I have a couple santoku knives that I use all the time cooking. A friend of mine has a kohaishu knife. I've tried to use it once or twice but it wouldn't stay sharp for long so I abandoned it. My question is, is there a specific use for a kohaishu over a santoku?

  • I'm not familiar with the Kohaishu, but I woudln't think the shape should affect it's durability. Also, after a quick google, I haven't found any reference to a Kohaishu on any typical sources for knife information that I go to, other than the Technique (Store brand I think?) one from QVC... It suggests to me that it's not a standard style of knife. Thus any description will be found on the little sales blurb on their website. Posting as a comment, as I really have no idea. :-)
    – talon8
    Jul 24, 2012 at 20:51
  • after poking around on google I was thinking the same thing. It's like a short santoku knife with a semi circle shaped blade - the curve is way too extreme I think. Jul 24, 2012 at 20:56
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    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitchen_knife - Most highly curved blades are for lots of rocking back and forth and are useful for cutting up herbs, chocolate, nuts, etc... into really tiny pieces. I'm not sure what advantage it would have other more standard shapes...
    – talon8
    Jul 24, 2012 at 21:02
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    Agreed; I don't think that kohaishu is a standard knife type. I think it's either a misspelling or someone's brand name. Looks to me like a santoku with a curved tip.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jul 26, 2012 at 1:59
  • Completely agreed with @FuzzyChef. The fact that the top Google hit for "kohaishu" goes to QVC, and that the QVC page has an ® next to every instance of that name, makes me believe that this is just something a marketer made up. (Also, japanesechefsknife.com or Korin or somebody would have one if it was really a standard shape.)
    – jscs
    Jul 26, 2012 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


Figured I'd gather all the above into an actual answer.

First, the Kohaishu. It seems this is a marketing name made by QVC for their own creation for their store brand. It is in fact a registered trademark. That compounded with the fact there doesn't seem to be any reference to that type of knife on any of the major knife makers websites, or even wikipedia, suggests it is a one-off. It seems they came up with their own design and gave it a fancy Japanese sounding name. Curious if any Japanese speakers can tell us if the name has any meaning...

As for the actual knife, standard kitchen knives range in shapes and sizes. What we're concerned here is the curvature of the blade, as that seems to be the primary distinguishing feature. The extreme curvature isn't common, but I believe that is for a good reason. With a standard one handed blade, to use the curve, you are generally lowering and raising the heel in a rocking motion. With this knife you are doing that quite a bit to use the full curvature. The main curve is also right at the tip too, which isn't where you're going to be doing most of your "mincing" motion. Generally the tip would be used as an anchor point and this blade essentially doesn't have one. All this makes it seem fairly unnatural and for someone like me with a bit of RSI in my wrist, it sounds somewhat painful. Some rocking is okay, but if you really want a specialized mincing blade, the mezzaluna seems like a better tool.

My local Japanese knife store has a great description of the standard Japanese kitchen knives (both western influenced and more traditional). You'll notice none of them have a curve quite that extreme. Having been in and had a fairly thorough lesson on the various types of blades and the techniques behind them, I can't imagine a scenario where that extreme curve at the tip will be of any use. The Santoku on the other hand, while it still has enough of a curve to allow for mincing, rocking back and forth the same way, while still being straight enough throughout to allow for slicing and dicing and does have a good place.

In short, it is a one off invention. It might be usable, but probably not ideal. With good reason I believe, the design (or similar) isn't found in any of the major knife makers inventories.

  • there are tons of awesome asian markets around here, but i want a japanese knife store :( Jul 27, 2012 at 18:38
  • i tried using it and i didn't like it at all. i have a hammer stahl and a henckel santoku that i can't live without. Jul 27, 2012 at 18:39

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