Discover the Art and Beauty of Japanese Knives Have you been looking for the perfect place to discover the ancient and beautiful art of handcrafted Japanese knives? Perhaps you’ve heard about the amazing sharpness and unrivaled cutting performance that a knife from Japan offers,and you wondered where to get them without going all the way to the Japan itself. Maybe a friend told you that once they started using Japanese cutlery they stopped using their regular knives… and you wanted to learn more? Or, maybe you were out at your favorite sushi spot and the chef’s knife caught your eye as you watched him prepare the sushi.. Trust Forged Steel for Supplying Japan's Finest Knives. We supply a huge assortment of only the best quality knives, and we’re able to sell them for less than you can buy them for if you visited Japan yourself. We’re proud to carry so many different models of Japanese knives, from all the major brands. We also have rare knives from actual master blacksmiths from Japan. Yes, that's right, we're the real deal. Our knives come direct from knife makers in and around Seki City, Takefu City, Sakai City, Sanjyo City Japan, which are widely known as the Japanese knife and cutlery capitals. The good news is that we can ship these direct to you! As you browse our online shop, you’ll realize that our knives are rooted in Japanese tradition with historical methods dating back to Samurai sword-making techniques from over 800 years ago. This tradition is evident in the designs, handles, and blades you’ll see in the knives and cutlery on our site… but nothing compares to actually holding and using these amazing Japanese knives in your own kitchen. Once upon a time, before Western Culture and foods were brought to Japan (Before the year 1900), Single Bevel Edge of Japanese Traditional style knives were very common knives for daily cooking in Japan. The Single Bevel of Japanese Traditional style knives make great cutting performance. For examples, the “Yanagiba” is well designed for slicing and preparing the Sashimi (Raw Fish) without losing the beautiful shape and freshness. The “Usuba” is suitable design for cutting, peeling, also thin & precise cutting for vegetables. They are necessary tools and knives for the Japanese foods (their main food materials were fishes and vegetables). Nowadays, Sushi and many other Japanese foods are becoming very popular and commonplace throughout the world. You may have even seen the impressive skills of a Sushi Chef firsthand, as he uses his Yanagiba knife to delicately slice raw fish for a beautiful Sashimi dish. Japanese traditional style knives have long history, and there a number of Japanese traditional-style knives that are most likely not commonplace in your country. The islands that make up Japan are geographically isolated from other countries and, as a result, the Japanese have always made the most of the fresh seasonal food resources offered by their land, lakes, rivers and seas. The diversity of these foods, in addition to cultural influences, led to the development of a number of different knives that were each intended for a very specific purpose. The single bevel edged Yanagiba, Deba and Usuba are unique to Japan, and they were developed to cleanly cut ingredients, because this better preserves the fresh flavor and texture of the food. Japanese Traditional Style knives are usually fitted with a traditional Japanese wooden handle and have a blade with a tapered tang that fits inside a hole that is burned in to the wooden handle. Japanese Traditional Style Knives are typically lighter in weight and are much easier to replace; this is useful if you damage a handle. The blades of Japanese knives are typically tempered to a higher Rockwell hardness than most kitchen knives manufactured in the West. This enables Japanese knives to have superior edge sharpness and edge retention. There are many numbers of professionals and serious home chefs (especially Japanese food chefs) who demand outstanding cutting performance to make special foods that require the freshness, beautiful shape & looks and delicate works. Also many people love the traditional taste and traditional forged knives which can feel the soul of craftsmanship and something special to own. We stock knives made by some of Japan’s most respected and famous Japanese Traditional Style knife makers.
