Most knife manufacturers in Japan have both the Japanese-style knives and Western-style knives. There are lots of Japanese knives with Western-style handles or blades or both, pretty much any maker in Japan has several knives in Western-style and vice versa, most of all the major knife manufacturers in Europe and US make several Japanese influenced knives.

Japanese-style knives are usually made with harder steel, which means the blade holds it edge longer (it doesn’t need to be sharpened as often) and the edge itself can be cut a steeper angle. A Japanese knife is lighter, holds its edge longer, and its edge is cut differently than its counterpart.
It is recommended that you take your Japanese blades to a professional sharpener. Japanese-style knives are more about precision and exactness.


Western-style knives originally used a softer steel though they are now much influenced by Japanese-style. Keep in mind softer steel does not always mean inferior steel. Due to the softer steel the blades do not hold their edge as long as their Japanese counterparts, but are much easier to sharpen and are not as brittle. When held western-style knives have a bit more heft which can be a good thing, depending on your preferences.


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