A Detailed Guide To Best Sushi & Sashimi Knives

Bring the Japanese art of cooking into your kitchen or restaurant.

Updated January 21, 2022

We know that preparing food is the passion of many, and we always regard it as an art. Therefore, we are always trying to select the best equipment that will serve, suit, and complement you the best in the kitchen. In this review, we have prepared a little introduction to Japanese cutlery and a product guide by covering some of the superior knives suitable for sushi or sashimi making. Even though this article is about knives for such delicate food, you can also find an all-purpose santoku knife and other Japanese cutlery on the tables we have prepared below. The sushi and sashimi knives that we are going to cover are actually in the slicer knife family.

A correct sushi knife corresponds to the Japanese filleting knife (yanagiba), since fresh seafood is mainly used in sushi. A sharp Japanese sushi knife is an ideal aid to artfully cutting this into the right shape. For the beauty of the individual pieces of sushi, it is also handy to use a sharp knife for slicing so that a smooth cut surface is created, and it helps to preserve its rolled shape during cooking.

Our Top Picks

Below, we have followed Japanese cuisine etiquettes when rating the products and compiled a top list for the sushi and sashimi knives to help you meet the output of our work at first look. For more on that subject, let us start: just a few scrolls down, you can enjoy our shopping guide accompanied by maintenance tips by professionals.





Best Overall

Yoshihiro Sujihiki Damascus

  • Size: 9.5 inches
  • Blade: VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus
  • Edge: double-edged
  • Handle: wood/octagonal
  • HRC: 60
  • Accessory: Saya sheath


Imarku Yanagiba

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Blade: High Carbon Stainless Steel
  • Edge: plain single sided
  • Handle: circular pakkawood

Best Price

Lucy Cook

  • Size: 10 inches
  • Blade: Stainless Steel
  • Edge: single sided
  • Handle: non-slip wood

Best Left-Handed

Yoshihiro Damascus

  • Size: 9.5 inches
  • Blade: VG-10 Hammered Damascus NSW Stainless Steel
  • Edge: double bevel
  • Handle: red rosewood/octagonal
  • HRC: 60
  • Accessory: Sheath

Best Design

Cangshan J Series

  • Size: 8 inches
  • Blade: Alloy steel
  • Edge: hollow
  • Handle: African blackwood handle
  • HRC: 60+-2
  • Accessory: Sheath

We all know that every cook can achieve top results with the right kitchenware, so a knife specific to Japanese sushi-sashimi is a primary item to check on your countertop.

Sushi vs Sashimi

Sushi refers to vinegared rice, therefore, you should pay attention and appreciate the main ingredient, the rice, as you do to other ingredients. The most popular sushi types are maki and nigiri. Sashimi has no rice on the other hand, and it refers to thinly sliced ingredients. Therefore, they completely differ yet require the same precision in the cuts.

Top 7 Sushi & Sashimi Knives Reviews

7. Best for General Use Hiroshi Santoku Knife


A must-have in the kitchen: the all-purpose Japanese knife you have been looking for.


We always pay special attention to covering various options and addressing all different users in our guides. Most of the time, whether you are preparing Japanese food or not, a santoku knife might be essential. Santoku means “three virtues”, and they are knives that are designed to cut meat, fish, and vegetables. And if you wish to, there is no reason to not use it for cutting a sushi roll as long as it's razor-sharp. To put it another way, if you are going to get 1 Japanese knife and wish to use it with versatility in your kitchen, we suggest getting a santoku. The brand Hiroshi can be an excellent choice on this matter: their santoku blade is crafted out of ultra-hard carbon steel and Damascus forged with hand. Moreover, the 8-inch blade is hand sharpened and the blade material, steel, is stain resistant. On the handle part, wood is used; thus, similar to others, don’t put this knife in the dishwasher. Last but not least, this santoku knife is made to fit both left-handed and right-handed users.


After you clean the knife up from your previous use, you can store it safely in the gift box you will receive with your purchase.

6. Best for Sashimi - KYOKU Yanagiba Knife

Great Balance

A knife that carries the marks of tradition from the hand of swordsmiths of more than a hundred years to your kitchen.


Kyoku is the cutlery brand that has the trails of sword-craftsmanship from Japan. Their blades are Damascus-forged and made out of high-quality stainless steel. Whether you are a chef or a home cook, Kyoku claims that they will serve and suit you the best with their knives. They also offer a lifetime warranty, to honor their word that the knives will be with you and last you a lifetime. This 10.5-inch Yanagiba knife from their “Samurai series” is another great option when it comes to sashimi & sushi knives. Since this is a yanagiba knife too, you will find that it has an asymmetric blade that will only be suitable for right-handed users. The blade part is forged out of VG10 steel, and also 67-layer damascus steel is used. On the knife, there is one bevel with 11-13 degrees angle; and on the handle, a dark colored wenge wood is used. Lastly, the blade is rated 56-58 on the HRC.


The knife comes in a box that can be used to store it after each cleaning.

