The sujihiki and yanagiba are two Japanese carving knives. The sujihiki, also called a slicer, is the more versatile of the two and can be used to carve steaks into thin slices as well as prepare sushi and sashimi. Yanagiba, on the other hand, is specifically designed for slicing raw fish, primarily sushi and sashimi preparation.

The origin of both knives dates back centuries. Sujihiki has its roots in ancient samurai swordsmithing practices in Japan. Its name literally means “to pull”—a reference to the way it was traditionally used when cutting fish with a single pull of the blade. Similarly, yanagiba began as the standard sword used by the warrior class of feudal Japan known as adizukeshi. Over time, it was adopted by chefs who found its extraordinary sharpness ideal for working with delicate ingredients like seafood.

Both knives are staples in Japanese cuisine since they were once essential tools for Samurai warriors who rode into battle bearing them for protection as well as sustenance. To this day, chefs remain true to their traditional use; however most home cooks have adopted them due to their effectiveness in preparing high quality meals that maintain their artful presentation flavors and textures.

Overview of Sujihiki

The Sujihiki is a Japanese-style slicing knife with a long narrow blade. It usually measures between 240 and 300 millimeters (about 9.5–12 inches) in length and a slim profile of between 2 and 3 millimeters thick. The cutting edge runs along the entire length of the blade while the back spine is curved, allowing for easier slicing of large thin cuts.

When it comes to its design, the Sujihiki often uses a double bevel grind on its blade for added sharpness and easy honing. In terms of efficiency, it is well suited for slicing larger cuts of meat such as steaks, roasts, poultry, or fish. As its thin profile allows for very smooth slicing without tearing the food apart, it is particularly popular with professional Sushi chefs and restaurant cooks alike.

Sharpening this type of knife is considered relatively simple compared to other single bevel knives due to its double bevel grind. Depending on the user’s preferences and skillset, whetstones ranging from 120 grit all the way up to 2000 grit can be used during honing or sharpening sessions. Furthermore, some people prefer utilizing electric sharpeners but it usually provides much less flexibility when trying to achieve different levels or degrees of sharpness than traditional methods do.

Overall, Sujihikis are great knives to have if you want a dependable slash-and-pull rear slicing action when portioning out roasts and whole fish fillets; making them an excellent choice for home cooks as well as professional kitchen staff who enjoy preparing larger cuts of meat or fish dishes regularly.

Overview of Yanagiba

The yanagiba knife is a type of Japanese kitchen knife that is traditionally used for preparing sashimi and sushi. It has a long, slender blade with a single bevel edge, usually around 20-30 cm in length, and the upper half of the blade curves inward towards the tip. The distinctive curve is designed to make slicing through soft fish or vegetables easier and results in thin, paper-thin slices which give sashimi its classic presentation. With its sharp edge and thin profile, the yanagiba is also capable of quickly and precisely cutting through hard-to-work materials such as cucumbers.

Compared to sujihiki knives (which are also used to prepare sushi dishes), yanagiba knives are considerably longer and dont have a rounded tip like sujihiki knives. They also typically have a thicker blade than sujihiki knives which makes them better suited for harder ingredients such as daikon radish or cucumber. Although they are commonly used to make thin slices of seafood or vegetables, they can also be used for other types of food such as poultry or beef. Finally, due to its sharpness paired with its curved shape, the traditional technique using this type of knife involves pushing down on it while sliding it across the product in order to get uniform thin slices every time.

Comparison of Sujihiki vs Yanagiba

A Sujihiki and a Yanagiba are both Japanese-style knives typically made of carbon steel. The primary difference is the shape of the blade, with the Sujihiki being a long and slender blade that is well-suited for slicing meats, while the Yanagiba is designed for sushi preparation and has a longer, flatter blade.

When it comes to price range, Sujihiki knives tend to be more affordable than Yanagiba knives. However, due to their differing uses, there are trade-offs between the two types for comfort and ease of use. A Sujihiki is better suited for everyday tasks such as cutting vegetables or slicing meats than an Yanagiba since it requires less effort from hand strength standpoint due to its slightly curved shape. On the other hand, a Yanagiba’s length and flatness make it much easier to get thin slices of fish compared to using a Sujihiki. The sharp angles on the blade edge make it more efficient when pushing through meat or fish fibre instead of having lots of drag like what you experience with a curved knife.

In choosing between these two styles of knives, it really depends on individual preference and what type of cooking they plan on doing most often. Those who do sushi preparation often may prefer the convenience and efficiency offered by an Yanagiba while those who mostly work in kitchen environments may find a Sujihiki knife more suitable for their daily tasks because it’s easier to control and offers great slicing abilities at an accessible price point.


Sujihiki knives have a wide blade and are designed for slicing. They can be used for slicing meat, fish, vegetables, and other ingredients. Sujihikis allow for easy back-and-forth movements when cutting as the long blade length allows for a larger surface area to slice across. Additionally, sujihikis typically feature more of a pointed tip design than other blades, allowing one to make precise slices. On the downside, sujihikis are not ideal at slicing harder materials such as frozen meats or root vegetables due to their narrow edge profile.

Yanagiba knives have a sharp single bevel edge and are specifically designed for slicing seafood. Yanagibas are capable of creating clean and precise cuts with minimal effort due to their longer blade lengths and pointed tips. Furthermore, they make it easy to separate flesh from bones in fish fillets due to the thinness of the blade’s edge. However, yanagibas aren’t well suited for chopping because of its thin construction and soft steel used in its building process.