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Japanese Knives: The Most Important Tool of the Kitchen

Nov 20th 2014 at 12:36 AM

Japanese cutlery has grown in popularity due to its sleek and stylish designs as well as for its superb cutting performance and sharpness. Japanese knives are made using traditional methods, which were honed through centuries of blade making techniques. Knife making in Japan dates back to the time of the Samurai. The blade-making was influenced with techniques used in making the Samurai sword. Seki, the Japanese town that is known for making the best blades, is still well known for its kitchen knives.

The sharp blade is one of the most appealing characteristics of a Japanese knife, making it efficient for a more precise and accurate cut. These knives are also known for their ability to cut cleanly and effortlessly through the toughest meats. Despite the thinner blade, Japanese knives are made with hard steel and angled for a precise cut, making them tougher and more flexible. It is their flexibility that enables them to cut around curves and corners precisely. A Japanese kitchen knife typically has a 15-degree blade angle, compared to European knives that often have 20-degree blade angles.

Japanese knives are lightweight compared to western knives, so it might have to adjust a bit to how they feel in your hand when using them for the first time. Their lightweight feel is comfortable for users with small hands and for those who want a more ergonomic tool.

There are two kinds of Japanese knives: western and traditional. Japanese traditional cutlery are designed for Japanese cooking, so the blade construction method is different from that of western Japanese kitchen knives. A traditional Japanese blade has only one sharp edge, so it requires a different sharpening technique. The carbon steel blade can resist rusting and staining. On the other hand, western style Japanese knives are hybrids as they are a cross between western knives and traditional Japanese knives.

Traditional Japanese knives are made using two forging methods: kasumi and honyaki. The class depends on the material and method used in forging. Honyaki are the true-forged knives and made from a single material, making them the highest grade knife. Kasumi is a composite of hagane (high-carbon steel) and jigane (soft iron). Kasumi knives have a cutting edge that is similar to honyaki, but they are stiffer and easier to maintain.

More professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts are switching to Japanese knives or are at least adding them to their sets of traditional Western cutlery. If you are considering Japanese knives for the first time, be sure to purchase them from a reputable online store that specialises in kitchenware. Only buy authentic Japanese knives from known brands that are recognised by top chefs, so you can be sure that you are using high-quality blades. Shun, Kasumi, and Tojiro, some of the brands and types of Japanese knives that you should check out.

About The Author:

Everten is Australia's leading online retailer of kitchenware, cookware, knives, Bake ware, tableware and dishes. They emphasise over 8000 items. Some of their most adored incredibly famous brands fuse Scanpan, Riedel, Le Creuset, Global, Wusthof, Breville, Cuisinart and Leifheit.

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