Best Sushi Knives

Sushi means mouthwatering pieces of rice and veggies and, of course, raw fish all rolled into delicious rolls. But to make those ultra-thin slices of fish, or to slice into sushi rolls without squishing them beyond repair, what one needs is the best sushi knife. Finding one can be tiresome, to go deep into the pros and cons, to understand exactly which one suits your needs. 

What I have below are 10 lovely pieces, that I have narrowed down after a lot of research: 

The Best Sushi Knives Hand-Picked For You

Product Blade Best For Highlighted Features
Kai Wasabi Black YanagibaKai Wasabi Black YanagibaDaido 1K6 high-carbonBest Overall
  • High-carbon stainless steel
  • Antibacterial handle
  • Single bevel
  • 8.25 inches
  • Made in Japan
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Mercer Culinary Asian CollectionMercer Culinary Asian CollectionGerman steelBest European
  • Made of German steel
  • NSF-approved handle
  • 10 inches
  • Sanitation-sealed bolster
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Kitchen + Home Non-StickKitchen + Home Non-StickSurgical stainless steelBest Value
  • Surgical stainless steel
  • 8-inch blade
  • Teflon coated
  • Single bevel
  • Very sharp
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Sashimi by Lucky CookSashimi by Lucky Cook5Cr15MoV SteelBest for Home Cooks
  • Carbon stainless steel
  • 10-inch blade
  • Mirror polish
  • Single bevel
  • Wooden handle
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Blade
Length
Handle
Cleaning
Balance
Edge retention
Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba
Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba
Daido 1K6 high-carbon
8.25 inches
Polypropylene & bamboo powder
Dishwasher-safe
5/5
*****
Mercer Culinary Asian Collection
Mercer Culinary Asian Collection
German steel
10 inches
Santoprene
Hand-wash
5/5
*****
Kitchen + Home Non-Stick
Kitchen + Home Non-Stick
Surgical stainless steel
8 inches
ABS
Dishwasher-safe
3.5/5
*****
Sashimi by Lucky Cook
Sashimi by Lucky Cook
5Cr15MoV Steel
10 inches
Natural wood
Hand-wash
4/5
***
DALSTRONG Shogun Series S
DALSTRONG Shogun Series S
AUS-10V
10.5 inches
G-10 Red rosewood
Hand-wash
5/5
*****
Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi
Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi
White steel #2
10.5 inches
Rosewood
Hand-wash
5/5
****
DALSTRONG Gladiator Series
DALSTRONG Gladiator Series
High-carbon German steel
10.5 inches
Laminated pakkawood
Hand-wash
5/5
***
KYOKU Samurai Series
KYOKU Samurai Series
Japanese steel
10.5 inches
Wenge wood
Hand-wash
5/5
*****
TUO Sashimi Yanagiba
TUO Sashimi Yanagiba
High carbon stainless steel
8.25 inches
POM plastic
Dishwasher-safe
4/5
***
Yoshihiro Left-Handed Yanagi Sashimi
Yoshihiro Left-Handed Yanagi Sashimi
White steel #2
11.8 inches
Magnolia wood
Hand-wash
5/5
****

Best Sushi Knives

1. Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba

Kai Wasabi Black Yanagiba
Highlighted Features
  • High-carbon stainless steel
  • Antibacterial handle
  • Single bevel
  • 8.25 inches
  • Made in Japan
KitchenFaction Rating
5

This is a superior quality knife sporting the Japanese character for ‘wasabi’ on the blade and has an anti-bacterial handle as well.

 

Construction: This sushi knife is made of premium Daido 1K6 stainless steel which is also high in carbon. This type of steel has a high Chromium content and can go up to 57 – 59 on the Rockwell Hardness scale and is good quality steel with proper heat treatment. The blade is sharpened on one side only, making it single-beveled, and is a little over 8 inches in length. It is bead-blasted, which renders the knife a pretty look. The rounded handle is a unique blend of polypropylene and bamboo powder, imbued with an antibacterial agent. It is made in Japan and comes with a lifetime warranty.

