7 Best Damascus Chef’s Knives


The Damascus technique is a thing of beauty.

Its process involves folding layers of steel and mixing with other elements to produce a distinctive flowing pattern in the blade.

This ancient steel forging technique produces a blade that is both beautiful and tough. it can be sharpened to a fine edge and is particularly popular amongst Japanese-style knives.

In this article, I’m going to look at my favorite Damascus chef’s knives at a range of prices.

If you’re looking to add something a bit special to your kitchen, I’m sure one of these knives will be just what you need.

My personal recommendation of the best Damascus knife is the Shun Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife. Shun make incredible knives, they are durable, beautiful and very ergonomic. They are one of the best known Japanese knives makers in the world and this Classic 8 inch certainly won’t disappoint.

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You can take a look at the Shun Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife on Amazon here (opens new tab).

The Best Damascus Chef’s Knives

Here’s the summary table of my favorite Damascus chef’s knives. There’s a range of prices and styles but all these knives use very high-quality materials and are produced by well-known and respected knife manufacturers.

NamePriceCheck current price
Yoshihiro 9.5 Inch Chef’s Knife$200 – $220Link to Amazon
Shun Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife$170 – $190Link to Amazon
Miyabi Fusion 8 Inch Chef’s Knife$160 – $180Link to Amazon
Kasumi 10 Inch Chef’s Knife$140 – $160Link to Amazon
Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Chef’s Knife$130 – $150Link to Amazon
Dalstrong Shogun Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife$120 – $140Link to Amazon
Cangshan J Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife$110 – $130Link to Amazon

For more information and a detailed review of each knife just scroll down below.

Yoshihiro 9.5 Inch Chef’s Knife

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Yoshihiro 9.5 Inch Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureJapan
Steel typeVG-10 (Top quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 60
Factory edge15 Degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialRosewood with Mahogany Bolster
ProsSuper sharp with great edge retention and superb materials

When it comes to quality Japanese knives, there are few better brands to choose from than Yoshihiro.

Yoshihiro make their knives in Japan in traditional Japanese style and using quality Japanese materials.

The steel used is a quality Japanese steel called VG-10. It offers a good balance between durability and hardness.

VG-10 is a high carbon steel with a 1% carbon content, that makes the blade hard and allows for a sharper edge. The 15% chromium content is more than enough to make the steel very rust-resistant, increasing its durability.

The handle is made from Rosewood and has a Mahogany bolster, it’s been carved to an octagonal shape and is traditionally Japanese is style and extremely attractive.

The Yoshihiro brand is well known for its quality as the knives are handmade by knife smith artisans. It’s a spectacular knife using top-quality Japanese steel, for me it’s one of the best Damascus knives you’ll find.

Shun Classic 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

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Shun Classic 8 Inch Review Table

Country of manufactureJapan
Steel typeVG-MAX (Durable and hard Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 61
Factory edge16 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPakkawood (wood/resin composite)
ProsVery sharp and extremely rust resistant

If you would like a knife in a traditional Japanese style which has been crafted to fit the western market then you can’t do much better than this Shun Classic 8 Inch knife.

The blade is made using a steel type exclusive to Shun, VG-MAX. It’s a western twist on classic Japanese steel. As you would expect with Japanese steel it is high in carbon which makes it extremely strong, giving it a super sharp edge with excellent edge retention.

The western twist is that Shun has added more chromium to the blade, the element which makes stainless steel knives resistant to rust and corrosion. As a result, you end up with the blade having Japanese strength with increased durability.

The blade edge is more curved than many traditional Japanese knives and more similar to the western chef’s knife, allowing for rock chopping and resulting in the western user being able to get to grips with the knife easily, traditional Japanese knives with a very straight edge require a different technique when slicing and chopping.

The blade has a partial bolster and a full tang going down the handle. The handle is crafted in a beautiful traditional Japanese style, with a tapered cylindrical shape using pakka wood as the material. This wood is often used for quality knife handles as it’s renowned for its durability and attractive natural appearance.

This is an excellent knife and has a great reputation in the knife world. It offers you something a little bit unique and uses all the traditional features which make Japanese knives so great with a few western ideas to make it easier for the western user to work with.

Miyabi Fusion 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

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Miyabi Fusion 8 Inch Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureJapan
Steel type VG-10 (Durable and hard Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 60
Factory edge12 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPOM (thermoplastic)
ProsVery sharp and extremely rust resistant

Miyabi produce some seriously beautiful knives. They are a Japanese company manufacturing their knives in Japan using top quality Japanese steel.

The steel used is a quality Japanese steel called VG-10. It offers a good balance between durability and hardness.

VG-10 is a high carbon steel with a 1% carbon content, that makes the blade hard and allows for a sharper edge. The 15% chromium content is more than enough to make the steel very rust-resistant, increasing its durability.

The handle is triple-riveted and made from a quality thermoplastic material called POM. That means it too is very durable and resistant to all the temperature and moisture variations you get in a professional, and home kitchen.

