Best Sushi Knives for Smart Cook in 2021

Have you ever thought of making sushi but dropped the idea because you are scared to create a mess while cutting it?

Or have you tried to make one but your normal knife surely ended up ruining it?

Do you really want to get that perfect shape of a sushi roll?

Then you surely have to buy the Sushi knife for that purpose.

Making a sushi meal requires different steps, including chopping the vegetables, cutting the fish, and then the roll itself. To allow it to cut through the fish, vegetables and cut a perfect sushi roll, the sushi knife should have a multi-faceted design.

Buying Guide For The Best Sushi Knives in 2021

The Japanese food, Sushi tastes delicious but is an extremely difficult dish to prepare. The techniques of crafting sushi knives by hand stretch back to the 14th century-with several other techniques dating back as far as 1,000 years ago.

Carrying Samurai swords became illegal after the modernization of Japan (19th century). As such, most sword artisans have turned their business into producing cutlery for sushi knives.

The efforts put into making it depends highly on the equipment used to make it. One such tool is a Sushi Knife, which is used to cut through the Sushi perfectly without creating a mess and without damaging the food. This requires the knife to be sharp and precise.

Before buying the sushi knife set, there is a list of essential elements that need to be considered depending on your requirements. This article shall provide you with in-depth knowledge about the different characteristics of the best Sushi Knife.

As a matter of fact, Sushi Knives are very sharp in nature and are crafted by hand for a particular work and need very detailed handling and maintenance instructions while working with the same.

There are two major categories of how a sushi knife is made:

  1. Honyaki – made of high quality, single steel
  2. Kasumi– made of two high-quality metal forms (usually a hard, iron center and softer high carbon steel)

TYPES OF SUSHI KNIVES

Some essential types of knives are listed down:

Yanagiba

The yanagiba sushi knife is the shape of a willow and can be used for cutting Sushi and Sashimi Rolls. It has a one-sided edge and is generally thin and long. It possesses a sharp tip and has a slightly concave back.

Usuba

This knife is ideal for chopping vegetables and would make very precise and fine cuts in it.

Santoku

This knife can be used for cutting meat, fish, or vegetables. This knife is not the traditional type, rather the western style, and is most preferred in Japanese households.

Deba

This knife is ideal for cutting the cartilage of the fish or cutting through the bones. This deba japanese knife is used primarily to cut fish and to break down small-bone poultry and meat. Due to its curved tip and spine, it has a sharp point.

Petty

Its sharpness is used for smaller tasks such as peeling, trimming, and slicing small fruits and vegetables, as well as for performing larger tasks.

TYPES OF BLADE IN THE KNIFE

HIGH CARBON STEEL

It is a higher grade, stainless steel alloy consisting of some carbon. High carbon stainless steel blades do not decolorize or rust and, for a reasonable time, retain a sharp edge. For a long time, carbon steel remains sharper.

STAINLESS STEEL

Stainless steel sticks to the sushi while cutting it creating a mess. It is rust-resistant and is easy to maintain and also has perfect sharpness.

FEATURES of Best Sushi Knives in 2021

QUALITY

The sushi knives very different in their qualities and they function respectively according to what you choose.

Sharp Blade: The good knife for cutting sushi with sharp blades help in cutting the food precisely and easily.

Long Length Knife

It is easy to make a single pass while cutting or filleting the fish.

Extra Thin Blade:

These sushi knife blade helps to make the finest cuts in your food or in sushi and this is very important for Sushi. In the case of thick blades, the slices made would be very thick. A dull knife has chances of damaging the fish or the sushi.

Smooth Blade Edge

These make smooth and precise cuts in your sushi rolls.

Ground Edge

It makes square cuts from the piece of fish you’re cutting into.

Slender and Long Blade Shape:

This makes it easier to cut your sushi or the fish with minimal resistance and greater precision.

Non-stick aerated blade

This helps in creating air pockets so that the sushi does not stick to the blade of the knife while you slice the food.

RESISTANCE TO STAIN AND RUST

Most sushi knife japanese are made of stainless steel, and the stain and rust resistance of this material is high. Not all knives, however, are safe from rust.

