The 10 Best Asian Knives
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Knives of Asian heritage differ significantly from their Western counterparts. Generally, they're crafted from thinner steel with a notably higher hardness rating, a more forward-oriented balance point and, often, a more traditionally-shaped handle. Here are some of the finest all-purpose and specialty options from a number of especially reputable manufacturers to suit a range of budgets. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best asian knife on Amazon.
March 14, 2019:
Knives are a very touchy subject to many chefs, and there are near-infinite different brands to choose from these days. A lot of brands today are mass-produced somewhat cheaply, and simply re-branded at the request of various different vendors. So, first of all, we want to assure you beyond the shadow of a doubt that everything on our list is from a reputable brand, that's been vetted by professionals across the country. In fact, if you stepped into the back of a Michelin-starred restaurant, it's quite likely that you'll find knives from one of these brands, and possibly even one of these exact models. One thing you'll notice is that we didn't include a lot of the fancy-looking "Damascus" models. While it looks fantastic (and some good knives are only available with this pattern), it's not really the same as the Damascus of historic importance, whose technique is both lost to antiquity, and honestly, is probably exceeded by modern alloys and forging methods. With that said, our top choice, the Yoshihiro, does happen to be one of these heavily patterned designs, and frankly, it's one of the most true to traditional standards that you'll find. It's made of an extremely capable alloy known as VG-10, and undergoes the absolute finest of quality control processes. The same can be said of the Yoshihiro Yanagi. And while I would not personally recommend most Shun knives, their Classic Chinese Cleaver is a big exception; in this model, their proprietary, slightly altered version of the VG-10, plus their unique handle contour, really shine. Chinese cleavers are completely different beasts from traditional chef's knives, though, so beware. For the more common, all-purpose variety in the $100-$200 range, you've got the MAC Professional, the Misono Carbon, and the Misono UX10, each of which are truly fantastic knives that will make almost any cook happy. The MAC comes with tons of testimony from full-time chefs. The MX10 is a standard fixture on high-volume lines in big cities across the country. The Misono Carbon is a favorite due to the shockingly sharp edge it can take, and it is my personal favorite carbon-steel blade, but remember, it takes considerable attention to keep from oxidizing — it must be wiped off immediately, right before you set it down, every time. Misono's Hankotsu is a specialty blade that comes in handy very, very often if you work with large cuts of meat. The strength and taper of its blade will help get through the toughest joints and ligaments. On the budget side, the Masahiro Yanagi-ba is a surprisingly capable sushi knife, and the Tojiro DP is one of the most popular knives for students and beginners, while the Miyabi is somewhat of a crossover, and perfect for those who aren't yet comfortable with some of the other, feather-light models.