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10 Best Japanese Chef Knives Under $100 2024

best japanese chef knives

Looking for the best Japanese chef knives under $100? Here’s a guide to the different types of knives available, what to look for in a good knife, and our top picks for the best Japanese chef knives of 2024.

Discover the precision of Japanese culinary artistry with the best Japanese chef knives. Renowned for their exceptional sharpness, durability, and craftsmanship, these blades are the cornerstone of any serious kitchen.

Join us as we slice through the myriad of options to unveil the top picks for your cutting-edge culinary creations.

Which is the best Japanese chef knife Under $100?

As an expert in Japanese cuisine, I would recommend the Gyuto as the best Japanese chef knife under $100. The Gyuto is a versatile knife that can be used for a variety of tasks, including slicing, chopping, and dicing. It is also relatively easy to use, making it a good choice for both beginners and experienced cooks.

The Gyuto blade is typically 8-10 inches long and has a slight curve. This makes it ideal for slicing meat, fish, and vegetables. The blade is also made of high-quality steel, which makes it durable and sharp.

In addition to its versatility and ease of use, the Gyuto is also a relatively affordable knife. You can find a good quality Gyuto for around $100.

Best Japanese Chef Knives: Quick Summary

KnifeBlade LengthBlade MaterialHandle MaterialPrice Range
Shun Classic 8 inch8 inchesVG-MAX steelEbony Pakkawood$200-$250
Miyabi 8 inch Chef’s Knife8 inchesSG2 steelMicarta$300-$350
Shun Premier 8 inch Chef’s Knife8 inchesVG10 steelPakkawood$250-$300
KUMA Professional Damascus Knife8 inchesVG10 steelPakkawood$100-$150
Global 8 inch Chef’s Knife8 inchesCROMOVA 18 steelStainless steel$150-$200
YOSHIHIRO NSW Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife 8.25 inch8.25 inchesBlue Steel #2Magnolia$400-$450
Shogun Series Kyoku Paring Knife – 3.5″3.5 inchesSG2 steelMicarta$150-$200
Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2″ Chef’s Knife8.2 inchesVG-10 steelPakkawood$150-$200
Shun Pro 6-1/2-Inch Usuba Knife6.5 inchesVG-10 steelPakkawood$200-$250

Top Japanese Chef Knives Under $100

Shun Classic 8 inch

The Shun Classic 8 inch chef’s knife is the embodiment of the phrase “tiny but mighty”. It is one of the best Japanese chef’s knives and is suitable for both professional and amateur chefs.

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It was one of the very first Japanese chef knives that was put on the market for North American chefs. 

It comes with a precision forged carbon stainless steel blade that is suitable for just about any culinary challenge, right from slicing fish to mincing herbs. 

The blade is coated with 33 layers of stainless steel which gives it a stainless damask look. This also prevents food from sticking to the blade.  

The wooden handle allows the user to have a comfortable grip while using it and has a comfortable offset steel cushion.

Pros:

  • The blade comes coated with 33 layers of stainless steel 
  • Can be used to cut anything
  • Suitable for everyone
  • Lightweight 

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Needs extra care while washing and storing (Must be hand washed, stored in  its cover, etc)

Miyabi 8 inch Chef’s Knife

Another popular Japanese chef’s knife is the Miyabi 8 inch chef’s knife. This tool is an example of the finest Japanese craftsmanship. 

Besides being an absolute stunner, this knife has a flower Damascus pattern that makes this knife durable. 

This knife has an authentic thin Japanese blade that is handcrafted to cut through a variety of ingredients.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Comfortable handle
  • Lightweight 
  • Durable

Cons:

  • None

Shun Premier 8 inch Chef’s Knife

The Shun Premier 8 inch Chef’s Knife is a premium blade that hails from Seki City, Japan. 

This heat treated knife has a tsuchime (hammered) finish which allows food to be released easily while cutting. It  is made of VG-MAX fine grained steel which is a fine quality material. 

