Everything You Need to Know About Knife Finishes

Everything You Need to Know About Knife Finishes

The finish on a knife is often what first catches people's eyes and draws them in. There are a number of finishes, some are functional and some are purely aesthetic.

Let's talk a bit about each of the different knife finishes you will see here at The Cook's Edge:

Kurouchi (Blacksmith's Finish)- This dark, rustic looking finish is the least refined of the knife finishes and can actually help prevent rusting of your knife. The dark color is achieved by not polishing off the residue that is naturally formed during the forging process. The kurouchi finish can wear off over time, especially if you are using abrasive cleaning products. 

Some of our most popular knives featuring this finish are from Takeda Hamono. Check out this beautiful Takeda NAS Nakiri Large 165mm (vegetable knife). Thin and deadly sharp, this knife will have you eating your veggies. 


Tsuchime (Hammered Finish)- This is a traditional ancient Japanese style of finish. The hammered blade reduces drag when cutting through food and assists with quick food release from the knife. This finish can vary greatly in the way it looks depending on the knife maker and the type of hammer and technique used. 


Yu Kurosaki Senko 240mm Gyuto

 The ever popular Yu Kurosaki utilizes a star shaped hammer to create a stunning finish on this Senko R2 240mm Gyuto.


Nashiji (Pear Skin Finish)- Another rustic looking finish that is meant to resemble the skin of an Asian pear. The nashiji finish is purely for aesthetics although some might argue that the increased blade texture can help with food release. 

Featuring a beautiful nashiji finish, this Sakai Kikumori Nashiji Bunka 180mm is taller than most bunkas, making it great for chopping veg. 


Damascus Finish- This beautiful, wavy pattern is one of the most recognizable finishes on knives. While the original method of creating damascus steel was lost centuries ago, knife makers can recreate a similar wavy pattern using a number of different techniques. Some of these techniques can increase the strength of the knife, so this finish can be functional as well as being aesthetically pleasing.

Just look at the finish on this beautiful Takeshi Saji VG10 Rainbow Damascus Gyuto 210mm! It is a super unique knife with copper folded into the steel for extra style points. 


Migaki (Polished Finish)- Migaki means polished, although knives with this finish are polished to a lesser degree than a mirror polished knife.

This Hatsukokoro HAP40 Santoku 180mm features a clean migaki finish and provides an affordable way to experience the awesome HAP40 steel. HAP40 is one of the hardest knife steels that we carry, it stays sharp for a long time and is much easier to sharpen than its powder steel counterpart ZDP 189. 


Mirror Polished Finish- As the name states, these knives are polished so smoothly they reflect like a mirror. Knives featuring this impressive looking finish are usually more high-end due to the care and time taken to create them. This finish will more readily show scratches and marks so they are a bit higher maintenance than some of the other finishes. 

If it is perfect slices of sashimi you are after, this Suogo Yamatsuka Kengata Yanagiba 330mm will do it in style.  

Is there a certain finish you find yourself drawn to? Let us know your favourites!

As always, if you have any questions about knife finishes or knives in general, please contact us

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