Top 7 Best Japanese Damascus Kitchen Knives Reviews and Buying Guide [2021]

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The wave-like pattern, dozens of layers, sharp blade edges, and durability are a few of the features most chefs love about the Japanese Damascus steel knife.

And whether you’re a home cook or professional chef looking for the best Damascus kitchen knives to help you with your kitchen duties, you’re in the right place.

We’ve put together a list of our 7 favorite Damascus chef knives that’ll suit your culinary needs. But first, what makes these knives so special?

Advantages of Damascus Steel

Historically, Damascus steel was used in crafting swords in the ancient city of Damascus, in the Middle East. And it was believed that wielding such a blade had better chances of survival in combat because of its advantages.

Now, we’re no longer in the Middle East, and we’re not planning on fighting any battle. Or are we? I don’t think so. So what are the advantages that make chef knives popular among professional chefs?

  • The pattern on Damascus knives makes them appear beautiful and cool to use. A lot of people buy them for just this reason.
  • They have an inner high carbon steel core (sometimes made of VG-10 Damascus steel) that makes them really hard and sturdy.
  • Every Damascus steel chef’s knife is made of multiple layers. And this makes them more durable.
  • They will also maintain their sharp blade edges for a longer time than regular knives.
  • Japanese steel knives are very flexible and make cutting feel seamless.
  • A lot of them are made with superior quality materials that are resistant to stain, corrosion, and rust.

The 7 Best Damascus Steel Chef Knife Reviews in 2021

1. Shun Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife with PakkaWood Handle (Best Japanese Damascus Chef Knife)

Features

  • Dimensions: 15 x 5 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 7.1 ounces
  • Handle: PakkaWood
  • Manufacturer: Kai
  • Amazon Rating: 4.7 of 5

Summary

Coming at the top of my list of the best Damascus chef knives is Shun Classic 8-in chef’s knife with VG-Max steel.

Just so you know, VG-MAX is an exclusive steel formula designed to give Shun products sharper edges, more strength, and durability.

The Shun Classic Damascus 8-inch chef knife is handcrafted in japan; with every piece taking 100 steps to complete.

To demonstrate the hardness of the steel blade, this Damascus steel has 34 layers on each side, amounting to an incredible 69 layers of Damascus steel. The steel blade comprises a mixture of carbon, tungsten, chromium, and cobalt to make it very durable.

The blade has also been covered with materials to make it stain and corrosion-resistant. The slightly curved edge of this blade that has been sharpened to a steep angle of 16 degrees makes it an all-purpose Damascus knife equipped for a full range of cutting tasks.

Also, the handle is made from a hardwood called PakkaWood that’s been coated with resin so you can have a firmer grip on the knife. Plus PakkaWood is water-resistant, easy to clean, durable, and allows no room for the growth of bacteria.

You may agree with me now that this Damascus chef knife is a perfect blend of ancient Japanese blade tradition and innovative technology.

Pros

  • Aesthetic blade design affixed to a quality handle with resin finish for easy cleaning, waterproofing, and resistance to bacteria.
  • Built with 68 layers of VG-MAX steel and covered with Damascus steel for full-range cutting.
  • Thin edge that’s razor-sharp with full tang.
  • Durable and sturdy knife that can stay sharp for years (without sharpening).
  • Your hand will have a secure grip on the PakkaWood handle.
  • The weight is balanced to easily cut through vegetables and meat, as well.
  • It’s easy to use.

Cons

  • The edge of the Shun 8-inch Damascus chef knife tends to be brittle.
  • Care needs to be taken when using this knife so you don’t chip it.
  • The very thin blade may be a concern.
  • Requires hand wash and real care.
  • It doesn’t come with a sheath.

You can’t go wrong when you choose a kitchen knife that pairs ancient Asian tradition with modern, western innovation. Plus when you get this knife, you may not need an extra blade at home.

Check the latest price for the Shun Classic 8-inch Chef Knife on Amazon.

2. Enso Chef’s Knife with Sheath 8-inch HD Series – VG10 Damascus Stainless Steel Gyuto Blade (Best value Damascus knife)

Features

  • Dimensions: 13 x 8 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 7.9 ounces
  • Manufacturer: Enso
  • Amazon Rating: 4.9 of 5
  • HRC: 61

Summary

With a cutting angle of 12 inches and a VG-10 steel cutting core, the Enso chef knife with sheath is indeed a piece of equipment designed for great precision. The design allows it to be used for a full range of chopping, slicing, and dicing vegetables, fruits, spices, etc.

