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Learn about blade material, size, and handle

March 05, 2017 0 Comments

Learn about blade material, size, and handle

About the blade materials "carbon steel" and "stainless steel"

The steel we use is high-grade steel for knives. The most important thing in a kitchen knife is this steel, and the difference in price is determined by this material.
So, let's explain what changes if the steel is different.

1. Does the blade rust easily? Is it resistant to rust?
2. Sharpness of the blade
3. Durability of sharpness
4. Hardness of the blade
5. Ease of sharpening

The above five points will change depending differences in the steel. First of all, we can divide roughly into material that rusts ("carbon" below), and material that is rust-resistant ("stainless" below). As for hardness, if the material is hard, it won't wear easily, so it will be sharp and stay sharp for a long time.

What we recommend is the carbon type. It has good sharpness, and it is hard so it has excellent durability. It is easy to re-sharpen and the price is cheap compared to stainless, so it's all good! If you consider a kitchen knife as something that will rust, you should choose a carbon knife.


On the other hand, if you prefer something that it is more rust resistant, please choose a stainless knife. In recent years, stainless models have appeared that are made of material just as good as the carbon knives. Compared to carbon, the price will be a bit higher, but maintenance will be easier.

I would like to explain the type of material used in carbon and stainless knives, but before that, a bit about the structure of a kitchen knife.

Honyaki (True-Forged)
Carbon monosteel


Since the monosteel is harder than the laminated knife, it has excellent durability of sharpness. Also, it is said that if you are a chef, you want to hold one once in your lifetime. However, since the honyaki blade is very hard, it is difficult to re-sharpen. It really needs to be used by someone who knows how to sharpen it, like an experienced head chef.

Laminated knife
Carbon steel and mild steel laminated


I think that most chefs have a laminated steel kitchen knife. Although the durability of the sharp edge of a laminated knife is also important, it is much easier to sharpen than a honyaki. It's sharp and easy to re-sharpen, so it's a construction that makes it convenient for everyday use.

How Japanese kitchen knives are made

Most commonly used by chefs is a laminated kitchen knife. If you'll be using it regularly, we recommend a laminated knife. But for experienced head chefs or people interested in a honyaki made the same way as a Japanese sword, we recommend experiencing the sharpness of a "honyaki" made by the very finest Sakai craftsmen.


The construction is designated as "Honyaki Blue Steel No.2" or "Laminated Knife Blue Steel No.2". In general, however, the prefix is only used in the case of honyaki, so when a knife is described only as "Blue Steel No.2" it basically refers to a laminated knife. Next, let's look at "the types of carbon steel material" and "the types of stainless steel material".

Carbon Steel Types - "Emphasis on Sharpness"

Basically, carbon steel will get rusty if you don't look after it.
However, it provides excellent sharpness, edge retention, and ease of re-sharpening.
If they are the same class of material, carbon is more affordable than stainless, so we recommend that anyone who is going to look after it properly choose a carbon knife.
Our best recommendation is Blue Steel No.2. Even if you use a Deba knife heavily all day, it will retain its sharpness.


And from White Steel No.2 class and above, the uraoshi is also done with the No. 10000 whetstone! We think that you can get a sense of satisfaction even just looking at our carefully finished knives.

Types of Carbon Steel 

・Blue Steel No.2

Sharpness ★★★ (5/5)

Hardness/durability ★★★★★ (5/5)

Edge retention  ★★★★★ (5/5)

Ease of sharpening ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Rust resistance ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

 

・White Steel No.2

Sharpness ★★★ (5/5)

Hardness/durability ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Edge retention  ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Ease of sharpening ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Rust resistance ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

 

・White Steel No.1

Sharpness ★★ (4/5)

Hardness/durability ★★★☆ (3/5)

Edge retention  ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

Ease of sharpening ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Rust resistance ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

 

・Japanese Steel

Sharpness ★★★☆ (3/5)

Hardness/durability ★★☆ (2/5)

Edge retention  ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

Ease of sharpening ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

Rust resistance ★★☆☆☆ (2/5)

 

Stainless Types - "Emphasis on Durability (rust resistance)"

In recent years the material of stainless type knives has sharpness and edge retention equal to that of carbon knives.


The price will be a bit higher, but we recommend them for their easier maintenance.
Silver-3 Steel and VG10 are materials that are especially highly regarded by chefs.
The material in the most common stainless type knives is molybdenum steel, and anything else will provide high quality sharpness and durability.


If you would like to purchase something a little better, you should choose Silver-3, VG-10, or high-speed steel.

There is also a die steel exclusively for butchers. This is hugely popular among butchers.

 

Types of Stainless Steel 

・Silver 3 Steel (Gin-san)

Sharpness ★★★★ (4/5)

Hardness/durability ★★☆ (4/5)

Edge retention  ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Ease of sharpening ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Rust resistance ★★★★★ (5/5)

 

・VG10 steel

Sharpness ★★★★ (4/5)

Hardness/durability ★★☆ (4/5)

Edge retention  ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Ease of sharpening ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Rust resistance ★★★★★ (5/5)

 

・Molybdenum Steel

Sharpness ★★★☆ (3/5)

Hardness/durability ★★☆ (3/5)

Edge retention  ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

Ease of sharpening ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Rust resistance ★★★★★ (5/5)

  

Deciding the length of the blade

The length you choose will change depending on the size of the ingredients you are cutting. If it is a Sashimi Knife, it is more likely to be 270mm or 300mm because the cut of sashimi will look and taste better if it's done in a single slice, but depending on the size of the kitchen, some people will use a 240mm knife.

In the case of a Deba knife, some people will have two sizes, a 105mm knife for small size fish like horse mackerel and sardines, and a 180mm knife for sea bream, yellowtail and other larger fish.

We think that you can decide the size of the blade according to the ingredients to be cut and the environment where it will be used.

 

・For Small fish, such as horse mackerel and sardines

Recommended blade length: 120mm
When the food items are small, it requires tighter movements so a smaller size is easier to use.


・For Large fish, such as Sea bream and Yellowtail

Recommended blade length: 180mm
Conversely, when the food items are large, a long knife is recommended because ideally the blade should be long enough to be able to cut with a single slice rather than cutting many times.

 

Deciding the style of the handle

Basically, the handle is pre-decided depending on the chosen grade of knife, but there are knives that can be changed and customized.

With Japanese kitchen knives, you can customize the handle in most cases. For example, you can upgrade if you want to have ebony handles that are stylish and easy to grip. Please inquire for details.


With Western knives, please select the one you like, because there are differences, such as with or without a bolster, etc. You can't change the handle on Western knives.





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