Product

The Best Budget 8″ Japanese Chef Knife (Gyuto Only) from $49 to a Big Baller $2,110 Option

I will segment the knives by price ranges of under $100 (best budget gyuto), $100-$250, $250-$750, and $750+. That 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 ishere you go).

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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:
1). the best budget knife, 2). moderately priced, 3). a little pricey, and 4). big baller Japanese 8″ chef (gyuto) knives.

All these knives are sold through an established/authorized dealer network of online and brick and mortar dealers.
Photo Description: icon that represents Japanese brands/products.
Japanese Brands

All brands are based out of Japan from Seki, Tsubame-Sanjo, to Niigata.

Photo Description: icon that represents vetted dealers.
9 Vetted Dealers

(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
Hocho-knife
Hyogo, Japan, (N/A) 2013?
Japanese Chefs Knife
Seki, Japan, est. 2003
Knifewear
Canada, est. 2007
Korin
New York City, NY, est. 1982
(Sur la Table)
Seattle, WA, est. 1972
(Williams & Sonoma)
Sonoma, CA, est. 1956

Photo Description: Japanese knife brands collage: the best budget 8" Japanese chef knives all made in Japan by Japanese craftsman.
I did not want to play favorites, so I did not want to show one specific product shot even though parents say they do not have a favorite, there is a favorite child.
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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.

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The Top 5 Most Affordable/Best Budget Japanese Chef Knives Under $100 USD (in order of ascending price).

1). Kanetsune (Kitasho)
KC-950, $48.99
2). Fujiwara Kanefusa
FKH Series, $81
3). Kanetsugu
Pro M Series (AUS-8), $82
4). Misono
Molybdenum Series (AUS-8), $88
5). Tojiro (Fujitora)
DP3-Layered, $91.99

Many of these brands have high-end options (I list many of them below).

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).
Photo Description: Fujiwara Kanefusa FKM series made of AUS-8 (molybdenum vanadium stainless steel). This Japanese knife is priced at only $83 USD.
It’s not the price of your knife, it’s how you wield it (be sure to let your naysayers know that because this is a top-seller).

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.

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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 wondering if a Japanese knife for under $100 is any good, I have another blog post about that.
BRAND/SERIESPRICE/VENDOR
Fujiwara Kanefusa
FKH Series
(High Carbon)
$81
JCK
Fujiwara Kanefusa
FKM Series
$83
JCK
Kanetsugu
Pro M Series
(AUS-8)
$82
JCK
Kanetsune (Kitasho)
KC-950
DSR-1K6
(Stainless
Hammered)
$48.99
Hocho
$56.99
(180mm)
Misono
Molybdenum Series
(AUS-8)
$88
JCK
Narihira (Fuji Cutlery)
8000 MV
(Molybdenum-
Vanadium
Stainless Steel)
$60.99
Hocho

$71.99
$37.40
Amazon
Tojiro (Fujitora)
DP 3-Layers
(VG-10/Cobalt)
$91.99
Hocho

$108.99
Prices and availability are subject to change quite often (Yen to USD)
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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.

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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.
Many of these Japanese brands have been around for several decades, and some well over a century (you can learn about their history here).
BRAND/SERIESPRICE/VENDOR
Fujimoto Kurouchi
(Shirogami #2 /
White Carbon
Steel)
$164
Knifewear
Fujimoto Nashiji
(#2 Aogami/blue
Carbon) steel clad
w/stainless steel)
$172
Knifewear
Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan
Wa Series Kasumi
(White Steel No. 2)
Saya included
$220
JCK
Glestain (Homma)
TK Series
(Ascuto 440
Stainless Steel)
$202.99
Hocho
$223.99
Glestain (Homma)
“W” MV
Stainless Steel
(Acuto440)
$202.99
Hocho
$223.99
Global (Yoshikin)
UKON
(Multi-Layered,
Black Finished Nickel
Damascus
Stainless Steel
VG-10 Core
$119.95
Williams &
Sonoma
$220
+Pairing
Knife
Global (Yoshikin)
Model X
Cromova 18
(Chromium
Molybdenum
Vanadium )
$159.99
Amazon
Kanetsugu
Pro J Series
(VG10)
$135
JCK
(200mm)
Masahiro
(MV-85 Carbon
Steel)
$107
JPKnives
$143
Masahiro
MV-H Series
(Honyaki)
$135.99
Hocho
$151.99
Masamoto
CT Series
(Highest Carbon
Steel)
$167.99
Hocho
$205.99
Moritaka
AS (Aogami
Super Steel)
$190
CKTG
Miyabi (Zwilling)
4000FC KOH
(FC61 /Sandvik
13C26)
$119.99
Crate&
Barrel
$159
$229
Zwilling
Miyabi (Zwilling)
HIbana 800DP
(FC61 Stainless)
$189
SurLaTable
$238
Nenox
Royal Blue Inox
(AUS-8)
$149.50
Korin
Sakai Takayuki
VG-10 33 layer
Damascus with
Zelkova wood
handle
$149.99
Hocho
$178.99
Sakai Takayuki
Damascus
Buffalo
Tsuba
$167.99
Hocho
$196.99
Shun
Classic (High carbon
Stainless Steel)
$169.95
Sur La Table
$213
Shun
Premier
Blonde Chef’s
Knife
$199.95
William &
Sonoma
Togiharu
Molybdenum
(AUS-8)
$119
Korin
Togiharu
440
(440 high
chromium)
$169.50
Korin
Prices and availability are subject to change quite often (Yen to USD)
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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.

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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.”
BRAND/SERIESPRICE/VENDOR
Hattori
FH Series
(Black Linen
Micarta Handle)
$266
JCK
$380
Hattori
Special Edition
(Gemstone Handle)
$620
JCK
Kanetsune (Kitasho)
(63-Layer
Damascus
w/High Carbon
Stainless Steel Core
Minamo-Kaze)
$415.99
Hocho
$499.99
Masamoto
KS Series
(White Steel #2)
$530
JCK
(8.2″)
Misono
UX10 Series
(Dimples)
$320
JCK
Mizuno Tanrenjo
Akitada Hontanren
(Series Blue Steel No.2)
$400
JCK
Nenox
(High carbon
Rust-Resistant
Yellow Buffalo
Bone handle
with Saya Cover)
$680
Korin
Takeshi Saji
Black Damascus CS
Lacquered handle
(Multi-layer w/
VG10 core)
$372.99
Hocho
$429.99
Prices and availability are subject to change quite often (Yen to USD)
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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.

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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.
BRAND/SERIESPRICE/VENDOR
Mr. Itou
(R-2 Custom
Damascus)
Orange Camel
Bone Handle 
with Nickel
Silver Bolster
$1,010.00
JCK

(265mm)
Takeshi Saji
Makie-Art Aogami
w/lacquered
Saya and handle
by Fujin Raijin
$2,110.99
Hocho
$2,332.99
Prices and availability are subject to change quite often (Yen to USD)
Photo Description: This is how long it takes to receive a Japanese knife shipped from Japan.
This is only how fast it took one dealer although if you want to know the customer service of some of the largest Japanese knife dealers, I have a comprehensive review of dealers from the US, Canada, to Japan.

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