We love to make Japanese seafood delicacies at home and love eating it at some of the best restaurants. However, to make proper sashimi, you will need to use the best sashimi knife available on the market. With our experience in testing various products used in Japanese cuisine, we have selected the top knives to help you narrow down the choices.
There are our top four picks:
- Shun Classic Hollow-Ground Slicing Knife,
- Dalstrong Yanagiba Sushi & Slicing Knife,
- Cangshan J Series 62786 X-7 Steel Sashimi Chef Knife,
- Seto Japanese Chef Knives: Damascus.
We will do a breakdown of each product, so you can make the right decision.
- 1) Shun Classic Hollow-Ground Slicing Knife
- 2) Dalstrong Yanagiba Sushi & Slicing Knife
- 3) Cangshan J Series Sashimi Chef Knife
- 4) Seto Japanese Chef Knives: Damascus Forged Steel
- What To Look for When Buying a Sashimi Knife
- Final Verdict – the Best Sashimi Knife is the Shun Classic Hollow-Ground Slicing Knife
Shun Classic Hollow-Ground Slicing Knife is handcrafted in Japan. It is so sharp that it produces very thin cuts and slices, making it the perfect choice for your sushi and sashimi. The brand is Shun, and the material is high carbon stainless steel. The handle is made of PakkaWood, ebony color.
The blade is sharp and narrow, making the slicing process easy and the cut cleaner. This helps keep the juices of the fish and keeps the taste of the sashimi exquisite. These are the features of this product:
- The blade is narrow and long, and the edge is extremely sharp to allow cleaner cuts,
- VG-MAX stainless steel is clad with 68 layers of Damascus stainless steel for high performance and great edge retention,
- The PakkaWood handle is durable and elegant looking,
- The blade is sharpened by hand to a 16-degree angle.
With this blade, you won’t have to worry about where to buy good sashimi – you will make it yourself. The knife sits really good in the hand, and the razor-sharp edge makes sashimi slicing a piece of cake. In fact, it’s so narrow and sharp that you can use it to slice other types of food, like meat and poultry.
This knife was intended for making sushi and sashimi, so there are no flaws in the build. However, the only downside to this product is its price, because at $179.95, it’s the most expensive one on this list.
|The blade is razor-sharp||It’s expensive|
|It’s built for slicing fish into thin strips|
|The handle is durable|
|Shun will sharpen this knife for free if needed|
2) Dalstrong Yanagiba Sushi & Slicing Knife
The razor-sharp blade made of imported German high-carbon steel has a hand-polished edge. It’s stain-resistant and precisely tempered. The grip on Dalstrong Yanagiba knives is made in such a way that ensures great maneuverability, so it’s perfect for making nigiri sushi or sashimi.
The overall feel of this knife is that it is high-quality, offering great performance with a comfortable grip. Here are the main features of this product:
- The German high-carbon steel used for the blade is polished by hand at 16 to 18 degrees per side,
- The comfortable handle is made out of premium G10 Garolite and PakkaWood,
- It’s tempered to get improved hardness, minimal slicing resistance, and flexibility.
The knife has a very nice design, but what makes it stand out is its outstanding craftsmanship. It may not be easy to use on the first try, but with some practice, you will get the best results out of this steel blade. It’s not lightweight, so you won’t have to add any additional pressure when slicing fish or other food to get the perfectly thin pieces.
If you are not used to this knife, the handle may prove to be too heavy for you to handle properly. Some will consider it a beginner’s blade for making sushi and sashimi.
|The blade is laminated and polished||It’s a bit thin on the spine, so it’s somewhat flexible instead of stiff|
|It’s certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)|
|The handle is triple-riveted for a better grip|
3) Cangshan J Series Sashimi Chef Knife
The blade is forged from Cangshan X-7 Damascus Steel and ensures durability and great edge retention. It’s also stain-resistant, so you can cut thin and juicy slices of tuna sashimi without any worries. The handle is well balanced, while the blade itself goes through heat treatment.