 

Function: The Daido 1K6 construction of the knife, paired with its high-carbon qualities, makes it hard and thus allows it to have great edge-retention capabilities. This means you can not only use the knife straight out of the packaging, since it comes pre-sharpened to perfection, you can also expect its sharpness to last a while before you have to whip out the whetstone. The single bevel of the knife gives you the ability to make paper-thin slices out of your fish to make excellent sushi.

 

The antibacterial agent in the handle of the knife, along with the synthetic polypropylene, lets you work in a germ-free manner. This is a great addition since this knife is intended to be used a lot in association with raw meat.

 

Cleaning and maintenance: The Kai Wasabi is dishwasher-safe, but you are still advised to hand-wash. Since it is a high-carbon blade and needs a little bit more care than your other knives, it’s better if you take out a couple of minutes to wash it with hot water and dish soap. Dry it immediately, and store safely. The bead-blasting of the blade, while giving it a nice look, makes the knife a bit high-maintenance since all those grooves just encourage water to get in there and allow rust to settle in. So always remember to dry the knife thoroughly.

Pros
  • High-carbon blade
  • Retains edge well
  • Extremely sharp
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Provides germ-free slicing
Cons
  • High-maintenance

2. Mercer Culinary Asian Collection

Mercer Culinary Asian Collection
Highlighted Features
  • Made of German steel
  • NSF-approved handle
  • 10 inches
  • Sanitation-sealed bolster
KitchenFaction Rating
5

This sashimi/sushi knife by Mercer Culinary is made of European steel instead of Japanese steel and has an extremely sharp edge.

 

Construction: This partial-tang Yanagiba by Mercer Culinary is made of high-carbon, stain-resistant German steel with an HRC of 58. The single-beveled blade is rounded off with a stone-finish. The handle is wooden which gives a traditional Asian look to this knife, but you can also have it with an NSF handle. The handle joins to the blade through a sanitation-sealed bolster. All Mercer Asian Collection knives are NSF-certified and meet their standards for quality, safety, and performance.

 

Function: Since the blade is made from carbon-enriched steel, it is quite hard. On top of that, Mercer Culinary has managed to make it stain-resistant as well so you don’t have to worry about the blade losing its luster. The hardness of the material allows it to be sharpened to a very sharp edge which lets you make smooth, long, pulling cuts for sashimi and sushi. The bolster keeps the wood of the handle away from the blade that is subjected to raw meat and thus provides a sanitary experience. 

 

Cleaning and maintenance: The wooden handle of the knife makes it a bit high-maintenance, even if it gives it a traditional Asian look. You cannot put the knife in the dishwasher and are advised to wash by hand. Also, you should avoid soaking the knife in stainless steel or aluminum sinks as that might cause the blade to pit all over. You should avoid soaking the knife, period, and should keep it away from chlorine bleach.

Pros
  • Hard, German steel
  • Extremely sharp
  • Long blade helps in easy slicing
  • Holds edge very well
  • NSF-certified
Cons
  • Not dishwasher-safe

3. Kitchen + Home Non-Stick

Kitchen + Home Non-Stick
Highlighted Features
  • Surgical stainless steel
  • 8-inch blade
  • Teflon coated
  • Single bevel
  • Very sharp
KitchenFaction Rating
4.5

This extremely affordable knife can be used for a lot of things apart from slicing sushi, and its unconventional non-stick coating really sets it apart.

 

Construction: This knife by Kitchen + Home is made of surgical stainless steel, which means it has the hardness you want without worrying too much about rust. The entire knife is 13 inches in length, out of which 8 inches are taken by the blade itself. The blade is not full tang and is supported by a non-porous, non-slip, ergonomic ABS handle. A special feature of this knife is that it is coated with Teflon, and also has holes in the blade. It comes with a 30-days, 100% money-back guarantee that the manufacturer is sure you will not have to use. 

 

Function: This knife, although sold as a ‘sushi’ knife, is actually a glorified chef’s knife. This means that it is highly multi-functional and you can use it to slice up your vegetables, meats, herbs, etc. in addition to your sashimi usage. It’s ABS handle, in addition to providing a really good grip, serves to make it really lightweight. The Teflon coating and the aeration through the holes in the blade make sure that no food sticks to the knife and you don’t have to stop every few seconds to wipe the blade clean.

