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Old 02-05-2010, 10:25 AM   #1
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Tell me about Japanese Knives

I'm old and set in my ways...but I haven't added a knife to my set in well over two decades. To be fair, no one on the east coast of the US was using Japanese knives back then. Well, maybe in the sushi bars and Japanese steakhouses, but I've never worked in one of them.

I'm finding the idea of ceramic knives very intriguing and can't seem to find much information about them. All I read is they stay sharp longer. Spiffy, but what do you do when they do get dull? Can you sharpen them at home? Do you have to send them back to the manufacturer? Wrap them in duct tape and drop them in the trash?

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Old 02-05-2010, 10:44 AM   #2
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I have heard very mixed things about ceramic knives and the info that I have been basing my purchasing decisions on is based on others telling me that Japanese knifes can actually be sharpened sharper than what most ceramics on the market are sharpened to. Top that with the fragility of ceramic knives and I see no reason for me to own one. Now there are plenty of people who have used and abused ceramic knives and they have held up fine. There are also a number of people who have chipped or shattered theirs in normal day to day use. I do not want to take the chance.

To sharpen ceramics you generally do have to send them back to the manufacturer. The good news is they hold their edge a long time so this would not be a frequent occurance, but it is still a hassle.

Japanese knives are amazing. I have two. Both were reasonably priced. One is a Tojiro and the other I am ashamed to say I do not recall the maker, but I like it even more than my Tojiro. I can get them super sharp and they stay that way much longer than my German knives (which I happen to like as well, just not as much as my J knives). I love the geometry of the J blades and also how thin many of them are compared to the German ones I have. Sometimes a thicker blade is what you want though so I am not saying they are perfect in every situation. I think having a number of different types of blades is a great way to go.
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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The only thing that really attracts me to the ceramic blades is the simple novelty of it. They're supposed to be really light, which I suspect will really bug me....but there really isn't anything that I'm likely to have to cut that isn't covered by what's on my counter right now.

After poking around the Kyocera site, I found that they sharpen the blades "free" for ten dollars per shipment postage. The downside is that they have to go to California and back, so a minimum of two weeks turnaround.

Some of the Damascus steel knives are very appealing too. They're awful pretty. It's just hard to justify the expense for what will really be nothing more than a toy. At least the ceramic knives are pretty inexpensive. If I got one or more of the Damascus knives, I'd have to invest in one of those magnetic knife strips so that the blades were always out looking pretty. Then maybe I could justify it as both a tool and a decoration!
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:50 AM   #4
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Check out this knife. It will not break the bank and it will make you a J blade enthusiast.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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That's some site. Besides the drool worthy knives, they have a fantastic selection of Japanese table service supplies. I'm going to be in NY in May...will definitely stop by for a look.
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:32 PM   #6
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Check out this knife. It will not break the bank and it will make you a J blade enthusiast.
GB, I was at that site earlier today. I was wondering if the length of the knives listed included the entire knife or just the blade.
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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I believe it is just the blade.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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I believe it is just the blade.
Wow, then that seems like a pretty good deal for those knives! It will be some time before I require one of them though.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:17 PM   #9
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GB, talk a little about what it takes to sharpen them.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:18 PM   #10
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They are an incredible bargin for what you get, honestly.

Yeah when I got mine I did not really needit. My brother was getting married and had registered for some ceramic knives so I asked him why and if he had considered J knives. I started to tell him what I knew and mentioned I had heard good things about Torjiro. I went online so I could send him a link and found the site I posted here and when I saw the price I decided right then and there to get it even though I had no need. It is now my most used knife.
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