You might be forgiven if you are not familiar with the term when I mention Gyuto Knives, but once I tell you all about them, I think you will be asking yourself how could you ever get along without one of these fabulous Japanese knives! You might even discover that you already own one and didn’t know it!
12. Messermeister Asian Precision Gyuto 7.25 Inch Knife
One fairly inexpensive Gyuto knife for those on a budget is the Messermeister Asian Precision Gyuto 7.25 inch knife. The Messermeister Gyuto knife is the shape equivalent of the French Cook’s or Chef’s knife, although it is lighter in weight than a traditional Chef’s knife due to the fact that it has no real bolster and a thinner blade.
One-piece fully stamped with a full tang and three rivet construction. Again, it is a smaller knife, but this is one which comes with a Knife for Life guarantee, providing a lifetime warrantee against material and manufacturing defects. You really can’t go wrong. Again, it is a great starter knife.
- One piece knife
- Extra thin blade
- Knife for Life guarantee
- Quite small
- Relatively light
11. Kiya Gyuto Knife No. 333
If you are on a smaller budget, yet are still wanting a decent knife, you can’t go wrong with the Kiya Gyuto Knife No. 333.
Made in Japan this stainless-steel bladed knife features a sharp edge, offering excellent edge retention along with a sharp and pointed tip for precision work. It also comes with a 10-year KIYA limited warrantee. This makes for a great starter knife in the kitchen.
- Impeccable edge
- Pointed tip for precision
- 10 year warranty
- Better for starters
- Budget knife
10. Masahiro MV Gyuto Knife
Another smaller (8.2 inch) knife is the Masahiro MV Gyuto Knife. Masahiro’s MV series of knives are sharp and light with edges that maintain sharpness for long periods of time. Made from Molybdenum Vanadium steel, each knife is quenched and sub-zero tempered to offer the user the best balance of sharpness and blade strength.
High-grade stainless-steel promises that it is rust proof as well as having an excellent cutting performance sustainability. The larger handles also make for a knife which has an easy and comfortable grip when doing long hours of kitchen prep.
- Imported from Japan
- Stainless steel
- 3mm thin blade
- Long shipping times
9. Suisin High-Carbon Steel Gyuto Knife
The Suisin High-Carbon Steel Gyuto knife is a smaller gyuto knife, at only 8.2 inches. Well balanced and easy to work with, this is a knife you will find yourself reaching for time and time again. Drawing from a tradition of Japanese artistry with meticulous attention to detail this gyuto knife is crafted from a single piece of Nihon-kou (Japanese carbon) steel and boasts a welded bolster and bacteria resistant handle.
Suison high-carbon blades have a professional grade edge retention that can be very easily maintained. Suison brand knives are repeatedly put to the test in professional kitchens prior to being released to the public. You can rest assured when you buy one of these knives that it is a knife which will perform well with ease.
- Bacteria resistant handle
- Traditional Japanese steel
- Thoroughly tested
- Brittle blade
- A lot of lemons get shipped
8. Tojiro DP Gyuto 9.4 inch Knife
Another fine example of a stainless steel Gyuto knife would be the Tojiro DP Gyuto 9.4 inch knife by Tijiro. It has a double-edged stainless-steel blade with a 50/50 balance as well as an attractive triple riveted composite wood handle. Tojiro DP knives are made in the “honwarikomi” method where a carbon steel plate is encased front, top and back in stain-resistant steel.
This results in a cutting edge which is as sharp and durable as a carbon steel knife, but its stain-resistant steel outer layer helps to make this a much easier knife to maintain. This is not only a great entry level professional knife, but an absolute workhorse in both the professional and home kitchen. A great moderately priced knife! When properly sharpened this knife is on par with almost any stainless-steel knife that may be more expensive.
- Japanese Super Steel – perfect for edge retention
- Great for people new to Japanese knives
- Extremely thin edge
- The thicker model knife has issues with its balance
- Short and bulky handle
- Difficult to grip properly
What Are Gyuto Knives?
Gyuto knives are a Japanese version of the Western classic Chef’s knife, with the major difference being that the blade is thinner and has a tendency to hold a sharper edge in contrast. It could be considered the ultimate multi-purpose knife and is very popular amongst Chefs and Home Cooks alike. They can be used for chopping, mincing and slicing alike, and more often than not will sport a handle composed of wood.
