If you’re looking for a versatile knife with a sharper edge than your Western-style chef’s blade, Japanese Gyuto knives are the way to go. They were originally beef swords, but today they’re great all-purpose blades that easily slice through both meats and vegetables.
In this article, I’ll review my top seven contenders for the best Gyuto knife. They are:
- FAMCÜTE 8 Inch Professional Japanese Chef Knife—Most Bang for Your Buck
- Yoshihiro VG10 Damascus Japanese Chefs Knife—Most Durable
- Yaxell 8 Inch Chef’s Knife—Most Ergonomic
- Zelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch—Best Size Range
- Shun Classic 10 Inch Chef’s Knife—Best Customer Service
- Miyabi 8 Inch Gyuto—Best Higher End
- Tojiro 8.25 Inch Gyuto—Best for Beginners
But first, let’s go through some features of the best Gyuto knives.
Things To Consider When Buying Japanese Gyuto Knives
If you want a high-performing Gyuto chef’s knife that can chop through almost anything you come across in your kitchen, consider the following features.
What makes a Gyuto knife specifically great is that it’s made of very stable and durable stainless steel. Two of the most common alloys used in these knives are high-carbon VG10 and SG2.
VG10 has a high carbon content—about one percent—and is corrosion-free. On the Rockwell scale of hardness, it typically maintains a value of 60. You can sharpen it to a fine edge rather easily.
SG2 is a high-carbon steel alloy that reaches up to 64 on the Rockwell hardness scale. It can hold an edge of a low angle really well, but its hardness makes it tougher to sharpen and maintain.
Japanese knives typically have some kind of cladding material surrounding their core. The edge isn’t covered, so the blade’s cutting performance won’t be affected. It’s simply done to control carbon reactivity and achieve unique appearances.
Japanese Gyuto knives have two main cladding types:
- Gives a rustic look
- Can be sprayed, forged, or lacquered.
- Usually layered on top of the blade close to the spine
- Premium look
- Carbon-based or stainless, usually pricier
- Carbon Damascus makes sharpening easier, but it’s also more reactive
Sharpness and Edge Retention
The best Gyuto knives are sharp and have a thin cutting edge. Look for a cutting angle between 9.5–16 degrees; these will cut through almost anything.
Note that a thin edge means that the knife will be more fragile. But if it’s made from premium quality steel, the substantial amount of hardness will make it durable and give great edge retention; this means that the knife will hold its sharpness for a long time.
Double or Single Bevel
A single bevel knife has an angle on one side of the edge. It’s typically sharper than the double ones and allows for very precise slicing.
A double bevel knife has an angle formed on both sides; this makes it more versatile. It’s also easier to use and should be considered if you’re a novice home chef.
In general, an all-purpose knife, such as a Japanese Gyuto knife, should be between 8–9 inches (20-23 centimeters.)
But consider how you’ll be using your chef’s knife. If you frequently cut melon and cabbage, for example, a longer blade at about 10 inches (25.5 centimeters) might be better for you. You can find Gyuto knives up to 12 inches long.
If you look at the Gyuto from the side, you’ll notice that it either has a French profile recognized by a steady belly and a bigger flat spot that’s ideal for push cutting. Or, a German profile featuring a large rounded belly that rock chops splendidly.
This is more of a stylistic point or a matter of personal preference. Are you a push cutter or a rock chopper?
You have two options here. The wooden Japanese-style handle is light while the blade is rather heavy; the Western handle is bulkier and heavier all-around, but it’s also more ergonomic.
Typically, an ergonomic handle that’s blade-heavy is your best bet.
Tang is a design common in Gyuto knives where the blade is attached to the handle.
Full tang means that the blade and handle are welded as one and are more durable; this is often a feature of the best Gyuto knives. Push tang means that the blade is pushed into the handle and fastened with adhesive. While often cheaper, push tang has an increased risk of the blade loosening from its handle.
Advantages of Using Gyuto Knives
These features are why you should pick the Japanese Gyuto chef knife instead of other types.
- Long-lasting: The best Gyuto knives are made of stainless steel alloys that are particularly hard and durable.
- Precise cut: Compared to a Western chef’s knife, these Japanese blades offer more precise cuts due to their thin edges.
