Skip to content

Do I need a sashimi or yanagiba knife for sushi?

Do I need a sashimi or yanagiba knife for sushi?

A chef's knife, for example, can also be used to slice fish for sushi. However, if you are a serious sushi enthusiast or professional chef and want to ensure the best possible results, investing in a high-quality sashimi or yanagiba knife can be worthwhile.

Sashimi knives are long, thin, and single-edged, explicitly designed for slicing raw fish into thin, even slices. Also known as a "sashimi bocho" or "yanagiba," this knife is typically long and narrow with a single-edged blade sharpened to a fine point.

The blade of a sashimi knife is usually made from high-quality carbon steel or stainless steel, designed to be incredibly sharp and durable. The thin, narrow blade is ideal for making precise, clean cuts through fish without crushing or tearing the delicate flesh.

Sashimi knives are often used in Japanese cuisine, but they have also become increasingly popular in other parts of the world. They are essential for professional chefs and serious home cooks who want to create restaurant-quality sashimi dishes.


Yanagiba knives are similar but have slightly curved blades, making them particularly well-suited for slicing sushi-grade fish. The name "yanagiba" literally translates to "willow blade," which refers to the long, slender shape of the blade. It is a type of Japanese knife that is traditionally used for preparing sashimi and sushi.

Yanagiba knives have a single bevel edge (Click here to learn more about the differences between single and double bevel), meaning the blade is only sharpened on one side. This design allows for exact and clean cuts through fish, essential for preparing sashimi and sushi.

The blade of a yanagiba knife is typically made from high-quality carbon steel or stainless steel and is exceptionally sharp and durable. The handle is often made from wood or natural material, designed to provide a comfortable and secure grip.

Yanagiba knives require a bit of practice to use effectively, but once you master the technique, you can create beautiful, perfectly sliced sashimi and sushi.

If you are making sushi at home, you can prepare your fish without a specific sashimi or yanagiba knife. Ultimately, your knife choice will depend on your preference and skill level. If you are starting and want to learn about sushi making, either knife will likely work just fine.

When making sushi, you can use either a sashimi knife or a yanagiba knife to slice the fish. Both knives are designed to make precise cuts through raw fish and can create thin, even slices for sushi.

However, some differences between the knives might make one a better choice for specific tasks. For example, Sashimi knives are typically thinner and lighter than yanagiba knives, making them easier for some people to handle. They are also more versatile than yanagiba knives and can be used for other tasks besides slicing fish.

Yanagiba knives, on the other hand, are specifically designed for slicing fish, and professional sushi chefs often favor them. The long, narrow blade allows precise cuts that create beautiful, uniform fish slices.

If you are a serious home cook or professional chef, investing in a high-quality sashimi or yanagiba knife can help you achieve the best possible results.

Get Free Bonus Books

Join Japanese Knife Club

Sign up for free to the Japanese Knife Club to get advice and exclusive articles about how to choose Japanese Knives, and tips and tricks for using Japanese knives.

Unsubscribe anytime. It’s free!

Related Posts

How to Choose Your First Japanese Knife
How to Choose Your First Japanese Knife

Learn about the craft of Japanese knifemaking and find your ideal fit. You can browse the many types and features with t

Read More
Houchoushiki - A ceremony that celebrates the art of Japanese Knives
Houchoushiki (庖丁式) - A ceremony that celebrates the art of Japanese Knives

The Houchoushiki ceremony is a beautiful celebration of Japan's knife culture. Originating from Edo period, it honors th

Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published..

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping

Select options