The Japanese have always been known for their knife making. They have knives for every single purpose, especially the traditional Japanese cuisine. A large part of Japanese cuisine uses raw, fresh fish fillets. The fish fillets need to stay in their shape.
As the fish is eaten raw, the taste needs to remain fresh. The knife you cut the fish fillets plays an essential role in maintaining the fish fillet’s shape and taste. And you will understand how a knife can change your sashimi game when you get your hands on one of the best yanagiba knives.
Yanagiba knives will let you fillet or cut your fish the way you want. And to choose the knife with maximum comfort and quality, you will first have to know about these knives.
You will have to select the one you will be most comfortable working with among different styles and features. And that is what this article is about, everything about yanagiba knives.
What is Yanagiba knife?
The literal meaning of the word yanagiba is a willow-leaf blade. Yanagiba is a slender, thin, and sharp knife used to cut and slice fresh, raw fish. It is also used to cut meat or fish fillets.
Here, a question may arise that why do we need a specific knife just for cutting fillets? Raw fish and meat have a soft texture. If your knife is not too sharp, the fillet pieces will not get sharp, defines edges.
Instead, it will get all mushy. The smell and taste of the fish are also important in this case. The metal blade can change the taste and smell of the fish. And as we said earlier, the fish is eaten raw, so maintaining the scent is essential.
The blade of a yanagiba knife will smoothly cut through your fish without ruining its shape. The knife blade also does not let your fish taste or smell metallic.
Instead, it preserves the raw taste of the fish. You can cut through any fish with textured skin with minimum physical effort without ruining the fish.
What is the best yanagiba knife?
Which knife you consider “the best” depends on many things. Choosing a knife depends mostly on the comfort level of the user. If the user feels comfortable using the knife and gives the best performance, it can be best.
Even though cutting and cooking habits, comfort varies from person to person. We need to keep some things in mind to choose the best yanagiba.
The meaning of the name if this knife is a willow-leaf blade. Willow leaves are thin and narrow. The knife blade of your yanagiba knife should also have these qualities.
Besides, the metal the blade is made of should not make fish or meat smell metallic. It also should preserve the flavor and taste.
And the rest depends on your comfort, such as the thickness of the knife handle, if you want them half tang or full-tang, if you want your knives to look elegant. So, choosing a yanagiba depending on all these facts is the best option. Here are top ten yangiba knife considering all things for your respect.
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Top-10 Yanagiba Knife Reviews
Here are some of the best yanagiba knife out there. Even if you do not precisely buy any of them, these will give you ideas about the best knives’ quality and specifications. So, let me tell you about the best sashimi knives you can buy.
This multipurpose yanagiba knife can do tons of cutting works for you, from the sandwich to fish fillet. The slim super sharp knife will help you fillet, slice, or prune any food with a soft surface. It easily cuts through foods like sushi rolls, sashimi, raw meat, fish without ruining their structure. They do not even need much physical effort to cut.
High-carbon German stainless steel makes this slim and slender yanagiba knife blade.. The blade goes through the nitrogen cooling process to give it extra strength. This prevents the knife blade from chipping, breaking, or bending. Because of being made of stainless steel, this yanagiba knife is rust and corrosion safe.
No matter whatever you cut or slice, this knife gives you professional-like performance every time. It smoothly cuts through your food with the least effort. The knife’s handle is ergonomic, so you need not worry about holding the knife with your left hand. The design of the handle makes it equally comfortable to carry by both hands.
The full tang handle protected with bolster gives extra strength to the knife handle. The non-slip grip ensures a firmer hold on the handle not to slip while holding it with an oily or wet hand.
The comfortable handle makes working with the knife easier. The balanced handle ensures full safety while you use it. It comes with a replacement and free refunding facility during a specific period. The slick design adds a beautiful touch to your kitchen counter.
This knife is famous for its prolonged and durable use. The knife blade is capable of remaining sharp for a long time without rusting. This quality makes it the best sushi sashimi knife or yanagiba knife.
These features save you from sharping your knife frequently and saves a lot of your knife cause we all know how difficult it is to work with dull knives. And when it comes to sashimi knives, it is impossible to get that raw fish in shape with a dull knife.
The high-carbon stainless steel blade has a length of ten inches. This entirely long, slick blade ensures the perfect cuts of your fillet all the time. Its ultimate sharp blades cut through your delicate foods like raw fish without smashing them.
