March 22, 2021 3 min read
Sujihiki? More like Suji-HECK YES! The sujihiki, which literally translates to “flesh slicer”, is sharp, effective, and perfect for showing off to your friends. Though the English translation of the name might sound a little, um, aggressive, it simply refers to the meat and fish that this knife is purpose-built for slicing. Sujihikis are long and thin, reducing the need to saw back and forth, and the minimal height of the blade reduces friction so you get the cleanest cuts! It’s also the closest thing to a sword you can buy without raising any eyebrows, so that’s pretty cool. This style of knife is just what you need for perfect cuts of sashimi, slicing a brisket just right, or showing off your turkey-carving skills during the holidays!
Sujihikis let you carve your meat beautifully, AND show off at the dinner table!
While this shape can be a little intimidating when shopping for a first Japanese knife, a sujihiki rounds out a collection really well when you’ve already got a couple of knives like a gyuto and petty. They make terrific gifts because they make a big statement, and are a welcome addition to any kitchen. If you decide to treat yourself with one, it’ll pay off for years to come. Owning a sujihiki is a total game-changer for any carnivore! Not only are they excellent for carving roasts, but you can buy larger cuts and butcher your own steaks, even skin and portion fish with your sujihiki.
Sujihikis, like many knives, come in a variety of styles so there is a perfect one for every type of cook! I personally like carbon steel knives with a rustic look; I love how they develop a patina, it adds so much character. That’s why the Moritaka Ishime are my go-to! They’re rustic-looking, but still wicked sharp. If you’re considering a sujihiki, here are a few of my favourites:
For a really rugged sujihiki, the Fujimoto Nashiji is a great workhorse. Its aogami #2 steel core sharpens beautifully, and it’s clad in stainless steel so it doesn’t need too much babysitting. The whole Nashiji line is popular amongst professional and home cooks alike for their affordability, looks, and performance.
I already mentioned that aogami #2 steel cuts beautifully, but the rustic look of Moritaka knives really takes them over the top! They’re generous with their size range, so whether you’re working the line in a professional kitchen and need a shorter sujihiki to fit a small space, or you’re competing in BBQ competitions and need a 360mm knife that could be mistaken for a sword, the Moritakas have got you covered!
So you just want something basic for yourself, or a great gift? Look no further than the Mugi series from Haruyuki. These blades look great, get super sharp, and are way more rugged than most Japanese knives. While they won’t stay sharp as long, their good looks and durability more than make up for it.
Want a little flash to show off your turkey-carving skills to the holiday crowd? Masashi’s Kuroshu is perfect. SLD stainless steel means you don’t have to worry about rust, and it performs like a beast. The best part of this knife is the damascus pattern, which combined with the kurouchi finish, looks like stars swirling in the blackness of space.
For the ultimate level of performance, it’s always Fujiwara Denka. Wickedly-sharp, these badass knives hold an edge for ages. It’s almost gross how long they stay sharp. Compared to the others it has a somewhat understated look, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s not the sharpest knife out there.
I hope this helps you choose the perfect Sujihiki for you! If you need more help finding the right knife, feel free to message us here or visit one of our shops for a chat. Happy slicing!
Knifewear owner and president Kevin Kent’s fascination with handcrafted Japanese knives began while he was working as sous-chef for the legendary chef Fergus Henderson at St. John restaurant in London, England. Back in Canada in 2007 he began selling them out of a backpack from the back of his bicycle, while working as a chef in Calgary. He considers his chef years as the best education for being an entrepreneur. Being a chef takes long hours, involves hard work, both mentally and physically, and chefs must be able to put out fires, both literal and figurative, with extreme competence. Today, Kent is still just as obsessed with Japanese knives as the day he first held one. A couple times a year, he travels to Japan to meet with his blacksmith friends and drinks far too much sake. Each visit he learns more about the ancient art of knife-making. Through this obsession Knifewear has expanded to include five Knifewear stores in Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Edmonton. Plans are also underway to open a store in Kyoto, Japan. He refuses to confess how many Japanese knives he owns … but he admits the number is rather high
Back in the day Colin cooked at a couple restaurants in Edmonton, and he used to make knives too. He later moved to Toronto and was seduced by a career in music, though he continued sharpening knives for friends and family. By night, he DJ'd and produced beats as Ronin E-Ville, and by day he taught music at several universities, all while training to become a kung fu master. Colin eventually moved to Ireland, working as a music researcher for a couple years and learning to make shillelaghs. Since returning to Canada, Colin is stoked to be getting back to his roots with knives, happily nerding-out on steels, blacksmiths, and sharpening. If you want to know about Chinese-style cleavers (chuka bocho), Colin’s your guy! (Photo credit @davidmarionphotography)
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