Another thing we like about this knife is how hard and durable it is. It’s got a Rockwell hardness of 61; which is very hard considering most knives range from 55 – 65.

Then the blade is handcrafted with 37 layers of stainless hammered Damascus steel finish in Seki City (a city in Japan world-renowned for its sword-making prowess). Both sides of the blade are double bevel-edged.

The Enso Damascus Chef Knife is very durable and has got excellent edge retention.

The full tang handle is made with wood. And a black canvas micarta finish is used to make it strong, durable, well-balanced, and blend with the blade. The handle also has a bolster, three stainless steel rivets, and an end cap.

Pros

  • This Damascus kitchen knife has got an unmatched sharpness: its blade has a 61 Rockwell hardness and a cutting angle of 12 inches.
  • The blade’s edges are 50:50 double bevel and can either be used by a left- or right-handed person.
  • It’s better than most German knives.
  • It comes with a bamboo sheath that you can easily tuck it in after use.
  • Enso applies modern technology in manufacturing their products so they can last a lifetime when used with care.
  • The hammered or sashimi finish chef knife also has excellent edge retention.
  • The handle is well-balanced, easy to use, and feels sturdy to hold.
  • The Enso chef sheath Damascus Knife has the highest reviews of all Damascus kitchen knives.
  • The item can be returned anytime you observe a manufacturing defect.

Cons

  • You might feel unevenness on the edge.
  • The hard blade is not designed for cutting through very hard materials such as bones.
  • Some people complained that the blade could do with a more ergonomic design.
  • Requires hand washing.

The 8-inch Damascus tool with Sheath is a super-sharp knife made for unparalleled precision that you can get without breaking the bank. You can hardly get a sharper knife at its price.

Check the latest price for the knife on Amazon.

3. Zelite Infinity 8-inch Damascus Chef Knife AUS-10 Super Stainless Steel (Best sharp Damascus steel knife)

Features

  • Dimensions: 12.95 x 0.94 x 1.77 inches
  • Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Manufacturer: Zelite Infinity
  • Handle: Military-grade G10
  • Amazon Rating: 4.7 of 5

Summary

It’s no surprise the Zelite Infinity 8-inch chef knife with AUS-10 stainless steel blade material comes high up on my list of the best Damascus quality knives.

First, this knife sets the gold standard for Damascus kitchen knives with its quality Japanese AUS-10 stainless steel. The chef knife is super sharp upon arrival that it earned the item lots of positive reviews. The blade has 67 layers for durability and strength.

This double bevel, full tang knife has undergone the Honbazuke Method manufacturing process; which is like the highest kind of manufacturing in the knife-making industry.

According to the kitchen equipment’s manufacturers, the 12 degree-sharp cutting edge makes cutting and slicing meat, steak, chicken, sushi, etc., feel like slicing butter. And many of their customers agree. Remarkable!

Another thing we love about this Zelite Infinity 8-inch Damascus knife is that it’s resistant to rust, corrosion, and acid etching. Resistance to these is a problem for many Damascus kitchen knives.

Whether you want to use this chef knife in your home kitchen or a restaurant, the hardness of the Damascus steel blade is adapted for almost any kind of cutting needs.

And to the ergonomic design of the handle…

The military-grade G10 handle has been rounded for a firm and stable grip. It also makes slicing, mincing, chopping, and dicing an easy and fun experience.

Pros

  • This tool is very multi-functional and versatile: It can serve your cooking needs both at home and in the restaurant.
  • Its sharpness is its primary selling point. The 67-layered high carbon stainless steel is very durable, strong, and has super sharp edges.
  • It’s made with quality materials that will last a lifetime.
  • The 3-step Honbazuke Method is what’s used to manufacture the Damascus knife.
  • The military-grade G-10 handle is comfy to hold. It has been designed for the perfect grip so it doesn’t slip off your hands.
  • It’s resistant to rust, corrosion, and acid reaction.
  • You get a lifetime warranty for any manufacturing defects.
  • The double bevel kitchen knife can be used by both right and left-handed chefs.

Cons

  • Layers may vary with what’s in the pictures.
  • Some customers complained that the handle is heavy.
  • Requires hand washing.

The Zelite Infinity 8-inch AUS-10 Damascus Chef Knife is in a league of its own. And you can’t go wrong if you get it for yourself or gift it to your chef friend.

