A look back in history tells us that Kiridashi were traditional work knives carried by Japanese craftsmen. These utility blades were featured particularly in bamboo crafting and woodworking as the main cutting tools. They were also extremely sharp and handy, which made them ideal for ripping seams, removing splinters, and, yes, fighting off an attacker or two.
These qualities considered, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that these knives haven’t gone out of production. On the contrary, many utility blade enthusiasts are looking for the best Kiridashi knives in today’s era.
Though, if you’ve only just been welcomed into the world of the Kiridashi, you might ask:
- How much of these blades’ former structure has been incorporated into their modern versions?
- Are they still used for a similar purpose?
In unlocking the answers to these questions, we also hope to enlighten you on the usefulness of the said tool.
What Is a Kiridashi Today?
Apart from a few modern touches, nothing in the contemporary Kiridashi’s structure makes it too different from its predecessors. Like many items born from Japanese culture, so much of this knife is founded upon tradition, so it was never going to be subjected to drastic intrinsic changes.
The knife is still the same two-inch-long, dull-resistant stainless steel blade it always was. While its repertoire of tasks may have broadened significantly, it remains true to its conventional roots for the most part.
Kiridashi knives bought in Japan are high-quality—not just because they were originally made there, but also because knife-making is an integral part of Japanese culture. Blacksmiths manually forge, instead of a hammer, the pre-bonded steel used to make these knives, resulting in its famed qualities.
Kiridashi blade creation involves pressing steel into specially structured molds, so they come out in relatively the same size, weight, and shape as each other. Then again, some forgers are known to subject recently molded blades to hammering to create an ideal shape. This might come at the expense of quality, but the resulting shape should be worth it. Besides, according to professionals, the quality compromission easily escapes notice.
Furthermore, the Kiridashi typically has a chisel-edged, sharp-pointed blade beveled on one side. That makes the section sharper and thinner than the rest of the blade and the dominant edge used for cutting. Thus, most of the maintenance is directed towards it, so you won’t be doing much at all.
Lastly, Kiridashis have a slightly curved blade that reduces slicing friction and allows the knives to cut through items more smoothly. Its modern versions are more multifaceted than ever, capable of cutting fluidly through a vast assortment of items its pioneering counterparts could never have.
What Do You Use a Kiridashi For?
It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that Kiridashi talk is almost always dominated by its various uses. Dubbed as an all-around utility knife, that should not come as a surprise to anyone.
All-Around Cutting: In particular, Kiridashi knives manufactured during the modern era have the broadest range of functions. You can use them to cut and handle items made of grass, plastic, wood, wires, and even some specialized materials.
Precise Cutting: It also has portability working in its favor, so more precise tasks shouldn’t be beyond its capabilities. These tasks should include intricate wood carving, wood chiseling, and other delicate art projects.
Self-Defense Weapon: Are you living in a city with a high crime rate? We hope not. Whether you do or not, carrying around a Kiridashi knife should add a level of protection and a sense of security to your life. These knives’ design makes them comfortable, manageable, and inconspicuous to any onlookers.
The Ideal Pocket Knife: What sets this knife apart from the ordinary pocket knife are all the things mentioned above. Honestly, you never quite expect a knife meant for one’s pocket to pull off the kind or number of tricks this one does.
Where To Get a Kiridashi
We recommend never shopping for anything less than a high-quality Kiridashi, which you should be able to acquire from the following sources:
- Japan: You can be sure they have the best Kiridashi blades.
- Online Shops: Make sure to partner with a reliable seller or trusted brand.
Another thing to note is that not all Kiridashis are created equal, so a model might not meet your needs exactly the way you want. That is especially true in terms of the bevel edge’s location.
In some they’re found on the right; in others, they’re situated on the left. Make your decision based on your dominant hand.
A Pocket Knife for All Purposes
Okay, maybe saying this knife is good for “everything” is stretching it a bit, but you can’t deny it’ll cater to most of your cutting and slicing tasks. A product of centuries of traditional Japanese blade craftsmanship and years of innovation of current brands gives you an all-around blade that can pretty much do no wrong in the right hands.