The Bunka Knife Anatomy
The Bunka knife is a more aggressive looking version of the Santoku knife - one of the most commonly used knives in Japan. The Bunka is a utility knife which means it is a versatile knife built to do everything. Compared to it’s alternative options such as the Santoku or Gyuto, the Bunka has a thicker spine and K-tip point making it particularly useful for heavy chopping and chopping at the heel of the blade. The point at the K-tip is also unique, lower down than knives like chefs knives. At Koi Knives it is one of the most popular knives.
The Bunka Knife Handle
1. The Handle / E
The blade in the Bunka is quite heavy so we have opted to keep the handle light weight in line with the other knives made to date. This lightweight handle means the center of balance is actually just past the heel allowing you to hold the blade with a pinch well into the blade of the knife.
2. The Handle Butt / Ejiri
The butt of the handle is often used to tap in the half tang into the blade. As a result a 45 degree angle at the butt of the knife is relatively uncommon. We have chosen an angled base both for the light weight and intricacy of the handle as well as the simple reason - we love the look of it.
3. The Handle Steel Section / Tang
The tang section of traditional Japanese knife is contained with thin the handle - not sticking in between the two handle pieces as seen on a full tang. This type of handle allows us to use a single piece of unique fused wood or burl. Once again there is a utility perspective - lighter weight, however much of it is created for beauty - a single piece of treasured wood.
4. Collar / Kakumaki
You will notice the collar on the photographed knife tapers toward the blade. Again this is relatively uncommon - as it takes a little longer to make. The tapering is the favoured shape for both Shannon and it makes it a little more comfortable for our pinch hold to glide up and down the blade as we undertake different cuts. Similar to the Deba knife, for a bone chop we hold a little higher on the blade where when we are doing intricate boing we creep our fingers toward the target. It also looks nice :)
The Bunka Knife Blade
5. Heel / Ago
Compared to many other Bunka knives we have designed a blade with a deep, low heel which comes down a little more drastically from the tip. This was done specifically to add strength and utility to the heel of the knife which is used to chop anything that hard to get through. The hand not holding the knife can push downwardly on the spine directly above the heel to push through whatever it is being chopped..
6. Spine / Muni
The spine of the Bunka knife is substantially thicker than the Gyuto and Santoku knives which each typically have spines around 2mm. The Bunka knife is 50% wider around 32mm which gives it more strength and heft. Once again the construction of the spine is made specifically to facilitate the heavy handed portions of preparation.
7. Belly / Tsura
The belly of the knife is about the same as a Santoku and slightly larger than the Gyuto. Paired with the dimpled surface that will prevent the sticking of starchy vegetables to the blade this combination (deep belly with dimples) make the Bunka knife a great choice to cut through potatoes, pumpkins and anything with a sticky starch.
8. Tip / Kissaki
The Bunka tip is made using the K-tip finish. If you don't have a Honesuki this part of the blade can be used for detailed boing on whatever poultry you are preparing.
9. Edge / Hassaki
The edge on our Bunka has a relatively straight edge and a low lying tip. This means that if rolling the knife you cannot hold it as high. Due to the relatively straight edge of the blade this is designed for slicing through pushing rather than pulling - a typical way of using most Japanese knives (you’ll notice that other than the Deba most Japanese knives have straight edges on their blades compared to the knives in the west. Most Japanese chefs pull where as in the West pushing with a curved blade is more common).
10. Cutting Edge / Kireha
The cutting edge of the Bunka knife is that thick part of the blade nearer the handle which is used for powerful cutting strokes such as slashing a pumpkin, pear or pork chop (pear and pork being a tasty combination :) ). The wide spine above this part of the blade gives it far superior power when compared with a chefs knife or gyuto knife.
More Bunka Knife components to consider....
11. Double Bevel Blade
The Bunka knife is made with a double beveled blade meaning that those who are used to using a double sided blade (almost everyone outside Japan) will find this easy to use.
The Bunka was, despite the light weight handle, the heaviest knife of our first collection. It will weigh just under 0.5kg with almost all this weight coming from the blade itself.