The handle of the knife is made using pakkawood, which gives the handle strength. The ergonomic design of the handle ensures you a comfortable hold with either hand. The handle is perfectly balanced, which decreases any chance of accidents. This helps you hold the knife properly and work faster.
The extreme sharp edges of the blade can cut through any soft food item. The razor-sharp edges are handcrafted and mirror-polished by seasoned artisans. The knife blades maintain sharpness of 80-100 at HRC. The knife is angled 12-15 degrees at one side.
This beautiful knife will be your most fantastic companion while making Japanese dishes or slicing any soft-textured food. The maintenance of the knife does not require much. As the blade remains sharp for long, you need not sharpen them regularly.
To keep the knife as shiny as new, all you need to do is not wash it in a dishwasher. The blade is made of stainless steel, so you do not need to worry about getting your knife rust or corrosion.
This beautiful yanagiba knife is made by skilled artisans to maintain the best quality and performance. A Rockwell scale is used to measure the hardness of knife blades. White steel used to make the knife blade has a Rockwell score of 62-63, which is a lot higher than any regular knife.
The structure of the knife hugely emphasizes the detailed patterns on the blade. Iron is used to get the knife blade forged to create the excellent mist patter. Highlighting is formed at one side of the knife blade.
This traditional Japanese knife is the perfect companion of any chef to cut sushi, sashimi, fish fillets, etc. the knife is a bit heavier because of the broader and thicker blade.
The extra weight is balanced with the sword tip. This long, slender, razor-sharp blade can smoothly cut through your food without ruining its shape. The wooden cover protects the knife while not in use. The handle welded to the knife blade provides balance and ensures it is comfortable to hold.
The maintaining of the knife needs to be done with care. The super sharp edges need to be handled with care. You will have to oil it regularly. The blade needs to be hand washed and dried immediately, mainly after cutting something acidic.
Most of the knives are generally made, thinking it to be held by the right hand. These knives can get challenging to use. Using the right handy knife might even cause small accidents. A knife is a tool that you use carefully. If you are not comfortable using the knife, it gets hard to maintain safety.
If you are a left handy person, Japanese knife brand Sakai Takumi Ajimasa has also thought about you and created this beautiful yanagiba for you.
This knife is specially made in Sakai, Osaka. This knife gives you professionally like performance while slicing fish fillets or preparing sashimi. It does not ruin the shape of the thin slices. The taste and smell also remain the same.
This knife has a hongasumi-finish. A white blade is used to make this knife. You can get this knife in four different sizes from which you can choose the one according to your comfort.
The handle made of Japanese magnolia wood with buffalo horn bolster gives maximum comfort. The slick design of this knife will also be an appeal to your eyes.
If you are a professional chef, you must not have the time to spend on slicing fish fillets. And when you do, you do a large amount of it.
So, the sashimi knife you are using must have a resilient edge, and you are comfortable working with it. These are what give your knife agility, and you work faster with it. And that is why it can be considered as one of the best yanagiba knives.
This fantastic knife stays sharp for a long time, even after heavy uses, so it saves you from the hassle of sharpening your knives every once in a while.
The stainless-steel blade keeps it strong and rust-free. The edges of the knife can smoothly cut through foods with a softer surface. It does not smash the slices. It does not let your food taste or smell metallic.
The knife blade has Cobalt added in it to increase the hardness and strength of the knife. It has a hardness of 56-58 at HRC. The handle made of wenge wood is comfortable to hold, but it also adds a different touch to the knife.
The edge is polished by artisans to have an angle of 11-13 degrees. And this angle is nearly the perfect angle for cutting anything.
This is another reason why this knife gives smooth, effortless cuts through any soft foods. The knife gives you a lifetime warranty. So, if your knife turns out to be accidentally flawed when you receive it, you might get it changed.
This fantastic Japanese knife for sashimi, sushi, and fish fillet has a blade length of nine and a half inches. The total length of this yanagiba knife is 14 inches. This super long knife can be your most fantastic companion while you make traditional Japanese dishes.
The wooden handle of the yanagiba knife provides comfort and does not slip out of your hand. The plastic bolster perfectly secures the knife onto the blade. This provides enough safety to the yanagiba knife handle and prevents it from coming off.
The extremely sharp blade is made of stainless steel and molybdenum. The stainless steel does not rust, stain, or scratch. The design and structure make it easy to sharpen. Japanese are famous for making yanagiba knives.
This knife was made in Japan with high quality and maintenance. Overall, if you want both quality and comfort, choosing one of the best value yanagiba knives is a good option.
