Generally lighter, sharper, and harder than Western-made knives, Japanese Kitchen Knives are extremely popular among professional chefs around the world.
Japanese knives, which require expensive tools and materials during their production, are usually produced in small batches in family businesses, piece by piece, by highly trained knife makers who have gone through years of apprenticeship and training.
Even after workers have become full-fledged knife makers, they still have to undergo several years of practice to “master” their technique and the art of knife making.
This is largely why Japanese kitchen knives are so coveted and sought after.
Professional chefs often order custom-made Japanese knives many years in advance so they can have a kitchen tool that not only is an “extension of their hands” (as they like to say), but also boasts unparalleled accuracy and precision.
Whether you’re a professional or amateur chef, you’ve probably thought of gifting yourself—or a loved one—a Japanese kitchen knife. If that’s the case, you’re in the perfect place. Here, we’ve listed some of the best places on the internet to buy Japanese knives and also have included links to their sites.
Best Places to Buy Japanese Kitchen Knives Online
- Japanese Knife Imports
- JB Prince
- Hocho Knife
- MTC Kitchen
- Cutlery and More
- Chubo Knives
- Coutelier Nola
- Carbon Knife Co.
- Chef Knives to Go
- Knives and Stones
- Japanese Chef Knife
- Bernal Cutlery
Japanese Knife Imports
Japanese Knife Imports, which prides itself for being a “small company of passionate knife dorks,” aims to educate people all over the world about Japan’s cultural and historical richness. And it mostly accomplishes this through its handmade knives.
Offering rehandling, sharpening, and custom engraving services, the company also provides grail-worthy kitchen scissors made in traditional Japanese fashion.
This company, founded by a husband-and-wife duo, strives to serve families and businesses alike with its army of “small makers.”
If you want to buy what chefs are buying, look no further than JB Prince. Although this applies to all types of cookware, this is especially true for Japanese knives.
This Manhattan-based company emphasizes function over fashion, so if you’re looking for a no-frills Japanese knife that gets the job done, JB Prince is the perfect place.
It also offers a wide range of prices, depending on the size and style of knife you’re looking for.
The only potential drawback of JB Prince is that it only ships in the United States. So, if you live outside the US, you might have to opt for another online company.
Featuring thousands of made-in-Japan knives, including the Sashimi and Sushi knife series, Hocho Knife combines authenticity, exceptional quality, and traditional Japanese art forms to make some of the most outstanding knives on the market.
Another feature that makes this company unique is its selection of left-handed knives. So, whether you’re a left-brained or right-brained chef, there’s always something for you at Hocho Knife.
Because of its emphasis on utility over beauty, MTC Kitchen is somewhat similar to JB Prince, its Manhattan-based competitor.
The company ships its made-in-Japan knives all over the contiguous United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.
Its extensive Japanese knife selection includes Gyuto,Yanagi, Sujihiki, Santoku, and Deba knives, ensuring every type of chef out there has a perfectly suitable knife.
Cutlery and More
Carrying top brands like Enso, Global, and Kasumi, Cutlery and More has been creating high-quality knives for more than two centuries.
Originally a producer of German knives—and best known for having the world’s most extensive selection of Wusthof—Cutlery and More is now home to a huge variety of Japanese kitchen knives, including Miyabis and Ensos.
Any fan of chef’s knives or Japanese craft absolutely must make at least one trip to Korin’s pristine knife and cookware store in New York City.
Even if they don’t get the opportunity to visit Korin’s Tribeca location, they can still revel in the company’s endless online selection of Japanese knives, featuring knife brands ranging from Korin to Togiharu to Suisin to Misono.
Like JB Prince and MTC Kitchen, Korin is all about function, with its knives made “according to the highest standards of quality and careful attention to detail.”
According to Chubo Knives, all “shipments are shipped directly from their warehouse in Japan.” Where exactly in Japan this warehouse is located is unknown, but what we do know is that the company offers some of the best artisan-designed traditional Japanese knives around.
Chubo Knives, which features a regularly updated blog showcasing a plethora of stories and interviews, is known for being very personable with its customers.
Although famed for its brick-and-mortar stores in the US, Coutelier Nola, a New Orleans-based knife company, also boasts a wide online knife selection.
