Sakai Kikumori was founded in 1926 by Kawamura Hamono, a knife wholesaler in Sakai City, Japan. Sakai is known as a major centre of traditional Japanese cutlery manufacturing.
Even though Sakai Kikumori is a relatively small company in Sakai, this didn’t hinder them from becoming more innovative and open to new ideas.
The goal of Kikumori is to put more emphasis on quality and to get good steel material to make great kitchen knives. Kikumori has been developing kitchen knives with the region’s best smiths and skilful artisans to offer various knives from traditional to modern materials and styles.
The knife types included in the Kikumori line are Japanese, Gyuto, Western-style, and special purpose knives. The Japanese-style knives' blade length can either include the Machi or without the Machi. Machi is a joint or gap between the blade and handle.
The Gyuto line, typically used in cutting meat and larger foods, includes Kiwami-V10 Kyomen, Ginsan, Wasiki Gyuto II, and Gokujyo.
The Western-style line includes the Nihonko knife and SKK vanadium, bestseller knives of Kikumori. The Nihonko is constructed from high carbon steel. Meanwhile, the SKK vanadium is made from high-quality steel with rust-resistant properties.
The special-purpose line includes knives for specific food items like Kaiseki for cutting shellfish and Ajisaki for horse mackerel.
Best Known For
The Sakai Kikumori kitchen knives are popular because of their high-quality steel material. Kikumori is best known for receiving the “SAKAI WAZASHU” brand from the Sakai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which intends to certify the prominent companies in SAKAI.
The Sakai Kikumori kitchen knife line is forged using several steel types. Some of the most notable steel types used are the Yasuki (white or blue steel), the V Gold 10, and the Stain-resistant Steel with Molybdenum.
The Yasuki white or blue steel is high carbon steel. VG10, on the other hand, is a high carbon and vanadium material that exhibits excellent edge retention and durability. Lastly, stain-resistant steel is alloyed with Molybdenum to further strengthen the steel.
The Sakai Kikumori kitchen knives line mostly uses wood for its handle. It is worth mentioning, though, that some models like Kiwami-V10 Kyomen have an ebony handle with a buffalo horn ring, while the model Sweden-ko makes use of Rosewood.
Sharpening and Maintenance
It is essential to maintain a Kikumori knife because it can keep the blade from wearing out and getting dull. The sharpening method for Kikumori knives is using waterstones made of aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. High grit stones can remove scratches from the face of the blade (anything over 10000), while a nylon brush can be used to maintain the wood handles.