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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

I just happened to stumble upon this site and thought someone out there might be able to help me!

I'm looking to buy a sushi knife and to be honest, I know absolutely nothing about Sushi or Knives :-/

It's a present for my boyfriend you see, he's massively into his sushi (even has a boat to catch his own tuna!) but he's always complaining about the knives he has. My birthday is coming up so I thought perfect! and then I started looking thinking it would be easy..... big mistake!

So far the 2 ones that keep coming up the most are the Shun Pro II Sashimi knife 270mm and the Masamoto KA series Yanagi Sashimi 270mm. Does anyone have these knives so I can get a real review on them? Any better ones out there?

Any help would be massively appreciated!!

Thanking you in advance









best sushi knives 2021
 

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I'm in the same boat as you. I would have purchased one years ago but don't want to spend that much money on a blind purchase.
The first question I would have is his skill level with knives and sharpening them. Keeping the knives in good shape is no easy task. A good sharpening system for a high quality Japanese knives will cost as much as a good entry level Japanese knife. Learning how to use it will take time. The quality of the knife becomes less important with a poor sharpening system. Not to mention the fact that you can damage a high quality knife with improper use and sharpening.
I chose to start my journey down the knife rabbit hole with good sharpening stones and entry level knives. I went with Dexter Russell Japanese style knives. I have the Deba, nakiri, and long sashimi knife.Since I couldn't make a decision I figured they would be good to practice on and the price for 3 knives is less than 1/2 of a good entry level sashimi knife. I haven't found a need for a more expensive knife. I would buy a better sashimi knife if given the chance but it would be more for want than need. The Dexter Russell knives work for me. The added bonus is I don't have to worry about someone using it that doesn't know what they are doing.
Since it's a gift you probably can't go wrong with a name brand stainless steel knive. As long as he's not already using a Japanese style knife anything you buy him will be light years ahead. Just make sure it's a true Japanese style knife with the knife edge on only one side of the blade. That's what sets them apart from western style blades when slicing sashimi.
 

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Completely agree with everything said above. I have to emphasize the importance of the sharpening and care of the knife. If he's not very experienced with sharpening I would recommend to get a cheaper knife and learn with those, then upgrade to a better knife after he's comfortable. Sharpening a single bevel knife is not the same as sharpening a double bevel, and it does take some practice to get used to.
 

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Deluxe 5-Stone Knife Sharpening System | Lansky

That's an inexpensive sharpening system that will sharpen expensive sushi knives no problem. I'd advise spending a little more and get the kit with the diamond stones. Both knives you mentioned are awesome. If you want a perfectly sharpened blade and have plenty of patience, the Lansky sharpening system is another go to sharpening system and it's the one I finish my knives off with.
 

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One point I forgot to add. If someone is very good at making sushi and sashimi the cheaper knives will never be acceptable. It really depends on how often you make it and how good the finished product is. The knife does make a difference in the quality of the finished product and that's why the Japanese have taken it to the next level.
 

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Perfect idea for a gift, I've recommended that to many friends SO's and they've all turned out great. My experience agrees and disagrees with what's been said but my general recommendation is to look up The Knife Merchant (Knife Merchant San Diego | Wusthof, Shun, Forschner & more) and give them a call. David, the owner, and everyone there are very knowledgeable and have yet to give me or anyone I know a bad rec. Coincidentally and luckily they're local to me here in San Diego, but they have a big following amongst chefs, and was how I found them through a few friends who are sushi chefs. You can get a sense of that here:

The first question is whether or not you think your boyfriend would want a new hobby in knife sharpening. You can easily get set up for less than $100 with 1000 and 3000+ grit stones and a base but as you can see in Burrfection's video it's a whole hobby on its own. While some just get the hang of it out of the gate, others can struggle with it a bit and it becomes a bit of a burden to use a knife that you otherwise love. I haven't tried the Wasabi-style knife sharpeners and I've heard mixed reviews for high carbon single bevels (what most high quality Japanese knives are). If you think he might not take to it double bevel will be easier to maintain. In that vein I wouldn't recommend a VG10 to anyone as their first single bevel knife, stainless is a huge PITA to sharpen. My first yanagi was a Shun Pro given to me as a gift and I don't even use it anymore because of how annoying it is to sharpen.

My guess is that if you don't think he'd be interested in whetstone sharpening something like the Mac Chef Sushi Chef's Knife as it's double bevel and the coating is great (carbon steel knives RUST and will even develop a patina in minutes if left uncleaned/wet, even if it's just while you eat dinner). It's a fisherman's knife at heart even though it doesn't know it; I got one for a friend who thinks you can sharpen a single bevel knife on one of the power rotary sharpeners and he's loved it. If you're still thinking about a single bevel yanagi, sujihiki, or takobiki I'd recommend a Minonokuni Umi. When I was looking to replace the Shun I called David to ask about the Masahiro and the Minonokuni Matsu series. We chatted for about 2 hours, and the TL;DR was that the primary difference between the entry level and professional knives is the quality of the steel and how long it will hold an edge for. For a chef working a full shift that's imperative but unnecessary for someone just starting out. There are other things, but he ended up talking me down to an Ume and I've been very happy with it, even still with nicer knives. I can't say enough good things about it.

Next question would be what size fish he's usually catching. We've been dealing with a lot of 100lb+ bluefin here and for that I use a 300mm, and for the way I block and process fish I'm in the market for a 330+. If they're mostly smaller school size 30-60lb fish something more like a 270 will be more handy. For small fish, and not really tuna, I go to a 240 or 210. Also a question of what type and quality fillet knives he has, which is a different discussion.

That's what comes to mind first, hope that's a good start.
 
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