What is a “Laser” Knife?

There’s been a fair of buzz about “laser” knives in knife making and knife enthusiast forums. What exactly is a laser knife, though? A quick Google search will bring different answers. One is the laser knife used in Star Wars which is essentially a much shorter lightsaber. Of course, this probably isn’t what people are talking about. However, there are also some innovations that involve the use of lasers or electromagnets in cutting food and even in surgical procedures.

For out purposes, we settle on this definition of a “laser” knife: this is an ultra-thin and lightweight knife that cuts through food easily and beautifully. Because the knife is so thin, the food it cuts offers very little resistance. Even when it’s not a peak sharpness, laser knives can perform better than other types of knives. There are a lot of laser knives in the market, and they are usually preferred by the most discerning of chefs.

The use of the term “laser” when referring to thin knives is a relatively recent substitution for the term “gyuto” knives. These Japanese-made gyuto knives are multi-purpose knives great for cutting meat, fish, and vegetables. They also retain their blade’s sharpness much longer. Gyuto knives are similar to French chef’s knives and are beveled on both sides (as opposed to other traditional Japanese cutting knives, which are beveled on one side only). Their lengths generally fall in the range of 210mm to 270mm.

Gyuto “laser” knives have a pointed tip for precision. From the tip, the knife rounds out to a belly that can be used for rock cutting. For a lot of people, the gyuto knife is a versatile all-around knife that can be used for a variety of function. It might even be the only knife you’ll need in the kitchen.

One of the most popular examples of gyuto “laser” knives is the Kotobuki 10-1/2 Gyuto. Many claim that as your skill develops, you can get more use out of this knife. It is made of semi-stainless steel and can hold a great edge for a long time. When cutting food with the Kotobuki 10-1/2, it almost seems as if the knife is merely falling through the food and not cutting through it. Though it may be daunting to use at first, especially if you are not as experienced, you’ll get the hang of it soon enough and it can vastly improve your cooking experience. However, you do have to be careful with maintenance and sharpening.

The Kotobuki 10-1/2 Gyuto also comes in different shapes. Cooks and chefs have particular tastes and opinions when it comes to the shape and dimensions of the knives they use, so you can try different sorts of gyuto “laser” knives to see which works best for and with you.

Other brands also make great gyuto knives. Richmond, in particular, has a collection of gyuto knives, which are called by the more trendy “laser” monicker. Gyuto “laser” knives have been around for a long time, and this is a testament to their efficacy.

Other resources: Bugout Bill Handheld Spotlight