I will segment the knives by price ranges of under $100 (best budget gyuto) and into four price segments and $750+ being the highest. This way, like Too Short said, “you can get in where you fit in.”
In my previous post on “are Japanese knives worth it,” the gist of it is you get what you pay for with Japanese companies/producers. There is no game of smoke and mirrors playa, and just like in the Bay Area, Japanese producers come correct (oh, and in case you have no idea who Too $hort is, here you go).
I intend on helping you to find the best eight inches of Japanese steel to put some magic in your kitchen (you can go smaller/bigger, often from 150-300mm). This list is in four price segments from:All these knives are sold through an established/authorized dealer network of online and brick and mortar dealers.
1). the best budget knife, 2). moderately priced, 3). a little pricey, and 4). big baller Japanese 8″ chef (gyuto) knives.
The “quick pick” if you want to GTFO, and click, and buy.
This Tojiro Knife is Why Japanese Knives are Popular, Value
You do not have to spend much, to get a quality knife, and I have a full write up as to why that is “are Japanese knives worth it“.
All brands are based out of Japan from Seki, Tsubame-Sanjo, to Niigata.
(dealers in parenthesis denotes that they do not primarily specialize in Japanese cutlery)
Amazon: LA Cuisine International
Miami, FL, est. 2004
Chef Knives to Go
Fitchburg, WI, est. 2002
(Crate & Barrel)
Chicago, IL, est. 1962
Hyogo, Japan, (N/A) 2013?
Japanese Chefs Knife
Seki, Japan, est. 2003
Canada, est. 2007
New York City, NY, est. 1982
(Sur la Table)
Seattle, WA, est. 1972
(Williams & Sonoma)
Sonoma, CA, est. 1956
If you are looking for the best Japanese 8″ (210mm/8.2″) gyuto (chef knife), you are in the right place because you cannot go wrong with any of the eighteen knife brands/craftsmen listed below.All the Japanese chef knives are 210mm/8.2″ unless otherwise denoted.
Japanese 8″ Gyuto/Chef Knife Price Comparison
I have included brands that you can buy through specialized knife dealers, but I have also provided big-box retailers such as Williams-Sonoma, Crate&Barrel, to Sur la Table. I also may receive a commission on some links (only one company), although I do not stack the odds in my favor, and I provide the most relevant or competitive vendor because legit content is good content.
The Top 5 Most Affordable/Best Budget Japanese Chef Knives Under $100 USD (in order of ascending price).Many of these brands have high-end options (I list many of them below).
1). Kanetsune (Kitasho)
2). Fujiwara Kanefusa
FKH Series, $81
Pro M Series (AUS-8), $82
Molybdenum Series (AUS-8), $88
5). Tojiro (Fujitora)
Types of steel/brands used by Japanese blacksmiths
Aside from the production methods, the type and quality of Japanese steel used by Japanese knife makers are partially why Japanese knives are popular.
- The types of steels used (the spectrum) by Japanese knife makers: on one end is stainless steel (where chromium is added for corrosion resistance/prevent rusting). The other end are high carbon knives which are prone to rusting, but are very hard (sharper and longer lasting edge retention).
- Here are a few of the Japanese steels used by Japanese knife makers: SLD (by Hitachi), VG-1, VG-10 (by Takefu), AUS-10, ACUTO440 (Aichi), Shirogami 1/2/3 and Aogami 1/2 (white and blue steel by Hitachi), and ZDP-189 (also by Hitachi), a Japanese super steel made of a powder metallurgy, R-2 (Kobelco).
With each brand, I have included a low to typically a mid/high-end series/option to represent the range of the brand. The pricing variables consist of varying materials to production methods and finishing details. Also, to round things out, I have included a German/Japanese collaboration by Zwilling, branded as Miyabi.
Gyuto’s under $100
If you work as a line cook, or you are an avid cook, this price range offers up a solid range of products with world-class proprietary and Japanese steels and production methods. Regardless how much you spend, a quality product at an affordable price is what you can expect from Japanese knife brands.
Japanese products have a lot value regardless how much you spend (if you are a car dudette/dude, think Lexus LS400/UCF20 vs. Mercedes or Acura NSX/NA1 vs. Ferrari).This price segment is why Japanese sought after.
Pro M Series
|Narihira (Fuji Cutlery)|
Gyuto’s from $100-$250
Line cook bling, and in this price range, expect more details in the handle and ferrule materials, along with the types of steels used, will match the price point.
The top moderately priced Japanese chef (gyuto) knives from $100 to $250 (I will not be listing a top 5 because this group is a range of the best products within this price segment).No matter which product you choose, they all deliver a ton of value that Japanese brands are known for.
(Shirogami #2 /
Carbon) steel clad
Wa Series Kasumi
(White Steel No. 2)
Black Finished Nickel
Pro J Series
Royal Blue Inox
VG-10 33 layer
Classic (High carbon
Sur La Table
Gyuto’s from $250-$750
In Japan, you really do not have to pay much to get stellar service or great food, so when you do pay, you get world-class service and a product that is usually beyond that of most competing products.
The top Japanese chef (gyuto) knives from $250 to $750, and in this range you start to come across unique and distinctive handle materials.You get what you pay for with Japanese products and there is no game of “was $2,700, now only $300.”
Stainless Steel Core
(White Steel #2)
(Series Blue Steel No.2)
with Saya Cover)
Black Damascus CS
Gyuto’s from $750-$1,000+
At this price point, it would not be odd to mount your knife to your wall as a showpiece due to the craftsmanship and as an appreciation to metallurgy.
When you are not drinking Cristal, or making it rain Benjamins for Cristal on stage blue, these are your baller level Japanese chef (gyuto) knives.Some are works of art, like Cristal, working her way through college.
Saya and handle
by Fujin Raijin