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Yaxell Guide: The Right Japanese Knife for You

Every cook, pro or not, needs a knife that serves as an extension of their arm. But with so many options in the market, how do you choose the right knife for your cooking style? In this special blog post, we talk about five Yaxell knife ranges, a premium Japanese brand exclusive to Kitchen Warehouse, to help you find which knife best suits you.

Since 1932, Yaxell has been one of Japan’s leading knife manufacturers. Its knives’ incredible sharpness and fascinating Damascus steel blades have made them popular among both industrial kitchen chefs and discerning home cooks.

Yaxell takes pride in combining advanced technology with traditional craftsmanship to produce the highest quality of kitchen knives. The company is based at the heart of Seki, the Japanese capital for knife and sword-making for over 700 years. With a number of skilled and trained knife artisans, Yaxell proudly crafts and hones each knife by hand to perfection. 

Different from the Western-type blades, Japanese knives are lighter, thinner and exceptionally sharp. But while the more robust Western knives can hack through the toughest of meat; the thin, sharp and agile Japanese knives smoothly cut and slice ingredients with ease.

Now, let’s take a look at five premium Yaxell knife ranges and find out which one is right for you. 

Yaxell Super Gou Ypsilon

To sum up this super premium knife range: It’s a piece of art that is highly functional. The Super Gou Ypsilon is Yaxell’s most luxurious knife range yet. It features artisanal knives forged with 193 layers of high-grade stainless steel. If you’re looking for performance and aesthetics, this is the knife range for you. It’s perfect for gifting, collecting, and well suited for knife enthusiasts and professional chefs alike.

Yaxell Knives Super Gou Ypsilon Chef's Knife 20cm

    Blade

  • The multi-layer blade consists of the core (knife edge) and cladding (layers covering the core). 
  • The core is made of SG2 micro-carbide powdered stainless steel that is characterised by hardness, toughness and high rust resistance. Unlike other steel types, it is designed to provide an exceptionally sharp edge to the knife which doesn’t require frequent sharpening.
  • The hard and soft stainless steel that envelops the core totals 192 layers, 96 on each side. This protects the hard edge from chipping. It also creates beautiful waves of overlapping Damascus steel on the blade.
  • Blade hardness is approximately 63 Rockwell on the scale, giving the edge exceptional strength and superb retention.

    Handle

  • The elegant black handle is designed to rest easily in the hand. It is made from the water-resistant and highly durable micarta, a mix of resin and linen material, skillfully honed and contoured by hand for unsurpassed balance.
  • A solid forged stainless steel end and bolster are invisibly fused to both ends of the full tang blade, creating a perfectly balanced knife.

    Design

  • The handle is adorned by the Japanese samurai crest, representing the multi-generational family of blade forgers behind the success of Yaxell.
  • The hand-engraved Japanese characters on the blade, which stand for Super Gou or the samurai spirit, make the knives even more special.

Yaxell Gou

Designed to go beyond ordinary kitchen knives, the Gou knife range features superb sharpness similar to the Super Gou Ypsilon knives. Each knife comes with an SG2 core and a total of 101 layers of superior quality stainless steel. Forged and handcrafted with design and function in mind, these knives are perfect for cooks looking for knives with superb quality in terms of toughness, sharpness, balance, and grip.

Yaxell Knives Gou Chef's Knife 20cm

    Blade

  • Like the Super Gou Ypsilon knives, Gou blades are made with an SG2 micro-carbide powdered stainless steel for exceptional sharpness and lasting cutting edge. 
  • The core is clad by 50 layers of hard and soft stainless steel on each side to protect from chipping and also create a stunning Damascus steel finish. 
  • Rated to 63 Rockwell, the blade not only maintains a sharp edge longer, but also resists rusting and corrosion.

    Handle

  • Three strong rivets secure the hand-honed black canvas-micarta handle to the full tang blade.
  • The solid forged stainless steel end and bolster are seamlessly welded to the blade, which balances the knife for a better hand grip.

    Design

  • Literally translates to “the superb”, the hand-engraved Japanese characters for Gou adorn the blade for a special touch.

