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Our Best Sushi Knife Comprehensive Guide

Sushi is one of the most unique cooking methods in the world. It delivers an amazing portrait of flavors from sweet to savory to salty and beyond. It’s for that reason that you’ll need to utilize very specific knives in order to make this correctly. The craft of sushi takes on a whole new meaning when you have the right utensils at your disposal. It’s for that reason that you should consider a few keys to ensuring that you have the correct knives before embarking on mastering the techniques that are involved with this type of cooking methodology.

best sushi knife

Close up of salmon

4 Common Types of Sushi Knives To Consider

There are currently several knives that you will need to utilize in order to make sushi. Professional chefs that specialize in this focus on several tools to ensure they get the proper cuts and filets. With that in mind, consider the following quick guide to the most common knives in this arena.

The Yanagiba – As far as sushi knives are concerned, this may be the “normal” solution you will see. It’s used often to cut fish and rolls, and is the premier knife to utilize for sashimi cuts. This is a small, thin knife with a longer blade than handle. It’s meant for precision cuts.

The Deba – You may find that this solution looks like a cleaver. It’s not, but the angle of the handle to the blade ratio will definitely appear that way at first glance. The Deba is meant to cut right through bones, and pull away cartilage from larger pieces. It’s meant to have hard movements, and the blade showcases that.

The Usuba – Cutting vegetables, peeling skin, and doing a lot swifter cutting is usually relegated to the Usuba. This is a rectangular knife that peels, and finely cuts.

The Santoku – This is the last of the knives you’ll see, and it’s called the Santoku. It is used often in the “western” world, as a utility player in the lineup of knives that sushi chefs use. It’s a well-rounded solution, but not often used in Japan.

At this point you have a small glimpse into the knives most commonly used within the world of this Japanese specialty. If you want to learn more about other knives, check out our comprehensive kitchen knife post.Without these, making precision, authentic sushi is very difficult to manage. Check out our best sushi knife list below.

What Type Of Steel Is Best?

This question is controversial because every professional in the industry has their opinion. Most sushi knives are made up of three different types of steel which are carbon, stainless and composite. Each type has its pros and cons which mean the chef must decide on his own which is best according to his needs.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel has the sharpest edge of the steel types on this list. However, because of this, you will spend a lot of time maintaining it making sure it doesn’t get rusty. If you make the decision of purchasing a sushi knife made of steel, more skill will be required on your end. Meticulous slicing and cutting will be key to making sure your knife has a long shelf life.

Composite Steel

Sushi Knives made up composite steel are my absolute favorite. They also have a sharp edge but require less maintenance and are less likely to rust quickly. The only drawback to this type of steel is that it can be quite expensive. The sushi knife I currently own is made of this kind of steel, and it cost me over $100.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a to personal preference of many chefs in the industry. Although it does not rust easily, the edge isn’t as sharp as the other two, so it is something you need to take into consideration. If you are a beginner and just starting out, steel knives are usually more affordable and better to learn with.

Our Best Sushi Knife List

Yoshihiro Blue Steel Hongasumi Yanagi Sushi Knife

From the moment you look at this piece of art you know it´s going to be a wonderful addition to your kitchen´s arsenal. Yoshihiro Blue Steel Hongasumi Yanagi Sushi KnifeEverything, from the Magnolia handle to the single bladed edge makes this knife a must if you are keen on having the best utensils in your kitchen. This is my favorite knife on the best sushi knife list.

The knife itself is forged with High Carbon Blue Steel which provides a better retention and a finer edge. The 10.5 single bladed edge has a traditional grind and counts with a flat ground on the front and a concave on the back.

This knife’s handle provides an immensely satisfying grip from the moment you grab it. Its octagonal shape is perfect for any cutting and level of experience you possess.

It´s worth to mention the knife is really sharp which means you have to be greatly careful when you handle it. Furthermore, it only needs to be sharpened on one side, which makes it even faster and easier to use.

While the price might seem a little bit extravagant for a knife, we have to say it is totally worth it and completely fair for what you´re getting.

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Sekizo Yanagiba Sashimi Knife

If you’re looking for a cheaper and equally amazing alternative, then this knife is one of your best options. The Sekizo Yanagiba Sekizo Yanagiba Sashimi KnifeSashimi Knife is made in Japan and provides outstanding performance, especially when you compare it to equally-priced knives. In fact, you will find numerous sushi knives in this price range, but none of them will stand up to the Sekizo Yanagiba Sashimi Knife.

The blade alone measures approximately 8 inches and the whole knife is 14 inches long. The blade, as you might assume, is perfect for slicing raw fish and will provide a slick and easy cut. The handle wooden handle allows for a comfortable grip when using the tool. It doesn’t get any better than this best sushi knife.

Just like most quality knives, you have to take good care of it if you want it to keep working perfectly. The knife should be sharpened using only a whetstone for a better performance and should be washed with dish washing liquid before use. Of course, the blade must be thoroughly dried before you use it.

All in all, this product provides you with an excellent multipurpose knife that will make the cutting process significantly easier and faster. A must if you want to up your cooking game without jeopardizing your budget.

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Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Yanagi Sashimi Knife

Until now, we’ve only seen Japanese knives on this list. However, German knives are also worthy of being in your kitchen arsenal,Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Yanagi Sashimi Knife especially if you´re looking for a high quality sushi knife that has a long duration and great performance. With a traditional D-shaped wooden handle and blade made of high carbon stain free German steel, the Yanagi Sashimi knife is one of your best options. This best sushi knife is a true classic and the details are incredible.

Opposed to common belief, Japanese knives are not the only ones perfect for cutting sushi without crushing it. In fact, German steel also provides with an exception and clean cut suited for the most advanced sushi chefs.

The knife is certified by the NSF, a widely respected organization that tests the best knives from all over the world to determine their quality and measure their performance. The Yanagi Sashimi Knife has met their standards for safety, quality and performance.

All in all, we can safely say the Yanagi Sashimi Knife is a great option if you want to achieve slick and perfect slices at a reasonable price and with practically no effort.

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Global G-11L – 10 inch Yanagi Sashimi Knife

And for the final knife on our list we go back to the high-priced utensils. If you´re one of those sushi chefs who love having the Global G-11L - 10 inch Yanagi Sashimi Knifebest knives in your kitchen, this product is perfect for you.

With a razor sharp blade that stays that way for a lifetime and an equally durable and hard handle, the Global G-11L Yanagi Sashimi Knife will allow you to achieve perfect slices with no effort and in no time. As you´d expect, this masterpiece is Japanese and is perfectly balanced to provide you with a unique performance.

In spite of the hard and durable materials that are used in its forging, the knife is immensely lightweight and easy to handle which makes it perfect both for beginners and experts.

If you want it to perform uniformly for a longer time, wash it with dishwasher soap before every use. Furthermore, make sure it´s thoroughly dried beforehand.

As you can see, only a handful of products will give you such a great performance and balance in the design. Although this one is a modicum pricey, we have to state it´s worth it. One of the last knives on our best sushi knife list but it definitely should not be underestimated. As far as the best sushi knives go, this is quite expensive but well worth the purchase.

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This concludes our exclusive sushi knife guide. If you want to learn about another type of specialty knife, you will need to review our comprehensive cheese knife guide to solve this issue easily.

Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com

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