Sushi and Sashimi Knives


“Sushi Knife” and “Sashimi Knife” refers to "Wa-bocho" or the traditional Japanese style kitchen knives, like "Yanagiba", "Fuguhiki", "Deba" and "Usuba(Nakiri)" in a narrow sense.

But now they sometimes mean whole Japanese kitchen knives worldwide outside Japan, including Western style kitchen knives made/designed in Japan, "Gyuto", "Santoku", etc. as well as the Wa-bocho.

The followings are picked up for those who are looking for the Sushi/Sashimi knives.

(1) Sushi / Sashimi Knives in traditional Japanese style


Originally, all Japanese kitchen knives – Hocho – clearly show their relation to the Samurai sword. They have been made from high carbon steel (hanage) as a Japanese traditional sword (katana) by Honyaki or Kasumi process.

Honyaki knives are forged solely from one material: high-carbon steel (called “Hagane”). Genarally the Hagane is White steel(Shirogami) or Blue steel(Aogami). The production method used to make Honyaki knives is similar to that used to make traditional Japanese swords, which is a very difficult and long process.

Kasumi knives are made from two materials by joining a piece of soft iron (Jigane) with a piece of high-carbon steel. Its applications are three layer and multi-layer knives which made of an inner core of hard and brittle carbon steel with a thick layer of soft and more ductile steel sandwiched around the core so that the hard steel is exposed only at the cutting edge.

Nowadays stainless steel is often used for Japanese kitchen knives, and multi-layer laminated blade construction is used in more expensive blades to add corrosion resistance while maintaining strength and durability.

For general cooking, especially cutting raw fish and making sushi, 
a set of Yanagiba and Deba (and preferably Usuba [or Nakiri] for vegetable) is recommended.

Yanagiba (Sashimi)


A Sashimi Knife, for cutting and filleting fish or ham with a pull stroke. Slim blade in the shape of a willow leaf or Katana (sword). Long and Narrower blade is suitable for slicing tasks. Especially for preparing fresh, good&beautiful shape of raw fishes (sashimi). The Yanagiba is called "Shobu" and popular in Western Japan (around Osaka and Kyoto).
The "Deba" is designed for cutting fish and light mincing. The back of the blade can be used to chop thin bones. Thick and Heavier blade of Deba has good durable edge, suitable for cutting a Fish, a Chicken, also for filleting tasks. Its history goes back to the Edo era in Sakai, Japan
Usuba (Vegetable knife)type-usuba.jpg The Usuba has a thin & straight blade for clean cutting on the chopping board; paper-thin slices are no problem, even with ripe tomatoes. Wide blade for good guidance along the finger knuckles. It has been used by professional chefs in Eastern Japan (around Tokyo).

Please refer to the following figure for parts of Japanese Knife


Standard-Grade Knife Series

The followings are made of rust-resistant materials and durable for long-lasting performance.


High-Grade Knife Series

For professional use to cooking sushi / sashimi, these series are recommended.


Premier-Grade Knife Series

Blue Paper Steel (Aogami or Aoko) series, one of the hardest materials, recommended for skillful sushi chef.

(2) Sushi / Sashimi Knives in Western style

Western-style knives in Japan were developed to meet the needs of Japanese chefs preparing non-Japanese cuisine. Today, Japanese knife makers are engineering new advanced manufacturing processes such as ‘sub-zero tempering’ and premium trademark-formulated knife steels to produce exceptional Western-style knives with super hard blades for razor sharpness.

Nowadays stainless steel is often used for Western-style kitchen knives, and multi-layer laminated blade construction (so-called “Damascus”) is used in more expensive blades to add corrosion resistance while maintaining strength and durability.

For general cooking, a set of Gyuto(Chef Knife), Sujihiki(Slicer) and Petty is recommended.

Gyuto (Chefs knife)type-gyuto.jpg Versatile cooking knife for cutting up, filleting and preparing meat and fish. Slim blades for intricate tasks, pull or push cuts. Most standard and popular blade among Western Style knives, so called “Chefs Knife”. Gyuto is one of the most versatile blade type, suitable design for cutting, slicing meats, vegetables and fishes.
Sujihiki/ Slicer/ Carving knifetype-sujihiki.jpg "Sujihiki" or Slicer (or Carving knife, depending on the purpose and detailed shape) has narrower and longer blade. The Sujihiki is suitable design for the slicing tasks. If you often cut and slice (fillet) fishes, meats, hams etc, Sujihiki is the best choice for your needs.
Petty (Utility knife)type-petty.jpg Small all-purpose knife for fruit, peeling and cutting small objects. Compact, good handling of Petty knife is suitable design for peeling fruits, preparing various kinds of foods and precise works.


Standard-Grade Knife Series

For standard cooking, a set of Gyuto(Chef Knife), Sujihiki(Slicer) and Petty is recommended.


High-Grade Knife Series

The high-grade knives with excellent sharpness and hardness are sure to support you successfully.


Premier-Grade Knife Series

The premier-grade knives are recommended for skillful chef, not for beginner, we're afraid. They successfully make difference beyond your expectation.


Stylish Blades

Damascus, Hammered, Dragon engraved and Swordish shaped Knives for your best Gift


* There are additional items other than the above.   Search by the preferred keyword to find the best knife.
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* For more information about history, material and how-to-use of Sushi / Sashimi knives, please check this guide.

* You can order some customized left-handed knives if you allow a longer lead time and cost.

When you need more information and want to order the one, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We'll support you as much as possible.

Thank you for reading this article,
All the Hocho-Knife Staff