A Japanese sashimi and sushi knife is called a yanagiba. The name means "willow leaf" in English. Yanagiba, as the name suggests, has a long, narrow blade that ranges in size from 21 to 33 cm. The tiniest fillet pieces can easily and conveniently be removed with a knife of this type. Yanagiba is typically a single-bevel knife. As a result, left-handed individuals should get a yanagiba knife that has a sharpening on the opposite side, specifically for left-handed individuals. We advise purchasing a sujihiki knife if you prefer double beveled Japanese knives, such as classic slicers.

In the past, high-carbon steels like aogami and shirogami were used to create yanagiba. Sharpening high-carbon steels is simple. A sushi knife must have an extremely sharp blade in order to maintain the product's structural integrity. High-carbon steel knives must only be hand washed and dried right away after use because they are prone to corrosion. However, yanagiba knives made of stainless steel are now being produced by numerous Japanese producers. Such sushi knives need more frequent sharpening but less maintenance. Yanagiba knives typically have handles in the classic Japanese octagon or D shape. Typically, the handles are constructed from natural wood, like magnolia. However, some producers of yanagiba knives use plastic or rubber for their more hygienic handles. Every sushi knife has a long enough, non-slip grip that makes it possible to wield it both with and without gloves.

It is advised to sharpen yanagiba blades on Japanese whetstones. Use a specific Japanese hardwood container called a saya to protect the blade during storage and transportation. We advise asking one of our experts to try on the saya case for the chosen knife before making a purchase. The scabbard might not fit because saya cases and Japanese kitchen knives are both mostly handmade items.

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