Finest Knives Available Today
Most Japanese knives, regardless of the type, are referred to as hocho, and they are the finest knives available today, even for those living in the West. Chefs all over the globe favor Japanese knives because of how fine and sharp their blades tend to be, capable of chopping, cutting and slicing food. Any best Japanese knife set available today consists of both modern and traditional knives.
The most common types of Japanese knives that are often a part of a set include:
These knives have a thick blade with a gentle curve, a sharp point and a single-sided edge, angled on one side and flat on the other. These are designed to prepared flawless fillets out of whole fish.
The same as a Western chef’s knife, a gyuto tends to be an all-purpose knife that can be used to chop and slice virtually any food.
These utility knives tend to have a 4- to 6-inch long blade, and they are used for small kitchen tasks like mincing herbs and peeling citrus fruits.
Resembling a small-sized cleaver, these knives are literally designed for tasks involving three different types of foodstuff, namely fish, meat and produce.
These knives resemble cleavers with a blunt, single-sided edge and they are typically used to chop fruits and vegetables. A double-edged version of this knife nakiri is also available.
These knives are specifically used to slice sashimi, which is the reason they have such long and slender blades.
What To Consider When Choosing Japanese Knives?
The performance of a Japanese knife depends immensely on the shape of its handle. The shape and size of the handle should be such that it is comfortable enough to hold, neither too large nor too small.
A Japanese knife is made from layers of steel, and can have anywhere from 2 to 33 layers. The knife’s cutting edge is usually made from a tremendously hard steel, while layers of soft yet tough steel surround it. Some Japanese knives even have damascus steel patterns if the layers are exposed.
Most Japanese knives are are made of VG-10 stainless steel, which is a high carbon, cutlery grade, premium quality stainless steel formulated and manufactured in Japan. VG-10 stainless steel tends to have a hardness greater than standard stainless steels.
Which Are The Most Renowned Japanese Knife Brands?
There are quite a few established and trustworthy manufacturers within the Japanese knife market. Some of the leading and popular brands include Ginsu, Kyocera and Shun. However, even when buying from reputable brands, all of the above should still be kept in mind when choosing a set of Japanese knives.
As mentioned, the different types of Japanese knives are designed and meant to be used for specific purposes, so they should be chosen and used accordingly. Also, once a worthwhile set has been purchased, it is best to use the Japanese knives with bamboo, plastic or wood chopping boards.