Cookware 103

Chips in Japanese Knives

bkling | Mar 5, 2012 09:01 AM

Over the last couple of years I replaced my Western knives with good Japanese knives (various makes) and like many things about them. But in spite of my efforts to use the right knife for the right task (e.g. don't use a nakiri for anything but veggies) small chips still appear regularly on my edges. I sharpen on water stones without excessive pressure (have done that for years), and hone on a fine black ceramic rod, being sure not to hit the blade against the shaft but make gentle contact. I use end grain bamboo cutting boards. Still the chips appear now and then, and it seems I'll eventually have a collection of serrated Japanese knives.

So my question is, for those of you using Japanese knives, is this experience typical? Do you just put up with the chips as a fact of life, or am I missing something here? If the knives are really this delicate I'm beginning to question whether they're really good kitchen tools for a home cook like me. They are very slightly sharper than my Western knives but that advantage is more than offset if I have to be so delicate with them all the time.

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