5 Best Kiridashi Knives for 2022 [Japanese Expert Recommendations]

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Have you been searching for the most effective and useful Japanese Kiridashi knife? If so, there are so many kinds of knives available on the market and online, and choosing the most effective one according to the job can be tough and confusing. But the solution is simple.     

KIRIDASHI is a Japanese word that means ‘to carve out.’ A Kiridashi Knife is a traditional knife that is basically a small utility knife.  

This is a knife with a Japanese origin and a budget-friendly advantage. Kiridashi knives are also used by carpenters for grafting, carving, prying in everyday use. 

You can use Kiridashi knives for many jobs, so let’s check the top 5 Kiridashi knives and see how they work so you can select the one best for your needs.      

Comparison Chart

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kiridashi Knife (Ittoryu) Made in Japan craft knife
41fOG1hCHlL. SL100
KAKURI Kiridashi Knife Right Hand 18mm, Quality Razor Sharp Hand Forged Japanese Carbon Steel Blade Hammered Pattern for Woodworking, Marking, Wood Carving, whittling, Made in Japan
31HN21wFf5L. SL100
KAKURI Kiridashi Knife Right Hand 12mm Curved, Quality Razor Sharp Hand Forged Japanese Carbon Steel Blade Hammered Pattern for Woodworking, Marking, Wood Carving, whittling, Made in Japan
Gisuke New Japanese Poket Kiridashi Knife Made in Japan
21+bUrwi9rL. SL100
Yoshiharu Hamono Japanese Kiridashi Brass Knife Penanto

Our Top Picks

The Kiridashi is known as a utility knife that is used for different types of carving and grafting. And though it has several purposes, choosing the right one according to your need and the job to be done is a must. 

Some people may be confused about the varieties of these knives and what they’re used for. So, let’s dive in and get an idea of each Kiridashi knife and how they’re best used.     

 1. Kiridashi Knife (Ittoryu)

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The Ittoryu is another Kiridashi knife used primarily for carving, grafting, and prying. Translated, the word ‘Ittoryu’ refers to the technique that was used to make the knife. It uses an older type of iron which produces a wood grain finish after refinement. It helps keep the knife sharp and maintains a good balance between sharpness and safety.   

This knife comes well-packaged. The manufacturer uses non-retail packaging that means it will be delivered in an unprinted box with no plastic. This makes it less harmful to the environment.

Overall, if you want a crafting tool, you should consider a Japanese Ittoryu. However, it’s a right-handed tool, so it’s not suitable for left-handers. If you want to add a utility knife to your collection, a Japanese Ittoryu will serve you well.

Major Features

  • Weight: 90.7185g
  • Manufacturer: Ittoryu
  • Length: 180mm (7″)
  • Package size: 10 x 5 x 2.5 inches 
  • Material: White Steel
  • Made in: Japan
  • Imported details: From the US
  • Techniques: Traditional techniques
  • Sharp on delivery
  • Well packed
  • Ensures safety
  • Precision finish
  • It will be tough for left-hander as it’s a right-handed knife

2. KAKURI Japanese Kiridashi Carving Knife

The KAKURI Kiridashi is another carving knife that is made in Japan in the traditional manner. As a result, you get an authentic knife that should last you a lifetime.

This is a Kiridashi knife that has a right bevel which is best for right-handed users. However, they also have a model suitable for lefties. It is ideal for woodwork and bamboo craftwork. The small-necked knife is useful for woodcarving and crafting with wood.

The best part is that you can use it for creative cutting as well as general work. Basically, it’s a general-purpose, overall workhorse of a knife. This carving knife from KAKURI has a non-slip body with a beautiful forged-hammered design.

If you do a lot of carving and want an easy-to-use tool for carving, we highly recommend this knife from KAKURI.

Major Features

  • Size: 7.3 × 0.7 × 0.1 inches
  • Made in: Japan
  • Bevel: Right (but also available for the left-handers)
  • Material: High carbon steel
  • Weight: 1.76 oz
  • Available for left-handers and right-handers
  • Simple design and construction
  • Great for general work
  • Ergonomic
  • Knife tip could be better quality; it can get broken easily

3. KAKURI Japanese Kiridashi Carving Knife (Bend Type)

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Here’s another Kiridashi carving knife from KAKURI; however, this one is curved, 4mm smaller than the previous model. It has a 1.9-inch blade span for easily handling. It is convenient for crafting and woodworking. You can also use it for camping and outdoor applications.

