11 Best Japanese Chef Knives Under $200

If you are a knife enthusiast, you will agree that Japanese chef knives are among the best in the market. They are hand-crafted from ancient Japanese artistry, which makes their workability impressive and powerful. Furthermore, the blades are usually of durable, compact, and high-performance steel for ultimate durability, and that’s why you will find them being used in big hotels and restaurants.

The Japanese blades are light, thin, and delicate and allow for lean and precise cuts. Also, they are sharp and have excellent construction that makes them easy for you to handle and utilize. Even more, they come with other cool additional features, so they look spectacular and adorable.

However, unlike western-style knives, their delicate natures don’t allow them to handle arduous tasks. The blades are thin and likely to break if you don’t take care of them carefully. But generally, they are up to the mark and will work perfectly with you in the kitchen.

Having said all that, below is a detailed well-researched article of the top eleven best Japanese knives under $200 that you need in your kitchen for your day-to-day activities. Scrutinize it for you to make the right decision on what option to settle on.

Top 11 Best Japanese Knives Under $200

#1 Shun Classic 8″ Chef’s Knife

Shun Classic 8” Chef’s Knife with VG-MAX Cutting Core and...
  • VG-MAX steel is a formula exclusive to Shun with extra tungsten for a sharper edge, more chromium for corrosion resistance and additional cobalt and carbon for strength and durability
  • Handle is ebony PakkaWood; PakkaWood is a hardwood infused with resin for a durable, water resistant finish, perfect for easy cleaning and tough enough for constant use

This option comes in as the Editor’s choice. It comes from Shun, a well-reputed producer of kitchen knives. The knife has breathtaking features and is made from the very best shun’s artistry to ensure you get yourself a high-performing knife. If you are looking for a top-level Japanese knife, you are fully catered for with this option.

The VG-MAX steel used for the blade is bold and provides for excellent edge retention. It is easy to maintain as you can sharpen it or clean it regularly. Also, it has added chromium for corrosion resistance and cobalt for additional brawniness and durability.

Shun knives are meant for every cuisine. Their great design makes them fit to work with on any task in the kitchen. Therefore, you can own it as a home cook or use it for professional applications as a chef. Also, the high-quality chef’s knife is well-calibrated and good looks that will motivate you to keep on working.

Suppose you always spend most of your time in the kitchen. In that case, you will appreciate the comfortable ebony Pakkawood handle that provides for a tight grip enabling you to work swiftly and conveniently for long hours.

The plain blade edge is razor-sharp and has a flat grind that will enable you to make clear and precise cuts. Also, the knife has a full bolster that maintains balance and helps you be in complete control of whatever task you are handling.

Pros:

  • Full bolster for balance
  • Comfortable pakkawood handle
  • Sharp edge out of the box

Con:

  • The blade material is not stainless steel

#2 Enso Large Chef’s Knife 

Enso Large Chef's Knife - Made in Japan - HD Series - VG10...
  • Chef's knives crafted of VG10 Japanese damascus steel for excellent edge retention; Rockwell Hardness 61
  • 37-layer stainless Damascus blades with hammered (tsuchime) finish

Japanese-style knives are made with high precision to bring out the best from your kitchen. They are well-crafted to enable you to run all your kitchen activities smoothly while you enjoy the escapade. As a result, they are globally recommended if you want to upgrade your kitchen or if you want to set up a new one.

Despite the list consisting of top-notch Japanese knives, we denote this model as the Top choice. It is an incredible quality knife that will work hand-in-hand with you for exquisite results. The genuine materials and the pre-eminent craftsmanship are enough to make you a giant chef.

About longevity, Enso chef’s knife neither falls shy. The knife blade is made of premium VG-1O Japanese Damascus steel that bold and rigid. With this toughness, you can handle all the challenging tasks from morning to evening.

Furthermore, the steel is hardened to 61+ Rockwell hardness to ensure you have an extended period of interaction with the knife. Also, the 37-layer steel has a tsuchime finish that enhances the general appearance of the tool.

As a chef, times come when you are fatigued, yet there is pending work. That’s especially true when you work in a fast-food restaurant or a hotel. When such times roll around, you will admire the double bevel edge that makes it easy for front and back movement when handling tasks.

