Caring cooks cherish their knives. They buy the best they can afford and keep them in good working condition at all times. They carry all of their knives in toolboxes or specially designed folding bags.
German, French, and Swiss manufacturers enjoy world fame for their quality knives.
Understandably, they are very expensive. Now, many also produce under their name in Portugal or Brazil. These products are much less expensive, but also of lesser quality.
Japanese knife manufactures evolved from samurai tradition, which favours hand forging that is responsible for super sharp knives.
Unlike double-edged western-style knives, Japanese versions are single edged.
The centre of Japanese knife manufacturing is sakai, close to Osaka, southwest of Tokyo. Knife manufacturing is a major industry in sakai, although there are any factories elsewhere in Japan that specialize in western-style double-edged knives fort eh young generation of cooks and enthusiastic amateurs.
Traditional Japanese knife makers turnout five different styles wood-handle knives.
Kamagata usuba originated in Osaka and has a curved tip suited to vegetable carving.
Deba features a broad, wedge-shaped blade that can cut through bone and cartilage with ease.
Usuba invented in Tokyo, is the most versatile of all Japanese knives. The blade is shaped like a rectangle.
Takobiki, a slender blade, Tokyo-invented knife, is traditionally used for sushi and sashimi cutting.
Yanago has a thin elongated blade with a slightly curved tip, ideal for cutting paper-thin slices of fish filets.