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Nowadays, buying a knife isn’t as simple as it used to be. Not when there are so many different types of knives out there. From utility knives to hibachi blades, there’s more to look out for than just ‘sharp’.
Japanese steak knives are a whole other ball game. Originating from the capital of Samurai swords, Sakai, they are considered some of the sharpest and most accurate knives in the world.
The fact that they originate from the capital of Samurai swords, and just happen to be the best blades in the world, is not a mere coincidence. You can tell Japanese steak knives are made with precision and experience handed down from generations.
What is a Japanese Steak Knife?
Japanese steak knives, also known as ‘gyutou’ are also sometimes confused with Japanese santoku knives. The difference is that santoku knives are considered all purpose knives, possessing the 3 virtues (which is what santoku means) in their ability to cut meat, fish, and vegetables.
Gyutou knives are singularly focused on their ability to slice through meat before it even knows it’s being cooked. The best gyutous have links to Japan, and that’s one of the key ways you can tell if the Japanese steak knife is authentic.
In our guide, we’ve researched 5 of the best Japanese steak knives currently on the market. We’re excited to tell you why they should be a part of your grilling accessories.
Best Japanese Steak Knives
Dalstrong Omega Series
Starting off the list strong with Omega Series Dalstrong 4-piece steak knife set. Now, Dalstrong as a company was actually founded in Canada in 2014, by David Dallaire.
David was a chef and used to being in the heat of the kitchen. Noticing how his passion for cooking wasn’t living up so well with the equipment, he endeavored to create a brand of knives that could do world renowned chef’s justice, and bring some of that to the regular chefs at home.
Canada? For a Japanese steak knife? We can hear the skepticism already but hold on just a minute before passing judgment.
Every single Dalstrong knife is actually manufactured in China. Dalstrong knives are made by an expert bladesmith, who’s traditions date back over dynasties, at least 1400 years.
Known for producing famous blades, such as the ‘Emei Xuanjin Broadsword’, which went on to win great battles and slay armies, you can trust the authenticity of a Dalstrong knife without question.
The Omega series by Dalstrong are some of their most precise and sharpest knives to date. Their patented ‘LiquidMetal’ pattern on the blades reduce the drag which lets you glide through the cut.
The knives are made from ‘Hyper steel’, forged with nitrogen, which is an altogether much stronger version of steel, are less susceptible to erosion, and therefore less likely to blunt quickly. The nitrogen makes the blade harder than most, more flexible, and tough.
The blade is forged using vacuum heat treatment, which leaves it near invincible to the cold, heat, and wet.
The blades are angled at around 8°-12° degrees to give you a more accurate angle to cut with. These knives are some of the best you can buy. As with quality, it does come with a hefty price tag.
- Angled blade
- Vacuum heat treated
- Incredibly sharp
- Crafted with years of experience
- Beautiful Damascus style look
- 4 steak knives included in set
Miyabi Mizu SG2 Steak Knife Set
Zwilling was founded in 1731 and their sole purpose had been to make knives, both for domestic use and professional use. So they’ve got experience making knives that will cut through absolutely anything.
Zwilling may be a German based company, but that doesn’t get in the way of authenticity. Their gyutous are produced in Japan and use impressive technology to create one of the sharpest and most precise blades out there.
The Miyabi Mizu SG2 is a steak knife set designed to be a cut above all the rest. It’ll be the only steak knife you need.
It is a very good length, and with its own wooden, arched handle designed for comfort and speed, the gyutou is designed with a professional chef in mind.
Interestingly, when the blade is forged a Tsuchime finish is created using a hammer, for hardening, as well as ice hardening too, which make the Miyabi very flexible and near invincible.
The blade itself is made from MicroCarbide MC63 powder steel, which is entrenched in 2 whole layers of steel.
Because of that, the Miyabi SG2 is roughly 63 Rockwell. Rockwell, named after it’s creator Stanley Rockwell in 1919, is a unit of measurement for the hardness of an object.
The highest Rockwells in the world right now score around in the 60’s. So as you can imagine, this blade is incredibly tough to score 63 Rockwell.
And, even better, Zwilling are so proud of their knife and have so much faith that it’ll last you a lifetime, that they’ve even included a free lifetime warranty. But with how expensive this one single steak knife is, that’s probably the least they could do.
- Lifetime warranty
- Ice hardened
- MicroCarbide MC63 powder steel blade
- Tsuchime finish
- Pakka wood handle for balance
- Sharp yet flexible
- Authentic Japanese knife
Damashiro Emperor Japanese Steak Knives Set
You can’t get more authentic than the Damashiro Emperor Japanese Steak Knives Set. It’s made from Japanese steel, specifically designed for its durability and precision.
The Damashiro Emperor Japanese Steak Knives Set comprises of 4, Japanese steel made, steak knives that are made for their versatility. From everyday dining to formal occasions, these knives are almost flawless in their functionality.
You may have noticed a lot of these knives have pakka wood handles, as does the Damashiro set. This is because pakka wood is one of the most comfortable materials for a knife handle, yet remains strong enough to keep the blade in place.
The razor sharp serrations on this shatter resistant blade means that it takes virtually no effort and no worry to cut whatever your heart desires in a matter of seconds.
Like the La Cote, the Damashiro Emperor Japanese Steak Knives Set also comes in a box. Meaning it would make a great and classy gift for someone.
