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Best Japanese Knife Set – 7 Picks & Reviews For 2021

When it comes to the production of top-quality knives, Japanese knife sets are undoubtedly the best. Unlike other models, these ones have unique designs and unmatched craftsmanship. Their blades are made of premium material to enhance precision and accuracy.

Apart from that, they are super sharp, lightweight, and are able to maintain their edge for a longer time than their competitors. I have done detailed research and identified the 7 best Japanese knife sets that provide better performance all the time from professional hands to home chef.

Why Should You Choose The Japanese Knife Set?

Japanese knife sets are among the most popular models on the market. These knives are handcrafted in Japan by highly skilled artisans and are based on Japanese traditions. They are specially designed to give you the best performance when cutting. Unlike others, they are made from a high carbon stainless steel material which is highly resistant to rust and corrosion.

In terms of performance, these knives are super sharp and they are able to maintain their edge for a long time since they are thinner than others. Apart from that, they are very stylish and their handles are designed to give you an excellent grip. They are a bit expensive due to their unique qualities but they will greatly elevate your cooking skills to the next level.

01. Shun Classic – Best Overall

The Shun Classic 6-Piece comes first in the list as the best Japanese block set on the market. The set includes (7-inch Santoku knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, 8-inch chef’s knife, multipurpose kitchen shears, 9- inch combination honing steel, and an 8 slot slim design wooden block).

Each knife contains an XG MAX Cutting Core on each side with 34 layers of stainless steel Damasus Cladding steel. Due to this, the blades are highly durable and they also have excellent edge retention.

These blades have been sharpened at 16 degrees angle on each side to enhance their performance. They also have a hollow-ground indentation which creates small air pockets to minimize drag and to ensure that food is released easily.

Another thing that sets these knives apart from the rest is their unique waved pattern design. They contain attractive Damascus- clad blades, which feature D-shaped Pakkawood handles.

These handles are designed to fit in your hands perfectly. Their design also prevents the blade from turning. Additionally, they are strong, long-lasting, and moisture resistant.

Related: Shun Knives Review – (Top 7 Picks With Ultimate Guide)

Pros
  • Unique waved pattern design
  • Ideal set for everyday use
  • Razor-sharp and corrosion-resistant blades
  • D-shaped Pakkawood handles
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Very expensive

02. Global 7-Piece Block Set – Best Premium

The Global 7-Piece block set comes with very advanced features which you can rarely find in other premium Japanese knife sets. The most outstanding thing about the set is that all the knives have excellent edge retention.

The blades are made from CROMOVA 18 Stainless steel which is among the finest forms of steel. This material is hardened and ice tempered to a Rockwell hardness of 56 to 58. As a result, the blades remain sharp for a longer time than other types of steel.

Apart from that, this material is highly rustproof, stain-resistant, and corrosion-resistant. All the blades feature a dimpled handle, which is filled with sand to create the correct balance and safe grip.

In addition, each side of the blade edge is grounded to provide long-lasting razor-sharp performance. The set contains, (4.5-inch utility knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, 8-inch Chef’s Utility, and Prep knife, 8-inch bread knife, 5.5-inch Nakiri knife, and a Bamboo/Acrylic knife block). It also comes with a lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • Made of Cromova stainless steel
  • Unique and classy design
  • Excellent edge retention
  • Resistant to stains, rust, and corrosion
  • Unique Dimpled handle provides safe grip
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Not a durable storage block

03. Kessaku 4 Knife Set – Best For Beginners

This set has been specially designed to serve you for many years. It comes with a lifetime warranty which proves its reliability. It is made from a formulated high carbon 7CR17MOV stainless steel. This material is nonstick and corrosion resistant meaning that your knives will last for a long time.

The set also features precision-forged blades which are hand-sharpened and handcrafted using a traditional 3 stage Honbazuke method. These blades have a Rockwell hardness of 58 to enhance strength, blade edge durability, and flexibility. This also enables them to provide clean and precise cuts.

To make your work easier when cutting, the set is equipped with Pakkawood handles which provide superior grip. The handles also have an ergonomic design and are well-balanced to ensure that you are very comfortable. Another outstanding thing about this set is that it has been redesigned using the latest technology to enhance precision and maneuverability.

Pros
  • Unmatched craftsmanship
  • Full tang strength handles
  • Magnetic closure gift box
  • Blades are made of top quality material
  • Rockwell hardness of 58
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • The set has 4 knives only

04. Ginsu Kiso – Best Dishwasher Safe

In case you are searching for an affordable and dishwasher-safe knife set, the Ginsu will be an excellent choice for you. Unlike other sets, this one comes with Purple composite handles which give your dinner table or countertop a fashionable appearance. These handles are very comfortable to hold and easy to clean.

