Parts of a Western-Style Knife
The New Western Blade
Western-style knives have a blade edge that is sharpened on both sides of the blade. This edge style is commonly referred to as a double-edged, doubleground or double beveled blade. It is a stronger blade configuration than the single-edged blades of traditional Japanese knives, and Western-style knives are perfectly suited for any kitchen.
These unevenly beveled edges are made possible by innovations in steel-making, tempering and edge crafting employed by Japanese manufacturers; a lower grade steel would not hold this angled edge design and would soon dull, and a blade formed with less flexibility would chip or crack when sharpened so thinly.
The majority of Western knives on the market today have a 50:50, or symmetrical “V”-shaped blade that is sharpened the same way on both sides. Although the 50:50 edge is convenient to re-sharpen, many Japanese Western-style knives are sharpened to a thinner, asymmetrical edge. By concentrating the sharpening on the face of the blade at a steeper angle than on the back side, a thin cutting edge is created that approaches the sharpness of the traditional single-edged design.
The angles on this uniquely Japanese edge style can be expressed in ratios such as 70:30, 60:40, and 90:10, comparing the angle of the bevel and the amount of sharpening performed on the face of the knife to the back. The most common edge shape in the Korin Collection of Western-style knives is in the range of 70:30 for right-handed users. Many models can be re-ground for left-handed use by Korin’s resident knife master for a minimal charge. Please see ‘Left-Handed knife’ section in the price list for more details.
Styles and Uses of Western-Style Knives
The gyutou is a versatile chef's knife. It can be used for cutting meat, fish and vegetables, making it suitable for preparing Western cuisine. Lightweight and thin, Japanese chef knives have a sharper blade and maintain their sharpness longer than most other chef knives.
The Sujihiki is a slicing knife intended for slicing boneless fish filets. It can also be used for slicing boneless roasts, hams and poultry breasts. The short height of the blade creates less friction when slicing and the blade draws through fish and meat effortlessly. The sujihiki is the Western-style equivalent the traditional yanagi knife.
The yo-deba is the Western-style version of the traditional Japanese deba. It is a heavy-duty butcher knife used for cutting through bones and semi-frozen food.
The santoku, meaning "three virtues", is an all-purpose knife that takes its name from its ability to easily handle meat, fish and vegetables. The high profile of the blade makes the santoku well-suited for smaller kitchen spaces and keeps the knuckles well above the cutting board.
The nakiri is a vegetable chopping knife with an easy to sharpen Western style double ground blade. The boxy shape comes from the traditional Japanese usuba knife, also used for chopping and making katsuramuki style vegetable sheets.
The garasuki is a large poultry boning knife similar to the honesuki. It originated in specialty chicken restaurants and it is commonly used to break down whole poultry. Due to its thickness and weight, it can be used for other jobs that require heavy knife work and a short blade.
The honesuki is a poultry boning knife used to separate the meat from the bones. It is lighter and thinner than the garasuki and can be used in place of a Western boning knife.
The hankotsu is a boning knife used to separate meat from the bones, but not for cutting through bones. The blade angle and straight handle makes it easy to maneuver when boning, Frenching or trimming.
The petty is a smaller chef knife that makes it a convenient size for peeling and other delicate work.
The paring knife is ideal for peeling fruits and vegetables. Perfect for hand-held cutting.
Peeling knife for fruits and vegetables.