My opinion on the Kiritsuke Kotai chef’s knife

The Kiritsuke Kotai is no ordinary kitchen knife. The blade is hand forged according to an ancestral process. The steel is folded over several times to give it strength and sharpness. It is also sharper than most knives you will encounter, so be careful!

Presentation and opinion on the Kiritsuko Japanese knife by Kotai
Presentation and opinion on the Kiritsuko Japanese knife by Kotai

The origin of the Kotai brand name

The Kotai was originally used by Japanese chefs for tasks requiring precision, such as making sushi or filleting fish. This style of knife has been around since ancient times and records show that it was made in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868). They are still made today using the same techniques as centuries ago. The blades are made from high carbon steel, which makes them very sharp, but also very strong.

The shape of the Kiritsuke Japanese knife

The Kiritsuke knife has an atypical shape with a point that allows a very precise work. It is mainly designed for right-handed people. Its blade is bevelled even though it is sharpened on both sides. The edge of this blade is very sharp, which means that it can easily cut tough ingredients without too much effort. The 50/50 sharpened blade makes it a very versatile chef’s knife that will accompany you in a wide range of kitchen tasks.

You can see this angular point on the picture
You can see this angular point on the picture

The stainless Japanese steel of the Kiritsuke

The Japanese steel used for its manufacture has a high carbon content for an incomparable cutting power. As with a traditional Japanese knife, the difference is that in the case of the Kiritsuke the steel is stainless. This will make maintenance of your knife much easier as you will not need a stone to sharpen it. A simple pass through the gun will suffice. This treatment will also prevent it from rusting, unlike traditional Japanese knives.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Kotai knife

The Kotai brand makes knives that combine the knowledge of Japanese forges with the ease of maintenance of Western knives. Their slogan: « Japanese precision, Western strength ». This will be a perfect knife for people who want a versatile knife, without the inconvenience of maintaining traditional Japanese knives.

See the knife in action with Chef Romain Chassignet:

Price of the Kiritsuke Kotai knife

At the time of writing this article this knife costs 160€ including shipping on the Kotai shop. It’s a lot of money for a knife, but I think it’s better to have one knife like this than 10 bad knives. A knife of this quality will last you a lifetime. Unlike the cheap Japanese knives (around 30€). At these low prices, you will get knives that are mass-produced by machines. With poor quality and a very short life span. It’s a choice you have to make. It reminds me of something my grandmother used to say: « you’re too poor to buy crap ». The implication is that if we buy something of poor quality, it won’t last and we will have wasted the money used to buy it.

I hope my opinion on this knife has been useful to you. See you soon 🙂