Select the Best Japanese Sushi Knife and Make Delicious Sushi at Home

There is a good chance that you are going to enjoy sushi and sashimi if you fancy seafood in general. However, instead of going to expensive restaurants each time you crave this delicacy, you can opt for an alternate route; make some on your own. Preparing delicious sushi at home is not as complicated as most people assume. You can have fresh rolls almost effortlessly if you purchase the right tools and ingredients. And the first item on that list for making delicious sushi would be to obtain the best Japanese sushi knife out there.

Now a universal food, sushi is enjoyed by many different cultures all Now a universal food, sushi is enjoyed by many different cultures all around the world. In fact, it became synonymous with Asian food in most regions. Although there is more to Asian cuisine than sushi, we will stick to the goodness of sticky rice today for the scope of this article. So, buckle up for some yummy tips since I got some advices for you on how to make sushi and get the best razor-sharp knife according to your own individual needs and budget.

Top 5 Sushi Knives for Making Delicious Sushi

The following lists contain various sushi knife options with different characteristics. You can select the one that is in your targeted price range. They are all capable of delivering high quality sushi. However, you might be better off in the long run with the professional ones such as the Yoshihiro Hongasumi in terms of durability and resistance to stain and rust. On the other hand, the Mercer Yanagi knife is the perfect choice if you are just starting out with sushi making and looking for an economical solution. It has some surprising advantages that you can even compare with high priced items.

Item SizeDescription

– Best Professional Choice

Yoshihiro Hongasumi Blue Steel Japanese Knife – 10.5 inch

My top choice for sushi making would undoubtedly be the handcrafted Yoshihiro Hongasumi Blue Steel Japanese knife with a rosewood handle. I personally do not like mass produced knives, especially when I am looking for distinctive features. To me, they lack the artistic nature of sushi preparation. However, it might be a bit expensive for a newbie. Hongasumi is skillfully crafted by seasoned knife artisans and it literally exceeds all my expectations from a Japanese made Eastern knife. Therefore, I do not see any reason to consider any other cutlery if it fits into your budget. I think it would be a great choice for both professional chefs, and also for novice home cooks who are willing to spend some extra dollars for superior quality.

The first thing I have to mention about this talented knife is the material used on the blade. It is made from Japanese blue high carbon steel, unlike most other chef knives that are made from white stainless steel. This specific material makes the blade incredibly sharp, strong, and durable. Meaning, you can’t break it while working on fish with bones. Still, I would recommend getting a high quality cutting board to protect its edge.

Advanced sharpness is another benefit of the Hongasumi as the Yoshihiro company clearly highlighted this feature. Be careful when you first handle it so that you do not hurt yourself. Most Eastern style sushi knives are very sharp. The reason behind this characteristic is to be able to obtain neat slices with each cut and without applying much force.

Please take note that the blue high carbon steel makes it extremely sharp, but it is not as resistant to rust as the stainless steel. Therefore, it must be maintained properly. Make sure that it remains dry while not in use. Keep it in its complimentary lacquered magnolia wood case, and apply knife oil (Tsubaki oil) after each use. They are both included free of charge with your purchase in addition to the rust eraser. Don’t be encouraged by the easy maintenance methods. Look on the bright side; you can use the Hongasumi on any kind of ingredient effortlessly due to its sharpness. Whether it is raw salmon or cucumber, it will glide through the ingredients without any resistance and preserve their integrity and freshness. Hongasumi is ready to use when it arrives, and you can easily sharpen it again with a quality whetstone if it gets dull over time. Please do not put it in the dishwasher; hand wash only with warm water and mild detergent.

The beautiful handle on this perfect edge knife is handcrafted from rosewood. More importantly, the balance and the lightweight of the double bolster grip is excellent. You can make sushi easily for long periods with almost no pressure on your wrist. As far as I am concerned, the design is elegant, yet it is simple. I don’t fancy knives that have too much carving and detail on them. Instead, I prefer them to stand out with their usage advantages, sharpness, and balance.

Tip Alert

You can use a rust eraser to easily remove most stains on sushi knives made from Japanese high carbon steel.

Yoshihiro Hongasumi Blue Steel Yanagi knife is loaded with top-notch features from the blade’s edge to the handle. Yes, it is not the cheapest choice in the market but well worth the price. And the best part is that you will not have any disappointments. It turns sushi making into a privileged joy.

This version is right-handed, but you can order the left-hand version for an additional fee of $100. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks to arrive.


  • 100% handcrafted in Japan
  • Made from Japanese blue high carbon steel
  • Blade size: 10.5 inch (270mm)
  • Extra sharp and durable
  • Hand wash only
  • NSF approved

√ – Best Economical Choice

Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Yanagi Sashimi Knife – 12 inches

Here is my other favorite sushi knife, which is made from German stainless steel. It comes with many advanced features, yet it is priced incredibly low. If you are just starting out or looking for an economical solution, then this is your tool. You will not regret it, guaranteed! Besides, it comes from a 30-year-old company that is a leader in the food industry as a high-quality professional cutlery supplier. Note that Mercer provides various culinary tools to 90% of culinary academies in North America.  

