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We usually do not recommend buying knife sets. We recommend buying one multi-purpose knife first, figure out what you are missing and then getting yourself another knife, usually a smaller petty/paring knife.
Well, with these two knives we couldn't help ourselves but to pair them up😌. ZDP-189 Bunka Black was our first knife we designed and had it made by skillful hands of Yoshida Hamono blacksmiths. Bunka was accepted so well that we wanted to have a smaller petty knife that would complement the larger, multi-purpose bunka. ZDP-189 Petty Black follows a similar shape than its bigger relative, but it is more nimble and designed for all those tasks where bunka feels too big and clumsy.
For a home cook, these two knives will very likely cover all the needs your cooking dictates. Professional chefs will likely need some additional, more task-specific knives, but this ZDP-189 knife set is a great start regardless of your skills and profession.
ZDP-189 steel is one of the hardest steels available for kitchen knife production. Due to its hardness (HRC 65-67) you will enjoy an insanely long edge-retention of smooth, fine sharpness. A smooth edge means less damage to the cells of ingredients which translates that your (raw) food will stay fresh for longer and preserve more taste when cooking. ZDP-189 steel is stain-resistant, so these knives are low maintenance (we still advise to wash and wipe them dry after every use, and no dishwasher - that's just bad knife care). Since ZDP-189 is so hard, it will need some extra effort to be sharpened, and with improper use, the blade can chip, so stay away from hitting bones, cutting frozen foods or using the knife as a screwdriver (yes, that still happens 😳).
For detailed information and knife dimensions please see individual knives:
Use & Care:
- Handwash in warm water and towel dry
- Use a sharpening stone (not a honing steel!) to sharpen your knife
- Do not cut frozen foods and meat bones
- Do not put the knife in a dishwasher
- Read our comprehensive guide on proper Maintenance of Kitchen Knives.
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.