Many common kitchen tasks have been automated in recent years. However knife work such as cutting, chopping, slicing, and dicing are all overwhelmingly still done manually. Everyone knows nothing is more frustrating, or dangerous, than trying to cut vegetables or meat with a dull knife. Our Kamikoto knives review looks at knives in a variety of price ranges that can help you upgrade your cooking toolkit.
Knife users range from people just looking to cut food up when it’s necessary to full on knife enthusiasts. No matter how you look at it, a knife is one of the most useful utensils you own. There are a variety of foods that are near impossible to repair without one. Almost everyday you will find yourself transforming raw ingredients and creating meals, all with the help of a small, lethally sharp tool.
Knives are unique in they actually require time to learn how to use them. There are a variety of cutting, slicing, and dicing techniques that serve varying purposes. There are also a wide selection of knives suited for everything from skinning meat and chopping through bones to slicing through tomatoes and cutting cheese. Most people lean toward knives that are multipurpose chef’s knives.
When looking for a knife or knife set, there are a few things you should consider. First are the types of knives you need. As mentioned before, an all-purpose chef’s knife is essential, as is a carving knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife. Also weight, grip, and whether a knife can be sharpened are important.
The goal of this Kamikoto knives review is to introduce you to Kamikoto knives and other knife options. We have chosen both high end and more economical knife brands for comparison. However no matter the price range, we wanted to present choices that are high quality and ideal for your home or professional use.
What Are Kamikoto Knives?
Kamikoto is a Japanese company who produces high quality cutlery. Their knives are hand crafted in China using an ultra high quality steel from Japan’s Niigata 新潟市 prefecture. The Niigata region is known best for its 800 years of artisan knife-making. Their blacksmiths use a carefully guarded combination of metals to forge the strongest, sharpest knives in the world.
Japanese styled knives have become increasingly popular in recent years. They have overtaken even German knife popularity among many knife enthusiasts. People have fallen in love with their ultra thin blades and slightly curved design. The harder grade of steel used in Kamikoto knives ensures the blade’s edges stay sharp longer. However the trade off is that they are more prone to brittleness and chipping and are harder to sharpen.
Unlike with most Asian knives, which have a Rockwell rating of about 60 to 61, Kamikoto knives generally range between HRC53+/-2. Their thin single beveled blades are ideal for slicing vegetables, skinning seafood or and cutting meat with ease. The blades are razor sharp and very nimble; however even a fall onto the floor can damage them. They have to be handled with care. For that reason, these knives are not ideal for cutting through bone, larger seeds, etc.
In our Kamikoto knives review, we saw at once that for more aggressive cutting, German blades are better. They are heavier thicker and have an HRC around 58. This may be more due to the difference in types of foods typically cut in German vs Japanese cuisine rather than any actual difference in knife quality. Bone, roasts, and thicker veggies require different knives than the fine cutting techniques used in Japanese cuisine. Kamikoto knives are top of the line for the type of cutting they are designed for.
Kamikoto knives have an HRC of 53+/-2. This means their steel is significantly softer than other knives in their category and far softer than German made knives. The lower score means the knives have to be sharpened more often. However, true to the rule, their blade will still remain sharper longer than its beefier German counterparts. Kamikoto’s use of highly durable G-10 for its knife handles makes their overall knife construction impeccable.
G-10 is unique because it has glass fibers embedded in the material. The result is a heavy-duty handle that is virtually impervious to water. This has many advantages, as the knives are not easily damaged by damp and are not prone to mold. Since the handles have a resin coating, they will not rust or oxidize. They are also not prone to shrinking, chipping, or brittleness.
The handles are also very ergonomic in design. They are wider at the top, tapering down towards the bottom for a comfortable fit in the hands. The solid grip they provide is essential as, with such sharp blades, slipping could be dangerous. Since the knife’s bolster is halved in design, you have the liberty of using the entire blade edge. This design also simplifies sharpening and was one of our favorite features in our Kamikoto knives review.
Kamikoto knives range in price. They are typically $200 to $1000, depending on the type of knife or set you choose. While the high end of their price range is unusual for Japanese styled knives, those knives are a decorative item as well as utilitarian. The lower end of their price range is on par with most quality knives that are professional grade.
How It Compares
For our Kamikoto knives review, we picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
- Mercer Culinary Genesis 8-Inch Chef’s Knife
- Korin Special Inox
- Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife
Ease of Use
While these knives are easy to use, it takes additional time to sharpen them.
Although these are high quality knives, their hardness makes them more vulnerable to chipping.
The design quality of these knives is exceptional. They would rank higher if they were actually made by Japanese artisans.
