Yoshihiro Cutlery Knives
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Types of knives
Yoshihiro makes very traditional Japanese kitchen knives as well as several western-inspired knives. The company offers both single edged and doubles edged knives in over 15 different types of steel, mainly stainless steel and high carbon steel.
However, unlike most knife manufacturers, Yoshihiro doesn’t have a dedicated line-up of knife collections. The company offers an incredibly large selection of single knives but none is placed or categorized in any kind of a series. There are VG-10, AUS-8, Molybdenum steel, or Blue steel knives, but still these are not the series. Therefore, Yoshihiro knives are pretty hard to understand and you’ll find them nearly similar in every case.
The steel used to make them is the only way to differentiate them but there are over 15 of them, each with its own unique characteristics. However, they can still be broken down into about four main categories:
Double-Edged Stainless Steel
These include Yoshihiro knives double-bevel blades of stainless steel that include VG10 steel, INOX AUS-8/AUS-10 steel, Ginsan (Silver 3) steel, ZDP-189, R-2/SG-2 steel, Ice Hardened Molybdenum steel, High Performance SLD steel, and High Speed (HAP-40) steel.
Single-Edged Stainless Steel
These are Yoshihiro knives with single bevel blades made of stainless steel, mainly VG10 steel, INOX AUS-8/AUS-10 steel, Ginsan (Silver 3) steel, R-2/SG-2 steel, and High Speed (HAP-40) steel.
Double-Edged High Carbon Steel
These are double-edged knives with blades made of high carbon steel that include Blue steel (Stainless Clad Blue Steel), Super Blue steel (Stainless Clad Super Blue steel), Suminagashi Blue steel, Kasumi White steel, Hongasumi White steel, Honyaki White steel, and Honyaki Blue steel.
Single-Edged High Carbon Steel
This include Yoshihiro knives with single-edged blades made using high carbon steel, primarily Kasumi White steel, Hongasumi White Steel, Hongasumi Blue Steel, Aonamiuchi Blue steel, Suminagashi White steel, Suminagashi Blue steel, Honyaki White steel, Honyaki Blue steel, and Super Blue steel.
The company generally has an immense collection of knives, although many of them are made of high-carbon steel, providing some of the hardest blades with ratings that are as high as HRC66-67. They do make various types of knives, both Japanese and Western-style knives.
Their double-edged knife types include: Gyuto, Santoku, Nakiri, Petty, Sujihiki, Paring, Kiritsuke, Honesuki, Utility, and Cleaver.
The single-edged knife types is by far the largest, including the likes of Usuba, Yanagi, Yanagi Kiritsuke, Takobiki, Deba, Edosaki, Funayuki, Kenmuki, Mioroshi, Hamokiri, Garasuki, Kiritsuke, and Maguro Bocho.
Yoshihiro knife handles are full-tang and are triple riveted, affixed with a double bolster, or integrated with the blade. The handles are made of different materials, mainly wood materials that include ebony, mahogany, rosewood, magnolia, and pakkawood. Yoshihiro also has a selection of knives with integrated stainless steel handles, such as all their stainless steel INOX AUS-8 knives.
Their traditional Japanese knife handles come in three main shapes; round, octagonal, and D-shaped.
They also feature bolsters that are made of different materials like silver ring iron wood (their Ginsen and ZDP-189 stainless steel knives), ebony (Blue steel #2 and Blue steel #1 knives), mahogany (VG10 stainless steel knives), and stainless steel (Super Blue steel, INOX AUS-8 steel, and INOX AUS-10 steel knives).
The other impressive thing about the Yoshihiro knives is that most of them come with a Magnolia wooden saya/sheath. Not many Japanese knife brands offer their knives with a sheath right out of the box.
The wide selection of Yoshihiro knives is generally priced moderately. The prices of the knives range from slightly under $100 to over $1000 in some cases. Their double-edged stainless steel knives like VG10, INOX AUS-8, and AUS-10 steel knives are the most affordable options in Yoshihiro’s entire catalog – prices ordinarily range somewhere between $50 and $700, which is quite reasonable for first-time Japanese knife buyers.
The single-edged high carbon steel knives are the most expensive and certainly the highest-performance Yoshihiro knives. Their prices range from around $200 to as high as $5,000 or more, which puts them well out of reach of many at-home chefs.
Their Sontoku knives are all double-edged, made from either stainless steel or carbon steel and their prices are quite wide spread, ranging from $100 to $700. The prices vary mostly based on the type of steel used to make the blade, number of layers, handle material, and the handle design.
The Santoku knives made of double-edged stainless steel like the VG10, INOX AUS-8, AUS-10, and Ginsan (Nashiji Ginsan) stainless steel are the cheapest, costing less than $150.
The Yoshihiro Hayate Inox AUS-8 Santoku knife with integrated stainless steel handle, for instance, is the cheapest as it costs around $109.99.
The Yoshihiro VG-10, INOX AUS-10, and the Nashiji Ginsan stainless steel Santoku knives all cost around $119.99 – all of them feature triple-riveted Pakkawood handles.
Yoshihiro’s Santoku knives made of high carbon steel come at a higher price than the rest and they usually feature ebony wood handles that are fitted to the tang of the blades. For instance, the Yoshihiro Hiryu Sumigashi Ginsan high carbon stainless steel Santoku knife goes for $449.99.
The same version of knife but with a silver ring ebony handle goes for $599.99.
Another good example is the Yoshihiro Hayate ZDP-189 super high carbon stainless steel Santoku knife. This is the most expensive Yoshihiro’s Santoku knife, costing around $649.99, which is attributed to the high carbon steel used to make its blade. It’s the hardest steel in Yoshihiro collection with a rating of HRC66-67 for Rockwell Hardness. Its handle is also ebony wood with sterling silver ring, which is mostly seen in Yoshihiro’s ZDP-189 steel knives.
With regards to their Nakiri knives, the price range is nearly similar to that of their Santoku knives as it falls between $100 and $700. Again, the major difference in the prices is the type of steel used, blade design, handle material, and the handle design. The stainless steel Nakiri knives made of VG-10, Inox AUS-8, and stainless clad Blue steel are the most affordable options with the prices ranging from $100 to $400.
The Hayate Inox AUS-8 Nakiri knife (with integrated stainless steel handle) is the cheapest model at $109.99 while the VG-10 Gold stainless steel and Aoko Blue steel stainless clad Nakiri knives follow closely at $119.99 each, which is about the same price as Yoshihiro’s Santoku knives made of the same types of steel with the same handle design (triple riveted Pakkawood handles).
The prices of the other stainless steel Nakiri knives which mostly feature Japanese-style handles and have hammered blades or more layers ordinarily range from $150 to $300. The only highly-priced stainless steel Nakiri knife is the High Speed stainless steel HAP-40 Nakiri knife (ebony handle) which goes for around $359.99.
There aren’t much Nakiri knives made of high carbon steel. The most notable one is the Yoshihiro Hayate ZDP-189 Super high carbon steel Nakiri knife which is the most expensive option in Yoshihiro’s collection of Nakiri knives. It goes for $649.99, the same price as the most expensive Santoku knife from the company which is made of the same material and has the same ebony wood handle with a sterling silver ring.