Category: News

Handle Setting (video)

Eijii Kawamura setting handle at Sakai Kikumori, Kawamura-San began working in the family business at age 15!

Tim Archuleta’s Knife-Life of the Knife #3

Tim Archuleta from ICHI sushi knows a thing or two about sharp knives. At his busy sushi bar ICHI sushi Tim spends the better part of the day with his yanagi. Loved for the quality and creativity of his sushi, Tim’s compliments on our work are truly an honor.







A Family Cook’s Knife

Next up in the Life of the Knife series is Tisch, a home cook who has the tough job of cooking for two toddlers. Cooking for kids can be like cooking for a pack of hungry animals… that talk and insist that you are a short order cook… who, then, turn into the harshest restaurant critic in the blink of an eye. This kind of cooking would put any professional cook to the test….really. She shows us that she is the Zen Cook for sure plus we like her knives.

Do you sharpen your knives yourself?

People (might / should / could possibly) ask me, why are you nagging your customers to sharpen their knives themselves? Aren’t you in the business of sharpening knives? Are you lazy? Soft headed?

No friend, soft hearted. As your kindly neighborhood sharpener (we really lack a good word for one who sharpens in English) I want you to share in the joy of the meditative, tactile experience of using Japanese whetstones to bring your kitchen knives to their potential and to reap the fruits of your labor with the joy of using a truly sharp knife to cut an onion. Really thin. It’s such a difference than using a moderately sharp knife. The most attentively brilliant chef knife is a total dullard when the edge is off, and even a slightly dull knife just doesn’t seem to want to cooperate. Cooking becomes like a bad conversation at a party you didn’t want to go to anyhow, how can I get this into the rear view mirror of my life and can’t you just cut it into smaller pieces on the plate anyhow? Why even bother at all, why not just get a blender and a big box of those wide bore straws and be done with all the fuss.

Cause you don’t want to live like that.

You already made it this far into this rant on trust that I am actually going somewhere with the question of why am I still prattling on about you getting a whetstone or two. If your thinking “dude, stop trying to sell me more stuff already” it’s not that, really, it’s for your own good. This is something that you owe yourself, it’s a true desert island skill, when the apocalypse comes you will be able to perfectly brunoise iceplant bulbs and field dress rats and pigeons with the greatest precision and you will bless my name.

But that’s taking it too far.

I am looking out for you, really. You just paid to have a nice edge put back on your knife and it’s a waste to just let it go fallow. It’s much easier to keep it up with a fine and medium grit stone than to let it get dull and then try to defibulate it with the sharpening steel that bangs around the back of the junk drawer. It’s like taking your car to the mechanic and then letting the gas run out.

I appreciate the ad hoc solutions like the back of porcelain dishes, that flat rock out in the garden, the piece of sandpaper over the glass plate. Until I have to cut with that edge, and use the back of the dish, flat rock, sandpaper again and again and the knife is now kinda wonky and out of shape and that onion kinda crunches under the knife and, and, and.

But you should be keeping that beautiful edge up yourself. Also once you are comfortable sharpening there is a whole other world of knives that are much more appealing.

Like Japanese white steel.

So fine grained, so receptive and appreciative of the stone, so sharp. You will no longer care about having to get all retentive about keeping the knife dry, and guarding your dry towel on the counter while working, you will have no regrets for totally disregarding the feelings of your loved ones for scolding them as they get ready to just walk away from your knife after cutting an apple with it. You will have gained access to the secret club, you will have the decoder ring and will know the secret hand shake. Your onions will not be crushed and jagged in a puddle of their own juices, they will be fresh and crispy with a silky waxy surface with extra magical umami.

Damn, watch what your doing with that thing.

So, if this sounds appealing you should check out our sharpening classes, stop by the shop for a little tutorial or stay tuned for our upcoming videos on how to sharpen with Japanese whetstones.