The blade may be stainless steel, but rust can grow over time in the other sections of the knife. The rust and the stain shall contaminate your food.

LENGTH AND BLADE

The blade of a sushi knife is the most relevant aspect since the entire cutting factor relies on it. Before you jump to any other aspect, ensure to note the sharpness of the blade. For the purpose of cutting down sushi, the blade of the knife should be very sharp.

Further, look into the material that the knife is composed of. There are 2 types of steel in the blades of the knives: High Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel.

If you can sharpen the knife while you use it then opt for knives that can be sharpened time and again. But if you cannot, then choose a knife that doesn’t get blunt frequently.

The best sushi knife for beginners is available in lengths ranging from 7′′ to 13′′ or more. You would generally prefer a knife that would help you cut through the roll in just one stroke. The longer your knife is, the easier it is to cut ore with just one stroke through the rolls.

A shorter knife will not enable this and would require several strokes that would create a mess.

HANDLE

The handle determines the control or force that needs to be exerted on the knife. If the handle of the sushi knife is not easy or is extremely heavy or very light, then it shall be very uncomfortable for using. Further, if the handle is not a non-slip handle, there is a risk that it will affect the accuracy and control when cutting fish.

So, the handle should be comfortable and should make you feel at ease so that you can chop or cut with precision. An important thing to note here is that, if the sushi knife with plastic handle can be used with wet hands without it slipping, then it definitely has a good handle.

MAINTENANCE

Nearly all knives require maintenance to keep them safe.   Some knives, however, warrant more maintenance than others. If you own a dishwasher, you can opt for a secure knife in the dishwasher.  The handle material is easy to clean, particularly if it is ribbed.

A material that is resistant to damage, especially rusting, is also necessary.

WEIGHT

The user of the knife can perfectly determine the weight of the knife.  Sushi knife for kitchen is typically very light in weight as it helps the chef or the person to slice more easily through the fish and sushi. If the knife is light, it will be easier to cut the fish meat continuously without putting too much pressure on your side.

AVAILABLE PRICE

Usually, an Honyaki knife is a Sushi knife of greater consistency. Crafted using the traditional method from one piece of steel, an Honyaki would have a high carbon content.

Make sure to research Honyaki sushi knife before buying as there are higher chances of the retailers deceiving the customers. The starting price of an authentic Honyaki knife would be around $500USD. So, if you are ready to invest a greater amount, then go for a Honyaki knife.

It is easy to find a Yanagida-type sushi knife, as these are cheap and the starting price of these is around $20. But these won’t last long. Rather you should go for the ones that cost a little more, around $1000s. These are mostly specialty knives created as qualified sushi chef knives.

But it doesn’t matter that you should always go for overpriced ones. You should rather look for the knives that provide the best value according to their price. So, check for all the best features and then decide on it.

FAQS on Best Sushi Knives in 2021

How do we recognize a good sushi knife?

Usually, The good knife for cutting sushi is made of high-carbon steel instead of stainless steel, which gives it a higher quality, more robust, and lighter feel. Sushi knives made of stainless steel also appear to rust and this leads to a loss of blade sharpness.

The sushi knife you choose should be resistant to stain and rust so that it does not contaminate the food. Stainless steel appears to be a lighter type of steel, i.e., it often

What type of blade is convenient for the sushi knife: carbon steel or stainless steel?

Modern sushi knives are made from high-carbon steel so a sharper edge can be maintained. High-carbon steel sushi knives, do not have high rust resistance.

But the focus of stainless steel knives set is on toughness and resistance to rust. If you want better corrosion resistance and reliability, then go for stainless steel knife but if you want a sharper edge, then opt for a carbon steel knife.

But it is advisable to go for a carbon steel knife as stainless steel does not function as efficiently as the carbons do. Further, they aren’t the traditional type and end up producing a mess.

What should be the length of the sushi knife?

Shorter knives with a length around 7 inches shall be a bad option as they would not let you cut properly a fish with an uninterrupted stroke. So, the perfect length for a carbon steel sushi knife shall be 12 inches that would very meticulously help you cut things very thinly.

