Best Gyuto Knives (aka Best Japanese Chefs Knives)
How do you find the best Gyuto knife? To help you we’ve compiled the best Gyuto knives out there and given you a guide on what to look for and what to avoid when buying the best Gyuto knife.
History of the Gyuto Knife
Japan has a long and storied history of crafting knives, from the katana to a variety of modern kitchen knives. After Japan’s period of isolation, Western chef knives flooded the country along with more European-style food, which meant meat for dinner. Since katanas were no longer in high demand, blacksmiths turned their skills to making kitchen knives with marvelous results. The Gyuto Japanese knife was originally made for slicing beef. In fact, the name Gyuto translates to “cow sword.”
Gyuto Knives Buying Guide: What you need to know
These knives feature a sharp tip and a wide blade, the width making it easy to transfer food using the knife. Chefs around the world favor the Gyuto due to its versatility and durability.
How is a Gyuto different from a chef knife?
A Gyuto knife is shorter and thinner than a chef knife and can hold its edge for a long time. The lighter weight of the blade makes for increased agility and speed in cutting.
What is a Gyuto knife used for?
Though it was originally designed to cut beef, this knife is great for chopping, dicing, and many other duties in the kitchen. It’s considered by many to be a good all-purpose knife. However, heavier duty tasks like cutting through bone are best done by a meat cleaver or a butcher’s knife.
What size is best?
The blade length can vary from 8 to 12 inches, but the size that would accommodate most users and tasks is 9 inches.
Why Buy a Gyuto?
The Gyuto knife is produced from exceptionally hard steel, so it’s much stronger than most knives. Due to its durability, it’s a low-maintenance blade that doesn’t require sharpening as much as standard kitchen knives.
How to Choose the Best Gyuto Knife?
Since the Gyuto knife is professional-grade, you will expect to pay quite a bit more for a single knife than everyday kitchen cutlery. That isn’t to say that the most expensive knife equals the best knife. You’ll want to compare the features of the knife, the material of the handle, and the quality of the steel used to make the knife.
There are a few standard types of steel found in these knives. The VG-10 is a high-carbon steel alloy with strong and excellent edge retention. The SG-2 steel is a high-carbon steel with vanadium which makes it more wear-resistant. This is a harder steel but more difficult to sharpen. The AUS-10 steel is a Japanese high-carbon, super-refined stainless steel that also contains vanadium. The steel can become razor-sharp and hold the sharpness for a long time.
The handle is the second most important part of a knife. There are two main types of handles associated with the Gyuto knife. The Wa and the Yo. The Wa handle is a traditional Japanese handle that is lighter than the blade. This makes it easier to handle and provides a better balance. This handle is attached to the blade on both sides with glue.
The Yo handle is heavier than the blade, which is the kind more typically found in Western chef knives. This type of handle is favored by chefs who prefer a heavier knife. The material tends to be made of composite wood and artificial resin-like Pakkawood and Micarta, but can also be made of birchwood or mahogany. Pakkawood is waterproof, which improves the longevity of the knife and guards against bacteria.
Knives can be either single-bevel or double-bevel. A bevel refers to the side of the knife that has been ground to form the knife’s edge. The single-bevel knife is only sharpened on one side of the blade, while the double-bevel is sharpened on both sides. Single-bevel blades are much sharper because they only need to be sharpened on one side. This makes for a much more precise cut and is the type of knife used by most professional cooks. Most knives, however, are double-beveled.
The edge angle of a knife is critical in determining how sharp the knife can be. The edge is measured in degrees. Edges that measure 15-20 degrees tend to be the sharpest. Too much lower than that, and the edge becomes too fragile.
Reputation matters when you plan to invest in a high-quality knife. You want to make sure you are getting your knife from a company known for producing an excellent product. Here is a review of the best Gyuto knives.
Which one is the best? Keep reading to find out.
✅ Short on time? After going through all of the chef knives this is the knife that we would buy based on all of its qualities.
Miyabi Chef’s Knife
- 9” chef’s knife
- SG-2 micro-carbide powder steel
- Hand-honed using 3-step Honbazuke process
- 9.5 to 12-degree edge
- Karelian Birchwood handle
- Handcrafted in Seki, Japan
- Super sharp blade that retains its edge for a long time
- High-quality steel
- Built to last
- Beautiful birchwood handle
- Lightweight and versatile
- Excellent for precision cutting
- Extremely sharp edge is not suitable for inexperienced cooks
Overall Miyabi Knives Review
This knife is simply a work of art. It is handcrafted from superior materials, from the birchwood handle to the authentic Japanese blade profile. Beyond its stunning appearance, this knife means business. The construction of this knife is amazing. The high-quality steel is among the strongest in the industry. The fine-honed edge will give you razor-sharp cuts every time. Miyabi’s innovative, ice-hardening process locks in the long-lasting sharpness of the blades. It’s a must for any chef, be it at home or in a restaurant, and it’s meant to last a lifetime.
