What is a Gyuto Knife? Exploring the Japanese Blade for the Modern Kitchen

April 4 | Types Of Knives | Read Time: minutes

Written by Michael V.

Becoming a master chef isn’t just about knowing all the secrets to creating unforgettable meals; it’s also about having the right tools.

Enter The gyuto knife—the Japanese equivalent of a Chef’s Knife and your new BFF in the kitchen! 

Classic Blonde Chef’s 8″ by Shun

And don’t let its sleek curves intimidate you; this badass tool will ensure every dish you put together tastes amazing—dare we say delicious enough that even Gordon Ramsay would be impressed? Okay, enough with the hype.

Get ready to discover why having one can transform your culinary life.

What is a Gyuto Knife?

A Gyuto kitchen knife is a Japanese chef’s knife used for various tasks such as slicing, dicing, and mincing. AKA: The typical things you’re supposed to do with a Chef’s knife. Got it? Good.

The Gyuto chef knife is designed to be comfortable to hold and use for extended periods, with a curved blade that helps improve cutting precision while rocking back and forth.

While similar to the Western-style chef’s knife, the Gyuto knife typically has a thinner blade and a straighter edge, making it sharp as a friggin razor.

The blade is typically made from carbon steel or stainless steel, and the blade length is often between 210mm and 270mm long.

As a result, it is often considered to be the ideal tool for preparing Japanese cuisine.

But don’t get it twisted; it can also be used for other types of cooking, making it a versatile addition to any kitchen.

What does Gyuto really mean?

“Gyuto” is a Japanese word that literally translates to “cow sword” or “beef sword.” (don’t go all dirty-minded on me now…).

Creeping Parks And Recreation GIF

Can you guess why? If your answer was probably from the fact that the Gyuto was initially designed for slicing and preparing large cuts of beef – great job, rocket scientist; here’s your star sticker to show to mommy.

History of Japanese Gyuto Knife

Japan has a long history of blade use that dates back thousands of years.

In modern times, the Japanese people’s preference for meat over fish and vegetables led them to develop more specialized knives with shorter, thinner blades, beautiful knives explicitly designed for cuts on animals’ bones like beef or pork rather than seafood.

This change happened during the Meiji period when many influxes from trade routes opened up between Japan and countries around Asia, including China, bringing new wealth and foods not usually eaten by locals.

The Gyuto chef knife became one of the most versatile knives in Japanese cuisine.

Developed by sword-smiths who wanted to continue cooking and eating food like their fallen heroes, but without being banned from carrying swords, it’s an exciting history showing how innovative Japan can be!

Design Difference of Japanese Gyuto Knives

The design of the knife blade on the Japanese gyuto knife isn’t unusual when compared to its cousin, the Western chef’s knife.

But opposite to most Japanese knives, a Gyuto typically has an asymmetrical double bevel edge that is better suited for cutting through meat without requiring much force on your part. Easy mode on.

What are common variants of Gyuto knives?

Two main variants of Gyuto knives are the Cry Baby “Wa-Gyuto” and the Rapper “Yo-Gyuto.”

Both are made with a high-carbon steel blade, but there are some key differences between the two.

  • Yo-Gyuto knives have a Western-style handle attached to the blade with rivets.
  • Wa-Gyuto knives have a Japanese-style handle fitted onto the blade using “hidden tang construction.”

Wa-Gyuto knives are often heavier and have a more curved blade, while Yo-Gyuto knives are lighter and have straighter edges.

Two more types of Gyutos exist, but they are rarer than Bigfoot himself.

  • K-tip Gyuto: This is a Gyuto knife with a blade with a sharp point shaped like a “K.” This type of Gyuto is ideal for precision cutting tasks and is often used for intricate work such as peeling, trimming, and filleting.
  • Honesuki Gyuto: This hybrid between a Gyuto and a Honesuki (a Japanese boning knife). The blade is wider and heavier than a typical Gyuto and is designed to handle challenging cutting tasks such as deboning poultry or trimming meat.

Each variant of the Gyuto knife has its unique features and benefits, and the choice of which one to go for depends on your preference, first and secondly, the specific tasks they need to perform in the kitchen.

What Are The Differences Between the Gyuto and a Western Chef’s Knife?

It can be tricky to tell the difference between a gyuto and a Western chef’s knife because they look similar on the surface – a curved blade perfect for slicing and dicing.

But if you look closer, you’ll see that their differences are as precise as a freshly-minced shallot.

While both have pointy tips and a reinforced spine, the gyuto typically has an asymmetrical bevel, giving it superior edge retention and sharpness.

The Western chef’s knife has its advantages, though, with a completely symmetrical bevel design that allows it to make precise cuts more easily.

The best uses of Japanese Gyuto

While its uses are limitless, there are some tasks a Gyuto excels at.; its narrow blade is perfect for intricate tasks like peeling and trimming, while its long edge excels at slicing through larger ingredients—hubba hubba.

This lightweight yet balanced design also won’t tire out your hand when using it for extended periods.


Whether trimming a tenderloin or carving a roast, a Gyuto is perfect for cutting raw meat. Its sharp blade allows you to make precise cuts, ensuring that your meat is cooked evenly.


