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KATABA Japanese Knife Shop /  The Knife Shed

Knife Care

KNIFE CUTTING TIPS

 

Most Japanese carbon steel blades are very hard and thin so they crack easily. Do not strike food forcefully or put irregular pressure on the blade.
Also, do not try to cut through animal bones or frozen food. This can chip the blade. We recommend using special knives for cutting bones, squash (pumpkin) and frozen foods. 

Always use a wooden or plastic cutting board. Never cut on glass, marble, slate or anything harder than steel.
Never wash knives in the dishwasher because the heat will damage the steel.
Such care insures life –long reliability of the knives. 

DAILY MAINTENANCE AND STORE

Japanese carbon steel knives are well made but they will rust under humid conditions.


  1. After every use, wash with a soft sponge and washing up liquid, and then rinse well with hot water.

  2. Gently wipe away moisture with a dry towel from the blade to the handle.

  3. Place the knife somewhere where the humidity is as low as possible.

  4. In case of colour change, polish the blade with cleanser or rust eraser. We recommend using a rust eraser called “Sabitoru”.

  5. If you do not plan on using your knife for a long time, we recommend using camellia oil, which will protect your carbon knife from rust, corrosion and discolouration. Wrap the knife in a newspaper to be stored because the ink is enable the knife to keep in a good condition.

*Knives are extremely sharp; please take special care when you are handling them and keep them away from children.

Sharpening a Knife

Sharpening Tips

 

A sharp knife is important in order to preserve the true flavours of fresh ingredients. The quality of the cut is becoming an important issue in professional cooking.
Sharpening with a whetstone is the best way to sharpen a knife and for it to stay sharp for a long time.

The Japanese Whetstone is split into 3 different types.

It is important to check the condition of the edge before sharpening. If you have not sharpened the knife for a long while, you should start to sharpen with an Arato. If you sharpen the knife regularly, you start to sharpen with a Nakato.We recommend sharpening your knife once every 5 days at a minimum.

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Arato
(Coarse stone)
It has a rough surface and is used for repairing chips and creating a sharper blade.

Nakato 
(Medium grit stone)
It is used for minor repairs, and making the blade sharper. We recommend using this stone for regular sharpening.

Shiageto 
(Finishing stone)
It is used for creating a razor-sharp and mirror polish edge.

How to Sharpen

Stone preparation

 

Soak the whetstone in water for approximately 5 minutes, (Some stones don’t need to soak, you can just pour some water on the stone before sharpening).
Be careful to not over soak the stone for a long time.

It is important to make sure that the surface of the stone is flat. If the surface is not flat, use a stone fixer. 

Set the whetstone on a stone holder for preventing slippage or spread a wet cloth under the stone to hold the stone as securely as possible.

Also you need to wash the knife well to prevent it from slipping while you are sharpening.

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Sharpening Japanese style knives

Single beveled blade

 

  1. Soak the whetstone in water for approximately 5 minutes, (Some stones don’t need to soak, you can just pour some water on the stone before sharpening). Be careful to not over soak the stone for a long time. It is important to make sure that the surface of the stone is flat. If the surface is not flat, use a stone fixer.

    Set the whetstone on a stone holder for preventing slippage or spread a wet cloth under the stone to hold the stone as securely as possible. Also you need to wash the knife well to prevent it from slipping while you are sharpening. Firmly push the blade upwards then lightly pull the blade back downwards.



  2. Make sure to draw the knife backwards and forwards across the whetstone in smooth and rhythmical strokes. Be sure to hold the blade at the same angle on every stroke and do not try to sharpen the whole blade at the same time.

    Sharpen until you can see or feel a metal burr at the cutting edge and then move to the next section and repeat the same process. The black powder that forms on the whetstone is necessary for sharpening so do not try to wipe it away. Give attention to each section of the blade until you have sharpened the entire length. 



  3. After you finish sharpening the front side, there will be a metal burr on the back side of the blade that needs to be smoothed off. Turn the blade over and lay it as flat as possible with its cutting edge against the stone and scrape the blade edge lightly in the direction of the arrow.

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Sharpening Western style knives

Double beveled blade

 

  1. Place the blade of the front side of the knife flat at angle of 45°on the whetstone. Grip the blade firmly with your right hand and raise the face of blade slightly , and place 3 middle fingers of your left hand on the area of the blade you want to sharpen.

    For the Western style knives do not sharpen the blade flat against the stone as it will make the edge less durable. Make sure maintain an angle of 10~20°to the stone, raising the spine of the knife to about £1 coin height between the blade and the whetstone as in the picture.



  2. Make sure to draw the knife backwards and forwards across the whetstone in smooth and rhythmical strokes. Be sure to hold the blade at the same angle on every stroke and do not try to sharpen the whole blade at the same time.

    Sharpen until you can see or feel metal burr at cutting the edge and then move to the next section and repeat same process. The black powder that forms on the whetstone is necessary for sharpening, so do not try to wipe away. Give attention to each sections of the blade until you have sharpened the entire length.



  3. After you finish sharpening the front side, switch to the back side of knife and repeat the same process on the other side. Sharpen the back side using less force than the front side until a metal burr forms on the front side.

    When sharpening a double bevel knife with equal cutting angle, make sure to sharpen both sides equally. The edge to sharpen extends only 2~5mm from the edge of the knife for both Single edge & Double edge knives.

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After sharpening

Wash your knife thoroughly with a soft sponge and dishwashing liquid to remove dirt from sharpening, then rinse well with hot water gently wipe away moisture with a dry towel from the blade to the handle.

Place the knife somewhere where the humidity is as low as possible. 

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