And does not bear both an edge and high carbon steel. Carbon steel thus remains sharper than stainless steel longer.

It takes some time and expertise to sharpen properly once a stainless-steel blade loses its tip. Despite being tougher than stainless steel, high carbon steel is much simpler to sharpen than stainless steel.

What is the hand orientation of a Sushi knife?

For a particular hand orientation, a sushi chef knife with one single bevel is made. They switch to being a right-handed knife most often as most of us are actually right-handed.

You'll have to find a left-handed knife if it's not you. The best left handed sushi knife is not that difficult to find, as long as you know how to look for one. They are much less popular, though.

What are the features that we need to look at to get the best Sushi Knife?

The knife should be made up of a single piece of steel and the blade should be a D shaped so as to enhance stability.

What kind of knife do sushi chefs use?

Video Transcript:

Hi, my name is Nick and from Hama Gaza, in Marina del Rey and today before we show you how to make food and stuff here is my tool every sous chef has this one is called Yanagi Japanese our all-purpose knife for the sushi man they can cut the dice everything you can do especially when you slice fish this is the best tool mine was not that good one this man is Gemma still probably the best other standstill made it doesn’t get rusty but this good knife of this kind will vary about $800 to $1,500 for normal range made with tempered steel the very sharp edge lasts longer in order to get this one.

For yourself you go into the regular knife shop no you go to the Japanese supply Japanese supermarket no they only care is very cheap stuff so you go to the Japanese restaurant supply in downtown or you can ask your favorite chef to get it for you you have to get the straight edge one cheaper one has the wavy edge it’s very hard to use to judge that is you hold a knife like this and see from the tail to the top is all straight line also it’s not waving or walking or anything that’s the way to hang a find a good knife but easier way pick the most expensive one that’s probably the best now you know how to choose a knife it’s time for you to show you,

How to use a knife when you use this kind of knife you have to make the angle and you use the elbow to pull your elbow so that knife goes circular motion this helps you to keep your edge last longer and slice it better okay let’s go hey this is my regular knife it’s not tempered steel the stainless steel so that doesn’t have to deal with the rusting stuff but it’s also a little Tao easy to lose edges then tempers still expensive one will cost probably $800 to $1,500 normally.

These are a lot cheaper how to use this knife Japanese knife is made like Japanese sward we take the movement opposite to Western culture this one was pulled to cut made to put to cut the items instead of push to cut so let me show you with a lemon Western Way is push it down you can cut it to Japanese Way when you use this type of knife sashimi knife is you have to use your list angle and hold it like that do not move the angle and you use elbows here goes you pull your elbow see your knife goes circular motion this is a way to cut fish vegetables.

In Japanese cooking fuel, I get to make it angle you can make it angle but still, your wrist is the same you go one slice you can cut waste and way you have to push it like this when you push it’s you lose your edge because you’re hitting a cutting board when you pull you don’t really hit the cutting the board just that tip I’m Nick from Hama Caza in Mario Del Rey you are watching inside my kitchen.

How to make a Japanese sushi knife from antique iron?

Video Transcript:

Hey Walter Sorrells back with more tips for the knifemaker today making a Japanese sushi knife from a piece of antique wrought iron anchor chain today’s video is sponsored by combat abrasives grinder belts and other abrasives for the knifemaker combat abrasives Comm now the Japanese sushi knife also known as a Yanagi or Yanagi ba is considered to be one of the most demanding cooking knives to make so I’m going to take a stab at the form but I’m going to tell you right now upfront this is not my area of expertise I’m a Japanese sword guy, not a Japanese knife guy.

I did a bunch of research but at the end of the day, I’m probably going to do some things that would make a sushi chef cringe okay so be it I’m going to take my lumps make my mistakes if that happens and we get some of the nuances wrong hey so be it but we’re going to learn from our mistakes.

So what you’ll be watching is the process of how I learn through doing big believer in that if you’re afraid to make mistakes it’s very hard to pick up new skills so let’s talk Japanese cutting tools unlike conventional Western knives a sushi knife has a single bevel which is basically what you would call a chisel grind in western terminology now the knife itself is operated on a pull stroke the idea being that each time you cut you’re going to make one single pass through the piece of sushi and get this really nice clean cut unlike Western knives there’s no secondary bevel.

