Behind Japanese Delicacies

Japanese food is worldwide known for the intricate nature, delicate flavors, and the wise choice of unique ingredients that mostly capture the attention of diners and gourmets from different parts of the globe. Diners enjoy seeing the professionalism in Japanese delicacies expressed through the wise combinations of vivid-colored ingredients, often freshly caught from sea. Orange-colored Salmon slices and crystal beads of Caviar not only showcase the creativity in ingredient selection – the professionalism and the mastery of the blades revealed the secrets behind the perfect slices, the paper-thin pieces of Sea Bass, the fat pieces of Fatty Tuna topped on cooked, Japanese sushi rice.

What truly lies in the heart of Japanese food, isn’t just the satisfaction of the final flavors that rock the tastebuds and linger in the unfulfilled, clouded minds of the hungry gourmets, but the major satisfaction that comes from the splash of certain magic – the spark of curiosity that wakes the mind and is given the answer with a performance of sushi and sashimi-making. The latter mainly answers to why many Japanese food lovers enjoy eating at Omakase restaurants or specialty dining places. Being able to express the traditional Japanese culinary cultures through the mastery of the blades, unique ingredient selection, and culinary placement not only pushes forward the success of Japanese delicacies like sashimi and sushi – the ability to bare the intricate processes is a major professionalism and a high significance Japanese cuisine holds. With this reason, many diners and cordon bleus are intrigued by the skills and the traditional techniques Japanese food chefs and culinary experts have, portrayed in their works of culinary arts.

The Tastes

Japanese food tops the charts for the delicate flavors, yet exotic bursts of newness in every of its components. The original blends of rich, raw ingredients like Salmon, Mackerel, and Sea Bass with the authentic, Japanese vinegar-mixed cooked rice makes Japanese cuisine a huge standout among other kinds of culinary delicacies. Most diners agree that the subtle flavors and delicacy Japanese dishes offer makes their dining experiences magical. Japanese food chefs are very careful when it comes to the selection of seasonal and fresh ingredients – not only do the wise choice of ingredients make a difference, it also showcases the understanding of culinary combinations and its significant relationship with the Japanese authentic sushi-crafting traditions.

Most times, the tastes of Japanese delicacies like sushi and sashimi are often described as being delicate and subtle. However, these dishes are crafted professionally through intricate, complicated processes that involves the mastery of the blades, the wise choice of ingredient selection, as well as the techniques in culinary placement for satisfactory aesthetics.

The Mastery of The Blades

Japanese knives are essential cutleries that play an important role in the crafting of most famed Japanese delicacies. These special knives are forged out of extremely hard steels like high prime carbon, Damascus stainless steel, and Aoko blue steel. Japanese blades are like those of Samurai’s blades – in the culinary war, Japanese chefs and culinary experts are forced to master the essential skills in order to perfectly slice through a vast variety of high-quality ingredients. Be it poultry, seafood, vegetables, or bones, there are a wide variety of knife types that can cut through and beautifully slice ingredients into desired forms and shapes.

Therefore, Japanese knives are highly needed and required by all Japanese food experts to successfully craft Japanese delicacies with ease. As Japanese knives are forged with superb-quality materials and hard steels, there is no way Japanese chefs would choose other knife types, as these are especially made to authentically craft and create traditional Japanese delicacies.

Japanese Knives and How to Choose One

Japanese food is loved worldwide by diners and gourmets for the delicate flavors coming from cooked Japanese rice mixed with vinegar, sugar, and salt – creating the perfect blend of subtleness, enough to form rice balls perfect for making sushi. Fresh, fine-quality ingredients like Salmon, prawn, squid, and other seafood freshly-picked from sea, on the contrary, provide exotic, savory tastes to each menu. The social media-friendly aesthetics that feature vivid-colored ingredients like glistering orange Caviar beads, ocean-green Wakame seaweed strips, and perfect alignment of fresh Sea bass slices spread on the traditional, Japanese-style plates are also what makes gourmets swoon and swore their loyalty to Japanese food.