The knife from KAKURI is made of high-carbon Japanese steel. The blade is razor-sharp and durable. You can restore the sharpness by sharpening the blade with a whetstone. This is another excellent carving and crafting knife to add to your collection.

Major Features

  • Weight: 5.7 ounces
  • Size: 0.4×7.1×0.1 inches / Blade span: 1.9 inches
  • Brand: KAKURI
  • Material: Japanese high-carbon steel
  • Amazing sharpness
  • Can create several kinds of cuts
  • Taking poor care of this knife can create safety issues

4. Gisuke Pocket Kiridashi Knife

This is a different kind of knife in that it’s shorter and easier to carry with you. It is made of Japanese stainless steel so it won’t rust or stain easily. Stainless steel is a good material for any knife blade because it adds strength and durability to a blade.  

The style of this utility knife is different from the others. It has a wooden handle made from Japanese sakura trees. This is a right-handed knife, so if you’re left-handed, you should consider another knife.

The blade comes razor-sharp right out of the box, and it has a smooth finish. With its smaller size, it is an excellent all-purpose, utility pocket knife. 

The knife is perfect for woodworking, cutting, and designing. Overall, this is a good first knife for anyone because of its quality and reasonable price.

Major Features

  • Material: Japanese stainless steel, wooden handle
  • Made in: Japan
  • Type: Single-edged / Right-handed
  • Blade: 75mm, Total: 190mm
  • Designed as: A pocket knife
  • Easy to control
  • Extremely sharp blade
  • Very clean cuts
  • Various uses
  • Sheath could be better

5. Yoshiharu Hamono Kiridashi Brass Knife

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This handcrafted Kiridashi knife from Yoshiharu Hamono is good for woodworking, leatherwork, and papercrafts and can also be used as a general utility knife.

The blade of this knife is made of carbon steel, and the handle is brass. This combination in a knife gives you better safety; the handle will give you more comfort, and a carbon steel blade gives you a better cutting experience.

The straight-back blade makes this knife more powerful and sharp. Thanks to the slim profile and ultra-sharp tip, it can make precision cuts.

Overall, this knife is perfect for craftwork and can also be considered an overall utility knife. 

Major Features

  • Dimensions: 5 x 0.63 x 0.06 inches
  • Weight: 0.05 Pounds
  • Material: Carbon steel
  • Blade shape: Straight back
  • Production country: Japan
  • Handle Material: Brass
  • Sharp blade
  • Very light and slim
  • Affordable price
  • Great for different purposes
  • Knife’s finish could be better

Things You Should Know Before Buying a Kiridashi Knife

When you’re shopping for a knife, especially if you depend on it for work, you want the right knife for the job. There are some important things to know about these knives that will make a difference in how you use them and what you use them for.


The weight of a knife is important. If the knife is too light or too heavy, it will be difficult to work with, and can even be dangerous. A knife that is too light in your hand will pose problems in creating the cut depths you want. A heavy knife can be difficult to control which can lead to cut mistakes or even accidents.

A lighter knife is also more portable, especially the shorter models that can be easily carried in your pocket. They serve their purpose well yet are lighter weight and easy to control.

Blade Material

The type of material the blade is made of is important. Different types of metals have different properties. Some are known for their extreme durability, while others are known for their ability to resist rust and corrosion. This means that maintenance can vary from knife to knife. High-carbon steel knives are known for durability, while stainless steel, well you guessed it, resists stains, rust and corrosion.

Kiridashi knives have blades made of different materials, so know what you want out of your blade before buying one.


The blade is the most important part of a knife, and it doesn’t make any sense to have a knife with a dull blade. Most Kiridashi knives have blades that are extremely sharp when they come out of the box. But over time, these blades will begin to dull. Proper maintenance and sharpening will depend on the knife and the materials the blade is made of. You can find manufacturer’s videos on YouTube or information on a product’s website about the proper care and sharpening of your knife.

Also, know the degree of sharpness you need for the job. The sharpness of the blade will determine the precision of the cut and can make your job easier, or harder, depending on the sharpened angle of the blade. 


Smaller blades are easier to carry concealed, especially the shorter pocket models. A 3- or 4-inch blade on a knife makes it easier to carry out of sight.