The design of the blade with the sheath is top-notch, and its overall performance is great. Here are the other features you can expect from this product:
- It comes with a Saya sheath that looks both innovative and stylish,
- The Saya sheath has embedded magnets that will hold onto the blade,
- The blade goes through heat treatment and is honed to a 16-degree angle,
- It’s handcrafted to provide perfect balance and great performance.
It’s both beautifully crafted and gives an impressive performance. Each slice made with this knife will be made without any pressure, and you can use it on fish and soft meats. The Saya sheath is a great accessory. It allows you to store this razor-sharp knife safely, and it also looks pretty stylish.
Some customers had mixed feelings about these knives because the company that makes them stated that they were made from Japanese VG-10 steel, while it’s actually made from Cangshan X-7 Damascus Steel. However, they have changed the description and updated it – they used to be made from Japanese steel, so there was a mix-up.
|It’s well balanced, so it ensures great performance for cutting and slicing||It is not forged Japanese VG-10 steel, but a customized version.|
|They are easy to maintain – just clean them with warm water and some detergent.||It’s a bit too light for a sashimi blade|
|The blade is resistant to stains and quite durable.|
4) Seto Japanese Chef Knives: Damascus Forged Steel
The Seto Japanese Chef Knives are handmade in Seki, Japan. Their Chef knife is a sashimi blade, forged of high-quality steel. The finish on the blade is excellent, and the handle material is alloy steel. If you’re looking for a fine Yanagiba or Deba hocho, this is an excellent choice because it requires less maintenance.
Seto has a long history in Japan, and they are renowned for their tradition of making blades of different kinds. Here are the main features of the Damascus forged steel knife:
- The blade is made out of forged VG-10 stainless steel core with 33 layers of Damascus,
- The handle is a traditional D-shaped, made out of red sandalwood,
- Through processing, the blade has been made balanced and comfortable to handle,
- This blade may be used by beginners and chefs for sushi and sashimi.
These knives have an amazing build and are constructed out of high-quality steel. It’s a gorgeous piece that has a hammered finish on the blade, and the red sandalwood handle will keep the grip firm even if it’s wet. The edge is razor-sharp and stays that way through many uses.
Although the knife arrives razor-sharp, it will require some sharpening after several uses. While we like the aesthetic, it may seem unpleasant to some because of the hammered finish.
|The build of these knives is the traditional Japanese||The aesthetic of this knife may be stuffy and unpleasing to some people|
|The red sandalwood handle gives a firm grip even when it’s wet||It will require resharpening after some use|
|It’s heavier, so the slicing is done with very little pressure|
What To Look for When Buying a Sashimi Knife
There is a unique trait when it comes to sushi and sashimi knives, and it’s their single razor-sharp edge. Each of these specialized knives is sharpened only on one side, while the other edge remains flat. This specialized build ensures that food doesn’t stick to the blade.
If you’re looking for a traditional handle, it will have a cross-section shaped with a “D.” It ensures comfortable use for a prolonged period. The handle can be made with different types of wood.
While you may believe that our top choice, the Shun’s hollow-ground slicing knife, doesn’t make a great impression at first sight, its superb advantages are clear. This knife has a classic aesthetic, with a 9-inch blade coated in 68 layers of Damascus steel. The build ensures a precise slice every time, while the food retains all the flavor and juice.
When we say a sashimi knife is true forged or Honyaki, it means it is made from single high-grade steel. Kasumi, literally meaning mist, is a blade forged out of two types of metal, with a softer high-carbon steel coating and a hard iron center.
Traditionally, a yanagiba is used to cut sashimi (also referred to as a yanagiba-bocho or yanagi).
If you look at what chefs in the US are using, they usually start making sushi with a yanagiba, the same as for sashimi. Later, they may upgrade their collection with a deba or usuba. Additional knives can be added after you purchase the three core models.