In 2008, I moved from my hometown in England to Kobe, Japan, started working in a sushi restaurant and had to equip myself properly. Yet I spent years cutting my fingers because the blade was so dull that it would slip on the Chinese cabbage. I kept resharpening my blades, but the edge never lasted more than two shifts.
After a few months of work, I finally bought a beautiful knife from a cutlery shop in Kobe whose name I forget: its "Tsuchime" look gave it an incredible look, and most importantly, it was really razor sharp. However, I didn't anticipate the heavy burden of maintaining it.
I had to learn how to properly care for it so it wouldn't rust, chip or break. By the time I learned enough, I had already destroyed this expensive knife. Still, I didn't want to go back to my old bulky German knives and their quickly dulling mild steel blades. I searched high and low for a better alternative, asked every knife expert I could find, and this is what I realized: Traditional Japanese knives are sharp, precise, and beautiful, but they are also fragile and prone to chipping and oxidation if not cared for very specifically. Western knives are strong, durable and rust resistant, but they lack the sharpness and agility of their Asian counterparts. There had to be a better alternative.
Obsessed with this dilemma, I began talking to countless blacksmiths, designers, steel engineers, chefs and ordinary cooks. Some of them shared my frustration and joined the project. Four years and thousands of trials later, Nihonto was born: light, precise and ultra-sharp like a Japanese knife, but stainless, strong and very durable like a German knife.
And because I am proud of the quality I offer, and because your satisfaction is our priority, I have decided to guarantee each NIHONTO knife for life.
- Victor Nakamura, founder of Nihonto
Nihonto knives are all handcrafted with high quality Japanese VG10 steel from Takefu. Some of our models are finished directly in Seki, Japan, the knife capital of the world. Others are manufactured by our expert knifemakers in YangJiang, the cutlery capital of China for over 1500 years. That's why we are proud to offer a lifetime warranty on our kitchen knives. Each piece undergoes a strict quality control process and will not leave our factory until it has been manually checked by 2 different controllers.
The role of steel used in the manufacture of traditional knives is crucial. Nihonto kitchen knives are all made from excellent imported japanese steel such as VG10, which provide superior cutting hardness for excellent edge retention. This gives each blade great versatility while excelling in specific uses. Contrary to the other steels of its range, this one is reinforced in carbon content (0.8-1%) which gives it a fantastic hardness of 60 on the Rockwell scale. It also contains high levels of Nickel and Vanadium.
The vanadium insert contributes to the flexibility of the steel. And this element promotes the formation of carbides. These are combinations of carbon with other elements such as vanadium but also chromium, molybdenum and nickel.
The blade is covered with 32 layers of Damascus steel on each side to give it a smooth cutting action.
The full potential of the steel used in the manufacture of NIHONTO knives is revealed by a special heat treatment but also a cooling step by cryotherapy. This results in exceptional strength and durability, optimum cutting performance and good corrosion resistance. The blades are manufactured according to a fusion of ancestral Japanese craftsmanship and ultra modern techniques.
We wanted to emphasize the natural and ecological aspect when making our knife handles. We mainly use Pakkawood, which is a material made of resin-hardened recycled natural wood. It brings a traditional touch by combining ergonomics and resistance to dirt. When we want our knives to be safe from all the daily hardships, we use G10 which is a resin. G10 has amazing properties with an outstanding durability, a reliable grip and an anti-microbial coating. G10 is used in the Sano series for professional uses.
Due to their blade hardness and edge retention due to the use of the VG10 core, our knives are sharpened according to the traditional Honbazuke method (which means "real sharpness"). It offers a centuries-old craftsmanship and an incomparable sharpening quality for this type of blade. Nihonto kitchen knives are sharpened manually using rotating grinding wheels to achieve a scalpel-like edge.
The sharpening of our knives should be done with professional equipment. It is important to use the right tools and methods.
The experience of chefs and professionals is a constant source of inspiration for us. Let us know what you think of our blades or what you would like to see, because what matters in the end is your satisfaction.
Do you have a question or would you like to contact us?
Our team is available Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 6pm. You can reach them via this form. You can also find all the useful information on this page.