The Best Knives, Japanese Vs Western Knives
January 29, 2023
What is the main difference between Japanese Knife Set and Western knives?
Both designs are of world-class quality and functionality. They are made from a combination of traditional techniques and modern methods. We won’t know which knife is best unless we get into the details of the blade, their most distinctive feature. Steel is an important component of any knife, but it’s not all that is good. To define the knife’s cutting edge or ability, it is important to consider the manufacturing process, general trends and tradition.
Japanese knives tend to use harder steels than their western counterparts. They are lightweight and very light with a good balance. These knives are sharp and have edge-holding properties that rival those of high-end knives (62-64HRC). They are sharper, easier to resharpen, and they have virtually no downside. Japanese knives are sharper than cutters, as they have thinner edges.
For comparison, western knives can be made of softer, 54-56HRC steel. This is a lower Rockwell scale hardness. This makes western knives more sturdy and heavier, and has thicker edges that can withstand prolonged and intensive use. Lower hardness does not necessarily mean that it is easier to sharpen. However, 56HRC edge will easily chip while 64HRC edge will easily scratch. You can also dullen the edge by continuing to use the blade, causing dents and roll in the blade. Models at the top end go higher at 67HRC.
The average edge of a western knife can be sharpened from 40 to 50 degrees. Japanese knives are sharpened at a much smaller angle (about 30 degrees or less), making them extremely sharp. You can make the angles of Japanese blades even thinner by sharpening them between 6 and 8.
A combination of both traditional and modern design has produced beautifully designed kitchen knives. The Japanese traditional style knives had single-edged blades that were rounded with no grip marks. We already have sharper, more ergonomic knives that are versatile enough to handle different cutting requirements than western or traditional Japanese knives.