Japanese knives are as present in our minds as they are in our kitchens, and this is apt to be true nowadays. It is indeed impossible to work in the kitchen without having heard about the quality of this particular type of knife. You don't have to be a professional, even home cooks have heard of this exceptional knife.
Beyond the almost mystical appeal of this knife, due to its exoticism and the connotations it evokes, we can note that its efficiency is very impressive, and is equalled only by its beauty and finesse.
The Japanese Temple team is particularly fond of Japanese knives, whether they come from big brands (such as Kai, or Global, etc...), or whether they are made from scratch by small local producers mastering this ancestral art (Masashi...). We have therefore selected for you the best knives on the market, both to offer you quality material, and for pleasure and love of beautiful material.
So what makes a Japanese knife so effective, beyond the expert creative eye of a good Japanese blacksmith ?
First of all, most Japanese blades are enriched with carbon to increase their hardness. Because of this hardness, the blade's edge can be worked more finely because it is stronger, which makes the knife incredibly sharp. Also, the Japanese are very good at making japanese blades, which combine layers of hard and soft steel giving the knives great strength and flexibility. These blades also feature a unique style of interlocking veining for an original look.
To shape a blade, the piece of steel will first be inserted into a very hot oven, then shaped by hand with a hammer, or with a mechanical press.
To go further, one of the best known steels in Japanese cutlery is VG10, which has undeniable qualities : cutting performance, corrosion resistance, easy sharpening...
Some blades will also be enriched with chromium, which will further increase their resistance to corrosion, this steel is called Chromo-Vanadium.
The second very important point in the design of this type of knife is the sharpening angle. If the blade of the western knives is so to speak U-shaped, the blade of the Japanese knives is worked to obtain a V shape. This specific angle will facilitate the re-sharpening of the blade, so it accumulates good points. It is this last point that will make a Japanese knife more profitable in the long run, since it will require less regular and easier sharpening.
Then comes the tempering process, which will allow the knife to be very strong, but still have a certain flexibility, so that it will not break like crystal at the slightest shock. This work consists in passing the shaped steel piece from a more or less high temperature to a low temperature, in order to create specific thermal reactions.
The work on the handle is also important. Its particular "D" shape will give the knife an unparalleled ergonomics, a pleasant balance. The handle is often made of wood, treated or not. Wood is particularly appreciated because of the diversity of its textures, colors and tones, and the finishes that can be applied to it. For example, Honoki wood (equivalent to our magnolia) is often used because of its resistance to bacteria and its authentic light color. Other woods can be used, such as oak, or exotic woods such as rosewood. Finally, some handles can be made of composite wood, i.e. a reconstituted wood mixed with resin, which is very easy to maintain, hygienic, and adapted to professional constraints.
The current techniques allow to combine the ancestral know-how with the innovative processes of our century. The knives will be all the more efficient and durable. They are now also adapted to intensive use in professional kitchens, thanks to special treatments that facilitate their maintenance, hygiene and conservation. However, as we mentioned above, there are still small producers who make their knives by hand, and are thus the living bearers of a tradition, of an exceptional heritage.