Kamikoto Knives Honest Review

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Let’s be honest: a good kitchen knife makes cutting vegetables or meat almost a magical experience. And for years, Japanese knives have been the number one choice for those tasks.

If you are looking for Japanese cutlery to upgrade your cookware collection, you might have heard about Kamikoto knives before. This well-known brand offers a wide variety of great products for all kinds of cooking enthusiasts, from experienced professionals to home chefs and foodies.

However, there are many mixed opinions about these knives on the internet, mainly because of their high prices.

So, as a firm believer that the price tag doesn’t always define quality, I decided to take a closer look at them.

In this review, we will compare the pros and cons of Kamikoto knives to see if they are worth adding to your kitchen or not.

Let’s start with a quick overview of the brand:

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About Kamikoto

Kamikoto is a cutlery brand that focuses on creating traditional Japanese knives using long-established techniques. Besides that, they also sell sharpening stones, knife blocks, and magnetic stands.

According to their website, each blade is carefully handcrafted, employing time-honored methods refined over generations of Japanese blacksmiths. Their goal is to deliver quality and durability while maintaining their traditions. Sounds good, right?

Most of their knives have single bevel blades— as you might expect from a Japanese brand. But, there are also some double bevel knives available.

Kamikoto knives honest review

First of all, the presentation is simply gorgeous. All their knives have a beautiful, classic style, and they come with a certificate of authenticity inside a lovely wooden box. They are perfect for giving as a gift!

Kamikoto has a varied selection of knives of all sizes and models, made with high-quality materials to last for years. They all have a full-tang construction to ensure balance and better control.

Moreover, Kamikoto offers international free shipping and a limited lifetime guarantee. Note that the guarantee only covers manufacturing issues and doesn’t extend to damages caused by normal wear, accidents, or improper use. You can read more about it here.

That aside, their pricing scheme seems quite curious to me.

Allegedly, their direct-to-consumer model allows them to sell their products at lower costs. Still, the “original” prices on their online store are too expensive. Plus, there are crazy special offers all the time, which doesn’t make much sense to me.

Frankly, I would say that is just a sales gimmick. Ignore all those “deals” and focus on the quality of the knives regarding the actual sale price that you will pay. Nothing more.

As for the blade material, Kamikoto emphasizes a lot that they use authentic Honshu steel to craft their knives.

And, yes, I know what you might be asking yourself:

What does Honshu steel mean?

Honestly, not much. Honshu means mainland, and it is the name of the largest island of Japan. So, you could say this is like “mainland steel”. But I think this is another marketing tactic to reinforce the idea that these knives are handmade in Japan.

There is a little controversy about the origin of Kamikoto knives, though. Some online reviewers claim they are made between Japan and China, and therefore they are not authentic Japanese knives. However, both the steel and the manufacturing process come from Japan.

The way I see it, I think the brand wants to separate itself from the bad reputation around Chinese products. So, they always highlight that they use Japanese steel from the Honshu island, with traditional Japanese methods, and building on their Japanese legacy. It’s just advertising.

Now, let’s talk about their most popular products to see if they are really worth all the money.

Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set

The Kanpeki knife set is, probably, their best-seller option. It includes three single bevel knives to tackle a variety of purposes:

  • 8.5-inch slicing knife for cutting meat, fish, and almost anything you need to cut around your kitchen. It’s the most versatile of all.
  • 7-inch Nakiri knife, suitable for cutting vegetables.
  • 5-inch utility knife for more intricate tasks, such as mincing or peeling small ingredients.

Of course, they are handmade from Honshu steel, which is supposed to ensure durability thanks to its corrosion-resistant properties. Besides, just like all Kamikoto knives, they come with a limited lifetime guarantee for your peace of mind.

This is a very complete set for those who are willing to invest in their first Japanese knives. They are well balanced and offer a secure grip for slippery situations. Additionally, both the handle and the blade have a subtle satin finishing that looks super elegant.

In short, these knives are a solid choice for most people because they cover all the basics. Nevertheless, they are not premium quality, so I would strongly recommend buying them at a discounted price on Amazon to get better value for money.

Pros of Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set

  • Durable and resistant to corrosion.
  • Beautiful finishing.
  • Versatile set of knives.
  • Very sharp for precise cuts.
  • Limited lifetime guarantee.

Cons of Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set

  • Suitable for right-handed users only because of their single bevel blade.
  • Expensive. It’s best to buy them at a discounted price.
  • Not dishwasher safe.