It gives you an incredible performance and comfort while making sushi or sashimi, or any dish that requires raw fish. Its long blade glides through the delicate skin and cuts thin, perfect slices.
It does not smash the fish. The metal blade does not empower over the fish’s taste and flavor and make it taste metallic.
Almost all of the Japanese knife making companies are one of the top companies in the world. Masahiro is also a knife company that is one of the best companies in Japan. So, it is needless to say that the yanagiba knives this company makes are also of high quality.
The knife blade is made of stainless steel, which makes your yanagiba knife stronger and durable. The stainless steel body does not rust or scratch. Because of the hardness of the knife blade, the blade does not bend or chip. The thin, slender blade smoothly slides through your food.
The super sharp edge slices through food without any interruption. Foods with a delicate surface like raw fish can be easily cut with this knife without ruining it. The blades of yanagiba knives are specially made to cut fish fillet or prepare sushi or sashimi.
As all of these dishes include raw fish, we can tell that yanagiba knives are specially made to preserve the raw fish’s smell, taste, and flavor. The yanagiba knife from Masahiro has an edge of 240 mm.
The handle made of wood is easy and comfortable to handle. When you can easily hold the knife, your cutting work’s speed and quality automatically get better.
This knife is made with top quality steel with added Cobalt. The knife blade is treated cryogenically to achieve the hardness of 56-58 at HRC.
The super sharp edge cuts through the food, even the soft ones, without any interruption. This knife is so gentle to the food and does not ruin the food’s shape at all. Overall, you can consider it as one of the best yanagiba knives.
The knife’s brilliant design removes any kind of pressure and fatigue from the knife and allows you to work at ease. This sashimi knife altogether is the perfect combination of quality performance and comfort. The knife blade perfectly sits on the wooden handle.
Wenge wood makes the handle of this knife. This makes the handle of the knife durable and robust to not come off the blade. Besides, it gives a touch of elegance to your yanagiba knife. The 10.6 inches mirror-polished super sharp blade cuts through the delicate food with care.
And that is why this blade is used to make yanagiba or sashimi knives. Seasoned artisans handcraft the knife blade to give it more perfection. The blade is angled at 11-13 degrees in both edges to keep the balance. The blade is constructed to be corrosion resistant, sturdy, and flexible.
This beautiful knife is made with stainless steel. The knife blade gets harder than regular knives because of the use of stainless steel. It prevents the blade of the yanagiba knife from getting rust, corrosion. Sometimes heavy services can deform the structure.
This sashimi knife’s stainless steel blade does not deform by bending, chipping, breaking, or cracking. This yanagiba knife remains for a long time.
If your sashimi knife also goes through heavy use, this knife will save you from the hassle of sharpening your knife frequently. The intelligently designed knife stays balanced, allowing you to do your cutting work comfortably.
The blade’s seamless design gives it flexibility, which makes working with this sashimi knife faster and easier. The knife has a lifetime warranty so you can get it changed in case of receiving a faulty piece.
Blue steel is used in the construction of this knife, which gives it an elegant look. But this knife will also amaze you by its performance. This handmade knife has a hardness score of 62-63 at Rockwell score. This makes the knife a few times harder than any other regular knives.
The long, thin blade was designed to smoothly cut through the food, creating lean and even slices of food. The knife is a bit heavier than the regular knives because of its blade’s construction and structure.
It has a wide and thick spine. The sword tip of this sashimi knife maintains the weight balance and helps you work with it efficiently.
A combination of Urasuki and Shinogi in the construction of the knife prevents it from causing the least damage to the cutting surface. These are the names of two rims that ensure the knife blade creates pressure in the needed places while cutting.
The handle of the knife sits perfectly on the handle made of traditional Japanese wa-style. This octagonal handle is light in weight. The ergonomically designed handle makes it easier to hold and work with. The wooden handle is an addition to the elegant look when it is not in use.
It also protects the knife. And as talking about protection, this knife made with traditional Japanese techniques is more decadent and sharper. So, it is needed to be handled and maintained with caution and care. Its sharpening and cleaning should be done carefully.
Things to Keep in Mind Before You Buy a Yanagiba Knife
If you have gone through all of the best yanagiba knife reviews, you must be convinced to buy one for yourself. But hold on a second before you just go and buy your yanagiba knife. There are a few things you need to remember before you buy your first sushi sashimi knife.
Not knowing these would not ruin your life. They will give you a better idea about yanagiba as we are generally not familiar with the knife. As we said earlier, buying a comfortable knife does depend on your comfort. But buying a good quality yanagiba requires some knowledge.
