Kamikoto makes single-bevel kitchen knives using traditional Japanese shapes, and steel sourced from Japan, but the blades are actually manufactured in China. Although the company’s marketing statements position the products as a “luxury Japanese brand,” many experts contest that claim. We decided to take a closer look.
What we like
- The single bevel blade is exceptionally sharp.
- Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant.
- Great performance for the price.
What We don’t
- Not a great choice for beginners.
- No options for different bolster styles.
- Don’t buy at the inflated “full-price” on the Kamikoto website. It’s a sales gimmick and you can always get these knives for a cheaper “on-sale” pricing there or on Amazon.
In This Article
Kamikto produces affordable kitchen knives in a traditional Japanese style.
This is especially apparent in their single bevel blades. Also known as “chisel” style blades, this sharpening method yields a single incredibly sharp edge. Because of this, Kamikoto knives require that owners use a special cutting technique that’s different from standard knives. Once chefs get used to this way of slicing, though, it offers unmatched control and precision.
Made In China
A point of contention among many is that Kamikoto’s knives are actually produced in Yanjiang, China. While this fact has drawn the ire of some online reviewers, my take is that their concerns are overblown. Here’s why. Just as Seki, Japan has a centuries-long history of knife making, so does Yanjiang.
All of my genuine gripes with Kamikoto come from their misleading marketing, and a confusing pricing scheme.
The company makes a big show of explaining that their direct-to-consumer model lets them sell at lower prices. But on their website, the “original” price is still displayed as an inflated number, sometimes into the thousands of dollars.
My advice? Ignore this sales-y gimmick and focus on the quality of the knives relative to their actual listed price. And when you do that, I think you’ll see that Kamikoto has a lot to offer any Japanese knife enthusiast.
The Kamikoto Kanpeki knife set is the company’s featured offering. It consolidates 3 traditional Japanese knife shapes, in a corrosion resistant package.
- An 8.5-inch slicing knife, which can take the place of a chef’s knife. It’s perfect for precise cuts on meat and fish.
- A 7-inch nakiri knife. These thin, flat blades are traditionally used for cutting all types of vegetables.
- A 5-inch utility knife. Anything that the slicer or nakiri can’t handle, the utility knife is great for. It’s especially good for mincing onions, garlic, and herbs.
And three knives come packaged in an attractive wooden box with a certificate of authenticity. Kamikoto believes in their knives enough to offer a lifetime warranty, too, so your investment is a safe one. The kanpeki set is my top choice from Kamikoto’s knives, as it gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
The senshi knife set will appeal to the kitchen knife purist. It features an unstoppable duo of a 10-inch chef’s knife and a 5-inch utility knife. Mounted on an aesthetically pleasing wooden display stand, it’s worthy of becoming the center of attention for your kitchen.
Once you get used to the single bevel blade on this big and weighty chef’s knife, you may never want to go back to your Western-style blades.
The word santoku doesn’t translate to “three virtues” for nothing! They’re a versatile alternative to a chef’s knife that can handle meat, seafood, and vegetables with ease.
At 7 inches long, Kamikto’s santoku knife is easier to handle than an 8- or 10-inch chef’s knife. And thanks to the single bevel and hard steel construction, it can make accurate and precise cuts.
Compared to other santoku knives on the market today, I prefer this one because of its single bevel edge. Instead of needing scalloped edges to keep it from sticking, the blade angle takes care of smooth cuts.
What To Look For
Put Kamikoto knives side by side with knives at a similar price, and you’ll immediately notice how different they look. Simply put, Kamikoto knives are made in a much older style than most knives available today. That gives them a different feel that may be unfamiliar at first.
Once you have a few days’ practice under your belt, the design of these knives becomes more apparent. They’re amazingly well-balanced and allow for incredibly precise cuts. Paired with refined bolsters and matte black handles, they look great too.
Kamikoto knives feature a traditional “no bolster” style, allowing you to use the entire length of the blade. They’re not as beginner-friendly as full bolster knives, as they won’t protect your lead finger. But since Kamikoto’s bolsters are heavy and well-made, they give great balance and stability to the knives.
Polished wood and resin handles give Kamikoto’s knives a refined look. Combined with a full tang design, the comfortable handles add the final touches to an already great knife.
Not many knives today use the traditional single bevel edge, as it requires a certain cutting style to use well.
You’ll need to either learn how to sharpen your knife using a whetstone, or take it to a professional sharpener. This is one of the few downsides of Kamikoto knives’ design. Sharpening a single bevel edge is tricky, and not every home chef will be up to refining their skills to do so.
All of Kamikoto’s knives are made in the full tang style. This means that a single piece of metal extends through the entire knife, from blade to handle. That makes for the strongest and most durable blades possible.
There are an incredible number of Japanese knife makers making home-use kitchen products, and most you’ve probably never heard of. A few of the bigger brands worth looking into include Shun, Miyabi, and Yoshihiro. These brands cost a lot more per knife, but they do offer significant upgrades in terms of materials and finishes.
Is Kamikoto made in china?
Yes, Kamikoto knives are made in Yanjiang, China. The city has been the center of Chinese bladesmithing for centuries.
Are Kamikoto knives really that good?
Kamikoto makes excellent knives for intermediate and experienced cooks. They have a great aesthetic are are built on par with other major Japanese knife brands. The single bevel blade design used by Kamikoto may take time to master for for beginners.
What cutting tasks are kamikoto knives good for?
Japanese blades, like those made by Kamikoto, are usually thinner than Western-style knives like those made in France or Germany. The thin profile is lightweight and best suited for precise cuts in fruits, vegetables and fish – and may not perform as well as a heavier Western knife for heavy-duty tasks like those where larger bones may be involved.