Best Japanese Gyuto knife: Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife
- 8-inch all-purpose curved blade
- Ebony Pakkawood handle
- Exclusive VGMAX formula steel with added tungsten and chromium
- Handcrafted in Japan
- Ebony Pakkawood is infused with resin for a water-resistant finish
- Sharp edge that holds up well
- 8-inch chef’s knife
- Cuts like a dream
- Hammered blade metalwork is stunning
- Made to last a lifetime
- Not ideal for heavy-duty tasks
- Does not come with a sheath for the blade
- Though Shun provides free sharpening, the service typically removes the logo and a good bit of the blade
Overall Shun Classic Review
This Shun knife is a VGMAX Cutting Core and has an Ebony Pakkawood handle. Shun Cutlery is known for its exquisite beauty and ultra-premium performance. Shun Classics are the first Japanese-style knives to be made available to a wider audience in North America.
Though the company is young, relatively speaking, it has a solid reputation for crafting quality knives. The VG-MAX steel is a formula exclusive to Shun. This Shun Classic 8-inch chef’s knife is perfect for light to medium tasks. The blade is made of extremely durable steel and keeps its sharp edge for a long time. If you are looking for a professional quality knife but would like to perhaps spend a touch less money, this knife would be a great choice.
Best Gyuto under $200: Yoshihiro Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife
- 8.2-inch VG 10 46 layered hammered steel
- Octagonal Ambrosia wood handle
- Forged and hammered with 46 layers of steel
- Wa style handle
- Double bevel knife-edge
- Handcrafted in Japan
- Comes with a wooden sheath
- The handle is lightweight and molds to the hand for easy use
- The hammered texture of the blade keeps food from sticking to the knife.
- The lighter weight of the knife is a benefit if you do a lot of chopping
- Stunningly beautiful design
- The sheath pin is very easy to lose and expensive to replace
Overall Yoshiro Hammered Damascus Gyuto Review
From dicing, slicing, and chopping produce to carving a roast chicken; this knife performs with excellence. It’s truly lightweight, so if you prefer a heavier-weight knife, as some chefs do, this one might not be for you. The VG-10 Hammered Damascus Series has been a perennial best seller for this company. The Wa style handcrafted octagonal wooden handle ergonomically molds to the hand and becomes an effortless extension. As beautiful as it is functional, this knife hits all the right spots: a sturdy and durable blade, precision cutting, and elegant design.
Prefer a chef knife? This is the best chef knife under $200?
Best Gyuto under $100: Tojiro DP Gyuto Knife
- VG10 cobalt alloy steel
- The blade has 13 layers of chrome stainless steel
- Full tang
- Bolster is made of 18-8 stainless steel
- Great for the home chef
- Handles easily for precision cutting
- Exceptionally sharp
- Easily chops through thick vegetables
- Excellent value
- Comes with a blade protector
- The handle material could be of higher quality
- The steel is on the harder side and it can be a bit brittle
Overall Tojiro DP Gyuto Review
While this knife may not be as flashy or fancy as the more expensive knives, it functions extremely well. This knife is perfect for the home cook who wants a quality knife at a reasonable price. The even edge makes it usable to both left and right-handed cooks. For durability and toughness, the laminated handle is reinforced and triple riveted to the blade. The value you get from this knife allows you to hone your knife skills without committing to a more expensive purchase.
Prefer a chef knife? This is the best chef knife under $100
Best Gyuto Japanese chef knife under $50: Traditional Japanese Professional Gyuto Kitchen Chef’s Knife
- Premium 8-inch high carbon stainless steel chef’s knife
- Single bevel knife-edge
- Full tang
- Rosewood handle
- Highly corrosion resistant
- The rosewood handle is resistant to stain and water damage
- The knife is easy to handle
- The blade is much sharper than the average kitchen knife
- The manufacturer offers amazing customer service
- The knife comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Heavier than other Gyuto knives
- This knife is not an authentic Japanese knife and is made in China
Overall Traditional Japanese Gyuto Knife Review
Purchasing this carbon steel knife will allow a newer cook to look like a pro. The price point is excellent for someone just beginning to tackle the culinary arts. It is a step from everyday kitchen knives, so it is ideal for someone who wants to learn the fine art of chopping with a less intense knife. The proper honing and sharpening of a high-end blade can be a daunting task, so purchasing a lesser expensive knife (read: better for your budget price range) is a great way to practice your honing and sharpening skills and your cutting techniques before investing in a higher-priced blade.
