Using Samurai Kitchen Swords

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Worldwide, especially in developed countries, there is a growing interest in using Samurai kitchen swords.

(Photo Attributed to Author: Mara71)

And with good reason. These knives are made in the same, millennia old traditional fashion as the world’s finest swords ever known to man: the swords used in combat by the fierce and incomparable Japanese warriors known as the Samurai.

It is a small wonder, then, that chefs and home-cooking enthusiasts are discovering the satisfaction of using Samurai kitchen swords in their kitchens. They simply cannot be beat. The sharpness of the edge they can be honed to, the length of time and use they hold that razor sharpness, and the ease with which they can be resharpened make them superior cutlery against all others.

For anyone unfamiliar with this high grade of cutlery, there are certain precautions to be aware of, and some usage and maintenance skills that are needed to be aware of and learned. This post is to provide that, as well as more, information about using Samurai kitchen swords.

Let’s get right into it, okay?

A Primer on Using Samurai Kitchen Swords

First, a bit of background history, and what makes Samurai knives so superior. There is no chrome used in a Japanese kitchen knife. They are made, nowadays, using two different methods.

The older, more traditional method is called Kasumi. It mimics the ancient way of making “katanas” – the blades

Samurai Swords (Photo Attributed to Author: Rept0n1x)

Samurai Swords (Photo Attributed to Author: Rept0n1x)

carried by the fierce Samurai warrior caste of antiquity. Kasumi method uses two different metals: high grade, high-carbon blue or white steel (called hagane), mixed with iron (jigane). Combined, these two metals are pounded and folded together multiple times. And the more folding and pounding, the better and pricier the knife will be. This combination forging produces a knife that takes an incredibly sharp edge, and yet is malleable enough to be very easy to resharpen.

More often in production today, is the modern method, called Honyaki, which is a “true-forging” of one metal – a very high grade, knife specific blue or white steel. These knives are harder than the Kasumi style, and many feel they maintain their sharp edge longer. However, the trade-off is, they are more difficult to resharpen.

With either method, the “class” of a Samurai kitchen sword is determined by the quality of the material and the method of forging used. There are some Japanese master sword and knife makers who make such magnificent and revered blades, they command prices (for one kitchen sword or knife) in the thousands of dollars.

Here is a short (less than 2 minutes) video that shows just how easy basic kitchen prep work becomes, when using Samurai kitchen swords:

Impressive, eh? Can you imagine slicing a ripe tomato without having to even hold it in place, braced against the forward motion of the cutting edge of your knife?

A few things you should be aware of, when using Samurai kitchen swords:

  • Properly sharpened, those edges are extremely dangerous. Handle with care, and always slice and chop away from your hands and fingers.
  • If you are using Kasumi knives, they will rust, if not properly maintained. After each use, clean them (again, being very careful), wipe them thoroughly dry, and place them back in their sheaths. Actually it is a good practice to do this with the Honyaki style knives as well.
  • You will need to learn how to sharpen them. Whether using the Honyaki knives, which will hold their sharp edges a bit longer, or the softer steel Kasumi knives, sharpening these knives requires learning a skill. And they must be sharpened using high quality water-stones, not the oil-lubricated whetstones that are more common to American and European cultures.

Here is a very good visual tutorial on how to sharpen your Samurai knives, with Japanese Master Chef Mino Tsuchida

That wraps up this post on using Samurai kitchen swords. If you already have a set, I do hope this information was helpful for you. And if you are finding yourself desiring to try them, and would like to purchase some, you can on our online store – just Click Here.

You can also get high quality Japanese waterstones for sharpening your Samurai knives, just Click Here.

Chow y’all, please leave a comment, I will respond to all comments, questions, and suggestions. And come back soon!

My Best Always, Your Friend,

Marvin D Wilson

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12 thoughts on “Using Samurai Kitchen Swords

  1. Hello there,
    We’re still using the 10-year-old knives here at my home and I was just searching for a replacement. Sometimes I just want to cut some vegetables finely and they’re just not sharp enough. Seeing that this are quite sharp I am wondering if they’re worth the trouble since there’s a big chance that you’re gonna cut yourself while cutting something else. Also the fact that you must sharpen them, how often do you have to do that?

    • Dejan, samurai kitchen knives are definitely for the serious cooks and chefs. Professionals and home enthusiasts want to have the best, and they want their knives very sharp – that’s what makes prep work so much easier! And yes, any set of good, premium quality knives will require proper maintenance and sharpening, which is a skill that the serious cook needs to acquire. As far as how often? Again, the Kasumi style samurai swords will dull sooner than the Honyakis will, but the Kasumis are easier and faster to resharpen. Either of the styles of samurai swords will need to be resharpened depending on how much you are using them, and what kind of things you are cutting, chopping and slicing with them.

      And yes, you do have to be careful, focused, and disciplined when using them, because you can cut yourself if you are not paying attention and getting careless.

      So, are they worth the “trouble”? That’s something you have to decide for yourself. If you are just a casual cook, not all that into cooking with a passion and a zeal for perfection, perhaps not. A less expensive set of knives, with a standard swipe-through sharpening device, may be all you need.

  2. Hello here. Thanks for introducing these knives. I see that here is a real science about them. I really would like to have one really sharp knife, because sometimes I struggle with watermelon or squash.
    I think that we can hurt themselves faster with blunt knife compare with edged.
    I never heard about Samurai knives, just about swords. I hope, that nobody can make for themselves seppuku or harakiri. Sorry, bad joke.
    I wish that your customers would be happy with these products. They seem really exotic and unusual.
    All the best, happy writing, Nemira.

  3. Any technology good enough for the much vaunted and infamous Samurai warrior caste, when transferred into making kitchen knives … has GOT to be awesome!

  4. I can always count on learning something new on this site. Very interesting, learning about these “swords” – compelling enough to actually buy a set, methinks.

  5. I have a set of 3 Japanese knives, the layered steel kind, and I can vouch for them. I have probably 2 dozen knives in my kitchen, and the Samurai knives are by far the sharpest and easiest to cut and chop with.

    And once you get the hang of it, sharpening isn’t all that tough. A few passes on the high polishing stone every few days, and BAM – any minute amount of loss of edge is quickly restored.

    Nice post, I did learn about the two different kinds of making them, and it helps to know which kind I have and how best to maintain them.

  6. Wow, those are some super knives fosho, Old Silly! Loved the videos, really helps visualize how well they cut and how to keep them sharp. Not sure if I’m ready to step up to Samurai swords just yet, but maybe Hubby will get his testosterone up and go for it, lol.

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