So the bevel of the knife comes right smackdown to the edge and this just makes it insanely sharp so another important point about Japanese knives and this is true of many Japanese cutting implements including plane blades and chisels even Japanese swords is that they’re traditionally made as laminate meaning that the cutting edge is made from a separate piece of steel-hard steel that’s forged welded to kind of softer backing Steels in this case we’re going to actually use a piece of antique wrought iron really really old iron which is you know kind of how this would have been done traditionally you know 100 150 200 years ago what this allows.

You to do is that you can harden your eggs super hard and yet have this more flexible back to it that allows the cutting tool you know whether it’s a knife or a plane blade or whatever to flex just a little bit bottom line really hard edge softback now the ultimate western kitchen knife is the chef’s knife which is sort of a do-it-all blade you know you can slice dice chop julienne all these different things there’s really nothing you can’t do but this means.

That it’s not really the perfect knife for much of any single task the Japanese approach to kitchen cutlery is a little different the idea is to have a ton of just very very specialized knives that do one thing really well so the sushi knife is kind of a classic example of that long thin has this super sharp edge it’s very very hard in fact so hard that it’s actually.

Prone to chipping you would never want to use a knife like this for chopping because you’d be very likely to damage the edge one thing only alright enough talk let’s jump into it I’ll begin by cutting up this link of antique wrought iron anchor chain then I’ll take one of these pieces and I’ll Forge it into a bar oops right here you see the joy wrought iron there was a crappy weld in this link and so the wrought iron broke in half let’s try another piece.

Now, these days people use the term wrought iron for just any old piece of iron that’s used to make you know ballast trades and fences and things like that but that’s not true wrought iron typically what’s used now is mild steel true wrought iron was made by a process known as puddling and the puddling process makes it very different material from modern malleable or mild steel it contains a lot of silica slag heterogeneous carbon content and lots of tiny imperfections the beauty of wrought iron is that it makes it look really cool the disadvantage is that depending on the quality of the piece it may not be very robust material nevertheless, all’s well that ends well eventually we Corral some good material and forge it out into a bar next we’ll Forge weld it to a piece of modern tool steel this is Hitachi number two blue paper steel it’s a high carbon tool steel with.

Tungsten making it capable of very high hardness now Western Smith’s typically tack welds deals together before they Forge weld them but in this case we’ve only got two pieces this isn’t a very complicated weld so we’ll just heat up the wrought sprinkle some borax flux on it then perch our little piece of blue steel on top now the whole thing is brought to a welding heat and the weld is gently set with a few taps of the hammer back into the fire then we’ll use the hydraulic press to draw it out into a bar next step is to form it into the long slim shape of the sushi knife there are subtleties to every blade shape and you often have to take a few whacks.

At it to feel them intuitively now having never forged this precise shape myself I kind of undershot it in a couple of ways and made it just a hair too slim now I just haven’t forged this precise shape before so I didn’t really have a feel for it so bottom line it didn’t widen quite as much as I anticipated and you’ve got a blade that’s a little bit slimmer than intended something else to be aware of when forging any sort of single bevel blade it’ll corkscrew there’s no way of avoiding.

This it’s just the physics of the situation you’re expanding metal on only one side of the blade and the only compensation that it can make is to corkscrew so you have to do a little counter compensation to flatten it back out and in this case, I just twist it a little with the tongs and we’re good Japanese kitchen knife tangs are very slim and they’re entirely enclosed within the handle now they ride pretty high on the knife so you have to Forge them down toward the spine with the hammer driving all your material away from the edge if you try to go from both directions you’ll end up with something that looks more like a bowie knife where the Tang is more or less.

