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Sharp, well-maintained knives are safer, provide more control, and are incredibly fun to use. While a new knife will arrive sharp, with continued use, even the best knives will eventually go dull...

How should I clean my knife?

A good knife should be washed by hand with soapy, warm water and wiped dry immediately afterwards.

Dishwashers should be avoided as they might dull your knife.

How should I store my knife?

Never leave your knife unprotected in a drawer, as the edge might get damaged by other utensils and you may cut yourself when reaching into the drawer.

Most chefs will use a magnetic strip to store their knife safely while having it at hand easily.

Knife blocks are a good option too, as long as they are made of soft material such as wood or rubber so as not to damage the edge of your blade.

How should I sharpen my knife?

This highly depends on the frequency of your cooking, but as a rule of thumb you should hone your knife with a metal or ceramic rod once a week (for 10 seconds only) and sharpen it on a whetstone 1-2 times a year. The more you use your knife, the more frequent honing and sharpening it will need.

If you cut with a proper forward, slicing motion and always use soft cutting boards (wood or plastic, not marble or metal), your knife will stay sharp much longer.

Remember, honing and sharpening are 2 different things.

  • Honing maintains your blade edge. It simply realigns the micro edge of your blade to give it the best performance possible, until your knife needs sharpening on a whetstone.
  • Sharpening actually creates a new edge on the knife by removing metal from the blade. If you hone your knife regularly, you will reduce the need for sharpening and extend the life of your knife.

This video by Gordon Ramsay shows how to use a honing steel to hone your blade before using it:



Here, Master Sushi Chef Hiro Terada demonstrates how to use a whetstone to sharpen a knife:

What should I use as a cutting surface?

To keep your KOTAI knife (or any other knife) sharp it is important to use an appropriate cutting surface. These include wood, bamboo and polypropylene (soft plastic), which are soft materials and will “give” under the blade. If your knife can leave a cut line in the board, your cutting board is sufficiently soft.

Please do not cut on metal, marble, granite, ceramic, tile, or acrylic. These surfaces are too hard and will dull and chip your blade.

What should chef knives NOT be used on?

Please do not use you KOTAI knives on bones, joints, or frozen food. KOTAI knives, like other high-carbon steel knives, are engineered for precision slicing, not for crushing down through hard materials.

How can I extend the life of my knife?

If you use your KOTAI knife correctly, it can provide you with a lifetime of service and more. On top of maintaining the edge by honing and sharpening it, the way you use your knife on a daily basis is also important.

Please do not push straight down on your blades. Not only will this result in arm fatigue for you, it can also be hard on your blades and could result in chipping. When you cut, it’s important to use a “locomotive” motion. Move the blade in either a forward or backward direction. By pushing the blade forward when you chop, rather than pushing straight down, the blade does the work instead of having to use your muscle to cut. The same applies to pulling back on the knife. This slicing motion will cut down on unnecessary muscle strain and keep your blade in excellent condition.