In the world of kitchen knives, Japanese blades are some of the sharpest, most durable, and most popular on the market. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook who loves to be in the kitchen, having a good quality knife is important.
But with so many different types of Japanese knives available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the types of Japanese cooking knives and their uses.
Different Types of Japanese Knives
So, below is the list of 11 Japanese kitchen knife types. Each type has its own features and speciality. They all serve different purposes except for some knives such as Kiritsuke and Santoku knives which are considered multi-purpose. So, whether you’re looking to learn about Japanese chef knife types or fish knife types, we’ve got you covered.
- Gyuto Knife | Chef’s Knife
The gyuto knife is a Japanese chef’s knife that can be used for a variety of tasks, including mincing, slicing, and dicing. It typically has a curved blade that is between 18 and 30 cm long. This type of knife is very versatile and can be used for both Western and Japanese cuisine.
- Santoku Knife | Multi-Purpose Knife
The Santoku knife is another type of versatile chef’s knife that can be used for a variety of tasks, including mincing, slicing, and dicing. It typically has a shorter blade than the gyuto knife, between 14 and 20 cm long. Santoku knives are often used in Japanese cuisine because of their versatility.
- Nakiri Knife | Vegetable Knife
The Nakiri knife is a type of vegetable knife that is typically used for chopping vegetables. It has a straight blade that is between 13 and 18 cm long. This type of knife is very thin and lightweight, making it easy to manoeuvre.
- Usuba Knife | Vegetable Knife
The usuba knife is another type of vegetable knife that is typically used for chopping vegetables. It has a straight blade that is between 15 and 20 cm long. This type of knife is slightly thicker than the nakiri knife but still relatively thin compared to other types of knives.
- Petty | Utility Knife
A utility knife is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, from opening boxes to cutting rope. Petty knives are a type of utility knife that is smaller in size, making them ideal for more delicate jobs. Petty knives typically have a blade length of 4-6 inches, and they often come with a serrated edge that can be used for sawing. In addition, most petty knives have a liner lock that helps to keep the blade securely in place.
- Deba | Butcher’s Knife
A deba is a Japanese-style knife that is commonly used for butchering fish. It has a thick blade that tapers to a sharp point, making it ideal for cutting through bones. The deba is also well-suited for chopping vegetables and can be used to fillet fish. While it is similar in many ways to a Western-style chef’s knife, the deba is typically smaller and lighter, making it easier to handle.
In addition, the deba’s blade is usually positioned at a slightly different angle, which makes it better suited for slicing fish. As a result, the deba is an essential tool for any chef who specializes in Japanese cuisine.
- Yanagi | Sushi Knife
A Yanagi is a traditional Japanese sushi knife. It is long and thin, with a single-edged blade. The blade is usually made from carbon steel, which gives it a sharpness that is ideal for slicing fish.
Yanagi knives are an essential tool for sushi chefs, as they allow for precision cuts that retain the delicate flavour and texture of the fish. In addition to sushi, Yanagi knives can also be used for slicing other foods such as meats and vegetables.
- Honesuki | Boning Knife
A honesuki is a traditional Japanese kitchen knife that is used for boning and filleting. It is characterized by its sharply pointed tip and relatively short blade, which makes it ideal for manoeuvring around bones. The honesuki is typically made from carbon steel or stainless steel, and it is usually between 150 and 170mm in length.
While it is possible to use a honesuki for tasks such as slicing vegetables or cutting meat, it is generally considered to be a specialist knife that is best suited for boning work.
- Kiritsuke | Multi-Purpose Knife
The Kiritsuke is a multi-purpose knife that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It is characterized by its long, straight blade, which can be used for slicing, dicing, and chopping. The name Kiritsuke comes from the Japanese word for “carving,” which refers to the knife’s primary function. The Kiritsuke is also commonly used to fillet fish, as the blade is thin and sharp enough to easily remove the skin. In addition, the Kiritsuke can be used to create decorative cuts known as sushi rolls.
- Pankiri | Serrated Knife
The pankiri is a serrated knife from Nepal that has a long, curved blade. The blade is made of high-carbon steel and is designed for both chopping and slicing. The pankiri is used in Nepalese cooking for everything from cutting vegetables to carving meat. The knife is also popular in the Himalayan region for use in hunting and camping. The Pankiri has a distinctive appearance, with its curved blade and long handle. The knife is also unique in that it can be used for both chopping and slicing.
- Takobiki | Slicing Knife
Takobiki is a type of Japanese slicing knife that is traditionally used for preparing sashimi. The blade is long and thin, with a sharp edge that curves slightly towards the tip. This design allows the knife to slice through fish with ease, while also producing beautiful, paper-thin slices. Takobiki knives are usually made from high-quality carbon steel or stainless steel.
No matter what type of cooking you do, having a good quality knife is important. And when it comes to quality kitchen knives, Japanese blades are some of the best on the market. With so many different types available, though, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Hopefully, this guide has given you a better understanding of the different types of Japanese knives and their uses so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you!