Knife Forging: How Forged Knives Are Made & Are They Stronger? Forging is a hot topic among knife experts and collectors. It’s safe to say that there isn’t a single person in the knife industry who hasn’t formed their own opinion on “forged knives.” There’s a reason I’m putting that in quotes – and that’s because what people mean when they say “forged knives” and what the actual definition of a forged knife is almost different. But we’ll get to that. In fact we’ll get into everything we can think of related to proper forged knives. So let’s start. What Is Knife Forging? Knife forging is a step in the knife-making process whereby an ingot, cast, or poured mold of steel, that will eventually become a knife, is beaten into shape, either by hammers or by a machine’s rollers, to improve tensile and fatigue strength. Is this different from what people usually mean when they talk about knife forging? While all knives are technically forged (and yes, that means the branded EDC knife you’ve got in your pack also technically has forged steel), when people speak of “forged knives” they mean knives where a blacksmith has physically beaten the blade into shape with a hammer or power hammer as opposed to ground away excess materials using abrasives or a CNC machine in a production process. Smithing is pretty much what people often mean when they say “knife forging.” So all knives are forged? Yes. All modern knives are in the basic term forged. When steel is manufactured, it is forged from the ingot after it is cast. When steel is poured into a mold, it needs to be formed into a shape, afterwards the end result will be manipulated to create a sense of homogeneity which, as we’ve explained, is what in basic terms, forging is. When forging a knife, you redistribute the metal around to improve it's properties. Without going through the specifics of this process, basically, if you take steel, cast it, and then don’t forge it into a shape using hammers, rollers or whatever process you like to use, then the tensile and fatigue strength of the blade will be reduced greatly. You’d end up with a very weak knife. So knives that are not forged are really weak? Yes. Which is why production knives etc. – basically everything you can buy on the market – all feature steel that was forged by rollers at the foundry. We’ll get into more of this later, after you read over the process of knife making. The Process of Knife Making & Why Bother Forging The biggest thing is, people generally don’t realize that steel as we use it does not occur in nature. For steel to be considered good for working, it needs to be as pure of impurities as possible, and that is not how steels come out of the ground. Steel as we know it doesn’t come out of the ground at all- its produced from iron ore. Once there’s a pure-ish steel to work with, that is taken and made into something usable – whether that’s an ingot, a sheet, or a bar – which you can then make a knife out of. Simple steels like 10XX series carbon steels are cast using a conventional method and then forged so that the grain (and by grain, I don’t mean a literal grain in terms of structure, but rather the directional properties, much like wood) ends up with superior properties for knife-making purposes. The process of forging rearranges the atoms in steel so that they’re different from how they were arranged before the forging. It’s the very same atoms, but now they are formed up much denser and there’s no question that after the forging process has taken place, the slab of steel is much more superior for its intended purpose: to be turned into a high performing knife. So, we’ve discussed that all of the steels found in our knives are forged. Even PM (powder metallurgy steel) is technically forged by taking teensy ingots and mushing them together into one big ingot. This is a huge over-simplification, but this is the best I can do. “Forged Knives” (i.e. Bladesmithed knives) VS Production Knives This following response is going to piss off a lot of people (though I’m sure I’ve done that already), but frankly, the major difference between “forged”/smithed knives and production knives is that the production blade (assuming it’s from a reputable manufacturer) will have tighter tolerances, predictable reactions when dealing with lateral force, and superior properties as a result of a machine deciding when the blade is done as opposed to one man eyeballing it and mulling over the fact that the knife is probably finished. This is a simple reality and the knife industry is swamped with people who try to sell magic processes regurgitated into some bizzare pseudo-science, but we need to be objective when looking at the issue at hand. How “Forged”/Smithed Knives Are Made Take the steel ingot (that was already forged in the true sense of the word when they received it!) Heat it Beat it Repeat until desired shape is achieved Grind a rough edge Heat treat Grind, clean up, and affix the trim (handle, hilt etc.) Sell for a substantial markup because you beat on it for hours on end and that takes work How Production/Stock Removal Knives Are Made Take sheet of steel (stock) which is again, already “forged”. Cut, stamp, or laser the shape of the blade out (depending on the steel- some steels don’t like being stamped out). Grind the bevels out using high powered grinders (wheels or belts) Heat treat Grind, clean up, and affix the trim (handle, hilt etc.) Sell for whatever price the market is willing to bare; dependent on the branding, designer, and where it’s made. As you can see, the difference in the two processes of creating knives isn’t substantial. Smithing knives, or “forging” as a bladesmith would advertise, only adds unpredictable elements into the mix, with no real benefits to knife making. How We Got Here: The “Forged”/Smithed Knife Superiority Myth The core issue at hand is that bladesmiths who forge their