Why are Japanese Knives Expensive? 

Posted by Steven Tuckey on

Just like how artists in the music industry carefully choose their ideal musical instruments, Chefs are also sensitive with their knives. They purposefully believed that knives were extensions of their hands, treating them as a finger with chopping capabilities. One of the best-handpicked knives for all seasons is the Japanese Knives set. That’s right, Japanese Chef knives are known not just in Japan but in every part of the world as well… Including Australia.


However, even most pro chefs were already convinced with the quality that the Japanese knives can provide in their everyday kitchen usage. Some still believe that it was just hype, and those knives certainly don’t justify their expensive price.


Indeed by now, you might be wondering if Japanese knives genuinely live to their price and standard, or is it just because of marketing experts that they tend to rise in the kitchenware industry.


Japanese Knives Vs. Western Knives


Chef’s knives are the most popular kitchen knife because of their versatility. You can do almost all the basic knife activities using a Chef’s knife as its structure offers an overall functionality. Using chef knives, everything can work perfectly fine, from cutting to slicing up to dicing.


Being the top best Chef’s knives globally, Japanese and Western Chef’s knives are often the main selections by many. You might be part of those who are still undecided which one to use, whether in your business or simply at home. Well, let me help you unfold the similarities and differences between the two kitchen knives.


As the name suggests, Western knives are primarily produced in America and Europe. These knives come with a thick blade with a gradual curve that you can use to maneuver your tool. They are made of one piece of steel, making them heavy and sturdy. However, Western Chef’s knives tend to dull faster because the metal is softer than Japanese Chef's knives. 


On the other hand, Japanese Chef’s knives are sharp and of hard composition. They are made of multiple layers that are welded together. The best part, though, is Its thin blade structure can make your life at ease since it’s easier to control. Another critical factor lies in its handmade artistry. Each Japanese Chef’s knife comes with traditional Japanese history and metalworking techniques.

 

Factors that Make Japanese Chef’s Knives Expensive


Now, this next question is undoubtedly lingering in your mind right now. If it has almost the same usage and functions as European Chef knives, then why is it so expensive? Typically, the usual price of this knife costs you $900+.


We all know that price does not necessarily reflect a product’s performance, as some inexpensive items can perform excellently. However, Japanese knives can undoubtedly prove to you that their price is always a steal of a deal regarding their performance. So, let’s break down the reasons why.


Craftsmanship


Historically speaking, Japanese knife crafting originates from the descendants of swordsmiths in ancient Japan. They are well-known artisans that use the same technique in sword crafting. These artisans pass on the sword-making process from generation to generation. This cycle goes on until such time that they decide to incorporate it into creating modern knives. 


Imagine yourself holding an ancient samurai whenever you’re using your Japanese Chef’s knife. Well, it will certainly bring out the samurai vibes in you.


The quality of the Japanese Chef’s knives relies not just on the materials used but also on how the artisans created them by hand. It usually takes one full day to sharpen a blade and another full day to secure and polish the handle.


We all know that Japanese people are globally known for their quality-driven and output-based attitude. They are not satisfied with the mediocre output. Hence they always strive for excellence.


Composition


Japanese Chef’s knife production is more of a personal connection and tradition than being just a profitable business. They always ensure that the Japanese knives' composition will always stand true to their claim of being the most reliable kitchen knives. 


Japanese Chef’s Knives use the best steel with hardness levels between 59-64 HRC compared to Western knives with only 54-60 HRC. In sword making, artisans use hard steel to envelope the soft iron inside the sword, making it more durable and preventing the sword from breaking. Meanwhile, in knife making, hard steel is in the middle of soft irons. Compared to swords, knives are thin, but they never break because of this unique strategy. 


Aside from having durable blades, their handles are usually made of natural wood, which costs more than plastic or pakka wood. Adding a considerable advantage over other knives, these natural woods improve one’s knife handling skills and comfortability in usage.


Uniqueness


As it takes three years to learn to hammer and a lifetime to sharpen, securing one knife can take years for some well-known Japanese Knives artisans. 


People regard Japanese Chef’s knives as an art more than a product. Artisans considered these knives as somehow a part of their life and soul. Since different talented but delicate hands have created them, each Japanese knife has its own story to tell, making them unique in every way.


People usually wait two and a half years for a single set since Japanese knife crafting is a continuous learning process. But once you get your hands on it, you’ll surely not want to use and settle with any other knives anymore. 


Cutting on the Bottomline


Indeed, not all expensive things deserve the spotlight since cost does not always reflect the quality of a particular product. However, Japanese Chef’s Knives are game-changers! With Japanese Chef’s Knives' craftsmanship, composition, and uniqueness, I guess we can proudly tell that they deserve the spotlight and are worthy of their expensive price. 


In fact, Japanese Chef’s knives are not just worth the price but also worth the wait. Obtaining Japanese Knives set at home will not only give you satisfaction with your cooking, but it will also depict hundreds of generations of craftsmanship stories that embed on the blade of your knife.

In case you’re wondering where to grab one. Don’t worry. We’ve got the best Japanese Chef’s Knives to offer here in Australia. Feel free to visit our shop or send us a message.

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