 

Cleaning and maintenance: According to Kitchen + Home, the knife is dishwasher safe, but they also advise you to hand-wash it. The surgical stainless steel means it’s not as liable to rust as high-carbon steel but, if not taken proper care of, it will eventually fall prey to it. So make sure you dry your multi-purpose knife completely before you put it away. The Teflon is only on the blade and not on the edge, so you don’t have to worry about harming it while sharpening it.

Pros
  • Surgical stainless steel
  • Multi-purpose
  • Non-stick blade
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Synthetic handle
Cons
  • Not full tang

4. Sashimi by Lucky Cook

Sashimi by Lucky Cook
Highlighted Features
  • Carbon stainless steel
  • 10-inch blade
  • Mirror polish
  • Single bevel
  • Wooden handle
KitchenFaction Rating
4.5

This knife sports a natural wood handle and a long, carbon steel blade. It is great for sushi but may not make very thin slices.

 

Construction: The blade of the Lucky Cook sashimi knife is 5Cr15MoV. This means it can be sharpened to the extreme but may lose that edge quickly. The blade is a good 10 inches long and has a shiny, smooth mirror-finish along with a single bevel on the right side. The traditional handle of the knife is natural wood, light brown in color. The knife comes with a pretty box, which means you can either give it as a gift or use it for storage.

 

Function: The 10-inch length of the knife and its ability to be sharpened to perfection is ideal for making long, uninterrupted strokes through raw fish to get perfect slices without messing up the texture. The wooden handle is oval-shaped and, paired with the right-sided bevel, limits the knife to right-handed use. 

 

Cleaning and maintenance: The manufacturer is silent about whether the knife is dishwasher-safe or not which would normally mean that it probably is. But in this case, not only is this a knife, it also has a natural wood handle. Generally, one is advised to not put knives in the dishwasher for fear of damaging the edges, and anything wooden is also supposed to be kept out of the moisture and heat of the dishwasher. Therefore, it is safe to say that you should hand-wash this knife and keep it in a dry place so the wooden handle doesn’t develop any mold.

Pros
  • Carbon steel construction
  • Can be sharpened to perfection
  • Slices without damaging the texture
  • Good length
Cons
  • Natural wood handle requires extra care

5. DALSTRONG Shogun Series S

DALSTRONG Shogun Series S
Highlighted Features
  • Japanese steel
  • Hard and sharp
  • Traditional handle
  • Wooden saya
  • 10.5-inch blade
KitchenFaction Rating
4.5

This long, sharp knife is of hard Japanese steel and has a traditional octagonal handle. It is a great sashimi knife for long, uninterrupted strokes.

 

Construction: This Yanagiba knife in the Shogun Series by Dalstrong has a core made of AUS-10V steel. The core is surrounded by 67 layers of high-carbon stainless steel. This construction gives the blade a ‘Metal-Storm’ look. On the Rockwell Hardness scale, the knife is at 62 and is quite hard and sharp. The full tang of the knife is supported by a traditional-looking, octagonal handle that is made of a combination of G-10 Garolite and red rosewood. The Garolite is a military-grade, fiberglass-like material and is non-porous. The knife comes with a protective saya and Dalstrong provides a 100% satisfaction or money-back guarantee as well.

 

Function: The extremely hard, high-carbon steel of the knife means it can be sharpened to perfection and it can hold that edge for a long time as well. The thick spine of the blade, in combination with this sharp and fine edge, is great; it works to slice the sashimi extremely well and pushes away the slices to prevent sticking of the food. The octagonal handle is very ergonomic and contributes to the right-handedness of the knife due to the single bevel.  The handle also gives a great balance to the knife as it is wrapped around the full tang.

 

Cleaning and Maintenance: Since the knife is high in carbon and has a bit of wood in the handle, it must never go into the dishwasher. The harsh jets will throw it into other things and may cause the edge to chip. If that doesn’t happen, the moisture and the heat of the appliance will certainly damage the handle. Just wash with hot water and soap as soon as your done, dry thoroughly and store in a safe, moisture-free place.

