There are numerous high-quality Japanese fish fillet knives. One of the qualities that set Japanese knives ahead of the pack when it comes to fish filleting is the fact that the Japanese are known for their unique craftsmanship.
After all, they are the crafters of samurai swords which have the perfect balance of appeal, durability, and sharpness. Their fish filleting knives adhere to the same standards.
What Makes These Knives Different?
Japanese fish filleting knives are commonly referred to as ‘Deba.’ They are heavy and sharp with a thick blade to make for easy gutting and filleting of fish. For thinner slices of fish, commonly used in sushi cuisine, the Japanese use long and thin Yanagi knives to achieve consistency and precision.
Unlike other filleting knives, most of the traditional Japanese knives are not made from stainless steel. However, with proper maintenance, they are able to resist rust. Another unique quality of Japanese style filleting knives is that they have a single bevel. The knives are sharpened on one side in different geometrics depending on the task for which they will be used.
Best Japanese Fish Filleting Knives
Kotobuki Japanese Deba Fish Filleting Knife
This knife is designed for filleting and boning whole fish. The six and a half inch blade is best used for smaller and medium sized fish. It is crafted from high carbon SK-5 steel which is resistant to corrosion and rust.
It also maintains a sharp cutting edge in addition to being extremely durable. The thick spine and a single beveled edge make it the best when it comes to filleting fish.
The Kotobuki filleting knife has been hailed as one of the best as it provides value for money and holds the razor-sharp edge even after continued use. There are no negative aspects that customers have pointed out.
Yoshihiro Namiuchi High Carbon Filleting Knife
This knife is crafted with the most skilled craftsmanship ever. The blades are available in 9.5 and 13-inch varieties which make them great for use on bigger fish. The knife is designed to cut extra thin slices of fish meat with accuracy and consistency.
This blade is crafted from High Carbon Blue Steel which is best known for its ability to retain an edge. It is not crafted from stainless steel, a common characteristic with traditional Japanese knives.
However, you can still maintain and preserve the blade by drying the knife in between uses and applying Tsubaki oil before storage. Many customers are pleased with this knife for filleting fish. It is used in domestic and professional settings by chefs although it is pricing thus limiting its use in the home.
JapanBargain S-1553 Yanagiba Sashimi Knife
This Japanese fish filleting knife works to provide you with a thin consistency as you cut your fish into slices. The blade is crafted from rust-resistant molybdenum steel which retains its edge even with continued use.
This eight-inch blade is also suited for work on medium and larger fish because of its surface area and length. The Yanagiba Sashimi knife comes with a wooden handle, common with Japanese fillet knives. It is ergonomic and provides for easy handling.
Most customers have expressed their pleasure with the knife through online reviews. Some of the shortcomings that customers have pointed out about the knife include the fact that you have to sharpen it straight out of the box. It is also a bit difficult to sharpen due to its single-beveled nature.
Miyako Japanese Deba Fillet Knife
This fish filleting knife is fashioned from 33 layers of Damascus steel and also molybdenum vanadium steel that is in place to ensure that the knife has a very long lifespan. The fine quality blade is very sharp, allowing you to effortlessly slice through the fish and remove meat from the bones.
It also has an appealing matte finish. One of the true marks on a proper fillet knife is the handle. The Miyako Deba knife has a six and a half inch wood handle which is beautiful as well as functional.
It is easy to handle, making fish filleting a great and painless experience. The knife is one of the more expensive fish filleting knives. There are no complaints from customers who have bought and used the knife so far.
JapanBargain S-1548 Japan Deba Knife
This six and a quarter inch blade knife is crafted in Seki City, Japan, one of the most famous samurai sword-making cities in Japan. It is manufactured by Sekiryu Corporation, one of the most famous knife manufacturers in Japan. Therefore it boasts of quality.
The blade is crafted from high-density chromium cobalt-carbon vanadium stainless steel. This blade is therefore resistant to rust, corrosion, and even stains. It has a long and sharp edge which is the desired quality for fish filleting and has some positive online reviews.