Pros:

  • Quality materials
  • Double bevel blade
  • Ambidextrous

Con:

  • Not well-balanced

#3 Miyabi Kaizen Chef’s Knife

Miyabi Kaizen Chef's Knife, Medium, Black with Red Accent
  • TRADITIONAL DESIGN - Authentic thin Japanese blade profile with 65-layer flower Damascus design with katana edge. 8"" chef style blade
  • HAND-HONED - Using the three-step Honbazuke process to a 9.5 to 12 degree edge. VG10 super steel CRYODUR blade, ice-hardened to Rockwell 60

Like its predecessors, this knife is also top-level. It has all the qualities to bring the best out of you. The fantastic knife design will enable you to finish all of your kitchen duties on time. So, we brand it as the runner-up top choice.

The 8-inch chef’s knife comes from the best knife manufacturers we have in existence. At a glance, you are getting a tool that will serve you expertly help you produce the best. Also, the equipment boasts quality and durable materials that promise longevity and workability.

The tool is hand-crafted from the best of ancient Japanese artistry. For example, the VG-MAX blade is hand-honed using the three-step Honbazuke process finalizing to 9-12 degrees that will help you slice and chop everything with ease.

We all know that the kitchen environment cannot be too comfortable for a steel knife. That’s why the blade delivers military-grade durability. The steel is ice-hardened to 60+ Rockwell hardness that will ensure your excellent work in the kitchen lasts longer.

The quality chef knife provides for the best grip and comfort. The hand-polished Micarta handle gives you a smooth feeling and is well designed to make sure your whole palm fits in comfortably. In addition, the handle has beautiful linen patterns and a mosaic pin that enhances the look and design.

Pros:

  • Handle with a tight grip
  • Ice-hardened
  • Steel hand-honed with the three-step Honbanzuke process

Con:

  • You will spend more time sharpening the blade if you want a sharper edge.

#4 Sakai Takayuki Japanese Gyuto Chef Knife

Sakai Takayuki Hammered Damascus 33 Layer Vg-10 Japanese Gyuto...
  • 07394 Gyuto 180mm chef knife, TL 307mm, BW 42mm, W 168g *approx
  • Blade: 33-layers hammered Damascus steel (double edge) Core: VG10 (corrosion-resistant steel)

When purchasing anything, we all want to spend the least in exchange for the best. So, when buying a kitchen knife, it would be wise to consider the price range of different brands to settle for something ideal and genuine.

Cheap products aren’t always the best in terms of their functionality. So, if it comes to a situation where we have to spend a few more coins for top-grade equipment, I don’t see the pain. Now, the Gyuto chef knife brings the best value for money.

With this Japanese-style chef knife, you get a VG-10 33-layer hammered double-edged blade. That is more than you probably need. As if not enough, the steel has corrosion and stain properties that will ensure your knife stays shinning forever.

Also, you are getting a durable, well-balanced, and lightweight knife. These are features that you will enjoy if you are a full-time chef in a busy hotel. You will not feel fatigued when handling the knife at any given time. Also, the plywood brown handle is comfortable and gives a very secure grip.

Also, the blade has the sharpest edge for a chef’s knife. That will ensure all chopping and slicing goes on flawlessly. Also, the blade and handle of the super-durable knife are of the proper lengths to allow you to hold and work on heavy pieces of stuff in the kitchen.

Pros:

  • It gives back the value of money
  • Light-weight
  • Corrosion-resistant

Con:

  • There is a significant gap where the bolster meets the blade

#5 YOSHIHIRO Japanese Chef’s Knife

YOSHIHIRO NSW 46 layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs...
  • Grade : NSW Damascus / Knife Type: Gyuto(Chef’s Essential Knife)
  • Steel Type: VG-10 Hammered Damascus NSW Stainless Steel

Some brands are underrated due to the dominance of other top-ranked in the market. As a result, their great functionality is often buried and never talked to others. Though they are not widespread, they have given stunning results.

YOSHIHIRO Japanese Chef’s Knife comes in as our honorable mention on the list. The tool falls under the category of high-quality chef knives we have in place. It possesses spectacular features that will impress anyone who puts it to action.

The knife boasts premium quality materials that are solid and reliable. For example, the VG-10 Damascus NSW stainless steel used for the blade is sufficient to boost your morale as a chef. It can handle various harsh conditions but remain razor-sharp and bold.

The octagonal-shaped Mahogany handle has exceptional grip and provides support for every task at hand. The superior design of the handle makes it non-slip; hence, it will not accidentally slip when you are busy making meat cubes or tomato dices.

Also, it comes along with a Saya cover where you put it after carefully cleaning and drying it for future usage. Furthermore, the body ensures no accidents or any contamination of the knife.

