A Guide to Single-Edged and Double-Edged Blades

Construction of blade

Knives have two basic construction types: single-edged and double-edged. Single-edged knives like Yanagiba and Deba are used mainly for traditional Japanese knives. Double-edged knives like Gyuto and Santoku are popular for home kitchens.

The following cross-section diagram illustrates the geometry of single-edged knives. The back side of single-edged blades is typically flat and slightly concaved. There are two main Japanese single-edged knives, based on the forging method and steel type: Honyaki and Awase. Honyaki knives, made from a single piece of hagane (high-carbon steel), and Awase knives, forged by welding hagane (high-carbon steel) onto jigane (soft steel).

Construction of blade

Western knives and some Japanese knives have double-edged blades. 

Double-edged knives can be made of mono-steel or by the Awase method. The Awase method has two types of knives: warikomi and sanwai-awase. Warikomi knives have hagane cladded with jigane. Sanwai-awase knives have three layers of steel forge welded with hagane in the middle up to the pine.

Mono-steel constitutes the blades of most Western knives. However, many Japanese bladesmiths from different regions forge Western-style knives with different techniques and steel. Therefore, you can find a variety of Western knives besides mono-steel ones, such as rikizai—a steel made of hagane—and jigane—a steel makers pre-laminate.

cutting a lemon with a knife


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