As Japanese delicacies are often served in specialty restaurants called ‘Omakase’ restaurants, culinary experts and Japanese food professionals find it highly crucial to continuously search for high-end, top-notch Japanese knife brands that forge extraordinary knife models to help in the crafting of Ebi sushi, Maki rolls, and Sake sashimi. As Omakase restaurants are high-end, traditional Japanese restaurants that stand out for the signature dishes head chefs serve in their very own unique ways, diners and gourmets can enjoy all the Japanese food aesthetics, the Zen-styled interior, and the elegance of serving Japanese dishes to mark your dinner night an amazing dining experience.

With high expectations gourmets have when it comes to Japanese food, it is a must for professionals and culinary experts to master their knife skills of chopping, cutting, slicing, filleting, and layering various kinds of ingredients. Thus, a wise selection of Japanese knives is needed to successfully craft one-of-a-kind menus and dishes to be presented by proud, dedicated Japanese food chefs.

Selecting a Japanese Knife

Although it might sound like a challenge to choose the right Japanese knife to meet your specific needs in the kitchen, you can look at the following factors to ease your decision-making: function, steel hardness, sharpness, and knife edges. It is best to first choose your knife according to the function it serves – for example, go for a Gyuto knife if you need a multi-function or a multi-tasking knife in the kitchen but choose a Yanagiba knife if you want to make sashimi or sushi dishes instead. Although these two knife types are different in the function they serve and the features they own, Japanese knives are made out of hard steels.

It is best to look at high Rockwell hardness values to ensure that the knife is durable enough to cut or slice through various-textured materials or dense ingredients. Japanese knives are also made to be extremely sharp – they are forged with a general purpose of filleting and slicing through numerous ingredient types. It is best to choose new, razor-sharp blades out of the box for the best cooking experience.

Japanese knives are as well available as single edge knives and double edge ones. Single edge knives are generally sharper – only on one side of the blade is sharpened, while the other side of the blade is slightly concaved. For delicate and sensitive culinary work, single edge knives are highly recommended. A double edge knife, on the other hand, works well with users who are both left-handed and right-handed. A double edge knife can work with all kinds of processes in the kitchen and its sturdy blade body allows users to confidentially utilize and grip onto the blade without worries. However, when compared to single edge ones, this double edge knife may work a little less neatly and re-sharpening the blade can be a little tougher compared to those of single edge knives.

Now, choosing a great pair of Japanese knives is no longer a challenge if you understand a few tips to wisely select one of your own. To possess a Japanese knife and keep it safe in the kitchen, remember to clean your knife right away after use and keep them dry.

Sakai Takayuki Aoniko Blue 2 Steel Knife Selections

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If you are a dedicated cook or a passionate, ready-to-learn chef wishing to succeed in the cooking of Japanese delicacies like sushi or sashimi dishes, then you’d know how important a Japanese knife is. A Japanese knife plays a significant role in how the dishes will be made, specifically when it comes to sushi and sashimi menus. As sushi and sashimi dishes require intricate cooking processes like those of accurately slicing paper-thin pieces of raw fish into sizes and proportions deemed suitable and perfect to bring out all the authentic, yet exotic tastes of rawness, a Japanese knife and the mastery of the skills are essential. True Japanese food lovers and gourmets will notice the differences in flavors and scents due to the slightest changes in the thickness of fish; therefore, the skills of the blade are truly essential when it comes to crafting Japanese delicacies like those earlier mentioned.

Japanese sushi with toppings like Sake, Sea Bass, Fatty Tuna, and Unagi may be the popular, most well-known sushi toppings out there. However, who’d know that slicing through them could be a challenging task? Different kinds of fish will require varying techniques and different pressure to result in precise, perfect slices for various dishes. Thus, being able to efficiently utilize a Japanese knife for various cuts, slices, and chops will result in delicious, mouth-watering sushi and sashimi pieces ready to be served.

As the importance of Japanese knives tripled worldwide due to the surprising increase in the intensity and the popularity of Japanese food in general, there are new Japanese knife brands in the market, competing with best prices and quality materials. However, not all Japanese knife brands are ‘reliable’ and ‘efficient’. Despite the increase in Japanese knife brands, only a selected few are those that truly earned the ‘trust’ from Japanese knife users, culinary experts, and professionals. Among those, Sakai Takayuki tops the charts for efficient blades with high performance, premium quality steels, fine selections of handle materials, elegant designs, and uniquely styled sheaths.

