Thanks to superior sharpness, better materials, an ultra-thin (read: precise) blade and craftsmanship that dates back millennia, Japanese chef’s knives are prized by home cooks and professional chefs alike. But great Japanese chef’s knives aren’t always available on Amazon and other major kitchenware retailers. Here are 9 spots to cop the best Japanese knives money can buy.
Chef Knives To Go
A husband-wife team runs one of the internet’s most active Japanese knife stores and forums. Along with the nearly 50 brands available for purchase on the site, there’s a great deal of knife accessories available on the site.
Canada-based Knifewear carries an impressive number of blades from smaller makers and individual blacksmiths while offering a solid mail-in knife sharpening service (also offered at brick-and-mortar locations). Shipping is free on orders above $200.
A Japanese chef’s knife boutique run by a pair of former chefs. Brandt Cox and Jacqueline Blanchard’s New Orleans-based store is stocked with knives the two have hand-picked from several trips to Japan. It’s one of our favorite brick-and-mortar stores in the US.
Visiting Korin’s Tribeca location is a must for any lover of chef’s knives or Japanese craft. Its retail location, like its website, stocks more than Korin’s own blades. Expect brands and blades that bend more toward function than aesthetics.
If you want to know you’re buying what chefs buy, you shop at JB Prince. That goes for any cookware, but especially knives. The Manhattan-based gearhead’s paradise is home to a number of function-over-fashion knives.
Japanese Knife Imports
On top of one of the most loaded caches of Japanese blades on the internet, Japanese Knife Imports offers sharpening, rehandling and custom engraving services. It’s also home to grail-worthy kitchen scissors made by beloved knifemakers.
Knives & Stones
Dive deep enough into the kitchen knife-obsessed corners of the internet and you’ll run into those who hold Knives & Stones as the gold standard of kitchen knife shopping. Its hard-to-find wares are only recently available to US customers online.
Like JB Prince, MTC Kitchen is a higher-end chef supply store. Expect utility knives first and foremost.
Carbon Knife Co.
Based in Denver, Carbon Knife Co. stocks some of the most gift-worthy chef’s knives money can buy. Plus, their downtown storefront is an excellent place to spend an hour window shopping.
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