You can use this versatile knife for making sushi, sashimi, and other authentic Asian foods. No food will stick to it, which is excellent when working with sticky rice or vegetables. Note that you can order either the 12-inch or the 10-inch version. The left-hand model is also available for an additional fee.

I love the fact that the Mercer Asian Collection Yanagi knife is crafted very much like the higher priced items in the market, but it is highly resilient. No worries about chipping the blade. The high carbon, stain free, German stainless-steel material makes the single edged blade extraordinarily sharp and durable.

Keep in mind that you don’t always get a sushi knife that can resist to corrosion and rust. That is why the company provides a limited lifetime warranty. However, you must properly care for your knife to keep its performance level at the top level. First of all, never wash it in the dishwasher. Additionally, do not submerge it in deep water for long periods. It is best to wash by hand with soap and warm water. Make sure you store in a sheath or cutlery block all dried up to prolong its shelf-life.

Last but not least, the slip resistant wooden handle allows for an easy grip and comfortable user experience. The color and weight are a perfect match. It is everything you demand from a sushi knife and more. If you have never used a high-quality Japanese style cutlery before, this will surely be a proper upgrade that will impress you for good.


  • Made from German stainless steel
  • Blade size: 12.5 inch (317 mm)
  • Extra sharp and durable
  • Hand wash only
  • NSF certified
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Yoshihiro Shiroko High Carbon Steel Kasumi Yanagi Sushi Knife – Rosewood Handle

Kasumi is another quality sushi sashimi knife made by the Yoshihiro company. Although it is available in different blade lengths, the most suitable size is the 10.5-inch version to my experience. As it is the case with other Yoshihiro models, this knife is also traditionally handcrafted by master artisans for exceptional performance. If you are wondering what Kasumi means, it stands for the mist patterns created by forging super hard steel no 2 with iron. Strength and precision are prioritized when designing this cutlery model. To attain a high level of sharpness, it is made from Japanese high carbon steel and is not stain resistant. However, you can remove most stains with a rust eraser.

Overall, it is highly durable if properly maintained and is a good fit for both pro-level and beginner cooks. Obtaining extra thin slices of fish and vegetables is crucial when making sushi, and this Yanagi is produced solely for that reason. The thin blade can easily glide inside the ingredients while damaging their integrity or freshness.

The D-shape handle is made from rosewood, and it is highly decorative. But most importantly, it is lightweight and ergonomically improved to provide for or a comfortable grip. Note that the Kasumi Yanagi sushi knife comes with a Saya, a protective sheath made out of wood.

Tip Alert

Make sure you keep dry your sushi knives that are made from Japanese high carbon steel. This material allows the knife artisans to produce extra sharp blades, but they must be appropriately maintained to prevent rust or stain.

On a side note, you can sharpen it with water whetstone if it goes dull in time with usage. Never use other objects such as frozen foods, bones, or nutshells for sharpening this specialty knife. Otherwise, you might ruin the edge of the blade. Make sure you keep it dry and also apply special knife oil (Tsubaki) while not in use to prevent oxidization. You should hand wash only with mild soap and warm water. Please do not put in the dishwasher.

Additionally, do not use the Kasumi as a boning knife since the edge is very thin and sharp. A Deba knife would be a better choice for that purpose. This knife is truly a pride of workmanship built into handmade cutlery.


  • 100% handcrafted in Japan
  • Made from Japanese high carbon steel
  • Blade size: 10.5 inch (270mm)
  • Extra sharp and durable
  • Hand wash only
  • NSF approved

JapanBargain 1559 – Japanese Sushi Knife High Carbon Stainless Steel – 10.5 inch

Here is another budget friendly Japanese Yanagiba sashimi sushi chef knife. Do not get the wrong idea, though; it is not made from cheap material but high carbon stainless steel to obtain ultra-thin slices for various Asian dishes.  

The first thing that took my attention with this model is versatility. You can also prepare other food besides sushi or sashimi. Take advantage of the long blade to slice the raw fish or any other meat with a single stroke. I think it is a decent sushi knife that is made in Japan for right-hand use. The blade’s backside has a concave shape to quickly release the sliced food, preventing anything from getting stuck. However, I have to say that it is not as successful as the other models listed on top when it comes to stickiness as the fish does not slide off very smoothly.

Note that the handle is made from wood for your comfort, and the bolster is plastic. Sharpening is also fairly easy. You will notice that it is a powerful knife with adequate strength and durability.


  • Handcrafted in Japan
  • Made from high carbon steel
  • Blade size: 10.5 inch (270mm)
  • Extra sharp and durable
  • Wood handle

SETO Japanese Chef Knife Damascus Forged Steel from Seki

The SETO Japanese chef knives unquestionably have adorable aesthetics. No one can argue that the superior design, which is dazzling. Furthermore, this model has a very sharp edge that helps to slice neatly without damaging soft or sticky food. Note that it is versatile too; it works well with sushi and sashimi, but also with other various Asian dishes. I love the fact that it is handmade in Seki, Japan, from Damascus forged steel.

