5 Best Sashimi Knives
Sushi and sashimi are some of our favorite things to order when we go out for dinner, and making sushi at home is a hobby for millions across the globe that is growing daily in popularity.
Sure, it’s still relatively expensive (in comparison to buying sushi), but it’s a fun pastime that also allows you to experiment and create exactly what you’d like.
So, what are the best sashimi knives you can buy? It all comes down to personal preference. We recommend a Yanagi knife with a blade between 7-12 inches in length. The material should also be relatively hardened and the blade should be a single bevel. However, these are only the most basic considerations you can make.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know before buying a sashimi knife — we’ve also included a fantastic breakdown of sashimi knives to suit various needs!
What Is A Sashimi Knife?
If you’re into sushi, you can probably guess what this knife is used for.
A sashimi knife is a specially designed knife used to cut seafood for sashimi sushi. It is one of the most popular types of Japanese knives.
There are several different kinds of sashimi knives you can buy, each specifically designed for a different function. However, all of them are usually very light in weight, made from very high-quality steel, and have a round wooden handle.
The overall design of these knives makes them easy to use and highly efficient.
Different Types Of Sashimi Knives
As we have mentioned, there are a couple of different types of sashimi knives.
Read carefully — this is the first and arguably the most important decision you have to make when choosing the perfect knife for you!
This is the most standard shape of sashimi knives you can find. A yanagi knife is very similar to the utility knives used in Western cuisine.
This knife has a blade ranging between 10-12 inches (25.4-30.5 cm). The design of this knife allows it to slice smoothly through long pieces of fish.
The tako knife is similar to a carving knife. It is made harder so that it can be used to slice through small bones and thick, tough skin. It is also great for slicing through large cuts of seafood.
The length of the blade for tako knives is generally the same as for Yanagi knives (10-12 inches). However, they often have a special handle that helps with functionality and ease of use.
These knives have handles that are made of metal. The handle also contains sand, which helps balance it.
Fugu knives are used to slice through blowfish or pufferfish. This knife has an extremely thin and super-flexible blade. It measures around 6 inches in length (15.2 cm).
In Japan, it is the only knife that can legally be used when working with fugu fish.
And finally, Deba knives are rugged knives used to cut through bones, skin, and thick meat cuts. It has a shorter blade that is only about 4-8 inches (10-20 cm) in length.
However, the blade is thick and generally heavier. The weight of this knife helps cut through tough pieces of meat.
How To Choose The Best Sashimi Knife
There are a couple of decisions you have to make when choosing the right sashimi knife for you.
They may seem overwhelming at first — don’t worry, we will break them down so you can easily make the final decision!
Type Of Sashimi Knife
First, you need to decide which type of knife you want. A Yanagi knife is the best for beginners and general use (in our opinion). It slices through long pieces of fish, which is likely what most people will use.
If you want something a little more rugged but still generally flexible, look for a Tako knife. Fugu and Deba knives are more specialized and should rather be future add-ons rather than first purchases.
Japanese knives are unique in that they only have a single bevel. What this means is that only one side of the blade has been sharpened. Most Western knives are double-bevel, which forms a V-blade.
Single-bevel blades are much sharper. The edge reduces drag and will create a beautifully clean cut through the fish.
Always ensure that the knife’s edge has the correct type of bevel. When you’re making high-quality sashimi, it’s crucial.
It goes hand-in-hand with the type of knife you choose. However, even when choosing a specific design, there are still a few blade length options.
The ideal length of the blade should be between 7-12 inches (24-30cm). That will allow you to create clean single slices without sawing through the fish.
So, whichever knife you choose, try to buy one with these dimensions in mind.
The material used to make the knife will directly affect the effectiveness of the knife and its shelf life (durability).
The best sashimi knives are all made from carbon steel. We don’t recommend trying a different material; it’s just not worth it.
Again, we are buying an authentic high-quality sushi knife — not a cheap alternative that can “get the job done.”
Carbon steel can create much sharper blades in comparison to stainless steel and other materials. They also hold their edge very well, which means you don’t have to sharpen your knife as much.
Now, to get even more technical (without going into too much detail), you can also choose between white carbon and blue carbon steel.
Choose blue carbon steel if you want to make sashimi frequently or professionally — it is a lot stronger and more durable. It will also hold a sharp edge for longer.
You can buy a white carbon steel sashimi knife if you make sashimi at home or only occasionally. It is made from a softer material that needs to be sharpened a lot more often, which is why it’s perfect for less frequent use.
Comfort Of Use
Naturally, there is no point in buying a knife that’s uncomfortable to use. Usually, the most comfortable sashimi knife handles are round, D-shaped, or hexagon-shaped.
These handles don’t have any sharp edges that make them uncomfortable to hold after long periods.
Most sashimi knives are half tang. That means that the blade is attached to a handle — the handle isn’t made from the same single piece of material as the blade.
The reason sashimi knives can be made from half tangs is that they aren’t required to be hard and rugged. Their unique blade does all the work.
For carving and boning knives, you need a knife without any weak points. So, you’d choose a full tang knife in that case.
Sashimi knives are very expensive, like all Japanese knives. On average, a good sashimi knife will cost you anywhere from $50-400 — and many are far more expensive.
