Japanese knives

The Japanese knives

The Japanese have distinguished themselves for several centuries by their know-how in cutlery. In recent years, the world market for knives, but especially kitchen knives, has been invaded by Japanese knives.

Japanese knives were originally entirely hand forged. They testified to a unique know-how and an exceptional manufacturing quality. Qualified blacksmiths produced all kinds of knives with robust blades and a unique and meticulous design.

The different models of Japanese knives used in the kitchen:

  • ‌The Gyuto knife.
  • ‌The Santoku knife.
  • ‌The Sashimi / Yanagiba knife.
  • ‌The Honesuki knife.
  • ‌The Deba knife.
  • ‌The Sujihiki knife.
  • ‌The Nakiri/Usuba knife. ‌

The Japanese also made beautiful fighting swords. They were also made by hand, but when the wars broke out, the massive use of weapons demanded greater production. And since then, the manufacture of their large swords, swords and knives has become industrialised. Among the most famous Japanese swords in the world are, for example, the katanas or samurai swords.

Manufacturing of Japanese knives

In general, Japanese knives are made from a harder type of steel than European knives. While the steel hardness of a European knife is often between 54 and 58 Rockwell, Japanese knives often start between 58 Rockwell and 66 Rockwell.

The specificities of the Japanese knife

  • The angle of the blade is about 10 to 16 degrees and is often only on one side of the blade (single bevel).
  • The blade is thin, very sharp and most of the time has no bolster.
  • The steel is very hard, often above 62 HrC Rockwell, which is similar to hardened tool steels.
  • The shape of the knife is generally straighter, more suitable for slicing.
  • They are light and very well balanced.
  • Due to the sharpness and hardness of the steel, they can be subject to damage such as chips.

‌Advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of the Japanese blade

  • Sharper grinding.
  • Keeps its sharpness longer.
  • Less resistance when you use it.

‌Disadvantages of Japanese blade

  • Sharpening takes some time to get used to.
  • Vulnerable.
  • Requires a maintenance. We will of course also explain to you how to care for a Japanese knife.

‌Why to choose a Japanese knife?

Japanese knives are often works of art and are embellished with a razor-sharp blade. The hardness of Japanese knives starts with 58 Rockwell up to 66 Rockwell. This means that the steel is incredibly hard. As such, it is possible to make the blade smaller and sharpen it at an angle of 15 degrees. This leaves you with razor-sharp knives. The disadvantage, however, is that knives are much more vulnerable. You should treat Japanese knives with care and love.

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