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Kotobuki Japanese Kitchen Knife Set
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Please note the following points before you make your decision:
1) The knives cost $15 each on average. This is not going to be as pretty as the $100 Shun
2) this is carbon steel. It WILL rust if you let it rust. Wipe the knife dry after use.
3) You probably already have a sharpening stone or two. If not, get them. Buy a diamond two side sharpener atleast (DMT or Smiths is good enough). The knives are sharper than knives I have seen in other people's kitchens, but a little TLC will keep it that way.
4) the knife will NOT handle abuse. It will chip if you try to cut hard things. Use both knives just for vegetables. Look elsewhere for cutting meat with bones.
5) although they are japanese shaped, these are DOUBLE BEVELED. (I wanted to try my hand at a single beveled knife :-( maybe some other day )
So do they belong in your kitchen? If you are willing to care for them a bit, sure. Great value for the price!
- These knives WILL DEFINITELY RUST IF THEY ARE NOT CLEAN AND DRY, PERIOD
- These knives WILL DISCOLOR AFTER USE, THIS IS OK. Parts of it will darken and stain, especially if you use it to cut a lot of onions and acidic things. Clean it every time you use it right away, and maybe apply mineral oil to protect the blade from rusting in storage.
- Handles are untreated, bone dry wood. They feel like sandpaper, so hit them with some Mineral Oil (several coats)-- they'll need it bad. The logo on the handle is just a sticker, sorry if you liked it.
- Super super blade heavy, if that matters to you.
- My set was not exactly razor sharp out of the box, but YMMV. Won't cut slices of tomato so thin you can read through. Even if it's not, carbon steel will take a mean edge if you are willing to learn to sharpen it routinely.
I recommend this set to anyone who is interested in owning a carbon steel knife and learning to sharpen knives, but wants to try it out on a cheap knife before they potentially ruin a $180 Masamoto. OR to someone who is interested in Japanese knives but doesn't want to drop $50 on a nice Santoku or Nakiri JUUUUST yet.
Also, you should probably expect to cut a lot of veggies, because that's what these knives are for. If you're not dicing onions, tomatoes, carrots, and whatnot 3x a week maybe don't bother.
I would like to add that when i give these a 5 star rating, it is not because i think they are perfect or without issue, just that for the money, they feel worth every cent. I have not found knives for $15 each that were this quality before.
Update Sept. 2015. These are still the best knives but they WILL rust at the slightest drop of water. Wipe them immediately after cutting and washing. You can remove it easily with Barkeepers Friend. Also treat the handle with some oil. I'm a Japanese knife convert due to these knives.