Pros:

  • Durable octagonal-shaped mahogany handle
  • It arrives with a Saya cover for protection
  • Double bolsters

Con:

  • Steel rusts if not well-maintained

#6 Zelite Infinity Chef Knife

Zelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch, Damascus Japanese AUS-10 Super...
  • SEASONED CHEFS AND HOME COOKS WILL NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE IMMEDIATELY – The well weighted chef’s knife with rounded handles requires minimal effort whether you’re chopping, slicing, dicing or mincing. Grip the ergonomically designed handles comfortably with large or small hands and minimize wrist tension. The finest kitchens in Japan consider a proper gyoto knife the ultimate multi-functional tool for beginner and pro cooks to strive.
  • OUR COMPETITORS WILL ADMIT WE ARE NOT THE SAME - Beware of cheaper santoku and Chef’s knifes that look similar but the difference will show within weeks. Our military grade G10 handle and real 67 layer high carbon Japanese AUS-10 stainless steel is handcrafted by the most experienced knife specialists in the world. This full tang, double bevel knife was finished using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke Method and is considered the gold standard in our industry

We all different tastes and preferences when it comes to purchasing products. However, quality and superb designs pull us together, enabling us to make some similar decisions. This is evident as some products sell better than others because of their breathtaking features and construction.

The professional chef knife takes the best seller position in our superlative list. Its brand, artistry, and superior materials give it an upper hand over its competitors. It is affordable and can fit nicely in every person’s budget.

The handmade knife comes from the Alpha-Royal Japanese knives series with an extended range of high-performing knives made from traditional Japanese craftsmanship. As a result, the tool is gold-standard, making it a perfect choice for you if you, especially if you want a knife ideal for a wide range of cutting chores in the cookhouse.

Skilled knife experts use the superior AUS-10 stainless to make the blade sturdy and rigid. The 67-layer high-carbon stainless steel is hand-sharpened and is ready to use upon arrival. Hence, you can buy it now, and as soon it arrives, you can instantly use it in your kitchen.

Furthermore, the feathery rounded handle makes you require less effort when slicing, mincing, dicing, or chopping. Also, the whetted edge makes even the challenging cutting duties feel like cutting butter. Generally, the knife is fit for all cutting chores, whether indoors or outdoors.

Pros:

  • AUS-10 steel is sturdy and rigid
  • Rounded handle that requires minimum effort
  • Full-tang design

Con:

  • No storage solution

#7 Hajegato Damascus Chef Knife

Damascus Chef Knife Gyuto Hajegato Unique One Of Kind Handle...
  • UNIQUE & BEAUTIFUL : Do you want to stand out in any professionals Kitchen or Impress your guests at home while cooking you made the right choice. Our Unique chef's gyuto one of a kind handle Damascus knife comes with different colour combinations and designs complemented by Damascus stainless steel curling pattern blades without which no chefs knife set will be complete. EACH KITCHEN KNIVES is AS UNIQUE & COOL AS YOU ARE.
  • COMFORT & DESIGN : Elegantly designed by a chef our Damascus knife is perfectly balanced with a double beveled edge, razor sharp knife with exceptional professional performance. Our blade design is for maximum knuckle clearance allowing a closer grip of the handle to the blade guard fingers & encouraging the rocking motion cutting style to protect your hands & make easy for many hours of precise cuts eg. filleting knife, carving knife, chopping, meat, raw meat, steaks, fish, vegetable & fruit.

For tools to work effectively, they must have a state-of-the-art design. The construction will determine their usage. However, Japanese knives have the best building you can have in mind. They are fabricated to work hand-in-hand with both skilled and non-skilled personnel in the kitchen.

Hajegato chef’s knife takes the honor of the best construction. It is well-engineered and with quality materials to guarantee the highest level of durability. For example, the wood handle is multi-colored and has ergonomic properties that will seamlessly work in any kitchen.

If you are a kitchen owner, it would be unfair to leave this option out of your current knife collection. For instance, the Damascus stainless steel blade has a sharp edge and is complemented by a beautiful wave pattern that improves its admirable look.

Also, the knife has spatial dimensions that accommodate every kitchen person. For instance, the 174 mm blade fits filleting, chopping veggies, deboning, or dicing tomatoes. Furthermore, the 120 mm handle creates room for any palm to fit in successfully for easy utilization.

The blade is ultrathin at 2.2 mm thickness which is ideal for thin and delicate cuts. Also, the tip is pointed and makes it easy to make piercings into any substance. The knife is unique and noticeable because of its many vibrant colors; hence, you will not lose it quickly.

Pros:

  • Best construction
  • Appropriate dimensions
  • It has a noticeable beautiful pattern.