Yaxell Ran

Aside from its exceptional sharpness Yaxell Ran is highly prized for its VG10 core which gives it superior value. The core’s high carbon content gives the knives sheer hardness so they don’t easily break or chip despite the thin blade profile. This range is perfect for discerning professionals and cooks who need high-calibre knives that are long lasting and do not require constant sharpening.

Yaxell Knives Ran Chef's Knife 20cm

    Blade

  • The VG10 super stainless steel core consists of three significant metals: cobalt for hardness, molybdenum for corrosion resistance, and vanadium for low wear and tear.
  • Two layers of high quality stainless steel cover the blade core on each side, adding resistance to chipping, breaking, or rusting. 
  • Blade features an approximately 61 Rockwell hardness, an impressive strength for kitchen knives.

    Handle

  • Two strong stainless steel rivets tightly fasten the sleek black canvas-micarta on the blade for security.
  • The solid forged stainless steel end and collar are welded in an invisible conjunction between the handle and blade to provide stability and a comfortable grip to the user.

Yaxell Zen

The Zen knife range comes with superior hardness, comfortable hand grip, and lasting sharpness. What makes it a standout is the stunning hammered finish on the blade or tsuchime in Japanese. These great points make Yaxell Zen a definite fit for professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts who value balance in beauty, function, and cost.

Yaxell Knives Zen Chef's Knife 20cm

    Blade

  • The VG10 core’s high carbon content gives the knife superior hardness so it does not break or chip easily despite its thin, sharp edge. However, carbon is also prone to rust. By stirring in stainless steel into the mixture, the 37-layered knives become ultra-sharp tools that are also highly resistant to corrosion.
  • Similar with the Ran knife series, the Zen range comes with VG10 core knives. Though with less layers totaling 37, Yaxell Zen knives are guaranteed to be ultra-sharp and highly resistant to corrosion.
  • The blades are also treated in a high-temperature kiln, resulting in an outstanding hardness rating of 61 Rockwell. This scale is indicative of a cutting precision that lasts.

    Handle

  • The elegant black handle made of micarta is a water-resistant and highly durable. Each handle is skillfully hand-honed and contoured by artisans to rest easily in the hand. 
  • A solid forged stainless steel bolster is also seamlessly fused to the full tang blade to provide a stable and comfortable grip for the user.

    Design

  • A special hammered finish gives the knives a unique aesthetic character. This finish embellishes the upper blade and puts meticulous Japanese artistry on display. But more than that, it also creates small pockets of air so that food does not stick to the blade. 

Yaxell Mon

Handcrafted by skilled artisans using advanced technology, the Mon knife range is where design and function meet. It features a simple, smooth blade adorned by a beautiful sword wave line on the edge. If you’re looking for a knife with a good price point and performs superbly in prep work, this range is well suited for you. 

Yaxell Knives Mon Chef's Knife 20cm

    Blade

  • The VG10 blade core makes the knife remarkably sharp as well as durable for years.
  • Two layers of high quality stainless steel envelops the core on each side, rendering a three-layered blade that resists chipping, breaking, or rusting. 
  • Like the other VG10 blades, it also has a hardness rating of approximately 61 Rockwell.

    Handle

  • The black micarta handle is water-resistant and lasts for decades. Two strong stainless rivets fasten the handle and blade for security.
  • A stainless steel end and collar create balance between the handle and blade to provide a better hand grip.

    Design

  • It comes with the traditional sword wave line on the edge that adds an elegant touch to the sleek black handle.

KC Tayam

KC is a content writer for Kitchen Warehouse. She has quite an addiction to cooking shows. She is a budding home cook who loves to cook from scratch when she has time to spend in the kitchen.

2 thoughts on “Yaxell Guide: The Right Japanese Knife for You

  1. Just hoping that these wonderful knives are also made for left-handers? My son has real problems using more traditional knives due to his “wrong”-handedness! Loves a good knife, can’t find one weighted and made for a left-hander! HELP! Surely at least one high-end maker must serve this section of the population?

    1. Hi Jan! Yaxell knives are sharpened on both sides of the edge (double bevel) so they are perfect even for left-handed users. Hope Yaxell solves your (and your son’s!) search for the best knife 🙂

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