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Knife Types – Traditional Japanese Knifes and Western-Style knives

There are many types of traditional Japanese knives, in particular, fish knives, since fish are a major part of the staple diet in Japan.

Japanese chefs, usually, have three or four knives, each for different ingredients and tasks.
The most common types are shown below.

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Traditional Japanese Knives

Yanagiba Knife (Sashimi Knife)
Traditional Japanese yanagi Knife

A slicing knife with a long, thin blade, used to cut fish fillets into sashimi.

Fuguhiki Knife (Sashimi Knife)
Traditional Japanese Knife_Fuguhiki sashimi

Also a variation of Yanagiba.  The blade is thinner and narrower, designed to make thin extremely slices of fish fillets, such as blowfish (fugu) and Japanese flounder (hirame).

Takohiki Knife (Sashimi Knife)
Traditional Japanese Knife_Takohiki

A variation of Yanagiba.  The square tip cuts tough ingredients, such as octopus (tako).  Takohiki is now less popular than Yanagi.

Deba Knife (Butcher Knife)
Traditional Japanese Knife_Deba

A heavy, powerful butcher knife with a thick-spine.  This is an essential knife for cutting and filleting fish and butchering meat without bones.

Usuba Azumagata-Style Knife (Vegetable knife)K
Traditional Japanese Knife_Usuba Azuma

A vegetable knife with a thin, rectangular blade. Usuba means “thin cutting edge.” It is an essential knife for peeling vegetables into thin sheets, like “Katsuramuki”, and cutting them into thin strips, like “Sengiri.”

Usuba Kamagata-Style (Vegetable knife)
Usuba vegitable knives

A Kansai style Usuba knife with a round tip.

Western-Style Knives

Gyuto Knife (Gyuto Knife)
Western knife_Gyuto

Most popular and essential knife for chefs. The blade of the chef knife is narrower than the santoku knife, and the tip is more curved. Common Blade length: 21cm (8.2”)

Santoku Knife (Multi-purpose Knife)
Western knife_santoku knife

An all-purpose knife with a round tip. It is suitable for home-cooking. Santoku literally means “three virtues” – slicing, dicing, and mincing. Common Blade length: 18cm (7.0”)

Slicing Knife (Sujihiki Knife)
Western knife_Slicing knife

Most popular and essential knife for chefs. The blade of the chef knife is narrower than the santoku knife, and the tip is more curved. Common Blade length.

Boning Knife (Garasuki Knife)
Wester knife_Boning knife Garasuki

A poultry boning knife. It is mainly used to break apart whole chickens.

Honesuki
A small version of Garasuki, a boning knife, sometimes called “Sabaki.” It is used to separate meat from bones.

Petty and Paring Knife
Western knives_petty knife

This small knife is suitable for cutting fruits and smaller ingredients. Easy to manipulate.Common blade length: 120mm – 150mm for petty knives.

Yo-Deba Knife (Butcher Knife)
Western knives_deba bucther kife

A Western-style Deba knife, but double-edge.

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