WESTERN STYLE KNIVES
Sujihiki – The Sujihiki is a long narrow slicer. The length allows you to reduce the amount of strokes and avoid “sawing” motions.
Gyuto – The Gyuto is a Japanese style chef knife. Typically thinner and has less belly (curve) than the European chef knives. This is an all purpose knife.
Wa-Gyuto – The Wa-Gyuto is a chef knife with a traditional Japanese handle. This type of handle will affect the weight, making the knife lighter overall and will balance forward. This is an all purpose knife.
Santoku – This is an all purpose knife which combines the knuckle clearance of a chef knife with the maneuverability shorter blade. This is an all purpose knife and is more suitable for dicing and push cutting.
Nakiri – The Nakiri is a light duty vegetable cleaver. This is an all purpose knife and is more suitable for dicing and push cutting.
Deba – The Deba is a heavy blade light duty cleaver. It is typically shaped like a chef knife or santoku but is intended for butchering meat, fish and poultry - not for vegetables
or precision knife work.
Garasuki – the Garasuki is a large wedge shaped poultry-style boning knife and is good for many types of butchering duties which require a heavy blade.
Honesuki – The Honesuki is a smaller version of the Garasuki (see above)
Honkotsu – The Honkotsu is a straight style boning knife and is good for many types of butchering duties which require a heavier blade.
TRADITIONAL STYLE JAPANESE KNIVES
These knives are mostly single beveled, with one side being concave to ease with food separation. These knives should only be hand sharpened by whetstone.
Yanagiba – Also called a sushi knife and is meant for slicing fish. This blade in not meant for butchering and should not come in contact with bones.
Fuguhiki – A thinner version of the Yanagiba, primarily designed for the cutting Puffer fish (Fugu) but can also be used for the precision slicing of fish.
Takohiki – the Takohiki is meant for cutting sashimi and octopus. This blade in not meant for butchering and should not come in contact with bones.
Deba – The Deba is a butchering cleaver meant for fish and poultry.
Funyaki – Shaped like a Deba, the Funyaki is thinner and is more of an all purpose knife.
Usuba – The Usuba is designed primarily for peeling and slicing vegetables.
The Kamagata Usuba features a pointy edge.
Nakiri – The Nakiri is a thin double sided vegetable cleaver.
PROPER KNIFE CARE
Proper Cutting Surfaces - use only soft cutting boards such as wood, plastic or rubber. Do not cut on hard surfaces such as marble, glass or ceramic.
Storage - Blades should be protected to prevent chipping or injury. Knives are best kept in a knife block, wood covered magnetic rack (Mag-Blok) or original box. If left in a drawer or knife roll, blades should be covered by a plastic or magnetic edge guard or a wooden Saya cover
Cleaning - Do not put any knife in the dishwasher, this will lead to rust and chipping. No knife is completely stainless and must be washed by hand and dried immediately.
Carbon Care - Carbon steel knives must be kept as dry as possible and oiled when not in use. Patina development is normal and should not be confused with rust. Knives can be cleaned with a carbon cleaning solution or a mild cleanser such as "Bar Keepers Friend" or "Ajax" and a dish towel.
For long term storage, blades should be cleaned, oiled with Tsubaki oil or a food safe mineral oil and wrapped in paper. Do not use a vegetable oil which can break down and become rancid.
Honing - The use of a honing device such as a high grit whetstone, ceramic rod or European style "Butchers" steel will help maintain your edge and allow you to go longer periods of time between sharpening.
Diamond steels should not be confused with honing steels as they remove large amounts of metal and should be used sparingly.
Sharpening - It is recommended each owner know how to sharpen their own knife. We believe that free-hand sharpening by water stone is the best method (this is especially important for the large beveled traditional Japanese knives). Draw though mechanical sharpeners should be avoided.
If you do choose to have your knives sharpened professionally, please choose carefully and make sure the sharpener knows how to care for your particular knife. Sharpening by hand or with a water cooled device is recommended.