5. Best Design Cangshan J Series 62779

Design Award

A blade that is almost art, one that is handcrafted for perfection and accuracy: Cangshan J 62779.


As we have mentioned before, we are aware that Japanese cuisine is almost an art itself, thus, we are looking for the best equipment that will honor and complement the process gracefully. This is why Cangshan Cutlery is the first on this list: in their exact words, they “combine the best qualities of Eastern and Western-style designs.”. This blade by them is a chef’s knife, therefore, it has a versatile use in the kitchen from preparing sashimi to cutting any ingredient. The blade part is 8 inches, and it is made of alloy Damascus steel. The core of the blade is carbon steel and the outside is made with stainless steel. On the edge, a 16-degree angle with a hollow design is used. In the handle, we see a cylinder design made of African blackwood.

Again, Cangshan aims to offer both Eastern and Western-styles, and with this knife, they fulfill their target: the blade is designed to be functional and versatile for home cooks or professionals, yet it carries the art seeked in Japanese cuisine. This is why the blade is handcrafted and hand-forged with care. Cangshan offers a limited lifetime warranty for this handcrafted knife and adds that the knife should be hand-washed to keep as good as the day you bought it. Last but not least, on the Rockwell hardness scale, this blade is rated HRC 60 +/- 2.


In addition to owning the perfect cutlery equipment, you should also have proper tools, such as covers or sharpeners to keep the knives in condition. With the purchase of this item by Cangshan, you will also receive a magnetic walnut-wood sheat for your knife for safety and storage.

4. Best Left-Handed Yoshihiro Damascus 9.5 Inch Chef’s Knife

Best for Lefties

A knife that offers premium quality and a distinction for all left-handed chefs due to its octagonal handle and double-edged blade.


As we look into sashimi knives, the most probable outcome is we will see knives with one bevel, yanagiba knives per se. In addition, unfortunately, not every kitchen appliance is designed ambidextrous. More often, they are only suitable for right-handed users and charged extra for the left-handed option due to the asymmetricity in the design. However, in this list, we are also covering a knife for left-handed cooks: Yoshihiro Chef’s Knife. This blade is designed by the brand Yoshihiro, and there is something special about their cutlery: it is all handcrafted by artisans for centuries.


To prepare the perfect roll, you should have firm rice, and you shouldn't squeeze or overwork it. In addition to sharp knives, we suggest getting a bamboo mat for preparing rolls.

This knife has a Damascus blade on the outside and the inside is constructed with VG-10. The 9.5-inch blade is whetstone sharpened. This is an outstanding length among the other options; to put it another way, the knife has a lot of room and is quite comfortable to use. On the handle, we are seeing a rich color, displayed by the shitan wood of the handle. In terms of hardness, this chef’s knife is rated 60 HRC, therefore, it is safe to assume that this one is quite hard and solid. Last but not least, the brand warns that “the knife can be oxidized without proper care”; therefore, we suggest paying a bit more attention when using this chef’s knife.


With the purchase of the knife, a magnolia wood sheat. We also recommend you to get extra knife oil and rust eraser for protection and safety purposes.

3. Best Budget-Friendly Lucy Cook 10 inch Sashimi Sushi Knife

Great Value

A great knife for a great offer: Sashimi Knife by Lucky Cook.


This knife by the brand lucky cook is also another option for right-handed users. The knife is actually designed for sashimi, therefore, it is the ideal budget-friendly knife in the market for sashimi enthusiasts. The asymmetric blade of the knife is 10 inches in length and constructed out of stainless steel. Not only sashimi and sushi, but regular filleting or slicing processes can be done with this knife. On the handle part, wood is used for creating a non-slip base for the knife. Moreover, the best part about this knife is that you will find a serial number on the blade part, which is the indicator of the authenticity that the brand Lucky Cook promises. Without spending extra on fancier options, this sashimi knife by Lucky Cook is the best budget-friendly one that will fulfill all your needs.


Your purchase comes in a box, therefore, you can use it to store your knife for the next use.

2. Best Sharp Imarku 10 inch Professional Sashimi Sushi Yanagiba Knife


Precision and performance meet in one powerful yanagiba.


Imarku Yanagiba has a high-carbon stainless steel blade that is 10 inches and a plain edge with one bevel. Thus, unfortunately, this blade is not suitable for left-handed cooks as well. The brand claims that thanks to the one side bevel of the knife at a 12-15 degree angle, any sushi or sashimi can be cut easily without tearing or messing the food up. In terms of hardness, this blade is rated HRC 58+-2. The handle part, on the other hand, is made out of pakkawood which can endure water. Last but not least, The brand warns the users that they shouldn’t put the knife in the dishwasher too, but they should hand wash and dry it immediately after each use.


The knife comes in a thin box packaging, therefore you can use it to store your knife conveniently after you clean and dry it.

1. Best for Sushi Yoshihiro Sujihiki VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Knife

Last but not least on this list, takes place the best sushi cutting knife. Just like yanagiba, sujihiki knives are slicer knives in Japanese cutlery.