Con:

  • The colors fade after prolonged usage

#8 KONOLL kitchen knife set

KONOLL 4pcs in one kitchen knife set 3 layer 9CR18MOV clad steel...
  • JPN 3 LAYER High Quality Steel ➦ KONOLL series uses jpn steel - 9CR18MOV. A great steel for the everyday use of any chef. With an HRC of 60+/-2, it will take an angled edge and hold it for long enough to help extend the life of your knife (w/ general maintenance). The clad dimple allow for easy food release while slicing or dicing. This blade is great for vegetables, fruits, fish, and meats. [Please refrain from cutting frozen products as this may detriment the knife's edge.]
  • Weight/Balance ➦ The balance point runs heel to spine up the billet. Allowing the user a comfortable grip with precise cuts, and less wear and tear on the users hands. The weight is towards the blade of the knife making for efficient use during rock chopping motion.

For professional applications, it would be wise to get yourself a complete packed knife set. That will save you the time of having to collect different knives to make your knife collection. Knife manufacturers simplify it for you and give you a complete package of top-quality kitchen knives.

The KONOLL knife set consists of 4 pieces of essential kitchen knives that, as a chef, will need for the smooth running of cookhouse activities. If you were looking for a Japanese knife collection, here comes the model with the best set.

Durable and compact materials make the set splendid. For example, 9Cr18MoV high-carbon stainless steel hardened to 61± 2 HRC makes sure you can handle demanding tasks. You can work on the bones and hard vegetables effortlessly.

Also, the hammered steel has beautiful patterns that improve the appearance of the premium knife. Furthermore, black oxide coats the steel to reduce light reflection and make sure there is no rust or stain. Hence, you will have a stunning blade always.

The octagonal-shaped blade is non-slip and provides for a secure grip. It also has a Copper Mosaic Rivet that enhances the appearance of the quality knife. Furthermore, the set entails multipurpose knives that have a wide range of applications in the kitchen.

Pros:

  • The set has multi-purpose knives
  • Durable 9Cr18MoV steel
  • Steel coated with black oxide to reduce light reflection

Con:

  • The octagonal handle not comfy

#9 Kizzaki Japanese Super Steel Chef Knife

Kizzaki Premium 8 inch AUS-10 Japanese Super Steel Chef Knife -...
  • 🔹 SUPERIOR CRAFTMANSHIP The Perfect Mix Between Japanese Kitchen Tradition and Modern House Cooking. A Great Addition for Professional Chefs as Well as Kitchen Enthusiast. Impressive Aesthetics that Bring a Sense of Desire to Look and Cook Every Single Time Beautiful Damascus “Tsunami Rose” Pattern and Hammered Finish and Almost Perfect Balance, it Will Soon Become Your Favorite Chef Knife.
  • 🔹 JAPANESE SUPER STEEL AUS-10 Steel (Steel Only Produced in Japan) is Known for its Superior Hardness (Rockwell 62) and Flexibility in Professional Kitchens Around the World, all Kizzaki Knives are Hand Honed using a Honbazuke technique Laser Sharp Out of the Box as well as being Non-Stick. Treated with Liquid Nitrogen for Extended Longevity and Resistance.

During different occasions or celebrations, we often take gifts and presents to our loved ones. How about this time you gift them a chef’s knife? It would be hilarious to give a chef’s knife to your mom, wife, or any kitchen person in your life.

However, a knife gift should be spectacular and well built. Therefore, before you settle on one to give as a present, make sure it is a remarkable one. Kizzaki chef’s knife falls in a series of world-class Japanese knives. It well-calibrated and with stunning features. As a result, we tag it as the best for a gift.

It would be the best Christmas gift to a professional chef. The genuine materials qualify the tool for both executive and home cook applications. For instance, the superior AUS-10 stainless steel comes with added liquid nitrogen for added strength and flexibility. That’s enough for any cook!

Also, the versatile knife is hand-honed using the traditional 3-step technique ensuring the knife comes out Laser sharp and non-stick. I mean, you can use the knife solely all day, but it will not even show a vegetable stain or a fruit stain.

As a chef, you ought to keep everything in the kitchen clean and dry. You can clean the dishwasher-safe knife, dry it and preserve it for subsequent usage. Maintenance is vital to ensure longevity and also its functionality.

