Different types of Japanese Knives
Deba:Kitchen cleaver for fish
Gyuto: Similar to a western Chef's knife with a bevel on both sides. Typically, 180-270mm in length.
Honesuki: boning knife, there are two type of Honesuki--- Kaku (square) and Maru (Saki-maru or round).
Maguro: Very long knives to fillet tuna
Nakiri: Standard vegetable knife
Paring: Small knife with a plain edge blade that is ideal for peeling and other small or intricate work (such as de-veining a shrimp, removing the seeds from a jalapeño, 'skinning' or cutting small garnishes). It is designed to be an all-purpose knife, similar to a chef's knife, except smaller. Paring knives are usually between 60mm and 100mm long.
Petty: Small utility knife of Japanese design. Petty’s can vary significantly in both profile and size, ranging from 75mm to 210mm. Petty knives are very similar to the common western paring or utility knife.
Santoku: Meaning "three virtues", used for fish, meat and vegetables; western-style knife with a double bevel
Sashimi: Sashimi slicer
Soba: Knife to make soba/noodle (thin made from buckwheat)
Sujihiki: Similar to a western slicing or carving knife with a double bevel
Udon: Knife to make udon/noodle (thick made from white wheat flour)
Unagisaki: Japanese eel knife Usuba: Professional vegetable knife
Yanagi: Long knife, generally 210-300mm asymmetrical blade used for Sashimi slicing
Traditional Knife Making Style
- A hard steel core is clad with a "softer" exterior layers’ steel or steels to support it. The exterior softer steel cladding protects the inner cutting area steel. In Japanese, Kasumi means “mist” and named for the exterior steel that can have a beautiful misty appearance when compared to the harder cutting core
- Kasumi combines two or more types of steel to take advantage of the key characteristics of each of them and gives an extremely sharp edge and ease of sharpening.
- This method is similar to how Samurai Swords are traditionally made. Many Japanese knives are layered steel or Damascus Kasumi knives.
- The knife is one single piece of steel and are made of a single piece of VG10 "super steel" for precision performance.
- No cladding
- A hard carbon steel core is sandwiched between layers of "softer" stainless steel and forged together using extreme heat and pressure to support the construction
- The exterior steel is often stainless steel and provides stain and corrosion resistance, but supports the ultra-hard cutting core, and is more "forgiving" than the very hard core.
- San Mai is one of the traditional Samurai Sword making techniques, that gives the ultra-sharp benefits of carbon steel on the cutting edge, without the additional maintenance of pure carbon steel.
- The layered Damascus is formed by layering different types of metal alloys together then forging them into a single piece
- The patterns are revealed by grinding then bead-blasting or acid etching the blades. The process—and the different characteristics of the layered metals—create the rippling patterns in you see on the blade. The number of layers can vary and many knives does for example have 32 layers of metal on each side of a hard knife core.
- When the artisans grind each Damascus-clad blade from its thickest point at the spine to its razor-sharp cutting edge, they reveal the patterns. To bring the beauty of the patterns out even more, they bead blast or acid-etch each the blade and when acid etched, the layered metals react to the solution in different ways where carbon steel darkens, while nickel silver remains bright. The Damascus sandwich construction protects and supports the extremely hard cutting core and enhances stain resistance.
- Tsuchime (Tsoo-CHEE-may) simply means "hammered" and you will see actual hammer marks on a tsuchime-finished blade. This gives the knife a look that is reminiscent of the handcrafting techniques of ancient Japan.
- Hammering creates air pockets that act as hollow-ground cavities, which help food release from the blade
- Ryusen knives with this finish are hand hammered at each blade, in the tradition of ancient Japanese knife and sword making.
15° Cutting Angle
Thinner edges cut more efficiently. Because of the hard, premium steel from the Japanese cutlery’s the blades can be thinner, lighter and sharper. A thinner edge cuts more easily by putting less stress on the edge—so fewer strokes do the job. Thinner edges are easier to control as well, making cutting smoother and, once again, relieving stress on the edge.