- All-purpose: There are other high-performing Japanese knives on the market, but the Gyuto is the most versatile of them all. It can slice, chop, mince, and dice most food in your kitchen.
Reviews of the Best Gyuto Knives
FAMCÜTE 8 Inch Professional Japanese Chef Knife—Most Bang for Your Buck
What probably catches your eye at first is the unique design of this product, but underneath are three layers of high chromium, mid-high carbon stainless steel that’s wear-resistant and has superb edge retention.
Users agree and praise how razor-sharp this knife is with its 16-degree edge. Some even report needing stitches after a “Japanese sneak attack” that occurred while they were washing the blade.
This Gyuto knife has an 8-inch blade ideal for a multi-purpose cutter. The weight is tipped towards the blade, and its ergonomic German-profile handle consists of African rosewood. Some users feel like it’s too front-end heavy, but this is how Gyuto knives are constructed. It’s a learning curve to use these.
According to customers, it tends to rust rather easily, which is probably the biggest con of this chef’s knife. Some also feel like the German-profile has too much of a curved belly and that you can only cut things properly by heavy rocking.
- Super sharp 16-degree edge
- Weight tipped towards the blade
- Ergonomic handle
- Excels at rock chopping
- Tends to rust
- Not the best at push cutting
Yoshihiro VG10 Damascus Japanese Chefs Knife—Most Durable
This handcrafted knife contains three layers of Japanese premium VG10 stainless steel and is advertised as durable and sharp. Customers state that it cuts like a hot knife through butter and has a 15-degree edge.
It’s available in 7 inches (18 centimeters), 8 inches (20 centimeters), and 9.5 inches (24 centimeters). The 8-inch is great for an all-around knife, while the 9.5 will cut cabbage with ease.
Note that this is also a double-edged knife, so it’s easier to use and more versatile.
The Yoshihiro knife looks premium, with a mahogany wood handle and 16 layers of hammered stainless steel Damascus cladding. The handle is also full tang, which users appreciate because it makes the chef’s knife extremely durable. There’s minimal risk of the blade separating from the handle.
Due to the Gyuto knife being high-quality and hand-made, the price is rather hefty. Also, there are complaints that food sticks between the blade and handle as there’s a slight gap between them.
- Sharp 15-degree knife-edge
- Double bevel
- Available in three sizes
- Premium look
- Rather pricey
- Food sticks between blade and handle
Yaxell 8 Inch Chef’s Knife—Most Ergonomic
With its Katana sword wave line and sand-blast finish, the Yaxell knife looks elegant. This product is handcrafted in Japan out of premium VG10 stainless steel that’s durable and 61 on the Rockwell hardness scale. The Gyuto knife holds an edge beautifully, according to customers.
Users also like its balanced weight and how the smooth, tight handle fits great in your hand. It’s reportedly also full tang, so the risk of the blade separating from the handle is low.
With an 8-inch lengthy 12-degree blade, it should be the appropriate size to fulfill most of your cutting needs in the kitchen. It also has a double bevel edge that works great for everyday use, whether you’re deboning chicken or chopping vegetables.
What’s not as popular is that the knife seems to scratch easily, and the transition between blade and handle isn’t seamless.
- Holds an edge beautifully
- Double bevel edge
- Katana sword design
- Balanced weight
- Smooth and ergonomic handle
- Knife scratches easily
- No seamless transition from blade to handle
Zelite Infinity Chef Knife 8 Inch—Best Size Range
Available in three sizes: 8 inches (20 centimeters), 6 inches (15 centimeters), and 10 inches (25 centimeters), the Zelite Infinity knives have the appropriate length for any home chef. While the 8-inch is versatile, the 6-inch is more agile and great for chopping smaller ingredients such as fruit. For a big winter squash, 10 inches is the best.
This chef’s knife is made in China from high-carbon AUS-10 stainless steel and has a mirrored Damascus finish that resists rust and discoloration. Note that the cladding doesn’t cover the edge of the blade, so it maintains its sharpness. But the downfall is that rust can build-up on the tip of the blade.
Users love the sharpness of the 12-degree blade edge that cuts through raw chicken and bacon like it’s nobody’s business. With a full tang, the blade is securely fastened to the handle. Buyers state that the transition between the two is almost seamless.
