About the Shape - The Ko Bunka is a smaller version of a Bunka. Any guesses on what “Ko” means in Japanese? You nailed it! It translates to “small.” This little knife is awesome because it still gives you knuckle clearance on the cutting board. Making sure you can mince garlic and comfortably chop veggies. A badass love child of the Bunka and Petty knife, it works for smaller jobs in the hand or as an all-purpose blade.
About Masashi Kokuen-Masashi-san started his own workshop in 2013, after learning the family trade alongside his older brother Kazuomi at Yoshikane Hamono. Despite his young age, Masashi makes a beautifully polished and crazy sharp blade and is able to make his steel harder than other makers through special heat-treating processes.
‘Kokuen’ 黒煙 translates to ‘black smoke' references to the smoke and ash from his forge, in addition to the tobacco smoke and ash from Masashi-san’s trademark cigarettes, always present in his mouth while forging. This knife is also made, Masashi's consistently favourite steel SLD, which he takes to an extreme 63-64 Rockwell hardness.
A note about measurements: Handmade Japanese knives can vary in their dimensions, so these measurements are only an example.
A NOTE ABOUT RUST
Semi-stainless steel is a compromise between the edge retention of carbon steel
and the rust resistance of stainless. This steel will rust if you let it. To avoid “bad” rust (orange rust) Wipe the knife dry with a dry cloth after use. By this we mean: between cutting and putting the knife down, wipe it dry. Overtime the blade will begin to protect itself with an oxide layer (grey to dark grey “good” rust), this will slow the reaction time but not inhibit the rust entirely. Maintain the good habit of drying off your knife.
• Only cut food you can bite through with this knife. Hard foods can chip the blade. No olive pits, bones, lobster shells, woody stems or parmesan rinds. Cutting frozen food is especially bad because the cold will make hard steel even more brittle. If you wouldn’t chew it with your own teeth, don’t cut it.
• Your cutting surface is the biggest culprit of dulling your knife. Use wood. End-grain wood is especially good. Plastic can be fine too, but certainly not glass, granite or bamboo.
• The edge of your knife works best sliding forwards or backwards. Scraping the knife edge sideways will dull or damage the edge. Instead, use the spine of the knife to move foods across the cutting board. Do not twist the edge or pry with the edge, this is the worst screwdriver you ever bought and these motions will certainly damage the edge. Listen to the knife! If you can hear the edge making a “tink” sound on the cutting board, change what you are doing.
• After use, wash the knife by hand with regular dish soap, rinse with hot water and dry by hand immediately. Dishwashers are very bad for knives.
• Wood handles may dry out over time and exposure to water. Simply treat them with some food safe mineral oil or beeswax.
• If you see orange rust, remove it. The scrubby side of a sponge can do the trick. If it’s still not coming off try baking soda and water mixed into a paste or a product called Barkeeper’s Friend.
• Protect the edge; for your safety and to avoid edge damage. A simple blade cover will do the trick if you keep knives in a drawer or travel case.
• A convenient wall magnet made with wood is a great way to show off your knives. Be sure to put it back spine first, then roll it onto the blade face. This will keep the edge from contacting the wood first.
• The good-ol’ counter top block can keep knives at the ready and protected. So can drawer inserts. Whatever the method, keep the edge from touching anything else.
We aim to ship your order within 1 business day at Knifewear, if there is a hold up, we'll aim to let you know and give you a timeline.
We offer free shippingon orders over $100* anywhere in Canada and $200* to customers in the USA. We ship worldwide, and offer up to the minute rates from our shipping partner DHL.
*Konro Grills and some other larger items are excluded from the free shipping offer.
Can I pick up my order Curbside / At the store? Absolutely, as long as all the items you are looking for are in stock at the location you want to pickup from, you'll be able to select that at the checkout. If one or more items aren't at your preferred location we are happy to ship it to you.