Choosing a knife
To help you choose a kitchen knife that's right for you, we've included spectrum charts that express whether the knife is more suitable for professional or home use. These suggestions are based on past sales data and the opinion of our experienced food sales team who interact with cooks and chefs on a daily basis.
1. These knives have been designed for home use based on shape, size and blade material.
2. These are all-rounded, affordable knives that can be used by professional cooks who use them daily, home cooks who want the sharpness of knives used by professionals, as well as culinary students who have a budget but want to own knives besides their school issued ones.
3. These are for cooking professionals who want a well balanced knife in terms of quality, price and ease of maintenance.
4. These are for the experienced professional cooks and chefs who have not only mastered knife skills but also have an understanding of knife sharpening and maintenance.
5. These are the top quality masterpieces of Japan and for those with a deep understanding of Japanese cutlery.
When looking at the specification table for each knife, you may want to look out for
Bevel angle ratio: A western style knife with 50/50 bevel angle ratio can be used by right or left handed people. You only need to worry about whether the knife is left handed or not if you're looking for an asymmetrical knife.
HRC: The Hardness Rockwell C-scale represents the hardness of the metal. Knives with a higher HRC retain their edge for longer but are more brittle so beginners should aim to look for a Western style knife with an HRC of 58-60 or Japanese style knife with an HRC of up to 63.
Blade material: If you've never used a Japanese kitchen knife before, you probably want to stick to a stain-resistant steel such as Inox or Molybdenum Vanadium, which are easy to maintain and have a good balance of sharpness and ease of sharpening. If you've already used Japanese knives before, High Speed Powdered Steel (HSPS), VG1 and VG10 offer even better performance with longer edge retention.
If you're looking for a carbon steel knife, standard white steel (not white steel 1 or 2) is suitable for beginners. For experienced carbon steel users, white steel 1 or 2 would be the best options. Blue steel knives are designed for skilled and experienced professionals who have a deep understanding of knife skills and maintenance.
Length: You should take into consideration the size of your cutting board as well as kitchen space. A long 11 ¾ inch yanagi would not be suitable for you if you don’t have the work space to accommodate it.