Sujihiki vs. Yanagiba: Which One is Better for You?

Craving for seafood? What about some sashimi? Great idea, right?

Check your fridge, have fish in it? So, you can make it yourself now. But do you know these aren’t going to be perfect if you don’t use the perfect knife?

Wondering what the perfect ones are? These are Sujihiki and Yanagiba. These are two different kinds of knives that will help in slicing and preparing your perfect piece of fish. The best part is, you can work with meat as well by using these.

However, feeling confused between Sujhiki vs Yanagiba knives? Wondering which one to get? Well, hold your thoughts and read the below section because you will find your exact answer just here.

Without further ado, let’s begin the session:

The Sujihiki Knife: The Ultimate Carving Knife

Sujihiki, which translates to “fresh slicer” in Japanese, is one of the best slicing knives. Fish and boneless meats are the main items that you can cut using this knife. In essence, it’s much thinner than just a carving knife. Most of the cuts used in Japanese cuisine need to be delicate and precisely sliced, making them essential in the kitchen. 

Sujihiki Characteristics

  • It consists of an 8 to 12 inches long blade.
  • The edge has two bevels, just like regular western kitchen knives.
  • The profile of the blade on Sujihiki is narrow. It is 2 to 3 mm thick at the broadest point of its spine.
  • Sujihiki is available in carbon steel and stainless steel
  • Its pointed tip makes it simpler to remove extra fat and tissue from slits

What is a Sujihiki Knife used for?

Sujihiki is a standard carving tool with a bit of Japanese flair. Because there is very little resistance from the small blade, you can effortlessly slide it across the meats without risking tearing the slices.

It is mostly used for filleting big fish in one motion and slicing boneless meat protein. But, apart from these, a Sujihiki can perform every task that a carving knife can perform. 

The Yanagiba Knife: The Sashimi Slicer

You may have known the Yanagiba knife as a sushi knife or Yanagiba. At first, it might seem exactly the same as a Sujhiki knife to you. Then what seems to be the difference here? Well, definitely, there are plenty of them. But mainly, you will notice the edge of this blade. This knife is single-beveled, with only one side forming the sharp edge. 

Both filleting and thinly slicing fish are great usage for the Yanagiba’s single bevel edge and small blade profile. Yanagiba is thus the ideal sushi knife. Many Japanese sushi chefs cook fish by cutting them with Yanagiba.

Yanagiba Characteristics

  • A long, thin blade that is between 8 and 14 inches tall.
  • Its single bevel edge affects how the knife is sharpened and sliced.
  • Best for filleting and slicing fish in a single clean motion due to the single bevel edge and blade shape.
  • Yanagiba features a blade that is 0.35 to 0.45 mm thicker.
  • Other steel types are available; however, carbon steel is often used in Japanese yanagiba.

What is a Yanagiba Knife used for?

As the Yanagiba is frequently used to chop raw fish, it is also known as the sushi knife. Yanagiba has a significantly thinner edge than the majority of Japanese kitchen knives while having a moderately robust spine.

When producing sushi or any other meal that calls for thinly sliced fish, Japanese chefs use Yanagiba at every step of the process. Yanagiba may be used to slice any raw, boneless meat, not just fish, and is particularly effective if you want thin slices.

What are the differences between Yanagiba and Sujihiki Knives? [5 key differences explained]

Both knives appear to be very similar at first, but if you focus well, you can see some subtle variances that give each knife its own identity. Here is a list of the distinctions between Yanagiba and Sujihiki.

1.   Edge

The key distinction between the Yanagiba and Sujihiki knives can be seen in the edges. The distinctions between Sujihiki and Yanagiba are mostly based on the differentiation between kitchen knives with single and double bevels. Due to the similarity in the design of the blades, Japanese chefs prefer using the knife to slice and make fillet adjustments.


Regardless of the ingredient being cut with Sujihiki, raw fish, raw meat, or fruits and veggies meal is pressed on both sides of the cut. As a result, you will find a flat and even sliced piece. Despite the Yanagiba blade’s single bevel edge moving the food in only one direction while yet guiding it toward the cutting position, it is equally as delicate and accurate.

At first glance, you may not understand how sharp it is or how precisely it can cut. Here’s an example: Sujihiki can chop a tomato in two neatly and precisely.