When using it to cut vegetables a chopping or thrust-cutting action based closer to the heel of the knife is most effective. You can also use it to rock-chop a harder vegetable with ease. It’s all a matter of what you are comfortable with. The tip of the knife is exceptional when it comes to making fine cuts.
It is also excellent for cutting meats, using a sawing back and forth motion for the larger cuts, a pull-cut for softer meats and a push-cut for more muscular cuts of meat.
When using it, the sloping shape of the knife will generally cause the user’s shoulders to rise, whilst their wrists will be pointing down.
Its name translates to “cow-sword” but what you really have here is a wonderful multi-purpose knife which is equally at home in both professional and home kitchens and with both meats as well as fruits/vegetables. A real all-rounder!
7. Misono Molybdenum Gyuto Knife
One such knife with these qualities would be the Misono Molybdenum Gyuto Knife. These knives have been created with high carbon stain resistant molybdenum steel blades. The popularity of Misono knives largely stems from the fact that they have a thin profile which allows for them being sharpened and used for long periods of time.
It boasts exceptional sharpness with an asymmetrical bevel with the face of the blade having a steeper angle than the back, thereby creating a thin cutting edge which approaches the sharpness of a more traditional Japanese edge design. Well balanced and extremely sharp this knife can cut almost translucent pieces of most things. It is also light and not as heavy as some knives, which makes it perfect for use by people who have issues with using heavier knives such as people with arthritis. I consider this to be an excellent knife.
- Stain resistant
- Very light and sturdy
- Exceptionally sharp
- Slightly too long for most purposes
6. Yoshihiro Aoko Blue Steel Kurouchi Gyuto Japanese Chef Knife
Another visually appealing and handsome Gyuto knife is the Yoshihiro Aoko Blue Steel Kurouchi Gyuto Japanese Chef Knife. This is one in the handmade Yoshihiro series of knives which are considered un-paralleled in their performance. This black-forged “Kurouchi” finish consists of a carbonized coating which is created during heat treating and provides for a characteristic look with a rustic aesthetic to the blade.
This blade is composed of Blue High Carbon Steel with a hardness on the Rockwell Scale of 62 to 63 and is highly prized for its high edge retention. It is sandwiched in between carbon steel in the traditional Warikomi style which adds to its durability and ease of sharpening.
Made in Japan, and not mass produced, this knife is complimented with a traditional Japanese Wa-style handcrafted D-shaped handle which is lightweight and ergonomically welds to the hand for seamless and comfortable use.
- Blue High Carbon Steel
- Warikomi style knife
- Each knife is handcrafted
- Needs regular oiling
- Oxidizes easily – never keep wet
Caring for Carbon Steel Knives
It is important to note that traditional Japanese knife-making values a sharp-edge which requires attention and care. Sharpening and honing should only be done with water whet-stones. Proper care requires that they be hand washed in warm soapy water and dried with a soft cloth.
It is also highly recommended that you do so immediately after use, especially if working with acidic ingredients such as citrus fruits, or vinegars, some meats and poultry, eggs, grains or alcohol.
I like to err with caution and always wipe my blades immediately after using them. It is also important not to use these knives to cut hard bones, nutshells or frozen foods. Carbon Steel is also susceptible to oxidization if not properly maintained. Do keep them dry and oil them regularly to help prevent this from happening! Linseed oil is a good oil to use for this purpose.
For people who are not confident in their ability to care for such traditional knife finishes I highly recommend knives with a stainless-steel finish which are not only stain resistant but much easier to maintain. I’ve also wrote a complete guide on carbon steel knife maintenance, so check that out!
5. Sakai Takayuki Gyuto
The Sakai Takayuki Gyuto is a stunning example of a hammered knife. The stainless blade is composed of 33 layers of Damascus hammered steel with a VG 10 alloy core. VG10 is a vanadium containing stainless steel. The inclusion of vanadium serves to increase a knife’s wear resistance and hardness.
The desertwood handle adds to the attractiveness of this knife. A well weighted knife which feels heavy in the hand but still nimble, this Gyuto Knife performs incredibly well, even in the smallest mincing tasks. The hammered blade means that practically nothing sticks to it. This is a knife which will not disappoint!
- Damascus Hammered Stainless Steel – 33 layers
- Alloy Core
- You won’t stop cutting stuff (it’s just that fun!)
