Caring for your knives

With a few easy care tips, your Japanese will last you a lifetime. Here's how to make the most of it.

What to avoid


Rinse with warm water and wipe dry after use and it'll look great for years. Chemicals and heat in the dishwasher can potentially cause damage to the blade and handles or even chipping if your knife knocks against other items.

Avoid hacking at bone, frozen food and twisting

Extremely thin and hard blades are designed to slice not twist or hack so take care with your cutting action and avoid twisting or prying open ingredients (unless you're using a deba or honesuki which are thicker and designed for this).

It's also a good idea to avoid some crusty breads with your Japanese knife, things like sourdough are best tackled with a bread knife.

Doing it right

Use a wooden or quality synthetic cutting board

A quality wooden or synthetic board will enhance the performance of your knife and help protect the edge. A poor quality board made from damaging materials such as glass, marble, cheap plastic and materials such as bamboo will blunt your knife very quickly and in some cases might lead to your knife chipping.

Store your knife properly when not in use

When you're not using your knife, make sure it's clean and stored properly to keep it safe and in the best condition for your next use. Learn how to store your knives here.

Regular care is best

It's easier to keep a sharp blade sharp than to bring it back from being blunt. Once every week or so, give your knife a few strokes on a ceramic honing rod followed by a leather strop to keep the edge razor sharp. Eventually you will need to sharpen your knife using a whetstone and for most people it's usually once a month if you're cooking every day at home or once a week if you're in a busier environment as a professional chef.

A 1000/6000 dual sided whetstone will be ideal for most people and deliver great results without having to buy multiple stones. 

Carbon steel care

If you've bought a carbon steel knife instead of stainless, learn a more about carbon steel care here.