A kitchen knife set can make a world of difference when prepping ingredients. If you’re considering upgrading to Japanese cutlery, Kamikoto knives make an excellent option. I’ve spent many years in the kitchen and I can tell you having a sharp, well-balanced chef knife can completely transform your food prep.
This reputable brand accommodates professional chefs, as well as, home cooks looking to expand their culinary vision.
Let’s explore the ins and outs of this brand with a Kamikoto knives review, including some of my favorite sets that will revolutionize your time in the kitchen.
What’s so special about Japanese knives? They feel balanced in your hand and sport hard, thin steel that ensures they hold their edge for a long time. Popular among professional chefs, Japanese knives make everyday culinary tasks a pleasure.
Staying true to Japan’s prestigious metal-crafting roots, Kamikoto knives undergo 19 steps spanning several years to complete. The expert bladesmiths polish and sharpen each blade to obtain a fine edge that any chef would love.
Handmade by a select group of craftsmen in both Niigata, Japan, and Yanjiang, China. The brand inspects every single blade before it leaves the workshop to ensure that they’re long-lasting and fit for every kitchen duty.
Selected Kamikoto Knives
Bring a feeling of Japanese culture to your kitchen with Kamikoto knives. I scoured the market, and below, you’ll find a selection of my most-recommended knife sets from this brand.
At a first glance, this knife set is pretty impressive with its shiny Japanese steel and matte black handles, all presented in a beautiful wooden case.
The Kamikoto Kanpeki set is one of the more traditional knife sets the company offers and provides an authentic experience of Japanese cutlery. Exceptionally sharp and durable, these three knives are corrosion resistant, sharp, and durable. Isn’t that everything you could wish for in a knife set?
The Kanpeki set features handcrafted blades made from high-quality steel for a corrosion-resistant, high-quality finish. Including a diverse selection of knives, this set provides all the versatility you need for conquering small dishes to chopping large pieces of meat.
The utility knife, for example, can tackle intricate chores in the kitchen while the 8.5-inch slicing knife speeds up your prep time.
Each knife is weighted for optimal form and enhanced control, and the handles and blades boast a satin finish for a mesmerizing glow. One of my favorite aspects of this particle set is that the knives are perfectly presented in a natural-colored ash wood box for storage.
- 7-inch Nakiri vegetable knife
- 8.5-inch slicing knife
- 5-inch utility knife
- Ashwood case
- Handles feel smooth
- Razor-sharp blades slice through squishy vegetables
- Corrosion resistance
- Reasonably priced
- Makes a beautiful gift
- Blades might appear patchy if not properly cared for
- Doesn’t include a knife that’s well-suited for peeling
- Not as “authentic” as more expensive offerings
- Hand washing recommended
Introducing the brand’s hardest blades: the Kuro series. It offers a tool for every kitchen duty and is a breath of fresh air for professionals.
The Kuro knives are the sharpest of the Kamikoto knives and contain an assortment of sharp blades. Not intended for beginners, these chef knives are perfect for professionals. Made out of zirconium dioxide, they’re extremely hard, which allows them to maintain sharpness with minimal maintenance.
However, this excessive sharpness can mean that the knives are more susceptible to chipping if you apply a lot of pressure to the surface.
The Kamikoto Kuro knives aren’t designed to carve cuts of meat or frozen groceries. These knives also aren’t for you if you plan to use the side of the blade to crush garlic. I feel these knives are a bit too specialized and “high maintenance” to recommend for most home chefs.
- 7-inch Kuro Series Santoku Knife
- 6.5-inch Kuro Series Nakiri Knife
- 5-inch Kuro Series Utility Knife
- Ashwood case
- Terrific balance between weight and control
- Sharp blades that stay sharp
- Might not be appropriate for carving thick cuts of meat
- Doesn’t use stainless steel
- Too specialized for most buyers
Features of Kamikoto Knives
Before we delve into the Kamikoto knives review, let’s uncover some of the main features of Kamikoto knives and what makes them so special. Here’s a great guide just in case you aren’t familiar with all the lingo.
First things first, the most important part of a kitchen knife is the blade. Forged from carbon steel through a lengthy, 19-step process, these blades maintain a high level of sharpness, edge retention, and durability.
In particular, the steel is hardened at 1922°F for two hours and then for a further two hours at 392°F. Not only does this two-step process strengthen the blade, but it also enhances edge retention and flexibility.
One concern to be aware of is that the knives can steer slightly to the left when you make long cuts but this is all down to them being double-beveled knives. It’s to be expected and something you can get used to.
