Japan is home to some of the most iconic chef knives in the World. None more so than the Japanese gyuto knife. Sleek, elegant, and completely reliable, it’s the knife of choice for many Japanese chefs and home cooks. In this post, we learn more about this incredible Japanese knife and what to consider before buying one.
*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Types Of Japanese Chef Knives
Japanese chef knives are sharper, harder and thinner. In addition, Japanese knife makers lean towards specialization and task-specific designs. As a result, many professional chefs like Japanese knives.
There are several types of Japanese knives, which include:
- Gyuto: The gyuto is an all-purpose chef knife.
- Santoku: The santoku, a common Japanese chef knife, is lightweight thus ideal for repetitive slicing motions.
- Yanagi: The Yanagi’s long blade allows it to precisely cut larger fish and longer slices, making it great for sushi.
- Sujihiki: The Sujihiki has a steep angle, making it ideal for filleting fish and carving other kinds of meat, including poultry.
- Deba: The Deba has a thick blade and spine, with a gentle curve, hence considered a butcher’s knife.
- Pankiri: The Pankiri has serrated edges and is great for slicing bread.
- Usuba: This knife is single-edged and sharp enough to cut different varieties of vegetables.
What Is A Gyuto Knife?
The word gyuto means beef sword in Japanese. A gyuto knife is one of the best Japanese kitchen knives and is commonly used to cut meat. However, gyuto knife is not all Japanese. It is a blend of the European chef knife and the Japanese Nakiri.
You can use the Japanese gyuto knife to cut nearly everything. It is suitable for all kinds of foods; meats, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, you can use this Japanese chef knife to disjoint meat, slice, dice, and chop. The Japanese gyuto knife is longer than most knives.
What To Consider When Buying A Gyuto Knife
Choosing the best chef knife can be a challenge, especially when there are so many options to choose from. Here is a list of factors to put in mind when selecting the best Japanese gyuto knife.
Profile refers to how the knife appears from the side and could be a big rounded belly or a more gradual belly.
The cross-section is the thickness or thinness of a knife’s edge.
Types Of Steel
Knifemakers use different types of steel, including, carbon steel which is reactive and will rust if left dirty or wet. Stainless steel is another type of steel that can withstand dirt for longer. And finally, powdered steel which is the harder steel used to make these knives, but is not too brittle.
Cladding is applying one material over another to provide a layer. Damascus Cladding consists of two layers of softer steel used on the knife to absorbs shock. Korouchi Cladding is cladding with a rustic look to the knife.
Gyuto knife handles can be the wooden Japanese (wa handle), which is lighter with a heavy blade. Alternatively, they can be the western style (yo handle), which is heavier and more balanced.
You should consider the length of your cutting board and purpose before buying a Japanese gyuto knife.
Best Gyuto Knives
The Yoshihiro knife is versatile, thus ideal for chopping, slicing, and dicing fresh produce. In addition, you can use it to carve a roast chicken. A mahogany wood handle makes the knife well-balanced and ergonomic.
Three-layer construction with a VG-10 stainless steel center core offers exceptional durability, sharpness, and edge retention. The outer steel has 16 layers of hammered steel, which gives the knife a stylish but functional design. The texture also reduces friction and prevents food from sticking onto the blade. The blade is also easy to sharpen.
The Misono knife is made of Swedish stain-resistant steel, which gives it long-lasting edge retention. The knife has a riveted nickel silver bolster that enhances durability and balances weight between the handle and blade.
However, the stain-resistant steel does not prevent the knife from rusting. You should ensure that your blade is always clean and dry.
Though a Misono knife is a typical Western knife, its blade is significantly thinner. As a result, always use sharpening stones because sharpening machines and honing steels may result in chipping.
Master artisans make this Yoshihiro knife by forging high carbon Aus-8 stainless steel. Ice hardening then draws out the hardness and makes it more resilient for consistent performance. This knife is ideal for chefs who prefer a lightweight, razor-sharp, thin, and double-edged blade.
This Japanese chef knife is complimented with a Japanese Wa-style octagonal handle. The knife effortlessly rocks back and forth with a curved blade, making it great for quick chopping. Furthermore, the handle is lightweight and ergonomically fits into the hand for easy use.
Miyabi knife strives for perfection by combining the artistry of Japanese craftsmanship with the best hardening technology. A VG10 super steel core makes the blade strong. An attractive 64-layer Damascus flower pattern protects the knife’s core.
As a result of culinary work, the Miyabi Birchwood features a striking Birch handle and blade. Ice hardening treatment makes the Cryodur blade exceptionally sharp and durable. Artisans use the historical Honbazuke method to hand-hone the Miyabi knife.
Masamoto knives use high-grade stain-resistance steel. This heavy-duty stainless steel makes the knives easy to maintain and rust-resistant compared to carbon steel knives. The handle has a moderate weight, which makes it easy to apply force and cut.
Masamoto is one of the best Japanese kitchen knives. It is a traditional multipurpose knife that chefs can use for a wide range of cutting techniques. The knife is ideal for cutting beef, steak, pork, chicken, and fish.
Gyuto Knife Versus Santoku Knife
Chefs can use both the gyuto knife and santoku to perform most kitchen tasks. In addition, they are both made from a similar metal. However, these knives are different.
The gyuto has a belly for rocking and a piercing tip, making it a better all-purpose knife. Furthermore, a santoku knife is cheaper than a gyuto knife.
How To Care For Your Gyuto Knife
The edge of a soft-steeled knife may bend when it hits the cutting board or a hard item. Honing realigns a knife’s edge. You should hone your soft steeled knife only when necessary. However, hard-steeled gyuto knives don’t bend and therefore don’t require honing.
You should sharpen your knife every one to three months, depending on its purpose. You should also follow the bevel and avoid going too low or too high. Using a marker at the bevel ensures that you are sharpening at the correct angle, especially for an asymmetrical knife.
Use mineral oil to oil a wooden handle, especially if the wood is raw or unfinished. Food-safe beeswax also helps keep the handle water-resistant.
A knife is an essential utensil in every kitchen. When purchasing a gyuto knife, you should therefore go for the best so that it gives you a delightful cutting, chopping, and slicing experience.