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  • What to Expect When You Visit a Japanese Kitchen Knife Store

    June 17, 2021 4 min read

    What to Expect When You Visit a Japanese Kitchen Knife Store

    Hey folks! It's New Guy Gabe from Knifewear Edmonton, and I wanted to write the FNG (Fun New Guy’s) guide to Knifewear, to help you know what to expect when you walk into a knife shop. I remember my first time entering the shop, and I’m sure many of you might feel the same way; It can be overwhelming! There is a lot going on: a lot of very fancy knives, punk rock blasting from the speakers, dozens of cookbooks, and just about everything you could ever think about when it comes to outfitting your kitchen.

    Add to that the intimidation of walking into a knife store as a newbie, and nobody could blame you for being a little nervous. But fear not, the folks at Knifewear are not only experts on everything in the shop; they’re genuine human beings who are here to make your time in the shop fun and awesome! They are your guides through the punk rock themed big-kid's toy store that is Knifewear.

    First things first, they’re gonna put a knife in your hand and get you to cut a tomato. Sure, they can talk your ear off about types of steel, tell you romantic tales of a lone blacksmith hammering knives start to finish in toe socks and a t-shirt, teach you about the balance of a blade, but that doesn’t mean a thing until you  feel  how a Japanese knife cuts through food. You wouldn't buy shoes without trying them on; why buy a knife without trying it? You get to experience the Lamborghini of kitchen knives flying through that tomato like it isn't even there. And if you’re like me, you’ll probably shout something profane like “Holy Bananas!”. 

    When you visit, trying a knife is a must. Why? Because it's fun!

    Boom. Life changed. Now you know how wicked Japanese knives are, but the sheer volume of choice can be a lot. You might be looking at the hundreds of different blades and asking yourself: “Which is going to be my first Japanese knife?”

    This is where the folks at Knifewear really shine. At this point, you don’t need any technical knowledge because it’s all about how the knife speaks to you. Leave the nerd stuff to us, unless that's your jam. Your guides will take a few knives out of the cases for you to handle and get comfortable with. We'll ask you some simple questions: Are you looking for an all-purpose knife or something specialized? What kind of food do you cook? Do you want a knife that doesn't require special care, or are you willing to fuss over something a bit fancier?

    We know choosing a knife can be daunting, so we're here to make it easy and enjoyable!

    As you answer, we use our knowledge to narrow the selection to your specific needs. We'll bring forth the knives that suit you best, based on what we've come to learn about you. We might pull out a knife you’ve never seen before. Something that looks a little strange, maybe even a shape of a knife you never even pictured yourself using, but once you hold it in your hand and hear the tale of the swordsmithing family making blades since 1293, you might realize you’ve been searching for a Nakiri (vegetable chopper) all this time and not even known it! 

    The time has come. You’ve found the knife of your dreams. Now you might ask yourself, “I spent all this time and money on my knife, how do I take care of it?”. The Knife Nerds have this part covered too. We'll walk you through knife care, step by step. How to clean it, keep sharp using a honing rod, storage solutions that best fit your needs, what kind of cutting board you need; we think of everything.

    We'll show you all of the tips and tricks you need to get the most out of your knife!

    This is just scratching the surface, but I can speak from experience when I say that after one visit to Knifewear, you'll leave with all kinds of inspiration for your kitchen, new cooking ideas, birthday presents, anniversary ideas, and quite possibly a teeny little knife addiction. But the thing that brings you back- and brought me back- is that the folks that work there genuinely care about whether you have a good time in the shop. Our staff were all long-time customers before they ever get hired, and they often end up working here because they love the vibe and keep coming back. Our shops are full of nerds who are just as excited about food knives as you are and want to make sure you have a great time in your kitchen.

    I hope you get a chance to visit us, whether you swing by to shop or just shoot the breeze with us for a bit. If you can't make it to one of our shops, check out Owen's Guide to choosing your own Japanese Kitchen Knives. I look forward to seeing you soon!