These knives come with a lifetime limited warranty.
- Precision balanced
- Made of forged steel
- Ergonomic handles
- Rust and oxidation proof handles
- Single beveled
- HRC53+/-2, so they have to be sharpened often
- Prone to chipping
Mercer Culinary Genesis 8-inch chef’s knife
Mercer’s claim to fame is that they boast outfitting many culinary academies in North America with various kitchen utensils and equipment. With all that use by culinary students, we expected their knives to be sturdy, durable, and sharp. They do not disappoint, which is why they have made this Kamikoto knives review.
This knife is ideal if you want to keep your knife costs under 100 dollars per knife. Aesthetically, it feels as well made as more expensive models, with the exception they are more weighty than average. However the weight does not affect the knife’s balance. Mercer’s knife handles are made of a thermoplastic rubber called Santoprene. Since the material is easy to grip and non slip, we cannot fault it.
The Rockwell rating for this knife is about 58 on average, and it has a full tang. It is not a fancy knife in appearance, especially when compared to Kamikoto knives. You also can expect a relatively straight, verses curved, blade. It is worth noting that precise or thin slices are not Mercer’s strongpoint and vegetables and herbs stick to the blade like a magnet.
Ease of Use
This knife is excellent initially; however after time ease of use decreases. Also, they are not good for thinly slicing objects
The durability of this knife is common for their lower price range.
This knife is designed well for the price.
This knife has a generous limited lifetime warrant for home use.
- Non-slip grip
- Clean cuts overall
- Well-balanced weight
- Veggies and hers stick to the knife
- Heavy for its size compared to more expensive models
- Not ideal for thinly slicing meats or vegetables
Korin Special Inox Gyutuo
The Korin Special is an exceptional knife overall. It has been carefully designed to have near flawless balance merged with a sleek aesthetic. It carries a solid 60 on the Rockwell scale and boasts a hard sharp blade that is precise overall. Chopping and slicing pose no barriers for it, and it glides through a variety of foods with ease.
The blade is corrosion resistant and made of an altered AUS-10 steel. Essentially the metal is a high carbon stainless steel that has the characteristics of both stainless and carbon steels. That said, the blade is prone to staining. While staining, in and of itself, does not affect functionality, is a fault we cannot ignore. Extra care has to be takento immediately clean and thoroughly dry the knife well after each use.
Ease of Use
It is easy to use for most cutting, slicing and chopping.
While this knife is durable, it does stainvery easily.
For the price, we would expect this knife to be less susceptible to staining.
This knife comes with a lifetime limited warranty.
- Professional grade
- Good precision
- Not prone to chipping
- Stains easily
- Quality is not up to par for price point
- Not corrosion resistant
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife
You may have heard of Victorinox, and they are a natural comparison choice for our Kamikoto knives review. The knife is good for all around use. We like that the price point is more modest than others on the list, but the knife can still be sharpened easily. In fact, if you are looking for the best knife for your money, Victorinox may be the ticket.
This knife has a nice wide blade and can be used as either a carving knife or a chef’s knife. Strait out of the box, the blade is sharp enough to cut through a variety of meats and vegetables. On critique we do have to mention that it seems very light. When held in the hand it feels as though you could easily snap the blade off.
In comparison to the other knives on our list, the balance of this knife is noticeably off. The blade is much heavier than the handle. We would not recommend any forceful chopping with this knife. Nevertheless, overall we found this knife to be an exceptional buy and have few complaints. It is a lot of knife for the money.
Ease of Use
The fragility of the knife can make using pressure uncomfortable and thus affect your cutting action.
There is a risk of damaging this knife if it is used for more than light use.
This knife feel light and fragile in the hand, suited for light home use.
This knife has a lifetime limited warranty.
- Cuts well out of the box
- Suited for home use
- Feels fragile and prone to snapping
- Poor overall construction
Kamikoto Knives Review: Conclusion
That concludes our Kamikoto knives review. We hope you found at least one or two options you would like to add to your collection. Overall we would have to rate our featured set, the Kamikoto knives, at four stars. The knives are beautiful and effective, but we do feel they are expensive. We also noted that their razor sharp blades may chip, which is devastating to have happen on such a beautiful set. Yet they do carry a lifetime warranty, so that provides a level of protection. These knives are ideal if you plan to supplement your heavy-duty cutting with another option on this list. If you are a professional chef or knife enthusiast, these beautiful knives would be the perfect choice for you. No matter which of the knives on our list you pick, you will be getting amazing cutlery. Each option would be a unique addition to your kitchen. We hope you enjoy your new cutlery and the beautiful food it helps you prepare!