Knife blocks are an important part of your kitchen. They give you quick access to the most important utensil in your kitchen. And while there are plenty of traditional knife blocks that you can buy, they don’t look nearly as good or perform as well as Japanese knife sets.
So if you want to buy a quality Japanese knife set, this guide will come in handy. It goes over all the considerations that you should make before you buy a kitchen knife set, as well as the benefits that one offers. Finally, keeping all of the previous considerations in mind, the guide will also feature a list of all the best Japanese knife sets that you can buy.
The Best Japanese Knife Sets You Can Buy
- MAC SK-201 Knife Set
- Miyabi Kaizen Ten Piece Set
- Tojiro DP Damascus
- Tojiro DP 8-Piece
- Global Knife Set
- Enso HD Knife Set
- Shun Sora Knife Set
- Shun Classic Kitchen Knife Set
Some of these knives will be stamped and others forged, but they all meet a certain quality bar that you would expect from these knives. So without further ado, here are the best Japanese knife sets you should buy.
MAC SK-201 Knife Set
The MAC SK-201 knife set is premium quality to the fullest. The forged blade is strong and razor-sharp right out of the box. With a full tang, it offers incredible balance and is very durable all around. The high carbon blade also allows it to retain its edge for longer, and the stainless steel coating ensures ample corrosion resistance. The only downside is that there are only two knives in the entire set.
Miyabi Kaizen Ten Piece Set
The knives in the Miyabi Kaizen ten-piece set feature micarta handles and full tang knives. The handles offer incredible grip, and the full tang blade offers much-needed durability. All of the knives in the set have been forged, giving them a superior edge and general longevity. The blade can also retain its edge for far longer while staying incredibly sharp. The set comes with ten knives, which fit into a comfortable wooden block.
Tojiro DP Damascus
Very few knife manufacturers are as well known as Tojiro DP. The knives that they create are not just durable but are also very sharp. The forged nature of the knives allows them to be very sharp while retaining their edge for much longer. The carbon steel also gives these knives some much-needed corrosion protection. However, it does not come with a storage block, and there are only three knives in the set.
Tojiro DP 8-Piece
The Tojiro DP directly responds to some of the complaints people had with the DP Damascus. This set comes with eight different knives and a dedicated knife block. The forged blade is very sharp while having a Rockwell hardness rating of 60. They also come with great edge retention and great handles with ergonomic grooves. But this set is usually short in stock, so you might find it difficult to get your hands on one.
Global Knife Set
The global 20 piece knife set is easily the best-looking set on this list, with the dimpled steel handles and stainless steel finish. It also comes with 20 knives and utensils, including steak knives. Thanks to the unique handles, it also has a very balanced grip, making it much easier to hold and use for a longer time. The only downside to these knives is that they are stamped, not folded, making them significantly less capable of lasting a long time.
Enso HD Knife Set
The Enso HD block includes a bread knife, chef knife, santoku knife, utility knife, and paring knife. Unfortunately, it does not come with a honing rod, and these blades are a little more high maintenance. You cannot put them in the dishwasher, but they are very good-looking and incredibly sharp. You can use them right out of the box, as the VG-10 core forged over with 37 layers of steel makes it very long-lasting.
Shun Sora Knife Set
The Shun Sora Knife Set is possibly one of the most high-quality knife blocks you can get, with six blades in the set. Each set comes with herb shears, honing steel, a utility knife, a chef knife, and a paring knife. It has incredible edge retention with a Rockwell hardness of 61. The forged nature of the blade also makes it very sharp, as the entire set comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Shun Classic Kitchen Knife Set
The Shun Classic Kitchen Knife Set is an incredibly premium knife set with six knives and utensils. The forged knives are very strong and are generally good at retaining their edge. The full tang blade offers a perfectly balanced knife, with Pakkawood handles that offer a great grip. It is a little expensive, especially since it comes with six pieces. But it does come with a dedicated knife block and a diamond and ceramic blade sharpener.
Considerations to Make Before Choosing a Japanese Knife Set
A Japanese knife set can be fairly expensive, so you never want to buy one without doing a little bit of research. More specifically, you never want to buy one without first considering a few things. While the price of a Japanese knife certainly comes to mind when considering buying one, other factors like its steel or its handles are equally important. Here are a few of the most important things that you should consider before you buy a Japanese knife set.
Stamped or Forged Steel
Stamped or forged blades can greatly affect the price of a knife set, with all of the pricier ones featuring forged blades. Forged blades feature multiple layers of steel around a strong core, which makes it much stronger. Forged steel blades are also much sharper and can retain their edge for much longer, thanks to the multiple layers.
On the other hand, stamped steel only features a single layer of steel, which generally makes it weaker than its forged counterparts. But even though it is a little weaker, it can be just as sharp if at the cost of retaining that edge. If your budget allows it, you should always choose forged steel over stamped as a better long-term investment.
Knives in the Set
Another thing that you should consider about the knife set is the number of knives that are present in it. These knife sets are only as good as the knives they have, so you want to make sure you are getting a lot of variety. Of course, your choice of knives will also come down to your personal preference. If you don’t cook many difficult dishes and don’t need more than the basic knives, then a smaller set will also be great. But if you will be cooking something fancier, you might need a bigger set of knives.
A knife should also be comfortable to hold while you’re using it. You should be able to grip it comfortably even if your hands are a little wet. The knife should also have perfect balance allowing you to use it without straining your hand. Dimple steel and wood are two good options that you should choose if you want something that offers a better grip. You should also look for a knife with a thick bolster, offering more control over the blade. The bolster is a thick edge between the blade and the handle.
Material of the Knives
Finally, you should consider the material of the knives, as that dictates their overall performance and its longevity. So when you get a knife with good materials, you can rest easy knowing it will last you a long time. Furthermore, the material of the knives can also affect their strength and their ability to resist rust or corrosion. These are factors you cannot compromise on as they directly correlate to the knife’s longevity and its overall quality. Most premium quality knives come with a lifetime warranty or guarantee, which is a good indicator of their very good quality.
The Benefits of Using a Japanese Knife Set
Japanese knives are well regarded among famous chefs and restaurants, as they stand head and shoulders above most western knives. For one, the material they are using is much stronger, as they use multiple layers of steel on top of a core. Not only does it make the knife stronger, but it also allows it to retain its edge longer.
The production techniques used in Japanese Knives are also incredible, as the lower angle on the knives offers it a very precise cut. Of course, these are just a few of the benefits that come with using a Japanese knife.