Kiritsuke

Posted by Steven Tuckey on

Origin

Japan, pre-Meiji Era (<1868).

Blade Length and Width

Typically measuring (240-330mm) in length, although (240mm) is most common.

Width 2-4mm. Single bevel blades tend to be thicker.

 

Purpose

The Kiritsuke is a blend of the Usuba and Yanagiba knives and is traditionally used by the head chef of Japanese restaurants. As a blend of two distinct knives, it is designed to excel at multiple techniques between intricate vegetable cutting and seafood preparation. Modern Kiritsuke’s tend to be double bevel, a reflection of the changing styles and techniques in Japanese cuisine. Functionally, it has a flatter heel than the Gyuto, with an angular tip for intricate work and a blade length to handle long slicing cuts. 

The Kiritsuke is also known as a "K-Tip" where its characteristic 'reverse tanto' is borrowed from the Usuba in shape and purpose. 

Tips for using the Kiritsuke

Choose a length that complements your other knives. You should be looking for a knife that has either a greater length than your chef’s knife (or Gyuto), or a flatter edge. The Kiritsuke excels at slicing and push/pull chopping where the length suits single stroke cutting, and the larger heel gives greater clearance for your fingers. Single bevel Kiritsuke’s suit ornate vegetable cutting and meat carving, whereas the more popular double bevel will suit a greater range of tasks.

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