When it comes to slicing raw fish for sushi or sashimi, not just any knife will do! Sushi knives must be long, thin, and very sharp with just one cutting edge.
Their shape and sharpness allow the user to create perfect sushi and sashimi by using long, single-direction cutting motions. The best sushi knife is one which ensures that all slices have a smooth, glossy appearance.
Also known as a sashimi hocho or sashimi knife, a sushi knife is designed to prevent any sawing motions, which cause uneven or ragged cuts. Instead, sushi knives are meant to be used with a single cut and pull motion.
Because most sushi knives are sharpened only on one edge, it is vital that you choose the one designed to fit your dominant hand. If you are left-handed, you’ll need a double-edged or left-handed sushi knife to achieve perfect cuts every time.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Sushi Knifes To Buy
How to choose the best sushi knife? Sushi and sashimi knives are specialty tools, and it is important to take great care when making your selection.
- Origin – Not surprisingly, some of the best sushi knives are made in Japan. Consider the source when making your choice, but keep other factors such as price in mind, too.
- Material – While some sushi knives are made with stainless steel, a traditional Japanese sushi knife may not be stainless. Careful maintenance is required to prevent rusting.
- Dominant Hand – Very few sushi knives are designed for use with either hand. Look for one that is designed for your dominant hand, i.e. a right-handed or left-handed sushi knife.
- Handle – When choosing a sushi or sashimi knife, consider the handle. Not only do you want one that is very comfortable to hold while offering a secure, slip-resistant grip, you also want one that is well-finished, preventing the juice from fish and other seafood from penetrating and causing unpleasant odors. The knife’s handle should be easy to keep clean.
- Flexibility – A thin, flexible blade is desirable, but beginners may find it easier to learn with a slightly stiffer blade. Stronger blades stand up to heavier use too, so it is important to find a balance between strength and flexibility. Professional sushi chefs usually have a few favorite knives which they use for different purposes, and over time, you may wish to build a similar collection.
- Finish – Because raw fish has a tendency to stick, it’s important to look for a sushi knife with a finish that releases the fish rather than allowing it to stick.
- Weight – Most sushi knives are lightweight, making for thin, precise cuts. Watch out for those that are heavier than others; they might be able to create even cuts, but slices may be thicker and less appealing.
- Price – Entry-level sushi knives are available at a cost of around $20 or less; the best sushi knives come at far higher prices, with many at a cost of well over $200, and some at well over $1,000. How often will you be using your knife, and under what circumstances? If you plan to use it only occasionally at home, then a less expensive model might be the best sushi knife for you.
We have taken these and other factors into consideration while testing knives and reading thousands of sushi knife reviews from experts and beginners alike. After carefully analyzing a wide range of sushi and sashimi knives, we’ve come up with ten of the best.
While a few were chosen with budget in mind, it’s worth noting that the likelihood of manufacturing defects is higher in lower-priced models. Get the best sushi knife you can, care for it appropriately, and you’ll find it a pleasure to use.
Our Top 10 Picks for Best Sushi Knifes
Sushi Knife Tips: How to Care for Your Sushi Knife
You’ve probably made quite an effort in choosing the best sushi knife for your unique purposes. Be sure that you take great care of it: When you do, you’ll be rewarded with years – maybe even an entire lifetime – of use.
- Wash and Dry Carefully – Be sure to hand-wash your sushi knife, even if the manufacturer says that it’s OK to put it in the dishwasher. Use hot, soapy water, but avoid bleach, which can cause pitting. Once you’re finished with the washing process, take care to dry your knife completely before putting it away.
- Oiling – Even if you have selected a stainless steel sushi knife, you may want to protect it with food-grade mineral oil between uses. This will prevent damage and discoloration, which can happen when a knife is exposed to humidity and other environmental conditions during storage.
- Storage – Because contact with other objects (particularly those made of metal) can cause damage to your knife’s sharp blade, you’ll want to protect it with a sheath or keep it in a specially designed stand. If you opt to store your sushi knife on a magnetic knife bar, be very careful when placing it on the bar and removing it. You’ll want to avoid dragging the blade’s sharpened edge across the knife bar, as this can cause dullness and damage.
- Sharpening – Be absolutely certain that you sharpen your sushi knife correctly. If you do not know how to do this, you’ll be glad to know that a professional knife sharpener can take care of the job for you. You can also find good tutorials on YouTube. Consider practicing on an unimportant knife until you’re confident that you can sharpen your sushi knife the right way!
- Proper Use – Don’t use your sushi knife for anything other than its intended purpose. Use it carefully, and only with a high-quality cutting board made of wood or plastic. You might be tempted to use your sushi knife on a metal or glass cutting board, but doing so is likely to cause premature dullness and/or chip the blade.
With meticulous care, your sushi knife will bring great pleasure over the years, helping you to create amazing rolls for everyone to enjoy. We wish you the best in your culinary journey