Cutlery Excellence Since 1908
The company that would become Kai was founded in Japan’s Seki City in 1908. For over 800 years, Seki City has been the center of Japan’s fine blade-making tradition. Kai’s first products were folding knives, each one made with all the quality, precision, and craftsmanship that made Seki City famous. Next, the company expanded into the manufacture of razors and kitchen cutlery. Today, the Kai Group provides over 10,000 products worldwide, ranging from housewares and fine cutlery to pocketknives, beauty care, and medical products.
Kershaw & Kai
In the 1970s, Kai introduced its products to the US market through its acquisition of Kershaw Knives, a sporting knife brand familiar to US customers since 1974. In addition to the hunting knives and pocketknives for which the Kershaw brand was originally known, Kai added quality Japanese kitchen cutlery and other kitchen tools—all under the Kershaw brand name.
Introducing Kai Housewares
When Kai introduced its premium-quality Shun Cutlery brand to the US in 2002, Kai Housewares became an entity of its own, separate from Kershaw. It would offer affordable and stylish kitchen cutlery at a value price. The creation of Kai Housewares also led to an opportunity to introduce other Kai cutlery to the US market, knives that North American consumers had never seen before.
Exciting New Cutlery
The colorful Pure Komachi and Pure Komachi 2 series brought eye-catching color to kitchens across the US—and sparked many imitators. The graceful Wasabi line combined classic Japanese blade shapes with western blade shapes in a series with traditional Japanese styling. These Kai knives also introduced US consumers to the razor-sharp 16º edge and lightweight handling common to Japanese cutlery. This kind of light, ultra-sharp performance was new to most US cooks, who were more familiar with heavier European-style kitchen cutlery. Both Pure Komachi and Wasabi lines remain popular with consumers to this day.
Next, Kai Housewares introduced the Japanese tsuchime, or hammered, blade finish to the US. Tsuchime is a traditional finish that helps food release more quickly from the blade. Two new series, Luna and Inspire, brought this practical blade finish to consumers, along with extremely comfortable handles and Kai’s razor-sharp cutting edge.
In 2018, Kai Housewares developed a knife series designed to deliver professional-level performance to both home cooks and professional chefs. Named Kai PRO, it offered NSF Certification, making it ideal for use in commercial kitchens, as well as high-quality blade steel, a comfortable, durable POM handle, and a hammered blade finish for quick food release.
For over 111 years, Kai has been making innovative products, delivering unmatched customer service, and building a recognized name. Kai Housewares makes these quality products available to consumers in North America, adding beauty and practical performance to their daily lives.