Check the latest prices of the Damascus steel knife on Amazon.

4. Miyabi SG2 34373-203 Birchwood 8-inch Chef Knife with Stainless Steel (Best long-lasting Japanese knife)

Features

  • Dimensions: 15.13 x 1.38 x 3.31 inches
  • Weight: 1.18 lbs.
  • Manufacturer: Miyabi
  • Handle: Karelian Birchwood
  • Amazon Rating: 4.8 of 5

Summary

The Miyabi SG2 34373-203 Damascus Knife is a durable work of art. Both the blades and handles are appealing to the eyes.

The Damascus steel blade that’s handcrafted in the Japanese city of Seki has got a flowered pattern that doesn’t only serve to beautify the steel but make it more durable. And the handle is made of high-quality wood material – Karelian (Masur) Birch – with marbled colors that complements the steel.

The mosaic pin and end cap finish the cool design of the Miyabi SG2 Damascus Chefs Knife.

But its design is not the major reason we love this Japanese steel knife. This Damascus cutlery perfectly pairs aesthetics with functionality.

It is manufactured using the same three-step Honbazuke process as the Zelite Infinity 8-inch Damascus Steel blade. The Miyabi SG2 34373-203 Damascus Chefs Knife has a full range sharpness that can cut through both thick materials like bones and light items like herbs.

The steel blade is handcrafted to a 9.5 to 12-degree cutting edge which makes it razor sharp. With 100 layers of Damascus steel surrounding its micro-carbide powder steel core, this steel knife favorite is the perfect definition of durability.

Plus the ice-hardening process used in making the steel material ensures the blade’s sharpness is long-lasting. And it has excellent edge retention. Indeed, this innovative steel blade is built taking a lot of details into consideration.

Pros

  • Has one of the most durable Japanese steel blades. The alloy steel is made of 100 layers of Damascus steel which makes it durable.
  • The blade is thin and sharp enough to chop, slice, and mince chicken, meat, etc.
  • The quality Damascus knife is built to last long, and it has good edge retention.
  • The Damascus cookware is well-balanced, hard, and the flowery pattern on the steel is both beautiful and functional.
  • It’s also easy to use and maintain. Can be used in the domestic kitchen or restaurant.
  • Can easily cut through your veggies and meat quickly.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • The blade is very thin and sharp which may make it chip or bend.
  • You can’t wash it with a dishwasher.
  • The unfinished handle might feel uncomfortable if you hold it for long.
  • You may need a cutting board of good quality.
  • Compared to most other Damascus knives, a high price tag is slapped on this item.

The Miyabi SG2 34373-203 Damascus Chef’s Knife is a real Japanese knife forged by artisans that hold their traditional roots in high regard. And they employed innovative technology in making the material aesthetic and long-lasting.

And if at any point, you discover any issue with the Damascus tool, you can return it.

Check the latest price of the Japanese kitchen knife on Amazon.

5. LEVINCHY Damascus Santoku Chef Knife 7 inches

Features

  • Dimensions: 12.4 x 1.89 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Manufacturer: LEVINCHY
  • Amazon Rating: 4.6 of 5
  • Handle: Black Military-grade premium G10
  • HRC: 58 – 62

Summary

If you’re looking for a Japanese Damascus steel knife that’s resistant to rust, wear, stain, corrosion, and discoloration, your best bet will be the 7-inch LEVINCHY Santoku Damascus Chef’s knife.

This curved kitchen knife is the result of 67 layers of hand-finished Damascus steel. This gives it a Rockwell Hardness of 58 – 62 making it durable.

The knife designed with quality materials has got a sharpness of 8 – 12 degrees that results in a razor-sharp edge that’s multi-functional. The stainless steel surface is finished with a mirror polish. And with this chef knife, you can seamlessly cut through herbs and meat (and have fun doing it!).

Another thing we love about this is that it comes in 8 colors; giving you an array of options to choose from. It’s also built to last long.

And if you’re not much of a culinary enthusiast, you can package the knife in the black gift box and gift it to your chef friend.

Furthermore, the full tang military-grade G10 handle is triple-riveted for greater strength and durability. Plus the handle has got the right weight between itself and the steel blade.

The build is such that it’s comfortable to hold, it won’t slip from your grasp, and your hands won’t tire if you use it for extended periods.

Its ultra-thin blade is also adapted for slicing, shredding, and dicing meat, fish, fruit, and veggies. You’re sure to have a smooth cooking experience.

