Kamikoto knows a thing or two about selling knives. Not only do they sell knife sets, usually for hundreds of dollars, they also sell singular knives, typically for an equally high price. Many home cooks in search of the perfect paring knife, or complete knife set, may come to find Kamikoto and find themselves conflicted.
They all seem like high-quality knives, but are they worth the price?
The Kanpeki Knife Set is comprised of three knives, a wooden case, and a certificate of authenticity. And that's hardly anything when compared to the price of a single vegetable knife.
What drives the price of these knives skyward? According to Kamikoto, it all comes down to the superior quality of Japanese steel, the incredibly rigorous 19-step creation process used for its knives, and the limited lifetime guarantee that comes with each knife or knife set.
According to Kamikoto, they are saving the general public money by selling their knives wholesale, and directly from the manufacturer to the consumer. However, it should be noted that Kamikoto knives are occasionally marked down during massive sales, and it is at this time that Kamikoto experiences the bulk of their revenue.
These knives were created with an inflated price, but does that mean that they are of inferior quality to similarly priced knives or knife sets?
Let’s find out more in this Kamikoto knife review!
Kamikoto Knife: General Specifications
- Kamikoto knives are made from high-quality steel from Honshu 本州, Japan
- 7-inch Nakiri vegetable knife, 8.5-inch slicing knife, 5-inch utility knife
- Both handle and blade are satin finished to a subtle, yet stunning luster.
Kamikoto currently offers four knife sets and six single knives, all ranging in price.
Each Kamikoto knife blade features a single slope. Each knife and knife set arrive inside of a wooden case, and each product includes a certificate of authenticity.
The knives look great. Simple, elegant, and secure, you can choose to invest in a set the comes with an included display stand or show off these babies using a magnetic chopping block. Whichever way you decided, you're sure to impress visiting family, friends, and guests with these aesthetically pleasing knives.
The handles are typically all made of G-10, which is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate. They are covered in black matting, giving them a very modern, designer look. The composite material used to create the handles stands up to pressure, heat, and accidents very well, ensuring a long-lasting companion for the steel blade.
There is one exception to this black-handled policy, and that is the 7-inch Santoku Ganjo blade. It features a wooden handle and is the only Kamikoto knife that has a double bevel. In addition to its unique appearance and number of bevels, this is one of the single Kamikoto knives that are susceptible to chipping and rusting, due to the type of steel used to make it.
The steel blades that Kamikoto uses to make its knives come in two forms. The first form, which Kamikoto refers to as 420J2 steel, or Genten series steel, is corrosion resistant. The blades in this series need to be sharpened with a whetstone from time to time to remain active.
The second type of steel used to make Kamikoto knives is called SLD steel, and it tends to chip and rust over time. While this is not ideal, it is the price you pay for a higher HRC, or level of blade hardness. A blade that registers with a higher HRC is less likely to snap, shatter, or need sharpening.
Each Kamikoto knife is made of Japanese steel, but the knives are not made in Japan. They are made in China, and there are some noticeable Western design influences, particularly when considering the weight of the knives.
While this distinction is essential for those who want 100% Japanese crafted knives and may deter some readers, for those who are merely looking for excellent-quality knives, you could do far worse than Kamikoto. Their knives are well made, impressive, and stylistically pleasing. They need very little maintenance and stay sharp for very long periods.
How it Compares
To get a more comprehensive understanding of Kamikoto knives, and to better decide if they are worth the price or not, let’s compare these Japanese steel knives to competitor’s products.
Once we have a more exceptional view of the products available, we should be able to make an informed decision as to whether the Kamikoto knives cut it. For simplicity, let's compare knife sets rather than compare singular knives, as there are many various types of knives we could compare.
Firstly, let’s start with the Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set.
Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set
This set includes three knives, a wooden case, and a certificate of authenticity. The three knives are a 7-inch Nakiri Vegetable Knife, an 8.5-inch slicing knife, and a 5-inch utility knife. It also includes a limited lifetime guarantee.
The type of steel used in the creation of these knives is resistant to corrosion, so these knives are easy to clean and care for, even after multiple uses. These knives are a bit heavier than the typical Japanese knives, and many hours of consistent use may make your hands and arms begin to feel tired.
Overall, these knives are reliable, smooth, sharp, and easy to use. They are elegant enough to display in your kitchen proudly. If you’d prefer to go through Kamikoto directly, they do offer free international shipping on all orders.
Shun Classic 6-piece Slim Knife Block Set
- Set includes: 3.5-inch Paring Knife, 7-inch Santoku Knife, 8-inch Chef's Knife, 9-inch Combination Honing Steel, Shun...
