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  • 1800 SW Teton Avenue
  • Tualatin, OR 97062
  • Phone: 503-682-1966
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Blade Shapes

Japan’s knifemaking tradition is ancient and venerable. Ultimately, it derives from the Japanese swordmaking heritage. Hundreds of years of knowledge and experience go into each blade, whether sword or kitchen knife. Each culinary blade shape has its own particular function and use. Kai Housewares offers you a wide selection blade shapes ideal for every kitchen task, from traditional Japanese styles to shapes more familiar from the western tradition.

Here’s a quick guide for discovering which knives to add to your kitchen collection.

The Must-Have Basics

Paring knife bladeParing knife blade

Paring knife

A paring knife gets its name from its main use: removing or “paring” away things, such as peels, from fruits and vegetables. It’s also great for coring, trimming, decorating.

Utility knife bladeUtility knife blade

Utility knife

A good utility knife is a must-have in a kitchen knife line up. In size, it’s between a chef’s knife and a paring knife, making it perfect for all those in-between tasks.

Chef’s knife bladeChef’s knife blade

Chef’s knife

If there’s one knife a cook reaches for most often, it’s the chef’s knife. It’s an all-purpose slicer and dicer for a full range of fruits, vegetables, and proteins.

The Great-To-Have Collection

Bread knife bladeBread knife blade

Bread knife

Kai bread knives feature razor-sharp, wide serrations. The serrations let you gently cut through the bread without crushing and with fewer crumbs.

Bread knife bladeBread knife blade

Master Utility

The Master Utility combines the nimbleness of a utility knife with the do-it-all capabilities of a chef's knife. The blade is slightly longer and wider, so you can easily accomplish a wide range of tasks with a compact knife. Extra width at the heel and a slightly curved belly enables rocking cuts with knuckle clearance. A larger handle gives you a confident grip as you work. The Master Utility's downturned tip is extra durable. 

Slicing knife bladeSlicing knife blade

Slicing knife

A slicing knife is long and narrow, allowing you to make even slices without sawing.

Flexible Fillet bladeFlexible Fillet blade

Flexible Fillet

Just the right amount of flex in this blade’s AUS8A steel makes filleting fish easier.

Steak knife bladeSteak knife blade

Steak knife

A razor-sharp knife glides through your steak, cutting fewer of the capillaries in the meat and keeping more of the tasty juices inside.

6-inch Chef’s knife blade6-inch Chef’s knife blade

6-inch Chef’s knife

Sometimes you want a chef’s knife that’s particularly lightweight and highly maneuverable. A 6-inch chef’s knife is a perfect choice.

Santoku bladeSantoku blade


A santoku is an Asian-inspired knife that many cooks today have added to their kitchen favorites. A knife of many talents, a santoku easily handles all the basic cutting tasks.

Cleaver bladeCleaver blade


The cleaver features a thicker, heavier blade suited to tasks like processing bone-in meat or breaking down poultry.

Specialty Blade Shapes

Asian Multi-Prep bladeAsian Multi-Prep blade

Asian Multi-Prep

In Japan, this nimble, triangular blade is called a honesuki. If you want to debone poultry or trim meats, this knife is your friend. Yet it also has many other food prep abilities—from slicing tomatoes to trimming vegetables.

Boning/Fillet bladeBoning/Fillet blade


For boning, the narrow, sharp, curved blade gets in close, making it easy to separate meat from bone. It’s perfect for trimming the silver skin from a beef tenderloin, or for making your own chicken cutlets.

Deba bladeDeba blade


Break down and fillet fish quickly with the deba. This medium-sized blade features a razor-sharp, single-bevel blade for easy cutting.

Asian Utility bladeAsian Utility blade

Asian Utility

The Asian Utility Knife is great at processing everything from vegetables for stir fry to thinly slicing meats. Every part of this blade can be put to use.

Ultimate Utility bladeUltimate Utility blade

Ultimate Utility

The Ultimate Utility is a unique knife style that is extremely versatile and has proven to be popular with Kai customers. The cutting edge has a “low-frequency” serration that makes the knife perfect for slicing delicate thin-skinned fruits and vegetables. The wide blade with its rounded tip also makes it a great knife for spreading condiments on a sandwich—or icing on a cake. 

Nakiri bladeNakiri blade


This beautiful tool is an excellent choice when you have fruits or vegetables to slice and dice.

Yanagiba bladeYanagiba blade


The yanagiba is most often used for slicing raw fish for sashimi and for slicing sushi rolls, yet is also perfect for slicing many other proteins, too.

Brisket knife bladeBrisket knife blade

Brisket knife

A brisket knife is ideal for trimming and slicing larger cuts of meat, including brisket, ham, and turkey. The brisket knife is long and narrow, allowing you to cut perfect slices in a single pass