Although western style knives are very popular, Japan has its own unique and amazingly sharp Japanese kitchen knives. The other day, a monthly meeting of cutlery wholesaler mates was held at a French restaurant where a member’s son works as a chef. Both the food and the wine were tasty, and just as everyone was in a good mood, the chef, the son of a member of cutlery wholesaler mates, appeared to greet us. After praising his cooking skills, I had the audacity to ask him to show me what kind of knife he uses, which is something I wouldn’t ask at a normal restaurant.

The chef kindly showed me the knives he uses, a Yanagiba knife and a Deba knife, both of which, to my surprise, are the ones used at sushi restaurants!

I thought it would be obvious that with the spread of Western cooking, the use of Western style knives (or Gyuto) would become more widespread, but he stated that “these cut better, and were easy to use.”

Let’s illustrate the differences between Western knives and Japanese knives with a cross-sectional diagram. Figure 1 shows the cross-section of a standard knife. The left shows the problematic Western (Gyuto) knife that is made entirely with carbon steel or martentistic stainless steel. The four on the left are Japanese knives, of which 3 are composite.


Figure 1. Knife Cross-Section

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Thank you for reading and best regards!

All the Hocho-Knife staff
“Hocho” represents Made-in-Japan (Sushi / Sashimi) Kitchen Knives,
that is the soul of the cook!