Pros
  • Hard, high-carbon blade
  • Can be sharpened to a fine edge
  • Retains edge well
  • Has a great balance
  • Has a protective sheath
Cons
  • Not dishwasher safe

6. Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi

Yoshihiro Shiroko Sashimi
Highlighted Features
  • White steel #2
  • Rosewood handle
  • Extremely sharp
  • Single bevel
  • Made in Japan
KitchenFaction Rating
4

This pretty high-quality knife is not mass produced and is hand-made in Japan. It has a mist pattern on the blade and is a great high-end piece.

 

Construction: The Yoshihiro knife is made of White Steel #2, which is great for a very fine finish. The fact that it is forged with iron is what contributes to the misty pattern of its blade, called Kasumi. On the Rockwell scale, it has a hardness level between 62-63 and is high in carbon. The blade is a good 10.5 inches in length and has a D-shaped, Rosewood handle. The blade is sharpened on one side only, so the knife has a flat side and a concave side. It also has a protective sheath made of magnolia wood. 

 

Function: The long, thin and extremely sharp Yoshihiro is a Yanagi knife that is designed specifically for sushi and sashimi i.e. to slice raw fish into thin slices without affecting the taste, texture or looks of the flesh. Its extreme hardness allows you to achieve this very easily. The D-shaped handle and the single bevel are both for right-handed use, so left-handers cannot use this knife very effectively. Since it is a high-carbon blade, it is liable to stain but it will not affect the function of the knife. If you want to avoid staining, you should keep it moisture-free.

 

Cleaning and maintenance: Yoshihiro states very clearly that the knife is not to be put in the dishwasher. What you can do instead is wash it with hot water and mild soap, and if you have been cutting anything acidic with it then wash it immediately. Remember to dry it well since it is prone to corrosion like all high-carbon blades. The manufacturer advises using only water whetstones for sharpening. To maintain its edge, avoid using on hard or frozen foods, or on low-quality cutting boards. The manufacturer advises using it only on boneless fish.

Pros
  • Hard, high-carbon steel
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Single bevel slices very thinly
  • Pretty, misty pattern
  • Comes with a protective sheath
Cons
  • Not dishwasher-safe

7. DALSTRONG Gladiator Series

DALSTRONG Gladiator Series
Highlighted Features
  • German steel
  • 10.5-inch blade
  • Full tang
  • Black, laminated pakkawood handle
  • Triple-riveted
KitchenFaction Rating
4

This Yanagiba knife from the Gladiator Series by Dalstrong is made of softer German steel but can be sharpened to a lethal edge, even if it requires more sharpening than Japanese steel.

 

Construction: The Dalstrong Gladiator series sashimi knife has a high-carbon construction with a single piece of high-quality ThyssenKrupp German steel having been forged into a fine blade instead of multiple layers of steel as is commonly found in Japanese knives. The 10.5-inch blade has a Rockwell hardness level of 55, which is a slightly lower number than normally found in Yanagiba knives in this list. The handle of the knife is black pakkawood that is laminated and is triple riveted to the blade. The knife comes with a PerfectFit Dalstrong sheath as well that is stain-resistant and BPA-free.

 

Function: The 55 HRC of the knife means it can be sharpened quite easily to a very lethal edge since it is a bit on the soft side, but that also means that the blade will lose its edge quite quickly in comparison with harder blades. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as this softness will also protect the blade from chipping. The full tang of the knife, triple-riveted to the handle, although unnecessary in a sashimi knife, contributes to giving you an excellent feel and balance. The length of the knife allows you to make long, perfect strokes.

 

Cleaning and maintenance: The blade is not bead-blasted and the handle is laminated pakkawood so the knife should be dishwasher-safe. However, you should most definitely not put it in there since the blade is of a softer steel and the dishwasher jets will throw it into other things, damaging the edge. Just hand-wash with water and soap, dry well and store in the PerfectFit sheath that comes with it. You can always reach out to Dalstrong for their famous customer support whenever you run into a problem with your sushi knife.

