7 Best Japanese Knife Block Sets


If you want to quickly stock your kitchen with some of the most popular Japanese knife styles then buying a knife set is the best way to do it.

Luckily, there is a great selection of quality Japanese knife sets out there, coming in a wide range of prices, so no matter what your budget is, you should be able to find one that suits you.

In this article, I’m going to list some of my favorite Japanese knife sets, ranging from Japanese knives of ultimate quality priced above $1,000, down to a great starter set under $100.

The best Japanese knife set I would recommend is the Shun Classic 6-piece Knife Block Set. Shun make spectacular kitchen knives and this set is more affordable than their premium block. It’s the perfect balance of incredible quality at a reasonable price.

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You can see the Shun Classic 6-piece Knife Block Set on Amazon here (opens new tab).

To see my full list of Japanese Knives I would recommend then scroll down to my summary table and reviews.

7 Best Japanese Knife Block Sets

Here’s my summary table of the best Japanese knife block sets.

I’ve focused at finding the very best set available at various price levels. For a full review of each scroll down the article.

NamePriceCheck current price
Shun Premier 15-piece Knife Block Set (most beautiful)$1,700 – $1,800Link to Amazon
Shun Premier 7-Piece Essential Block Set$700 – $800Link to Amazon
Zelite Alpha-Royal Japanese Series 6-Piece Damascus Magnetic Block Set$410 – $430Link to Amazon
Shun Classic 6-piece Knife Block Set (my top pick)$400 – $430Link to Amazon
Dalstrong Shogun Series X 5-Piece Knife Set$330 – $360Link to Amazon
Kai Wasabi Black 8 Piece Knife Block Set$200 – $220Link to Amazon
KYOKU 5-Knife Set with Block$80 – $100Link to Amazon

Shun Premier 15-Piece Knife Block Set (most beautiful)

Link to Amazon (opens new tab)

Shun Premier 15-Piece Knife Block Set 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, extremely rust resistant and stunningly beautiful

The Shun Premier 15-piece block set comes with:

  • 17 Slot Knife Block
  • 9-inch Slicing Knife
  • 9-inch Combination Honing Steel
  • 9-inch Bread Knife 
  • 8-inch Chefs Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife 
  • 6-inch Gokujo Boning/Fillet Knife
  • 6-inch U2 Ultimate Utility Knife
  • 5-1/2-inch Nakiri Knife
  • 5-inch Steak Knives (Set of Four)
  • 4-inch Paring Knife 

Shun knives are made in the Japanese city of Seki, the knife capital of Japan.

They are a brilliant knife manufacturer that produce extremely durable knives using high Carbon steel.

The blades use a Japanese steel exclusive to Shun, VG-MAX. It’s a steel that contains high Carbon, as is traditional in Japanese steel, but it’s also has a strong focus on durability.

The Chromium content is 16%. Chromium is the element that makes stainless steel resistant to rust and typically 15% Chromium can be considered high-quality stainless steel, at 16% Shun knives enter a small few selection of brands with incredible rust protection.

The steel is forged with a hammered Damascus finish which creates that incredibly beautiful flowing-water design on the blades.

The blades have partial bolsters and are full tang going down the handle.

The handles are crafted in a beautiful traditional Japanese style, with a tapered cylindrical shape using Pakkawood as the material. This wood composite is often used for quality knife handles as it’s renowned for its durability and attractive natural appearance.

This exceptional knife set 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 the knives very durable.

Shun Premier 7-Piece Essential Block Set

Link to Amazon (opens new tab)

Shun Premier 7-Piece Essential Block Set 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

 The Shun Premier Essential 7-piece block set comes with:

  • 11 Slot Bamboo Knife Block
  • 9-inch Combination Honing Steel
  • 9-inch Serrated Bread Knife 
  • 8-inch Chefs Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife 
  • 4-inch Paring Knife 
  • Kitchen Shears

This is the second set by Shun on my list. The reason it gets on is that it uses the same fantastic materials and design but as it’s smaller, it comes at a much lower price.

The blades use the exact same Japanese hammered Damascus steel exclusive to Shun, VG-MAX.

The blades have partial bolsters and are full tang going down the handle. The handles are crafted in a beautiful traditional Japanese style, with a tapered cylindrical shape using Pakkawood as the material.

This wood composite is often used for quality knife handles as it’s renowned for its durability and attractive natural appearance.

It’s an incredible set of knives and you’ll struggle to find true Japanese quality of this standard for under $1,000.

Zelite Alpha-Royal Japanese Series 6-Piece Damascus Magnetic Block Set

Link to Amazon (opens new tab)

Zelite Alpha-Royal Japanese Series 6-Piece Set 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

The Zelite Alpha-Royal Japanese Series 6-Piece Set includes:

  • 8-inch Chefs Knife
  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 6-inch Gokujo/Boning Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 4-inch Paring Knife 
  • 360 Rotating Rubberwood Block

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 knives are 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 handles are made from a fiberglass laminate called G-10, helping to keep the knives lightweight and durable, these handles won’t be affected by any of the moisture and temperature fluctuations you’d expect in a busy kitchen.

