Knife Sharpening Tips from Japanese Knife Maker

The traditional test to see whether a knife is sharp is to reach behind your head and cut into a hair,” Jonathan Broida, owner of Japanese Knife Imports, explains at a knife sharpening demonstration at his Beverly Hills Shop. “Don’t try it here,” he cautions.

It’s not every day that a third-generation master knife sharpener from a company with roots back to the 17th century comes to town. Broida had invited Mamoru Morimoto from the knifemaking town of Sakai, Japan, to give a demonstration to his customers.

Taught by his father and his grandfather, Morimoto was certified as a Master of Japanese Traditional Crafts for blade grinding and sharpening by Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 2012. That’s a very big deal.

For two hours Morimoto showed a group of 30 chefs and knife enthusiasts how to sharpen both double-beveled and single-beveled Japanese knives. He also had some tips about caring for knives that every cook should know. Check out some of the best knife sharpeners here.

knife sharpener

Home cooks should have their knives professionally sharpened every once in awhile to ensure proper edge geometry and good knife care. Chefs should sharpen their knives every day and only come in to have their knives professionally sharpened when there’s a problem with a blade.

Broida has put up a whole series of YouTube videos that show everything you’d ever want to know about knife sharpening in great detail.

More about buying kitchen knives here.