Your Guide to Buying the Best Japanese Steak Knives for 2022

Do you like your cuts of meat detailed and precise?

Do you want minimal slicing resistance and a super comfortable grip while doing so?

Do you want steak knife sets that’ll serve you long and well?

Whether you want a quality knife to help you easily cut any piece of meat, or you’re in search of a great housewarming gift, finding the best Japanese steak knives meets all these needs.

The Japanese steak knife has been around for centuries. And, without underrating German steel forged knives or western knives, it’s safe to say that the Japanese steak knife has managed to successfully distinguish itself from many regular steak knives.

You can make this tough task of choosing the best knife a little easier by leveraging our extensive understanding of kitchen knives! Before checking prices on Amazon or Williams Sonoma, you need to have at least an idea of what you’re looking for.

We’ve tried out over 30 classic steak knives, and here are our thoughts on the five best Japanese steak knives for your kitchen!

1. Ginsu Gourmet Chikara Series

Each Japanese steak knife in the Ginsu Chikara collection is a masterpiece knife that almost looks too elegant to use for simple meat-cutting tasks. The four-piece steak knife set is made from Japanese stainless steel and has incredible edge retention.

Of course, the aesthetic and performance of the quality knife set come as little surprise, considering it was made by Ginsu Gourmet, one of the oldest brands in the business.

Ginsu Gourmet packed much of their knife specialty into crafting this Ginsu Chikara set. Not only does it surpass industry standards, but the blades’ flat edge is also imbued with the latest cutting technology to facilitate smooth and clean cuts.

Of course, such an unrivaled performance doesn’t mean much if you end up with a dull knife after only a few uses.

You’ll be happy to know that the Ginsu Chikara four-piece steak knife set not only has high stain resistance but is also built to ensure you don’t have to pull your knife sharpener out after every use.

The full-tang blade of the Ginsu Chikara solid steak knife set is perfect for anyone who likes to make precise cuts of meat without having to do too much maintenance.

Pros

  • Entire blade length has truly incredible edge retention
  • Offers a very comfortable grip and is well-balanced
  • Carbon steel sharp edge is remarkably easy to sharpen
  • Numerous amazing qualities of this piece of steel means it can easily double as a vegetable knife
  • Ginsu Gourmet steak knives have a coated surface that limits stickiness, making your cuts even finer and more accurate

Cons

  • Ginsu Gourmet knife set isn’t dishwasher-safe

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2. KYOKU Samurai Series Knife Set with Sheath and Case

This spectacular knife set is for those who like their dining table to sparkle without sacrificing cutting accuracy.

The aesthetic elements of this straight blade knife are the first thing that’ll grab your attention. Unlike ordinary bread knives or table knives, the mirror polish of the carbon steel is so fine that it effectively distinguishes your dining space.

Looking away from the beautiful glint of the carbon stainless steel blade, you’ll see a ruthlessly sharp scalpel-like edge suitable for cutting through layers of meat.

As a full-tang blade, it also comes with a classic Japanese stainless steel pakka wood handle. The ergonomic design of its grip ensures that you get better cuts and makes the knife even more lightweight.

In addition to having excellent edge retention, this Japanese steak knife also comes with a leather sheath and case to further preserve the sharp edges of the stainless steel blade. The fine packaging of these steak knives’ carbon blades also makes it an excellent gift.

When you throw in the fact that it comes with a limited lifetime warranty against defects, you’ll see why the KYOKU Samurai set is one of the best Japanese steak knives you could buy. If you’re looking for the ideal gift for a dear friend, you just found it!

Pros

  • Premium steel has a sharp cutting edge and excellent edge retention
  • Ergonomic grip and full metal tang give it maximum comfort
  • Has corrosion resistance and stain resistance
  • Offers you exceptional quality at a very affordable price
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Triple-riveted handles further increase the extraordinary performance of each blade

Cons

  • Japanese stainless steel wood handle may prove too big for some users

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3. Shun Kanso 4-Piece Steak Knife Set

If you’re looking for steak knives from a reputable brand that’ll serve you long and well, then the vanadium, high-carbon, stainless steel knives offered by Shun Kanso might be the right fit for you.

Shun Cutlery is a Japanese knife company widely known in the cutlery industry. They certainly proved they’re worthy of their high standing with the fine piece construction of this knife set.

This knife set comes with a gift box that facilitates easier storage and ensures that the blade’s sharp edges don’t dull quickly.

The Japanese steak knife blade itself has an incredible hardness, and its full metal tang construction gives you total balance and control so you can cut your meat with ease.

Looking beyond its product dimension and specifications, we especially enjoy these steak knives because it becomes even better and more dignified as it ages. It easily rivals any chef knife. 

Pros

  • Heritage finish ensures that it retains its nice rustic look for longer periods
  • A handcrafted Japanese steak knife
  • Premium knife has a ruthlessly sharp scalpel-like edge that makes it a great meat and vegetable knife
  • Has a full metal tang and an ergonomic design for improved grip and balance, giving it even more comfortable handles
  • Made of premium, natural materials which contribute to its sharper edge

Cons

  • Isn’t dishwasher friendly
  • Aesthetic appeal of its wooden handles may not be for some users
  • Falls on the higher end of the price spectrum

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4. KYOKU Non-Serrated Damascus Steak Knife Set with Sheath and Case

We already mentioned that KYOKU is a very prolific Japanese knife company, so it should come as little surprise to see another of their products on this list. However, this carbon stainless steel Damascus blade is different from their regular steak knives.