Sakai Takayuki Aoniko

Although Sakai Takayuki offers users and knife collectors a wide variety of knife types, series, and models featuring selections of materials that differ from one another, the Aoniko series stand out among the rest with all of its knife types and models made out of the famous Yasugi Blue steel or also known as the Aogami No.2 steel in mono steel construction. The Yasugi Aoko Steel is among the hardest steels which are often used to make high-end, top-tier culinary tools. The Aogami No.2 steel is also known as a High Prime Carbon steel especially used in the crafting of professional tools and equipment, as high resistance, longevity, durability, strength, and rust resistance are all its pros. Compared to other steel types, the Aogami No.2 steel is considered top of the rank with all the benefits it provides to knife users and collectors alike.

Sakai Takayuki Aoniko knife selections differ from other knife lines and series with the ‘authentic Japanese edge’ feature. Other knife collections and series made out of stainless steel like Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef, for instance, can be enough for beginners and intermediate cooks. For professionals, though, trying out the Aoniko knife selections will bring the challenge to the next level. Crafted out of the unique and high-quality Mahogany wood, all handles of the Aoniko knife selections are crafted by highly-skilled Sakai Takayuki craftsmen and blacksmiths. With the Aoniko knife series, users and even collectors will be extremely satisfied and surprised with all the function and benefits these knives have to offer.

Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef SP1 Kiritsuke Knife Series

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Japanese food tops the world charts for its delicacy, yet savory, exotic flavors coming from its traditional roots – leaving the jaws dropping for its unique, subtle tastes that blends together so well despite its selection of varying ingredients of all kinds. The original liquid condiments and the recipes to combine them with a selection of certain, fresh ingredients makes Japanese cuisine a stand-out among other form of culinary arts. With its famed intricacy, Japanese dishes like sushi and sashimi became a world phenomenon – the unique blends of raw ingredients brought light to the Western world for the very first time.

With its long history that dates back to centuries ago, Japanese sushi and sashimi has evolved into what we know today as the ‘modern sushi’. Its popularity hit its peaked even during the olden days despite the lack of developments in food processing and the storing of food. However, as sushi and sashimi now tops the international charts for its originality and authenticity in the portrayal of Japanese traditions through the complicated blends of flavors that waters the taste buds, it can be said that Japanese cuisine is indeed, of which fills the stomach with elegance and utmost satisfaction.

The most common reason upon why Japanese cuisine is world-famous, would be its fine selection of fresh, sea-caught seafood and fish. However, what truly makes sushi and sashimi dishes special is the mastery of the Japanese blades. Picturing a Japanese Samurai with his sword, a professional Japanese food chef also has his own blade. A culinary expert in the crafting of Japanese food also needs his essentials – just a set of perfect blades to perform all skills and techniques to cook one’s own signature dishes. The mastery of Japanese knives is highly important to all hopefuls who are looking forward to their dreams in becoming a Japanese food chef.

Sakai Takayuki’s Grand Chef SP1 Kiritsuke Series

Japan is home to countless numbers of cutlery, including other culinary equipment for professional use. Among the cities with high exports of culinary equipment like knives, the city of Sakai is where Sakai Takayuki forges their premium quality blades for Japanese chefs worldwide.

With a long history of over 600 years, Sakai’s knives are all forged with experience and a great understanding of what a blade needs to perform the techniques required in the crafting of delicate sushi pieces. Among Sakai’s top knife series, Sakai Takayuki’s Grand Chef SP1 Kiritsuke series provides users with a wide variety of knife types and models to choose from. A razor-sharp series of blades, the Kiritsuke series features single-edge models made from the Bohler-Uddeholm Swedish steel.

For standard models, the handle material is black Polyoxymethyl resin, while premium models feature brown Desert iron wood. As this series of knife is made especially to ease left handed users with a single-edge feature, most Western chefs and culinary experts will find this series simple to utilize and easier to grip without any concerns in regards to discomfort.

Despite the lesser number of single-edge knives in the market, top brands like Sakai Takayuki sees the importance of comfort as it affects the performance in the crafting of delicious dishes. With this in mind, users can enjoy a wide range of knife lengths in the Kiritsuke series to meet specific needs and requirements. As most are Yanagiba knife models, users are expected to use this Kiritsuke knife to craft delicate sashimi pieces – slicing through a fine selection of fresh seafood and fish. Left handed users, specifically Western Japanese food chefs, would definitely enjoy having this Kiritsuke knife series in possession.