Apart from the stylish design, all the knives are super sharp to make your work easier in the kitchen. You will also find that all the blades are well polished to a mirror finish which makes them safe to clean in a dishwasher. Apart from that, they have a serrated pattern to ensure that they remain sharp forever.

The knives are perfect for slicing, dicing, and chopping. This set includes (8-inch chef knife, 4.5-inch steak knife, 7-inch Santoku knife, 4.5-inch utility knife, (6) 3.5-inch paring knives, 5-inch boning knife, slicer plus a natural wood block. This block allows you to keep your knives sharp and organized.

Pros
  • Unique purple handles
  • Excellent quality
  • Doesn’t rust
  • Reasonable price
  • Very sharp blades
Cons
  • Cheaply made, not recommended for professionals

05. Imarku 16-piece – Best For Home Chefs

In case you would like to enhance versatility in your kitchen, the Imarku 16-Piece kitchen knife set will be worth your money. It includes (an 8-inch Chef’s knife, 8-inch slicing knife, 5- inch utility knife, 6-inch chef’s knife, 3-inch paring knife, (6) 5-inch steak knives, 5.5- inch kitchen scissors,  8-inch knife sharpener, 8 -inch utility knife, 7-inch Santoku knife, 8-inch slicing knife, and a wooden knife block). This means that it comes with all tools you would need for cutting in your kitchen.

All the knives in this set are made of top-quality 3CR13MOV high carbon stainless steel blades to enhance accuracy and precision. This material is highly durable and also resistant to rust, corrosion, and stains.

In order to enhance control and stability, a sturdy bolster is included. Moreover, the handles are made of top-quality Pakkawood which is not only comfortable but also sturdy. The block features well-carved slots which allow you to retrieve the knives easily.

Pros
  • Outstanding one-piece design
  • Ergonomic handles
  • High carbon stainless steel blades
  • Corrosion and rust-resistant
  • Not easy to blunt
  • Convenient knife retrieval
Cons
  • Not a full tang blade

06. DFITO Chef Knife Set – Best For Commercial

This multipurpose 10-Piece knife set includes (8-inch chef knife, 8-inch slicer knife, 8-inch utility knife, 7-inch Santoku knife, 5-inch santoku knife, 8-inch bread knife, 7.5-inch cleaver knife, 6-inch boning knife, 3.5-inch paring knife, and 7-inch cleaver knife).

One of the major selling points of these knives is that their blades are laser-tested for sharpness. As a result, they are great for slicing, mincing, dicing fruits, fish, vegetables, and meat.

In order to enhance durability, this set is made of high-carbon forged stainless steel which contains over 54 Rockwell hardness. Due to this, all the knives are highly resistant to rust and corrosion. Again, the blades are hard sharpened to 13-15⁰ on each side.  This enables them to maintain their sharpness for a longer time.

In terms of design, this set has an original wooden texture plus a waved laser-etched pattern which gives the knives a stylish and shiny finish. Unlike other Japanese sets, this set comes with a protective sheath to enhance your safety. And each knife features a sturdy bolster to enhance stability and control. It’s a great knife set under $200 which is less expensive and professional-grade than other expensive Japanese block sets.

Pros
  • Indigenous appearance and design
  • Excellent toughness
  • Protective sheath included
  • Corrosion and rust-resistant
  • Ultra-sharp edge
  • Long-lasting and sturdy bolster
Cons
  • Handles require frequent maintenance

07. Enso Knife Set – HD Series – Best Versatile

Second, in my list is the Enso Knife Set which also comes with amazing features to make your cutting job easier. To start with, the set consists of an (8-inch chef’s knife for dicing, cutting and slicing vegetables, fruits etc.

You will also find a 9-inch bread knife, which is sharp enough to cut through tough crusts. This knife features a scalloped edge which enables it to cut crusty cakes and bread very easily. In addition, there is a 6.5-inch Santoku knife, which you can use to chop, dice, or slice vegetables, or fruits.

It also comes with a 3.25-inch paring knife which is suitable for small tasks such as trimming, peeling, decorating, chopping small food items like ginger or garlic cloves among other simple tasks. Other things you will find in this set include a 6- inch utility knife, stainless steel shears, and a 6-slot knife block.

All the knives are handcrafted using Japanese VG 10 37-layer stainless steel to enhance durability.  You will also find that all the knives feature a Sashimi or hammered finish to enhance their design. For easier use, they all are equipped with a black canvas micarta handle which contains 3 stainless steel rivets.

Pros
  • Blades feature a stylish finish
  • Lightweight and sharp
  • Excellent edge retention
  • Rockwell hardness of 61°
  • Comfortable handle
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Only few knives

Things To Consider For The Best Japanese Knife Set

Are Japanese knives dishwashers safe

Check out these features when buying a Japanese knife set. These are;

Total knives and tools

Before you purchase any Japanese set, you need to think of the cutting tasks you normally do in your kitchen. Since they come as a set of different pieces, you need to check the type of knives available.