Pros
  • Single-piece construction
  • Soft steel easy to sharpen
  • Full tang gives great balance
  • Comes with protective sheath
  • Good length for long strokes
Cons
  • Loses edge quickly

8. KYOKU Samurai Series

KYOKU Samurai Series
Highlighted Features
  • Superior Japanese steel
  • Wenge wood handle
  • Single-beveled
  • Made in China
  • Lifetime warranty
KitchenFaction Rating
3.5

This premium knife made of superior Japanese steel sports an ergonomic handle and comes with a lifetime warranty from the seller.

 

Construction: The KYOKU knife is made from a cobalt-added steel with a Rockwell Hardness grading of 56-58. The 10.5 – inch blade has been cryogenically treated to improve its resistance to wear and tear. The knife is single-beveled to the right side and has a rounded wenge wood handle. It comes sharpened to perfection, maintains its edge very well, has a pretty mirror-finish and also has a lifetime warranty; all you have to do it inform the manufacturer of your defective piece and they will replace it free-of-charge.    

 

Function: Since the knife has been sharpened to a lethal edge, it slices through meat like butter. You will have paper-thin sashimi and perfectly un-squished sushi rolls when you slice through them with this blade. The long blade of ten and a half inches allows you to make long, uninterrupted strokes through your raw fish. The wenge wood handle is ergonomic and provides a perfect grip which, along with the full tang of the knife, lets you enjoy a superior balance. 

 

Cleaning and maintenance: Although the manufacturer doesn’t say if the knife is dishwasher-safe or not, the wenge wood handle means you should probably keep it away from the appliance since all that moisture and heat will certainly destroy the wood. Hand-wash with hot water and soap, and dry thoroughly before storing it in a safe place.

Pros
  • Hard, sharp steel
  • Very well balanced
  • Retains edge very well
  • Thick spine helps in thin slicing
  • Ergonomic handle
Cons
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Made in China

9. TUO Sashimi Yanagiba

TUO Sashimi Yanagiba
Highlighted Features
  • High carbon stainless steel
  • POM plastic handle
  • 8.25 inches
  • Sand-blasted blade
  • Made in China
KitchenFaction Rating
3.5

This sashimi knife has a high carbon stainless steel construction and slices through meat like butter. It is great if you are only just discovering the joys of home-made sushi.

 

Construction: This sashimi knife by TUO is based on Japanese construction but is actually made in China, not Japan. The steel of the knife is high carbon and stainless, which can be sharpened to perfection. On the Rockwell Hardness scale, it is around 58. The full tang of the knife is supported by an octagonal, POM plastic handle, while the blade itself is sand-blasted to give a premium, mirror-finished look to the knife. 

 

The knife is single-beveled and TUO offers a 100% Satisfaction or Money-back guarantee to make the buying decision easier for you. On top of that, it comes in a luxury packing so it can also make a gift for the budding sushi chef in your life.

 

Function: The 58 HRC of the high-carbon steel used for the blade of this knife means you have an extremely sharp blade, although in some cases the knife has arrived not very sharp. But as you can sharpen it at home quite easily, that’s not a problem that cannot be overlooked. Although the handle of the knife is octagonal and not D-shaped for a particular orientation, the blade’s single bevel is on the right side and so it cannot be ideally used by left-handers. For right-handers, however, the combination of the handle and the blade offers a good balance. 

 

Cleaning and maintenance: Since the blade is sand-blasted, it means the knife is not as prone to rust as some bead-blasted pieces. Also, the handle is not wood, but completely synthetic. So, even if the manufacturer doesn’t say if it’s dishwasher-safe or not one could assume that it is. Even so, it’s better to hand-wash it and dry completely. 

