The usuba is the traditional vegetable knife used by professional Japanese chefs. Like other Japanese professional knives, usuba are chisel ground on one side. They have a bevel on the front side and a hollow ground urasuki on the back side. Usuba characteristically have a flat edge, with little or no curve and are quite tall. This allows for extra knuckle clearance when chopping on a cutting board.
Usuba literally means "thin blade". This nomenclature relates to its relative thinness compared to other knives in the chefís arsenal. A thin blade is essential for cutting through firm vegetables without cracking them. It is also valuable when cutting softer ingredients where cellular or structural damage would cause the degradation of the vegetableís appearance and flavor. Usuba are also used for specialized cuts such as katsuramuki, which is the shaving of a vegetable cylinder into a thin sheet.
Yoshihiro Yauji creates his fine looking knives from Shirgami #2 steel which he heat treats to 61-62 Rockwell. He then adds a cladding in a damascus style to further reinforce and protect the core steel. The cladding is finished in a great looking Suminagashi veneer which has a beautiful frost like appearance. As these are carbon blades care is required to keep them from corroding. Also this is a single bevel blade so itís intended for right handed users.
The handle is made from Ho wood and has a water buffalo ferrule. This is a very finely crafted implement at a great price made by a young but very talented blacksmith. We are pleased to be the only distributer representing the brand in the USA.
Blade length: 169mm
Spine thickness at base: 3.72mm
Blade height: 46.19mm (note: the tallest part of the blade is the belly, towards the tip)
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As always, the shopping experience at Chef Knives to Go was excellent. Fast, free shipping, great website description of the product, and the confidence instilled in me because I know that if there are any problems the good people at Chef Knives to Go will help me work it out.
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