At KAMA-ASA, we handle knives made of various blade materials. Blade materials can be divided into 2 large groups, carbon steel and stainless steel.
Generally, carbon steels can easily rust without care, though are economical, easy to sharpen, and can retain sharpness longer than stainless steels. You will need to wipe the blade often while cooking since it can rust when it’s wet for just a few minutes.
Stainless steels are unlikely to rust and easy to take care of. Nowadays, many stainless steels have developed and have long lasting sharpness as carbon steels too. They are relatively expensive, though are chosen by many professionals for its ease of maintenance.
JAPANESE STYLE KNIVES
Japanese style knives come in many shapes, each categorized according to the ingredient and the way of cooking. For example, Deba knives are for filleting fish, Yangi knives for slicing fish fillet into sashimi, and Usuba knives are often used for slicing daikon radish into paper thin sheets.
Since Japanese knives have only a single bevel, it can beautifully slice through the ingredients without damaging.
Kasumi is a structure of Japanese style knives made by assembling hard blade material and soft metal, which enables sharpening easier. Kasumi knives are economical and easy to sharpen compared to Honyaki knives.
Honyaki is a structure of Japanese style knives, which is made of one piece of blade material. Only skilled blacksmiths can forge this type of blade. It performs a beautiful cutting edge and long lasting sharpness though requires care since it can easily chip and is very difficult to sharpen. We recommend it for customers who are used to handling Japanese style knives.
WESTERN STYLE KNIVES
Manufacturing of Western style knives started in Japan with the arrival of western cuisine after the Meiji era. Most of Western style knives have a double bevel and can easily cut various ingredients such as meat, fish, and vegetables. Nowadays, the multi-purpose knives we often use in our kitchens are Western style knives too. There are some specialized knives such as Nakiri for cutting vegetables and Sujihiki for slicing and taking off the gristles from meat too.
- Single layer
The whole blade is made of one piece of blade material. Most of the single layer blades have uneven bevel and are divided into blades for right handed and left handed. The unevenly sharpened blade edge is similar to single bevel blades and enables cutting ingredients without sticking to the blade. You can change the angle of the blade as you like by sharpening.
- Warikomi and Damascus
The hard blade material is sandwiched by a soft metal, which enables it to make the sharpening easier. When the soft metal has a beautiful layered pattern, the blade material is called Damascus steel . Most of this type of blades are sharpened evenly and are for both right and left handed.
- Sakai city, Osaka
It is believed that knife production in Sakai city dates back to the 5th century, when many craftspeople were gathered in Sakai city to make Japan’s largest tomb called “Nintoku-tenno-ryo Kofun”. The quality knives made in Sakai city became famous throughout Japan for its high quality and sharpness. The feature of the knives made in Sakai city is that it is “forged” and “single bevel”. The forging procedure enhances the density and durability of the blade. The unique single bevel knives which are the same structure to Japanese swords can beautifully slice through the ingredients. Sakai city is becoming famous through the global culinary scene for making quality knives.
- Seki city, Gifu
Seki city has a history of knife production for more than 700 years. In the old days, Japanese swords made in Seki city were renowned for its durability and sharpness throughout Japan since the environment of Seki city was perfect for blacksmiths and many skilled craftspeople gathered there. Nowadays, the outstanding technique for making swords is passed down to knife production and Seki city is known as one of the world’s leading knife production areas.
- Echizen city, Fukui
Knife production in Echizen city started around the 14th century, when a famous blacksmith in Kyoto moved in and started to make sickles and swords for nearby farmers. Knives made in Echizen city are specially called “Echizen Uchihamono” since the craftspeople in Echizen city have developed a unique technique. Blades made in Echizen city are known for beautiful thin blades with long-lasting sharpness.
HOW TO CARE
Carbon steels can easily rust without care. Just leaving the blade wet for a few minutes can cause rust. You will need to wipe the blade with a dry cloth during cooking too. Please remove rust as soon as you find it. A small rust on the surface of the blade can be removed by rubbing with wine cork and cleanser. If you cannot remove it by this procedure, please use a special tool such as rust erasers. Please store in a dry place since storing in a humid place can cause rust too. If you do not use the blade often, apply oil and wrap with newspaper before storing.
Stainless steel knives are easy to take care of compared to carbon steel knives though they can rust too. Please wipe the blade after washing. If you find rust on the blade edge, you can remove it by using whetstones or an easy sharpener too.
Many of the knives made in Japan are individually made through various production processes by a group of skilled craftsmen. The knives we deal with at KAMA-ASA are also handcrafted and known to last for a long time.
HOW TO CHOOSE
We handle various types of knives with different shapes, sizes and handles. In order to find the perfect knife which fits in your hands, we ask our customers to actually hold the knife at our real shops in Tokyo and Paris.We understand that it is not easy to choose products online, especially because you cannot physically touch and examine the actual product. In order to make sure that we deliver ideal cooking tools to our customers, we inform the details of each item and answer any questions.