Pros

  • It’s a 67-layered kitchen utensil meaning it’s super durable and will last long.
  • It’s a very versatile knife with a portable blade size that can cut through most foods.
  • The triple-riveted G-10 handle is firm to grip and makes cutting any food item a fun activity.
  • The Japanese knife is resistant to wear, rust, stain, corrosion, and discoloration.
  • It has a sharp edge of 12 degrees.
  • The pattern on the blade also elevates the stainless steel look.

Cons

  • Extra care needs to be taken when cutting frozen food so as not to damage it.
  • Requires hand washing.

The LEVINCHY Damascus Santoku Chef Knife with G-10 handle is one of the best Japanese cookware products exported all over the world. And if you’re a professional chef, coveting such Damascus steel equipment steeped in rich Asian culture is a great thing to do.

Check for the latest price on Amazon.

6. Yoshihiro NSW VG-10 46 Layers Hammered Damascus Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife

Features

  • Dimensions: 14 x 0.06 x 1.75 inches
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Manufacturer: Yoshihiro Cutlery
  • Handle: Wa-style, lightweight octagonal Ambrosia
  • Amazon Rating: 4.8 of 5
  • HRC: 60

Summary

The first interesting feature of this Japanese knife is its rarity: It isn’t mass-produced.

The next interesting feature is that it’s a Gyuto-style knife. Meaning the blade is curved which allows for seamless slicing, chopping, dicing, and mincing.

Next up, the steel blade is forged with 46 layers of Damascus steel surrounding the high carbon Nickel VG-10 gold core. The blade has got impressive durability to make it last very long. And the double bevel Yoshihiro Damascus knife and its hammered texture make slicing meat easy and reduces friction.

The blade is also laced with a hand-hammered finish technique to prevent food from sticking to it and resist stains. The material is also non-corrosive and easy to maintain. The knife has also got a Rockwell Hardness of 60 making it one of the strongest Damascus knives.

Then the Yoshihiro NSW Gyuto Damascus knife has an octagonal handle that is light and designed using the Japanese Wa-style. The handle is made of natural magnolia wood.

Pros

  • The light-weight Damascus knife comes with a protective sheath called, ‘Saya’ to protect the blade when not in use.
  • The blade is thin, very sharp, and maneuverable. And will aid in cutting tough foods faster whether in a home or restaurant kitchen.
  • The head feels comfortable and light to hold.
  • Has an HRC of 60.
  • Yoshihiro offers people a limited lifetime warranty.
  • With its innovative technology, the blade is durable and handcrafted for long-lasting use.
  • The stainless steel is covered with 46 layers of Damascus steel.
  • The Damascus knife is well-balanced and the head is fixed to the blade with a Water Buffalo horn bolster.
  • The extended tip of the stainless steel makes cutting a breeze.

Cons

  • Although the steel blade is stain-proof, it can get stained.
  • Can only be hand-washed

If you spend a lot of time cutting, chopping, and slicing in the kitchen, your kitchen (whether domestic or commercial) needs a fixture like the Yoshihiro NSW Gyuto Japanese Chefs Knife. Only a few Japanese kitchen knives compare.

Check the latest price for the kitchen utensil on Amazon.

7. FANTECK 8-inch Professional Damascus Chef Knife, High-Carbon Ultra-sharp VG-10 Damascus Stainless Steel, 67 Layers

Features

  • Dimensions: 13.11 x 1.77 x 1.02 inches
  • Weight: 8.5 ounce
  • Manufacturer: FANTECK
  • Handle: Blue G10
  • Customer Rating: 4.7 of 5
  • HRC: 62+

Summary

As if this Japanese Damascus knife’s G-10 handle is not quality enough, it’s got a blue color with a wavy pattern.

The ergonomic design of the handle also ensures it feels comfortable in the hands. The utensil is also one of the kitchen knives that give you the best grip, control, and balance. Your wrist won’t suffer any strain from handling it for extended periods.

And the blade also catches the eye with the beautiful pattern on its surface. But the uniqueness of the blade is not in its pattern but its quality. The razor-sharp Japanese steel blade is handcrafted from 67 layers of VG10 high-carbon steel.

This means the knife’s durability and strength are of the finest quality. Both edges of the blade have been sharpened to around 10 – 15 degrees. And it’s got an HRC rating of over 62.

Impressive!

So with great ease, you can slice, dice, chop, and mince your meat, vegetables, fruits, steak, etc.

