- Best Japanese Knife Sets: Reviews In Detail
- #1. Yaxell Super Gou 7 Piece Dark Ash Slim Knife Block Set -Most Premium Japanese Knife Set
- # 2. Miyabi Birchwood GS2 7-pc Knife Block Set
- #3. Shun Premier 7-Piece Essential Block Set
- #4. Shun Kanso 6-Piece Block Set [Most Trusted Best Japanese Kitchen Knife Set]
- #5. YOSHIHIRO- Hammered Damascus Chef Knife SET [Most Trady Best Japanese Knives Set]
- #6. Enso Knife Set Review – Made in Japan – HD Series [ Most Affordable Best Japanese Knife Block sets]
- #7. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 4-Piece Steak Knives Set [Best selling Japanese Knife Set in the USA]
- Tips for Using Japanese Knives
If you’re looking for a full set of kitchen knives, something that you should check out, are Japanese knife sets. Japanese knives are known for their extreme sharpness, their ability to retain their edge, and for being highly functional overall.
When it comes down to it, Japanese knives are some of the best in the world. Sure, you could buy a single Japanese knife, but with that being said, it is likely that you will save a lot of money if you buy a full set at once. However, what you need to be aware of here is that some Japanese knife sets can be extremely expensive, which does of course put a limit on your choices.
What we are here to do today is take a look at the seven best Japanese knife sets that your money can buy. We’ve got big sets, small sets, expensive ones, and more cost-effective sets too. Let’s get to it and find out what the best Japanese knife set is.
If you’re running out of time, here is our choice of Best Japanese Knife sets:
Yaxell Super Gou 7 Gray Ash Piece Slim Knife Block Set – Made in Japan – 161 Layer SG2 Stainless Damascus
Shun Premier 7-Piece Essential Block Set; Includes 8-inch Chef’s Knife, 6.5-inch Utility Knife, 4-inch Paring Knife, 9-inch Serrated Bread Knife, Herb Shears, Honing Steel and 11-Slot Knife Block
Shun Kanso 6-Piece Block Set; Includes 3.5” Paring Knife, 6” Utility Knife, 8” Chef’s Knife, 5.5” Hollow-Ground Santoku, Kanso Combination Honing Steel and Sleek Wood Block with Two Additional Slots
Enso Knife Set – Made in Japan – HD Series – VG10 Hammered Damascus Japanese Stainless Steel with Slim Dark Ash Knife Block – 7 Piece
Best Japanese Knife Sets: Reviews In Detail
#1. Yaxell Super Gou 7 Piece Dark Ash Slim Knife Block Set -Most Premium Japanese Knife Set
If you are looking for a high end Japanese knife set, you need a few very good knives for your kitchen, and you are willing to invest a good bit of money, then this is a fantastic one to keep in mind. What you get here are seven super high quality Japanese kitchen knives, and yes, they do come with everything to qualify for a full set.
These knives feature a Japanese SG2 Micro carbide powder stainless steel construction combined with an awesome Damascus design. With over 161 layers of alternating soft and hard steel, these knives are about as tough, durable, and edge retaining as can be. Thanks to this metal, you also don’t have to worry about rusting.
The full tang design of these kitchen knives, combined with a very nice red and black resin linen canvas micarta handle, allows for a very well balanced and user friendly experience. A 12 degree blade angle means that these knives are fine, sharp, thin, and ideal for precision work.
- With this set, you get a 3.25″ Paring Knife, a 6″ Utility Knife, a 6.5″ Hollow Edge Santoku Knife, an 8″ Chef’s Knife, a 9″ Bread Knife, Stainless Steel Take-Apart Kitchen Shears, and the 6 slot knife block as well.
- All knives feature a full tang construction with the linen micarta handle wrapped around the tang, thus allowing for great balance.
- The linen micarta handle is quite durable, it is comfortable to hold, and allows for a secure grip even when wet.
- The Yaxell Super Gou 7 Piece Dark Ash Slim Knife Set comes with a full lifetime warranty.
