Kai Shun Classic
Kai Shun Classic is one of the most comprehensive damask steel series worldwide, and highly regarded by top-class professionals as well as ambitious home chefs. The blades are forged from 32 layers of folded Damascus steel and a core layer of VG MAX steel. They are then polished to a mirror finish showcasing elegant patterns unique to every knife. The fine laminated pakkawood handle in this series is designed for right-handers, however, we offer special left-hand models of popular knives like the santoku and chef's knife.
Kai Shun Premier
A creative collaboration with German chef Tim Mälzer, Kai Shun Premier blades have a core of corrosion-resistant VG MAX super steel. VG MAX steel includes additional carbon to improve its strength and durability and has more chromium for wear and corrosion resistance. Additionally, there is more cobalt to enhance strength and increased tungsten which enables the steel to be very fine-grained and extremely sharp. A Damascus layering of 32 layers supports the core and provides additional stain resistance. Finally, it is embellished with a hand-hammered surface known as tsuchime, that acts as a series of hollow-ground cavities to reduce drag. The blades have a hardness of 61+1HRC. The pakkawood handles are ergonomically and symmetrically shaped to provide optimum grip and are suitable for both right and left-handed use. The embossed end cap adds balance. All knives in the Premier range come packaged in a wooden box.
Kai Shun Nagare
The Shun Nagare series of knives from Kai is a masterpiece of Japanese workmanship. The complex manufacturing process used to make these blades is known as Dual Core, a dual layering of two different steels—a flexible and resistant VG2 steel with a particularly hard VG10 steel that are bonded into a 72 layered piece of Damascus steel. This complex layering of the two different steels results in producing a knife of exceptional durability and sharpness. The blades are highly polished and highlight the flowing pattern of the Damascus layers. The riveted handles are ergonomically shaped with a Western grip and made of mottled grey pakkawood.
Kai Shun Engetsu
Each knife in the Kai Shun Engetsu range is designed to look like a waxing moon, with a curved finish at the blade and an artful blue handle. (Engetsu translates to ‘full moon’ in Japanese.) Its performance is unique too, with a 71-layer dual core blade made from a mixture of very hard VG2 and VG10 steel. This construction technique brings the steel lamination right to the edge, resulting in a microscopic serration at the blade tip for extremely fine cutting performance. The ‘three zone’ pattern of the blade allows for excellent food release and low friction, and it is protected by the tip and heel’s superior toughness and durability. The polished pakkawood handle is triangular in section instead of the more traditional D-shape, meaning it is suitable for both left and right-handed cooks. A forged bolster and angled end cap, which shows the knife’s unique serial number, ensures perfect balance between the handle and blade. This is a limited-edition range, with under 906 pieces of each knife in Europe.
Made of high-quality stainless steel, Kai Select utensils are a great addition to any kitchen. Each of these practical and elegant kitchen helpers offers easy handling due to their ergonomic design.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some different types of Japanese knife blades?
Santoku is Japanese for ‘three advantages’ or the three cutting tasks which the knife performs well: slicing, dicing and mincing. It is the traditional Japanese shape for a universal knife, akin to the European Chef’s knife.
Nakiri is Japanese for ‘vegetable chopper’. This blade shape is mostly used for cutting all kinds of vegetables. In spite of its cleaver shape, this knife is not suitable for meat, as impact with bones or hard seeds could risk chipping the blade.
Yanagiba is Japanese for ’willow blade’. Traditionally used in Japan as a slicing knife, it’s particularly suitable for wafer-thin cuts typical in the preparation of sushi and sashimi.
Deba is Japanese for ‘jutting blade’. It is traditionally used in Japan as a cleaver. This stable and heavy knife has a strong, wide blade with a single cutting edge. The front of the blade is mainly used to fillet fish. The rear part of the blade is stronger and is used for dissecting small chicken or fish bones.
Kiritsuke, called ‘the master chef’s knife’ in Japan, takes care of slicing, dicing and mincing, with the added value of a pointed tip that can pare and fillet.
How do I clean and care for Kai knives?
High-quality knives need a certain amount of care so you can enjoy them for a long time.
After each use, wash your knife under running water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth; do not use harsh detergents and do not allow knives to sit in water. Rinse off acidic agents like lemon or tomato juice directly after use. For your own safety always wipe the blade with a towel or cloth from the back edge towards the tip.
Never put knives in a dishwasher. This not only impairs the material, but also the sharpness. Never cut on glass or granite cutting boards as they will ruin the edge of any steel. Use only boards made of wood, paper composite or synthetic material of medium firmness.
Store your knives in a knife block, knife roll or enclosed in guards. This will prevent knives coming into contact with other objects which can damage the blade.
How do you sharpen Kai knives?