Knives that are much cheaper than this aren’t going to be authentic or as good as authentic sashimi knives. Sure, they could still work. But we aren’t buying utility or filleting knives here — we’re looking for authentic, high-quality sashimi knives!
That being said, we will include a budget-friendly option on our list today. We know that if you are just starting to make sushi and sashimi, you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars (or even one hundred) on a single knife.
The Best Sashimi Knives
You’ve likely already narrowed down exactly what kind of sashimi knife you want to buy — our buyer’s guide makes it super easy, right?
Then, without further ado, here are the best sashimi knives you can buy online!
We tried to include a variety of options that caters to different needs and budgets.
|1||DALSTRONG Yanagiba 10.5-Inch Sushi Knife||Extremely durable, single-bevel knife made from Japanese steel. Octagonal handle for comfortable use. Comes with a lifetime warranty.|
|2||CHUYIREN 10.6-Inch Yanagiba Sashimi Knife||Very affordable knife made from hardened stainless steel. Great comfortable design that makes it easy to use.|
|3||KEEMAKE 11.5-Inch Sashimi Japanese Knife||Perfect midrange-priced sashimi knife for beginners. Comfortable design with durable and strong blade material.|
|4||YOUSUNLON 12-Inch Max Yanagi Sashimi Knife||Double-bevel sashimi knife. Made from Damascus steel, a very durable material that will retain its sharp edge.|
|5||KYOKU Samurai Series 10.5-Inch Yanagiba Japanese Knife||Extremely affordable beginner's sashimi knife that still works effectively and is super comfortable.|
1. DALSTRONG Yanagiba 10.5-Inch Sushi Knife
This is one of our personal favorites and probably the best choice for beginners or someone that are looking to upgrade. Yes, it is a little pricey — but what you get for this price is truly exceptional (and actually quite affordable).
First of all, this is a perfect all-rounder knife. The knife’s blade is 10.5-inches which makes it very easy to work with and create beautiful single slices. It also has a single-bevel scalpel edge that has been honed at 15 degrees.
The material the blade is made from is high-quality Japanese steel with a 62+ hardness. It isn’t pure carbon steel — instead, it’s made with hardened stainless steel, which ultimately also helps the lower price.
The handle is also octagon-shaped to make it comfortable to use for any duration of time. Overall, this is an extremely durable knife that can keep its edge for a while and can last a lifetime — and if you’re still not convinced, it has a lifetime warranty!
2. CHURIYEN 10.6-Inch Yanagiba Sashimi Knife
Next on our list, we drop considerably in price. This is the perfect good-quality knife for beginners — you aren’t investing a ton of money, but you’re also not getting a useless knife!
The main reason this knife is cheaper is because of the material it is made from — strengthened stainless steel.
Other than the slightly weaker material, the knife is well designed. It has a good blade length to make it versatile in all uses. And it is also single-bevel, which makes it extremely sharp to create silky slices.
Furthermore, the handle has a smooth oval-shaped design that makes it very comfortable. Overall, it’s an aesthetically pleasing knife that’s perfect for beginners.
3. KEEMAKE 11.5-Inch Sashimi Japanese Knife
Next, we move on to a knife that is the perfect in-betweener of the first two options we’ve presented to you. It is mid-priced in terms of beginner’s knives.
This knife is made from Japanese high-carbon steel that is slightly softer than the Dalstrong knife, but harder than the Churiyen. It has a 58+ hardness.
It also has a single-bevel blade with a 12-15 degree edge. It also has a sleek, 11.5-inch blade — if you are looking for really long smooth slices (almost exclusively so), this knife is perfect for you!
It also has a gorgeous rosewood handle that is oval. It’s easy to use and super comfortable.
4. YOUSUNLONG 12-Inch Max Yanagi Sashimi Knife
This is the most expensive sashimi knife we will cover today, but it’s an incredible sushi-making tool to have — not to mention breathtaking!
First up, the blade. This blade is made from Japanese hammered, 33-layer Damascus steel. The biggest downside to this knife is that it does have a 15-degree double-bevel blade.
However, the reason we still included it on this list is that it allows you to use the knife for other slicing purposes too. You can use it to create sashimi, but also just general filleting and carving.
It also has a very long blade, and because it’s made from a material that retains its sharp edge extremely well, it is a fantastic option for a sashimi knife. Even at its price, it’s still not a super-expensive sushi knife.
The hammered effect on the blade prevents the ingredients from sticking to it, which will allow you to smoothly slice through fish without having to saw, and the comfortable walnut wooden handle makes it easy to use as well as a beautiful decorative piece.
5. KYOKU Samurai Series 10.5-Inch Yanagiba Japanese Knife
Last but certainly not least, we thought that we’d end on a truly budget-friendly beginner sashimi knife. But unlike most other options at this price, this one is actually good!
But why is it so cheap? The material it is made from is a lot more affordable — hardened steel. It is softer than most options on our list, but you don’t need a very hard rigid knife for sashimi slicing.
This knife is also single-bevel at 11-13 degrees. It will likely have to be sharpened more regularly, but only if you use it a lot.
Furthermore, it has a very comfortable Wedgewood handle that has an oval shape. Overall, it’s a great starter knife that also comes with a lifetime warranty.