Kamikoto Steak Knife Set

This set includes four steak knives. They all have a non-serrated, double bevel 5-inch blade sharpened into an 11° angle.

The overall design is pretty nice, and its elegant black handle suits any table. Also, the knives are a comfortable size and have a good weight. Plus, they are durable, sharp, and come with a lifetime guarantee.

The only thing that seems weird to me is the price tag. According to their official website, each knife costs $436, but you can purchase the full set for only $249. Again, I think this is just a sales gimmick.

Pros of Kamikoto Steak Knife Set

  • Double bevel knives with beautiful design to suit any table.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Sharp and non-serrated for smooth meat cuts.
  • Comfortable size.
  • Limited lifetime guarantee.

Cons of Kamikoto Steak Knife Set

  • Confusing pricing scheme.
  • Not dishwasher safe.

Kamikoto 13-inch Yanagiba

A Yanagiba knife is a must-have in Japanese cuisine. If you have never heard of it, a Yanagiba is a long, sharp, single bevel knife, commonly used to prepare sashimi and sushi. It is perfect for smooth and precise slicing, as well as skinning fish in a single movement.

By the way, if you want to know more about other Japanese knives models and uses, take a look at my quick guide to Japanese knives.

This Kamikoto 13-inch Yanagiba is a fine choice for more experienced chefs. As it has a long single bevel blade, it takes some time and practice to master the knife.

Like all Kamikoto knives, this model has a sleek finishing, and it’s handcrafted from high-quality steel from Honshu, Japan. It comes with a certificate of authenticity, a lifetime guarantee, and a beautiful ash wood box to keep it in good shape.

Pros of Kamikoto Yanagiba Knife

  • Sharp, durable, and corrosion-resistant.
  • Beautiful design with a good grip.
  • Great for cutting clean slices, as well as skinning and filleting fish.
  • Limited lifetime guarantee.

Cons of Kamikoto Yanagiba Knife

  • Suitable for right-handed users only because of their single bevel blade.
  • Expensive.
  • Not dishwasher safe.

Kamikoto Chuka Bocho Cleaver

Perfect for slicing, chopping, mincing, and crushing, this Chuka Bocho Cleaver is a versatile and powerful tool that suits almost any kind of cook.

It has a 7.5-inch blade and is the heaviest knife in the entire Kamikoto collection. Yet, it is well balanced and has a secure grip for easy handling, even in wet conditions.

Like the previous Kamikoto models, this cleaver comes in a handmade wooden box that includes a certificate of authenticity. What’s more, although it is an all-terrain knife, it maintains a sleek and minimalist design.

Pros of the Kamikoto Chuka Bocho Cleaver

  • Versatile, durable, and corrosion-resistant.
  • Sturdy construction.
  • Well balanced.
  • Secure non-slip handle.
  • Beautiful finishing and presentation.
  • Limited lifetime guarantee.

Cons of the Kamikoto Chuka Bocho Cleaver

  • Suitable for right-handed users only because of their single bevel blade.
  • Best to buy it at a discounted price.
  • Not dishwasher safe.

Kamikoto Toishi Sharpening Whetstone 1000/3000

A sharp knife does not only provide smoother cuts but is also safer. It may sound counterintuitive, but think about it: the less effort to get the knife to do its job, the less chance for accidents. So, to maintain your blades like new, you must invest in a high-quality sharpening tool.

Luckily, Kamikoto offers this Toishi Sharpening Whetstone that comes in a beautiful package with a detailed instruction guide. It also includes a bamboo stand that holds the stone in place for absolute control during the sharpening process.

To keep your single bevel knives razor-sharp, the Toishi Sharpening Whetstone features two sides for sharpening and honing:

  • A 1000-grit coarse side for sharpening the rougher edge of the knife worn after multiple uses.
  • A fine 3000-grit side for polishing and finishing the edge.

Honestly speaking, the only downfall I see is the price. On the Kamikoto online store, the whetstone costs $210, but you can buy it on Amazon at $109. Still, I think that is an inflated number for an average quality whetstone. I mean, it does its job, but you can find other options that deliver the same excellent results for more reasonable prices.

Pros of Kamikoto Toishi Sharpening Whetstone

  • Nice presentation and good overall quality.
  • Comes with a bamboo stand for comfortable and secure handling.
  • Includes a detailed instruction guide for new users.

Cons of Kamikoto Toishi Sharpening Whetstone

  • Very expensive.

How to use the Kamikoto Toishi Sharpening Whetstone

Not sure how to use the Toishi Sharpening Whetstone? Don’t worry! If you don’t know where to start, Kamikoto has a helpful 1-minute tutorial on their YouTube channel.