Of course, it does bear some resemblance to many of their previous knife sets in that it’s not only beautiful but also functional. However, beyond that, this non-serrated edge Damascus steel masterpiece knife set stands in a class of its own.

The Japanese VG10 steel Damascus metal it’s made from gives it incredible hardness. This ensures that each non-serrated steak knife retains its razor-sharp edge far longer than the average utility knife.

Also, thanks to the Japanese VG10 steel Damascus metal, these Japanese steak knives won’t crack or chip, even under extreme pressure!

This means you can enjoy your juicy gourmet steak hot without fear of harming your cutlery. What’s more, unlike some knives, this straight knife doesn’t affect the texture or flavor of juicy steaks in any way, helping you enjoy your meal to the fullest!

Pros

  • Has a sturdy one-piece construction which gives it improved handling and control
  • Knives are made with a Japanese VG10 steel core-forged Damascus blade, which further improves their overall quality and appeal
  • Aesthetic elements make it a worthy addition to any dinner table
  • Ergonomic handles and full comfort grip design makes it easier to use for protracted periods at a stretch
  • Each piece has its own sheath and case
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty against defect

Cons

  • Knife handles may be too heavy for some users
  • Aren’t dishwasher friendly
  • May be a tad expensive

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5. Shun Shima Natural 4-Piece Steak Knife Set with Presentation Box

The Shun Shima knife set, much like its Shun Classic sibling, is a perfect blend of skillful craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology.

This knife is so finely made that it can be used as a steak knife, nakiri knife, santoku knife, and paring knife. The premium materials it’s made from make it perfect for creating accurate and seamless cuts.

The quality knife set is beautifully designed, meaning it won’t look out of place, whether at a dinner party or a simple lunch layout.

The presentation box it comes in makes it an excellent gift for any beginner or professional chef. These classic steak knives give you a lot to love about them! 

Pros

  • Quality steak knife set is on par with some of the best serrated blades out there
  • Ergonomic design gives it a weightless and comfortable feel
  • Has excellent edge retention
  • Full-tang construction, build, and blade length guarantee you extraordinary performance, durability, and other amazing features
  • Presentation box makes it a perfect gift for almost anyone

Cons

  • Products require high maintenance for longevity
  • Rather expensive

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How to Choose the Best Japanese Steak Knives

If you want to pick the best Japanese stainless steel knife to cut meat with, you need to keep your eye out for several things before you hop on Amazon or Williams Sonoma and make your purchase.

Some things you should always consider include:

Sharpness of the Blade

Just like with German steel forged knives, the sharpness of your Japanese stainless steel knife greatly matters. You want something that doesn’t just tear but slices right through your juicy gourmet steak.

This is important because using a sharp, quality steak knife relieves stress on your arms and reduces accidents while eating.

Durability of the Blade

Having Japanese knives with a nice mirror polish and razor-sharp edge is good. However, if you can’t count on that razor-sharp blade to stay as-is for long periods without rusting or staining, then that Japanese stainless steel knife isn’t worth much.

Although teeth bend easily, your preferred steak knife sets shouldn’t suddenly break off. Make sure you know how much pressure each knife can handle before it gives out prior to purchasing.

Ease of Use

Whether it has a curved edge or a sharp edge, you want a knife that doesn’t require much effort to handle. In addition to ensuring it has a solid comfort grip handle, you need to make sure its finger-guard is well positioned as well.

Safety Features Offered

Even though all you’ll be doing with these tools is cutting juicy steak, it’s still important to identify and highlight features that enhance your safety with these items.

Look for Japanese stainless steel knife sets that come with features that prevent injury to the user both in transit and storage. This can be as simple as a leather sheath and case or a knife box.

Construction and Material of the Blade

The knife’s material determines whether it has HRC 58-60 hardness or if it’s so flimsy that hitting your plate the wrong way will result in a dull knife.

Make sure you choose blades made of carbon or stainless steel. These materials give you a more premium knife and blade.

FAQs

Are All Steak Knives the Same?

No, they aren’t.

Some steak knife sets have serrated blades, while others have straight edges. Some of these knives also have wooden handles, while others are made of metal. However, virtually every steak knife is shorter than a chef knife.

How Many Steak Knives Do I Need?

You usually only need two at a time. One should have a straight edge, while the other should be a serrated steak knife.

Can I Use These Knives Only for Steak?

Many steak knives can double as a bread knife or a nakiri knife. In addition to being used as a nakiri knife, you can also use some as paring knives and santoku knives.

Conclusion

Overall, the average western or German knife is often more affordable than a Japanese steak knife. However, investing in the best Japanese steak knives offers you unrivaled performance without needing to pull out a knife sharpener every other day.

Because there are so many amazing knives in this category, picking the perfect knife can be tough. However, choosing a good knife is necessary to help youperfect your cooking. While our top pick is the KYOKU Samurai series, picking any of the knives we’ve reviewed will make a splendid addition to your kitchen.

To make your Japanese steak knives last even longer, the only thing left to do is learn more about sous vide cooking!

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