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Japanese Knife Types: The Ultimate Guide

by Wookyong Kim 23 Feb 2023

Japanese Knife Types: An Introduction

Japanese kitchen knives are renowned for their exceptional sharpness, precision, and performance. They are crafted with the highest attention to detail and are made using the finest quality materials, including high-quality steel, wood, and other materials.

There are many different Japanese Knife Types each with its own unique design and purpose. Here are some of the most common types of Japanese kitchen knives:


A versatile, all-purpose knife that is similar to a Western-style chef's knife. The blade is typically between 8-10 inches long and has a sharp point and a curved edge. A Gyuto's knifes blade is much thinner than that of it's Western counterpart and is often much harder and double-bevel.

The name Gyuto comes the Japanese words for ‘Cow’ & ‘Sword’ and were originally designed to cut large chunks of beef, but these days it is used for chopping, slicing, and dicing a wide range of ingredients, including meat, fish, vegetables, and herbs.


A multi-purpose knife with a shorter and wider blade than a Gyuto. The Santoku has a flatter edge than a Gyuto, which is better suited for chopping and push-cutting, rather than rocking back and forth like a Western-style chef's knife. This Japanese knife type is often used for slicing, chopping, and dicing meat, fish, and vegetables.


This is a small utility knife that is ideal for smaller cutting tasks such as peeling, trimming, and carving. View our Damascus Steel Petty Knife Here. 


A knife designed specifically for chopping vegetables, the Nakiri has a straight blade with a squared-off tip and a double-sided edge. The flat blade is ideal for slicing through ingredients with a single downward motion, while the squared-off tip is great for precision cuts.

Deba japanese knife on cutting board


A heavy-duty knife designed for filleting and butchering fish, the Deba has a thick, heavy blade that is ideal for chopping through bones and cartilage. The single-beveled edge allows for precise cuts and clean filleting, making it an essential tool for any sushi chef.

Yanagiba knife on wood board


A long, slender knife designed specifically for slicing raw fish, the Yanagiba has a single-beveled edge that allows for incredibly precise cuts. The sharp tip and long, narrow blade make it perfect for slicing through delicate ingredients without damaging them.

Usuba knife


Another type of vegetable knife, the Usuba has a similar straight blade to the Nakiri, but with a slightly curved edge. The blade is single-beveled and incredibly sharp, making it ideal for precise cuts and fine slicing of vegetables.

Honesuki japanese knife


A Japanese-style boning knife used for deboning poultry, the Honesuki has a sturdy, sharp blade that is perfect for removing bones and joints. The sharp tip allows for precision cuts, making it an ideal tool for deboning chicken, duck, and other poultry.

a Kiritsuke knife


Kiritsuke knives are highly coveted Japanese kitchen knives renowned for their exceptional versatility and craftsmanship. With a long, narrow blade and a pointed tip, the Kiritsuke knife seamlessly combines the features of a yanagiba (traditional slicing knife) and a usuba (vegetable knife). Its unique design allows for delicate slicing, precise vegetable work, and even some carving tasks. The razor-sharp edge and ergonomic handle make it a joy to use, while the beautiful aesthetics make it a true collector's item. Check out our Damascus Steel Kiritsuke Knife here. 


These are just a few of the most common types of Japanese kitchen knives. Each knife has its own unique shape, size, and purpose, making it important to choose the right knife for the task at hand. By using the right knife for each job, you can achieve precision cuts and make your cooking tasks easier and more enjoyable. If you're looking to buy a Japanese Kitchen knife check out our range here.

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