Know The Best Japanese Sushi Knives

Many people think that you can use any type of knife to make sushi but what people don’t know is that it takes a lot of effort to make a meal that pretty and appetising to eat. Listed below are some aspects that you should take into consideration when you’re looking for the best sushi knife.

The Glorious World Of Japanese Sushi Knives

You have to be clear with what you’re going to use them for. There is the Yanagiba, Usaba Bocho, Deba Bocho and Takobiki. If you’re looking to only buy the best sushi knife, you should definitely go for the best Yanagiba on the market. From efficient and precise slicing through Maki rolls and meat, you will be able to impress your guests. The Usaba is not necessary unless you have a premium chef knife or a santoku knife but if you have extra money, the Usaba is great for thin vegetable slices.

Type of Knife Making Material

Carbon steel is the best material for your sushi knife. However, it requires high maintenance. You will often find yourself sharpening it and you have to always dry after washing them. However, this material will give the sharpest edge. If you don’t have the time to care of knives, you should definitely go for a stainless steel material but it isn’t as sharp as the carbon steel. A Composite steel knife can be expensive but it lasts longer than the stainless steel.

Parts Of A Sushi Knife

If you were to study the each part of a sushi knife, you would know that each detail has its own Japanese name. For example, the edge of the blade is called Hasaki and the handle is called Ejiri. Making sushi at home would be much easier if you know about the three common types of sushi knives.

The Types Of Sushi Knives


The first knife is the Yanagiba knife. It’s blade has been made super sharp as each meat that is sliced has to be super thin and smooth. This is why you can easily spot the difference between a high and low quality sushi. This knives is around 8 – 12 inches long and it has a single beveled. It is also a very thin knife which will allow you to slice the meat in only one quick motion.


This knife was made for vegetables. It has a straight edge that is sharpened on the right side (known as Kataba). It is usually used for slicing thin pieces of vegetables. You will find that it has a bigger blade compared to the Yanagiba knife. You can also use its pointed tip to make those fancy designs that premium sushi restaurant makes.


This knife is known as Japanese Carving knife. However, it’s design is almost between a meat cleaver and a chef’s knife. The best size to buy this knife is probably a 6-inch knife as it gives you more control but it ranges from 4 to 12 inches long. This knife is not a necessity when making sushi knife. Having a sharp chef’s knife at home would be a great substitute because this knife is usually used by professional sushi makers.

Final Knife Buying/Picking Tips

If you were to choose between the three of these knives, always go with the Yanagiba knife. The Yoshihiro Namiuchi Yanagi Sushi Sashimi Chef’s Knife is the best you can get.

Sushi knives are very delicate and thin so you shouldn’t drop them and use extra force when cutting sushi. Also never put your delicate sushi knife in the dishwasher. You should definitely remember this quote by Masaharu Morimoto, “Japanese Chefs believe our soul goes into our knives once we start using them. You wouldn’t put your soul in a dishwasher!”. A great starter knife would be the Mercer Culinary Yanagi Sashimi Knife.