Sakai Takayuki Top Knife Models

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Although Japan is a destination filled with scents of Cherry blossom trees, the pastel colored skies hovering the well-known Mount Fuji, and traditions of tea reading, it is also one of the most mysterious countries that hides a culinary gem. Japanese cuisine tops the world for its intricate food crafting processes, the delicacy in the crafting of various dishes, and the creativity seen in the eye-widening aesthetics and vivid colored ingredients often placed on soft, subtle yet in a way exotic trays and platters. Japanese cuisine reflects its traditions – the origins coming from historical events, antique traditions, and nature were crafted into pieces of culinary arts. This explains why most Japanese head chefs have higher preference towards opening up one’s own Omakase restaurant, as this allows them to freely express their passions through the dabs of the Wasabi, the swift motions of the blades, and the colorful caviar line-up surrounded by droplets of the chef’s very own Nitsume sauce.

As creativity and a great understanding of the Japanese traditions are highly important in the crafting of delicate sushi pieces, so does the mastery of the Japanese knife. Japanese knives are specially forged to support numerous techniques required in order to make perfect sushi pieces. As sashimi pieces often feature thin slices of raw fish like Salmon or Sea Bass, it is only right to know how to correctly use a Japanese knife, or the so-called ‘Wa-bochos’. As knives are essential in the making of Japanese cuisine, Japan and its countless numbers of cities in various parts of the nation have always been home to various equipment and tools required in the culinary world. However, there is one significant brand that forges splendid quality knives and extremely sharp blades perfect for making sushi.

Sakai Takayuki is among Japan’s top-tier, high-end Japanese knife brands introducing the world with quality blades made out of fine materials. To support a wide variety of usage, Sakai Takayuki knives are forged and designed to meet specific needs – to further master the skills and techniques essential to the crafting of delicate Japanese dishes, specifically sushi. Though there are so many models to choose from, the brand has its very own top best-selling models that are purchased by professionals and novices alike.

Sakai Takayuki Special

The Sakai Takayuki Special selections feature a wide variety of knife models forged for different uses, with unique designs and dimensions to meet the needs of the users. Among the special selection line, top models like the Rinka Ginsan silver steel blade, Mirrored Honyaki, and the Shirogami models are the all-time best sellers.

Sakai Takayuki 33-layer VG10 Damascus DHW

This model is forged with high quality VG10 Damascus and is extremely durable with high edge retention. It is among one of the most-loved Sakai Takayuki knives.

Sakai Takayuki Honyaki Water Quench Aogami 2 Steel

This Honyaki water quench Aogami 2 steel knife model is suitable for professional use. It is made up of the famous Yasugi steel or also known as the prime high carbon steel, making it super durable, with very high edge retention. It is among the highest quality traditional knife models extremely perfect and suitable for professional use.

Sakai Takayuki Homura Kogetsu

The Homura Kogetsu knife is also made up of the Yasugi steel and is among the best knives to have in the kitchen for food preparation. It equips the highest wear resistance and is a very sharp knife with durability that comes with extreme blade toughness. It is a model extremely popular and widely used among professional chefs at luxurious restaurants and the authentic Omakase sushi places.

Japanese Knife Maintenance Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Yes, Japanese cuisine has played an important role in the domination of almost the entire world population. Japanese food is found everywhere on planet Earth – there is no deny to this fact as Sushi, Sashimi, Ramen, Tempura, and Miso soup are to be found in almost every part of the globe. Apart from the original flavors of the chewy-textured Ramen noodles, the crispy flour that covers the fresh, deep-fried prawn Tempura, Sushi and Sashimi remains the ‘number one’ most-loved Japanese cuisine that won the hearts and the thumbs up from diners worldwide. The fast-growing phenomenon has made the traditional, authentic styled sushi the top of the charts. Mouth-watering textures of raw ingredients like Salmon, Tuna, and Saba topped on professionally cooked Japanese rice mixed with the unique recipe of blending in the tastes of vinegar, salt, and sugar has made Sashimi the most wanted dish in the West.