However, there are reports of the blade chipping after a certain amount of time. Customers say that this Gyuto isn’t for a beginner chef as an edge this thin needs special care to remain intact.
- Available in 6 to 10-inch sizes
- Sharp 12-degree blade
- Full tang
- Smooth, seamless knife
- Rust can build-up at the blade’s tip
- Prone to chipping
Shun Classic 10 Inch Chef’s Knife—Best Customer Service
The Shun Classic is a 10-inch Gyuto knife (25 centimeters) that gives its user increased reach and the ability to chop larger amounts of food simultaneously. It’s also available in 6 (15 centimeters) and 8 inches (20 centimeters.) It’s handcrafted in Japan and has a 16-degree edge on both sides of the blade.
VG-MAX steel is a version of VG-10 stainless steel that’s 61 on the Rockwell hardness scale. Compared to the VG-10, it’s more corrosion-resistant. On top of this is a 68 layer Damascus cladding that buyers find pretty.
According to customers, it’s perfectly balanced and light in your hand. It’s sharp and thin enough to cut a tomato into paper-thin slices.
But there are reports of the tip of the knife breaking off after a few months of use. Also, the presentation of the Gyuto chef knife isn’t the greatest, which you should keep in mind if you intend to give it away as a gift. It’s also not full tang.
One additional thing with Shun knives that give them extra plus-points is that you get free lifetime sharpening if your blade needs a touch-up.
- Handcrafted in Japan
- Lifetime sharpening
- Available in three sizes
- Perfect balance
- Tip breaks off rather easily
- Not full tang
Miyabi 8 Inch Gyuto—Best Higher End
Miyabi’s Gyuto chef knife is made in Japan out of SG2 stainless steel that comes in at a whopping 64 on the Rockwell hardness scale; this gives it superior cutting performance, and it can hold an edge of a low angle very well, which users are praising.
With a birchwood handle and 100 layers of stainless steel topped off with Damascus cladding, buyers call this knife a work of art. But it’s not only pretty, it’s also super comfortable to hold and feels incredibly light as well.
It’s not a full tang knife, but this doesn’t mean it lacks durability. Quite the opposite, it’s long-lasting due to the hard SG2 steel used on the blade.
While this is a high-quality knife that excels in many ways, it’s also the most expensive on my list. Some users think that the technical data written on the blade impairs the otherwise exquisite design of the Miyabi Gyuto. The handle is also a lighter-colored wood which is easier to discolor.
- Hard SG2 stainless steel
- Holds an edge very well
- A work of art
- Comfortable to hold
- Handle prone to discoloration
Tojiro 8.25 Inch Gyuto—Best for Beginners
The Tojiro Gyuto knife is advertised as being even edged and appropriate for both left and right-handed people. It’s a double bevel knife, and both sides have an angle of 12 degrees. Users state that it’s easy to handle. These qualities make it great for more novice home chefs who want to venture into Japanese-knife territory.
Despite being on the more affordable side, this product is made in Japan and uses high-quality VG10 stainless steel; this makes it very durable, as stated by buyers. The fact that it’s full tang probably adds to this as well.
As for the cons, this isn’t the sharpest Gyuto out there. It needs to be frequently re-sharpened if you want to maintain good cutting performance. The VG10 stainless steel is easy to sharpen, however.
Also, it lacks some ergonomic aspects. Your index finger touches the blade when you stretch it, which makes chopping more difficult.
- Easy to handle
- Good for both left- and right-handed people
- Not the sharpest knife
- Handle isn’t very ergonomic
Summing Up: Which Is the Best Gyuto Knife?
While all the Gyutos on my list excel in different aspects, my top pick must be the FAMCÜTE 8 Inch Professional Japanese Chef Knife. It has a sharp 16-degree angled edge, is the perfect 8-inch length, and its weight is tipped toward the blade, which is optimal when chopping. Best of all, it’s affordable without compromising on quality.
If you’re a chef who prefers to push cut instead of rock chopping, go for my runner-up: the Yoshihiro VG10 Damascus Japanese Chef’s Knife, which offers a luxurious design and great cutting performance.
Which Gyuto knife suits you the best?