*A review of the best according to the editors of expertology.ru. About selection criteria. This material is subjective, is not an advertisement and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
When it comes to kitchen appliances, and in particular knives, you should pay attention to products from Japan. For the Japanese, cuisine and its components are an important part of history, to which they are reverent. Therefore, their knives are durable, keep a sharp blade and beautiful appearance for a long time. Even if the price for them seems excessively high to you, we recommend that you take a closer look at them. And to make the difficult choice easier, we invite you to get acquainted with our rating compiled by a team of experts. In it, we have taken into account comprehensive factors that play an important role in practical use.
How to choose the right Japanese knife
Most modern Japanese knives are adapted for domestic use by amateur cooks. But still it is worth paying attention to the following points when buying:
- sharpening. In European traditions, the blade is sharpened on both sides. This allows both left-handed and right-handed cooks to comfortably use the knife. In Japan, sharpening is done on one side and corresponds to the dominant hand. The advantages of a single-sided blade is that it allows you to cut thin, uniform slices of fish for sashimi and sushi as accurately and accurately as possible.
- Ergonomic handle. If possible, try on a knife for yourself before buying. Hold it, feel its weight in your hand. It should fit comfortably in the palm of your hand. This is a fundamental feature for convenient operation of the product.
- Purpose. Depending on your expectations from the knife, you will need to choose a certain type of knife. There are also universal knives for unpretentious cooks — they are suitable for cutting vegetables, fish, meat, bread, etc.
- The quality of the blade materials. It is important that the base of the blade is made of durable stainless steel. Most Japanese knives have additional reinforcing layers that provide high strength and durability. For example, stone spraying, spraying of anti-corrosion, durable metal alloys, etc.
- Where the handle and blade meet. In most knives, this is considered a weak point. Make sure they are securely connected. Under mechanical action, there should not be a feeling that there is a gap between them. It is also important to pay attention to the materials of the handle. If this is a tree, then how well it is processed so that splinters and chips do not form in the future.
These are the basic points that we recommend paying attention to when choosing a knife. And now we invite you to get acquainted with the brands of Japanese knives, which have proven themselves in the Russian and European markets.
Top 9 Japanese Kitchen Knives Brands
The official start date for the brand’s existence is considered to be 1918, but in fact, the history of Kanetsugu blades goes through the centuries, starting from the 16th century. The brand’s knives are thought through to the smallest detail — from a sharp, easy-to-clean blade to an ergonomic handle made from natural materials. Like most Japanese knife-making establishments, it is predominantly manual labor. However, to improve the quality of products, a lot of modern technologies have been introduced into production.
The manufacturer positions its knives on the market as the result of a harmonious combination of tradition and innovation. Stainless steel is hardened with the help of low negative temperatures, due to which amazing strength and durability of the blade’s sharpness are achieved. You can find a lot of modern technological features of production on the official website. Buyers respond well to Kanetsugu knives. They note their sharp blade, ease of care, variety of shapes and types, natural wood handles. However, there is a drawback — the high price.
- Sharp blade, precise cut;
- There are a lot of options for different purposes of use, including universal ones;
- The wedge-shaped end of the blade provides increased precision in use;
- Knives are easy to maintain, do not require special storage conditions;
- A well-known brand that has proven itself in the market;
- Special technologies for the preparation of steel for the manufacture of blades.
- Mostly high price.
Since 1955, high-quality knives of the Tojiro brand have been produced, which have earned recognition from Russian buyers. The manufacturer produces products in national traditions, but there are also European models. You can get closer to Japanese culture with thinly sliced fresh tuna with a santoku knife. Or cook beef carefully cut with a gyuto knife. Professional chefs appreciate Tojiro’s products and use them to create culinary masterpieces.
It is noteworthy that the company uses a wide variety of alloys and technologies for the production of knives. Due to this, the necessary density, hardness and durability of the blades for narrow cooking needs is achieved. In a wide range of Tojiro knives, every culinary specialist will find a suitable option for the price. The brand has a flexible pricing policy, so many can please themselves with high-quality Japanese kitchen appliances. Also, the credibility of the manufacturer is enhanced by a lifetime product warranty.
- Wide price range;
- The presence in the line of kitchen knives that correspond to Japanese traditions (one-sided sharpening, round handle, simple shapes);
- Various production technologies;
- Popularity in the Russian market;
- The brand gives a lifetime warranty on its products;
- Variety of models and alloys.
- Knives for professional use cost several tens of thousands per item.
Yaxell knives are works of art designed to make cooking a real pleasure for the chef. Since 1932, the production of kitchen appliances began, and before that, for several centuries, craftsmen had been producing skillful edged weapons in the original Japanese tradition. Currently, you can purchase models of modern knives made of Damascus steel and other durable alloys. Its main properties are increased flexibility, corrosion resistance and hardness. With such an assistant, you will be able to create any culinary masterpiece.
Yaxell knives are presented in several lines, which are designed for use by both home cooks and professional chefs. Although the brand keeps up with the times, the main emphasis is on centuries-old traditions. Therefore, it is still one of the leading knife manufacturers in the countries of the East. In Russia, he is not so popular. Probably due to the high price tag on the products.
- High aesthetics of products;
- High-quality alloys for the manufacture of durable blades;
- The presence of several diverse lines;
- Combination of age-old traditions and modern technologies.
- Not enough reviews.
- High price.
The brand produces knives in accordance with Japanese traditions from quality materials in tandem with foreign developers (cooperating with Germany to develop durable alloys that are resistant to damage and corrosion). For the production of sharp, perfectly sharpened knives for various purposes, a variety of steels are used: molybdenum-vanadium, cobalt, etc., which make it possible to create an ideal blade for delicate cuts, etc.
