Best Sushi Knife: 5 Best Sushi Knives in 2020

Even though a sushi roll or a knife can be cut using any knife, it is best done when it is cut with a sushi knife. Gone are the days when the Japanese were the only ones very particular about sushi. Currently, the trends have changed, and the whole world has followed suit. Sakai in Japan is well known for having the best sushi knives, but that does not mean that you cannot find a good sushi knife anywhere else. When it comes to Sushi, it is all about precision and presentation, or else your Sushi may taste like raw food. That makes finding the right knife very essential.

If you are a sushi fan, it is better to invest in getting yourself the best sushi knife. Even though good sushi knives are not necessarily cheap, they are a worthwhile investment.

Best Sushi Knives

In this buying guide, we are planning to explore the 5 best sushi knives that you will find on the market right now. They have been made with the right material and with the right detail to make it the best for the job. Below are the top sushi knives.

Global G Series Sushi Knife

This is an excellent long-bladed knife that works well for sushi. 

It is made with a hollow handle, which leaves it lightweight and gives you easy control for a sushi cut. 

The knife has been made of a high-quality cromova 18 stainless steel material to maximize its edge retention. The material is stain-resistant and rust-resistant.

The knife is characterized by a sharp edge, which makes it a favorite in many households.

Upon purchasing it, Global gives you a lifetime guarantee.

Remember that for the knife to last long, hand washing with mild soap and warm water is recommended.

Product Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 16.4 x 1.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Product weight: 0.8 ounces

Pros

  • It has been made from a stain-resistant stainless-steel material and rust-resistant
  • It has a hollow handle to make it lightweight
  • It has a sharp edge
  • It comes with a lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Some users complained of the knife being heavy
  • Some users complained of the knife arriving dull.

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Miyabi 34373-243 Chef’s Knife

This is a great knife that is characterized by a thin Japanese blade. The blade is made of G2 micro carbide powder steel, which means that it has up to 100 layers of steel that protect it. The hardening process that the knife undergoes while it is being made imbues it with long-lasting sharpness.

The knife is well known for its edge, which has been specially made using a three-step Honbazuke process.

The knife is detail-oriented. The flower on the blade is not only a sign of beauty but is also a sign of durability.

The knife also has a scalpel-like blade and a handle made of birchwood to make it ergonomic and strong.

This particular knife is made in Seki, Japan, where sushi knives actually come from.

Product Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 1.4 x 17.2 x 3.2 inches
  • Product weight: 1.35 pounds

Pros

  • It is beautifully designed with great aesthetics and details
  • It has a great balance 
  • It is strong and ergonomic
  • It is made with a high-quality steel material
  • It has a scalpel-like blade that is sharp

Cons

  • Some users found a hump on the spine
  • Some users complained of lousy customer care from Miyabi.

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Mac Knife Japanese Nonstick Sushi knife

This is a great Japanese nonstick knife that has been made with a high carbon steel material, which is known for making a great knife. The material ensures the knife is stain resistant and rust-resistant.

The knife has been made as lightweight as possible. It does not have a bolster and also has a thin blade that makes it easy to operate.

It is excellent for making cuts with precision, as it has been tapered from the spine to edge, giving it a V-shape blade that will glide well in meats. The nonstick coat makes slicing easy and fun.

The weight has been distributed well to give you ease and comfort while using the knife.

The handle has Pakkawood material, a natural wood that is sophisticated and durable.

Product Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 12.75 x 8.25 x 1.75 inches
  • Product weight: 5.1 ounces

Pros

  • It has a great balance that makes it comfortable to use
  • It is lightweight
  • It is easy to slice meats due to its design
  • It has a comfortable pakkawood handle
  • The blade has been made with high carbon steel material that is durable

Cons

  • It may be too sharp for some people.

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YoshihiroInox Sujihiki Chef Knife

This is a Japanese-made chef knife that will give you double edge slicing, even through the toughest meats. It features a long narrow blade that is perfect for sushi. The slicer can be used for both thick slicing and thin slicing.

The blade has been made from the INOX Aus-8 stainless steel material, which is well known for producing high-end knives. The blade has been made with impeccable detail to give you the best experience.

The quality of steel used and the craftsmanship used in making the blade ensures that it is very sharp, durable, and comfortable.

When you buy it, you will get a sharp knife, but the sharpness doesn’t last forever. Any re-sharpening should be done on a high-quality Japanese water stone. That will help to maintain it so that it does not lose quality.

The knife is not dishwasher friendly. You need to use warm water and mild soap. The knife is also not the best for cutting through hard foods like frozen meat and bones.