knives have a vested interest in saying that there is a performance bonus to their knives. Even companies who make kitchen knives babble on endlessly about how their German cold forged knives are better than x because of y. It’s all nonsense designed to justify a higher markup due to increased labour, and in the case of those kitchen knives (looking at you Henckels), it’s not even a person “forging” the knife, it’s a machine that mushes the blade into shape in a dozen or so strikes. Hardly the romantic image we have from their glossy brochures, aye? No, “forged”/smithed knives are not stronger, sharper, or in any shape or form better than knives made using the stock removal method. As a matter of fact, custom knives in general are not stronger, sharper, or in any shape or form better than knives made using the stock removal method. Custom knives are simply rarer, and consequently command a higher price. And there is nothing wrong with that. What’s interesting about this whole situation is that we as a society have evolved to respect high quality and precision manufacturing, but when it comes to our hobbies, we do tend to take the emotional route. A blade has no soul, a bloke hammering on it for hours on end will not impart magical properties to a knife, and yet for some reason, so many of us fall for it. I understand the sentiment that there is something very comforting about owning something that was built uniquely, especially in these times of mass manufactured goods from China. But hiding behind thoroughly debunked arguments of superior performance is silly and misses the point entirely. This is not a situation that is unique to the knife world. I think it impacts all fringe hobbies. A mechanical watch hand assembled in Switzerland will have inferior timekeeping performance to a cheap quartz Timex. That is a fact, but because we can observe this fact by measuring it, the watch industry instead talks about craftsmanship and unique design rather than performance. When it comes to knives, if I hand you a knife that is forged and say it’s better, you kind of have to take my word for it. You can’t measure the objective performance in the same way you can with accurate timekeeping, and this is how we get into these tricky myths perpetuated by knife-makers that have a vested (financial) interest in keeping the myth going. To Conclude In 2005, CNC machines began to be utilized by all manner of budding knife makers, and people on the forums freaked out. The definition of custom became blurred to the point that arguments broke out, friendships were burned, and new words were created to explain differences in knife creation (midtech, for instance). It’s utterly silly in my opinion. If you want a knife with nostalgic, old world appeal and charm, or hand made craftsmanship, buy a custom knife that has been hammered into shape. Don’t pretend it’s for “performance” reasons. That would be patently untrue, and all it does as add more myths to an industry already rife with them. I hope you found this informative.
For many, sharpening a chef's knife stands anywhere between going to the dentist and taking care of the lawn. It is a thankless chore unless you're one of those who like to see if they are able to shave the hair off of their arm with their favorite knife. It doesn't have to be that way. Today sharpening mediums such as diamond and ceramic make placing an edge on your blade much smoother and speedier, plus methods to enhance preciseness. The boom in tactical knives of the past 20 years brought with it changes to all areas of the cutlery market, including sharpening products. A perfect example of this is the increase of super steels designed to be indigenous to the knife community. These exotic steels are more durable and more durable than the ones many of us knew growing up--so resilient in fact they can't be sharpened on a typical whetstone. They require grits tougher than the steel they are meant to sharpen, hence the prosperity in diamond and ceramic mediums. With so many opportunities at the sharpening consumers fingertips, we supposed it would be enjoyable exploring what's out there to show you how to choose the perfect medium for your needs. We hope you'll be able to find the sharpening tool that works best for you! Although there are numerous great systems, which will make your sharpening job better and much faster, I highly encourage anyone who may be in a scenario where their knife could be necessary to their survival learn the fundamentals of hand sharpening. There's absolutely no electricity in the wild. Fancy electric honing systems will not help you in the center of the wilderness or even in your own home during an long power outage. You need to learn the basics. Knife grinds range between concave to convex to fiat, but the overwhelming most have a secondary bevel along the edge, and which is the part you sharpen. (The exception to this is the Bushcraft Scandi or Zero Grind, which sharpens all the way to the edge.) The typical secondary bevel commonly falls into the range of a 15- to 22-degree angle. Learn to hold your knife at the angle you desire as you slide it over the surface of a stone on a consistent basis and you're home free. This takes practice but one you've mastered it, sharpening a knife becomes a breeze and the whole process can be done quickly. BENCH BEVELING Absolutely nothing is more basic--and pleasing once you master it--than sharpening upon a benchstone. Rule number one is: It is necessary to choose a benchstone capable of processing the edge of the blade steel. Softer high-carbon steels--1095, Ol and A2 are common types--are definitely sharpened on a natural Arkansas whetstone and their manufactured aluminum oxide and carborundum (silicon carbide) relatives plus any of the more aggressive mediums such as diamond or ceramic. In a endurance pinch, these steels may be sharpened