Watanabe Sujihiki 300mm(12.5")
Japanese Kitchen Knife Review

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Watanabe Sujihiki 300mm(12.5") and Kobayashi Deba 180mm(7")


- As I've stated above, the initial edge was highly polished, thin and very sharp. The edge was convex style and my measurements put it around 10°-12° angle per side. It's pretty hard to measure precisely knife edge sharpening angle, especially when it's a convex edge, the results are closest approximations as you can guess :) For most of the knife users probably it wouldn't need sharpening. I didn't have to sharpen it either, but I felt that the knife edge could clearly benefit from few passes on very fine abrasives.
    So, I have started with 5 passes per side on 2µm Chromium Oxide(CrO) abrasive film and examined the edge. Sharpness was clearly improved. Thus I gave another dozen or so passes per side and after that proceeded with longer session using 0.5µm CrO loaded leather strop. I was lazy to start the whole water stone thing for 5 minutes of work, so I've decided to skip 8000-12000 grit(1µ) Kitayama waterstone and go with 0.5µm, which was followed up with 15 passes per side on 0.25µm Diamond crystal spray loaded leather strop. As usual, finishing touch was stropping on the plain leather. Now the blade was extremely sharp, deserving all the compliments that we use to describe sharpness such as blazing, razor, crazy.

Usage, initial edge, meat

- So it happened that the very first use for my new Sujihiki was rather serious task. That weekend, I had to work on the wild boar that friend of mine asked help with. The Boar was already skinned and internals cleaned, so our task was to just cut it to manageable pieces, clean the meat from fat and other "stuff", plus cut some of it for the BBQ later on. I've used several knives that day, partly because I wasn't the only one cutting. The list included this sujihiki, for cleaning and slicing meat, Global Boning knife for whatever was needed to work with or in proximity of bones and Phil Wilson's Semi Skinner meadows, for which there was no real need as the boar was skinned already, but I wanted to test CPM S125V in action and one of us used it throughout the entire session. The whole thing took around 4 hours. Partly due to the simple fact that none of us were real experts on that.
    Anyway, back to the subject. Sujihiki performed superbly and gave me a new perspective on this type of knife. It was after this day when I decided on another sujihiki and probably I won't stop on just two sujihikis either. I don't eat or cut that much meat, but this knife is real something. What I liked about it the most was how versatile and maneuverable this 300mm blade knife could be during all that time. 4 hours of cutting isn't the same as 8 or 12 hour shift of a pro chef, but by no means it is an easy work either. Obviously, slicing large pieces of meat was very easy with 300mm long knife. Another big pro for the sujihiki was the ease it handled cleaning layers of fat from the meat. Again, mainly thanks to its thin and long blade. Of course extreme sharpness played very important role too. For more delicate tasks or when I needed to apply greater force I've used the heel area and it was very easy to handle the knife. Using the tip of the knife for fine cuts was also easy, obviously it required more control and attention due to the long blade. Overall, it passed all meat slicing/cutting tests with flying colors and that's what this knife was designed for. No complaints, just my compliments to Shinichi Watanabe for making this knife.
    In the edge holding department, everything was as expected. I have had several other knives made by Watanabe from the same steel, with the same hardness and heat treatment so I knew what to expect and Sujihiki delivered as expected. I wouldn't expect any significant edge degradation from the work I did, it was just soft meat and fat after all.

Usage, initial edge, miscellaneous cutting

- I already said that some hardcore chefs prefer to use one knife for most of the cutting they do. While I am nowhere near to that level of efficiency with any knife and I do think that using 5 knives to make one meal is fun, I view that[one knife for many cuts] as an experiment and a good exercise for my knife skills. Therefore I try that occasionally. For a while I was experimenting with my Aritsugu Honkasumi Yanagi, but with mixed results. Partly because Yanagi is a single bevel blade and for certain types of cutting I am mot used to using single bevel knives, not yet at least. Another good candidate for this experiment was Sujihiki, especially with the word out there that some chefs do it all with Sujihikis. For the record, do it all doesn't mean chopping bones or even disjointing poultry with delicate edge of Sujihiki.

Suji And Veggies

- Works very well :) Much better than one would think when comparing Sujihiki to more dedicated vegetable knives such as Nakiri or Santoku. At least to me rocking motion was a problem due to relatively straight and narrow blade with not so much belly, but thin, very sharp blade and 300mm length do the job. After all it's still a slicing motion as you would do with the Nakiri. Besides, with narrow blades you don't have enough space to use your guide hand safely, so takes more caution to cut safely. Anyway, Sujihiki has its pros and cons for vegetable cutting and pros outweigh cons most definitely. Overall, comparing Sujihiki to Yanagi as an universal kitchen knife I'd say Sujihiki wins for me, partly because I am better with double bevel knives. If you're single bevel knife person then I figure yanagi will do better for you. Either way both of those knives can do much more than just slicing meat or fish, just takes some training and time to get used to it.
    As for the technique or special tips, well I don't have many. Mainly I used long slicing motions, which is where this type of knives excel. Then for the fine cuts, mincing, julienne or batonnet I've used blade heel section, that part is rather wide and cuts are more vertical, push type than slicing so your guide hand can be used safely.

Suji and Cakes

- One unexpected area for Sujihiki because slicing softer cakes such as Panettone, Cheesecake and other baked goodies. Ok, officially Panettone is a sweet Italian bread, but that is kindda like a cake right? Anyway, the thing is those types of food tend to crumble or get squashed along the edges unless you use sharp knife and slicing them is a pain unless the knife has sufficient length. Sujihiki satisfied both conditions. First time it was just an experiment, but after the first successful results I always reach for my sujis whenever I have to cut the cake. So, there you go, one more area of use for your sujihiki.


- In my opinion Sujihiki is an excellent, multi purpose knife that excels not only in meat slicing, but also in various cutting jobs including all types of slicing, vegetable cutting, cleaning meat and such. As for the Watanabe sujihiki, all I can say is that it is well worth the price tag and having super hard sujihiki definitely is justified and it is nothing excessive or unnecessary. Simply, the holds the sharp edge longer and you can grind a thinner edge because of the higher hardness. That does make a difference no matter what you are cutting. So, my point is if you can get harder sujihiki and the price is right, then go for it. You're getting a better knife most likely.

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  • Blade - 300.00mm(11.81")
  • Thickness - 2.50mm
  • OAL - 446.00mm(17.56")
  • Steel - Aogami 63-65HRC
  • Handle - Masur birch burl
  • Weight - 218.00g(7.37oz)
  • Acquired - 07/2008 Price - 470.00$

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Last updated - 05/19/19