The Best Sushi Knives And How To Get Them
Sushi is a delicacy loved by many. While restaurant-made sushi is great, homemade sushi is better and so easy to make. In order to make sushi at home, all you really need is your favorite ingredients, a sushi roll mat, and a sushi knife.
Getting your hands on the right sushi knife may prove to be a little difficult, especially if you’re a beginner and don’t know what features to look for in the best sushi knife. But don’t despair, because we have done some heavy research and picked some of the best sushi knives in the market. We have also added their reviews so you can make an educated decision. Read on to learn more.
The Need For A Sushi Knife
A lot of beginners ask us why they can’t just use a normal kitchen knife to cut and prepare sushi. The answer is simple; a kitchen knife isn’t as long, sharp, or strong as a sushi knife. Sushi knives are designed to be thinner, sharper, lighter, and more maneuverable.
They are designed this way to allow you to make all kinds of cuts and get the thin slices you need to make amazing sushi. While there are many kinds of sushi knives you can use, a basic sushi knife is good enough to make many kinds of rolls and sashimi.
Types Of Sushi Knives
There are many types of sushi knives available in the market. The difference in the shape and type of knife depends on the use you put it to. There are different knives to make various precision cuts, debone fish, cut bones, and fillet fish. However, there are four broad categories of sushi knives you will encounter in the market.
- The Yanagiba
This is the most common type of sushi knife in the market. It has a long, thin, sharp blade that is longer than the handle. It is used to cut fish, and prepare rolls and sashimi.
- The Deba
This is a short knife that is used like a cleaver. It is made to cut through bones and pull away cartilage from longer pieces. It is a sharp and strong knife.
- The Usuba
This knife has a rectangular blade that is used to cut vegetables and peel skin. It is perfect for making swift, fine cuts.
- The Santoku
This knife is mostly found in the ‘western’ part of the world. It is a well-rounded solution for preparing sushi. The ridges on the blade make for a sharper cut.
Features To Look For In The Best Sushi Knife
There are many desirable qualities to look for in a sushi knife, but some stand out more than others. The reason you need to keep these features in mind is that sushi knives are generally an expensive purchase. So, you need to be sure that you are investing in the right product:
- The Sharpness
The very first thing to check is the sharpness of the knife. The secret to cutting just the right slice it is to use a really sharp knife. Don’t just check to see if the blade is already sharpened, but also check if you can easily sharpen it by yourself as well. Another important thing to consider is how long the knife retains its sharpness. You shouldn’t have to sharpen the knife after every few uses.
- The Shape
The Shape: The shape of the knife is really important when it comes to cutting and preparing sushi. Make sure you have an idea of the shape of the knife you want to buy before you head to the market. Generally, all sushi knives should be thin and long. Thinner blades make for more precise cuts.
- The Grip
You can’t put any knife to good use if you can’t hold it properly. So make sure you check the grip of the knife before you buy it. A well-made sushi knife should have a comfortable handle that is easy to grip and doesn’t slip from your hand. Also, check if the grip fits well for both left-handed and right-handed use.
- The Composition and Durability
The durability of a sushi knife depends on two factors; the composition of the knife, and the care you put into its maintenance. While the latter is something you can control after you buy the knife, the former should be checked before you make the purchase. While knives made of carbon steel are the sharpest, they require a lot more maintenance.
Knives made of composite steel have sharp edges and don’t require much maintenance but they are really expensive. Stainless steel knives don’t rust and are affordable but they aren’t as sharp as other knives.
Take a look here at how you can clean your knives.
Top 5 Sushi Knives
Getting your hands on the right sushi knife is imperative to making delicious sushi. Here we have reviewed some of the best sushi knives in the market.
This long slicing Yanagi knife is perfect for slicing thin slices of sushi and sashimi. Though this knife is priced a little high, its high carbon construction makes it sturdy and made to last. The blade itself is rust-resistant and can become very sharp with just a little whetstone sharpening. Also, the blade retains its sharpness for a long time.
This sushi knife is perfect for beginners because it comes ready to use and has a comfortable D-shaped handle that is easy to hold. The handle is made of rosewood and can be used by right-handed and left-handed users. It also comes with a Magnolia knife sheath for safe storage.
