What kind of knife is used for sushi?

A perfect knife is what sushi chefs crave. But since there are a lot of sushi knives available in the market, it became quite difficult to choose the perfect type of sushi knife. Before discussing what kind of knives are used for sushi, let’s discuss what sushi is.

What is sushi?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish that has become popular across the globe. It consists of a combination of vinegared rice, seafood, and other ingredients. The most common type of sushi is makizushi, which contains raw fish or seafood rolled in seaweed and vinegared rice.

To prepare delicious sushi dishes at home, selecting the best sushi knife for cutting the ingredients is essential. A sharp blade made from high-carbon steel is ideal for slicing through sashimi and filleting delicate pieces of fish for nigiri sushi. A sashimi knife with a long single-beveled edge is also used to cut thin slices of raw fish or vegetables expertly. An impervious handle ensures that moisture from wet hands won’t affect the blade’s performance while preparing your favorite sushi dishes.

Sushi Knife Basics

Sushi knives are specialized tools made specifically for cutting and preparing sushi. If you’re a sushi fan, having the right knife is essential for creating perfect fish slices. Sushi knives come in different shapes and sizes, so deciding which is best for making your favorite sushi recipes can be difficult.

The traditional Japanese sushi knife, a yanagi ba, is ideal since it has an ultra-sharp blade designed to slice through raw fish without tearing or crushing the delicate flesh. The long narrow blade also makes it easy to create thin and even cuts that look beautiful on top of your nigiri or maki rolls. Another advantage of this type of knife is that its single-edged blade allows you to easily separate the meat from any bones that may be present in certain types of fish used in sushi.

What kind of knife is used for sushi?

Traditional Sashimi Knives

Traditional Sashimi Knives are a type of knife that is specifically designed for cutting and preparing sushi. The blades of these knives are typically made from high-quality, handcrafted steel, which provides the chef with excellent control and precision when slicing delicate fish or other types of seafood. Traditional Sashimi knives have a single-bevel blade, meaning only one side is sharpened, allowing chefs to make thin slices without tearing delicate proteins apart. 

In addition to their design, sashimi knives also feature an octagonal handle which provides improved grip and stability and is aesthetically pleasing. These knives are expensive due to the quality of materials used in their production. Still, they offer an invaluable tool for any severe sushi chef looking for maximum performance.

Western Style Sashimi Knives

Western Style Sashimi Knives are essential for anyone who wants to make sushi at home. These extremely sharp knives are designed specifically for cutting raw fish, which is essential to making sushi. The knife has a long, thin blade with a sharp edge that makes it easy to slice through the delicate flesh of the fish without tearing or mashing it. It also has a pointed tip which helps make precise cuts when filleting the fish.

These knives come in different shapes, sizes, and quality, so you can find one that best suits your needs and preferences. They are made from different types of steel, including stainless steel and Japanese high-carbon steel. Some Western-style Sashimi Knives also have wooden handles, which give them added balance and comfort when used for extended periods.


Yanagi is a type of Japanese knife that has been used for centuries to prepare sushi. A Yanagi knife is characterized by its long, thin blade made from tough steel and can be up to 15 inches long. While some chefs prefer other knives, such as a santoku or deba, the Yanagi remains popular among those who specialize in making sushi.

The shape and size of the Yanagi make it perfect for slicing through delicate fish – particularly salmon, tuna, and mackerel – with a single cut. This creates an elegant presentation on the plate while preserving fresh sushi ingredients’ flavor and texture. The sharpness is maintained over long periods thanks to its tough steel construction. It is no wonder why so many sushi chefs continue to rely on this centuries-old tool!

Deba Knife

The Deba knife is the traditional tool used to prepare sushi. This robust and versatile knife originates from Japan and has been used in the kitchen for centuries. The blade is made of durable stainless steel or carbonized steel and is shaped like a cleaver. It’s usually thicker than other knives, quickly cutting through fish bones and other hard ingredients.

Its length ranges between six and eight inches, making it ideal for cutting thick pieces of fish or boneless cuts. Its wide shape makes it easy to scoop up ingredients before transferring them onto the cutting board or plate. The sharp blade allows chefs to slice raw fish into thin strips with precise movements without worrying about tearing delicate flesh apart – an essential skill when creating sushi dishes!

Usuba Knife

The Usuba Knife is a specialized Japanese kitchen knife used for preparing sushi. It has a rectangular blade and is primarily used to cut vegetables into thin slices and matchsticks. With its single-beveled edge, the Usuba allows chefs to easily cut through dense fruits and vegetables without tearing or crushing the food.

This traditional Japanese knife is designed for precision cutting and provides superior control when slicing soft or hard ingredients. The design of the Usuba enables it to effortlessly slice through delicate items such as cucumbers, carrots, onions, ginger root, squash, and mushrooms. Its short length makes it easy to maneuver around intricate cuts, while its unique shape allows users to make precise incisions with minimal effort.


When preparing sushi, the right knife can make all the difference. The knife used for sushi is called a yanagi-ba, or a traditional Japanese long-bladed sushi knife. These knives are well suited for cutting thin slices of raw fish and other ingredients in making classic sushi dishes.

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