- VG-MAX cutting core with 34-layers (each side) and stainless Damascus cladding
- Rockwell Hardness: 60-61; hand-sharpened Japanese double-bevel blade angle 16° (each side)
This knife set is far more expensive than the Kamikoto Kanpeki Knife Set. It is important to note that the Shun Knife Set contains nearly double the number of pieces than the Kamikoto Kanpeki, and this is reflected in the price.
Unlike the Kamikoto Kanpeki, which arrives in a wooden case, the Shun set comes in a beautifully stained wooden knife block. These are authentic Japanese knives, crafted in Seki, Japan. Each knife features a double-bevel blade with an HRC of about 60, which is far higher than the HRC of the Kanpeki Knife Set. This hardness means that the Shun blades are harder and require less sharpening.
Each knife features a dark PakkaWood handle. These handles resist natural wear and tear as well as damage from moisture. The Shun Knife Block Set includes a 3.5-inch Paring Knife, a 7-inch Santoku Knife, an 8-inch Chef's Knife, a 9-inch Combination Honing Steel, a pair of Shun Multi-purpose Kitchen Shears, and the wooden kitchen block. The block is considered part of the six pieces, meaning that this set contains three knives, one pair of shears/scissors, one sharpening steel rod, and one wooden knife block.
Also remember that the Kanpeki Knife Set does not contain a pair of kitchen shears, nor does it include a display/storage block as the Shun Knife Block Set does. Also, the Shun knives are crafted in Japan, unlike the Kamikoto knives.
The final cherry on top of this rather expensive and knife-like sundae is Amazon Prime. The Shun knife set is a Prime item, so you expect your new knives to arrive very quickly after ordering.
XINZUO 5-Piece Damascus Kitchen Knife Set
- PREMIUM DAMASCUS STEEL: Made By 67 Layers High Carbon Damascus Steel with 10Cr core, Hardness could reach 62HRC, also...
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN HANDLE: XinZuo Ergonomic handle design will create a comfortable holding and give the best level to...
- RAZOR SHARP PERFECT: With the 10Cr core, the blade is incredibly strong and stable. The razor sharp edge could be kept...
These knives are very much like the inexpensive cousins of the Kamikoto knives. Also made of Japanese steel, but in China, this 5-piece set is slightly less expensive than the Kanpeki Knife Set.
The blades are made of durable steel that is resistant to rust, corrosion, or breakage. Each blade has a hardness rating of about 62 HRC, which is the highest hardness rating of any of the edges we have discussed in this Kamikoto knife review.
The knives do not arrive in a wooden block or a wooden case, and so display and storage are entirely up to the user. It is reasonable to surmise that part of the low cost for this set of knives is because it does not include a storage container of any kind.
The dark brown, almost crimson PakkaWood handle is resistant to damage occurring from use, as well as damage caused by moisture. The set includes a 3.5-inch paring knife, a 5-inch utility knife, a 6.8-inch Nakiri knife, a 7-inch santoku knife, and an 8-inch chef knife. Each blade can stay sharp for several months of daily use.
These knives are lightweight, gorgeous, and perfect for someone who doesn't care for any of the frills and extra items usually included inside of expensive knife sets. For the pragmatic chef or the chef on a budget, the XINZUO 5-Piece Knife Set can satisfy your food prep needs without emptying your wallet. And, because it is a Prime item, you could have this set in your home in about the time that it takes a frozen turkey to defrost and cook!
Pros and Cons
Kamikoto knives have a lot of beautiful qualities, but they also have some drawbacks. Before we can make an informed decision as to whether Kamikoto knives are worth the price, we must compile their qualities and weigh the good against the bad. No Kamikoto knife review would be complete without a standard comparison of Pros and Cons.
Does the Kamikoto Knife Cut It?
Before you tell us to ‘cut it out’ with all these knife puns, let us get straight to the point and make some sharp comments about Kamikoto knives.
These knives have a lot of positive qualities. They are beautifully designed, durable, long-lasting, sharp, and made from high-quality Japanese steel. They would look great in any kitchen, and they work well for shorter periods of use, as they have some heft to them.
Unfortunately, these knives are not made in Japan, as Kamikoto would have the average consumer believe. Kamikoto is a Chinese company that sells knives made from Japanese steel, and it does so in a compelling manner. Some people will naturally be turned off by this type of deceptive advertising.
Japanese knives are known for their lightweight, their consistent sharpness, and their beauty. For those looking for a purist Japanese knife set, the Kamikoto will not satisfy.
But this does not make them bad knives. The Kamikoto knives are all excellent knives.
However, with an inflated price that only drops during special discount periods, you are likely to find a knife or knife set that is more affordable than the knives or knife sets that Kamikoto can offer.
These more affordable sets are of similar quality, but for a far less significant price, making them a better option for those on a budget.
Overall, Kamikoto knives are great. But they’re not quite as high as Kamikoto would have you believe they are.
Featured Image: Amazon