- The Yaxell Super Gou 7 Piece Dark Ash Slim Knife Set s made with 161 layers of alternative hard and soft SG2 Micro carbide powder stainless steel, thus allowing for great durability and hardness.
- These knives come in at a 63 on the Rockwell hardness scale, which makes them exceptionally hard, rock hard in fact.
- Extremely hard
- User friendly
- Super sharp
- Superior quality
- Awesome craftsmanship
- Not budget friendly
# 2. Miyabi Birchwood GS2 7-pc Knife Block Set
Here we have another very high end set of Japanese knives, one that is designed to not only look good, but also work very well.
When it comes down to it, these have to be some of the most beautiful Japanese knives that we have ever seen, especially thanks for that really cool handle that they have. These knives feature traditional and authentic Birchwood handles. Not only do these look very nice, but they’re also fairly durable, comfortable to hold, and ergonomically designed.
What you may appreciate is that these blades are all hand honed using a three step process. They are all homes to between 9.5 to 12 degrees, which means that they are extremely sharp and fine. These are knives that are more than ideal for precision work. What you also get here is that authentic thin Japanese blade profile, once again making this set ideal for precision work.
The cores of the blades are made with high-quality SG2 micro-carbide powder steel, which is then wrapped in over 100 layers of more steel, for the ultimate in durability, longevity, and rust resistance, and it’s all finished off with a very nice Damascus floral pattern.
- SG2 micro-carbide powder steel core complete with 100 layers of wrapped steel, thus allowing for great durability, sharpness, and longevity.
- These knives come in at 63 on the Rockwell Hardness scale, which is of course extremely hard. That’s allowing for excellent edge retention. To get them to this level of partners, these blades have been ice hardened.
- The blades are ground to an angle of between 9.5 and 12 degrees, which means that they are very fine and sharp, thus making them ideal for precision work.
- The Birchwood handles are extremely luxurious, they look very nice, they’re comfortable to hold, and they allow for great balance too. Keep in mind that these blades do feature a full tank design, which also allows for much better balance and increased durability.
- Keep in mind that this set includes a 9″ sharpening steel, a 9.5″ bread knife, an 8″ chef knife, a 6″ utility knife, kitchen shears, and a bamboo block.
- Great durability
- Superior sharpness
- Good edge retention
- Very hard
- Won’t rust
- Full tang
- Well balanced
- User friendly
- Very expensive
#3. Shun Premier 7-Piece Essential Block Set
What we have here is one of the more affordable Japanese knife sets on the list so far. However, just because it is affordable does not mean that it is low quality. What you get here are four different knives, all of which are made with a core of VG Max Super Steel, complete with Damascus steel cladding.
All of the blades are honed to a 16 degree double bevel edge, which means that they can be used by both left and right handed people.
Moreover, although these knives are not overly thin or ideal for precision work, they are definitely quite heavy duty and can handle a whole lot of punishment. You might like how each blade has a specific hammered finish with indentation that allows for reduced drag and allows for easier food release.
Something else that you may appreciate here is the contoured pakka wood handles that all of the knives come with, as the handles are very comfortable to hold, not to mention that they look fantastic too.
Yes, these are full Tang knives, something that allows for added durability and better balance. This is a great Japanese knife set to go with if you are a beginner who does not want to spend a ridiculous amount of money.
- Included in this set is a 4” paring knife, a 6.5” utility knife, an 8” chef knife, a 9” bread knife, sharpening steel, kitchen shears, and the wooden block.
- All knives feature a VG Max Super Steel core, complete with Damascus steel cladding, which allows for great hardness, durability, sharpness, and edge retention.
- All of the blades are honed to a 16 degree double bevel edge.
- Each blade comes with a hammered finish, with each indentation acting as a hollow-ground to help release food and to decrease drag.
- You also get ergonomically friendly handles that are designed to be easy to hold, provide you with good balance, and provide you with secure grip, even when wet.