With this reason, not only Japanese locals and chefs learn to make sushi – the beauty of Japanese cuisine and the crafting of subtle dishes have lured the interests of foreigners and people from different parts of the world into the world of ‘Japanese food’. To taste the authentic, traditional flavors of raw ingredients along with the beautifully balanced elements, people would have to visit fine dining places, luxurious Japanese restaurants, and Omakase restaurants – places that offer specialized tasting menus. However, if you’re on a tight budget, that doesn’t always mean you would have to spend all the bucks and dimes, all the pennies earned to explore the rich, exotic tastes of Japanese food. You can enjoy the bliss, the happiness of crafting your very own Japanese dish at home. Sushi is the right starter for beginners and novice cooks. Now, to make good sushi, you will need hard practice – the techniques and skills which can be learned gradually with time and dedication. The passion to craft delicacies will also be required, along with the selection of fine ingredients and equipment.

Every sushi chef needs a blade. A perfect knife to master the skills required to swiftly chop the onions, cut thin slices of raw Salmon fish or Saba, and craft delicate pieces of Nigiri will need proper maintenance. A great multi-purpose knife or also called the ‘Gyuto knife’ will be a great start for beginners and novices. After purchasing a Gyuto knife of your own, it is only right to learn the quick tips and tricks you can make use of in order to properly care for your companion, the blade that will make you a true warrior.


Whether you bought a stainless steel core or a Chromium core knife, do not forget to thoroughly wash your knife every time after use. It is essential to always wash your knife with soaked cloth or dampened sponge, then dry it with a clean cloth. Letting your blade dry by itself in the air would make it rust – so never forget this.

Cutting or Opening

Although Japanese knives are out-of-the-box sharp – as in extremely sharp, do not use it to cut hard objects. Hard bones, frozen foods, and basically anything that would hurt your teeth so bad just by munching it would be a bad choice of material for the blade. Do not use your knife to open cans or hard objects either – this would simply make your blade brittle and would finally result in possible shatters and crushes. If you want longer lifespan for your Japanese knives, only use it for meat, veggies, fruits, and the ordinary ingredients you would chop, slice, or cut in food preparation – nothing bizarre.


To safely store your knife, avoid leaving it in a drawer full of other kinds of knives – that will only result in unwanted scratches from all directions. Get yourself a knife block or a custom-made knife holder that will keep your blade safe and secure.


Since its opening in 2012, RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen is consistently ranked as one of the best ramen in San Diego, if not the best. The original location, located in the heart of Kearny Mesa, also known as the epicenter of San Diego’s Asian food scene, often has long lines that extend out the door which is well worth the wait. Head chef and owner, Junya Watanabe, serves up signature ramen recipes that combine traditional ramen making along with the highest quality ingredients in a modern setting.

At RakiRaki, you’ll find a wide variety of ramen dishes as well as authentic Japanese cuisine including tsukemen, a type of dipping noodle, Japanese curry, yakitori, ramen burgers, and sushi as well. There is also a carefully procured alcohol menu that features local craft beer and sake.

RakiRaki’s original location on Convoy Street features an open kitchen concept which allows guests to view what’s going on inside the kitchen, enhancing the overall experience. The restaurant features thoughtful design elements such as contemporary zinc countertops, reclaimed wood, and oversized Japanese lanterns which set the mood for the dining experience. At RakiRaki, you’ll feel like you’re in a traditional Japanese restaurant in a modern setting. Guests often on cold beer or sake while watching with excitement as the chefs perform their magic. Each bowl of ramen here is served aburi style, with fresh toppings flame-blistered before being served for enhanced flavor.


Owner Junya Watanabe is not just the head chef of RakiRaki, but also its owner. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Watanabe came to the United States as a teenager and attended UCLA where he received a master’s degree in Economics. From a young age, Watanabe always displayed a keen interest in culinary arts which also stemmed from his love for ramen. After noticing that this popular Japanese dish could become popular in the United States, Watanabe decided to enter the culinary world to pursue his love for ramen and Japanese cuisine.

Without any formal culinary training, Watanabe spent over six years to learn the basics of cooking and was a devout student in culinary arts. He returned to Japan and spent several months shadowing some of Japan’s top ramen chefs, learning the secrets to making the perfect bowl of ramen and the importance of fresh ingredients. Once Watanabe was able to master the basics of making ramen, he added his own signature touch to original ramen recipes along with other Japanese style foods such as tsukemen and curry After years of shadowing and apprenticeship, Watanabe brought his vision and creations into reality with the opening of RakiRaki Ramen & Tsukemen in October 2012.