Product Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 17 x 3.5 x 1 inches
  • Product weight: 15.7 ounces

Pros

  • The blade is made of high-quality INOX Aus-8 stainless steel material
  • It is lightweight
  • It has a short blade to make cutting easy
  • The material used is stain proof and rustproof

Cons

  • It is expensive

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Sheikt Cutlery Yanagiba Yanagi Sashimi Sushi Knife

This is a well-articulated sushi knife that has been made explicitly for sushi chefs. It has a resilient edge to help it stay sharp for a long time.

It features German steel, which has added cobalt to make it ultra-sharp. As a result, it features a hardness of 56-58, which can cut even the hardest objects.

The handle has been made from wenge wood, which gives it an authentic look. It is also comfortable to handle.

The sharp edge makes it easy for the knife to slide through meats, and the material used makes the blade resistant to corrosion and stains.

Purchasing the knife comes with a lifetime warranty.

Product Specifications

  • Product dimensions: 1.8 x 18.1 x 3.4 inches
  • Product weight: 1.19 pounds

Pros

  • It has been made with high-quality German steel making it ultra-sharp
  • The material used on the blades is stain resistant and corrosion resistant
  • It has a comfortable handle made from wenge wood
  • The product comes with a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • It is not dishwasher friendly

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Buyer’s Guide

All of the above sushi knives are great picks and will give you a great experience. It may still be confusing on which knife to settle on, though. In this section of the guide, we hope to make it easier for you by focusing on some specific recommendations by category.

Double-edged knife

Most sushi knives have a single edge, but luckily among our top picks, we see a double-edged knife. Double-edged knives are great, as they can cut from either side and are comfortable to control and use. They are great for newbies. Anyone can use them, as they don’t require much practice and precision. In this case, the YoshihiroInox Sujihiki Chef Knife would make an excellent choice.

Best for Left-handed use

From what we have reviewed, the YoshihiroInox Sujihiki Chef Knife is the best choice for left-handed use, since it is a double bevel and can be used on either side. That does not mean that you cannot find a left-handed single bevel knife from the other brands that we have reviewed.

Best in Slicing

Even though all of the knives we looked at are great for slicing, the best in the batch is the Mac Knife Japanese Nonstick Sushi knife, as it has a nonstick surface that makes slicing much easier.

Most Lightweight

Even though most of those knives are made in such a way that they are lightweight, making cutting more relaxed, the Global G Series sushi knife is the most lightweight. It only weighs 0.8 ounces, which is way lighter in comparison to other options on the market.

Most Budget-friendly

When we compare the price, the most budget-friendly is the Sheikt Cutlery Yanagiba Yanagi Sashimi Sushi Knife that retails at only $33.99.

Our Recommendation

Our overall recommendation is the Sheikt Cutlery Yanagiba Yanagi Sashimi Sushi Knife. It has many excellent features, such as a high-quality blade, an ergonomic handle, and a great balance, at a fraction of the cost.

As much as we may have our recommendations, it is also good to know what to look at so that you get the best sushi knife for your needs. Some of the factors to consider when you are looking for a sushi knife include:

Blade

When you are looking at a sushi knife, the sharpness of the blade is critical. Sharpness will be influenced by the type of material used on the blade, so the material used should be customized such that it can give you a razor-sharp edge and still maintain its sharpness for a long time. Different types of steel are used for sushi knives such as stainless steel, high carbon, and Damascus. The best knives are made from high carbon steel material. These are easy to sharpen and can stay sharp for a long time. High carbon steel is also favored since it is stain-resistant and rust-resistant.

Although blades are essential, you should also look at the bevel. Most sushi knives will have a single bevel to give you a sharp angle.

Handle

The handle of a sushi knife can be made of different materials. It can either be steel, wood, or plastic. Regardless of the material, it should offer ergonomics, easy handling, and a comfortable grip. If it can give you a good grip that does not slip, then it will provide you with effortless control. For a sushi knife, composites are commonly used compared to wood, since they will give you a good grip. Composites also aren’t affected by extreme temperatures or oil.

Length

When it comes to length, it is a matter of preference. Some prefer long blades, and others prefer short ones. The length of the knife will be influenced by the type of knife that you want. If you go for Yanagis, for example, you will get the longest blades. There are both pros and cons to long or short blades. Long blades are great for cutting thin fillets, while short blades are great if you are trying to avoid friction while making your cuts. Most newbie chefs or those who are just getting into Sushi prefer shorter blades as they are easier to control and convenient to use.