- Quite durable
- Decent price
- Ergonomic handle
- High level of hardness
- Ideal for beginners
- Handcrafted and hand hammered
- Require handwashing and immediate drying after every use
- The handles are not waterproof
#4. Shun Kanso 6-Piece Block Set [Most Trusted Best Japanese Kitchen Knife Set]
Here we have another very high end set of Japanese kitchen knives with this brand name being one of the most popular ones of all. What you need to know here is that the blades are made with Japanese AUS10A highly refined, high-carbon, vanadium stainless steel, complete with a rustic heritage finish.
All of the knives that you get here feature of full tang construction to allow for the best possible balance, control and strength possible.
Each knife comes complete with a tagayasan handle, a very durable type of wood, and yes, the handles are specially contoured to allow for maximum ergonomic friendliness and overall ease of use. It is also worth noting that these have to be some of the most beautiful Japanese knives around.
- This 6-piece knife Block set consists of a 3.5” Paring Knife, a 6” Utility Knife, an 8” Chef’s Knife, a 5.5” Hollow-Ground Santoku, Kanso Combination Honing Steel, and a Sleek Wood Block with two additional slots.
- The handles of these knives are made out of very durable tagayasan wood, which also happens to be very moisture resistant. The handles are contoured for good grip and ergonomic friendliness.
- All of the blades are sharpened to an angle of 16 degrees on each side, and yes they are double bevel blades, which means that they are ambidextrous in nature.
- The blades are made with Japanese AUS10A highly refined, high-carbon, vanadium stainless steel, and feature a full tang construction to allow for maximum balance and durability.
- These are razor sharp blades, ones that are also very hard and able to retain their edge for a long time to come.
- Great brand
- Very high end
- Superior durability
- Very shard
- Quite hard
- High quality steel
- Nice handles
- Limited warranty
- Only wash with gentle soap and hand dry immediately
#5. YOSHIHIRO- Hammered Damascus Chef Knife SET [Most Trady Best Japanese Knives Set]
What we have here is a fairly high end set of Japanese hammered Damascus steel chef knives. Keep in mind that here you get a total of 6 knives which for the price that they come in at is actually pretty good. It’s not the cheapest set in the world and not the most expensive, but the fact of the matter is that you get all of the knives you need to get started on your culinary journey.
These knives are made with a VG10 stainless steel core, combined with an exterior that is made with several layers of hammered Damascus steel. Therefore, not only do these knives look very nice, but they are also very hard, durable, and functional overall.
Yes, these knives feature a full tang construction, which helps to add to their overall durability, plus it also allows for better balance. Speaking of the tang, the wooden handle you get here is also quite nice, as it is contoured to match the shape of your hand, thus allowing for a comfortable slicing and dicing experience.
- The 6-piece knife set contains 2 Gyuto Chef Knives (one 8.25” and another one 9.5”), a Nakiri Vegetable Knife 6.5”, a Petty Utility Knife 5.3”, a Santoku Multipurpose Knife 7” and a Sujihiki Slicer Knife 9.5”
- All of the knives are made with a VG-10 stainless steel core, wrapped in 16 layers of Damascus steel.
- All knives feature authentic wood handles that are ergonomically designed and feature great grip.
- Full tang construction for great durability and a well balanced design.
- These knives come in at a level of 60 on the Rockwell hardness scale, which makes them extremely hard and durable, and thus also very good in terms of edge retention.
- Decent price
- Complete set
- Nice block included
- Real mahogany handles
- Superior durability and hardness
- Great edge retention
- Very user friendly
- Sharpening should only be done with water whetstones
- Handwash and hand dry only
#6. Enso Knife Set Review – Made in Japan – HD Series [ Most Affordable Best Japanese Knife Block sets]
If what you are looking for is value and affordability, but still want fairly good knives, then this Enso Knife set is a great one to consider. Here you get a full set of kitchen knives that that won’t cost you a fortune, thus making it an ideal choice for beginners who are just starting their culinary adventure.
All of the blades here are made with VG 10 Japanese stainless steel, 37 layers of it to be exact. In terms of their hardness, they feature a Rockwell hardness rating of 61, which is of course extremely hard, thus allowing them to stay in one piece for a long time and to retain their edge very well. All blades are ground to a bevel of 12 degrees, which is a double bevel, so they can be used by both left handed and right handed people.
