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 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 the best budget knife, moderately priced, a little pricey, and 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.
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 a ton of value that the Japanese are known for.
Pro M Series
|Narihira (Fuji Cutlery)|
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).
Gyuto’s from $100-$250
(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
Sur La Table
The top Japanese chef (gyuto) knives from $250 to $750, and in this range you start to come across unique and distinctive handle materials.
Gyuto’s from $250-$750
Stainless Steel Core
(White Steel #2)
(Series Blue Steel No.2)
with Saya Cover)
Black Damascus CS
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.
Gyuto’s from $750-$1,000+
Saya and handle
by Fujin Raijin