Japanese chefs knives are some of the highest quality professional knives available on the market. The most commonly used types of cutlery include the kitchen cleaver (deba bocho), the vegetable knives (usuba hocho), and the sashimi knives slicers (yanagi ba and tako hiki). These knives have gained recognition with their cutting performance and durability.
There are two main types of traditional Japanese chefs knives: the honyaki and the kasumi. These classifications are determined based on how the knives are made and what materials were used to forge them. Alas, other popular styles of the Japanese knife are the Samhimi Knife, the Santoku-knives and the Shun knives.
The honyaki knives are made of carbon steel and are true-forged knives. Honyaki blades are very hard and are difficult to sharpen. These knives are best used by experienced users who have developed the skill to master using honyaki blades over the years.
The kasumi are made from soft iron and carbon steel that has been forged together. The steel is used to form the edge of the blade while the iron forms the blade’s body and spine.
Modern Japanese chefs knives are made from stainless steel and more expensive blades are coated with a laminate composed of a core of hard and brittle carbon steel to provide corrosion resistance while maintaining the blade’s strength and durability.
These knives also offer some variations in the chisel grind with concave back sides in order to reduce adhesion and dragging against the food. However, the end of the second World War brought about some changes and western-style double-angled knives gained popularity.
Most of the Japanese chef knives are made in Sakai, which has been the capital of samurai sword manufacturing since the fourteenth century. After revolutions that restored Imperial rule to Japan, military sword manufacture was halted and the swordsmiths turned to cutlery production.
The industry of Japanese chefs knives is not only a business but it is also a craft that has been mastered by many family-oriented businesses that pass down their techniques in the art of knife making from generation to generation.