on a rock, which is one of the reasons there has been a fashionable revival of high-carbon varieties in the past few years. A number of older stainless steels such as the ubiquitous 440 series is sharpened on a whetstone as well. Modern-day stainless steels--such as state-of-the-art proprietary offerings by Crucible Industries, Carpenter Steel and Bohler-Uddeholm--are a whole different animal. Here diamond and ceramic sharpeners are a must. If you use knives with high-end exotic steels, it's approved you sharpen your knife before you leave for your outing and carry a small field sharpener in case of emergency. The most predominant of the aggressive sharpeners on the market today use diamond as a medium. The coarse grits are bit of overkill unless you have a knife with an atrociously damaged edge. I will suggest a medium grit for all those edges in need of extra persuasion and a fine for an edge you need a touch-up. Very fine or "super fine" grits work well so you can get a hair-shaving edge. Using water on the surface of the diamond stone during sharpening helps to keep the surface from clogging and results in easier cleanup. There are 2 kinds of diamond honing surfaces: continuous (1 flat surface) and interrupted (with tiny round holes). The interrupted surfaces tend to cut faster than continuous ones. I use continuous i'm also content with the speed and results. Ceramic benchstones aren't as prevalent, but just as effective. Maybe you are asking, what size benchstone is right for you? A 2-inch by 6-inch stone can handle most folding knives and small fixed-blades. A 2.5 to 3-inch by 10-inch benchstone can easily handle those chef knives plus larger fixed blades. Starting out, I recommended buying a medium and fine grit stone and adding coarser or finer grits as you regard as necessary. Some benchstones are available mounted to wooden or plastic bases and some are available with different grits on two sides, so check out your options. Being able to maintain a blade edge in the field is important and happily there are many choices. From simple Arkansas Stones to diamond and ceramic methods, the gang's all here. Some of the old leather fixed-blade sheaths of yesteryear had front pockets for carrying a whetstone and that tradition has carried on today with ballistic nylon fare. It's a great way to keep a sharpener ready in the wild and know specifically where it is when it is needed by you. Small sharpening stones are available in all the main mediums from natural stone to diamond and ceramic. Folding diamond sharpeners are increasingly popular, and rightfully so. These handy edgers fold out of a plastic handle like a Balisong knife and are also offered in a variety of grits. Some give you a choice of grits on each side and others are fitted with tapered rods geared for honing serrations. To select the sharpener that's ideal for your purposes consider the length of time you want to spend sharpening a knife and how finicky you are regarding your edge. Also determine where you'll use the knife as field sharpening on the go has a different sort of set of parameters than that of the comfort of your own workspace. It's very possible you want a variety of sharpeners to cover your needs!
By Nicole Dieker The Best Chef Knives There’s a reason we call the best kitchen knives “chef knives.” A good chef is a multitasker, so a good chef knife is designed to handle multiple jobs. Think of all the slicing and chopping involved in a beef stir-fry or a chicken noodle soup. You want a…
Looking to buy new kitchen knives, looking for a Chef's Knife Set? First we need to ask, what is the best Chef Knife or Knives and for what reasons are they the best and does this matter to me? Well, for us a chef's knife should be easy to handle, comfortable to hold and hold securely as the last part is, they must be able to carry a very fine, sharp edge that can stand up to lots of use. And, let's face it, you want a nice matching set of beautiful kitchen knives. Here are our choices and why we like them.. 1: Arrow Pattern Damascus Chef kitchen Knife Set. This Arrow patterned Damascus knife set with Sapele Wood Handles. Sapele Wood is a golden to dark reddish brown. Color tends to darken with age. These knives mainly display the common ribbon pattern however, Sapele is also known for a wide variety of other figured grain patterns, such as: pommele, quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback which will obviously appear and be seen on some of these knives, the joy of handmade and natural products is no 2 things are ever truly identical. These blades are delivered with one of the sharpest edges we here have ever seen, or felt. There is nothing in our kitchens that can offer resistance to the cutting edge of these superior chef's knives, except maybe our sideboards and cupboards. The shear beauty of these knives is undeniable and we have a set hanging with pride of place in our kitchen! Click the image above to see this full knife range in our store. 2: Chinese Style Chef Knife Chinese Chef Knives or Vegetable Knives are an essential in any kitchen. Don't let the name Vegetable Knife fool you this knife is a perfect all rounder. If you could only have one knife in your kitchen it should be this style of knife. And this specific knife is one of the best examples you will find for it's tiny price tag. For a Damascus blade and solid wood handled knife of this calibre we would happily pay double the price. One day they may listen to us so get it while it's so cheap! 2: Meat and Vegetable Cleaver Chinese Vegetable Knives are as we have said an essential in any kitchen. If you are looking for a heavy duty cleaver then this is it, razor sharp with a thich spine to add strength for tough jobs. And this knife is a steel (get it) for the price. Hand forged steel blade and solid wood handle gives this knife a dangerous looking beauty.