Most SETO knives do not require heavy maintenance as the high carbon steel models, and this knife is no different. The handle is a traditional D-shape made from Sandalwood with a Plywood bolster. The grip is very comfortable that you can use the knife for heavy processing for a few hours easily. Since the company employs the original ancient techniques in their production methods, the blades end up extremely durable, and their edges very sharp. I think it can be a useful addition to your cutlery collection. Keep in mind that SETO knives are highly popular in Japan. The founder of the company, Mr. Yoshinori, is a master sword maker.


  • Handmade in Seki, Japan
  • Made from Damascus forged steel
  • Blade size: 8.25 inch (210mm)
  • D-shaped Sandalwood handle
  • Extremely sharp and needs light maintenance
  • Hand wash only

How to choose the best sushi knife?

Consider the following features when selecting the right sushi knife for your needs:

  • Check if it is full-tang
    Select full tang over half tang for better control.
  • Check the length of the blade
    Easier to work with longer blades when slicing fish with bones.
  • Check how thick is the blade
    The thinner, the better
  • Check the craftmanship
    Handmade versions are superior
  • Check the sharpness
    Compare the degree of the blade for sharpness
  • What is the style?
    Eastern knives are honed only on one side; sushi will not stick on the blade.
  • Check the balance and the weight
    This feature is essential to keep the wrist tension lower.

How to choose your first sushi knife?

Purchasing your first sushi knife involves deciding on what type of sushi you are planning to make. If you are a seasoned home cook or a professional chef, then you already know that there is a distinct knife for every other type of food. Meaning, you don’t use the same knife for slicing bread and raw meat. You can do so if you really want to, but the results will not be satisfactory. This classification concept is the same when it comes to sushi. There are different models available for preparing various sushi rolls. For example, a Yanagiba knife would undoubtedly be a better choice when your goal is to make some sashimi.

However, I suggest you do not complicate things if you are just starting out. Instead, you can get a decent Japanese chef knife like santoku and get the job done flawlessly. A santoku type knife is usually sharp enough and is an excellent choice for slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing many different vegetables and meat. Therefore, feel free to use it as your primary chef knife in the kitchen.

What is the difference between Western and Eastern knives?

The main difference between the Western and Eastern knives come from their honing style. Traditional Eastern knives are honed only on one side and usually made from carbon steel material to provide additional sharpness. On the contrary, Western knives are honed on both sides of the blade. That is why they are also called double-sided. The flat side of the Eastern knives prevents the sushi rolls from getting stuck onto the edge of the blade while slicing.

Additionally, Eastern knives that are explicitly made for sushi or sashimi have a longer blade length than regular chef knives. You will also notice that their handles have a unique ¨D¨ shape. The handle’s exclusive design is developed to enhance the comfort of the cooks who slice and cut seafood and vegetables for several hours.

What is Sushi?

Sushi is a fancy combination of seafood, sticky rice, and crunchy vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, and avocado slices. Hanaya Yohei first introduced the modern version of sushi in Japan in the early 1800s. A delicacy of Eastern cuisine, sushi became a universal food in recent years. There is no doubt that its fame will expand even more since more and more seafood admirers from different cultures get a bite of this amazing treat and become new fans with each new day.

Make your own fresh sushi

Eating sushi is fun. However, most people do not know that preparing sushi can be fun too. All you need is a few kitchen appliances, and you can start making your own version at home in no time. For the sake of simplicity, the following tools would do the work for you: a really sharp Japanese style knife, a quality cutting board to protect the edge of your chef knife, and a bamboo rolling mat to give the final shape to the sushi roll.

Alternatively, you can also purchase one of the sushi making kits and get to work immediately. The latter choice will definitely decrease the amount of decisions you have to make. Nevertheless, you still have to select a quality Japanese knife, preferably produced in Asian style, to cut through those sticky rice rolls like your slicing butter.

The objective for making tasty (and good looking) Sushi

Keep in mind that the most critical aspect of making tasty and good-looking sushi is to be able to cut and slice the fish and vegetables skillfully. Once you put all the ingredients together and shaped the tube form carefully, your goal is to cut through the sushi roll without mushing it. Please pay attention to this step since you don’t want to damage the roll. Besides, nothing should stick on to the blade so that you can still get a clean cut on the next slice. This brings us back to the same topic of purchasing the right knife for the job.

In Conclusion

Generally, most people visit local Asian restaurants to have some fresh sushi or purchase the mass-produced version from the grocery stores. Nevertheless, there is a third option to enjoy this treat, and that involves making fresh sushi from scratch. Do not be discouraged, though. It is not really difficult at all. You can start making delicious sushi right away once you get yourself a proper sushi knife. There are various selections in the market for these unique cutleries. You can review the alternative options listed above and learn how to choose the best Japanese sushi knife that would suit different budgets and needs. If you are on a limited budget, you would be better off with the Mercer Yanagi knife. I would recommend it to any novice sushi chef since its distinctive features stand out from the crowd. In case if you are looking for a specialty item, then Yoshihiro Hongasumi is definitely a superior choice regardless of your experience level. As long as you have the right tools and ingredients, nothing can stop you from making the most delicious sushi at home.


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