For centuries, Japanese masters have been experimenting with blade-making techniques turning Japanese steel blades superior in their niche. These techniques have been passed through generations becoming traditional for making weaponry in the past and kitchen knives in the present times.
So many people and professional chefs love using Japanese knives just because they are Japanese. But the reasons are not known to everyone.
There are many reasons why chefs prefer Japanese knives and we are going to break them all down here:
They are the sharpest knives of the world
This is one of the most valued features of Japanese kitchen knives, which is achieved b the traditional techniques that we were just talking about and the steels that masters use.
When you are looking to invest in kitchen knives, you need to check the sharpness because you don’t want to end up sharpening the edge every day. The edge of Japanese blades are more long-lasting and don’t need frequent sharpening thanks to the hard steel they are made of. They contain high carbon, which makes them hard and allows to keep the sharpness for a long time.
Besides being extremely sharp, they also keep their edge for a long time letting you keep your knife active for a lifetime.
They are thin and lightweight
Even if you choose to buy heavy-duty cleaver knives, choose a Japanese one to avoid heaviness, which makes cutting harder. You want to enjoy cooking and not lose all your energy while you cut the meat.
Japanese blades are very easy to sharpen, which you can do at home with our guide on how to sharpen steel knives.
While these knives are usually sharpened symmetrically on both sides, their blades are still given Japanese-style acute-angle cutting edges of 8-10 degrees per side with a very hard temper to increase cutting ability.
The steel of a Japanese blade quickly tapers off in size after it enters the handle reducing the overall weight of the knife. This may bring the balance of the knife to be slightly forward heavy, a trait many chefs quickly get used to in order to take advantage of the Japanese knives superior performance.
the thinner the blade, the easier cuts are made, and the more agile cutting work it can perform.
They are made of the best types of steel
Steel is the best material for kitchen knives especially if they are handmade and Japanese knives are handmade, which is rare and amazing.
Stainless steel, carbon steel, high carbon steel and Damascus steel are the most common types of steel used for Japanese kitchen knives. The only problem that you might get with steel is rust, but that preventable and even cleanable. In case if your kitchen knife has rust or you are afraid that it will, here is how to clean rust from a kitchen knife.
Most Japanese knives employ the use of high-carbon steel combined with extra elements such as nickel, chromium, vanadium, tungsten, molybdenum, to produce exotic alloys that have greatly enhanced corrosion resistance, hardness, and durability.
Japanese steel knives will serve you a long time, keeping their shape and their sharpness. Even if they don’t keep the edge, which is unlikely since they are famous for keeping the edge longer than any other type, you can easily sharpen them at home. They will also never break, which is a known scenario especially with ceramic knives.
The hardness of Japanese kitchen knives is unmatchable
Steel hardness can be graded by the Rockwell hardness scale. Softer steels such as AUS8 can only be hardened to 52-56 which is considered quite low.
These knives can take more punishment, and are less brittle, but will go blunt extremely quickly due to their softness. These steels are generally considered inferior for knife making. Japanese knives are normally anywhere between 61-67 HRC, giving them their legendary edge retention and long-lasting sharpness. This comes at a price, however, with extreme hardness comes the risk of chipping and damaging the blade from improper use as described above.
In conclusion: Japanese kitchen knives are famous for being high quality and having the most unique shapes of the world. You can neer g wrong with a strong, thin and sharp chef's knife doing the work effortless no matter what you choose to cut.