October 24, 2019 2 min read
Knives make great gifts. Every time someone uses that knife they will think about you, and if cared for it will last a lifetime. I recommend that you gift a knife that has a stunning appearance so the recipient is immediately excited to use it, something that is easy to care for, and doesn't break the bank. The side benefit of gifting a knife is getting asked to dinner more often.
Here are my top five gift knives for 2019.
Perfect for starting a Japanese knife collection, this multipurpose knife ticks all of the boxes. The hammer marked blade slides through food effortlessly and gives it a great look. Takamura-san is not only a karaoke king (especially 1980’s hair metal) but one of the top blacksmiths in his generation.
Our new line from Fujimoto is a stunner. They have quickly become one of our most popular gift knives. I think a 240mm slicer is the perfect size for home use: long enough to carve a roast prime rib yet not so long as to be a menace in a tight dining room. Perfect for the person who likes to roast, smoke or braise large pieces of meat or for someone who craves to cut their own steaks from a whole striploin.
Sayaka-san is the first and only female blacksmith in Japan that I know of. Its great to see that the times are changing. She has been working with Tomoo-san for a few years now and is starting to use the spring hammer for hot forging. Most of the polishing, sharpening, and handle making is her responsibility lately. I’ve always been a fan of this paring knife for it's versatility. It's the perfect size to use both in your hand and on a cutting board.
Seriously. Look at this blade. Hinoura-san is a true artist. By layering copper and brass into his cladding steel, he has created this crazy three-tone damascus pattern. Hinoura-san is the only blacksmith to win the award for top knife two years in a row at the Seki Custom Knife Show. Both times were for his incredibly distinct-looking damascus steel.
Keijiro Doi-san is that blacksmith that all blacksmiths admire. His son Itsuo Doi-san is now carrying the torch but giving his own twist to the signature family style. This line of knives is made with a unique blade shape, and you can feel its potential as soon as you hold one. With the blade's extra height, I can see this slicer being used as a chef knife as well. It might be the one knife a minimalist needs. It feels like the future, and is Perfect for those who see potential in new design and ideas.