- Exceptionally beautiful
- One of the more expensive knives on the list
4. Kikuchi 9.5 inch Warikomi Nickel Sweden Damascus Gyuto Knife
You wouldn’t think that Sweden had the capacity to develop a great Gyuto knife, but in thinking that you would be wrong. One prime example is the Kikuchi 9.5 inch Warikomi Nickel Sweden Damascus Gyuto Knife. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but it is a knife that is well worth the cost. It is composed of 45 layers of nickel Damascus layer and stainless steel.
There are 22 layers on each side incorporating 11 layers of nickel, 6 of SUS410 and 5 layers of J1 stainless steel. The centre core is a quality Swedish steel cutting edge. Add to that a solid rosewood handle, without rivets and you have a really splendid knife that not only performs well, but is also beautiful to look at.
- 700-year-old Legacy Company Kikuichi
- Supremely sharp
- One of the best quality knives available
- Not intended for excessive use
- Very expensive
- Blade is stamped, not hammered
3. Yoshihiro VG-10 Hammered Damascus, HAA Japanese Gyuto Knife
I have fallen totally in love with the Yoshihiro VG-10 Hammered Damascus, HAA Japanese Gyuto Knife with its Mahogany handle! This is a beautiful knife.
Having been manufactured by one of the most famous workshops, Yoshirhiro Cutlery in Sakai/Osaka, Japan, this knife boasts a beauty of a Mahogany wood handle (with bolster) combined with a beautiful Damascus pattern and hammered finish. This knife is a true masterpiece which delivers a clean and perfect cut each time. It truly is a work of art as well as commanding an excellent performance.
- Hammered Damascus Steel – 16 layers
- Made in Japan
- Mahogany Wood handle
- Cutting with it can be addictive
2. Tojiro Black Finished Shiro-ko Kasumi Gyuto Knife
If you are looking for a Gyuto Knife with a really traditional look I think the Tojiro Black Finished Shiro-ko Kasumi Gyuto Knife fits the bill perfectly! Drawing from a tradition of Japanese artistry, and using meticulous attention to detail, this is a knife which showcases cutting edge design combined with the unparalleled quality of Japanese craftsmanship.
It is amazingly beautiful and super-sharp right out of the box. Made from Carbon steel this is the perfect knife for someone wanting to add an attractive knife to their collection which also performs well. It does require a bit of maintenance in that the blade and handle should be regularly cleaned and oiled to keep them in tip-top condition. If that is not a problem for you, this is a knife that will make a wonderful addition to your kitchen toolbox!
- Carbon Steel combined with White #2 Steel
- Beautiful design
- Scary sharp
- Frequently out of stock
- Cheap handle
1. Kikuichi Cutlery Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime Gyuto Knife
The Cadillac of Gyuto knives in my opinion would have to be the Kikuichi Cutlery Elite Warikomi Damascus Tsuchime Gyuto Knife. This 8-inch Gyuto knife is a part of one of the top lines of knives from Kikuichi. Handmade by kikuchi’s craftsmen in Japan, this high-quality knife is created using the Kasumi method. This method laminates different materials together, taking advantage of the strength of each.
Knives in the Warikomi series are made with a core piece of VG-10 steel which makes for an extremely sharp cutting surface with an excellent edge retention. The exterior of the knife is also clad with 16 layers of stainless steel (8 per side). This helps to protect the blade, promote stability and provide stain resistance. Hammered and tempered by hand, these knives have a lovely rustic look which helps to prevent food from sticking to the side of the knife, always a bonus!
It is finished with a compressed wood handle, providing optimum balance and durability. It is hand wash only, but as I have previously mentioned in other articles, I only ever hand wash my knives as this helps to prolong the life of their edge, not to mention handles.
- 16 Layers of VG-10 Steel, Damascus
- Rustic look
- Kikuichi 700 year Legacy
- Extremely easy to rust
- Needs regular oiling
Multi-functional and truly versatile, I think that every serious cook needs to count a Gyuto knife amongst their collection of knives. Designed to mince and slice almost any ingredient with precision and versatility this is a knife that is sure to become one of your favourite knives in the kitchen.
A knife you will reach for again and again. A knife you will soon come to realise that you just can’t live without. With proper care and maintenance these knives I have suggested here today are sure to become lifelong friends and much beloved partners in your culinary life and journey!
Marie Rayner is a Canadian, who moved over to the UK and began a new life in the year 2000. At the age of 45 she decided she needed a career change and went back to College to take a Chef’s course, after which she worked as a Personel Chef for a number of years.