Centered in the middle of the knife that’s not the way these things are supposed to be constructed all right once we’ve got the Tang set then we’ll go ahead and taper it more fun with wrought iron actually splits on some of these crummy ancient welds something that would never happen with modern steel so I have two hot cuts some excess and work around the problem adjust and overcome right the advantages of this material come with some costs one thing I will say is that it’s really fun forging this old iron it’s so much softer and easier to forge than modern steel just a real pleasure to use except for this little splitting problem anyway once I’m happy with the overall shape I’ll give it what we sometimes call a blade Smith’s anneal leaving it.

To cool slowly inside the furnace which will soften the steel little making it easier to do the next operations now Japanese Smiths typically used humongous wet grinding stones with very large diameters but I’ll use my belt grinder, for the most part, this won’t have any effect on anything but it does have one moderately important implication which I’ll get into later you’ll notice that I’m leaving part of the blade on the ground some Japanese knives keep this sort of rough as forged texture while others grind it smooth or impress it with hammer marks there’s really no right way to do it this rough look just kind of appeals to me in this close-up of the blade.

You can easily see the banding effect caused by the variations in the wrought iron this is part of the charm of the material and part of why I used it looks sort of like Damascus steel but it’s not this is just the natural variability of the material hey let me bust in here real quick recently a company called combat abrasives has partnered with us to sponsor some videos on this channel including this one now I’ve been using combats belts on my grinder since early this year and I’ve really been impressed with both their quality and the value their basic aluminum oxide belts come in at a really good price point and they last a lot longer than you know some.
Of the kind of inexpensive belts that I’ve used in the past another thing I’ve been really excited about is their ceramic belts which I use mostly for roughing in the 40 60 and 120 grit range great value they also carry Hermes flexible belts as well family-run company American-made product great service check out their online shop combat abrasives comm by clicking the link in the description all right let’s get back to work once the geometry is where I want it I’ll go ahead and heat treat the blade the four just brought to temperature and then the knife is heat-treated to roughly 1500 degrees Fahrenheit I’m using a magnet to detect the temperature at about 425 Fahrenheit Steel loses its magnetic properties so I know that.

Once I get a little bit over that I’m getting close to my goal so just let it creep up a little bit and make sure the entire blade is brought to temperature when it reaches the right temperature I’ll plunge it into a tub full of warm peanut oil this will convert the austenite to martensite hardening the blade a quick file test indicates that it’s hardened now, of course, the raw iron is not capable of hardening so only the blue steel will harden then into the tempering oven at 375 for an hour now martensite despite the fact that it’s harder than other forms of Steel is actually less dense meaning that it expands slightly when the blade hardens so that’s going to cause the blade.

To warp this is really pretty much unavoidable in a two-part laminate like this so time for some straightening first I dished out a piece of scrap fiberboard with a large contact wheel on my grinder it’s just around an eighth of an inch of depression maybe a hair more then I gently use a mallet to beat the blade straight if you’ve ever straightened western style knives which Burgess from difficult to impossible depending on how they were heat-treated this operation is so pleasant and easy just tap gently keep checking patiently and eventually you’ll get everything nice and flat I’ll also adjust the tang I want to create a shoulder so I’ll use a filing jig to ensure.

Extremely square shoulders which will make to the handle without unsightly gaps I just made a video a couple of weeks ago about how this jig was made so check that out here if you want details I’m finishing this off with a needle file which has one face ground flat having a so-called safe face like this and using this little bitty file together allow me to cut a really nice square corner after tempering I’ll do some final shaping on the grinder to bring the bevel down closer to a sharp edge now I mentioned that typically Japanese Smith’s use large diameter stones for grinding this allows them to slightly hollow out the back of the knife leaving only a tiny little rim of steel.

All the way around this is done on many kinds of Japanese cutting tools including plane blades and chisels it makes it much easier to sharpen that rear flat portion bringing the entire blade back to a high level of sharpness now in order to do this however you need extremely large radii on your wheels and going to happen on my belt grinder so I’m just skipping it won’t hurt the quality of the blade but it will make it a little more difficult to sharpen in time for another screw-up, in this case, it was just plain old inattention now according to Japanese norms for how these knives are made the bevel should be brought up more or less to the bottom of the tang essentially where it was at the time of heat treating but I let my attention slip for about half a second and the crawled up another sixteenth of an inch now I could have flattened the upper portion and adjusted.