The magnetic block allows you to display to knives in all their glory and overall this is a fantastic set, where you get a range of knives using top quality materials for a very budget-friendly price.

Shun Classic 6-piece Knife Block Set (my top pick)

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Shun Classic 6-piece Knife Block Set 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

 The Shun Premier Essential 7-piece block set comes with:

  • 8-Slot Slim Style Wooden Knife Block
  • 9-inch Combination Honing Steel
  • 8-inch Chefs Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 3-inch Paring Knife 
  • Shun Multi-purpose Kitchen Shears

My final entry from Shun is their lowest priced entry on the list and it’s my personal top pick.

It still uses the same base materials as the Premier Shun collections but at 50% – 25% of the price. The steel is the same, incredible quality VG-MAX steel, a Japanese steel specially formulated by Shun for both hardness and durability.

The only difference is the Damascus finish which is more gentle than on the Premier sets.

The handles are still made from Pakkawood, an excellent material offering both lightness and durability, it’s a favorite amongst Japanese knife makers.

It’s a small set but it’s perfectly formed and uses some of the best steel in Japanese knives found today, it’s an all-round excellent piece of kit.

Dalstrong Shogun Series X 5-Piece Knife Set

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Dalstrong Shogun Series X 5-Piece Knife Set 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

The Dalstrong Shogun Series set includes:

  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 8-inch Chef Knife
  • 7-inch Santoku Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 3½-inch Paring Knife
  • Acaica Wooden Block with Stainless Steel Accents

As you’d imagine from a knife with Shogun in the name, these Dalstrong Shogun knives take 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.

These knives use AUS-10 as the steel for the blades. 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 blades have 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 fiberglass material called G-10 .

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.

Kai Wasabi Black 8-Piece Knife Block Set

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Kai Wasabi Black 8-Piece Knife Block Set Review Table

Country of manufactureJapan (block and honing steel made in China)
Steel typeDaido 1K6 (Good-quality Japanese steel)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 58
Factory edge16 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPolypropylene
ProsClassic and beautiful design

This Kai Wasabi knife set includes:

  • 11-slot Bamboo Knife Block
  • 9-inch Combination Honing Steel
  • 8-inch Chefs Knife
  • 6-inch Nakiri Knife
  • 6-inch Utility Knife
  • 4¼-inch Deba Knife
  • 4-inch Paring Knife
  • Kitchen Shears

This Kai Wasabi knife set is also manufactured in the Japanese knife capital of Seki.

It uses a Japanese steel Daido 1K6. This is a steel of medium hardness, with a Carbon content of 0.6%, which’s more than almost all western-style knives but it’s not as high as many high-Carbon Japanese knives that tend to be 0.9% or higher.

There is a benefit to the slightly lower Carbon. High Carbon steel can become more brittle, lowering the Carbon content adds durability to the knife and makes them easier to sharpen.

The knives themselves are a very attractive design and the cylindrical-style Polypropylene handles are comfortable as well as being sleek and typically Japanese.

This is a lovely little set of Japanese knives, made in the heart of Japan, it’s a fantastic choice for those who want a truly Japanese knife set but are restricted by a budget.

Kyoku 5-Knife Set with Block 

Link to Amazon (opens new tab)

Kyoku 5-Knife Set Review Table

Country of manufactureChina
Steel typeX50CrMoV15 (Quality German steel made for durability)
Rockwell hardnessHRC 56-58
Factory edge13-15 degrees (double bevel)
Handle materialPakkawood
ProsBrilliant value for money

This Kyoku knife set includes:

  • 5-Slot Acacia Wood Knife Block
  • 8-inch Bread Knife
  • 6-inch Boning Knife
  • 5-inch Utility Knife
  • 3-inch Fruit Knife
  • Kitchen Shears

This knife represents incredible value for money and it’s a great choice for those looking for the Japanese style, but with a very restricted budget.

The truth is, these knives do not use Japanese steel, and they are not made in Japan, but they have been designed in the classic Japanese style and the materials they do use are of good quality.

The steel is X50CrMoV15, this is a German steel which has a great reputation because for its immense durability, most of the best brands in western knife making use X50CrMoV15 for their main knife ranges so even though it’s not Japanese, it is a great steel.

The handle material is made from Pakkawood, this is a wood composite that is in fact used for most Japanese knives. It’s a great material because it’s lightweight, durable and adds a beautiful bit of natural-looking design and feel.

It’s a super little knife set, it may not be the genuine Japanese article but for five beautifully designed knives using X50CrMoV15 for the blades and Pakkawood for the handles, all for under $100 it’s an absolute bargain and I don’t think you could possibly be disappointed.

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