Prefer a chef knife? This is the best chef knife under $50
Damascus Chef Knife Gyuto Hajegato
- VG10 steel with 67 layers of Damascus steel
- Double beveled edge
- Wa style handle
- Handle is made from G10 wood
- Comes with a protective sheath
- Designed with a variety of colors
- The blade design allows for the maximum knuckle clearance when chopping
- Unique look
- Lifetime warranty on any manufacturing defects
- Not very sharp out of the box
- Since the blade is on the heavy side, the knife isn’t quite balanced
Overall Damascus Chef Knife Review
The Hajegato Damascus Chef’s Knife, at first glance, is a conversation piece for your countertop. Since each knife is handcrafted, no two knives are exactly alike. The blade design allows for maximum knuckle clearance to protect fingers from injury. The high carbon steel has a VG-10 core beneath 67 layers of Damascus steel.
Understanding that many chefs will be holding their knives for long periods of time, great care was placed in the design of the handle. For a comfortable hold and increased control, the Wa style handle has an octagonal shape. This knife provides solid cutting with impressive sharpness. What sets it apart is certainly its unique and colorful design.
Sanetatsu Damascus Steel Gyuto Japanese Kitchen Knife
- 32 layers of Damascus and VG10 steel
- 9.5-inch knife
- Three quarter tang
- The handle is made of laminated Western mahogany
- Triple-riveted with stainless steel bolster
- Handcrafted in Japan
- Sharp out of the box
- Well-balanced and lightweight
- Mahogany handle is sturdy and attractive
- The handle is smaller than other Gyuto knives
- The protective sheath is flimsy and thin
Overall Sanetatsu Damascus Steel Gyuto Review
This Sanetatsu Damascus Gyuto is finely crafted with 32 layers of Damascus steel over VG-10 to maximize strength and cutting ability. It is meant to last. The mahogany handle is shaped in a way for the user to have maximum comfort and provide a stronger grip.
Unfortunately, the handle is also on the smaller side, especially for a knife of this size. Cooks with larger hands might find this knife more difficult to handle. The price point is only slightly lower than a few of the other high-quality knives and not quite up to par with the higher-end blades.
However, It is a sound investment for your kitchen if you decide not to splurge for the higher-priced knives.
Which is the best Gyuto knife?
And the winner is….the Miyabi Chef’s knife! This knife is simply a masterpiece. The ergonomic handle is carved of Karelian Birch, the only wood found in a Faberge egg, for a combination of luxury and strength. Beyond the fancy exterior, this knife has a powerful cutting core made of SG2 micro-carbide powder steel covered by an additional 100 layers of steel. In craftsmanship, the centuries-old Honbazuke process, along with the meticulous hand-honing of the blade, assures a knife that is razor-sharp the moment you (carefully) place it in your hands. It is truly a sound investment in your kitchen and well-worth the steep price tag.
The second runner-up is the Shun Classic 8-inch chef’s knife. The steel is made from a formula exclusive to Shun. The VG-MAX steel adds tungsten for a sharper edge, more chromium for corrosion resistance, and additional cobalt and carbon for strength and durability. The handle is ebony Pakkawood infused with resin for a durable, water-resistant finish. From chopping sturdy vegetables to mincing delicate herbs, this knife is suitable for a wide variety of tasks.
If you are a budding chef and want to graduate from common kitchen knives to something more professional but want to keep the cost low, the Tojiro DP Gyuto knife is a solid choice. It provides precision cutting with a sharp and durable blade at a much lower price.
Final Thoughts on Gyuto Knives
Ultimately adding a Gyuto knife to your cutlery collection is a wise choice. The quality and performance of these knives is beyond impressive. The care that is put into each and every true Japanese Gyuto knife is apparent in the quality performance.
Forging a true Gyuto knife is a lengthy and arduous process that begins with a single piece of high carbon steel. Experts meticulously hammer, kiln, polish and sharpen the blade into a fine piece of cutlery. Since the blade is extremely hard, it can be sharpened to remarkably thin and sharp edges.
The Gyuto is truly a multi-purpose knife that can tackle a wide range of cutting tasks with ease. The blade is thinner and lighter than the Western chef’s knife and slices through a wide array of meats and vegetables quickly and precisely. True to its name, “cow sword,” the Gyuto slices through meat like a dream.
For most cooks, a Gyuto is so versatile it’s practically the only one needed in the kitchen. If you are looking for one knife that can do it all, this is it.