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Feb 28, 2010 04:29 PM

Kiya Knife?

My husband is back from his business trip to Tokyo. He bought a knife there for me as a surprise. It is not a Japanese knife but a western style, a chef's knife. On its surface, there is a logo of edelweiss flower and engraved as "EDELWEISS KIYA" and "Boehler Stainless sub zero". On the back there is a number "86003ZB07". A small paper is enclosed in the box on which there are some explanations in Japanese and the website address. I checked it but there are not much.

Does anyone have the same type of knife from Kiya? I have a cheap Wusthof knife sharpener, which I bought at TJMaxx/Homegoods. As this is a stainless steel knife, I think I can just use the sharpener, or do I need to buy something elese to sharpen it? My other knives are cheap beginner knives, and honestly I generally do not know much about knives (although I feel I need to know more). I checked old threads and I think this is not a redundant topic. If so, could you tell me where I can check?

Thank you for your help in advance.

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  1. Many Japanese manufacturers do make western style knives. I think the main question is what angle the knife should be sharpen. Western knives made in Europe or the US are sharpen at a 20 degree angle. Japanese knives tend to be sharpen at a 15 degree angle since they are made with harder metal. The harder the metal the sharper the knife can potentially be. I would recommend that you purchase a knife steel and learn how to use it. Its easy. It helps keep all of your knifes sharp without losing metal from the knife. There are easy to use and inexpensive (relatively speaking) knife sharpeners designed for a 15 degree angle. For the knife purist, these devices may not come up to their standards but for the home user with one knife, it is difficult to justify investing more resources for one knife. If at a later time, you want to expand you collection and have an interest in upgrading your sharpening assets, by all means google japanese knife sharpening. Your will get more than enough information on setting new standards for your knife sharpening skills.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bgazindad

      HI, bgazindad, thank you for your advise.
      I did not even know that the difference of the angles. So far I have just avoided to use a knife steel, but I feel it is time to learn:)

      So far I have used this.

      However, I might need to use another one for Asian knives like this, too, on top of the knife steel?

      Again, thank you so much for your suggestion to a knife beginner:)

      1. re: hobbybaker

        This manual asian 15degree sharpener was recommended from CI

        the wusthoff vs was "not recommended"

        1. re: grnidkjun

          Thanks alot grindkjun. I will avoid the not recommended one!

    2. hobbybaker, the company that makes the knives sold in the United States under the Shun brand is Kia Corporation.

      Kia makes more than 10,000 different kitchenware products, sold worldwide. While I have no insider information, my best guess is that a "Kiya" knife purchased in Japan would be a Kia knife made in Japan. (That of course does not mean that Kiya = Shun.)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Politeness

        KAI is not the same as KIA which is not the same as Kiya. KIA is a Korean car manufacturer company.

        KAI group was established in Seki, Japan in 1908. Kiya traces itself back to 1571 AD (Tensho First year).

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Chemicalkinetics: "KAI is not the same as KIA..."
          You are absolutely correct. My error, and my apologies.

      2. Ya know I think you were gifted an amazing g knife. Try to trace it back. If you try to steel it,,or sharpen it you may ruin it before you know what it is.

        relax!!!! You lived without this knife before! I sorta think that the gifter will only be more sure he picked a good one if you "research" it.

        Shhesh dang! an amazing blade can be SO ruined by the first "steel" or sharpeningQ!

        1. Thank you for your input, CK, politeness, and Quine.
          I will try to trace it back by emailing Kiya company, as Quine mentioned, Yes, Quine you are right, I have lived without using this one, so I will take my time and research so that I won't ruin it :) Thanks again, guys!

          1. I checked one out online, and it looks like a very nice knife. You might want to consider picking up a Rollsharp SR-2 for sharpening. They're inexpensive and they work great. As others have mentioned, the Wusthof sharpener will most likely change the angle of the edge.


            3 Replies
            1. re: seiun

              Thanks seiun, I will look it up.

              1. re: seiun

                In short, the Kiya knives are sharpened at ~15o edge angle coming out from the factory. If one wants to maintain that factory setting, then the knife should be sharpened at that angle. Of course, the knife can be reprofiled to another angle if desired