The Best Japanese kitchen knife Sets

The best Japanese knife block sets.

The best Japanese knife block sets.

Japanese knives – especially those that come in sets are not exactly cheap. But then again, they are extremely high-quality products that can easily last a lifetime with proper maintenance and care. Here we will review some of the very best Japanese knife sets, and provide information on how to take proper care of them so that you will never have to buy another set/knife again.

If you are looking for single sushi and sashimi knives, visit here.

Topics Covered

  • What is included in a knife set?
  • A review of the best Japanese kitchen knife sets
  • Recommended maintenance and care tips

What is included in a Japanese knife set?

Each blade serves a different purpose and therefore a knife set should include everything you need for paring, slicing, dicing, and carving. The number and type of knives will depend on how many pieces the set consists of, but typically includes the following.

Paring knife: The paring knife has a short blade and is used for a wide variety of tasks such as detailed cutting, dicing, and peeling.

Utility knife: The utility knife is ideal for multi-purpose use. Use it for detailed cutting tasks, paring, and chopping.

Chef’s/Santoku knife: The chef’s knife is the most used and most versatile tool in the kitchen. It’s used for a wide variety of tasks such as disjointing, cutting, slicing, dicing, and chopping. However, keep in mind that when dealing with Japanese brands, the chef knife is known as a santoku, and there are some differences between the two which you can read about here.

Slicing knife: The slicing knife, as the name suggests is used for slicing. It’s not to be confused with a carving knife because it’s ideally used for the thin and precision slicing of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit.

Cleaver: The cleaver, also known as a butcher knife, has a beveled edge that is razor-sharp and is used for cutting through meat and bones.

Shears: Shears are kitchen scissors that you would use to cut up food items that knives can’t. Although not an essential item, it does serve a valuable purpose at times.

Keep in mind

When browsing around for a set, ignore anything that contains items such as avocado slicers, or cheese, decorating and grapefruit knives, etc, because they serve no real purpose and the whole point of it is to get you to buy unnecessary things you do not need.

The best Japanese kitchen knife sets reviewed

Shun Classic 6-piece knife block set

The set includes an 8-slot wooden knife block, kitchen shears, a paring knife, a santoku knife, honing steel, and a chef’s knife.

The Shun Classic 6-piece Japanese kitchen knife set is handcrafted from Damascus stainless steel in Japan. They are corrosion resistant, razor-sharp, extremely durable, and have incredible edge retention, while the handles are made from beautiful pakkawood. The product also comes with a limited warranty.

Special instructions: Do not put them into a dishwasher. Rather wash them by hand with non-abrasive dishwashing liquid and dry immediately.

The product has dimensions of 17.6 x 13.8 x 9.4 inches and weighs just under 9 pounds.

Shun Cutlery 7-piece essential block set

The set includes a paring knife, a chef’s knife, a utility knife, a bread knife, honing steel, kitchen shears, and an 11-slot knife block made from bamboo.

The 7-piece Shun Cutlery knife block set has a stunning laminated bamboo block with additional slots so that you can expand your collection. Also, it being laminated helps prevent the bamboo from absorbing moisture in humid kitchens so it will never swell up or shrink.

Each knife in the set was handmade in Japan and the blades are heat treated and then cooled. This process changes the microstructure of the steel which in turn makes it much harder and stronger. Not only does this help maximize edge retention but it also gives the blade a much finer grain.

Also, the bacteria-resistant and waterproof pakkawood handles fit comfortably and securely in your hand.

The product has dimensions of 17 x 9 x 8 inches and weighs around 9.6 pounds.

Black Wasabi 7-piece knife block set

The set includes an 11-slot block made from bamboo, a paring knife, a bread knife, a chef’s knife, a nakiri knife, a utility knife, and kitchen shears.

This 7-piece block set from Japan has an 11-slot bamboo block in case you want to add to your knife set. As for the knives themselves, the blades are made from high-carbon stainless steel that is razor-sharp and stays sharp for longer. The long-lasting and extremely durable handles are made from polypropylene, which means that the color will never fade, and neither will it crack nor shrink.

Special instructions: The set can be safely washed in a dishwasher but hand washing is recommended.

The product has dimensions of 17 x 7.6 x 9 inches and weighs 8.6 pounds.

Black Miyabi 5000MCD67 10-piece knife block set

The set includes: Sharpening steel, kitchen shears, a prep knife, a paring knife, a santoku knife, a rocking santoku knife, a bread knife, a single magnetic easel, a chef’s knife, and a slicing knife.

This beautiful set is handmade in Seki, Japan. Each blade is incredibly sharp and stays sharp even after long-term use because the blades are made from ice-hardened MC66 steel that has been covered in an extra 132 steel layers. Also, the handles are made from beautiful black ash wood that has a ‘D’ shape which helps with ergonomics.

The product has dimensions of 16.75 x 9.75 x 5.5 and weighs 10 pounds.

Related Content

Read reviews of other great Japanese kitchen products here.

Interested in buying a single knife instead of a block set? If so, take a look at our sushi and sashimi knife reviews here.

Learn more about, and how to cut, sashimi here.