Kakugata Usuba is forged from Shirogami #1, one of the purest and most traditional steels used in Japanese knife manufacturing. Fitted with a Japanese handle made of magnolia wood topped with a buffalo horn ferrule, this minimalistic knife showcases the qualities of traditional Japanese blades we like most.
Kakugata Usuba is forged from Shirogami #1, one of the purest and most traditional steels used in Japanese knife manufacturing. Fitted with a Japanese handle made of magnolia wood topped with a buffalo horn ferrule, this minimalistic knife showcases the qualities of traditional Japanese blades we like most.
Knife choil. Kakugata Usuba is forged from Shirogami #1, one of the purest and most traditional steels used in Japanese knife manufacturing. Fitted with a Japanese handle made of magnolia wood topped with a buffalo horn ferrule, this minimalistic knife showcases the qualities of traditional Japanese blades we like most.
Kakugata Usuba is forged from Shirogami #1, one of the purest and most traditional steels used in Japanese knife manufacturing. Fitted with a Japanese handle made of magnolia wood topped with a buffalo horn ferrule, this minimalistic knife showcases the qualities of traditional Japanese blades we like most.
Kakugata Usuba is forged from Shirogami #1, one of the purest and most traditional steels used in Japanese knife manufacturing. Fitted with a Japanese handle made of magnolia wood topped with a buffalo horn ferrule, this minimalistic knife showcases the qualities of traditional Japanese blades we like most.
Knife choil. Kakugata Usuba is forged from Shirogami #1, one of the purest and most traditional steels used in Japanese knife manufacturing. Fitted with a Japanese handle made of magnolia wood topped with a buffalo horn ferrule, this minimalistic knife showcases the qualities of traditional Japanese blades we like most.

Tojiro

Tojiro Kakugata Usuba Shirogami #1 195mm (7.6") [Buffalo]

160,00€

Only 2 left in stock

🚩 This blade will develop patina with use, while improper maintenance may lead to rust formation.

✔︎ No import fees & duties - worldwide
✔︎ All taxes included
✔︎ Express worldwide shipping
✔︎ 30-day return policy

This Kakugata Usuba is forged from Shirogami #1, one of the purest and most traditional steels used in Japanese knife manufacturing. The blade’s finish was kept within the confines of the Japanese concept of negative space (ma 間)* and given a sleek polished migaki look, and a kasumi finish on the kireha. Adorned with hand-chiseled kanji and fitted with a Japanese handle made of magnolia wood topped with a buffalo horn ferrule, this minimalistic knife showcases the qualities of traditional Japanese blades we like most. 

*the Japanese concept of ma or negative space is a philosophy that guides their approach to design, as well as other, everyday things – the core belief being that absence can be just as important as presence.

BLADE SHAPE:
In Japanese, Usuba means thin, which is an appropriate description of this knife designed for preparing vegetables, where a thin blade is essential. When cutting firm vegetables such as carrots, it is important that the blade cuts instead of splitting, as can often happen with thicker knives.

Kakugata refers to the specific rectangular shape of this knife - kaku means square in Japanese. The 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” and is one of the most difficult and complex Japanese cutting techniques.

*Although the smithy notes the length of the cutting edge as 195mm (7.6"), in this case the blade length is measured from the handle, not from the heel, in which case the length would be 187mm (7.3").

STEEL:
The core of the knife is made of Shirogami steel #1 (white steel) with the hardness 61–62 HRC. This makes the knife very sharp and easy to resharpen but a bit more demanding in terms of maintenance. Shirogami #1 is one of the purest steels, and consequently one of the easiest to sharpen. Its characteristics make Shirogami popular with traditional Japanese blacksmiths and sushi masters. The advantage of Shirogami #1 is that it has a very fine, delicate sharpness, is easy to grind, and stays sharp for a very long time. The blade will acquire a protective patina with use. Therefore, it’s recommended to wipe the blade dry between and after use and oil it regularly.

→ Learn more about knife maintenance here.

LAMINATION:
The hard core of the knife is composed of a hard core (forming the cutting edge) and a softer, external layer of soft iron, a cladding we call ni-mai lamination. The outer layer of softer steel forms a "shinogi" line along the entire edge of the blade. The shinogi line represents the border between the harder, inner steel and the outer layer of softer steel. The Ni-mai lamination method is used on single-bevel knives, where a sheet of softer metal is forge-welded onto the shinogi (front) side of the blade’s hard core. This reinforces the blade’s structural integrity and consequently makes it tougher.