You can see the passion that Watanabe has for cooking by the details he puts into his prepping and cooking. This passion for what happens in the kitchen extends to all parts of his restaurant. During the day, you’ll often find Watanabe experimenting with new and old recipes while researching the latest food trends. In the evenings, you’ll see him behind RakiRaki’s open kitchen wearing his signature chef’s jacket, overseeing everything going on and even adding flame-blistered toppings to each bowl of ramen.

In 2021, RakiRaki decided to expand into Tokyo-style fried chicken. Fried chicken is extremely popular around the world, and RakiRaki joins the fray with their version called Junya’s Crispy Karaage, or JCK for short. In making JCK, Junya Watanabe reportedly collaborated with a Michelin-starred chef in Tokyo to develop this karaage. Like most karaage, JCK is marinated prior to frying.

While chicken karaage was always a popular item on RakiRaki’s original menu, Watanabe decided to develop a new recipe for JCK which involved a shoyu-based marinade, with the chicken being double-fried in a coating of Japanese spices. There is also a spicy version of JCK. Though Junya’s Crispy Karaage was developed as a standalone concept, a special tasting was available at RakiRaki locations in Kearny Mesa, Mira Mesa, and Liberty Station.

In addition to the fried chicken box containing six pieces of fresh karaage and three Japanese sauces for $9.40, there will also be a karaage coleslaw salad, karaage sliders on pretzel buns, and karaage on curry rice and tonkatsu ramen. These items will be available in limited quantities per day.

Can a knife be the perfect gift?

There’s an old superstition in which it’s bad luck to give a knife as a gift. Say you’ve found the perfect knife to gift to a friend or family member, but maybe you or the recipient are extremely superstitious. If this is the case, don’t worry! We’ll discuss the different ways in which you can overcome these negative connotations surround giving a knife as a gift.

Can a knife be the perfect gift?

As you may probably know, it is sometimes very difficult to find a suitable gift for a friend or family member, especially if they’re somebody that has everything they need. Choosing a gift for someone can be an extremely tough and time-consuming task, as you need to find something that is either thoughtful, useful, or a combination of both so the recipient will feel appreciated and thankful every time they use or see the gift. The gift also needs to be affordable and within your budget, but not appear too cheap as well.

If you’re in this situation, why not consider a kitchen knife? A kitchen knife, or any knife for that matter, is a timeless and useful gift. Knives or knife sets can be customized in many different ways, engraved, and made to fit either left or right-handed users. There are knives built for a wide range of activities to be used by all sorts of people including cooking lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, survivalists, and DIYers. Because of the versatility of knives, you can give them as gifts for any occasion, including birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or promotions. Before you do, however, be mindful that some people view gifting knives as something that brings extremely bad luck.

Cultural aspects of knife-giving

For superstitious people, gifting a knife represents the severing of the friendship between the giver and recipient. The only way around this is to attach a coin of symbolic value to the knife.

If a coin is attached to the knife by the giver, the coin must be promptly removed by the recipient and returned to the giver as a symbolic payment. This transaction prevents the relationship from severing, as the knife is seen as purchased, which releases the giver from the negativities that might occur as a result of receiving the knife for free.

Global superstition?

Knife-gifting superstitions exist around the world and isn’t a cultural phenomenon. Europeans and Japanese people both believe that gifting a knife represents the severing of a relationship, and they also believe gifting a watch as meaning that time is running out.

Giving a knife as a wedding gift is considered extremely bad luck because it represents the cutting of the marriage ties. Similarly, pocketknives should only be handed to someone if it’s been properly secured, as it’s believed that it may cause an argument. If there’s been a death in the family, another superstition insists that knives should only be used when needed and must be carefully handled.

If you’re considering buying a knife for someone you know as a gift and this superstition makes you hesitant, there are things you can try to help ease your doubts. First, you can try keeping a knife in a jar of water by the front and back doors of a home. This is believed to help ward off evil spirits. The spirits are afraid of their reflections in water and on the knives’ surface. You can also attach a coin to the knife as we mentioned above. Both tricks can help you get around this troubling superstition.

