Best Japanese Knife Set For Home Chefs (2019-2020)

Japanese kitchen knives have become a favorite among both professional and amateur chefs. They are super sharp, lightweight, and thin and help make preparing food more enjoyable and easier.

If you’re considering adding some Japanese knives to your kitchen, then let us help you find the best Japanese knife set for the money.

Best Japanese Knife Sets for the Money

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Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What to Consider Before Buying

There are a number of things you want to consider before buying a Japanese knife set.

Price and Steel Type:

Japanese knives can range in price. Depending on your skill level in the kitchen, you will want to spend according to your budget.

More expensive knives are usually made with super high carbon steel. The high carbon steel knives are harder so they keep their sharp edge longer.

However, if not maintained or used properly, they can be prone to chipping. Regular sharpening and maintenance are needed for higher-end knives.

Expensive knives are usually only recommended for professionals. Less expensive Japanese knives will likely be made with a stainless steel alloy, which is easier to maintain, durable, and more rust-resistant.

The only downside with these knives is that they don’t hold their sharpness as long as some others. Many at-home chefs don’t need to worry about using their knives as much as professionals.

Blade Style:

There are two blade styles for Japanese knives. You can find them in double bevel or single bevel blades.

The single bevel blades are the traditional Japanese style. The single bevel blades are made more for professional chefs since these knives make detailed cuts and can have specific uses.

The feel of a single bevel knife is different and does take some practice to get used to. If you aren’t a professional, it’s recommended that you go with a double bevel, the Western-style blade, since it’s easier to use.

Type of Knife:

For each blade style, there are different types of knives. Many of the knives have specific usages, such as carving, fish, and butchering.

There are two knives that are meant for general use: the Santoku and the Gyuto. Both of these knives have double bevel blades and can be used for fish, vegetables, or meat.

Beginners should start with either one of these knives and move on from there. The Gyuto comes in larger blade sizes. If you are going to be cooking in smaller spaces then it’s best to choose a Santoku.

Size:

An 8” knife is typical and the most preferred size for everyday tasks in the kitchen. However, there are other lengths available as well.

When you purchase a knife set, you are going to get different lengths for different purposes. You should try out the size you like the best. If you have smaller hands then you may want a smaller blade.

Tang:

This is the way the blade is attached to the handle. A full tang means the knife blade runs the full length and this can be an indication of quality.

Handle Type:

Knives can come with a traditional Japanese handle or a Western-style handle. The Western handle is heavier and the grip form is secured and hasped.

The Western handle feels studier and can be more suitable for brute force cutting. Traditional Japanese handles are cylindrical, are made of wood, and are lighter.

These handles can feel awkward for those who haven’t used them before. However, they can also provide more control and a more delicate touch once you get used to them.

The choice of handle will come down to your own personal preferences.

Benefits of Japanese Knives

There are a number of benefits of using Japanese knives to elevate your cooking.  Let’s look at some of those now.

Locking in the Flavor:

A clean and straight cut through the meat is the most important way to ensure you cook it properly and evenly. The only way to ensure your meat is cut and not ripped or pulled apart is with a durable and sharp edge.

Japanese knives are perfect for this. A clean cut will expose less surface area by not opening up spaces between the fibers of your ingredients.

Less surface area means less exposure to air and fewer opportunities for the flavors and juices to escape when cooking.

Freshness in Every Bite of Your Meal:

This is closely related to the first benefit but freshness is another benefit of a clean cut. Uneven cuts can open up spaces where moisture can escape and your range, oven, or grill can unevenly heat your food.

Great for Any Type of Cutting:

Japanese knives aren’t just meant for beef and other meats. The layers of steel in knife blades can give them an almost wood-like effect.

Some are slightly dimpled and the dimples make it easier to cut through sticky foods, such as cheese.

Aesthetics:

Japanese knives aren’t just functional but also aesthetically pleasing. The centuries of experience in knife and sword making have enabled craftsmen to develop knives that excel in beauty, precision, sharpness, and strength.

Our Picks: Top Japanese Knife Sets Reviewed

Not sure which knives are the best for your cooking style and kitchen? Then let us help you out by sharing some of our favorites with you below.

