Japanese Gyuto Knives | The Chef’s Knife
Japanese Gyuto knives are multi-purpose kitchen knives similar to the classic Western Chef’s knife and are ideal for a wide variety of kitchen tasks. These versatile knives can be used with many different cutting techniques, and are suitable for cutting fish, meats, vegetables, and fruits.
Gyuto knives represent a true multi-purpose addition to your knife collection. They are also artisanal heirlooms, which with the right care can last a lifetime and beyond.
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Gyuto Knives | Common Slicing Techniques
There are many common slicing techniques used with the Gyuto Knife. Let’s explore them.
Chopping or Thrust-Cutting
For chopping or thrust-cutting with a Gyuto knife, we position the vegetables or goods to be sliced near the heel of the knife. This technique allows for a clean cut through tough or firm produce.
To rock-chop with a Gyuto knife, we can see-saw across a selection of meats or vegetables to roughly or finely dice them into chunks or mince.
To push-cut or pull-cut with the Gyuto knife, we use the slope, from the heel of the blade to the tip to glide between pieces of meat. This style of slicing is one of the most common with Japanese kitchen knives due to the blades tending to be thinner than their Western counterparts.
The shorter the blade of a Gyuto Knife, the more nimble it is. Japanese Gyuto Knives with longer blades provide more slicing power. We recommend a medium length for general kitchen use.
The History of The Gyuto Knife
Interestingly, Gyuto knives are a Japanese take on Western-style Chef knives. A literal translation of Gyuto (牛刀) is beef-sword. These knives are a normal component in the kitchens of Japanese Restaurantswhere high-end Western food such as steak is served. They originated during the Meiji period in the late 19th century. During this time period, Japanese chefs became enamored with the French and German-style knives which, unlike traditionally flat Japanese knives, had pointed tips and a double bevel.
That means Gyuto knives were first a Western invention and then adopted, adapted, improved, and renamed by the Japanese. They were also appropriately weighted and sharpened for a Japanese chef’s discerning taste. Over time, Gyuto knives became a deeply rooted part of Japanese cutting techniques and culture.
For example, the Sakai region knives come from an area with 600-years of knife making history. Just as they always were, they are still made today by skilled craftsmen in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, in Japan. Since the very beginning, the excellent workmanship and technology that created the knives have remained unchanged and world-leading. This is also the reason why most people trust the quality and craftsmanship of Japanese knives and can understand their higher prices.
Japanese Gyuto Knife Craftsmanship
Gyuto knives can be made from stainless steel, or Yasugi which is the same kind of steel used to make Japanese swords. It’s especially tough, durable, and resilient to wear-and-tear. When taken good care ofJapanese Gyuto Knives can last for generations.
Gyuto knives come in a variety of steel, including Damascus with stainless steel cores and high carbon, Aoniko (Japanese Steel Alloy) or Blue Steel #2, and Super Blue Steel are popular choices. Additionally, Gyuto handle styles widely vary. Some Japanese knives have an octagonal handle with a partial tang, and others have the western style handle with a full tang.
Upgrade Your Knife Collection
A Gyuto knife has all the beauty of a western chef’s knife with the added elegance of incredible Japanese craftsmanship, superior metal, and different weight distribution. While a standard western chef’s knife is weighted centrally, a Gyuto Knife’s weight is slightly closer to the tip. This weighting is particularly apparent with the Japanese style handles with the partial tang.
Gyuto Knives are regularly compared with French Sabatier knives, with the primary difference being the weight placement and slightly different curvature of the blade. The focus of a Japanese Gyuto Knife is on sleek, nimble slices. Choose your dream Japanese Gyuto Knife today from our excellent collection.
Setsuko, Owner, Modern Japanese Restaurant, Seattle
I have used Sakai Takayuki knives for over 5 years and through all that time the blades are incredibly durable and comfortable to use. Repetitive cutting motions are easy and do not tire your hand out.