Japanease Kitchen Knives

A double edged Japanease knife is made using a "triple structure" technique, where a layer of solid steel is sandwiched between 2 layer of soft iron.

Steel or Stainless-steel?

Sharpness  Very hard and sharp.Since it is softer thean steel, its sharpness is not as good as steel's.
Edurance  Keeps an extreme edge for an extended period of time without re-sharpening. Comparatively, it becomes dull in a short period of time.
Rust Resistance  Withour prober care, iron-steel knives can rust.Stainless-steel doesn't rust
Ease of Sharpening  Easy to maintain a great edge even for a novice.It is not well honed and needs frequent re-sharpening.

Kusouchi or Migaki?

Shape and Uses

Shapes  Uses
Kawamuki  This versatile knife can be used for paring fruit, vegetables, or chopping seasonings.
Small Santoku   This small sized multi-purpose knife is designed for cutting meat, fish, or vegetables. It's very useful for filleting soft-boned fish like horse mackerel.
Santoku   This is a multi-purpose knife, designed for cutting meat, fish, or vegetables.
Nakiri   This knife is designed for cutting vegetables, paring Japanese radish, etc.
Yanagiba   This long, narrow classic knife is for slicing sashimi.
Kodeba   This knife is best for filleting small fish. Typically single edged.
Deba   This knife is ideal for filleting whole fish and cutting chicken bones. Typically single edged.
Petit   This knife is a paring / small kitchen knife perfect for cutting vegetables.
Gyuto   This knife is a multi-purpose Western style knife, designed for slicing meat, fish etc.
Kiritsuke   The use of this knife is similar to the Gyuto. It has a triangular edge.
Honesuki   This knife is a poultry boning knife.
Chinese Cleaver   This knife is for cutting handmade soba noodles. The blade has a dead straight edge.


Hardness of steel is normally measured on the Rockwell scale. For a kitchen knife a hardness below 58 is considered a soft knife, while a hardness above 60 is considered a hard knife.
> 60    Hard
58 - 60    Medium
< 58    Medium soft, soft


Knive Images