Japanese knives have specialized applications. Let’s look at the common types:
Double Angled Blades
Gyuto: somewhat similar to the western chef’s knife, it has a thinner knife with a sharper edge, which makes it versatile and helps with precise cuts. You can chop vegetables, meat, fish and fruit with it, cut into slices and chop.
Santoku: You can call this multi functional Santoku knife a cross between a Gyuto and Nakiri, which can be used to cut fish, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables.
Sujihiki: this knife has a sharper and thinner edge than its western counterparts. Thanks to the long blade, you can use it for cutting pâtés and terrines, chopping cooked meat or even cutting raw fish (by replacing yanagi that is normally used).
Nakiri: With a straight, thin knife and a large back that tapers to a blunt, square tip, it looks like a chopping knife and is used for chopping vegetables repeatedly.
Bread knife: cut the bread neatly with the serrated edge.
Mating: This small knife is also called a small knife and is used for cutting, peeling and peeling fruit and vegetables. It is an essential device for bartenders who have to garnish fresh fruit with their drinks.
A Few Beveled Blades
Yanagi-ba / Yanagi: With a long, sharp and thin knife, this knife is designed to clean both raw fish and seafood with a light force. Because this knife gives clean cuts without rough surfaces or bruises, it is an essential device for Japanese sushi chefs. Besides raw fish, you can also use this knife to cut vegetables into thin pieces, roast beef or cut portions of pâtés and terrines.
Takohiki / Takobiki: With similarities to the yanagi, this is also a fish cutting knife, but it comes with a square head that helps to neatly scoop up sashimi slices. With its long, sharp knife, you can make clean slices of raw fish and fish with a lonely pull and forget about cuts that cause rough or bruised surfaces.
Deba: With a thick, durable knife that has weight and sharpness, ideal for filleting and stripping fish. You can even cut fish ribs, fish heads and poultry with this knife. Deba is available in different styles. Funayuki and Mioroshi Deba can act as a yanagi as well as a deba. With Yo-Deba (where the words “Western deba” mean in the literal sense) with a double chamfer for heavy cutting, you can cut through crab shells and lobster.
Usuba: With an exceptionally thin and sharp edge, it is ideal for cutting wafer-thin slices of vegetables. It is also used to cut into cubes and to cut brunoise and julienne.
Kiritsuke: This multifunctional knife is a cross between a usuba and yanagi, ideal for cutting fish, fruit, meat and vegetables.
Honesuki: Traditionally this oblique knife is used for cutting poultry, but you can also use it to break down other types of meat.
Japanese knives are perhaps the most diverse in terms of their aesthetics, materials and designs compared to other knives in the world. From the multifunctional designs such as santokus and gyutos that can be modified to perform different tasks, to highly specialized designs that you find in the debas or yanagi bass, everyone will have something or the other to use – regardless of their experience or skills have when handling Japanese kitchen knives. When it comes to production techniques, they range from many Western knives that are mass-produced.