This hand sharpened and handcrafted knife has a Pakka Wood handle that gives the user a comfortable grip and makes it easy to use. 

Pros:

  • The razor sharp blade can be used to cut anything
  • Suitable for everyone
  • Lightweight and agile
  • Has a comfortable grip
  • Has a tsuchime finish that ensures that food doesn’t stick to the blade while cutting
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Needs extra care while washing and storing (Must be hand washed, stored in  its cover, etc)

KUMA Professional Damascus Knife – 8 Inch Japanese Chef Knife

Another exquisite addition to your kitchen is the KUMA Professional Damascus Knife. 

This blade is forged with 67 micro layers of pure Japanese VG-10 Core Damascus Steel. Since it is heat treated it is very durable as well. 

The V shaped sharpening technology ensures that the blade doesn’t dull quickly and can be used for comfortably to slice through ingredients. The G10 handle fits into the palm of the user comfortably and offers the right balance when in use. 

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checf knife form japan

Pros:

  • The sharpening technology ensures that the blade remains razor sharp for a long time
  • Lightweight and agile
  • Has an ergonomic handle that provides a comfortable grip
  • Resilient and durable

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Needs extra care while washing and storing (Must be hand washed, stored in  its cover, etc)

Global 8 inch Chef’s Knife

Designed by Komin Yamada, this chef’s knife is made of Cromova 18 stainless steel. This is a steel that is the result of a special mixture of molybdenum, vanadium and chromium. The high chromium content makes this knife resistant to rust and staining. 

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The razor sharp edge retains its sharpness well so that you don’t have to spend more time sharpening the blade than using it. The straight edge of the blade makes the knife razor sharp for longer. 

Pros:

  • Has a straight edge blade that retains sharpness
  • Lightweight and agile
  • High chromium content makes it resistant to rust. 
  • Resilient and durable

Cons:

  • Very expensive

YOSHIHIRO NSW Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife 8.25 inch

The Yoshihiro NSW Gyuto Japanese Chefs knife is made with 46 layers of VG 10 Damascus stainless steel and has a blade length of 8.25 inches.

The knife has an exceptional hardness that has led to a thinner cutting edge. This makes the knife razor sharp and capable of cutting through any ingredient. 

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The knife comes with a Japanese style shitan rosewood handle that adds to the aesthetic. 

Pros:

  • The blade comes coated with 46 layers of stainless steel 
  • Can be used to cut anything
  • Has a razor sharp edge that doesn’t dull quickly

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Needs extra care while washing and storing (Must be hand washed, stored in  its cover, etc)

Shogun Series Kyoku Paring Knife – 3.5″

Designed with ultra premium stainless, 33 layer Damascus steel, the Kyoku Paring Knife is a must have in every kitchen. This 3.5 inch blade is curved, making it perfect for peeling and cutting fruit. 

chef knife japan

The handle is highly impervious to heat and moisture. The engraved mosaic pin on the handle adds a touch of luxury to the knife. The blade extends the entire length of the handle and this helps the knife withstand everyday use. 

Pros:

  • The blade is made of 33 layers of Damascus steel 
  • Lightweight 
  • Has a Japanese VG 10 Steel core that is resistant to corrosion.
  • Has lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Needs extra care while washing and storing (Must be hand washed, stored in  its cover, etc)

Tojiro DP Gyutou 8.2″ Chef’s Knife

This stainless steel chef’s knife is one of the more affordable choices on our list. The blade is stain resistant and slightly thicker than the other knives mentioned.

Japanese chef knife

The razor sharp blade can cut through any kind of meat or vegetable and doesn’t dull quickly. Like most Japanese chef knives, it is advised to hand wash this knife, rather than putting it in the dishwasher. 

