An exceptional knife should be the cornerstone of a cook's arsenal. It becomes an extension of your own hands; the tool with which you will create art and bring refinement to the table. A beautiful, high-quality knife will follow you to every kitchen and last a lifetime if properly cared for. Handcrafted Japanese knives in particular bring elegance and sophistication to any dish—a perfectly sliced piece of salmon; a delicate chiffonade; a meticulous dice—all expertly executed with slender, high-performance Japanese blades. Our readers have asked what knives we use when we cook, and this curated collection of hand-forged artisan knives, each completely unique and in finite supply, is our answer. In other words: Only the best.
Modeled after the French chef’s blade but with all the grace and beauty of a Japanese handmade knife, this Gyuto is exceptionally versatile as a general chef’s knife. The core is made of the finest Japanese carbon steel for unparalleled edge holding, and the blade’s distal tapering provides optimal balance and weight. A Makassar ebony handle and Pakkawood ferrules further classify this knife as a work of art. [8-1/4 inches, 193 grams]
This high-performance detail knife is made with the finest Japanese carbon steel for exceptional edge holding. The blade's hand-hammered surface helps release food from the knife when cutting. The octagonal ambidextrous handle is made of rich Makassar ebony with Pakkawood ferrules. [5-1/3 inches, 82 g]
With its thin blade geometry, solid pakkawood handle, and hammer finish, this knife is both beautiful and versatile. The blade has a VG10 super-steel core surrounded by 15 layers of stainless damascus for exceptional edge holding. The elegant tsuchime finish (meaning “hammered” in Japanese) forces food to fall away from the blade for enhanced efficiency. [9-1/2 inches, 184 grams]
Perfect as a general purpose kitchen knife, this long, slender petty blade has a VG10 super-steel core for clean cutting, and a balanced pakkawood handle that’s durable and moisture-resistant. The elegant tsuchime finish (meaning “hammered” in Japanese) forces food to fall away from the blade for enhanced efficiency. [5-1/2 inches, 91 grams]
Widely regarded as one of the most influential living knifemakers in Japan, Mr. Tsuneo Yoshida handcrafts each Yoshikane knife with unmatched precision and artistry from his shop in Sanjo City, in the Niigata Prefecture of Japan.
Here, nestled in a valley along the northwestern coast of the Japanese Alps region, bladesmithing is a long-standing tradition dating back to the Edo period, when Japanese artisans manufactured the very first western-style pointed knives in Japan. Now, Sanjo City is home to some of the highest-quality handmade knifemaking in the world, and Mr. Tsuneo Yoshida continues and elevates that tradition in earnest.
Yoshida forged his first knife at the age of 18, after learning from his grandfather, and has now passed it along to his two nephews, who will take over the business when Yoshida retires. The tight-knit Yoshida family rises early each morning, and meticulously hand-makes each and every Yoshikane knife using rare, hard-to-source materials like blonde buffalo horn, mammoth ivory, and enju wood. Every Yoshikane knife is a work of art, but their beauty is certainly matched in performance—these blades are considered among the highest-caliber available, with exceptional edge-holding and comfortable feel.
This elegant all-purpose chef’s knife features a long, slim blade perfect for sawing meat and vegetables, with a subtly uneven surface that prevents food from sticking. It features extremely rare blond buffalo horn ferrules, an ambidextrous enju wood handle, and a slim two-tone blade for a perfectly balanced, exceptionally handsome knife. [8-1/4 inches, 79 grams]
Best for detail slicing—think tomatoes and garlic—this utility knife by Yoshikane has a smooth, slender blade comprised of SLD stainless steel (core) and stainless steel damascus (surface) that slides easily through food. The blade’s suminagashi pattern (meaning "floating ink" in Japanese) together with its light enju wood handle (the same wood used for making Shinto shrines) makes it a perfect balance of artistry and performance. [4-3/4 inches, 79 grams]
Ceramic honing rods keep your knife in excellent condition between sharpening. A high-quality ceramic rod removes minimal material, maintaining a razor sharp edge without reshaping or scratching the blade. (12")