Pros:

  • Suitable for gifts
  • Added liquid nitrogen for strength and flexibility
  • Dishwasher friendly

Con:

  • Black handle finish fades after continued usage

#10 Regalia Chef knife

Chef Knife: Best Professional Quality 8 Inch Japanese AUS10...
  • ✅ Looking for the Best Quality Chef Knife on Amazon? Look no Further: Made from the finest materials known to mankind, this masterpiece of the professional kitchen is forged with an authentic Japanese AUS-10 “Super-Steel” cutting core to ensure flexibility and maximum edge retention without dulling or chipping. 66 layers of high carbon stainless Damascus steel cladding add beauty as well as resilience against both rusting and corrosion.
  • ✅ Geometrically Perfect and Scary Sharp: The angles of this blade represent the pinnacle of design and the accumulation of millennia of chef knife making evolution. Finished to a mirror polish of within an astounding 8-12 degree angle per side using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method, this blade is viciously sharp. The tapered curvilinear blade of this knife is ideal for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and disjointing large cuts.

Looks are not that important to the functionality of a tool. However, a well-constructed piece of elegant equipment will urge one to continue working and putting more effort. Moreover, beautiful knives in your kitchen will improve the place’s overview and talk positively about your neatness.

The beautiful knife has a beautiful design and appearance. For example, the handle is hand polished to a black finish making it comfortable and classy. Also, the blade has a mirror finish with Damascus pattern which enhance the beauty and resilient to corrosion and rusting. Hence, it comes in as the best quality chef knife for looks.

The excellent knife surpasses all the common knives by a fair margin as it brags construction from the futuristic Japanese knife technology. For instance, the blade is geometrically designed and is needle-sharp, ensuring all your cutting duties are done and buried.

A lot goes on in the kitchen, and as a chef, you have to withstand all that. However, this model will ease your escapade because the ergonomic handle is immune to heat, cold, and moisture. Therefore, your hands will always be cozy as the handle doesn’t cause sensitivity.

Other additional features like the extended blade heel provide a broader action surface for the blade and the well-placed bolster that allows for easy sharpening and offers a balanced handling point. Also, the strong knife is triple-riveted for added strength and support.

Pros:

  • Triple-riveted blade
  • Well-placed bolster
  • The handle is immune to cold, heat, and moisture

Con:

  • Not ambidextrous

#11 Yoshihiro Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chef’s Knife

Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs...
  • The VG-10 Hammered Damascus Series has been a perennial best seller, combining performance, beauty, and extraordinary value.
  • [[TRADITIONAL GYUTO STYLE] The most versatile and essential of all knives a cook can have is a Japanese chefs knife known as a Gyuto knife.

For safety purposes, knives should have protectives sheaths. However, various materials are used to make a knife sheath. All have their strengths and weakness but are ideal based on individual specifications. Here we will center on a wooden sheath; this model is the best with a wooden sheath.

The wood sheath is tough, durable, and water-resistant. Therefore, if you place a knife inside, you are guaranteed safety and protection from external contamination. Also, the Sata sheath adds to the elegant appearance of the tool when stored.

The splendid combination of features makes the knife extraordinary. Also, the standard materials used impact significantly on the breathtaking functionality of the equipment. For example, the 46-layer Damascus steel is solid and reliable in every kitchen setup.

Also, the traditional Japanese WA-style octagonal-shaped handle is lightweight and provides exceptional grip all day. Also, the shapes give the handle non-slip features that enable you to work intact all through.

Lastly, the hammered texture on the blade reduces friction on surfaces and shuns foods from sticking or staining. Also, the blade is thick and with excellent edge retention to tackle complicated tasks in the kitchen.

Pros:

  • Excellent edge retention
  • Durable wooden sheath
  • Hammered texture to reduce friction

Con:

  • The blade is not full tang

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Japanese knives so expensive?

They are expensive because of the high-quality steel and the state-of-the-art technology used to craft them. For example, the blades are made of high-carbon steel, which is solid and reliable.

Are Japanese knives better than German knives?

German knives range between 56-58 on the scale, while Japanese knives are above 60 HRC. Hence, a typical Japanese chefs knife is more robust compared to a western-style chef’s knife. However, the thinner knife edge won’t work ideally for heavy-duty cutting tasks.

What is the typical size of a Japanese chef’s knife?

As with western style knives, typical Japanese chef knives range between six to eight inches. This size makes them ideal for all kitchen duties. However, some chefs prefer up to 12 inches for professional applications.

Why are Japanese knives single edge?

Japanese knives are mostly single-edged because they have the added advantage of being laser-sharp. Also, the edge is easy to sharpen and maintain.

What angle are Japanese knives?

Japanese knives range between 15-19 degrees which have proven the perfect cutting angles. Other knives have wider angles of up to 23 degrees.

Final Verdict

The Japanese industry produces spectacular knives that are fit for multi-purpose applications. You can use the knives indoors or outdoors in a wedding or camping escapades. It would be best if you choose the best that will meet your precision to the letter. I hope this review has answered all your questions concerning Japanese knives.

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