The Miyabi Fusion brand combines fuses Western inspired ergonomics with authentic Japanese super-steel blade styles. It’s a quality knife and unargubally stunning in design.

Kasumi 10 Inch Chef’s Knife

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Kasumi 10 Inch Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureJapan
Steel type VG-10 (Durable and hard Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 60
Factory edge12 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialWood and plastic resin
ProsVery sharp and rust-resistant

This 33-layer Damascus steel blade, manufactured by Sumikama Cutlery of Seki, Japan.

The steel used is a quality Japanese steel called VG-10. It offers a good balance between durability and hardness.

VG-10 is a high carbon steel with a 1% carbon content, that makes the blade hard and allows for a sharper edge. The 15% chromium content is more than enough to make the steel very rust-resistant, increasing its durability.

The handle is double-riveted and made from a wood and plastic resin composite for increased durability and resistance to temperature and moisture changes.

It’s a very budget-friendly knife considering the quality of materials used and the fact that it’s produced in the Japanese knife capital of Seki, one you go below this price range it’s hard to find a Damascus knife that is truly manufactured in Japan.

Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

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Zelite Infinity 8 Inch Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeAUS-10 (High-quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 61
Factory edge12 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialG10 (fiberglass laminate)
ProsIncredible materials for a relatively low price

Zelite makes a range of top-quality kitchen knives with a Japanese influence, this Zelite Infinity 8 Inch is one of their best. Zelite knives are manufactured in China using imported German or Japanese steels, as a result, you get incredible quality knives but for a relatively low price.

The knife blade is made from a top-quality, very high carbon steel called AUS-10. This is a well-renowned steel in the knife world. As high carbon knives can become quite brittle, this steel has added nickel, manganese and silicon to improve the flexibility of the blade.

The addition of vanadium, chrome and molybdenum to the steel also increases its resistance to rust and corrosion. Overall this highly technical steel is super strong, allowing for a great cutting edge, whilst still remaining durable.

The blade is polished with Zelitles own ‘Tsunami Rose Damascus Pattern’, in a typically Japanese style. The knife has a partial bolster and full tang into the handle. The handle is triple-riveted and shaped ergonomically, with a humped back and completely smooth circular length made specifically for comfort. Zelite is excellent at designing their knives for maximum comfort and they have certainly achieved that here.

The knife also comes with a useful blade sheath which protects the knife from damage when stored and helps to keep the blade sharp for longer. It’s a great knife using quality materials with a very bold design, Zelitle is a relatively small family company but they have amassed a strong reputation for quality. You can see why with this knife.

Dalstrong Shogun Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

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Dalstrong Shogun 8 Inch Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeAUS-10 (High-quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 61
Factory edge12 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialG10 (fiberglass laminate)
ProsIncredible materials for a relatively low price

As you’d imagine from a knife with Shogun in the name, the Dalstrong Shogun 8 Inch knife is another knife that takes its inspiration from the Japanese style.

Dalstrong knives are manufactured in China using imported German or Japanese steels, as a result, you get incredible quality knives but for a relatively low price.

Like the Zelite knife, this knife uses AUS-10 as the steel for its blade. It has a very high carbon content making it extremely strong as well as a mixture of nickel, manganese, silicon, vanadium, chrome and molybdenum which combine to make it resistant to rust and corrosion and to add a little flexibility since high carbon knives tend to be brittle. It’s a top-quality steel and it makes for a fantastic blade with a sharp cutting edge that retains the sharpness very well.

The blade edge has a nice curve allowing for the rock chopping technique. The blade has a partial bolster and a full tang into the handle. The handle itself is a mix between the classic western style and the more cylindrical Japanese style of handle and as a result, it’s very well rounded and comfortable to use. It’s riveted and the material used for the handle is a fiber-glass like material called G-10 Garolite.

This means the handle is light and incredibly durable, chemically inert and resistant to water and temperature changes it shouldn’t corrode or deform at all. There is also a generously sized heel to the knife, leaving plenty of room for your knuckles whilst chopping.

The balance between the knife and the blade is perfect and it is an extremely lightweight knife and comfortable to use over long periods. This is a great knife with an attractive Damascus wave pattern on the blade, typical of that Japanese style. The knife also comes with a useful blade sheath to protect it when it’s being stored.

Cangshan J Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

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Cangshan J Series 8 Inch Chef’s Knife Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeVG-10 (Durable and hard Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 60
Factory edge16 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialAfrican Blackwood
ProsGreat materials for a low price

This 67-layer, special formula Changsha X-7 Damascus steel blade is forged with HRC 60 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale.

The blade features an exceptionally sharp 16-degree edge from the use of Japanese VG-10 steel and heat treated with a precise ULTRA 6 treatment. The Damascus layering makes a beautifully unique pattern and the high carbon steel ensures stain resistance, durability, and strength.

The attractive handle design uses a rich ultra-dense African Blackwood. Each knife comes with a magnetic dark walnut Saya-style sheath.

This knife is manufactured in China using imported steel, meaning that you get a knife using the fantastic Japanese steel VG-10 for up to 50% of the price a genuine Japanese knife might cost.

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