The bevel you know pretended like I meant to do it all along but for you guys leaving it this way just an object lesson something to watch out for if you try this yourself in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really damage the functionality of the knife but aesthetically it won’t end up exactly where it should be according to Japanese norms I’ll start making the handle now there are several different ways of doing this but here’s where I landed now I’m using alder for the main body of the handle I cut three separate pieces from some scrap wood that I had on hand then the part that acts in effect is a sort of collar holding it all together will be made from Purple Heart one of the world’s hardest woods I saw out of space in this center section that exactly fits.

The tang then I’ll mill and file out a hole in the Purple Heart through which the Tang can be inserted it all fits together like so once I’ve got the fit all squared away I’ll glue it up using tight bond three quite tricky to clamp all these pieces I’m sure there’s a better way of doing this but anyway it ends up working out fine after some fussing once the glue is cured I trim off some excess on my bandsaw then hand grind it into a vaguely oval profile on the belt grinder traditional Japanese handles don’t have a lot of fancy profiling finger grooves and things like that they’re pretty much like hoe handle that’s hoe like my ancestors used to chop cotton with not the other kind all.

Right smooth it out with some sandpaper I’m going to go up to about 320 grit but that’s up to you so once I’ve reached a sharp edge I’ll take the knife to my Japanese Waterstones for final shaping and wetting now Japanese water stones as the name implies are kept wet during use the swarf is washed away and used abrasives wear off rapidly constantly exposing fresh abrasives so it doesn’t clog and stop cutting well I’ll begin with what the Japanese call a bin Suey stone which is equivalent to I don’t know somewhere in the neighborhood or maybe 300 grit and once I’ve got a nice sharp edge then I’ll turn to a 1200 grit stone I put a little baking soda in the water.

Which keeps it from causing the steel to rust now Japanese water stones are made up of extremely high grits so if you want you can keep sharpening up to whatever grit floats your boat there are water stones that go up to ten twenty thirty thousand grit if you have the urge to go that far but me I’m quitting at 1200 grit and believe me this is already outlandish Lee sharp so finally I let the blade in a very dilute solution of ferric chloride to expose the grain of the iron if you do this with a relatively porous material like wrought iron make sure you neutralize it with a base, in this case, I’m using baking soda but there are other things like TSP that you can use otherwise tiny amounts.

Of the etchant will sit inside all those tiny little crevices and rust the crap out of your knife over time alright now it’s time to put on the handle just glob on some two-part epoxy then jam it in there clean off the excess and now little tung oil as a finish boom and here’s the final product in perfect yes but it’s getting pretty close having done it once I feel I could get pretty darn close next time I make one of these now given that this type of knife is considered to be the apex of the Japanese knife makers art I feel pretty good about my first attempt next time perfection or the time after that so this is really one of the coolest projects that I’ve done in a long time you know I learned a lot doing it and I hope you guys did too very demanding blade to make and really not the kind of thing that you’d want to take on for your first knife but it’s definitely something.

You can aspire to and I really believe that you know what keeps us in the game of knife making is that we’re always looking ahead trying to think of something you know that we can improve on some better goal to reach sushi knife right up there near the top of the mountain something we can all aspire to if you’re into Japanese swords check out my website Walter Sorel’s blades calm where you’ll see more of my work and where you’ll find videos about the making of Japanese swords along with mounting fittings polishing hormones all kinds of good stuff now more videos.

CONCLUSION

Buying tools for your kitchen isn’t an easy task. It requires you to put in a lot of effort in recognizing all these tools. The market is vast and they have all sorts of varieties and qualities for the same product.

It can be that many times, you might be deceived into buying a low-quality product for a higher price and later you end up regretting it. So, before you delve into the idea of buying any product, skim through the features and categories of the product.

There are several brands and suppliers that specialize in the manufacturing of Japanese sushi knife sets. Not all of them will, however, actually specialize in the manufacture of advanced sushi knives. You should know which brands give the best knives for that particular matter, in order to find the best sushi knife.

But we are sure that this buying guide for the best sushi knives would have made you clear about the several factors that need to go into your shopping.

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