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Home > Knife Types > Bunka Knives > Bunka Knives 170mm and Longer > Shibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mm
Shibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mm
Shibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mm Shibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mmShibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mmShibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mm
Shibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mmShibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mmShibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mmShibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mm

Shibata Koutetsu R-2 Bunka 185mm

Item #: SKR2-B185

Average Customer Rating:
(5 out of 5 based on 19 reviews)

Read Reviews | Write a Review
Our Price: $245.00
Takayuki Shibata is a master of this steel and we love the lasers that come out of his small workshop in a suburb of Hiroshima. He is one of the best sharpeners we know and that ability is so important when making knives from this material that are as thin as these.

Shiba fashions his blades out of R-2 stainless powdered steel. Many knife aficionados like this stainless alloy for the extremely thin blades that can be fashioned from it. Knives made of R-2 steel can be sharpened to a narrow degree angle which results in an amazingly fine cutting edge. The R-2 steel is hardened to between 62-63 HRC, which is an impressive number!

The fit and finish are of the very highest standards. The blade faces have a rough finish to reduce friction between the food and the knife, while the spine of the knife has a very high mirror polish. This maximizes friction between your fingers and the blade, for better control, comfort, and safety.

Bunka knives combine compact dimensions and versatility. The relatively tall blade makes for a good hand to board clearance while the flat profile is perfect for vegetable prep, especially for push cutters. That great looking pointed tanto style tip is great for detail work and getting into tight places. It looks cool too!

  • Weight: 4.9 oz (138 g)
  • Blade Length: 185 mm
  • Overall Length: 330 mm
  • Spine Thickness at Base: 2.1 mm
  • Blade Height: 52.7 mm
  • Please note the small name change to "Koutetsu" as of 6/11/2021.

  • Customer Reviews


    19 review(s) WRITE A REVIEW (Reviews are subject to approval)
      Oh my , September 6, 2022
    Posted By: Matt F.

    I won't tell you it's a good knife, if you've read this far. You know that much. But I do have to say I've carefully chosen some pretty nice knives since falling down the rabbit hole, but only a few come close to the racehorse quality this has. At least at first it's going to come out for the most delicate work—chiffonades and super-fancy stuff like that where you don't want to bruise delicate herbs and so forth. On the other hand I can't imagine a better knife to get a fine dice on an onion. Just a stunning piece of cutlery.

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      What Shibata-san has learned in his kitchen is welcome in mine, May 28, 2022
    Posted By: Mike Hansen
    1 people found this review helpful

    My first Kotetsu was the 240mm offering which I absolutely loved, however my wife was intimidated by the size and sharpness. Figuring that she would never use the knife due to the size, I felt that sharpness issues could be over come with usage. This Bunka is an excellent choice for my lady, and I have come to appreciate it as well.

    To the many reviews that refer to stellar F&F, OOTB sharpness, edge longevity, sharpening ease, etc. I can only concur. If I could only have one knife in my knife roll (heaven forbid such a thing) this would be the one I would choose. What Shibata-san has discovered in his own kitchen and brought to his blacksmith shop and the marketplace, nas found a place in my kitchen - maybe there is room in your kitchen as well.

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      Simple Beauty
    Posted By: M. Bradley
    1 people found this review helpful

    Sometimes when first holding a knife, words fail to describe what you sense, what you feel. Simple Beauty came to mind as I lifted this bunka from its elegant, black box. And then, when making that first cut... Stunning! Without doubt, this is the sharpest knife I've received out of the box. Shibata-san's reputation as one of Japan's top sharpeners is well deserved. Fit and finish is immaculate, spine and choil mirror polished. The textured, satin finish of the blade is designed to break up water surface tension, aiding in food release. I've not used the knife enough to comment how successful this is compared to other knives. The name Kotetsu comes from the Japanese navy's first ironclad ship, built in 1864 with a pointed bow developed for ramming — a bow to history from Shibata-san's splendid bunka. This knife is a joy to admire... and to use.

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      Force to be reckoned
    Posted By: knifeneophyte - verified customer

    Its simplicity and elegance will run you over with understated impetus. Food separates unknowingly, surrendering any semblance of a possible unity and takes new form caressed by the blade. This culinary tool is here to remind us that love is present in the most simple of tasks. True sharpness comes without effort. Well done Master Shibata!!! Your artwork has cut deep in this old soul.

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    Posted By: Chef Doc - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    Shopped all around and this was the best work knife I could find. It handles all types of product, lightweight, excellent craftsmanship! Use it every day and could be happier with my purchase. Chef knives to Go has ya covered!

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      Superb laser knife
    Posted By: NEILL - verified customer
    2 people found this review helpful

    The Shibata Kotetsu R-2 Bunka 175mm is very light in the hand and razor sharp out of the box. It will quickly become a favourite in your knife collection.

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      Love It1
    Posted By: Carl - verified customer
    2 people found this review helpful

    Even though I have been cooking my whole life, I have never really bought a GOOD J-knife - oh, i've had NSW, Shun, etc but nothing of the quality of many CFTG knives presented here - so take this with a grain of salt, pepper, and oregano! This looker is so light - flows through vegetables with the slightest of ease - cleans up with a few drops of water. Now it is my go-to knife. I've had it for several weeks now - have run it across the strop (once) for 5-6 strokes just for the fun of it. Looking forward to years of using it! I must conclude by saying I haven't been able to get my wife to use it yet - says it is too sharp for her - that will change. Now looking at the 135mm Ko-Bunka and petty as this one is so good!!