A Kiridashi knife isn’t really made for self-defense, but a larger knife is better. However, in an emergency, it is better than no knife at all. You can’t always plan for this scenario and will have to use what you have.

Handle Material

Kiridashi knives have different types of handles. Some are wood, some are leather, and some are metal. When you shop for a Kiridashi knife, you should first consider how it feels in your hand and how easy it is to hold and maneuver. Then consider the job. How much control and precision do you need? Does the material add to the knife’s overall weight, and will this be a factor when you’re using the knife? If your hands get sweaty or wet, will the handle make it difficult to hold the knife?


You always should information about the manufacturer before purchasing any knife. Choose a Kiridashi knife from the best brands. You want the manufacturer to stand behind the brand. Read the reviews and listen to what other people have to say about the brand. Is it a well-known brand? What is the brand known for? Is it known for quality products, and does it stand behind its products? What kind of customer experience can you expect if it arrives damaged or there’s a problem with the knife? The better-known brands will have a stellar reputation you can depend on if you buy their product.


Reading reviews can also help you choose a good knife. User reviews are beneficial because they provide honest opinions and experiences with their purchase. Too many bad reviews, and you might want to move on and look at another brand.

Product reviews can give you a good idea of the overall quality and characteristics of the knife. For example, you can find product weight, dimensions, what it is best used for, and perhaps how it stacks up compared to similar models.


Design is where the ideas come together to create the product. Is the knife designed for comfort? Is it designed for a specific job? Is it a general-purpose knife? Will it be difficult to use under certain conditions? An ergonomic model means that the knife is designed for comfort and stability when holding. Kiridashi knives are designed for comfort and ease of use, and general overall utility.


Being comfortable is important while using a product. If you’re not comfortable, you’re going to be distracted, and this will lead to mistakes or even injuries. Therefore, you want a product that you are comfortable using, and in a knife, this means providing stability in a steady hand when you are using it. Kiridashi knives are small and compact knives that easily fit and are comfortable in any hand.

Kiridashi Knife FAQ

What is a ‘Japanese Kiridashi Knife?’

A Japanese Kiridashi Knife is one of the best and the most famous Knives made in Japan. It is a traditional Japanese Knife made in their traditional way to give you the best experience in cutting and carving wood. It is known as a utility knife, which means that it can be used for many things. When you hold and use the knife, you use less energy. The results are accurate cuts from a super-sharp blade.

Is There Any Difference Between a Left- and a Right-Handed Knife?

Yes! The main difference between these two knives is the bevel. The bevel is the way the knife is ground to a point. Most European knives are double bevel, which means that the knife blade is sharpened equally on both sides to create the point. Japanese cooking requires precise cuts, which can be obtained by using a single bevel. The blade is honed on one side to create a smaller and sharper angle. Left bezel knives are for lefties, and right bezel knives are for right-handed users.

Do Water Stains on a Blade Affect its Performance?

Stains on the blade are generally a cosmetic problem. You can use a rust eraser to remove stains as much as possible. You can also make sure your knives are thoroughly dry after washing and use knife oil to prevent rust from happening in the first place.

How Often Should I Sharpen My Knives?

It depends on the types of sharpening. There are two types of sharpening. One is single-edged, and the other is double-edged. You should do sharpening according to the type of knife blade. There is no set time between sharpenings. If the edge starts to feel dull and the knife isn’t performing as usual, it’s time to sharpen it. Manufacturers will provide specific information on how you should sharpen their knife. You can also find YouTube videos on the best ways and materials to use for sharpening.


Kiridashi knives are Japanese knives made in and the time-honored traditional way. So, they are generally known as all-purpose, or utility knives, but they shine when using to cut wood or in crafting.  

No matter how amazing the product is, nothing is more important than safety. The knife you buy should be comfortable to use, and be suitable for the job. Is it the right weight for the job? For example, a heavy knife can lead to mistakes and mis-cuts. An uncomfortable knife can cause you to be distracted, and that can lead to mistakes, or even injuries.

Any of the knives we have reviewed are high-quality and will serve you well. Do a little research on the brand and the characteristics of the knife you want to buy to make sure it’s the right one for you.

These traditional knives are well worth buying for their utility and cost-effectiveness. So, shop well, and purchase wisely!    

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