GEOMETRY:
It has a single bevel blade and a flat primary angle (the surface below the shinogi line). As such, the blade and handle are not suited for left-handed people but right-handed users only. The blade has a distal taper, narrowing from the handle towards the tip.
The single bevel blade is suitable 🚨 for right-handed users only!

BLADE FINISH:
This knife has a minimalistic migaki finish, meaning the blade has been polished. The kireha, or “blade road” is adorned with a matte kasumi finish that marks the transition between the jigane (softer outer layer of steel) and hagane or the blade’s hard core.

HANDLE:
The blade extends into a traditional Japanese D-shaped Wa handle made of the most traditional wood for Japanese handles - magnolia wood - with a black water buffalo horn ferrule. Magnolia is the most popular wood type used for Japanese knife handles - and for good reason. The wood is praised as the best handle wood; it is lightweight and has antiseptic properties, and its light colour shows its cleanness, which indicates that the food being prepared is also impeccable. Magnolia also has an extremely low percentage of etheric oils or resins. Consequently, it does not leave or retain odors. This is especially important for Japanese cuisine, which focuses on fresh, delicate dishes. An additional advantage of magnolia wood handles is that they are easy and inexpensive to rehandle as there is an abundance of magnolia handles on the market.
The water buffalo horn is the most traditional choice for a Japanese handle ferrule (also known as tsunomaki). The material is made from the horns of Asian water buffalos. Its function is to keep the wood of the handle from cracking when the tang (or nakago) of the knife is heated and driven firmly into the wooden handle during the fitting process.

ABOUT THE SMITHY:
Tojiro is one of the top 5 largest Japanese kitchen knife manufacturers. They are renowned across Japan and internationally for their top-quality knives for a reasonable price. Tojiro's focus on advanced technologies, together with their insatiable dedication for constant improvements of their knives and materials, makes Tojiro's knives a must-have in any kitchen. Tojiro's main focus? Sharpness! A big bonus is their great team which we are always very eager to meet and talk to!
Take a look inside the Tojiro smithy and learn more about their master blacksmith Tomoo Matsumura in the following video:

Blade shape: Kakugata Usuba

Steel type: Shirogami #1

Blade construction: Ni-mai / flat / migaki

Hardness (HRC scale): 61-62

Overall length: 340mm (13.4")

Blade length: 187mm (7.3")

Blade height: 50mm (2")

Spine thickness: 4.0mm (0.16") - 3.0mm (0.12")

Weight: 250g (8.8 oz)

Handle length: 137mm (5.4")

Handle type / wood: Japanese (Wa) / Magnolia / buffalo horn ferrule

Kanji on the blade: 藤次郎作 TOJIRO-saku (made by TOJIRO)

Blacksmith: Tojiro

Location of the smithy: TSUBAME-SANJO / Niigata 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.
✔ For storage, use a knife holder or a 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.
❗️Knife is a tool intended for specific use - cutting food. It is not a can opener, screwdriver, trowel, wire cutter, hammer etc.

→ For more details, read our guide
on
Maintenance of Kitchen Knives.

🤙 Contact us if you need some help. We reply within 1 business day.

SHIPPING RATES:
- €10
- flat worldwide rate with DHL Express (express delivery, 2-5 business days).
- FREE - all orders over €300 (DHL Express).

EXCEPTIONS:
- 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 (currently not available) - shipping to Russia costs €40. All orders are shipped with EMS postal service.

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.

DELIVERY TIME:
- Europe:
1-2 business days
- US & Canada: 2-4 business days
- Rest of the World: 3-5 business days

RETURNS:
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.

→ Read our SHIPPING & RETURNS policy for more info. We strive to solve any issues fast and with as little hassle for you. If you have some additional questions, please contact us.

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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.

Express Worldwide shipping

10€ flat rate with DHL Express.
Free on orders over 300€.

No Duties & Fees

We cover any import fees, worldwide.
All prices are final, tax included.

Easy Returns

Something not OK? You have 30 days to return it, no questions asked.

Attentive support

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Quiz

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