My Sweet First Knives | Saraのブログ


♪My life @ Japanese Knife Imports♪

I own a kitchen knife store with Jonathan., and there's a funny irony to it.  

I have never purchased a kitchen knife in my life... not even once... not even a single knife.  I always used my Mom's at home, and when I had my own place, she gave some of hers' or I borrowed my friends'.  For some reason, "buying my own knives" had never occurred to me.  

Now, we own JKI and sometimes receive great knives as gifts (*note* often with just MY name engraved, not Jon's), and Jonathan is constantly "testing" new ones.  This even put me farther from buying my own.

The day before yesterday, I suddenly decided, "it's time for a change! I"m buying one (or two)!" 

Jon has a nerdy (or call it "professional") point of view on knives, and I have very normal person's point of view.  I think choosing "right" knives for myself will give me a more well round view into our friends'/customers' thoughts when they are picking out their knives.  

So... here's what I have been doing, and I thought you might enjoy being a part of my knife shopping.

Just like a regular walk-in customer, I formally enter JKI.

SARA "Hi... do you have knives?"


Jonathan tries to take an active part in my process of choosing a knife, but I'm a big girl and already know what I'm supposed to do when it comes to picking up the right knives for someone (this time, for myself).

(FYI: AS A JOKE) The first thing I look is, of course, the prize of our store.... the most expensive knife in the shop.  Yes, that would be Hinoura-san's 270mm beautiful wa-gyuto.

Sara: "May I please take a look at this knife" (it wasn't really a question because this store is also mine)

Before Jonathan has to say anything, I already knew it....  The great knives come with great responsibility.  I have to pick skill-set appropriate knives.  I can't choose something so beyond my knife skills and sharpening ability because I won't able to get the most out of those knives.  In fact, I will probably misuse them (besides, that's just dishonorable to the knives and craftsmen who I love so much).  

See the bitterness in my face:

Giving up on this prized knife was sad, but I quickly resumed the pursuit of my own knives.

The first step- this time a serious one - is to ask myself a few simple questions:

"What types of knives do I want?" I want 240mm wa-gyuto and 150mm wa-petty.  Thanks to being at JKI all day long, this question was really easy for me.  As first knives, I needed something simple and good at multitasking.

"What types of steels?"  I want carbon for my wa-gyuto, and stainless and wa-petty...  I grow up with carbon knives because my Mom had them.  I know how to work clean in the kitchen, and have a good sense which food are acidic.  Carbon knives will be easier to sharpen (of course it also depends on which carbon knives I will end up having, but in general I feel comfortable saying that), and since I will be also sharpening my own knives, this will be helpful.  I want stainless for the wa-petty because I will cut a lot of fruit and acidic foods like lemons with my wa-petty.  

I know some Chinese cleaver loyalists out there are kind of angry with me for not picking this one:


Chinese cleavers are little too heavy for me, so sorry for the Chinese cleaver supporters, but I picked the wa-gyuto and wa-petty.

The next questions is "which ones from JKI?"  I know I want carbon steel for my wa-gyuto, and ideally I want White #2 steel.  It might not have the best edge retention, but I'm a home cook, and my priority is an ease of sharpening over crazy edge retention (I will let you know if I apprentice to a sushi chef, then my choice of steel will be different).  

Immediately I associate myself with our customers on the little details....  

Sara: "I want colored buffalo horn!  They are pretty!"

"Burnt chestnut handles are awesome."

"Yes, I know... the look of the knife is not what I'm supposed to be focusing on" 

.... okay, you knives are giving me difficult time.  I'm going to move over to the petty section.

You know what.  You guys are ALL cute and small. 

Right now, I already have a very solid idea what my knives will be. Can you guess what the two knives will be?  

I will update you again on this topic when I finalize my decision!


PS.  I "forgot" to ask myself what my budget was for the knives.  My bad! 












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