Yanagiba’s edge is also significantly thinner than Sujihiki’s. Cutting and slicing are made simpler by the narrower edge, resulting in a sharper blade overall.

Your knife-holding technique also plays a role. Both the component and the knife’s edge may be harmed while cutting with a Yanagiba, which involves flipping the knife or slicing from left to right. The location of the cutting edge’s formation, however, affects this.

2.   Blade

With the exception of the features of single and double bevel edges, the blade designs of Sujihiki and Yanagiba are almost identical. Knives with a single bevel have a flat side and a cutting angle on one side alone. Alternatives with a double bevel, in which the blade is evenly grounded on both sides to provide a V-shaped cutting edge, are not the same.


You will see the edge of a Sujihiki is identical to any other western kitchen knife when you are using it to cut anything.


On the other side, Yanagiba isn’t very good at it. The blade has a side that is entirely flat as if it were a chunk of steel rather than a blade. When you turn it over, you can see where the blade is rooted. Apart from this, both appear to be almost similar.

3.   Weight

Despite having a thinner edge than Sujihiki, Yanagiba is often heavier. The thicker spine is mostly to blame for the extra weight. To apply downward pressure, Japanese chefs like to place their fingertips on the spine of the knife.

When chopping fresh fish for sushi and sashimi, the chef may manipulate the blade precisely by applying a little pressure to the spine as if it were an extension of their arm. 


Depending on your tastes, Sujihiki’s small weight may also work in your favor. A lighter knife is always preferable when using a knife for an extended duration. You’ll be capable of working for longer periods of time without experiencing wrist pain because of it.


Yanagiba’s added weight makes it easier to slice fish vertically and reduces friction. This produces slices that are unbroken and devoid of tears. This is the desired result when cutting fish because it is much more sensitive than meat or poultry. Therefore, Yanagiba’s additional weight is advantageous.

4.   Purpose

Although both the Yanagiba and the Sujihiki are specialized knives, one is more adaptable than the other.


Any non-dense substance may be sliced using a sujihiki, which is a versatile cutting and slicing tool. As a result, avoid using it on huge slices of bone-in meat because it won’t be capable of cutting through them. Otherwise, it works excellently for deboning.


Yanagiba is capable of handling them, although not as well as the Sujihiki. Yanagiba is a significantly better option than Sujihiki if you’re interested in filleting and slicing fish, as it is what the knife was made for.

Sujihiki, on the other hand, is a better knife if you want something adaptable enough to handle foods other than fish, such as vegetables and fruits. 

5.   Steel

Carbon steel is the material typically used to make Japanese blades. Both Yanagiba and Sujihiki are affected by this.


Sujihiki is more well-known because it is a more adaptable and superior culinary tool for western cuisine. Sujihiki can be used to prepare meat, chicken, as well as other boneless animal proteins.

The fact that it can be used for tasks other than filleting and slicing fish makes it a versatile carving and cutting knife with a Japanese flair, which makes it a perfect alternative to the traditional carving knife. 


Yanagiba is less common in the West than Sujihiki; therefore, stainless steel versions are more widely available. While stainless steel Sujihiki knives are simple to locate, stainless steel Yanagiba knives may be more difficult to locate. 

Which one should you choose?

Right away, we can state that a Sujihiki is often preferable for home cooks. Yanagiba is a far better blade that will speed up many of the tasks you are presently performing if you are filleting and cutting fish always.

But thinking as a whole, Sujihiki’s adaptability makes it a superior choice for home chefs. If you make fish every day, however, a Yanagiba might be more appropriate.

Final Words

 So, have you decided which one to get between Sujhiki vs Yanagiba knives? Do both of these seem perfect? Well, having two blades won’t be bad.

In fact, these will give your kitchen more variety. But always keep in mind no matter which knife you choose, your perfection will always depend on the magic of your hand.


Check out the below frequently asked questions relevant to the topic that people remain most confused about:

Can you use Yanagiba for meat?

The Yanagiba knife can easily be used to slice pork tenderloins, hanger steak, and raw chicken. A Yanagiba can slice anything if you’re looking for paper-thin, precise cuts.

Are Yanagiba knives single-level?

Yes, Yanagiba knives are single-beveled ones, unlike the double-beveled Sujihiki knives.

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