From slicing onions to dicing carrots, a Gyuto is perfect for cutting raw vegetables, from slicing onions to dicing carrots. Its narrow blade allows for intricate cuts, while its length is ideal for slicing larger vegetables like cucumbers and zucchini.


Filleting fish can be delicate, but a Gyuto is up to the challenge. Its sharp blade allows you to make precise cuts, easily removing the skin and bones.


Whether slicing an apple or dicing a pineapple, a Gyuto is perfect for cutting raw fruit. Its narrow blade allows for intricate cuts, while its length is ideal for slicing larger fruits like watermelons and cantaloupes.

The Gyuto is a versatile kitchen knife that can handle various raw foods easily. Its sharp blade and balanced design makes it a must-have tool for any serious home cook or professional chef.

How to use a Gyuto?

Using a Gyuto kitchen knife is like wielding a samurai sword – but for your food! Here are the basic steps to follow:

  1. Hold the knife like a boss: Grab that handle with your dominant hand and channel your inner ninja warrior. You should pinch your thumb and index finger for maximum slicing power.
  2. Get a cutting board: It’s like a tiny battlefield for your food. Plus, it protects your counters and keeps your knife sharp.
  3. Make a game plan: You’re like a food ninja, so strategize your cuts before striking. Use your other hand to hold the food in place and guide your trusty blade.
  4. Use your weight wisely: Let gravity do the work – don’t go all Thor’s hammer on your poor veggies. Just apply some pressure and let the blade do the slicing.
  5. Be precise, not messy: Make short, controlled strokes with your blade – no wild hacking here. And keep your fingers out of harm’s way – you need them for more important tasks, like Instagramming your culinary creations.
  6. Use the whole blade: For those longer cuts, unleash the full length of your blade with sweeping motions. It’s like a choreographed dance, but with food.

Caring tips for your Gyuto

Your Gyuto knife is like a precious little baby that needs love and care to thrive. Here are some tips to keep your trusty blade in tip-top shape:

  1. Wash it like a pro: Give your Gyuto knife a gentle bath in warm, soapy water after every use. Just don’t leave it soaking too long, or it might get wrinkly!
  2. Keep it away from frenemies: Don’t let your precious baby get too cozy with other knives in the drawer – they might start to gossip and make it feel insecure.
  3. Give it a spa day: Every now and then, treat your knife to a bit of pampering. A nice sharpening session and a massage with some oil will make it feel like a million yen.
  4. Don’t neglect its sheath: Like a fashionable jacket, your Gyuto knife’s sheath needs some love too. Keep it clean and dry, and it’ll be the envy of all the other knives.
  5. Feed it the good stuff: Your knife deserves the best, so don’t make it work too hard on tough or frozen foods. Give it some juicy, tender cuts to really make it happy.
  6. Give it some space: Your knife needs room to breathe, so don’t overcrowd it in the drawer or counter. And don’t let it get too close to your fancy blender – that thing is trouble.
  7. Show it off: Your Gyuto knife is like a work of art, so put it on display for all to see. Maybe even take it out for a spin on a fancy cheese board or sushi platter – it deserves to shine!

Cutting Edge Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Gyuto knife is like the James Bond of kitchen blades – sleek, versatile, and ready for action. Its razor-sharp edge, the balanced weight, and elegant design make it the perfect Japanese knife for tackling any culinary challenge.

Whether you’re a seasoned sushi chef or just starting in the world of kitchen knives, a good Gyuto knife is a must-have in your arsenal and one of the most useful types of kitchen knives.

So channel your inner kitchen ninja, grab that Gyuto knife, and get ready to cook up a storm – because, with this blade in your hand, there’s nothing you can’t conquer.

Cheers to tasty food and sharp knives!

What The FAQ

Is A Gyuto A Chef’s Knife?

The gyuto is a Japanese-style cook’s knife with an acutely angled blade and is the closest resemblance to a typical western chef’s knife around.

What Is A Gyuto Knife Good For?

Gyuto knives are excellent for slicing and dicing vegetables, trimming meat, portioning fish, and even smashing & chopping garlic cloves and shallots. These knives can easily cut through larger items like soft-boned chicken or pork roasts.

Can You Cut Meat With A Gyuto?

Of course, you can!
The sharp points of this type make it ideal for cutting meat, which has been why they’re so popular in kitchens around the Asia Pacific, where people enjoy using them as their go-to knives when cooking up some tasty Australian cuts.

How Does A Gyuto Differ From A Santoku Knife?

While the Santoku and Gyuto knives may look similar, they are quite different.
The Gyuto knife is longer and often has a slight curve along its edge, which helps cut through larger, thicker items.
In contrast, the Santoku is typically shorter and somewhat wider with a straighter edge, making it better suited for chopping vegetables, herbs, and other delicate items.
Furthermore, the thinner blade of the Gyuto allows it to glide smoothly through meat while providing more control compared to the thicker blade of a Santoku, where greater force is sometimes required.
This makes the Gyuto more suitable for precision cutting, such as boning, while leaving delicate ingredients like fish virtually untouched.

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