The Usuba falls into the category of single bevel knives, a traditional style of Japanese knife which, with the exception of chefs and knife enthusiasts, is still largely unknown to western cooks. Sharpened on only 1 side with a flat back the single bevel knives are able to take the sharpest of edges and excel at the tasks for which they're intended, but are not usually a great choice for those looking for an all rounder, for this we recommend Gyutos or Santokus.
The literal translation of usuba is thin blade - 'usui' is the Japanese for thin and 'ba' is derived from 'ha', as in hamono, which means blade or edge tool.
The Usuba is ideal for cutting vegetables and fruits which are served raw, the thin single bevel blade producing cut surfaces with very little cell damage, in turn minimising the discolouration and change in flavour often caused by oxidation. The versatile middle section of the blade can be used for thinly slicing vegetables and also for performing the specialised Katsuramuki ("Rotary peeling”) technique. This tall blade is also very useful when using the knuckles of your free hand to guide the blade during cutting, a useful technique to develop if you want to consistently cut vegetables at a particular thickness.
Forged by Yoshikazu Tanaka, one of the most respected blacksmiths in the Sakai region, the Gokujyo line is an exceptional range of knives, capable of taking and holding a great edge. Finished to an excellent standard they would make a great choice for keen home cooks or professionals working within the industry. Lovely and thin behind the cutting edge.
The single bevel knives in the Gokujyo range are made with a traditional Ni Mai construction, comprising of a white #2 carbon steel cutting edge and a layer of soft iron for structural support. Forging the metals together in this way helps to utilise the best points of each metal type, a hard steel core provides great sharpen-ability and edge retention, making it great for slicing and cutting and then the softer metal cladding brings it's greatly increased shock resistant qualities and helps make the blade an all round more robust tool, reducing the likelihood of it breaking.
Gokujyo Usuba 270mm
Blade Material – White (Shirogami) #2 Carbon Steel
Handle Material – Walnut
Blade length – 180mm
Actual cutting edge - 165mm
Total Length – 330mm
Blade Height – 45mm
Weight – 170g
Hardness – 62-63 HRC
Sakai, in the Osaka region of Japan has been a thriving hub for Japanese blade making for over 600 years. Sakai Kikumori, itself approaching 100 years in business, continue to work with some of the areas most skilled craftspeople to produce a broad range of high end cutlery.
A note on carbon steel - Like many others we at Community Cutlery favour carbon over stainless steel for its ability to take a keener edge and hold it for longer, for this privilege we need to care for our carbon products with a little more consideration, particularly when it comes to washing. Once you’ve finished with your knife (or even during use if you've a long prep session ahead of you!) we recommend giving it a quick wash and a thorough dry, as if left wet it will start to rust, surprisingly quickly. If this does happen then take a dry scourer and lightly give it a rub, another rinse and a good dry, it should come off with relative ease. With use you will also notice a light change in the colour of the blade, this patina is natural, beautiful and to be cherished, it’s like your knife developing its own fingerprint!
And for many reasons - Never put your knives in the dishwasher
Knives are only available to persons over 18 years of age. Due to the nature of our business ALL customers will be asked to prove their age at checkout.