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Pros:

  • More affordable
  • Razor sharp blade that doesn’t dull quickly

Cons:

  • Needs extra care while washing and storing (Must be hand washed, stored in  its cover, etc)

Shun Pro 6-1/2-Inch Usuba Knife

The Shun Pro Usuba Knife is a stunningly beautiful addition to your kitchen. With its traditional Japanese single bevel edge, it is great for cutting and peeling vegetables. 

shun pro usuba knife

The blade is crafted from pure carbon VG-10 steel which is often referred to as “super steel”. 

Pros:

  • Made of pure carbon VG-10 steel
  • Resilient and durable
  • Comes with lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Best suited for only cutting and peeling vegetables.
  • Needs extra care while washing and storing (Must be hand washed, stored in  its cover, etc)

How To Choose Japanese Chef Knife Under $100?

Here’s a guide on choosing the perfect Japanese chef knife for you:

Before you begin:

  • Are you new to Japanese knives? If so, starting with a stainless steel knife might be easier, as they require less maintenance than carbon steel options.
  • What’s your budget? Japanese knives can range from affordable to very high-end, depending on the steel, craftsmanship, and brand.

Now, let’s dive into the details:

1. Needs & Style:

  • What tasks will you use the knife for? Everyday chopping? Precise vegetable work? Slicing meat? Different knife shapes excel at different tasks.
  • Popular options:
    • Gyutos: All-purpose, similar to Western chef’s knives, good for meat and vegetables.
    • Santokus: Similar to gyutos, but with a straighter edge and no pointed tip, great for vegetables.
    • Nakiri: Vegetable cleaver, excels at chopping and slicing vegetables.
    • Petty: Small utility knife, good for peeling and smaller tasks.

2. Blade Material:

  • Stainless steel: Easier to care for, rust-resistant, but holds an edge slightly less well.
  • Carbon steel: Holds a sharper edge but requires more maintenance (drying, oiling) and can rust.

3. Blade Shape & Grind:

  • Blade shape: Consider the specific tasks you’ll use it for (see point 1).
  • Grind: This refers to the angle of the blade. A steeper grind (higher angle) offers more durability, while a shallower grind (lower angle) provides finer sharpness.

4. Handle:

  • Western: Familiar handle style, typically made of wood or synthetic materials.
  • Wa: Traditional Japanese handle, typically made of wood, lighter and requires a different grip.

5. Budget:

  • Set a realistic budget based on your needs and how often you’ll use the knife.
  • Remember, quality knives are an investment that can last a lifetime with proper care.

Best Japanese Chef Knives Under $100: FAQs

What Japanese knives do chefs use?

Chefs most commonly use the yanagi. This is a Japanese chef’s knife with a long blade, usually 8-12 inches long. It is used to make precise slices and are perfect for slicing ingredients like fish fillet.

What makes Japanese knives so good?

As compared to German knives, Japanese knives are much lighter. Also German knives tend to dull faster and need more maintenance than Japanese knives. In general, Japanese knives feel more balanced and comfortable. 

Why are Japanese knives so expensive?

Japanese knives can be heavy on the pocket. This is because of the high quality steel used to make them. Most use high carbon steel which makes the knives harder, more durable, and helps the blade remain sharp. In comparison, western steel is softer and not as durable. 

What are the different types of Japanese knives?

Based on their uses, the most common Japanese knives are of the following types:

  • Gyuto (Chef’s knife)
  • Santoku (multi purpose)
  • Bunka (multi purpose)
  • Nakiri and usuba (vegetable knife)
  • Petty (paring/ utility knife)
  • Yanagiba
  • Deba
Shun Classic 8 inch

Here are the best Japanese chef knives for budding and professional chefs. Check it out!

Product SKU: 0098433RFG689772

Product Brand: Shun

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 159.95

Price Valid Until: 2021

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
5

Written by Ava Sato

Hiya! I'm the main author of Japan Truly. I love everything Japan and love testing out Japanese products, be it skincare and makeup or gadgets! You'll find reviews of some of the best selling Japanese products (tried and tested) right here!

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