Miki Usuba Shirogami 165mm (6.5")
Miki Usuba Shirogami in 165mm (6.5") blade length is a single bevel blade enables precise chopping of vegetables on the kitchen board, and due to its height and straight edge, it can also be used for peeling larger tuberous vegetables, such as daikon, into long and thin slices. This process is called “katsuramuki” (pictured below) and is one of the most difficult and complex Japanese cutting techniques. The single bevel blade is suitable 🚨 for right-handed users only!
|Japanese cuisine emphasizes the importance of seasonal ingredients, for which there is a specific term "shun". Shun is the essence of the season, food that can be enjoyed locally and seasonally and there is an emphasis on creating dishes that use such ingredients in cooking all over Japan. For the preparation of fresh and quality seasonal food we, of course, need a knife so sharp and precise that it minimally damages the cell walls of vegetables and avoids reducing the quality, taste, and appearance of the prepared dish. And this is where Usuba comes into play.|
Usuba in Japanese means thin, which is an appropriate description of this knife designed for preparing vegetables, where a thin blade is very important. When cutting firm vegetables such as carrots, it is important that the blade cuts, not split, as can often happen with thicker knives.
Miki Hamono uses the purest carbon steel available, produced by the Japanese steelmaker Hitachi. Shirogami steel #2 or “white steel 2” with a hardness of around 62-63 HRC, which is then forged welded with a second layer of softer steel. A two-layered blade construction, also known as ni-mai.
White steel can produce the highest level of sharpness and cutting ability from all Japanese steels, but it comes at a price. Very high maintenance is needed, rust resistance is very low, so it will develop patina very fast, the blade has to be wiped dry after every use and oiled regularly to prevent rusting.
When you ask Japanese blacksmiths or sushi chefs why they all like white steel so much, you always get the identical answer: “Because it has a GREAT EDGE!”
»Great edge« in Japanese terminology translates as:
- very high hardness and toughness (not being overly brittle)
- very fine and homogeneous martensite steel structure (steel structure after heat treatment) which will after polishing produce a very fine/smooth edge
- very easy to resharpen.
The blade is polished and hand engraved with the blacksmith’s signature. The transfer between jigane and hagane has a nice kasumi finish created by whetstones. The out-of-the-box sharpness is 7/10 because Japanese chefs like to put the final edge by themselves. If you prefer, we can sharpen it for you free of charge, just let us know when placing the order (leave a note in the cart).
Handle is a simple traditional round Wa handle, made from magnolia wood. Magnolia wood is a soft, light-colored wood that needs some extra maintenance as it can stain easily, so we recommend having clean hands before using the knife. It is the preferred wood of Japanese sushi chefs due to its antiseptic properties and it is easy and cheap to rehandle as there is an abundance of magnolia handles on the market. The ferrule is made from water buffalo horn.
About Miki Hamono:
Miki Hamono is a small-scale blacksmith from the Miki area in Japan. Miki is a very famous blacksmithing area located in Hyogo prefecture in the center of Japan. They use an old Japanese forging technique that originated from making samurai swords (katanas). Miki Hamono is mostly known among Japanese sushi chefs for forging traditional single bevel shirogami (white) steel knives. Their knives are the perfect example of the Japanese traditional knives where every part of the knife is made the »right way«, like in the old days, but separates them from other similar blacksmiths by a very good price performance.
Blade shape: Usuba
Steel type: Shirogami #2
Blade construction: Ni-mai / Kasumi & Migaki
Hardness (HRC scale): 62-63
Overall length: 300mm (11.8")
Blade length: 165mm (6.5")
Blade height: 45mm (1.8")
Spine thickness: 5.0mm (0.2")
Weight: 155g (5.5 oz)
Handle length: 130mm (5.1")
Handle type / wood: Japanese / Magnolia, Water Buffalo Horn
Kanji on the blade:
Blacksmith: Miki Hamono
Location of the smithy: Miki / Hyogo Prefecture / Japan
☝️ Japanese kitchen knives in our store are handmade from natural materials. Slight variations in color, texture, weight and other dimensions are possible. We try to give a good photographic representation of our products, however computer screen resolution and colors do vary, so products might not look exactly as they are seen on screen.
☝️ THIS KNIFE MAY DEVELOP PATINA
Knives made of carbon steels can, due to their low chromium (Cr) content, discolor and develop patina. The knife is the most sensitive when it is still new and a patina had not developed yet, but later, patina will protect the blade. These types of knives require a touch more care:
✔ Wipe it regularly with a clean and dry cloth (you can also do this during use).
✔ After use, rinse it with lukewarm water and wipe it dry.
✔ Coat it regularly with knife maintenance oil or plain refined sunflower oil.
✔ Store the knife by wrapping it in paper which will absorb moisture and protect the blade.
A patina is a thin layer that forms on the surface of oxidized steel and protects it from further oxidation. The patina should not be confused with rust. Patina protects the blade, while rust causes corrosion and deterioration of material, so it should be removed (see Rust erasers).
→ For in-depth information about patina, read our dedicated post on patina.
GENERAL KNIFE CARE TIPS:
Blade wear depends on the quality of steel, usage and maintenance of the blade. Japanese knives are made of high-quality steels. Follow these tips to keep your Japanese knife in top-notch shape:
✔ Use a wooden, plastic or rubber cutting board.
✔ After use, wash the knives and wipe them dry.
✔ Use a magnetic rack, knife blocks, or use protective knife sheath (saya).
✔ A good cutting technique is your best bet to prolong sharpness.
✔ Use sharpening stones to sharpen the knife.
❗️Don’t leave the knife in the sink. Wash it by hand.
❗️Don’t wash the knife in the dishwasher.
❗️Don’t use the knife on glass, ceramics, marble or steel surfaces.
❗️Don’t scrape the food off the cutting board with the edge of the blade. Use the spine of the knife instead.
❗️A knife is a tool intended for specific use: it’s not a can opener, screwdriver, trowel, wire cutter, hammer etc. Kitchen knives are meant for preparing food.
→ For more details, read our guide on Maintenance of Kitchen Knives.
🤙 Contact us if you need some help. We reply within 1 business day.
- €10 - flat worldwide rate with DHL Express (express delivery, 2-5 business days).
- FREE - all orders over €300 (DHL Express).
- United Kingdom - shipping to UK costs €15. All orders are shipped with UPS Express (2-3 business days). Free shipping on orders over €300.
- Russia - shipping to Russia costs €40*. All orders are shipped with EMS postal service.
*or more, depending on the weight
DUTIES AND IMPORT TAXES:
We ship all orders DDP (duties & taxes paid). This means you will not be charged for any import fees and taxes (including VAT). All our prices are final. The price you see at checkout is the final price, no hidden costs.
- Europe: 1-2 business days
- US & Canada: 2-4 business days
- Rest of the World: 3-5 business days
Our return policy lasts 30 days. If more than 30 days have gone by since the day you received your order, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.
Each knife comes with:
✔️ Instructions and knife care leaflet.
✔️ A preventive Band-Aid – the knives are very sharp! 😉
✔️ Original box from the blacksmith, which we wrap in an old Japanese newspaper sheet – so every knife is ready to be passed on as a gift as soon as it hits your doorstep!
✔️ We also offer a special gift wrapping option with the traditional Japanese washi paper.
Still doubting which type of Japanese knife should best fit your needs? We created a quick, 5-steps quiz to help you find the perfect knife based on your cooking skills and the type of food you prepare.