Cost

The price of a sushi knife is also an important consideration. It has a wide price range, depending on the material used and the features that come with the knife. Some materials, such as high carbon steel, are more expensive than stainless steel, and that will affect the price. Some renowned brands are relatively expensive. Most of the time, you will get what you pay for.

Warranty

A good company will give users some sort of warranty. When you get a warranty, especially a lifetime warranty, you can be confident of the quality of the product you are buying as it is an indicator of the durability of the product.

Maintenance

Even though the kind of maintenance you give your knife will determine how long it will last, it is also good to look at the recommended maintenance for your knife, since some knives are easier to maintain than others. As a rule of thumb, a dishwasher should never wash your sushi knife. A dishwasher will shorten its life and cause it to have stains or rust. The knife should be washed with mild soap and warm water, and put back in its case. Proper storage is critical.

Unlike other kinds of knives, you should never sharpen a Japanese sushi knife with a sharpening steel. A water stone is the best, and it will help prolong the longevity of the knife.

Similarly, acid wears out sushi knives. That means that if you use it to cut acidic foods such as lemons, you should wipe it immediately after use.

A sushi knife should never be used to cut frozen foods or hard surfaces such as granite, as that will make it dull.

Designs on the Blade

Even though the sturdiness and sharpness are what counts most of the time, Japanese sushi knives are considered fancy, and that is why you will notice that they have designs and patterns on them. These may include Herringbone or Damascus patterns. As much as the patterns and design are a sign of beauty, they are also an indicator of the number of layers the blade has.

Reviews

Once you have checked sushi knives and narrowed down several knives, it is time to select the best one for your needs. You can easily achieve this by checking out user reviews. You can see reviews from the company website, sites such as Amazon, or dedicated review sites. The higher the number of reviews, the better it will be for you to make a decision. If there are many happy customers, then you have a good chance of being a happy customer as well. There is also an FAQ session that you can go through just to be sure of what you’re getting.

Single Bevel vs. Dual-Bevel Knives

Although most sushi knives are single bevel, it does not mean that there are no double bevels. A single bevel knife means that only one side of the blade is sharpened, with the other side flat or concave. That makes it easy for it to have a perfectly straight cut. A single bevel knife is also able to maintain a sharper edge for a longer period. 

For a double bevel knife, both sides of the blade are sharpened, which gives you the flexibility of cutting from either side. That makes it suitable for even left-handed people as opposed to single bevels that are mostly meant for right-handed people. Double bevel knives are not able to maintain a sharp edge for a longer period comparatively.

Why a sushi knife and not any other kind of knife?

Maybe you are wondering if it is necessary to go for a sushi knife when any other knife can do the same job. After all, any knife could be used for sushi as long as it is razor-sharp, thin, and flexible. 

A sushi knife has to be specifically thin and sharp so that it can cut fillets with precision. The truth is that sushi knives have been specifically specialized to do their job, and that makes all the difference. When you compare blades, sushi knife blades are noticeably longer. In terms of sharpness, they are always extra sharp to slice a fish easily. 

Most traditional knives are double-edged, while sushi knives are single-edged. That makes them sharp and easy to sharpen. It also influences how they cut as they cut based on the angle of the blade. Since they are single-edged, they can either be right-handed or left-handed, though most tend to be right-handed.

When you use a sushi knife, it gives you a different slicing experience than your ordinary knife. When you slice, it pulls the motion of the knife towards you. That is because these knives are made with hardened steel that makes them ultra-sharp. They will give you an enjoyable experience and are versatile and can be used for other purposes in your kitchen.

Most of the time, sushi knives are of higher quality since they need to ensure efficiency.

Hunting for a Left-handed Sushi Knife

If your left-hand is your dominant hand, you will need to find a knife that is specifically made for left-handed people. As mentioned before, most single bevel knives are meant for right-handed people, and most sushi knives are single beveled. That means that you either have to opt for a double bevel, or a single bevel meant for left-hand use. 

Even though they are not common, this does not mean that they cannot be found. As mentioned earlier, going through the FAQs and reviews can help you know if a certain left-handed knife is the best one for you. If you are particular about a certain brand, you can also make a special order for a left-handed knife.

Traditional Style vs. Western Sushi Knives

There are both traditional and western variants specifically customized for sushi. Japanese knives are preferred since sushi originates from Japan. Japanese sushi knives are also made with harder steel, which is better in the case of sushi, as it stays sharper for longer. The kind of edge that it comes with can give you the flexibility of cutting from any angle. Even though the Japanese knife has harder steel, it is lighter comparatively. The downside of Japanese knives is that they have to be sharpened professionally since they are all about precision and exactness.

