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Japanese Knives for French Chefs

We combined the best of both worlds, so you don’t have to settle.

Japanese Knives for Western Chefs

We combined the best of both worlds, so you don’t have to settle.

A Little Bit About Us

KOTAI was born as a bridge between Asian and Western cutlery. Light, precise, and ultra-sharp like a Japanese knife yet stainless, sturdy and very durable like a German knife.

All the pros without the cons, no compromise.

Our Mission

KOTAI’s mission is to empower chefs to transform ideas into reality and express their creativity in the kitchen, by offering them inspiring and reliable tools.

Our Story

10 years ago, I moved from my hometown in France to Asia, started cooking my own food and had to get a new knife.

After years of cutting my fingers because the blade was so blunt it would slip on carrots, and vain attempts to re-sharpen the blade made of soft steel, I decided to upgrade to one of those fancy katana-looking Japanese knives you see professionals use.

I saved up and finally bought a beautiful knife in Kappabashi Street, Tokyo: it looked and felt amazing, and most importantly it really was razor-sharp.

The only problem was, it was way higher-maintenance than I expected.

I had to learn how to properly maintain it so it wouldn’t rust, chip or break. By the time I had learned enough, I had already destroyed that very expensive knife. Still, I did not want to go back to my old clunky German knives and their blade made of fast-dulling soft steel.

I looked everywhere for a better alternative, asked all the knife experts I could find, and this is what I realized:

Traditional Japanese knives are sharp, precise and beautiful, but they are also fragile and prone to chipping and oxidation if not maintained very specifically.

Western knives are sturdy, durable and rust-resistant, but lack the acute blade edge and nimbleness of their Asian counterparts.

There had to be a better alternative.

Obsessed with this dilemma, I started talking to countless bladesmiths, designers, steel engineers, chefs, and regular home cooks. Some of them shared my frustration and joined the project.

Three years and a million prototypes later, KOTAI was born: light, precise and ultra-sharp like a Japanese knife yet stainless, sturdy and very durable like a German knife.

The best of both worlds, for people like me.

In short, a Japanese knife for French chefs.

And because I was never a fan of the planned obsolescence plaguing the consumer goods industry, I decided to guarantee every single KOTAI knife, for life.

– Jeremie Plane, KOTAI founder

Our Craft

KOTAI knives are all handmade with high-end Japanese steel from Aichi. Some of our models are finished directly in Seki, Japan, the world-famous knife capital. Others are assembled by our expert knifemakers in YangJiang, China’s knife-making capital for over 1500 years.

We are blessed to be able to rely on a team of knife experts whose families have been in the craft for many generations.

Our knives are made combining traditional knifemaking methods with advanced technological processes such as vacuum heat treatment and cryogenic cooling, to optimize the mechanical properties of the steel.

Every single KOTAI knife has been through a rigorous quality control process and will not leave our factory before it is manually checked by 3 different inspectors.

That is why we stand behind our products 100% and are proud to offer a lifetime warranty if your KOTAI knife does not live up to your expectations.