Pros
  • High-carbon construction
  • Mirror-finish doesn’t rust very quickly
  • Synthetic handle doesn’t get moldy
  • Good length for thin slicing
Cons
  • Made in China

10. Yoshihiro Left-Handed Yanagi Sashimi

Yoshihiro Left-Handed Yanagi Sashimi
Highlighted Features
  • 11.8 inches long
  • Magnolia wood handle
  • High-carbon white steel
  • Protective sheath included
KitchenFaction Rating
3.5

This model is an almost exact reproduction of the Yoshihiro model discussed in detail earlier, except that it is left-handed.

 

Construction: This knife is made of Japanese high-carbon white steel #2. It is a long, thin knife and as it is forged with iron, it has a misty pattern similar to its right-handed brother discussed earlier in detail. It does not have a full tang and is connected through a Water Buffalo horn bolster to a magnolia wood handle. It has a left-handed D-shaped handle and a single bevel. The protective sheath that comes with the knife is also magnolia wood, and the set is provided with knife oil and a rust eraser as well. 

 

Function: The thin blade of the sushi/sashimi knife is ideal for slicing in long, uninterrupted strokes, according the Yoshihiro. Since it is White Steel #2, it is really easy to hone to a fine edge which helps in achieving the extreme sharpness necessary to cut through sushi rolls without squishing them beyond repair. The knife is excellent for left-handers and cannot be used by right-handers due to the bevel and the handle both being left-handed.

 

Cleaning and maintenance: The manufacturer advises strictly to not put the knife in the dishwasher and only wash by hand, with warm water and mild soap. The knife is not stain-proof, since it is high in carbon, but if you take proper care it will give you good service for years to come. The included oil should be applied on the blade when putting it away, and only water whetstones should be used to sharpen the knife when required.

Pros
  • Made of hard steel
  • Extremely sharp and thin
  • Slices well
  • For left-handed use
  • Comes with protective oil
Cons
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Not for right-handers

Things to look for before buying!

When you start looking at sushi knives, you might find that your head starts to spin from all the models that are available and you might make a quick decision that you live to regret. If, however, you focus on some important points as you make the buying decision, you are bound to make the right choice. 

A good sushi knife should:

  • Be of good quality steel
  • Be of a good length
  • Have an ergonomic handle
  • Be very sharp
  • Be thin and not very flexible

Buying Guide

What should you know about sushi knives?

Not everyone is a sushi chef and as such information about sushi knives is not common knowledge. I actually had no idea that there was a separate knife for sushi until I did some research. And then, of course, I realized there were many others like myself. Let’s discuss some questions people generally have when it comes to sushi knives.

What exactly is a sushi knife?

A sushi knife is a long, heavy knife that is used specifically for making sushi. And by sushi, I don’t just mean the delicious rolls of fish and rice. I mean the thinly-sliced raw fish, in general, that is a part of the Japanese cuisine. There are other knives as well that make up a true ‘sushi’ set; the knife used for cleaving through bones and the knife used for chopping up vegetables. 

What is a sushi knife really called?

A sushi knife is not generally known just as a ‘sushi’ knife because, as mentioned earlier, it’s not just for sushi. It’s also called a sashimi knife, and sashimi is the thinly sliced raw fish that we need the ‘sushi’ knife for. But what it is really called, the authentic name of this blade, is Yanagiba. The Yanagiba is the knife used to slice up meat, while the Usubu and the Deba are used to cleave through bones and to slice vegetables, respectively

Why do you need a sushi knife?

There are huge differences between a regular knife and a sushi knife. For that reason, you can’t do sashimi with just any old knife. I mean, you can, but that doesn’t mean you should. A regular knife, if it is sharp enough, will be so thin that it will make all the slices stick together. If it isn’t that thin, it will be so thick it will just squish your rolls and destroy the texture of the meat beyond repair. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, you need a sushi/sashimi knife.

What is the difference between a sushi knife and a regular knife?

There are a lot of differences between sushi knives and regular knives. For starters, regular knives need chopping actions while a sushi knife needs to make slices as you pull the blade towards yourself. For that reason, the sushi knife doesn’t really need a full tang that many other knives need in order to be considered good quality. 

 

Also, while the blade of the sushi knife is very sharp and fine, the spine is not. It is quite thick, which allows the knife to separate the slices as soon as they are made so the food doesn’t stick together. This keeps your delicious rolls apart and preserves their texture.

