Midnight Snack Video: Knife Sharpening Secrets – Japanese Knives

High-quality knives are probably a chef’s most important piece of equipment. If a chef doesn’t have a decent, sharp knife to use then they won’t be able to perform their best during service. There are lots of different types of knives from, cleavers to fillet knives so it’s important to have a full collection in your arsenal. If you don’t then Nella Cutlery could be a good option for you. The art of making a knife is almost as complicated as the practice of using one, especially if they’re handmade. Luckily, this video shows inside a knife making workshop in Japan.

From Chef’s Armoury: Enjoy a rare glimpse into the knife making workshops of Sakai, Japan and meet Mr. Nomura—one of Japan’s most skilled Master Sharpeners. Watch him transform a Yanagiba (sashimi knife) from a blacksmith’s blank to a razor sharp blade.

Credit and thanks to Chef’s Armoury, Mr. Nomura, and everyone else involved in the making of this video.

Keep your knives sharp! Enroll in our free Knife Sharpening class. Share the Midnight Snack Video with your friends and join our community for empowering recipes and techniques, access to our lively forum, and lots more behind-the-scenes stuff.

Start Out the New Year With a Sharp Knife!


We’re not kidding about a sharp knife. If Grant Crilly can do this in mid-air, imagine what you’ll be able to do on your cutting board with a properly sharpened knife. And not just any cutting board. Seeing as you’re already thinking about buying new knives to add to your cooking experience, why not think about getting new monogrammed cutting boards too? Start your cooking off right by getting all the kitchen utensils that you will need to help make delicious meals. Sharp knives are good for your experience, but make sure that you handle them with care. When it comes to giving your knife a blade to be reckoned with, using a bench grinder with a slow RPM for sharpening can help refine its edge so that it may be able to slice through practically anything you put in front of it.

If you have a knife block full of dull blades or a drawer of random knives that aren’t quite right, make 2013 the year that you learn the fine art of knife sharpening. Keep your favorite knives sharp and functional and eliminate the clunky ones that aren’t comfortable or efficient to use. Your prep work will be easier and more pleasant. If you would like to purchase some new knives online then you can learn more about tactical knives after reading this article.

Do You Need an Expensive Knife?

In the spirit of full disclosure, there are some amazing knives in the ChefSteps team’s collection – real jaw droppers of phenomenal beauty and craftsmanship. But when they are dull, they will be outperformed by a well sharpened, less expensive knife every time.

So why not save some money, buy a cheap knife and keep it sharp? To prove the point, we purchased an inexpensive used knife and then sharpened it. We were surprised at just how well it performed against some of our most expensive knives-at least until it lost its edge.

Why You Need a Sharp Knife

Sharp knives cut with less brute force than dull knives, causing less damage to the food. On delicate ingredients, like herbs, a dull knife will crush more of the cells surrounding the cut, which ultimately accelerates wilting and discoloration. A dull knife will slow you down. A sharp knife is safer and more predictable and will make working through your prep list easier and more pleasant. Regular sharpening will end up saving you money in the long run and wear and tear on your knives. Watch as Grant makes a case for buying your own sharpening tools.

How to Sharpen Your Knives

Although a reputable knife store will offer a sharpening service, we prefer to sharpen our own knives. It’s not that difficult and doesn’t take much time, once you learn how to use the Knife Sharpening Stones correctly. We’ve put together step-by-step video demonstrations by Grant Crilly to show you how to get a great result.

Continue on to ChefSteps for more detailed info on sharpening, waterstones, honing and other great food prep tips and while you’re at it, jump on to our forum and join in.

ChefSteps is Chris Young, Grant Crilly and Ryan Matthew Smith.
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