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Kiritsuke Knives from Japan

The Kiritsuke knife is often used for filleting cuts, like a Yanagiba, but can also serve as a vegetable knife instead of an Usuba. The traditional grind of the knife is single-beveled, as it is most commonly used in Japan. In the West, however, it is more often offered with a double bevel. The tip of the knife runs very straight, often referred to as a reversed Tanto tip, which was common on Japanese swords. Kiritsuke knives are versatile. With some practice, longer knives like the Kiritsuke Gyuto, starting from 240 mm, can also make very fine cuts (Sashimi fish fillets), which would otherwise require a Yanagiba. Although traditionally longer knives in Kiritsuke shape are produced, there are now a variety of variations of the knife.

What differentiates a Bunka from a Kiritsuke?

The Bunka can also be called a Santoku Kiritsuke. It thus has the shape of a Santoku knife with the characteristic straight-running tip. Correctly, the Bunka represents a subset of Kiritsuke knives.

What is a Kiritsuke knife used for?

The special feature of this popular knife shape is the tip. This makes it excellent for filleting and piercing the food. Nowadays, Kirisukes are made with very different blade lengths. As a result, the use depends heavily on the blade length. A Kiritsuke Gyuto 240 mm is very suitable for fine filleting cuts of fish and meat, a Paring Kiritsuke 120 mm rather for small peeling tasks. A shorter Kiritsuke 210 mm or the Santoku Kiritsuke can be used as an all-purpose knife for fish, meat, and vegetables.

The right grip for the blade

Kiritsuke knives come with different handles. The material and shape of the handle determine the feel, how well the blade fits in the hand. The choice of shape should match one's own preferences. There is no right or wrong here. Another characteristic of high-quality knives is that the weight of the handle is in a balanced ratio to the blade. Experienced knife makers pay attention to the balance of the Japanese knife.

When should you opt for a Kiritsuke chef's knife?

As described above, the application of the Kiritsuke chef's knife is versatile. The shape with the tip should in any case appeal and match the cutting habits of the user. To choose the right Kiritsuke knife for oneself, one should naturally consider the preferences towards the other criteria of a good kitchen knife. What steel with what hardness is the blade forged from? Does this steel meet my expectations for sharpness, or sharpening potential? Should it be a Damascus knife with the typical Damascus pattern? We are also happy to provide advice over the phone and wish you much joy in the kitchen!