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Renowned Japanese knifemakers Kai Shun teamed up with German chef Tim Mälzer to create the Kai Shun Premier range, featuring multi-textured steel blades that are both hard and flexible at once, plus symmetrical wooden handles that are suitable for both left- and right-handed cooks. In this series, every blade's back down to its middle has been hand-hammered to create an effect known as ‘tsuchime’; in addition to looking beautiful, these air pockets prevent food from sticking to the knife as you prep. The core of hard VG MAX steel is surrounded by 32 layers of Damascus steel and forged in a steep, tapered V-shape that provides incredible durability, sharpness, and edge retention. A continuous tang in the handle ensures stability and balance when cutting, and the overall lightness of the knife makes it a joy to use. A santoku is shorter and straighter than a chef’s knife, but is just as all-purpose. Use it for slicing, dicing, and mincing vegetables, meat, and more. (When preparing meat with any Japanese knife, make sure to avoid hitting bones with too much force, as this may chip the blade.)
Read our Japanese knife care guide here.
Why we love it
‘A professional chef’s input has helped make a knife all avid cooks will greatly appreciate, like the air pockets and comfortable, tarnish-proof handle that looks good as new even after heavy use—because Kai Shun Premier knives are made to be used heavily, staying sharp for long stretches of time. The engraved bull’s head at the bottom adds a nice, subtle touch.’
Specifications & Care
|Country of Origin||Japan|
|Material||Blade: VG Max steel (61 ± 1HRC) enveloped in 32 layers of Damascus steel; handle: pakkawood|
|Warranty||10 years against manufacturing defects|
|Dimensions||Blade: 14cm; handle 12.5cm|
About The Brand
Since its founding in 1908, Kai knives have held a cult status in Japan—and since their European debut in 1980, the rest of the world has caught on. Taking their inspiration from samurai blacksmithing but incorporating modern manufacturing processes, Kai has mastered the art of making extremely sharp, durable knives that feel effortless to use. All their knives are manufactured in Seki, the knife capital of Japan. As their products reached global popularity, Kai has expanded their range to include European shapes like the chef’s knife as well as ambidextrous handles, such as in the Kai Shun Premier and Kai Shun Nagare ranges.Shop Kai