My Love Affair with Kobayashi Damascus Knives

May 26, 2020 2 min read 0 Comments

My Love Affair with Kobayashi Damascus Knives

My favourite knife changes often. I’m fickle and flighty, always looking for the new shiny thing or rediscovering one from the past. You need to understand that I have an embarrassingly large collection of knives that I rotate through my kitchen every 50 days or so. My favourites change often and I lose interest quickly. 


Though I swap my attention often, I always love thin, light knives that cut like a laser. I’ve been a fan of stainless powder steel since 1999 when I bought my first Japanese knife that happened to be made with it. If the blade is beautiful and has a graceful grind from spine to edge, allowing the knife to slip through food easily, it's even better.


Last October while hiding from a typhoon in a Seki gyoza bar I met Kobayashi-san and my new fave knife.

The best gyoza bar in the world.


We’ve been buying knives from Kobayashi-san for the Knifewear Garage Sale for a couple years now. He makes what I love: SG2 stainless steel blades that are thin and light. His blades cut like lasers. The blades are always migaki finished and look classy. My 14 year old nephew saved his money for one last year. 

My nephew's first Japanese knife, the Kobayashi Migaki Santoku.


After the first of many plates of gyoza, Kobayashi pulled out his rad new damascus SG2 blades. Thin, light, and sharp, with a graceful perfect grind. The damascus pattern is intricate and unique. In short, they are exactly my kind of knife.


Back home his damascus blade has become my new #1 knife and has been at the top for 9 months now. The only other blades that have held the top spot this long are my 240mm Masakage Shimo gyuto and my first Fujiwara Denka 210mm gyuto. The 210mm Kobayashi gyuto slips through food, never gets stuck, keeps an edge like only SG2 steel can, and inspires me to cook.


I have since swapped the handle for a psychedelic number and even sharpened it live on Instagram one night. Who knows how long it will remain my #1.

My love, my custom-handled Kobayashi Damascus 210mm Gyuto.

The typhoon ended up being a big nothing in the area we were hunkered down, although hugely damaging in others. I did however pick up my new favourite knife and eat a bunch of gyoza.

Fortunately, the typhoon only affected the local bicycle population in Kobayashi-san's area.

We still have a ton of Kobayashi-san's one-of-a-kind psychedelic knives that you can see here, or check out some of our favourites below.

Kobayashi knives with psychedelic handles for the Garage Sale.

Shop Kobayashi Knives 

Kevin Kent
Kevin Kent

Kevin Kent’s fascination with Japanese knives began while he was working as sous-chef for the legendary chef Fergus Henderson at St. John restaurant in London, England. In 2007, he began selling handcrafted Japanese knives out of a backpack on the back of his bicycle, while working as a chef at River Café in Calgary, Canada. Kent is just as obsessed with Japanese knives as when he first held one, and a few times a year, he travels to Japan to meet with his blacksmith friends, to drink far too much sake, and to learn more about the ancient art of knife-making. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, he refuses to confess how many Japanese knives he owns….but he admits the number is rather high. Follow Kevin on Twitter @knifenerd


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