Most Western knives are made from softer steel, though there are still those made from hard steel, just not as many. Soft steel does not equate to inferiority. Since these blades are soft, they do not stay sharp for long, and they are easier to sharpen, as the sharpening does not have to be done professionally.

Most Japanese sushi knives are single-edged, while their Western counterparts are double-edged.

Do Sushi Knives Rust?

As much as sushi knives are originally meant not to rust, they still do. It all depends on the care that they are given. Most traditional sushi knives are made of carbon steel, which is susceptible to rust. These knives oxidize very fast, which leads to rust. That explains why they should be cleaned and dried after every use. 

When your sushi knife rusts, do not despair as it is not something that is necessarily permanent. To remove the rust, wet the knife then put on some powder cleanser where there is rust. After that, use a cork to scrub off the rust.

Sushi Knife vs. Sashimi Knife

Most people find it hard to differentiate between the two, and some of them take them to be the same. The truth is that a sushi knife is not the same as a sashimi knife. A sushi knife is multipurpose and can handle all of the processes in sushi preparation. That means that a sushi knife can cut the vegetables, cut fish, and also cut a sushi roll. On the other hand, a sashimi knife is only specifically meant for cutting fish that is used in sushi, which most of the time is salmon or tuna.

Types of Sushi Knives

There are many types of sushi knives in the market. The common ones include:

Yanagiba: This derives its name from its willow shape. The Yanagiba can both be used for sushi and sashimi. 

Deba: This kind of knife is great for cutting meat. In this case, it is great for slicing fish up to its cartilage and bones, but with precision.

Usuba: This one is popular for preparing vegetables used in sushi. It makes peeling and cutting of veggies seamless.

Santoku: Although this is a western knife, it is pretty common in Japanese homes to prepare sushi. It is not only good for fish, but also for meat and vegetables.

Groups of Sushi Knives

From the way sushi knives are crafted, it makes them fall into two main groups, which all have a name. They can either be:

Honyaki (true forged): These are made from a single piece of high-grade steel.

Kasumi (mist): These are made from two types of high-grade metals merged together. Most of the time, it consists of a hard metal such as iron and soft high carbon steel.

Yanagiba vs. Sujihiki knives

The Yanagiba and Sujihiki are pretty common in the world of sushi knives. They are both great sushi knives from Japan. The Yanagiba knife is a single bevel knife that is great for both sushi and sashimi, in that it can either be right-handed or left-handed. Most Yanagiba is made of high carbon steel that makes them thin and lightweight. They do require more practice and skill if you are a newbie. They oxidize easily and need proper care to prevent them from rusting.

On the other side, the Sujihiki knife is a double-edged knife that can be used by either hand. Since many people are used to this kind of knife, many find the Sujihiki comfortable to use. Most of the Sujihiki knives are thick, robust, and heavier. 

Dos and Don’ts of Sushi Knives

Is owning a sushi knife necessary?

Most people have the perception that you don’t need a sushi knife if you are not a professional sushi chef. The truth is, it takes many people a long time to invest in a sushi knife, but once they do, they notice how much they have been missing out. Even though investing in a sushi knife may not seem necessary, it comes with so much convenience that it makes all the difference.

Go for the best possible quality.

If you can afford it, then choose the best possible quality sushi knife. It will serve you well and give you value for your money. It will serve you perfectly for a long time before you may have to replace your knife. If possible, go for a knife made of a single piece of high carbon steel and made from the traditional process. It may cost you a good amount of money, but it is an investment that you may never have to make in another set for the rest of your life.

If possible, don’t buy stainless steel.

Although there are many great sushi knives made of stainless steel, they are not the best when it comes to sushi knives. For instance, they have not been made from the traditional Japanese process. They do not maintain their sharpness for a long time and are not as efficient as their high carbon steel counterparts.

Don’t leave your dirty sushi knives in the sink.

Even though you may be very tired from the cuts that you have done, don’t leave your knives lying dirty in the sink. That does not serve them well, as it can make the blade dull, cause scratches, or oxidize it. It can also expose your knife to harsh acids from other foods. If possible, the knife should be cleaned immediately after use.

Don’t air-dry your knives.

This may seem like the normal thing to do, just the same way you may leave the dishes to dry. There are some types of blades that may stain or oxidize. Stacking them up with other dishes on the rack is not a good idea as it may lead to nicks on the blade or a buildup of mold.

