We have selected a small number of select Japanese blacksmiths to work with at the Sharp Chef. Below is a short biography of the blacksmiths and their heritage and style:
Without doubt one of the most prominent Japanese blacksmiths with over 600 years of history. Sakai Takayuki are based in Sakai, Osaka Prefucture and use technology alongside traditional methods in order to be able to produce exceptional quality knives on a large scale. As such, they are popular all over the world and present in many professional kitchens.
Masutani is a small but super skilled blacksmith from Echizen with a reputation as an expert sharpener. When a blacksmith is famously known as an excellent sharpener, you know you knife is going to be a fantastic performer.
All our Masutani knives are under £100 and are easily comparable with most knives significantly more expensive. The quality of craftsmanship, materials and performance is second to none at this price.
Iseya knives are made under Blacksmith Yoshinori Seto. As one of the higher volume blacksmiths, Iseya knives are used all over the world in homes and professional kitchens. These are excellent knives, well made, performing and lasting well for many years.
Shigeki Tanaka is a young, passionate and highly skilled craftsman. Tanaka-San has gained his knife-making skill through training in Takefu, Fukui. With his exceptional craftsmanship, and unique yet traditional design. He works with his small team of artisans to hand produce knives which are unique in design and league topping in performance.
Yoshimi Kato is the Master Blacksmith at Kintaro, producing knives under his own name and for brands such as Masakage. He has taken over from Hiroshi Kato, one of the greatest masters of this craft and teacher to many, including Yoshimi Kato and none other than Yu Kurosaki.
Kato-san was once a Project Manager, and his planned and precise design and production shows a real eye for detail and drive for perfection.
Made with the upmost traditions, painstaking methods and keenness for quality, Kato knives are absolutely stunning and a perfect gift for any chef or keen cook.
Born in 1979. After serving several apprentice-ships in Takefu, Yamamoto-San has inherited his techniques from the masters. Nao Yamamoto is now incredibly successful, producing masterful knives that not only perform like precision pieces, but are stunningly crafted from the highest of quality materials.
His knife shaped fish bone was awarded Ars prize in 2013 at the All Nippon Knife Show in Kobe.
Yu Kurosaki, well what can we say, probably the most well known Japanese Blacksmith in a worldwide scale. You don't get that kind of reputation by being average.
Kurosaki-san has forged his reputation by combining the highest quality of production and skill, traditional techniques, and new and exciting contemporary designs. Not only do his knives perform and last second to none, but they also stand out with their incredible and innovative designs, patterns and handles.
Sakai Jikko was founded by Itaro Jikko over 100 years ago, starting out as a sharpener and moving to produce knives.
Jikko goes by the moto which roughly translates as "Think of it as a once-in-a-lifetime encounter and do our best for the other party". In that sentiment is an obsession with quality and effort to make their knives impress, and last. Jikko knives have another level of detail that most knives miss by adding a level of finish and design to the spine and heel that gives them something special.
Sukenari was founded in 1933 and has since gained a strong reputation for quality. Dedicated to using traditional technique used to craft samurai swords, Sukenari has been certified to create 'Honyaki' knives that are unserpassed in their edge retention and durability as well as their cutting edge performance. This technique, however is extremely difficult and time consuming, so more recently Sukenari has begun forging knives from 'high speed steels' such as VG10 and ZDP189. Always trying to improve on the quality and performance of their knives.
Seisuke Hamono is a Japanese knife brand with shops in Tokyo and Portland (USA). Their knives are produced by different blacksmiths, each specialising in a different range of knives.
We have carefully selected some of the best ranges offered which all sit at superb price-points offering excellent value for money
Kei Kobayashi is a well renowned knife sharpener based in Seki City who, in recent years, has also trained as a blacksmith and now produces some of the most exquisite knives we've seen.
Kobayashi knives are finished to perfection and sharpened (as you would expect) to a staggeringly sharp edge. Like almost nothing else we've seen.
These are real works of art with their own unique Handle designs and perfect form.
One of the most well known and revered bladesmiths in Japan, Takeshi Saji captivates with the beauty and skill that goes on to making every single one of his knives. Combining traditional forging techniques with new and innovative designs, Saji crafts beautiful, functional works of art
Yoshikane Hamono knives are forged in the city of Sanjo under head Blacksmith Kazuomi Yamamoto. Their knives are made with superb skill, materials and attention to finishing detail making them fantastic long term knives with excellent fit and finish and a super sharp edge.
Nigara Hamono have over 350 years of family expertise in knife making. Now in their 8th generation, the masterful craftsmanship of their knives puts them in the Premier league for quality and performance. A Nigara knife is a knife for life. Made with the utmost attention to quality, detail and performance, Nigara knives are very hard to beat.
Hatsukokoro knives are made by some of the leading Blacksmiths in Japan. Often, due to contracts, the blacksmiths remain a mystery, but that just peaks the excitement.
All Hatsukokoro knives are made using premium materials, traditional methods and have some of the highest quality of fit and finish we've seen. They are incredible performers and offer something quite exciting with their unique bade patterns and styles.
Seki Kanetsugu have been producing quality knives since 1849 so they know a thing or two about a good knife. The ranges we offer are carefully selected to offer amazing value for money, solid performance and a traditional Japanese style.
Takamura Hamono became a forerunner in developing the best quality stainless steel knives available and has since spent 60 years perfecting their blends.
A Takamura knife is made to some of the highest standards and performance is second to none. Reputed as laser sharp performers, their knives' unmatched cutting performance is recognized not only throughout Japan, but by famous chefs worldwide.
Tojiro offers excellent quality knives on a more modern higher volume scale by mixing modern machinery with traditional techniques. This achieves amazing quality, especially for the modest price, with levels of sharpness and durability aimed at professional kitchen use.
The values instilled in Tojiro's production, coupled with the value for money make them a no brainer. A very full range of excellent knives should offer you everything you need.