Katana are traditionally made from a specialized Japanese steel called tamahagane,created from a traditional smelting process that results in layered steels with different carbon concentrations. This process helps remove impurities and even out the carbon content of the steel. The Katana's gentle curvature is made by a process of differential hardening or differential quenching: the smith coats the blade with several layers of a wet clay slurry, which is a special concoction unique to each sword maker, but generally composed of clay, water and any or none of ash, grinding stone powder, or rust. This process is called tsuchioki. The edge of the blade is coated with a thinner layer than the sides and spine of the sword. It is then heated, and then quenched in water (few sword makers use oil to quench the blade). The slurry causes only the blade's edge to be hardened and also causes the blade to curve due to the difference in densities of the micro-structures in the steel. When steel with a carbon content of 0.7% is heated beyond 750 °C, it enters the austenite phase. When austenite is cooled very suddenly by quenching in water, the structure changes into martensite, which is a very hard form of steel. When austenite is allowed to cool slowly, its structure changes into a mixture of ferrite and pearlite which is softer than martensite. This process also creates the distinct line down the sides of the blade called the Hamon, which is made distinct by polishing. Each Hamon and each smith's style of Hamon is distinct. Example of a hamon After the blade is forged, it is then sent to be polished. Traditional hand polishing takes between one and three weeks. The polisher uses a series of successively finer grains of polishing stones in a process called glazing, until the blade has a mirror finish. However, the blunt edge of the katana is often given a matte finish to emphasize the hamon. Only a small amount of people use the traditional method of sword making doing everything by hand with no power tools at all, these sword maker undergo years of apprenticeship and are tightly licensed. Replica Katanas have flooded the market and you can buy a decoration katana that will break on the first swing if ever used for about £20/$30. A properly made Katana should cost anywhere from £150/$200 upto thousands of pounds or dollars if made by a true master in the old fashion. You can buy Katana's on our site that are made semi traditionally, using all the correct methods but implementing the use of power tools to speed up the process. This does not affect the finish or usability of our swords but does make them much more affordable.
In cooking, a chef's knife, also known as a cook's knife, is used in food preparation. The chef's knife was originally designed primarily to slice and disjoint large cuts of beef. Today it is the primary general-utility knife for most western cooks. A chef's knife generally has a blade eight inches (20 centimeters) in length and 1 1⁄2 inches (3.8 cm) in width, although individual models range from 6 to 14 inches (15 to 36 centimetres) in length. Japanese Chef Knives: A Japanese Gyuto (Gyūtō), literally meaning 'beef knife', is the Japanese version of a French (or Western) chef's knife. The Santoku knife is basically a Japanese style chef's knife. It's smaller lighter sharper with a different blade shape. The Chinese chef's knife is completely different and resembles a cleaver. A modern chef's knife is a multi-purpose knife designed to perform well at many differing kitchen tasks, rather than excelling at any one in particular. It can be used for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and disjointing large cuts.
A simple History of Damascus Steel, What is Damascus Steel? Lets start with a cool fact.. The exceptionally strong fictitious Valyrian steel mentioned in the television series Game of Thrones, as well as George R. R. Martin's book series A Song of Ice and Fire, is inspired by Damascus steel. Just like Damascus/Wootz steel, Valyrian steel also seems to be a lost art from an ancient civilization. However a resurgence of interest thanks to TV shows like Forged in Fire means that the knowledge for Damascus Steel is yet to survive and be passed on for years to come yet. Now we just need to ask.. Damascus steel was the forged steel comprising the blades of swords smithed in the Near East from ingots of Wootz steel imported from Southern India and Tamraparni (ancient Sri Lanka). These swords are characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water, or a "ladder" or "teardrop" pattern. Such blades were tough, resistant to shattering, and capable of being honed to an extremely sharp, resilient edge. The steel is named after Damascus, the capital city of Syria and one of the largest cities in the ancient Levant. The original method of producing wootz is not known. Modern attempts to duplicate the metal have not been entirely successful due to differences in raw materials and manufacturing techniques. Several individuals in modern times have claimed that they have rediscovered the methods by which the original Damascus steel was produced. The reputation and history of Damascus steel has given rise to many legends, such as the ability to cut through a rifle barrel or to cut a hair falling across the blade. Nowadays Damascus is loved mainly for it;s uniqueness, no 2 blades will ever be identical with a Handforged Damascus Knife.