Added to the exceptional handle and blade material, the package comes with some accessories; a sheath to store the knife when not in use, a mini sharpener to ensure your utensil stays sharp forever. And finally, this doesn’t really count as an accessory but the sleeved box can be used as a gift box to gift the kitchen tool to a dear friend of yours.

One last thing: If you observe any problems with this equipment, you can return it anytime.

Pros

  • The VG-10 Damascus chef’s knife is a durable and hard material.
  • The ergonomic design of the handle makes it easy to use, relieving you of any fatigue from prolonged use.
  • As the Damascus chef balances on your hand, it puts you in total control of the slicing, mincing, and chopping.
  • The pattern on the blade is pleasing to the eyes.
  • The blades are razor-sharp with their V-shaped edge which can make cutting your meat, fruits, and veggies enjoyable.
  • The blade comes with accessories; knife sheath and min sharpener.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • It’s quite heavy.
  • You can’t use this chef’s knife to cut frozen foods, bones, and similarly tough items.
  • You’ll need to sharpen the knife regularly using a whetstone to maintain its sharp edge.

Damascus kitchen knives like the 67-layered FANTECK Professional Chef’s Knife are a rare find. They usually get sold out quickly. So if you get the opportunity to lay your hands on one, grab it swiftly.

Check the latest price of this chef knife on Amazon.

Damascus Steel Knife Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Japanese Knife

Many brands tout fake knives as original Japanese Damascus knives. And if thorough care isn’t taken, you may make the wrong choice.

So here are the qualities you need to look out for when buying the best Damascus Knife that will suit your needs.

Steel Type

One of the major factors that make Damascus steel knives different from most other knives is the quality of the materials used in the manufacturing process.

This also includes the type of steel material.

As a customer, you should look to go for a Damascus steel blade made from any of these materials; VG-10, SG2, and AUS-10 steel. They’re the most popular Damascus steel blades in the world because they’re strong, durable, and are a mixture of high-quality materials.

However, Japanese and German steel are among the best steel used for Damascus knives.

When choosing your next (or first) Damascus blade, check for the steel material. And if it isn’t specified, that should raise a red flag.

Swirl Pattern on the Blade

The swirl pattern on a Damascus blade acts to beautify the knife and please people.

However, some customers have complained about the design on their knives being different from that on the company’s pages. So before buying a Damascus steel knife, look through the customer photos and search for complaints from people about the pattern on the purchased item.

Handle Material

A large number of the best Damascus knives have their handles made with G10 fiberglass material. This is because it’s a very durable material. Another customer favorite is the Micarta handle material. It’s got impressive features similar to the G10.

Simply go for knives with handles with an ergonomic design that will fit your palm.

Case

The case your blade comes in is very important.

Some blades come in cheap plastic cases, and some others come in cases with more exotic materials. Some of those that come in bamboo cases can be used as cutting boards.

Just go through customer reviews and look for comments about their Damascus knives’ cases.

Budget

A Damascus utensil is high-end cookware because of its exotic features. Nonetheless, there are very affordable ones you can get.

Simply go for one that will satisfy your needs and do check the customer reviews so you don’t get a fake one.

FAQs

Is Damascus steel good for kitchen knives?

If you’re referring to their unique features, yes. Utensils like Damascus chef knives are very good!

However, that also depends on your cooking needs.

If you cook a lot either as a professional chef or home cook, a Damascus chef knife will be a durable choice. They will retain their edges and sharpness for a long time. They’re made of multiple layers of steel, and the materials used in making them are premium ones.

They also make cutting, slicing, mincing, and chopping easier and faster.

And the swirl pattern on their surface that’s both aesthetic and functional can’t be disregarded.

Which Damascus knife is the best?

The best Japanese Damascus knife we’ve chosen is the Shun Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife with PakkaWood. Refer to the knife reviews above to discover its distinct features

Does a Damascus chef knife get rusty easily?

Yes, the steel blades can corrode and rust if you don’t take proper care of them.

To avoid this from happening, you can care for Damascus steel knives by;

  • Avoid using abrasives on the chef’s knife so you don’t’ scratch their surfaces.
  • Always keep it dry and don’t let it stay in water for too long.
  • Don’t’ use the knife to cut on your stone countertop. Instead, use a cutting board.
  • And never wash your Damascus kitchen knife in a dish washer. Always wash it with your hands and a soft cloth.

Hope this article has been helpful. Do have a great time exploring the qualities that make the Damascus knives premium tools in kitchens.

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