[2024] Knife Recommendations Which new knife should I buy?

Happy New Year!
I am Okudaira, the owner of "Japanese Kitchen Knife TOKU''.
Thank you for your continued support of "Japanese Kitchen Knife TOKU'' this year as well.
We want to sell knives made in our hometown of Sakai, Osaka, so we purchase and sell knives made in Sakai from a knife manufacturer in Sakai.
We don't just sell knives, we visit a number of blacksmiths and bladesmiths in Sakai to help our customers understand knives, experience the actual work, and hear from the craftsmen. I'm here. In addition to Sakai, we also visit Seki in Gifu, Tsubame-Sanjo in Niigata, Tanegashima in Kagoshima and Katsushika in Tokyo, in an effort to deepen our understanding of the characteristics and commitment of each.


Which knife is recommended to buy as a new one?

With the new year upon us, some of you may be thinking of getting a new knife. Even if it's not the New Year, some people may be thinking of buying a new knife.

For such people, I will give you three points to consider when choosing a knife.

①Select by knife material
②Select by the purpose of the knife
③Select by knife type

①Select by knife material

The materials of knives include stainless steel, steel, and ceramics.
Stainless steel knives are probably the ones you often see at home.
Most of the knives sold at major supermarkets and daily goods stores are made of stainless steel.
Stainless steel knives are resistant to rust, but many people feel that they quickly become dull. This is a common phenomenon with stainless steel knives sold for less than 10,000 yen.
It is  the impression that steel knives are used by sushi restaurants and professional chefs.
In fact, many of them are more expensive than the stainless steel knives mentioned above, but there are some that can be purchased for less than 10,000 yen. A characteristic of steel knives is that they cut well, but they rust easily.
Rust can be removed by resharpening and the sharpness will be restored. There are no negative effects on the body.
Ceramic knives seem to have the impression of being safer than stainless steel or steel. Since it is made of ceramic, it will not rust. However, the disadvantage is that if it is chipped, it cannot be resharpened.
Would you understand that stainless steel, steel, and ceramic each have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to materials?


②Choose based on the purpose of the knife

This means what to cut with a knife.
Depending on whether you're cutting meat, fish, or vegetables, there are knives that are good at cutting each type of food, so the idea is to use different knives depending on what you're cutting.
If you want to cut meat, use a Western knife such as a gyuto knife or a sujihiki knife. If you want to cut fish, use a Japanese knife such as a Deba knife or a Sashimi knife. If you want to cut vegetables, use a Usuba knife. And so on.
For people who don't cook very often, they probably don't want to have so many knives or don't have the budget to buy different knives for each ingredient. For such people, it would be a good idea to purchase a Santoku knife, which is a so-called all-purpose knife. A gyuto knife can also be used as an all-purpose knife, but it has a longer blade than a Santoku knife, so it may be a little difficult for women to use.


③Select by knife type

This idea is similar to the above-mentioned usage concept, but depending on the type of knife, what it is suitable for cutting depends on the type of knife, so choose accordingly.
To explain it in an easy-to-understand way, if you want to cut the fish into three pieces, use a Deba knife. From there, if you want to make small portions of sashimi, use a Yanagiba knife (sashimi knife).
If you want to cut a block of meat, use a Gyuto knife. If you want to remove the sinew from the meat, use a sujihiki knife. 

We have looked at how to choose a knife, but here is a summary!

・If you are a beginner in cooking, we recommend a stainless steel Santoku knife!
・If you like cooking, buy a knife that matches the food you want to make and the ingredients you want to cut!

There are many types of knives.
This is because the optimal shape has been designed to suit the object being cut.
In addition to a Deba knives and a Yanagiba knives, knives such as Ajikiri, Honekiri, and Funayuki are also used to cut fish.
There are also petty knives, bread knives, Chinese knives, and soba knives.
Therefore, it is best to consider what you will be cutting and how you will use it before purchasing a knife!


Let's go to a knife store!

If you don't understand it until you see it, go to a knife store and try holding a knife. However, most stores do not allow you to try cutting the knife, so you cannot check the sharpness before purchasing.
If you don't have a store that sells knives near you, it's best to purchase from a knife specialty store's mail order site.

"Japanese Kitchen Knife TOKU" has a video showing the actual cutting process, so please use it as a reference.


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