- The knife is really durable. With its molybdenum steel construction, it is both sturdy and strong
- This knife is stain-resistant and has a powerful built which means it can take a lot more strain and misuse. Beginners don’t need to worry about making mistakes when working with this knife
- The knife can really get sharp, this makes it perfect for cutting difficult arrangements
- The knife can not be washed in a dishwasher. Since it is so sharp, cleaning it by hand is not an easy feat
- The price point of this knife is really high. While it may be the best sushi knife for beginners, you may not want to spend as much on your first knife
If you’re looking for a sushi knife that is better suited for intermediate to expert sushi chefs, then this may be the right knife for you. Chef’s companion is renowned for producing quality knives, and this one lives up to that reputation. The knife is easy to use and easier to maintain.
The knife is made from a single bar of high carbon steel which makes it structurally sturdy and durable. The structural formula really stands out in the blade which can take a lot of wear and tear.
- This knife is really sharp, which means you can cut thin slices with it
- The blade retains its sharpness for a long time and can stand the wear and tear of repeated use and falls
- The time-tested creation techniques used to build this knife make it very durable and its handle is easy to grip
- The knife doesn’t come ready to use, so you have to sharpen the blade before using it
- Though advertised otherwise, this knife isn’t really made for certain tasks, like filleting the fish for example
- Since the knife is okay for making sushi but doesn’t cover all aspects of preparing the fish, the price point may seem a little high
The traditional Japanese design and powerful composition of this knife, make it a dream to work with, especially if you have worked with sushi knives before. It is made with Hongasumi-grade high carbon steel that makes it both rust resistant and durable. Also, the blade is really sharp and retains its sharpness for longer periods of time.
This knife is made to stand wear and tear while retaining its edge. To add to its charm, it comes with a lacquer-coated wooden sheath which looks as good as it functions. Though it needs appropriate care, the knife is built to last years.
- The knife holds some of the highest standards of quality in the industry and it lives up to its name by giving an excellent cutting experience
- The knife is really versatile in its use. You can prepare the fish and make difficult cuts of sushi all with this knife alone
- The sheath is both stain and odor resistant
- This knife is more suited for expert sushi chefs than beginners because of its sharpness and versatility in use
- The price point may seem expensive for users who don’t use these knives really often
- This knife isn’t dishwasher safe, which means you have to clean and dry it by hand. While washing the sharp blade needs some skill, it is also essential to dry the knife in a way that there are no stain marks left on the blade
This sushi knife is as versatile in use as they come. The stainless steel blade is easily sharpened to a strong edge and is able to make the most intricate of cuts. It is also stain and rust resistant, which means it can stand a lot of wear and tear.
This knife is made for beginners and experts alike because it allows the user to make any cut they want. The composition is sturdy and the handle is easy to grip. Though it is glued on, the handle is fixed really well with the blade and doesn’t come loose. The knife also has a certain decorative element to it, so you can set it up on any stand for show.
- The knife has a highly specialized steel edge that is both sharp and durable. It is both rust and corrosion resistant, which means it has more edge retention
- The rosewood handle is comfortable to grip and is carefully lacquered so that it looks nice but your hands don’t slip on it
- The knife is so versatile in its use that you can easily depend on this knife for all your fish preparation and sushi needs
- The blade doesn’t come ready to cut. You need to sharpen the knife before you can use it
This knife is made from high-carbon German steel, which boasts to be stain and rust resistant. The blade is sharp and retains its edge with the right care. The knife is pretty sturdy and affordable. This means that beginners don’t have to worry about being extra careful with this knife and can make mistakes essential to learning.
The knife has a real wooden handle that is fixed well with the blade so it is easy to hold and use. The blade is long enough to make precision cuts and take care of difficult compositions so it is a good investment for beginners and intermediate sushi chefs.
- The knife comes ready for use. The blade is really sharp so you can make better cuts without bruising food
- The powerful composition of this knife makes it sturdy and resistant to some careless misuse
- The handle can be used by both left-handed and right-handed people easilyIt offers great value for the price
- This knife needs careful maintenance. The blade is prone to rust and corrosion if not washed and dried properly
- The knife is okay for beginners, but if you’re looking for a more specialized sushi knife you may have to pass on this one
Our Top Pick
Though all the knives mentioned above are a great buy, our favorite of the lot is the Sagana Kitchenware Sushi Knife. We love it because it has all the best features of a sushi knife and is really affordable. The knife is easy to use and versatile. It is easy to care for and requires very little maintenance. It isn’t dishwasher safe, but many good sushi knives aren’t.
In fact, we like to clean sushi knives by hand anyway to remove difficult stains and dry them properly to increase their longevity. This knife is also our favorite because it can be used by beginners and experts alike and is an investment you won’t regret.
Did you like this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.