This will help you to choose a reliable set that matches your cooking tasks. In order to enhance versatility and productivity in your kitchen, you should consider a set with many pieces of knives and tools include a block.

Good storage block

These knives come with a block for storage. This block should be stylish and you should also be able to retrieve your knives easily from it.

You should also check the material used in its construction to ensure that it won’t fade or break down after sometime.

Price range

When it comes to price, Japanese knife sets are very expensive. If you are on a budget, you can consider cheaper models like the Ginsu Kiso Dishwasher Safe Purple 14 Piece Set although expensive models are the best.

Blade material

Japanese blades are made of different materials which means that you need to check the quality before buying. The best blades are those made from high carbon stainless steel.

Unlike other types of steel, this material is highly resistant to rust and corrosion due to the presence of stainless steel.

On the other hand, carbon material enhances the durability and strength of the blade. However, these blades may still rust if exposed to water for a long time which means that you need to be careful on how you store them after cleaning.

Handle material and comfort

The best Japanese knives should be very comfortable to use even for longer periods. Sets that are made of Pakkawood tend to be more stylish and the most comfortable.

This material is a type of human-engineered wood but it is also partially made using plastic resin. Due to the resin material, it is more resistant to water than natural wood.

Weight and balance

The weight and balance of the knife will determine how well you will be able to control it. The weight of the blade and the handle should be well balanced in such a way that you can use the knife comfortably even for a long time without wrist or hand fatigue.

Easy cleaning

You don’t need a set that is too difficult to clean. Therefore, you should ensure that the handle and the blade are resistant to stains.

Some models are dishwasher safe although cleaning a Japanese knife set in a dishwasher is a bad idea. You should always hand wash the knives using mild soap and dry them quickly for the best performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Japanese knives so expensive

What is so special about Japanese knives?

They’re always better than other knives. Because they’re made from premium materials that make the knife wicked sharp. They’re lighter and easy to balance, but especially their unique shapes and designs make them different than others.

And if you are looking for a highly durable knife for kitchen purposes Japanese knives are highly recommended. Here are the reasons why they’re very special. Perhaps, there are no people who do not love Japanese knives.

What’s the best Japanese knife brand?

There are so many popular Japanese knives you’ll see in the market, but “Shun” is the most popular Japanese knife manufacturers. They’re available in multiple sizes, and designs, that you can choose according to your needs. Maybe they are a little bit expensive, but they can be worth your every penny.

Are Japanese knives easy to sharpen?

It will depend on the brands, materials they used, and blade designs. Because those blades are not easy to sharpen which is made from high carbon stainless steel. And if the knife has only a single bevel that might harder to sharpen. But some Japanese knives can give you longer sharpness for more than 3 months if you care for them properly.

How long do Japanese knives last?

Some Japanese knives can last for more than 10-30 years. But it will depend on your sharpening technique, maintenance process, how and where you store, and how frequently you use them. They’re made from very premium materials for last longer performance. But you can increase it with proper care and maintenance. Just sharpen your knife carefully, always wash the knife by your hand, and store it in a wooden storage block.

Why are Japanese knives so expensive?

When it comes to price, Japanese knife sets are more expensive than other models. However, they are made of high-quality steel meaning that they are sharper and last longer than other models.

The type of steel used in their construction is more expensive as compared to western steel. Apart from that, the handles used in Japanese models are made of expensive timber.

Are Japanese knives better than German knives?

In terms of performance, Japanese knives are thinner than the German model which gives them a sharper edge. Apart from that, German knife sets are processed using a machine, unlike the Japanese models which are handcrafted and hand refined.

When it comes to construction, Japanese blades are tapered inside the handle which makes them lighter than their German counterparts. Due to this, they give you more control when cutting.

The German models feature a full-tang construction which means that they have a single piece of steel that moves across from the blade to the other end.

Are Japanese knives dishwashers safe?

If you want your Japanese knife set to serve you for a long time, you should always hand wash them using mild detergent. You should never put them in a dishwasher.

How much does a good Japanese knife cost?

Generally, Japanese knife sets are very expensive due to their unmatched quality. However, you can still find cheaper models below $100 but these might not be the best.

Are Japanese knives worth it?

In case you are searching for a high-quality knife set, Japanese models will give you the best value for your money.

The good thing about them is that they have a perfect balance of beauty and sharpness. As compared to others, they are more lightweight, super sharp and they also have unmatched edge retention.

Final Verdict

If you are searching for a quality knife set that will give you incredible performance in your kitchen, Japanese knife sets are undoubtedly the best. These ones are well crafted to make your work easier when cutting different food items.

Since they are so many on the market, searching for the best may take you some time. However, I have already done comprehensive research and identified the best quality Japanese knife sets that will give you the best value for your money.

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