As one of the cheapest Deba knives, it provides value for money and has impressed many customers. However, some other customers noted that the handle came off after using the knife a few times.
Kai Seki Magoroku Kinju Deba Fillet Knife
This stainless material blade is close to the molybdenum vanadium steel. It is high quality and durable, highly resistant to corrosion and rust. The strong material slices through fish with precision as you fillet and does not encourage wastage.
It also has a laminated wood handle with an octagonal high fit which makes it easy to handle. It is popular among sushi chefs as it gets the job done well and in a record amount of time. It has also been praised because of its ability to handle an edge.
Overall, it gives value for money and does not have a downside to it, only that there are cheaper high-quality Japanese fillet knives in the market.
Shun Gokujo Classic Fillet and Boning Knife
The Shun Gokujo fish fillet knife is one of the reasonably priced high-quality knives in the market. It has a six-inch stainless steel blade that is fit for use on smaller fish.
The knife’s blade is strong and contoured, allowing you to cut through the fish meat with utmost precision and avoiding any wastage. The blade also features 33 layers of Damascus steel, which is resistant to rust, corrosion and very strong. This knife has a high rating from most of the customers. They like the sharpness and the edge.
The one shortcoming of the Shun Gokujo knife is that it does not come with a protective case: wooden box or leather shield. For the amount you pay upon purchase, this should be an option.
Mercer Culinary Yanagi Sashimi Knife
This ten-inch blade is crafted from high carbon German steel which is resistant to corrosion, rust, and stains. It can work on bigger fish due to the longer blade. This razor sharp blade maintains an edge for long and comes with a wooden handle which is easy to use and slip-resistant even when you are working on a slippery surface.
The Mercer Yanagi fillet knife also comes with a limited lifetime warranty which ensures that your knife is replaced in case of any accident that leads to the blade breaking.
While most customer reviews are positive, one noted that the knife is too light and flimsy while another pointed out that the blade does not retain the edge for long so he has to keep sharpening it every time he wants to use it.
Masahiro Fish Fillet Knife
This knife is popularly used to fillet fish in Tokyo fish markets. It has a nine and a half inch blade which is suitable for use on bigger fish as well. The blade is crafted from MBS-26 stainless steel which has very high carbon content.
It is resistant to corrosion and stains but should be regularly cleaned in order to ensure that it does not rust. The blade is easy to sharpen and keeps a sharp edge over a long period of time.
The Masahiro fillet knife has a wooden handle which is ergonomic and in cases where it is too big, can be sanded down to get the right fit. The only complaint about the knife is that it could be cheaper, although this entirely depends on one’s purchasing power.
Yoshihiro Aoko Deba Fillet Knife
The seven-inch blade is crafted from high carbon blue steel. The blade is high quality and highly resistant to corrosion, rust, discoloration and stains. The knife is complimented by a wooden handle which is crafted from the Yew tree.
It has a water buffalo bolster and is easy to use, ergonomic and suitable for both left and right-handed people. This Deba knife also comes with a wooden sheath that is known as Saya.
The one notable shortcoming associated with the knife is that it is not reasonable to use it in a domestic setting because of its high pricing. It is, therefore, better suited for high-end professional kitchens instead.
Finding a high-quality Japanese knife is not a walk in the park but it also does not have to be a grueling process. You will be able to narrow down the list of knives that you would like to buy after reading through online reviews.
The good thing about these reviews is that they give you a picture of what to expect when you get the knife, which in turn helps to inform your decision about whether you want the knife in the first place. Additionally, the Japanese fish filleting knives come in a wide range of prices. This allows you to get a knife in your price range if it has been praised for its quality by other customers.
At the end of the day, choosing a Japanese fish fillet knife is very similar to choosing any regular fish fillet knife. If you want to the best knives, the list above would be a good guideline and a great place to start as these Deba and Yanagi knives have been in the market for a while now.
Most customers have given the knives positive reviews and they have few shortcomings of limitations to deal with.
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