Top Pick

An elegant sushi knife: to slice the roll with care as it acts gentle yet precise.


At a quick glance at this knife by Yoshihiro, excellent craftsmanship can be observed immediately. From the lovely colored octagonal handle to the forged steel blade, the blade is offering a complete authenticity. To illustrate, the blade is Damascus forged with 46 layers, and double-edged. Therefore, one great detail about this knife is that it is ambidextrous. On the Rockwell hardness scale, this VG10 alloy steel blade is rated HRC 60. Last but not least, the brand is claiming that every knife you will get from Yoshihiro, is handcrafted by masters. In short, this is the dream slicer knife that will add so much to your sushi experience as it elegantly complements your cooking.


You will receive a protective sheath called Saya with your purchase.


What makes a good sushi knife?

When you are looking for a sushi or a sashimi knife, the prime factors you should keep in mind are the sharpness and hardness features. Sushi and sashimi knives are designed to be delicate yet powerful ones: they should be cutting the fish or the roll always with precision and without causing any tear or mess in the food. Therefore, for sushi-sashimi making, we suggest getting a slicer knife, yanagiba or sujihiki, which are the particular knife options for sushi and sashimi. However, if you are just looking for a Japanese knife that will always be your helper in the kitchen, an all-purpose knife per se, you can go with a santoku. In short, as long as you keep all cutlery razor-sharp, you should be good to go.

In every type of cutlery, one basic principle is the same: your comfort. And your comfort when using a knife depends on the feeling of balance. Many say that a knife should feel comfortable and natural as if it was a part of you, so you can perform with it easily. If your knife doesn’t feel balanced in your hands or has a too heavy - too light feel, that knife is not a good choice, and it won't be safe for use.

How to clean a sushi knife?

Not only for sushi knives, but the best way to clean any knife is of course hand-washing. Although it might require a bit of effort, always remember that wooden kitchen appliances are almost never dishwasher safe. Wood probably won’t be able to resist the high heat or the detergent you are using in the dishwasher, and you will end up with cracked, split, or deformed wooden utensils.

Therefore, it is best to spare the time after each cooking session to properly clean the knife and dry it immediately afterwards to prevent the wood from soaking the water. This is a very common rule in the kitchen, and since your Japanese cutlery will probably also have a wooden part, the handle, the same goes for the knives too.

How to cut with a sushi knife?

To cut sushi, you have to be very careful: if you are new to making sushi, you will probably end up messing 1 or 2 rolls. These types of food are quite delicate, and they require you to be fast and graceful in your motions. Other than that, the motion is quite simple: do it in 1 move to one side, and avoid any sawing gesture back and forth. In addition, since slicing might be sticky, don't forget to dip the blade in water in between as you try to perform precise cuts. The aim here is to clean any residue from the previous cut on the knife and prevent the blade from sticking.

In short, slicing is quite easy as long you pay attention to:

  1. Dipping the knife in the water
  2. Moving quickly yet gentle in one direction
  3. Being soft as you hold the sushi/sashimi with your other hand

What is Damascus steel?

Damascus steel is a specially forged steel. On a Damascus steel blade, you will see flower-like patterns or shapes that remind you of the surface of water. If a blade has wavy visible motions on it and claims to be Damascus forged, it means that the knife is hard and sharp-edged in addition to a bit of flexibility in the design. Before, Damascus forge was actually used in sword-craftsmanship, and today, sometimes cutlery keeps carrying these beautiful curly lines caused by the special forging process.

What is VG-10?

Simply, VG-10 is a common type of steel in Japanese high-end cutlery. Even though it is not a necessity if you see that expression, you are probably getting an upper-level knife. VG-10 is a hard steel which makes it convenient to craft thin yet sharp blades with the material; therefore, it ncreases the performance.

What is the Rockwell Hardness Scale?

Rockwell hardness scale is the indicator of the solidity a material has. We won’t bore you with scientific details about how the test is performed, yet you should keep in mind that the more points a knife has, the harder it is. Hardened steel is usually examined under HRC ( Hardness Rockwell C Scale), and after 56 HRC, you are probably getting a superior and hard-steeled knife as well.


In this review, we have tried to select the best of Japanese knife options in the market that contain ambidextrous, left-handed, right-handed, sushi, sashimi, and all-purpose knives. In Japanese cutlery, each brand is always trying to improve their knive’s performance in addition to being loyal to tradition and authenticity. Whether you are a professional chef, a home cook, or a sushi enthusiast, we hope that you have found your ideal knife so far and found this guide helpful. For more information on cutlery or maintenance equipment, don't forget to check out our other articles.

Thank you for reading and we wish you a lovely day!

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About the author 

Dianne Centeno

Dianne is the editor-in-chief and also one of the main writers of Use&Cook. She has an endless curiosity for new kitchen ideas and products which keeps her motivated. Her technical background is also the key to make complex kitchen issues easier with the right set of cooking tools.

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