1. Tojiro DP 8-Piece Slim Knife Block Set

This set includes an 8.25” chef’s knife, a 7” hollow edge Santoku knife, a 4” inch paring knife, an 8.5” inch bread knife, a 3.5” straight paring knife, a 6” inch utility knife, and kitchen shears.

Tojiro DP 8-piece Slim Knife Block Set, Acacia
  • Set includes: 8.25-inch Chef's Knife, 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife, 8.5-inch Bread Knife, 6-inch Utility Knife, 4-inch Paring Knife, 3.5-inch Straight Paring Knife, Kitchen Shears & 7-slot Slim Knife Block
  • Full tang 3-ply clad blade with a VG-10 super steel core encased between two layers of highly rigid rust resistant stainless steel
  • 60 Rockwell Hardness; 9 to 12° blade angle
  • Micarta handle with three stainless steel rivets
  • Made in Japan with a lifetime warranty

Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The three-ply clad control features a core of VG-10 steel encased with two layers of rust-resistant stainless steel. The formula of steel gives 60 Rockwell hardness and provides the perfect blade for scalpel-like sharpness.

The traditional system handle with bolsters contains balance and heft. The closed bolster collar allows for the complete and full sharpening of the blade.

Each knife is hand-finished with artisan craftsmanship. Tojiro is a well-known brand for producing authentic Japanese knives.

The entry-level pricing makes it so chefs can get into the world of Japanese knives at an affordable price.

2. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 12-Piece Japanese Steel Knife Set

These knives are made from premium Japanese stainless steel so you can use them for every recipe you need. The forged knives come razor sharp and will stay sharp longer than some of the competition.

Sale
Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 12-Piece Japanese Steel Knife Set – Cutlery Set with 420J Stainless Steel Kitchen Knives – Finished Hardwood Block, 07132DS
  • These Ginsu Chikara forged knives are one piece of premium Japanese Stainless Steel from tip to tang so you can approach every recipe with the confidence that your knives will do whatever you ask.
  • These Ginsu Chikara forged knives arrive razor sharp and stay sharp longer than the competition giving you a low-maintenance, high quality set of forged knives you can depend on meal after meal.
  • These Ginsu Chikara forged knives are expertly balanced to give you the perfect blend of power and control you need to cook through even the trickiest recipe safely and comfortably.
  • Ginsu Chikara forged knives have been named a Consumer Report "Best Buy" 5 times, and are backed by a Lifetime Limited Warranty.
  • This Ginsu Chikara forged knife set includes everything you need to prepare and serve delicous and complex meals organized in a chic Toffee Finish Block: 8-Inch Chef's Knife, 5-Inch Serrated Utility Knife, 7-Inch Santoku Knife, 5-Inch Utility Knife, 3.5-Inch Paring Knife, Honing Rod, Shears, Four 4.5-Inch Steak Knives (Note: Steak Knives are stamped, not forged)

Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

They are low maintenance and you can always depend on them for every meal. They give you the perfect balance of power and control.

There is everything you need for the right meal with an 8” inch chef’s knife, a 5” serrated utility knife, a 7” inch Santoku knife, a 5” utility knife, a 3.5” paring knife, and four 4.5” inch steak knives.

The streamlined handles provide comfort with each slice and the extended tangs transfer power from your hands for an effortless cut.

3. Global Kabuto Knife Block Set

This knife set features a 3” inch paring knife, a 4.5” utility knife, a 5” chef’s prep knife, a 5.5” vegetable knife, an 8.5” bread knife, and an 8” chef’s knife.

Sale
Global Kabuto Knife Block Set, 7-piece
  • Set includes: 3-inch Paring Knife, 4.5-inch Utility Knife, 5-inch Chef's Prep Knife, 5.5-inch Nakiri Vegetable Knife, 8-inch Chef's Knife, 8.5-inch Bread Knife & 6-slot Black & Clear Acrylic Knife Block
  • Cromova 18 high carbon stainless steel blade construction; stainless steel molded dimpled handle provides balance with a safe grip
  • Blade edge is ground on each side creating a straight sharp edge; Rockwell Hardness of 56-58°
  • Black Kabuto plastic knife block with stainless steel top rim
  • Made in Japan with a lifetime warranty; hand wash with gentle dish soap and dry

Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The high carbon stainless steel blade construction also features a dimpled handle to provide balance with a safe grip. The blade edge is ground on each side to create a straight sharp edge.

