A “City of Blades” Experience with Kanetsune Kitchen Knives: 555 Series Review

September 1, 2021

You can't go wrong with a Japanese knife. The country has a century-long reputation for producing high-quality and exceptionally sharp blades. Having one in your kitchen makes you feel like a kitchen samurai, instilling confidence to cut things with the desired precision.

You might have come across Kanetsune kitchen knives while searching for quality Japanese knives. Kanetsune is based in Seki, which is Japan’s “City of Blades.” That fact alone gives Kanetsune a competitive advantage.

However, we want to help you make a purchase decision based on more than one significant factor. Thus, this article reviews one of Kanetsune's kitchen knife sets: the 555 Series. Take a look and see if the knives meet your cutting needs!

Seki Craftsmanship: About Kanetsune

Kanetsune Seki is a knifemaking brand under Kitasho Co., Ltd. Kitasho was established in 1964 as a manufacturer, distributor, and wholesaler of Japanese cutlery, including outdoor knives, hunting knives, kitchen knives, sharpening stones, kitchen gadgets, and tools.

The concept of “Kanetsune” came from the name of a prominent swordsmith who crafted highly developed and strong katanas for samurais during the 14th and 15th centuries. Many people acknowledged his skills. Some of his swords are even in a katana museum located in Seki City. Kanetsune continues the legacy of producing exceptionally sharp and stylish cutlery people all over the world will love for home and professional use. They offer various knife styles (gyutou, yanagiba, santoku, and more) and handle materials (oak, walnut, ebony, and more).

Kanetsune Kitchen Knives: The 555 Series

The 555 Series is one of Kanetsune's kitchen knife collections. Highly skilled Seki artisans incorporated a neat and straightforward design partnered with user-friendly and exceptionally sharp features to complete a high-quality knife.

The series has four knife models, namely, KC-360 Santoku (6.5 inches), KC-361 Usubagata (6.5 inches), KC-362 Kengata (7.1 inches), and KC-363 Petty (5.3 inches).

A Strong Traditional Background

The 555 Series works reliably and precisely according to its traditional use in the kitchen. Generally, the knives are reliable in precise vegetable cutting. The ones with larger and thicker dimensions are ideal for dicing, disjointing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, herbs, and meat; the narrower blades are perfect for the delicate cutting of smaller vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

Moreover, knives like the kengata knife are known for their sword-like tips (also called a tanto tip), designed for puncturing. Today, professional chefs use these knives for seamless precision cutting while home users use them on a wide range of daily tasks in the kitchen.

Length and Thickness Variety

The 555 Series offers a set of different knife sizes and blade thicknesses for your kitchen cutting needs. The longest of the group is the kengata, with an overall length of 12 inches and a blade that is 7.1 inches long and 6 inches thick. The smallest knife of the set is the petty knife, with an overall length of only 9.5 inches and a blade that is 5.3 inches long and 6 inches thick.

You no longer need to manually look for a different knife brand or series for your specific needs—this set has everything to complete your kitchen tasks.

Durable Blade and Stable Handle

The 555 Series has a standard hardness of 58–59 Hardness Rockwell C, which is good enough to offer a long-lasting sharpness and easy-to-sharpen stainless steel blades. Kanetsune blades, being crafted from the City of Blades, can guarantee a quality that lives up to you and your wallet's expectations.

Meanwhile, the knife handles of the 555 Series are made of stylish light brown plywood. These handles offer stability, customization (knife owners can drill some holes or squares or work on the end grain to make adjustments), and pleasant visuals for most knife owners.

Downsides of Kanetsune Knives

Do knives from the City of Blades have shortcomings? Of course, just like any other product out there, they do. But they're not that bad, and sometimes the downsides only depend on preference.

  • The 555 Series doesn't include a sheath, which is an important part of a knife set.
  • The plywood handle might be too soft for your liking.
  • It is relatively pricey compared to some of its competitors, such as Kitchen Emperor knives, Kitchen Kapers knives, or Kitchen Devil knives on eBay. If you search for the pricing in various stores, the competitor brands offer knives around $18–$80, and Kanetsune knives exceed that range.
kanetsune kitchen knives woman choosing a knife set

Guide in Choosing a Japanese Kitchen Knife

Since most Japanese blades are good, it can be tough to choose the best among them. As a result, you might end up with a high-quality knife, but it still doesn't do the job that you want. So to prevent that from happening, check these factors below before making your choice.

What’s Your Preferred Steel Type?

Choose whether you'll go with stainless steel or carbon steel blades: carbon steel has a low alloy content (under 10.5), while stainless steel requires a 10.5 alloy content.

Simply put, stainless steel is more rust-resistant, less brittle, and more preferable for home use than high-carbon steel. On the other hand, the more wear-resistant high-carbon steel is ideal for tough use, holds a finer edge, and is popular among professionals. However, in terms of maintenance, high-carbon steel needs more work than stainless steel.

What Kind of Kitchen Work Will You Do?

The type of knife depends on the application: are you filleting, boning, chopping, slicing, peeling, pairing, or cutting? Different knife shapes suit each of these applications. For example, a curved blade edge works for fast cutting with rolling movements, while straight blades work for vertical cutting and slicing.

How Much Is Your Budget?

Are you willing to pay for a knife with good and long-lasting quality, or do you not mind a knife that needs quick replacement? Of course, choosing a durable knife is a cost-saving option. If you do thorough research, you can find knives with superior quality and affordable pricing.

Final Thoughts

Kanetsune knives for kitchen use are definitely worth the purchase, more so since they're crafted from Seki, the City of Blades. Additionally, the 555 Series has robust and straightforward features, so they will do the job well.

When choosing a kitchen knife, always consider the essential factors to get the knife that helps you achieve the desired cut.

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