 

Another major difference between a sushi knife and a regular knife is the bevel. Most regular knives are double-beveled. A sushi knife, however, is single-beveled. At least, and authentic one is. That is because the flat-concave mixture of the blade allows the knife to slice into the meat and push away the slices simultaneously. For this reason, a left-handed chef will need a left-beveled knife as they won’t be able to use a right-beveled knife very effectively.

Can a sushi knife be serrated?

Can a sushi knife be serrated? No. Why? Because serrations on the knife will most certainly damage the cells of the raw meat as you slice into it. This will mess up the texture and the taste of your sushi. The whole point of using a sushi knife and not just any knife is to preserve the taste and texture of this delicacy, and a knife with a serrated edge will just not cut it. Pun intended.

How to find a good sushi knife?

To find a good sushi knife, you need to look at a lot of things. You need to focus on the material of the blade, for starters, and on how hard it is. Secondly, you should also note the edge-retention. If you are left-handed, you should pay special attention to the bevel, as it must be on the left-side for you to be actually able to use your knife. Also, bad news for you, left-handers: since left-handed sushi knives are made in little numbers, they are on the expensive side. 

 

Material: ideally the knife should be made of high-carbon steel. High amounts of carbon in steel make it really hard, which means the blade can be sharpened to a very fine edge and it will retain that edge for a long time as well. The con: hard steels can chip if you are a bit careless with it. Also, they are not as corrosion-resistant as their low-carbon siblings so keep them moisture-free.

 

Edge-retention: as mentioned earlier, hard steels will maintain that edge for longer but that doesn’t mean that softer steels are bad. A blade a bit lower on the HRC will lose edge faster, true, but it will also sharpen to a lethal edge very quickly. If you’re not bothered with sharpening a bit more often, there’s no reason why you can’t go for a softer steel (e.g. 55 HRC).

 

Handle: the handle of a sushi/sashimi knife can be of various types. It can be rounded, oval, the traditional octagonal, right-handed, or left-handed. It can be plastic, wood, a mixture of both, etc. just try to understand which type is what you generally prefer in your hand and go for it. Remember to keep the bevel in mind: choose according to your slicing hand, or your knife is useless for sashimi.

What else to use a sushi knife for?

It’s best if you curb the lazy instinct to grab the first knife you see to slice into whatever article you want to cut up. A Yanagiba is a specialty utensil and you should treat it as such. You are not shoveling out all this money for a knife that loses its shape quickly because you subjected it to use that it was not meant for.

How to sharpen a sushi knife?

You can sharpen a sushi knife just like you sharpen all of your other knives, just take care that you don’t ruin the single-bevel construction. Follow the edge that is already there and if you are unsure or haven’t done it before, you can even take it to a professional to do the sharpening for you… or you can read this blog post that takes you step-by-step through the whole procedure

Some manufacturers are of the opinion that Japanese knives should only be sharpened on Japanese water stones, so take that into account while you make a buying decision. 

How to take care of a sushi knife?

As discussed earlier, sushi knives are generally high in carbon, with an HRC rating around 60, more or less. As the carbon content goes up, the corrosion-resistance of the knife goes down. This means that your Yanagiba is very prone to getting all rusty and useless. What you need to do is take very good care of your special friend so you don’t have to replace it. Whatever you do, try your hardest to not put your knife in the dishwasher, even if the manufacturer gives you the green light. That must moisture might destroy the blade faster than you can blink.

 

The harder the steel gets, the more brittle it becomes. This is another good reason to not put the blade in the dishwasher since its fast jets will throw it into other utensils and the blade might chip. Also, don’t use it on bad quality cutting boards if you want to prevent the edge from getting chipped.

 

Always hand-wash your Yanagiba/sushi knife, dry it with extreme care and store in a moisture-free, safe place. Your knife will thank you for it by providing you years of faithful service.

 

And so, we draw to a close. I have discussed 10 great models, and all the questions you could possibly have. Read up, choose wisely and make great sushi and unleash your inner Itamae!

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