Why do Japanese knives make great gifts?

For centuries, Japanese blacksmith has been experimenting and making some of the world’s best swords and cutlery out of steel. Throughout the ages, the Japanese have been known for crafting the best saws, swords, knives, and chisels. Today, Japanese craftsmen still employ the ancient crafting techniques similar to what was done centuries ago, however they’re not able to combine with knowledge with modern technology to create some of the most beautiful and versatile cutting instruments in the world. Their ability to manipulate steel is something that is unrivalled. The beauty of Japanese knives is that they still feature traditional Japanese wooden handles, as well as a tapered tang that fits in a hole which is burned into the wooden handle. They’re also tempered to a higher Rockwell hardness than most Western knives, and this enables Japanese knives to have superior edge sharpness and better edge retention. All this combined with the unique and traditional Japanese designs make Japanese knives a perfect gift idea, and you’ll be sure your recipient will be wowed by it.

How to Prevent Carbon Steel Knives from Rusting

When compared to stainless steel, carbon steel knives are sharper, easier to sharpen, and are great at maintaining a sharp edge. One downside of these knives, however, is that they require more maintenance than stainless steel knives and are prone to rust if they’re not maintained properly.

Over time, steel will change color as it oxidizes and reacts with the moisture and air around it. You’ll often see steel knives take on shades of blue, grey, and black. This is normal and is called a patina. Patina is good for your knife and actually helps your knife in its battle against rust. It’s a natural protective layer on carbon steels that protects the blade from oxidation and gives it a rough look. If your knife starts turning red, yellow, or orange, then your knife is rusting, and you’ll need to clean it as soon as possible.

To prevent rusting, it’s recommended that you wash and dry your knife after every use. Another way to help keep your knife rust free is to apply blade oil to it regularly. Blade oil helps keep off the ambient moisture in the air when your knife is in storage. Best of all, this oil doesn’t affect the performance of your knife at all when you use it to cut acidic foods.

While patina is a form of corrosion and common on knives that have aged, there are ways to force an early patina onto carbon steel to give your knife an early edge in the fight against rust.

How to force a patina on your carbon steel?

To force an early patina on your carbon steel, you’ll need to pick up the material below:

  • Pre-ground instant coffee (i.e. Folgers, Nescafe, inexpensive generic store brands). The less expensive, the better.
  • A coffee brewing machine to brew the instant coffee
  • Something tall and slender with a cavity, such as a flower vase. XL To-Go Coffee Cups work as well
  • Your carbon steel knife
  • A small sponge or dish cloth

Step 1: Brew the instant coffee

Take your instant coffee and brew it. Brew the strongest pot of coffee possible, then chill it. Before we perform this process, the coffee will need to be cold.

Step 2: Submerge your blade in the coffee

Next, take your flower vase, or anything tall and skinny in general, and place the small sponge or dish cloth at the bottom. Put your knife, tip down, into the vase gently, then pour in the chilled coffee until it covers the entire length of the blade. Make sure to only submerge the blade in coffee, and not the handle. Leave the knife in the coffee for at least 6-8 hours. Overnight is ideal, however knives left in the coffee for at least 24 hours will create the most striking effect.

Step 3: Remove the blade

After 6 to 24 hours have passed, remove the knife from the coffee. Wipe it down with a damp cloth and thoroughly dry it. You’ll see now that your knife has undergone an incredible transformation and features a beautiful looking patina. It’ll now also be much easier to maintain and will be much more resistant to rust than before. Despite the protective patina, also make sure to wipe down the blade after every use and keep it clean and dry always.

Step 4: Honing the knife

Coffee-induced patinas aren’t as acidic as vinegar or lemon patinas, but they’re still acidic enough to have reduced some of the polish on your cutting edge. You should always hone and strop before the last (optional) step.

Step 5: (Optional)

Coffee has a strong smell, and as the blade has been left in coffee for up to 24 hours, you’ll want to get rid of some of that smell. To do this, we recommend cutting up yellow onions which will help pull out some of the coffee fragrance.

While forcing a patina helps your knife in its battle against rust, be mindful that it will permanently alter the look of your knife, including the finish. If you like the way your knife looks now, we’d suggest letting the patina form naturally over time.