The Fuji Cutlery brand is widely distributed in Russia. He deserved such popularity for high-quality products that serve for many years, and an acceptable price tag. The brand moved part of its production to China, which made it possible to democratize the pricing policy for European countries and Russia. Here you will find universal and narrow-purpose knives, both in a simple sealed package and in the form of gift sets. On the official website, the manufacturer says that their products are constantly being improved, and they are mastering new techniques for making knives and new materials.
- The combination of excellent price and excellent quality;
- A wide range of;
- Using different technologies to create the perfect knives;
- Suitable for home and professional use;
- Presented on the Russian market.
The production is based on an ancient technology that has been passed down from generation to generation in Fukui Prefecture, the city of Echizen Uchihamono. The blade alternates many layers of soft and hard steel. After polishing the blade, a unique pattern is formed on it, which is a guarantee of the quality of Ryusen Hamono knives. Historical references indicate that the more pronounced the pattern on the blade, the sharper and stronger it will be. The traditional material for making knives is Damascus steel, but modern production includes a lot of modern alloys (VG10, ATS314, powdered steel).
There is an official dealer in Russia, whose offline office is located in Moscow. However, Ryusen Hamono products are not popular among Russians. Probably the reason is the high price. Handmade craftsmen significantly increases the cost of finished products. But it is worth noting that in many countries in Europe and the United States, Ryusen Hamono products are in great demand.
- Handmade using a unique technology that has existed for over 700 years;
- Brand knives are characterized by an individual style and will be a great gift for professional chefs;
- In production, both proven materials and modern, high-tech materials are used;
- There are lines focused on both professional use and home use;
- High prices;
- Not popular among Russians.
The brand mainly produces professional kitchen accessories that help culinary creators create amazing masterpieces. A distinctive feature of the products is the increased hardness of the blades, tested by laboratory methods. Thus, the average HRC hardness values are at least 63. These are excellent values that guarantee the long-term preservation of the beautiful appearance and excellent technical properties of the blade. Professionals in their field give the blade a unique shape, in which the cut is as accurate and accurate as possible.
It is worth noting that all Hattori products are quite expensive and cost much higher than the market average prices. In the collections of the brand, connoisseurs of unique kitchen accessories will find the perfect knives that will decorate the kitchen. In a few reviews from Russian buyers, a positive assessment can be traced. The quality of the materials, the thoughtfulness of the models (there is no gap between the handle and the blade where dirt could get in), the durability of the sharpness of the blade are noted.
- Durable, stainless steel and not prone to damage steel;
- Great for professional use;
- The ideal sharpening of a durable blade allows you to make precise, accurate cuts;
- Buyers especially highlight the durability of products.
- High prices for individual knives, which, unfortunately, are not available to everyone.
Hiroo Itou knives are much more than just a kitchen item. Each piece is handcrafted and has a unique design. It is not so easy to become the owner of a knife from Hiro Itu — it is not represented in most retail chains, since this product is considered exclusive. In addition, the prices for it correspond to the uniqueness of the product — not everyone can afford it. In Russia, there are several dealers among online stores that work directly with the brand.
All knives are made from three main types of steel — high carbon, powder, stainless. Shrouded in mystery is the history of powder steel formulation, which has unique wear-resistant and anti-corrosion properties. It is carefully preserved and has not yet been disclosed to anyone. Handles are made of natural materials and have a unique design. It is noteworthy that the brand produces not only traditional Japanese knives, but also products in European traditions.
- The unique design of the handle of each model;
- Natural, natural materials;
- Unique formulation of powdered steel with increased strength;
- Sharp blade with precise cut;
- Availability of various models.
- Very high prices.
The Masahiro brand is recognized as one of the most popular in Japan. This title is worthy of trust in their products, as traditionally the Japanese are kind to the kitchen and cooking items. The brand has officially existed since 1927, but, like many other Japanese brands, it began its existence long before that. It originates from a family craft that has been passed down from generation to generation. A distinctive feature of Masahiro knives is a strong, sharp blade that retains its properties for a long time. These characteristics are due to the unique alloy. It consists of molybdenum, which has flexibility and increased strength, as well as vanadium, which gives the finished product hardness and wear resistance.
Experimental testing of the hardness of alloys shows that the hardness of high-carbon molybdenum-vanadium steel is at least 60 HRC. This is an excellent indicator even among Japanese knives. The price of brand knives is considered high, but it is offset by a long service life and high operating comfort. Now Masahiro brand is not popular in Russia, but this will probably change soon.
- Popular brand in Japan;
- durable products;
- The presence in the line of various models;
- High density and hardness of the blade;
- Reliable fastening of an edge and a handle.
The last brand in our ranking, but far from the last in terms of quality and positive customer reviews. He is one of the most popular in Russia and has collected a lot of feedback from our compatriots. Among them are many rave reviews, but there are also dissatisfied buyers. Among the negative features, according to users, are high prices for products and poorly equipped sets, where there are knives of the same type.
The collections include knives, the blades of which are made of traditional metal alloys (AUS-8, AUS-10, VG-10), blackened steel, and ceramics. Many products have blades decorated with interesting ornaments and will be able to decorate your kitchen. The brand is oriented to the West, therefore it mainly produces knives according to European standards (double-sided sharpening, ergonomic handle). The hardness of alloys averages 58-60 HRC, which is an excellent indicator of durability and wear resistance.
- Widely represented in the Russian market;
- Deserved excellent reviews, in a large number located on specialized resources;
- Variety of types and materials of manufacture;
- Solid blades and sharp blades that are easy to care for;
- The brand is mainly targeted at European consumers.
- Buyers single out poorly matched kits, in particular the Golf line, where there are two knives of the same type;
- High prices.
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Attention! This rating is subjective, is not an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.