These blades are actually designed and based off of ancient Damascus steel blades, and inspired by traditional Japanese craftsmen who were known for their Samurai swords. These knives are shatter resistant, incredibly rough, and have incredibly sharp edges.
The blades are perfectly designed to be able to slice through meat, fish, and vegetables, without tearing or crushing- giving a nice clean slice all the way through.
Cuisines Pro, the parent company of these blades, also offers a lifetime guarantee, so if there’s ever anything wrong with your knives, they’ve got your back. And these might just be the most affordable Japanese steak knives on our list.
- Serrated blade
- Comes in box
- Shatter Resistant
- Heat proof
- Lifetime guarantee
- 4 Pieces
- Not as strong as other steak knives
Kyoku Chef Shogun Series Japanese Steak Knife
Kyoku is a very well known brand, and even more well known for their knives. The Kyoku Chef Shogun steak knife is a singular, handcrafted, blade, designed to be the only knife you’ll ever need in the kitchen.
Made from Japanese VG10 steel, it uses traditional Japanese Damascus knife manufacturing technology.
After importing the materials, most Kyoku blades are then handcrafted in China. The best thing about Japanese VG10 steel is that it won’t corrode for many many years.
The word Shogun, refers to the ancient Japanese feudal position. Essentially, because of how much military power they had, being the head of the military, the shogun of the dynasty was the real ruler because they held all the power.
The reasoning behind naming a series of their knives Shogun, is that Kyoku is saying that this knife has all the power in the kitchen. Don’t be fooled by those spoons, it’s the Kyoku Chef Shogun Series Japanese Steak Knife that’s the real ruler of the kitchen.
Though the knife doesn’t come with a box, it does come with a sheath and case for protection. How’s that for making you feel like a samurai?
The blade is about 16 inches, or 15cms in length, which means it might not be as long as the other knives on our list but it does the job. It beats La Cote with 58-60 Rockwell in strength.
And along the side the beautiful herringbone pattern gives the blade a stunning finish as well as being practical. The patter prevents food from sticking to the knife and helps it’s long term durability.
- Herringbone pattern
- Japanese steel
- 58-60 Rockwell
- Lifetime guarantee
- Only 6 inches in length
Japanese Steak Knives – Buyers’ Guide
It’s never easy buying something you don’t know much about and it can take tons of research before you’re confident enough to even begin looking. Tons of research that could take tons of time.
Luckily we’ve done that bit for you so you don’t have to. We’ve put together a handy guide to let you know what to look for when buying a Japanese Steak knife, and the things to consider.
As mentioned earlier, Rockwell is a unit of measurement for how hard and tough something is. It takes in factors like the depth of penetration by another object, a major load and a minor load.
A truly good Japanese Steak Knife will have a high Rockwell of anywhere between 50-70.
The best Japanese steak knives are often made with stainless steel.
They’ll always have a mixture of another metal as well, as this is what makes the blades sharper, stronger, flexible, and more durable. The most authentic steak knives will use Japanese stainless steel.
A sharp blade is only half the story. The handle is what decides the cut. An uncomfortable, or even weak, handle can cause imprecise cuts, or may even break.
Pakka wood handles are usually the best for steak knives as they are ergonomically designed to give the best performance. Smooth, flexible, and comfortable, pakka wood is also heavily resistant to moisture and heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Are Japanese Steak Knives Different From Western Knives?
This is a very common question, and valid too. Some might argue that a knife is a knife. Most normal knives tend to be sharp, for the first couple of uses. But inevitably they always become blunt over time and need to be replaced. This is down to the type of material they’re made of.
Typical western knives use a single metal, like carbon steel, or iron, for their blades. Whereas Japanese steak knives will use a mixture of different metals, combining them to create a much stronger, sharper, and more durable knife.
What Kind Of Japanese Knives Are There?
Japanese knives are some of the best out there. There are also many different types with specific uses. You wouldn’t use a table spoon for a job that requires a ladle, right?
The same goes for knives. Japanese knives all have specific names that relate to their uses, and make it easier for you to know which ones to use. They are as follows:
You may be most familiar with this as we’ve covered them in the article. Gyutou literally translates to ‘beef sword’. It’s used for cutting meat and fish. Also known as Japanese steak knives.
Santoku blades are best known as all-purpose. They cut anything from meat to veg, and can slice, dice, mince, and chop thanks to the blade’s curve.
Sashimi, also known as a Japanese delicacy, is generally used for cutting raw fish and sushi.
Usaba knives are very close in physicality to meat cleavers, just a little thinner. Ironically they’re actually mainly used for fruit and vegetables.
Deba knives have a sharp point which is thanks to their curved spine and tip. This makes them ideal for preparing and deboning fish.
What Can I Use A Japanese Steak Knife For?
Gyutous, or Japanese steak knives, are actually very versatile. While they work very well when it comes to cutting a ribeye or NY strip, that’s not the only thing they’re good for. They cut pretty much anything from the smallest clove of garlic to chunky legs of lamb.
They’re probably the most useful knives you can buy, and the only one you’ll need in your kitchen. This is why they’re known as chef’s knives.
We hope this helped you figure out which of these gyutou are the best for you. Japanese steak knives are probably some of the sharpest, strongest, and most useful knives that you can have, and the most comfortable to hold. Every kitchen should be equipped with one.