Founded by Jacqueline Blanchard and Brandt Cox, Coutelier Nola features knives specifically handpicked by the founding duo during their many trips to Japan.
Besides the company’s sophisticated selection of Japanese knives, you can also benefit from its appointment-only sharpening services.
Carbon Knife Co.
Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Carbon Knife Co. offers some of the most aesthetically pleasing, gift-worthy Japanese kitchen knives on the market.
Its selection is extensive, ranging from utility knives like the Ashi Ginga to the more aesthetic Sakai Takayuki Tokujou collection.
Plus, a visit to its downtown storefront, where you can spend an endless amount of time window shopping, is a must for all chef’s knife lovers.
Based in Canada, Knifewear stocks an eclectic variety of blades made by smaller makers and individual blacksmiths. In addition, it offers a prepaid mail-in knife sharpening service (also available at its brick-and-mortar stores).
Online shopping at Knifewear has many perks, including free shipping for orders over $200. Customers who live in Calgary or Vancouver and want to hone their culinary skills can avail of Knifewear’s knife sharpening, Honesuki skills, and chef cutting classes.
Chef Knives to Go
Chef Knives to Go, run by a husband-and-wife team, has some of the busiest-ever Japanese knife stores and online forums.
Besides shopping by knife brand (e.g., Kanehide Knives, Kanjo Knives, and Nishida Knives) and knife type (e.g., Honesukis, Kiritsukis, Kogatanas, and Nakiris), you can also shop by steel type (ranging from 19C27 steel to Aogami super steel).
Chef Knives to Go offers fast and efficient services, living up to its trademark name.
Knives and Stones
Specializing in Japanese kitchenware, Knives and Stones is a Australian-based company that offers high-end handmade Japanese chef’s knives.
Knives and Stones, which also ships to the United States, features Japanese konro grills, Yoshikawa woks and pans, and Chiba Kogyosyo slicers in addition to Japanese kitchen knives.
Online exclusives include the Genkai Masakuni, the Kenichi Shiraki, and the Kenji Togashi.
Japanese Chef Knife
With over 1500 Japanese knives in stock, Japanese Chef Knife ships Japan’s best-known brands to more than 100 countries at unbeatable prices.
Its selection is extraordinarily varied, ranging from Western-style knives to traditional Japanese knives to stainless steel knives to powdered-tool steel knives.
The company’s Japanese knives include the Kama Usaba, the Mioroshi Deba, the Funayuki, and the Ai-deba.
A high-end full-service cutlery shop that offers a broad selection of Japanese and Western kitchen knives, Bernal Cutlery offers almost every style of knife imaginable.
Its Japanese collection includes the Tsubaya Sobakiri, the Tosa Tadayoshi, the Tojiro, and the Seki Kanetsugu, to name just a few.
But that’s not all at Bernal Cutlery. This full-service shop also features all kinds of cutting boards, towels, tableware, utensils, and ceramics to deck your kitchen with.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are so many Japanese knives to choose from. What exactly should I look for in a Japanese knife?
Quality, performance, durability, and ease of maintenance and re-sharpening are all factors you should consider when looking for a Japanese kitchen knife.
Generally, Japanese knives aren’t priced cheaply, so the price of the knife should probably not be a determining factor. Instead, look for the benefits and choose a knife that will work best for you in the long run.
By doing this, you’ll be benefiting from a Japanese knife that’s tailored to your cooking style and will last for many, many years to come.
What’s the best way to keep my Japanese knife sharp?
Although Japanese knife makers and craftsmen create knives that are sharp, durable, and long lasting, every knife will eventually lose some of its sharpness and require a degree of re-sharpening.
You can either re-sharpen the knives yourself using a whetstone, or you can avail of re-sharpening services, which many Japanese knife sellers provide.
Why are Japanese knives flat on only one side?
Honing the knife on one side makes it easier to create a smaller, sharper angle.
It’s this kind of angle that allows for the knife’s precision when it comes to slicing, cutting, and dicing.
This precision is important in Japanese cuisine, especially when crafting sushi and sashimi.
What are the best online marketplaces for Japanese knives? There are so many to choose from.
All the marketplaces we mentioned have a proven track record of providing the highest quality Japanese knives and cookware on the market.
The marketplace you choose should depend on a number of factors, including your location and knife preferences (e.g., style, brand, and steel type).