Sharpness is an important factor in determining the quality of a knife. Regardless of whether the blade is made from the finest steel or forged by the most skilled blacksmith, its cutting edge will eventually become dull. Further, it is also common to encounter broken tips and damaged blades. In some cases, the damage is too great for the user to repair.


I, as a chef myself, can attest to the fact that Japanese knives are the ultimate attention seekers. This article discusses the proper way to maintain Japanese knives. These tips will certainly prove beneficial in the long run. Let’s start,


Learn the proper use of your knife:

There are several different types of Japanese knives, each serving a specific purpose. As an example, Nakiri is used to cut vegetables, Yanagi uses to slice fish, Deba uses to butcher and so on. Japanese knives should never be used for cutting bones, frozen foods, or seeds. As well as not bending or flexing knives. It is very easy for these foods to chip or break their edges. Your knife’s lifespan will be prolonged when you adhere to its intended purpose. In my opinion, it would be a crime not to respect such beautiful knives.


Sharpening regularly:

If you take good care of the knife, you will never have to worry about it. It is well known that Japanese knives are made from high carbon steel and that their edges retain their sharpness for an extended period of time. However, they must be maintained on a regular basis. It is up to you when and how you sharpen knives based on the type of use you make of them. Sushi chefs sharpen their knives at least once per day or every other day. Ensure that your knives are sharpened before they become too dull. The sharpening process takes a lot longer if the blade has become too dull. Sharpening a Japanese knife with a sharpening rod is not recommended at all.


Keep the knife clean:

Traditionally, Japanese knives are extremely difficult to clean and maintain. It is highly recommended by Japanese chefs to keep knives clean while in use. Especially after cutting acidic fruits such as lemons, apples, or tomatoes, this practice is highly appreciated. A Japanese knife with a high carbon content tends to develop a black or gray patina when wet. Dishwashers should be avoided at all costs. Your beautiful wooden handle and blade will be damaged by its cleaning detergent. Due to its plastic-type material and high temperature, the kakumaki is easily damaged in a dishwasher.

Selecting cutting surface:

When you have an expensive knife, make sure you choose the right cutting surface. Hard surfaces, such as ceramic or metal, will quickly dull the blade. Our recommendation is to use plastic or wooden cutting boards.


Using wax or oil:

Occasionally, you may wish to apply wax or oil to the knife after it has been sharpened or cleaned. As a result, the knife will remain spotless for a longer period of time. Several drops of oil can be applied to the blade by spreading it evenly on both sides. If you are using wax, repeat the process and leave overnight. It should be thoroughly cleaned and dried before you use it again.


Maintenance of whetstone:

As a matter of fact, knives run on fuel, which is provided by whetstones. Stones of this type are extremely delicate and expensive. In general, Japanese whetstones must be soaked before use. Another difficult point is that if the stone is soaked for a prolonged period of time, it may crack. The stone should be dried after each use and stored in a dry towel rather than in an airtight package, which may increase the likelihood of mold growth. In order to prevent the stone from being damaged at the end of every use, it is always necessary to flatten the surface of the whetstone.


Storage management:

There is no compromise when it comes to storing your knife properly.  There is a possibility that the tip or edges of your knife have been chipped, so use a knife guard, it will keep your knife safe from unnecessary accident.



There is no chef on earth who is not conscientious about his knives. World-renowned sushi chef Masaharu Morimoto believes, “Japanese chefs believe our soul goes into our knives once we start using them!”. Nobody wants their soul to go dark. You are very likely to maintain a razor-sharp edge for a very long time if you follow these tips. Meanwhile, continue to rock!