Here’s why we love them:
Sturdy, effective blades.
These knives’ fully considered blade shapes borrow elements from our favorite Western and Japanese-style knives. The Kitchin-tan’s 5.5-inch blade is long enough for most tasks yet short enough for close, tight handwork—peeling garlic, shallots and onions, for example, or trimming radishes or mushroom stems. Meanwhile, the Kitchin-to’s 7.5-inch-long blade is nearly as tall as a cleaver—almost 2.5 inches at the butt. It can mince, chop, slice and push-cut, and it's broad enough to use as a bench scraper for transferring chopped foods from the cutting board. And at 1.5 millimeters thick at the spine, the blades of both knives are thin enough for the finest cuts, yet not unnervingly flexible like some other knives. And the subtly curved belly makes them functional for rock-chopping and mincing, as well as long, clean slicing.
Designed with safety in mind.
The knives’ rounded tip keeps fingers safe, and the butt of the bolsterless blades is curved inward to make it easy to grip for fine control. Inspired by traditional Japanese blades with a hammered finish, our knives have a filework pattern machined into the blade near the handle. This acts as a grippy, tactile point for the thumb and index finger to grasp securely.
Ergonomic handle with nonslip properties.
The ergonomic handles are made from micarta, a nearly indestructible composite created from layers of linen tightly compacted in phenolic resin. The material feels smooth and secure in the hand and becomes subtly grippier when wet—there’s a good reason it’s been used for hunting knife handles for generations. The handles are flattened on top to fill the palm securely, then taper downward toward the butt of the knife to accommodate a secure grip. The top of the handles also angles toward the blade to allow a comfortable, confident pinch grip.
Crafted from premium stainless steel formulated for durability.
The blades of both knives are cut from Japanese-made AUS-8 steel, which has a proven track record in hard-use outdoor knives as well as kitchen knives. The steel takes a keen edge easily, holds it well and is ultimately more durable and resistant to chipping than harder blades. And AUS-8’s steel formula is also highly stain-resistant for easy maintenance—it won’t patina or rust if left damp.