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japanese fish knife and taiwan tuna knife

Difference between Taiwan Tuna knife and Japanese Fish knife

Are you a fisherman, seafood lover or a professional chef who frequently works with fish? If so, then choosing the right knife is crucial for achieving precise and clean cuts. Two popular options in the market are Taiwan tuna knives and the Japanese fish knives. Both knives have their own unique features and benefits that cater to different needs. In this blog post, we will explore the similarities and differences between each style of knife, which will ultimately help you decide which fish knife style is best for you.

Similarities between Taiwan Tuna Knives and Japanese Fish Knives

  • Both knife styles are designed for cutting fish. The Taiwan Tuna Knives and Japanese Fish Knives both evolved traditionally as blades for cutting fish almost exclusively. It’s interesting to note that there is some crossover to using certain knives sizes for butchering meats. For example, the G-3 mini, G-3 and G-4 Taiwan knives and the Japanese Deba make excellent butchering knives for pork.
  • Both styles take very sharp edges. Both knife styles reliably perform with standard stock edges all the way up to super sharp ones even though the quality and hardness of the steel may vary from maker to maker.
  • Both styles are meant to be routinely maintained buy the user. These knives are built to withstand heavy-duty use and retain their sharpness over time, but they must also be cared for through simple cleaning and routine sharpening so that they can last a lifetime or more.

Differences between Taiwan Tuna Knives and Japanese Fish Knives

  • Blade shapes. Taiwan Tuna Knives have curved blades vs straight blades on Japanese Fish Knives. The difference in blade shapes between Taiwan Tuna Knives and Japanese fish knives creates three major differences: The cutting direction, the blade heights, and the linear length of the blades.
  • Cutting methods & directions. The curved blades of Taiwan Tuna Knives is more conducive to slicing. They can be used in a pushing direction to zip through, or a pulling motion to slice. The straight edges of Japanese Fish Knives are mainly meant to be used in a pulling motion to slice cleanly and evenly.
  • Blade heights. The curvature of a Taiwan Tuna Knife makes the blade more compact in terms of length, but wider in height compared to a Japanese fish knifes having less height but more length. On larger/longer knives, this can make a big difference depending on where you are doing your cutting. It will also influence the weight and balance of the blade.
  • Linear Length of the blades. Taiwan Tuna Knives use the advantage of the curvature (also called the belly of the knife) to squeeze more linear length into the edge without adding any actual length to the blade. Japanese Fish Knives are mostly all straight length and no curvature. That means a Taiwan Tuna Knife with a linear length of 12″ will be shorter than a 12″ Japanese straight blade.


Choosing between Taiwan Tuna Knives and Japanese Fish Knives is always going to be a decision based on your needs, preferences, and budget. Budget is a big factor. Anything with the word “Japanese” in it is generally expected to be a little more expensive while anything with the word “Taiwan” is expected to be less expensive. However, both styles utilize similar steel types and hardness, so functionality is equal.

As to the needs, smaller/short blades are more personal preference, but as you get into the longer/wider blades, it becomes a factor. Using, storing, and transporting longer Japanese blades vs wider Taiwan blades will need to be considered if you are on a boat, in a small apartment or galley kitchen, or in a full restaurant, home kitchen or at the marina.

Preferences will always be personal, and often related to aesthetics or traditions. Traditionally, these knives evolved differently, but both has stood the test of time and are all still in use today. Both styles can be aesthetically beautiful. Japanese blades are known for their delicate and simple beauty while the rugged roughness and forged look of the Taiwan Tuna knives are just as appealing.

We highly recommend you check out the different Taiwan Tuna Knives we have on offer.

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