The knife features a Rockwell hardness of 56 to 58 degrees. The high chromium content gives the knives great resistance to rust and staining.

The edge on these knives is large and prominent so it can be seen with the naked eye and extends a quarter of an inch more up from the tip of the knife. These knives retain the edge longer than some other brand names on the market.

They are crafted by hand in Japan with extremely high manufacturing standards. The knives have a lifetime warranty.

The knives are stored in a black plastic knife block that features a stainless steel top rim.

4. Shun Classic 7-Piece Block Set

These knives are made with VG10 steel and have a Damascus-clad stainless steel finish. They feature strong D-shaped handles for comfortable cutting.

Shun Classic 7 Piece Essential Block Set
  • VG10 steel with Damascus-clad stainless steel finish
  • Durable D-shaped ebony pakkawood handles
  • Includes paring knife, utility knife, bread knife, and chefs knife
  • Includes kitchen shears and a honing steel
  • Bamboo storage block with extra spaces for extra knives

Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The set includes a utility knife, bread knife, chef’s knife, and paring knife, along with kitchen shears and a honing steel. The knives are stored in a bamboo storage block that comes equipped with extra spaces for any extra knives you have.

Along with being crafted with Damascus stainless steel, they are bead blasted to show off the wood grain patterns that allow the blade to easily slide through food. The razor-sharp blades give precise cutting for no-hassle cooking.

The Shun Classic Chef’s knife is a combination of a Japanese and German knife with the blade profile being more curved than your typical Japanese one but with a much thinner and sharper blade.

5. Dalstrong Phantom Series

These masterfully elegant and razor-sharp knives come with exceptional performance. The handmade wood walnut block features premium strength magnets on both sides of each column for easy storage.

DALSTRONG Phantom Series - Japanese High-Carbon - AUS8 Steel (6-Piece Set w/Magnetic Block)
  • Masterfully elegant, perfectly balanced, razor sharp and with exceptional performance, the Phantom Series of knives are a statement in refinement, beauty, purity and power.
  • Powerful Storage: Handmade walnut wood 'Dragon Spire' block, featuring premium strength magnets embedded on both sides of each column. Add an additional 6 items to your set, this could include scissors, serving spoons, or additional knives. Space saving attractive design, easy to clean with no place for dirt and debris to hide. Proudly display your collection.
  • Peak Performance: Mercilessly sharp, the Phantom Series edge is painstakingly honed by experts craftsman to 13-15° and nitrogen cooled for enhanced hardness, flexibility and corrosion resistance. Carefully tapered for minimal drag, the agile blade ensures swift, precise cuts with effortless ease.A velvety rich black Spanish pakkawood handle is hand polished and laminated to ensure a perfect grip with a traditional Japanese D-shaped to tuck into your palm.
  • The Dalstrong Touch: Full tang and precision forged from a single piece of ice tempered, high-carbon, Japanese AUS-8 steel at 58+ Rockwell hardness, the Phantom Series boasts exceptional sharpness, edge retention, strength and durability. Beautifully engraved, the blade further features a hand polished spine and ergonomic bolster shape for a natural and smooth ‘pinch grip’.
  • Dalstrong Trust: Rocksolid 100% SATISFACTION OR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE, try it risk free. LIFETIME WARRANTY against defect. Renowned Dalstrong customer service and packaging. See why chef's around the world trust and love, 'The Dalstrong Difference'. Now you are slicing with POWER. Dalstrong POWER!

Last update on 2019-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The knife set comes with six knives but the storage block adds plenty of more space for additional ones you have. The space-saving design is easy to clean and allows you to proudly display your collection.

Experts craft the Phantom series with nitrogen-cooled steel for enhanced flexibility, hardness, and corrosion resistance. The knives are carefully tapered for minimum drag and the angled blades ensure precise cuts.

The handle is hand polished and laminated to make sure you have the perfect grip. There is a lifetime warranty against defects.

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