The Pankiri | Serrated Bread Knife | About me

The Pankiri | Serrated Bread Knife | About me

Posted by Sam Flaherty on

The Pankiri is the Japanese bread knife, with "Pan" (pronounced as pun) meaning bread and "Kiri" meaning slicer.

For a country known for its delicious rice, it is further testimony to the Japanese pursuit of excellence that they have perfected some of, if not the best, bread knives in the world.

Western breads first appeared in Japan in 1543 via a Portuguese ship carrying Christian missionaries whom soon after began travelling throughout the country, spreading their faith (and their bread). There are historical records of the famous general and Daimyo (feudal era ruler) Oda Nobunaga eating bread brought by the missionaries.

This brief interchange of diets were squashed however when the National Isolation Edict came into effect in 1587. It was only after WWII when Japan was facing food shortages and large quantities of wheat was delivered to Japan that bread steadily became a staple in the Japanese diet.

Consequently then the Pankiri was more commonly made and used. It can be surmised that within the history of the Pankiri is the spirit of international interests in peaceful cross-cultural exchange.


A bread knife is often an overlooked instrument in the kitchen and one may not immediately associate a bread knife with a traditional set of Japanese knives. However, it is one of the most useful and necessary tools whether or not the crusted carb is one of your kitchen staples.

The Japanese Pankiri is often made with high carbon steel such as AUS10 Damascus steel elevating the humble serrated knife to an even more versatile tool.

Though bread would feel like butter under Koi Knives’ Pankiri, it can also be used for slicing soft slippery fruits such as a tomato as well as removing the harsh skin of a pineapple.

A unique and particular use for the Pankiri is its ability to create neat slices of layered cake, ice cream sandwiches, and other frozen desserts with multiple layers of cream and crusts or variations in density and hardness. A conventional knife may crush your layers together but a Pankiri with its clever serrations will gently slice through any cake of laborious production.

 In a pinch it can also be used as a roast meat carving knife if needed.

← Older Post

Leave a comment

Japanese "Pankiri" Know How

How To Maintain a Bread Knife For Best Shelf Life
Bread Knife

How To Maintain a Bread Knife For Best Shelf Life

By Steven Tuckey

From the morning toast to the night-time dessert, the bread knife keeps you company as you slice your favourite delicacy. Even though its serrated blades...

Read more