Here is the step-by-step process:

1. Soak the whetstone in water for at least 10 minutes or until no more bubbles appear.

2. Place the whetstone on the bamboo stand on top of a non-slip surface. Make sure you have the coarse 1000-grit side up.

3. Keep the whetstone wet as you sharpen your knives. Dampen with some water when necessary.

4. Hold the knife against the whetstone with the edge of the blade facing away from you. Then, find the proper angle between the blade and the stone. To do that, lift the knife slightly until you feel the edge is flush with the stone. Apply a bit of pressure on the edge of the knife.

Keep in mind that each knife has a different angle. So, for more accuracy, check your knife care instructions.

5. Once you have the right position, maintain that angle and slide the knife over the entire length of the stone while moving it diagonally so that you sharpen the whole edge from heel to tip. During the process, apply a bit of pressure with your fingers, as shown in their tutorial.

6. Repeat up to 20 times, turn the knife, and do it on the other side. Don’t try to go too fast; take your time to do it right.

7. Flip the whetstone and repeat every part of the process on the finer 3000-grit side. Remember to hone both sides of the knife too!

8. Lastly, rinse and dry your knife. Et voilà! Now you have a beautiful, sharp blade ready to get some refined work done.

If you need extra help, review the instruction guide as many times as necessary and make sure you get the ideal angle before anything else.

Now, the moment of truth:

Are Kamikoto knives worth it?

Well, the knives are ALWAYS on discount, which seems odd to me. They definitely are not worth the “full price”, but the “discounted price” is more accurate for the quality of the knives. It’s a sketchy marketing strategy.

So, to recap, they are not worth the advertised price —around $600-800 per knife— but you will probably find them at some sort of discount. And, for $100-200, they are a fine choice.

I would consider these knives of solid medium quality. They are not professional quality by any means. But that doesn’t mean they are bad knives at all. They will do the job perfectly.

However, you will need to sharpen them often and be careful when using them on heavy duty-tasks (like cutting meat and small bones).

At the end of the day, I think you will enjoy Kamikoto knives if you buy them at a discounted price on Amazon. Nevertheless, it’s worth considering other options before making your decision.

Best Alternative: Oishya Knives

If you are curious to see what other knife brands have to offer, you might like Oishya products. This company is one of the strongest competitors against Kamikoto because they share many similarities.

Oishya specializes in professional-grade kitchenware. Their handcrafted Japanese knives are known for their first-class quality, sharpness, durability, and flawless finishing— seriously, they are beautiful! They are functional tools while also looking like decorative pieces for your kitchen.

On top of that, to ensure you take proper care of your knives, they also sell magnetic knife stands and racks, sharpening stones, and cutting boards.

Generally speaking, they are pretty similar to Kamikoto knives. Here are their main features:

  • Handmade by expert artisans in Europe and Japan, using traditional Japanese methods.
  • Free delivery.
  • Superior performance.
  • Beautiful aesthetics with an artistic touch.
  • They come in a minimalist wooden box— perfect for gifts and safekeeping.
  • Limited lifetime guarantee.
  • The brand offers many Japanese knives models and sets, as well as storage solutions and accessories.

You should know these are not cheap knives, though. They cost about the same as Kamikoto knives, but they are worth every penny. If you have a flexible budget, you must definitely take a look at them.

Want to know more? I already have an article about these knives where I share some of their best products. Check out my in-depth Oishya knives review!

Final thoughts

Overall, Kamikoto knives are suitable for anyone who wants to start investing in Japanese knives for their kitchen. They are versatile, beautiful, and come in a handmade wooden box that ensures safe storage. Plus, the brand has a varied catalog with knives for more experienced cooks. Yet, their pricing scheme and constant “deals” are a bit confusing.

And sure, these are good knives, but not first-rate knives. I feel the brand goes out of its way to sell these knives as pro-grade tools when in reality, they are more suitable for the average home chef.

That said, everyone has different requirements and tastes. So, as always, I think the ideal cookware will depend on your needs and budget. If you love classic Japanese knives and want to try Kamikoto products, my only advice for you is to buy them at a discounted price on Amazon to save you some bucks.

Also, consider that you must learn how to take proper care of your knives so they can last for years. After all, there is no magic knife that holds their edge forever.

If you want to know how to keep your knives in good condition, Kamikoto has an excellent knife care guide to get you started.

What do you think about Kamikoto knives? Leave a comment below!

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