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      Beyond Expectations
    Posted By: Tom Doughten

    This is my first Japanese knife, and LOVE IT!!!! I must start off with a shout out to Knowing very little about Japanese knives this site was a godsend. Extremely informative and I can't say how many hours I watched Steve review the various knives. I now have an understanding of the various knife types and their usage and this knife was exactly what I was looking for, well one of the knives but I'll leave the next one that I purchased from CKTG for another gushing review. The Shibata Kotetsu knife had the perfect height to keep my fingers out of the way and yet thin enough to not be heavy or clunky. I really love the look of this knife and can't believe the sharpness of it. I did add the CKTG sharpening to the order even though it didn't appear to require it per the reviews, but I wanted it as sharp as it could get. I bought a tomato and as soon as it arrived and set up to try and recreate the video depicting how the knife could thinly slice a tomato without using your hands to hold the tomato, and guess what, I was able to do it!!! Paper thin – WOW!! I have used it almost daily for three weeks and I'll give it, and Alton the sharpener a double thumbs up. Whether chopping or slicing vegetables it does not require any pressure to make the cuts. I think that due to its height and material, it drags and does not do well trying to thinly slice thick raw beef for steak sandwiches even though I placed in the freezer for about twenty minutes. I'll will pursue purchasing another knife for that purpose. All in all, this knife is above my expectations.

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      Remarkable Knife
    Posted By: Albert - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    This is a fantastic knife that cuts through most anything (minus bones of course) with ease. While potentially fragile, can't recommend this enough for a knife that you can use everyday.

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      Great add to the block!
    Posted By: Don T. - verified customer

    What can I say? This is everything they said it would be. Fit and Finish is great. It is a great looking piece. Performance, just amazing! Light, nimble and oh, so sharp. Love it!

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      Top in Class Laser Bunka
    Posted By: Steve Recommends - verified customer
    2 people found this review helpful

    On the opposite end of the Bunka spectrum from the Kohetsu SLD is this laser performer from Takayuki Shibata. The blade is quite thin, yet the excellent grinds still offer some convex shape towards the edge. This results in better food release than one would expect from such a laser thin blade. Performance through soft and hard product is fabulous with excellent fit & finish and an excellent rendition of R-2 steel completing the package. The flattish edge profile also complements a variety of cutting styles. You say you want a laser Bunka? Get a Shibata Kotetsu R-2!

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      Great change of pace knife
    Posted By: Dave P. - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    Definitely not a jack of all trades but master of none knife, this is a push or pull cut with some chop ability. Not a great general prep knife but looks and cuts so nice it makes for it. The only knife I have that I did need to sharpen out of the box. Probably not for everyone but it seems to make each cut a little more interesting.

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    Posted By: John Tucker - verified customer

    My wife (Santa) gave this knife to me for Christmas 2016...after a not-so-subtle hint. It's spectacular. I have nothing to add to the existing reviews other than they are spot on. It's a laser. It's nimble. It's super easy to sharpen up. Great great knife. Build quality is fantastic. Thank you Santa and CKTG.

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      Loved it
    Posted By: Rodrigo Batista - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    Greatlittle-medium knife! Feels great when cutting, and it cuts like a laser. Been doing only veggies so far.I literally replaced my 150mm petty for this and I couldn't be happier. Light without feeling flimsy. Still need some time with it for a proper more accurate opinion but as I said before, I couldn't before

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    Posted By: John McCarthy - verified customer

    Bought this knife for my wife - she likes shorter knives. It ended up being my favorite, by far. And, she is afraid of it because it is so sharp. I've purchased 6 different knives, and this is, without question, the sharpest and hardest knife in the pack. Additionally, it stays sharp for a long, long time.That said, you have to be careful with it. The tip broke off fairly easily when I dropped it (accidentally) into the sink. It didn't fall very far. And, when cutting a sausage, there was a small piece of very hard tendon or bone, and the blade folded over. It was very difficult to resharpen. But, once it was, it was, again, extremely sharp!This is the only review I've written - this knife is worth my time to write one.

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      One of the best!
    Posted By: Kelly - verified customer

    I received this knife back in June and couldn't be happier with it. If you're looking for a laser, this knife can't be out-classed. It hasn't seen anything other than a fine ceramic steel and a hanging strop and it can still shave the hair off my arm even through constant daily use. Going into fall, I'll see how it fares against squash skin and harder winter vegetables but have grown increasingly confidant in its durability. Fit and finish is above board...I actually stopped having to sand my knife callous!!!

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      Super Sharp
    Posted By: Eric R. - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    All I have to say is that Shibata is a master at his craft. F&F is impeccable! Blade is razor sharp OOTB, and the handle is very comfortable. I put it to use immediately and was extremely happy with it's performance. Kept it's edge after a few hours of prep, from herbs to carrots, it remained scary sharp! I would recommend this knife to anyone looking for a new addition to their collection. I would also like to thank Mark and CKTG for the great customer service. Always a speedy delivery!

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      What he said...
    Posted By: J - verified customer

    Yep this knife is everything the other reviewer said plus some. Great F&F, cuts like a beast and feels wonderful in hand. The blade on this thing is a vision of beautiful, simple,precise and elegant! Great knife for your collection.

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      Shibata Kotetsu Bunka
    Posted By: nativeson - verified customer
    1 people found this review helpful

    If there was ever a knife that you would like to call a laser it would be this one.The knife came with a screaming edge OTB.The R2 core steel has some pretty impressive edge retention.I have found that the R2 is not chippy and the heat treat seems to be spot on.This knife is super thin behind the edge and slices like a demon.The tip is very useful for detailed work, but you need to be mindful that it is quite delicate also.The ergos are just fantastic and the knife seems to feel very natural in hand and while getting a workout.The F&F is outstanding and everything is nice and rounded and the handle is nicely done also.If you are looking for a high performance super thin behind the edge Bunka with first excellent fit and finish, then you may want to consider the Shibata Kotetsu Bunka.

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