Nothing is as cliched as “Japanese steel”, however this past month we found ourselves in need of a new chef’s knife as our old Viking stainless steel chef’s knife had developed a nasty chipped blade tip.
I scoured the internet and Amazon, reading user review after user review, until I finally landed on the Miyabi Artisan series.
Miyabi Artisan Chef Knives
The Miyabi company manufactures all it’s knives in Seki, Japan. The city of Seki has been at the heart of Japanese sword and knife making since the 14th century.
In 2004 ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS acquired one of the leading knife manufacturers, and thus the Miyabi brand was born. The Miyabi brand combines German engineering with Japanese traditions to create a truly unique, high-quality series of blades.
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One word kept repeating itself in my search for knives as I kept coming across various blades made by Miyabi: sharpness.
This blade is revered by all for it’s impressive sharpness, which it retains unusually well for a non-carbon steel blade. And the secret is in how they produce this blade.
Like always, the devil is in the details.
These artisan knives combine beauty with craft. Featuring an industry-leading micro-carbide SG2 core, this knife is then plated in alternating layers of nickel and stainless steel and then finished in the impressive hammered “Tsuchime” finish.
Miyabi uses the famed “Ice Hardening” method to increase the steels strength and stain fighting properties.
First, the blade is heated – then it is quenched in water to room temperature. Then it is immediately frozen and hardened at -196C. This process increases its corrosive resistance. Then they reheat it (known as tempering) to regain the flexibility in the blade.
Miyabi claims each and every knife is hand-honed in Seki, Japan using traditional Japanese sharpening methods. They say this results in a scalpel like sharpness — and after spending the past few weeks cutting with this knife, I can attest – they are not exaggerating.
The handle on this Artisan series is slightly rounded and beefy.
Some who are used to traditional Japanese knives may find it a bit bulky, but to my hands it feels perfect. It is constructed of Rosewood Pakka with decorative accents and a stainless steel endcap with a beautiful Japanese inscription engraved and filled.
Knife Feature and Benefits:
• SG2 Powder-steel core, then layered in nickel and stainless steel for a beautiful finish
• Ice-hardened to a 63 Rockwell hardness for exceptional blade durability
• Hammered finish prevents sticking and looks stunning.
• Hand-honed blade comes exceptionally sharp out of the box
• Distinctive wood handle features brass and red spacers, with a stainless steel endcap, and attractive mosaic pin.
• Made in Japan
Use and care was a big research point for me, because as a mother and home chef there is no time to oil or pay special care to a knife. Luckily because of the type of steel they use and the ice-hardening method, the Miyabi can be cleaned with simple soap and water without a second thought.
Because of the stainless steel layers, it doesn’t seem to tarnish at all, even when cutting acidic vegetables – so long as you clean it with soap and water when you’ve finished your cutting. This is not a dishwasher-safe knife though. At this “professional chef” level of sharpness there are no dishwasher safe options.
While I can’t claim to be a classically trained chef, as a home-chef and a mother this is a real, tangible kitchen tool upgrade that has made a difference in my life.
The Miyabi blade has cut through everything with ease since the day I pulled it out of the box. Two months in, it shows no signs of losing any sharpness. If I had to find something to complain about, I might nitpick at the very practical, but entirely underwhelming box it comes in.
The packaging aside, at $150 delivered right now, this knife vastly out-performs the Viking and Wusthoff stainless steel chef’s knives I’ve used in the past (and which cost me more money!). If you spend most evenings cooking in the Kitchen you need one of these knives.