These will help you understand which features make a good quality knife. Going through these features will help you choose the right knife for you, combining the best elements and your comfort and habits.
Righthanded or lefthanded
like most other knives, yanagibas are generally made thinking about the righthanded users. But, it must be difficult for you to work with those kinds of knives if you are a left-hander. You might face small injuries too.
Some yanagiba companies make them for lefthanded users. Buy them to get entirely comfortable and faster with your sashimi making.
But, as the number of manufacturers for left-handers is less, buying ergonomic knives can be a safe option. Both left-hand and right-hand users can use knives with ergonomically designed handles.
It is normal to have wet or oily hands while working in the kitchen. It gets hard to have a tight grip on your knife in this situation.
This may cause the knife to slip. As yanagibas are incredibly sharp, it might be dangerous to use them like this. To get rid of this problem, buy knives with no-slip handles.
Weight of the knife
Considering the weight is also crucial if the knife is a yanagiba knife. Yanagiba knives are specially made for filleting or making sashimis.
Lightweight yanagibas make your work easier and more comfortable. They also add agility and speed to your work, so if you are a professional, it will allow you to do lots of jobs in a short time.
But, the traditional Japanese knives are a bit heavier. If you are one of them who prefer heavier knives to maintain the balance while working, go for yanagibas constructed in classical Japanese ways and a little heavier.
Yanagiba vs. Sujhiki
Yanagiba knives are specially made to make sashimi or cut fish fillets. It is capable of cutting the thinnest and most fine slices with its slender, razor-sharp body. It is generally made with traditional Japanese knife-making techniques.
On the other hand, a sujihiki knife is lightweight and more like western knives. It has a thinner spine. Unlike yanagiba knives, it is multipurpose. You can use this knife for almost all kinds of cutting works. These knives are easier to use.
One of the main differences between a yanagiba and a sujhiki knife is its edges. Only one edge of a yanagiba knife is sharp, where a sujhiki knife has two sharp edges. This means you can cut stuff with both sides. Maintaining this kind of knife requires extra caution.
How to Use a Yanagiba Knife?
A yanagiba knife cuts through the fish fillet, or raw fish for sashimi with ease. It is comfortable to use. The super sharp, slender blade can cut through soft, delicate foods easily. It does not ruin the taste and flavor of the fish. Its tapered tip keeps the food in shape.
Cutting fishes with a yanagiba knife requires minimum physical effort. It slowly glides through your food, making thin, even slices. You can make amazing sashimis or fillets with a yanagiba, and your skills as traditional Japanese knife-making techniques mostly cause it. Handling the knife might need some practice.
How to Sharpen a Yanagiba Knife?
Yanagiba knives are generally sharpened with sharpening stones or whetstone. We will have to sharp the knife without ruining the blade. First, you will have to choose a ceramic store. A medium gritstone of #100 or 1200 will do the work.
Before you start sharpening your yanagiba knife, you need to know about a “burr.” It is often said about sharpening the knife that you will have to remove the burr. A more delicate gritstone with #3000 is excellent for removing the burr or creating one.
A burr is a slightly bent part of the knife. It is a small portion on the tip of the blade. Dipping the stone in water before you start sharpening the knife is crucial. Now, you will have to place it over a dump towel. After preparing the knife, you must begin sharpening your yanagiba.
A burr helps you to identify if your knife is sharpened enough to stop pointing. A burr is essential in the sharpening process of the yanagiba knife. While sharpening, you will have to put pressure on the are of a burr. When the burr is on the opposite side by honing, you may consider that you are done sharpening your yanagiba knife.
You will have to lay the edge of your yanagiba on the sharpening ceramic and start moving it forward and backward at 11-13 degrees angle. You need to sharpen your yanagiba knife’s tip first and then move to the middle part and the end. Nothing can be better than sharpening it regularly in the correct way to keep your knife nice, sharp, and working.
Today we learned about the best yanagiba knives or sashimi knives and their uses. These knives are one of the best kinds of Japanese knives.
Japanese are famous for their knife making. They turn their knives into pieces of art by their skill and creativity. Not only these knives are appeal to your eyes and make your kitchen look elegant, but they give fantastic cutting experiences too. Their performance will amaze you.
Once you start using them, it will get difficult for you to use any other knife. They have blades for different purposes. This yanagiba knife gives you excellent performance and helps to make sashimi the way you like.
This article portrays everything about yanagiba knives. All you need to do now is just go and buy one and start making unique Japanese dishes.