The Best Japanese Kitchen Knives to Give Your Clients and Employees as Gifts
November 08, 20234 min read
The best gifts inspire and excite the moment they’re opened. Whether you have staff deserving of appreciation or clients you want to thank for their business, a beautiful kitchen knife is sure to delight. Japanese knives enable folks to enjoy the time spent cooking for themselves, their friends, and their families because they’re gorgeous and perform like crazy. They’re made from super-hard steel and crafted by hand, allowing them to keep a sharp edge for way longer, making them easier, safer, and much more fun to use. They'll think of you whenever they take out their favourite knife to cook.
But which knife to buy? With so many makes and shapes to choose from, the world of Japanese knives can be daunting to navigate. I’m here to cut through the noise and tell you exactly which kitchen knives your employees and clients will love. As you shop, keep three main rules in mind:
Gifts should wow the recipient the moment they open them. Pick knives with good looks!
Gifts should be easy to care for. Some fancier Japanese knives are high-maintenance and can rust. Stick with stainless steel.
It should be a shape and size they’ll use every day, like a chef’s knife or paring knife.
This blade is your classic 8” chef’s knife but souped up to the nines. The gorgeous damascus blade always elicits a “WOW” when the giftee first lays eyes on it, and it blasts through tomatoes like nothing they’ve ever used. The western-style handle is comfortable and familiar but still lighter and easier to wield than many beefy western knives. The Soba also comes in several other shapes so you can build a whole set from them!
Easily our most popular knife shape is the Santoku. It’s a little smaller, around 7” or so, so it’s easily wielded by any home cook. The Hocho Kobo series has a clean, modern aesthetic, making them perfect for minimalist kitchens. The blades are also ideal for engraving! This is the way to go if you need a reliable kitchen knife that doesn’t break your budget. Much like the last knife, it’s part of a larger collection that can be bought as a set.
This blade is a personal favourite, combining the best parts of the last two knives: stunning good looks, a minimalist Japanese wood handle, and a super functional size for everyday home cooking. The Zanpa series speaks for itself; as soon as someone opens the box, they know they have a stunning blade in their hands. It performs as well as it looks, so it’s sure to delight for years to come!
A petty knife is an excellent choice if you’re after something fancier, like the Zanpa, but you have a bit less money to spend. A 135 petty, also called a paring or utility knife, can accomplish most of the jobs a chef’s knife can and is often more approachable for folks who get nervous about big knives. The Nagisa series is quite stunning and high-performance without breaking the bank.
A big meat-slicing knife for carving roasts on special occasions is sure to make a splash, especially around the holidays. I know I said to get a knife they’ll use daily, but a statement piece like this is guaranteed to spark conversations every time it gets used. The long-slender blade is incredible for getting thin slices of roast ham, turkey, brisket, and more.
Any of the above knives also come as sets, so if you’re looking for a larger gift or want to build out their set in future, you’ll have your bases covered. You can check out our full range of knife sets here. While a good knife is a remarkable gift, it’s also essential to care for your blade to get the most out of it! Each knife from us comes with a comprehensive set of care instructions, but there are a few handy items you can add to your gift to help them enjoy it more:
Blade guard. If they don’t have a knife block, this guard allows them to easily stash their knife in a drawer without damaging it or take it over to a friend’s house to make dinner.
Honing rod. This tool helps your knife stay sharp longer, like the classic knife steel. Steel rods are pretty hard on Japanese knives; this fine ceramic rod is much more gentle and helps your knife last a lifetime. They’re also half-price when you buy a knife!
Cutting board. A good cutting board should look beautiful on your counter and be good for your knife. Hard glass or bamboo boards can dull your knife prematurely, whereas a handmade wooden one helps your knife keep its edge longer! Wooden boards can also be easily engraved with your logo.
Depending on who you’re shopping for, we also have some stunning knife storage options, knife skills classes, and even Japanese cookware they may be interested in! We stand behind our products, so each knife comes with a detailed set of care instructions, a first-time free sharpening, and we have a ton of helpful YouTube videos to assist folks in getting the most out of their knife. Once you’re ready to shop or have questions, visit us in-store or email us, and we’ll be happy to build you the perfect gift package!
Nathan started at Knifewear in 2013, when he left the restaurant industry to slang knives. Nowadays, he handles our communications, social media, and YouTube channel. If you're reading words on this website or watching one of our videos, Nathan was involved. He spends his spare time growing food, cooking, fermenting food and booze, and enjoying the great outdoors.
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