If you’ve spent any time at all working with a self-centering tool, you’ve no doubt heard of the term “short Japanese blades.” While such tools have become more common place in many dojo environments, many do not realize the true value in a properly used Japanese-style double jaw honing device. Many individuals mistakenly believe that the only value in such tools is for occasional use in light and fine edges. The reality of the situation, however, is that the proper use of these tools allows one to create a deeper lather, generate an incredible amount of force from a cutting edge, and perform a wide variety of tasks with ease. In fact, many Japanese professionals prefer using Japanese blades to their regular stainless steel chisels and will tell you that their chisels allow them to do things that they couldn’t otherwise do before using a double blade. In order to ensure that you’re utilizing the correct type of Japanese-style blade for the job you’re attempting, you’ll want to make certain that you understand what they are capable of.
Of course, it’s not necessary to be knowledgeable about Japanese knife sharpening systems to be able to recognize a properly used Japanese-style blade. Simply put, most of these tools employ a double safety check, which is comprised of a safety index that is easily visible and measures the distance between the blade’s centerline and the edge of the tool’s teeth. Many tools will measure both the distance and the angle between the two, but it is important to note that this feature is often found on less expensive models and may not be present on the majority of Japanese double jaw honing devices. Regardless of whether you have access to a safety double check or not, the proper sharpening system is still critical to the performance of a Japanese knife sharpener.
Many of the tools that are capable of being used with Japanese knives are available in the market today. Some products include flat plane blades, which are generally made of diamond or ceramic hone steel. This is the most basic of the Japanese tools and is the first step to becoming an expert in the craft. Some products are also available with stiletto blade edges, which is a step above flat plane blades. The stiletto blade edge does a significantly better job at piercing the meat of your target because it has more leverage and can cut through the tougher parts of the bones that would otherwise block the teeth of the sharpener.
On the other hand, if you would like to learn more about the proper way to use and sharpen the Japanese knife, you may opt to purchase a Japanese knife sharpener guide. These manuals provide a step-by-step guide on how to properly sharpen a Japanese blade using the flat plane as well as stiletto and Mortise chisels. Although there are many different brands and models to choose from, the guides can usually recommend the best ones based on their experience and test results. The detailed instructions will show you which direction should be used when sharpening the blade, as well as how to maintain it for a longer lifetime. These manuals usually come with a Japanese knife blade sharpening kit that comes with different variations of blades, sharpening methods and sharpening tools.
The second type of Japanese katana is the self-centering double jaw honing tool. Compared to the flat plane and stiletto blades, this tool is slightly more challenging to sharpen. This method involves sharpening both the flat and the katana at the same time. Although this method offers a higher level of sharpness, it does not last long enough for most people’s needs. Self-centering double jaw honing tools should only be sharpened by experts if you have sufficient skill and time to do so.
Although the two types of katana sharpeners can be used in order to create the perfect short katana, the flat and the double edged blade do it differently. Although they may look similar, the flat sword is actually much sturdier and won’t bend so easily. However, the double edged blade is easier to repair and is a better choice for cutlery sets and cutlery accessories. The sharpness of these two katana styles can be gauged from the amount of wear and tear they can withstand. The blade profiles for these knives are similar, but because of their distinct differences, there are specific styles of cutting: the short katana versus the double-edged katana.