A No Bolster Style
Like most Japanese knives, each knife has a no bolster style, enabling you to use the entire length of the blade. Though not beginner-friendly as they won’t protect your leading finger, these bolsters are heavy and designed for stability and balance during use.
The handles are super comfortable to hold, so your hands won’t ache from lengthy food prep sessions. In addition, the precision-cut handles are part of what makes the Kamikito knives so luxurious.
The handles are also large enough to balance perfectly in your hand, resulting in a more comfortable, ergonomic hold while chopping ingredients. And the G10 fiberglass material makes them highly durable.
Kamikoto has a knife for every kitchen task. Forged, honed, and sharpened, the blades are extremely sharp (which is why they should only be in the hands of experienced users) for greater control and faster cutting.
Another top feature of the entire collection is the overall durability. Because you don’t want to have to renew your knife set every few months. Featuring a full tang style, the knives have a single piece of metal that extends from the blade to the handle for a stronger, more long-lasting finish.
This feature works in tandem with steel for an overall knife that’s invincible to pretty much any kitchen task. And, if you properly maintain the knives, you can hand them down to your grandkids!
When spending your hard-earned cash, it’s great to know that a brand will stand behind its product. That’s why Kamikoto offers a lifetime guarantee (which we kind of expect for the price tag).
Protecting you from manufacturing detects, this lifetime guarantee doesn’t cover general wear and tear or lost or stolen knives.
Caring for Your Kamikoto Knives
Kamikoto knives aren’t cheap, so it’s more essential than ever that you properly maintain them to keep them at a high standard. To prevent damaging the blade, never chop hard items.
At the end of a long day when you don’t feel like cooking, you might think that throwing your knives in the dishwasher is no biggie, but this can damage the knives. You should also refrain from letting them soak in the sink.
While they’re corrosion-resistant, they can become corroded if not properly cared for. Wash your knife immediately after use, and dry by hand rather than allowing it to air dry with the rest of your cookware.
Regarding sharping your knives, we recommend a Japanese whetstone. Kamikoto has a whetstone for purchase for do-it-yourselfers, though, my recommendation is to leave it to the professionals.
Why Are Japanese Knives So Good?
Think of a Japanese chef’s knife like a scalpel. Lightweight, very sharp, maneuverable, and expensive. Like any well-designed tool, it makes your work that much easier and more enjoyable.
Are Japanese Knives Worth The Money?
Most high-quality Japanese knives are made of high-carbon steel. They have shallow angled blades that produce a sharper edge. Often, these knives are beautiful works of art with rare wood handles and intricate patterns etched along the blade. All of this doesn’t come cheap.
Are German Or Japanese Knives Better?
They each have a different design philosophy. German manufacturers use a softer, more durable steel. This results in a real workhorse of a knife that can take a lot of abuse. The downside is they’re heavier and need sharpening more frequently.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Japanese design uses a harder, more brittle steel. You end up with a delicate, lightweight knife with a very sharp edge that stays sharp. Unfortunately, it also requires more care and attention. Japanese knives are a bit of a diva, really. High performance, high maintenance.
An Alternative Knife Brand
Not convinced that Kamikoto is for you? That’s okay, as we have another knife brand that delivers excellent performance and a wider range: Shun.
Well-recognized for excellent craftsmanship, Shun’s knives are handcrafted in Seki City, Japan, and the brand relies on skilled artisans to meticulously make each knife by hand.
During the creation process, Shun uses different variations of steel blends: ASU10A, AUS8A, and VG10. The latest steel blend is the VG Max, which is super strong, sharp, and durable. Impressively, it’s also flexible and won’t break easily.
Unmistakably Japanese, Shun knives feature a thinner spine and a sharper edge that’s 16 degrees on both sides. But not all lengths are the same, as many entry-level Shuns feature a rabbet tang.
One of our top picks of Shun knives is the Classic Blonde 8 Inch Chef’s Knife. Thanks to its strength, it acts as a chopping knife and a cleaver, and the cylindrical handle provides an airy look with incredible balance.
Take cooking seriously (and have more fun!) with these Kamikoto knives. The Kanpeki set is my go-to option due to the combination of quality construction and incredible value.
One of my favorite standout aspects of these knives is the stunning display box that protects them and makes a wonderful gift (the recipient can be you, we won’t tell!).
I also appreciate the Certificate of Authenticity that outlines the manufacturing process and makes your chosen series that much more special. For some, however, this might be the brand exploiting their own worth and a little unnecessary. But each to their own.
If you’re in the market for a single, high-quality, Japanese knife, the Shun Classic Blonde 8 Inch Chef’s Knife is my personal favorite.