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Sep 20, 2008 09:08 AM

Kikuichi Knives?

My one treat for myself when I was just in New York was a Kikuichi knife from the Bowery Store in Chelsea Markets. The one I got is like a small cleaver. It's as light as anything, and really nice.

Anyone have an opinion on these knives? I sort of want to have an excuse to get more.

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  1. I'm a Japanese kitchen knife collector with 24 knives and 10 sharpening stones. Although I've never owned a Kukuichi knife, I know many knowledgeable people who like them a lot. I don't think you can go wrong with them. Some might like other knives for the price better but it's really a matter of personal taste. As far as quality for the money, they have an excellent reputation.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Steveberkeley

      Steve. Should I sharpen it myself, or take it to my trusted knife sharpener?

      So far, it has performed amazingly well, zinging through vegetables as if they weren't there. The description I found on their site and on the label on the knife box itself says not to use it for bone or anything too solid, as it is meant for veggies and fish and such.

      Here is the site

      What other types of Japanese knives do you have?

      1. re: Diana

        Just a note. If you deburr as suggested on you will scratch up the side of the knife. There are better ways to do this.

          1. re: Diana

            This hard felt pad works very well to remove burrs. The knife is passed across in a edge trailing motion. The hard felt will catch and break off the burr.


            Some people like to lightly pass the edge across a cork or wood to deburr. Some use a ceramic steel to break off the burr. different strokes right?

        1. re: Diana

          If you're not up to sharpening yourself, Dave at for any knife sharpening. He specializes in Japanese knives, and does them by hand. He can also repair them as well. Under no circumstances should you take your knife to someone who uses a grinder. Even with the best of care they will take years of use off your knife. BTW, Dave also sells sharpening supplies too... One of the few on the web who discount Shapton stones.....

          D and R Sharpening
          Fleetwood, PA, Fleetwood, PA

        2. re: Steveberkeley

          I am looking at several brands as well at I would like to try a small paring knife as well as a sharp larger knife that can do the work of a chef's knife. Do you have any favorite manufactuers?

          1. re: RGC1982

            As to whether to sharpen it yourself or take it to a sharpener, that depends. Japanese knives should be hand sharpened for the most part. There are some really good sharpeners who use some power equipment and finish on bench stones, but you have to be really, really good. The sharpener at Korin in New York is a master but I don't know if he sharpens knives he doesn't sell. Korin, by the way, is an excellent place to check out a wide array of Japanese knives. Kikuichi is great but you may find something that fits better in your hand.

            If you know how to sharpen on stones and have some, by all means do it yourself. Most collectors learn to. If you don't want to learn, which is understandable, take them or send them to be sharpened. Don't do it on a machine or a drag through sharpener. If your trusted sharpener understands Japanese knives and sharpens by hand, take them to him. If not, even though he may be good with German and French knives, I'd try Korin or some other Japanese knife specialist in New York or send them to Dave at as scubadoo97 mentioned above. Dave is great. I learned to sharpen from him and he's amazing. Great guy too.

            If you sharpen yourself, the hard felt pad mentioned above is great. I'd worry first about stones and after that a strop though. If you want to learn to sharpen, sells a really excellent DVD. It does take practice and there is a learning curve. Enjoy.

        3. The Chef where I work let me try his gyutou with a hammered finish. Really sweet hand-crafted knife. I think he gets them from the Knife Merchant. I'm going to pick one up next paycheck.