

c). Blade Style

Japanese knives can be in single bevel (Western-style) blades or double ones (traditional Japanese style). Experienced chefs typically use single bevel knives to make extremely precise cuts or specific applications.

Using a single-bevel knife has a very distinct feel, and it takes a lot of work to become used to. I'd recommend starting with a Western-style blade if you're not a pro because it's easier to operate.

d). Steel Type

Knives produced with ultra-high carbon steel (blue or white) and potentially honyaki forged are often more expensive. These knives are harder and last longer, but they are prone to chipping if used incorrectly or not properly maintained. For higher-end blades, proper maintenance and regular sharpening are essential. As a result, these high-carbon steel knives are exclusively advised for specialists.

Entry-level Japanese knives will almost certainly be made of a stainless steel alloy, which is more robust, easy to maintain, and rust-resistant. On the downside, cheaper blades will lose their sharpness faster than higher-end knives if used at the same frequency. However, this shouldn't worry you if you are a home chef, as you won't be using your knife as much as a professional chef.

Frequently Asked Questions About Best Japanese Knife Makers

1. Are knives made in Japan good?

Japanese kitchen knives are prized for their elegant designs and precise cuts. But, unfortunately, their blades are often tiny and delicate, and they are prone to shattering if not properly cared for, making them unsuitable for the clumsy chef.

2. Do professional chefs use Japanese knives?

Professional chefs and household cooks have quite different requirements: Professional chefs use their knives for up to 40 hours a week, whereas home cooks only use them for roughly 20 minutes per day to prepare meals.

The knife's heft and handle shape are important considerations. Professionals use Japanese knife brands as they are made of stainless steel, which makes them. These knives are also lightweight and easy to hold and use. You will also find a good one with a thin blade that makes cutting easier. These brands also make the sharpest knives that professionals enjoy using.

                                                                                                                       Image: Men's Journal

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