Kamikoto is a Japanese based company that’s getting a lot of buzz online these days for their high-quality knives. But do they live up to the hype? After all, they sell at a relatively high price point, even when compared to other high-end brands like Yoshihiro, known for their hand-crafted steel blades. So, one of the things we’ll really focus on in this review is whether or not these brands live up to not only their hype, but their price tags.
One of the ways in which Kamikoto knives truly distinguish themselves is their aesthetics. They’re more than functional knives; they’re display pieces. They’re meant to be enjoyed for their visual appeal just as much as they are meant to be a practical addition to your kitchen. There invite people to look at them, start conversations about them, and confer, in addition to beauty, a certain amount of status.
Japanese Knives… Made in China?
One criticism we see in relation to Kamikoto knives is that they are made in China, albeit from high quality Japanese steel from Honshu. They’re handcrafted, nonetheless, and by obviously skilled artisans. We have to say that we find this criticism to be entirely unfair. The reason many products made in China get a poor reputation is because they are mass produced in factories by companies with very low standards of quality—not because Chinese craftsmen are inherently inferior to Japanese craftsmen. The Kamikoto company has gone through great lengths
“Traditional”… Does it Matter?
Another criticism we’ve heard about Kamikoto is that they aren’t “traditional” Japanese knives. This criticism is even more ill-founded than criticism regarding their manufacture in China. Kamikoto knives are, in fact, in a class of their own when compared to standard Japanese knives, including being somewhat thicker and heavier than some Japanese knife designs.
But Kamikoto knives are still “traditional” in that they are designed by Japanese artisans and utilize Japanese steel. They’re simply designed with a different set of aesthetics than some other Japanese knives; there’s no rule that all Japanese knife companies must make single-beveled, extremely thin blades. Kamikoto designers have incorporated some unique design choices that, if anything, make their knives stand out in a wonderful way.
One thing you really don’t hear much criticism about is the quality of a Kamikoto knives. There are two thingsthat anyone buying a high-end knife should look for: high-carbon, forged blades, and blades that sharpen easily and hold their edge. No one can argue that Kamikoto doesn’t deliver on this front. The exceptional steel they’re made with, from Honshu, Japan, is famous the world over. Their excellent design makes them very easy to sharpen and require minimal maintenance, and they certainly are easily comparable to pretty much any other high-end brand, if not better, in this regard.
Now that we’ve given you a bit of an overview of the brand, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Kamikoto knives.
The Kamikoto 7” Santoku Chef Knife
This is a single bevel chef’s knife, with a seven inch blade. It comes with a lovely wooden box suitable for storage or display. With its curved belly, thick blade, and extra heft, the Santoku chef knife offers an aesthetically pleasing and practical fusion between Eastern and Western chef knife styles. It’s superbly balanced, and easy to maneuver and control, even if your knife skills aren’t professional-level. If you’re looking to purchase one, and only one, Kamikoto knife, this is a fantastically versatile choice, since it has so many varied applications.
The Kamikoto Senshi Dual Knife Set with Display Stand
This is one of the most stunning sets, visually, both because these knives themselves are gorgeous and because the dramatic, yet elegant stand included displays them in such a beautiful fashion.
This set comes with an exceptionally well balanced ten inch chef’s blade, as well as a 5.5” utility knife. In typical Kamikoto fashion, these blades are a bit thicker and heavier than some other Japanese brands, and even have a more Westernized double bevel. None of this detracts from their beauty or functionality, however. These knives are of a quality that can easily last you for decades, and they’ll be as sharp as the day you got them, with regular maintenance.
The Kamikoto Chuka Bocho Cleaver
This handmade 7.5 inch steel blade is just as perfectly balanced as every other Kamikoto knife. It’s also one of the most visually dramatic in the Kamikoto collection, if you are planning to keep it on display. It’s a bit on the light side for using on beef bones or similar heavy applications, but is a wonderful cleaver for lighter work.
Final Verdict on Our Kamikoto Knives Review
There’s no arguing that Kamikoto blades are some of the most exceptionally engineered and crafted in the
culinary industry, and they have strong appeal for lovers of both Eastern and Western style cooking knives. They’re also beautiful—there’s no other knife company that puts as heavy an emphasis on form as well as function.
But the question remains: Are they worth the price? Because while they outstrip competitors when it comes to quality and appearance, they also charge a premium.
We’d say that they are in fact a bit overpriced when it comes to offering you a practical, high quality knife, except for one little secret that those who aren’t familiar with the brand probably don’t know.
Kamikoto knives go on sale regularly, and they are deeply discounted. Of course, if you’re in a hurry, you’ll have to pay full price. But if you’re thinking of amassing a collection of these beautiful showpiece knives, it would behoove you to check prices regularly. You can get some truly beautiful knives at much more affordable prices if you have some flexibility when it comes to when you want to buy them.
When it comes to their full MSRP, Kamikoto are beautiful, practical knives that are also a bit on the pricey side. But when they’re on sale, they’re just about the best high-end knife deal you can find.