sushi knives for a chef?

Question by Brian W: sushi knives for a chef?
Okay, i don't want to sound picky but i am a chef at a high end restaurant and am very picky about my knives. Currently i have a hand made cleaver made in china and the rest i use shun classic. i know that they are available in a lot of places but i absolutely love them for the everyday use in my kitchen. i used one and sold my wustof set to a friend and bought myself the 10' chef, 6' wide santoku, 9' serrated, and 4' paring knives. these have been great for every use i have ever had...until now.

i would like to start doing some sushi and need to purchase a new knife. as much as i love it, my chef knife will not do the trick here. i need something that can filet whole fish as well as cut perfect slices. i will be butchering big fish (such as halibut) that will require a 300mm knife (11.7'). i do not want to spend the money (about 1000 dollars) unless it can do all this with a right handed bevel. if it can i have no problem dropping the money. i would like to have something made for me from a master knife maker and know it will cost a bit i also believe it can be worth every penny. due to the fact that i am still new to sashimi but have great knife skills, i need to get something that will be useful for both these situations.

please help me with my questions
1. will a single bevel knife filet a large, whole, bone-in fish??
2. what kind of handmade knives are best for someone like myself??
3. are there any websites i can look into for this information??

(please do not reply if you are not experienced with sushi knives and i do not want to hear about global knives thanks)

Best answer:

Answer by B
Try a Kyocera ceramic sushi knife. You really have to try different knives in order to find the one that fits your hand and style of cutting the best. Also, don't dismiss Global knives. The best Global knives are not even sold outside of Japan.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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One thought on “sushi knives for a chef?”

  1. When you are ready to drop 1000$ on the knife it’s perfectly ok to be very picky.

    Anyway, you do need to go with Japanese blades. I know a lot of knifemakers in US, but none of them work on those style knives except may be Butch Harner.

    For sushi, or in other words slicing thin stuff you need Yanagiba, which is called sushi knife in the west. Single bevel blade. I have a few 300mm Yahagibas, but there’s large choice of even longer ones. Whatever you feel comfy with. More extreme version is Fugubiki, which is optimized for slicing very soft fish, thinner than yanagiba and lighter, but even more fragile.
    As for the makers, Aritsugu, Watanabe, Masamoto, Nenohi, Moritaka they all make top quality knives and you don’t have to spend 1000$ either. Aritsugu honkasumi yanagi will cost you around 500-600 and that knife holds edge exceptionally well. I have mine sharpened at 12deg single bevel and it’s better than the straight razor.

    I haven’t finished all the reviews so far, but there’s a few here – http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv/indexst.shtml

    As for your #1 question, you need another type of knife – Deba. Yanagibas and Fugubikis are for slicing the fish, not filleting. Deba is the smallets, then there is Miroshi deba and even bigger Ai-Deba.
    Here’s Deba – http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv/kobayashi/kobayashidb180.shtml
    And Miroshi – http://zknives.com/knives/kitchen/ktknv/watanabe/watanabemiro210.shtml

    Deba is used for decapitating/filleting smaller fish, Miroshi for 20-30 lbs or so. I figure those numbers aren’t carved in stone and depend more on your preferences and skills 😉
    Debas come in both, single bevel and double bevel version, while miroshis I’ve seen only in single edge version.

    Shinichi Watanabe is quite famous and respected maker, you can place order with him directly – http://www.watanabeblade.com/english/index.htm plus he can accommodate your personal requests and give you an advice too.
    Moritaka is another maker that will work with you.
    Aritsugi knives are superb, but pretty much impossible to ge tto talk / email them directly.
    However Takeshi – aframestokyo.com will help you out. Plus he has very good selection of top end Japanese kitchen cutlery.

    P.S. Forget ceramics. That material isn’t ready to be a good knife blade material. I’ve used and sharpened a few, including Kyocera and brittleness aside, ceramics never gets as sharp a sthe good steel.

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