Knife-Life Japan
Cult of Japanese Steel

Cult of Japanese Steel - Tradition and Modernity

June 10, 2021 0 Comment(s)

With cutting performance and precision-cut blades, Japanese steel knives stand out among many other choices. A popular chef choice, you will love these knives for different reasons, like the use of steel.

Today, both Michelin-starred chefs and homemakers use it. Professional Japanese blades provide an impeccably smooth and fine cut. They have a hard cutting edge and do not need frequent dressing and sharpening.

Features of Japanese steel

Japanese steel knives blade are extremely thin with a sharp cutting edge.

While some knives perform well, others don't. If the alloy is too tough, the cutting edge bends when in contact with dense products, and if the blade is too hard, it chips or cracks.

Depending on the experience of craftsmen, Japanese manufacturers choose the composition of alloys with precision. This creates professional kitchen knives that are best in class.

Japanese steel knives are crafted with precision and are of premium quality. So, what's different about Japanese steel?


The blades last long due to steel composition and perform well even after multiple uses.

Sharp Edge Blades

The knives are equipped with sharp blades that perfectly cut through all kinds of skins.


Their glossy shine stays intact even with regular use as they are resistant to water.

Ergonomic Grip

Fine blades with slip-resistant and easy-to-use make Japanese knives the finest among all.

History of Japanese steel - Tradition and Modernity

The Japanese began to process river sand with 100% iron oxide "satetsu" in ancient times." Craftsmen mixed it with charcoal and melted it in refractory boilers on a special furnace - "Tatar."

Harmful impurities burned, and charcoal saturated the ore with carbon. The result was steel called 'Kera' and 'Tamahagane.'

Later, the ingots - the pure piece of material - were sorted. Tools were made of low-carbon iron and high-carbon iron to create swords, katanas, and other weapons.

During the end of feudal wars, the demand for weapons in Japan decreased. Gunsmiths were retrained to make household knives. Eventually, it led to the production of knives using a unique approach specific to the Japanese. With time, this became a world cult.

Modern Japanese steel has a special chemical composition. European manufacturers have been trying to replicate the success of Japanese brands for many years.

Japanese artisans use this special composition in the material's microstructure to manufacture it. Depending on the purpose and design of the steels, the Japanese classify them as follows:

Yellow paper

This steel is ideal for working tools and is considered the base grade.

White paper

Divided into several types, this differs in the degree of hardness. This steel is used for chef's knives, cleavers, and hatchets. The high viscosity makes it difficult to work with this steel in production.

Blue paper

A modernized version of white paper is most commonly used to make kitchen knives. The use of alloys increase the wear resistance of the cutting edge, and the corrosion resistance.

It didn't take long for the Japanese to adapt to consumer needs in the global markets. The craftsmen took the best from European and Japanese culture and designed a modern knife familiar to Europeans. The double-sided sharpening is of high-carbon Japanese steel with a special blade design.



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