Don’t mix your sushi knives and store them in the cutlery drawer.

As much as it may seem like that is where it belongs, storing your sushi knife in a cutlery drawer exposes it to the risk of a nick, or causes the tips to get damaged. Since you already must have invested a good amount into the knife, you need to store it well so that it can serve you better for a long time. If you have to store it in a drawer, then use a sheath.

Be careful with knife blocks.

Many ordinary knives are stored in a knife block, soit may be tempting to store your sushi knife on the knife block as well. Unfortunately, the wrong block can make the knife dull, especially when the sharp edge rests on the block. You can still find a good knife block that can work, but you need ones that store the blade at a high angle and support the sides of the blade so that the sharp edge of the blade doesn’t have to support the whole weight of the knife. If you use the traditional block, just make sure that the weight of the knife does not center on the sharp edge of the knife. If you can, make sure that the sharp edge is not in contact with the block. There are some wooden blocks specially made for sushi knives.

Do master your cutting skills.

No matter what kind of quality you might have settled on, if you don’t use the knife well, it may damage your blades. If you are using a sushi knife, most of the time, you should be sliding it across the meat. The beauty of all this is that practice makes perfect, so you can always learn and polish up your skills.

Do use the right cutting surface.

The wrong chopping boards can make the knife become dull after a short time. For example, plastic can make the knife blunt after using it for short periods of time. On the other hand, glass, metal, or marble may be too hard and damage your knife blades. In that case, it is better to go for wooden chopping boards if you can, as it does not damage the knife.

What is the best type of Japanese sushi knife?

Many people prefer a Yanagiba knife. It will serve you perfectly well, as it has been made with the best sushi techniques in mind.

Sushi Knife Etiquette

The right etiquette needs to be observed when you are using a sushi knife. Naturally, sushi knives are made such that they are very sharp, so if you are not careful, you can easily cut your finger. Once you practice, are patient and consistent, you can cut sushi even with your eyes closed.

Holding the Knife

Etiquette begins with how you hold your knife. Most people do it in the wrong way. Unlike regular knives, you should not primarily hold a sushi knife with the handle. The index finger and thumb should simultaneously also be used for holding the blade. That means the other three fingers should be the one holding the handle. 

Although it may seem odd, this will make sure that you have more accuracy and consistency of the cuts. This is a technique used by professional sushi chefs to achieve precision. The index finger and thumb give you better control of the blade.

The Cutting Hand

The cutting hand refers to the hand holding the food that you are cutting. You should make this hand into the shape of a paw such that the fingers are curled inwards to grip the food. All the fingers should be curled inwards, including the thumb. The thumb will help you to have better control of the cutting board and the food you are cutting. Your middle finger should be parallel to your cutting board, which will help you not to cut yourself. The important thing is that your fingers should wrap around the food and be perpendicular to the board.

When you are cutting, the knife should not be perpendicular to the cutting board, as that will make your body lean on one side and alter your precision.

Proper Storage

When you are not using the knife, you should place the knife with the edge facing away from the cutting board so that it is not a safety hazard. With that, you will be sure that you are not at risk of cutting your fingers when reaching out for the knife.

Sushi Knife Sharpening

Most of the time, it is recommended that sushi knives are sharpened professionally. If that is not possible, then you can also use a whetstone. 

To sharpen with a whetstone:

  • Soak the whetstone in water first.
  • Hold the knife in the right angle and start with the coarse side of the stone.
  • Run the knife up and down in a smooth motion on the stone while covering all parts of the blade.
  • If you have a double-edged knife, make sure that you repeat the same procedure on the other side of the blade.
  • Turn to the smooth side of the stone and repeat the same process.
  • Rinse, dry, and properly store the knife.

Even though sharpening is important, how you store it determines how long it will maintain its sharpness. That is why you should have the right storage for your sushi knife. 

The knife should be stored in the right knife case, a Saya, a knife block, or a knife magnet. As much as there are other many kinds of storage, stay away from using a plastic or leather sheath, as it will make the knife rust if it has any moisture left on it.

Conclusion

Cooking is an art, and having the right tools is a game-changer in the kind of experience that you get. That means that whether you are a professional, an amateur, or a hobbyist cook, getting the right sushi knife is non-negotiable.

The best part about a sushi knife is that it will help you cut sushi with easy precision, and at the same time, it can be used to cut almost anything a conventional knife can do. You should just be careful not to use it on blunt or frozen foods, as that will make it blunt.

Enjoy your new sushi knives!

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