For any cooking enthusiast or professional, a good quality knife becomes an extension of their arm. Balance and comfort is essential when using a knife for extended periods of time. A comfortable grip will lessen hand fatigue and good balance will ensure dexterity when cutting. Once you use a good quality knife, it is hard to go back to anything of lesser quality.
I discovered Japanese knives just recently after having used German knives for the last many years. In my kitchen, I had two knives I had consistently turned to for all my cooking duties. These knives were Henckels (http://www.zwilling.com/locale/en_ww/index.php) FOUR STAR Chef’s knife and a Henckels TWIN Grip paring knife. It was only when I moved to Singapore recently that I had then decided to purchase another set of knives for my new kitchen. Trying to keep an open mind that there were other brands on the market, I had decided to do some research on what type of knives were out there. I plied the discussion forums for advice and found that there was one company online called “Japaneschefsknife.com” (http://www.japanesechefsknife.com/) that was consistently quoted as being very reliable both in their products and service. Like most people, I was rather apprehensive about ordering anything online let alone spend money on an expensive set of knives when I never heard of the company before. However, my worries were put at ease when I found that every post about Japanesechefsknife.com was favorable and that they were very efficient and reliable in their service. I promptly placed my order online and made payment via my credit card. Upon receipt of my payment, I was informed the knives would arrive in Singapore in 3 days direct from Japan. They arrived just as promised right to my doorstep.
I had ordered two knives from Japaneschefsknife.com; The Hattori HD Series HD-8 Gyuto 210mm (Chef’s knife) and The Misono Molybdenum Series No, 531 Petty 120mm (Short utility knife). The Hattori model is a beautiful knife made from VG10 core metal forged with 63 layers of Nickel Damascus stainless steel blade. The wavy patterns on the blade are the result of the 63 layers of Nickel Damascus pounded together to form one layer of steel. The knife is even hand engraved with Ichiro Hattori’s name. Performance-wise, I was astonished at how comfortable this knife felt in my hand and how sharp it actually was. The Misono model was another winner. This utility knife is Misono’s lower end of their product line but is extremely high quality nevertheless. It’s a stainless steel knife made from Molybdenum steel. As expected of Japanese knives, this knife was extremely sharp, well balanced, and stayed sharp for long periods of time.
My positive experience in using Japanese knives has made me a convert in sourcing more Japanese knives in the future. I was also very impressed with Japanesechefsknife.com and would not hesitate to order knives from them again.