Japanese Knives: The Gyuto

The Gyuto is a Japanese knife that originated during the Meiji era in Japan between 1868 and 1912. Today, it’s a popular and versatile Japanese blade that can be used to chop and cut a wide variety of foods including meats and vegetables. Let’s explore the Gyuto knife in more detail: what it is, what it’s for, and how to choose your own Gyuto.

What is a Gyuto knife?


A Gyuto knife is an all-purpose Japanese knife that can be used to chop meat, vegetables, and herbs equally well. Japanese chefs use Gyutos when cooking western-style food, but they also use them to prepare traditional Japanese dishes. The versatility and dynamism of this knife have helped it to retain its popularity since its creation in the late 19th century.

The history of the Gyuto

The Gyuto was originally developed as a Japanese version of a typical Western chef’s knife, inspired by the types of knives that English and French chefs used at the time. A knife like this was needed in Japan when the country started to eat more red meat and other foods imported from the West. In fact, the word ‘Gyuto’ literally translates to ‘cow sword’ in Japanese.

The Gyuto came about at a time in Japan’s history when blacksmiths, who traditionally made swords and other combat weaponry, were turning to other kinds of blades to bolster their incomes. Creating the Gyuto, a multi-purpose chef’s knife that could handle the new meats and vegetables that Japanese people were enjoying towards the end of the 19th century, was a smart commercial move for the industry.

Gyuto knives today

Contemporary Gyuto knives are beautiful, versatile, and practical knives that can complement any modern style of cooking. You can use them to chop vegetables and slice meats, and they’re effective for rock-chopping, pull-cutting, and push-cutting. For buyers wanting to invest in a Japanese knife but unsure where to start, the Gyuto is not a bad pick and a good all-rounder.

Gyutos can either have traditional Japanese ‘wa’ handles, or they may have Western ‘yo’ handles. While wa handles are lighter and may be considered more aesthetically appealing, yo handles are more ergonomic. Whether you prefer to work with either type of handle, it’s possible to find a Gyuto that suits your style.


Tips for using a Gyuto knife

If you’re using your first Gyuto knife, choose one that suits your own style of cooking and feels comfortable in your hand. If you’re used to western knife handles, you might find that a Gyuto with a yo handle is more comfortable to begin with.

Choose a blade length that fits with the type of cooking you intend to use your Gyuto for. Longer blades are more suitable for starchy vegetables that require more power to cut through, while shorter blades have a lighter overall weight making them more suitable for precision cuts.

Buy your Gyuto knife today

If you’re looking for a high-quality Japanese Gyuto knife to add to your collection, browse our range of Gyuto knives online today. Gyuto knives are fantastic general-purpose knives that are suitable for most western styles of cooking. They’re popular with seasoned Japanese chefs and casual cooks alike.