Kyocera Kyotop Damascus Pakka Handle 6.0-Inch Chef Knife Review

Kyocera Kyotop Damascus Pakka Handle 6.0-Inch Chef KnifeChefs are as passionate about their kitchen knives as motor car mechanics are about their socket sets or violinists about their violins. All of these people need quality tools in their chosen careers to work efficiently and productively and to deliver quality work. The Kyocera Kyotop Damascus Pakka Handle 6.0-Inch Chef Knife is just such a kitchen tool that should gladden the heart of any chef. This knife’s blade is manufactured from ceramic zirconia and so presents a different alternative to kitchen knives with metal blades. If you are in search of the best chef knife around, could the Kyocera Kyotop Damascus Knife perhaps be it?

Kyocera Kyotop Damascus Pakka Handle 6.0-Inch Chef Knife Features and Specifications

  • It measures 11.5″ x 0.7″ x 1.2″
  • It weighs approximately 3.5 ounces
  • It is a specially designed 6″ chef knife for constant chopping, slicing and dicing
  • It is manufactured by high tech blade construction process with a hardness comparable to diamond
  • It is an ultra sharp and long-life blade
  • It is stain and rust proof
  • It has moisture resistant and triple riveted Pakka wood handles
  • It works well on different cutting surfaces including wood and plastic

What Makes a Chef’s Knife with a Ceramic Blade So Special?

A ceramic knife’s blade is manufactured from a very hard and tough ceramic material; in the case of the Kyocera Kyotop Damascus, the material used is called zirconia, which is actually zirconium dioxide. These types of ceramic knives are generally manufactured by means of dry pressing zirconia powder and then firing it through solid-state sintering. The resulting knife blade is sharpened by way of grinding the blade edges with a diamond-dust-coated grinding wheel. Zirconia is very hard and as such, a ceramic blade’s extremely hard edge hardly ever requires any sharpening, and ceramic Knives produced by Kyocera are generally ideal for common purposes that require top-notch edge retention or resistance against wear.

What Makes the Kyocera Kyotop Damascus Knife Special?

The Kyocera Kyotop Damascus Knife with its 6-inch ceramic blade forms part of Kyocera’s premium cutlery line which features chef’s knives with spectacular Damascus-look blades. Not only does this knife possess an already hard ceramic blade comparable to the hardness of a diamond, but Kyocera’s manufacturing process in Japan actually includes a further high-tech process to enhance the density of the state-of-the-art ceramic material. In this process, the blades are fired again under high pressure and also temperature within a sealed chamber, which results in what is called a Hot Isostatic Pressed (or HIP) blade, which provides greater resistance against wear than the standard ceramic knife. The final result is an ultra-sharp, long-life blade which holds its edge for a considerably longer time period than steel.

Other benefits of this chef’s knife are that it doesn’t convey any kind of metallic taste or smell and furthermore, it is also both stain proof and also rust proof, while the knife works just as well on both wood as well as plastic cutting surfaces. The Pakka wood handles with three rivets are moisture resistant and the knife can additionally simply be hand washed and hand dried.

How Does the Kyocera Kyotop Damascus Knife Handle?

Most users report that the Kyocera Kyotop Damascus Knife is extremely sharp and that it would just glide effortlessly through meat and vegetables much like a knife would slice through warm butter.

Other reports state that the knife feels light and well-balanced in the hand and one user actually mentioned that the knife feels like a natural extension of his own hand. Since the ceramic blades are lighter than steel blades, users should find that their hand motions with this knife would be quicker with due to working with a lighter weight.

What Happens If The Knife Would Need Sharpening?

Usually, the knife could soldier on for many years without the need of sharpening, provided that the user does not use it to hack at bones, or use it to twist or perhaps pry anything, or to cut on any kind of cutting surface except for a wooden cutting board. And with proper care, one should easily get a lifetime of use out of it.

However, in some instances the knife might get a few detectible nicks in its blade over a period of time, which are actually too small to see but which one can definitely feel if you run your fingernail alongside the knife’s edge. While these ceramic chef knifes will remain sharp for years to come, ultimately all of these tiny chips and abrasions will eventually dull the blade, to such a point that it will have to be re-sharpened. However, unlike a knife with a steel blade, a knife with a ceramic blade is not a knife you can sharpen yourself.