You may also appreciate the very stunning and beautiful hammered finish that each blade comes with. Something else you might appreciate are the black canvas Micarta handles, which are very durable, resistant to water, ergonomically designed, and fairly easy to grip even when wet.
- This set comes complete with a 3.25″ Paring Knife, a 6″ Utility Knife, a 6.5″ Santoku Knife, an 8″ Chef’s Knife, a 9″ Bread Knife, Forged Stainless Steel Take-Apart Kitchen Shears, and a 6-slot Slim Knife Block.
- All blades are hand ground to a double bevel of 12 degrees for exceptional sharpness and ambidextrous use.
- All blades are made with 37 layers of Japanese VG-10 stainless steel, which allows for excellent durability, hardness, and edge retention.
- The Rockwell hardness rating for these blades is 61, which does make them very hard.
- The black canvas micarta handles not only look very nice, but are also ergonomically designed for comfort and ease of use.
- All knives are handcrafted in Seki City, Japan, and come complete with lifetime warranties.
- Affordable set
- Rust resistant
- Quite hard and durable
- Retain their edges for a long time
- Double bevel for ambidextrous use
- Comfortable to use
- Hand wash and hand dry after every use
#7. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series Forged 4-Piece Steak Knives Set [Best selling Japanese Knife Set in the USA]
OK, so to be clear, this is a set of four steak knives, not kitchen knives. Moreover, this is also an extremely affordable set of steak knives. These particular steak knives are forged out of one piece of premium Japanese stainless steel. They are extremely sharp and they also feature a full paint design for great durability and balance. They also have fairly comfortable plastic handles.
- Here you get four steak knives, each with 5 inch blades.
- Included is a nice bamboo block.
- The handles on these knives are ergonomically designed for comfort.
- The premium Japanese stainless steel used in the construction of these knives is very good, especially for the low price that they come in at.
- You can put these in the dishwasher.
- Dishwasher safe
- Good warranty
- Fairly high quality, considering the cost
- Not serrated
- May rust
Tips for Using Japanese Knives
To ensure that your Japanese knives last for as long as humanly possible, let’s take a quick look at some tips that you should follow at all times.
- Always use the correct type of knife for the intended purpose.
- Unless you are using a bone cleaver, do not try to cut bones, frozen foods or seeds.
- A wooden or plastic cutting board is definitely called for here.
- If you have to use more force than you regularly do, then it is probably time to sharpen your knife.
1. How often do you have to sharpen Japanese knives?
Technically speaking, you should sharpen your Japanese knives very quickly before and after each use. If you want the best possible performance, a quick sharpening session before each use is required.
2. Can you put Japanese knives in the dishwasher?
Generally speaking, unless otherwise indicated by the instructions of your product, you should not put any Japanese knives in the dishwasher. Both the blades and the handles can be susceptible to extreme heat and moisture, both of which are present in a dishwasher. It is best to hand wash and hand dry your Japanese knives. You especially don’t want to use harsh or powerful detergents on them.
3. What degree should I sharpen the blades to?
Two exactly which degree you sharpen your blades to is going to be determined by the original angle to which they were sharpened when you receive them. For the most part, you can expect these blades to have angles between 9.5 and 15 degrees.
4. Are Japanese blades single or double bevel?
This really just depends on the specific brand name and the model in question. Some Japanese knives are single bevel, and some are double bevel.
5. How do you remove rust from a Japanese knife?
If you happen to get some rust on your Japanese knives, all you have to do is to soak the blades in vinegar and then use a scrubbing sponge to remove the rust. Just make sure that the sponge is not too coarse, or else you may scratch the blade.
6. How do you know what angle to sharpen the blades to?
To which angle you sharpen the blades to is going to be indicated on the product packaging, although with that being said, it is somewhat a matter of personal preference.
As you can see, there are plenty of great Japanese knife sets out there, and which one you choose really depends on what your needs are as well as what your budget looks like. Today we have looked at some very high-end Japanese knife sets, as well as a couple of more cost-effective ones too. Now it is up to you to decide which one you want.