Kiritsuke Yanagiba Knives: K-tip Sashimi Knives

Kiritsuke Yanagiba Sashimi Knife

What is a Japanese Kiritsuke Yanagiba Knife (K-Tip Sashimi Knife)?

A Japanese Kiritsuke Yanagiba is often referred to as a “K-Tip sashimi knife” or “K-Tip sushi knife”. This kitchen knife is used to slice through large slabs of salmon, tuna and other fish to make sashimi for Japanese cuisine. However, it is slightly different from its yanagiba origin. Kiritsuke Yanagiba differ in that they feature a Kiritsuke style tip, a more angular and pointed tip and gets thinner near the tip of the blade. This allows for more precision cutting and delicate knife work compared to a normal yanagiba knife. Additionally, this creates a very unique shape and is interesting to look at.

Unlike Western style chef knives, Kiritsuke Yanagiba Knives are long, thin and sharpened on only one side. The design came from the need to slice through fish without damaging the delicate fibres and thereby ruining the flavour and mouthfeel.

How to Choose a Kiritsuke Yanagiba

To encourage long, clean cuts, we recommend 270mm to 300mm Kiritsuke Yanagiba for most professional chefs.
For home cooks we suggest around 210mm to 240mm as any kitchen knife above that length is quite awkward in a home kitchen.

Carbon Steel or Stainless Steel ?

Carbon Steel blades, such as White Steel (Shirogami) and Blue Steel (Aogami), are easy to sharpen, hold the best edge and cut like silk, but they're very susceptible to rust, so require more maintenance and care.

Stainless Steel, such as VG-10, is rust resistant and easier to maintain, but cannot match Carbon Steel's sharpness despite recent improvements. Stainless Steel Knives are also more difficult to sharpen than Carbon Steel, requiring more patience.

Various types of sashimi knife

Other than Yanagiba, there are many types of knives that are similar and used in the same way as Yanagiba such as Takobiki and Fugibiki knives. There are some slight differences on shape, size, and weight. Chefs can choose based on personal preference.

How to Choose a Japanese Kitchen Knife for Beginners

How to Choose a Japanese Kitchen Knife for Beginners

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