Different types of metals or different types of handles have been introduced to our website at a practical level, however, there are other options which may influence your choice of knife. For those who absolutely want the practicality of the knife, the choice of design or finish may not be relevant to you. For those who want a knife that can be cherished and used regularly, the design or decorative aspect of a knife may seem essential to you.
The work of design or decoration varies from one blacksmith to another. So there are countless variations. In this article we will cover the most common.
Kurouchi finish (Blacksmith)
The kurouchi is a type of finish where the black oxide surface formed by quenching is partially left on the blade. As the polishing is not carried out on the whole blade, their price is often slightly inferior to knives polishing is everywhere. Most knives kurushis are forged with very advanced craftsmanship. In Japan, knives kurushis are often preferred in markets or other places where they are used very frequently and the glossy finish is not the primary concern. Knives kurushis also perform very well against rust with their unpolished black surface. You can easily recognize the very rustic finish of the kurouchi.
Nashiji Finish (Coarse)
This is a slightly smoother finish than a Kurouchi finish but coarser. Nashiji finishes are very pleasing to the eye offering a bit of texturing. They can be quite striking in person and surprise more than one.
Tsuchime finish (Hammered)
This is a type of knife where you hammer the hira (the area of the line shinogi up to the back). It is therefore easily recognizable with the traces of hammer blows. It is often used on the blades of Gyuto, Nakiri or Santoku. One of the advantages of finishing tsuchime is that it allows cutting without great resistance since the surface of thehira that comes into contact with food is less.
Damascus finish (Damascus steel)
The Damascus design is very popular with its patterns resembling the grain of wood. Originally, damask was a type of steel produced in ancient India. What is available today is essentially an imitation of the look of the original Damascus with a "Damascus finish" or "Damascus pattern".
Kasumi Finish (Mist)
Kasumi means "mist". It is the most common style of finishing used on traditional Japanese knives. The polishing equipment to make the kirehas (see anatomy of the knife) have this hazy aspect which varies from one sharpener to another. Each has their own unique blend of different polishing materials as they are often very particular in how they want the finished knife to look.
Kyomen finish (Mirror)
Instead of giving the surface a blurry appearance, we call the finish kyomen or mirror finish, which gives the surface a shiny mirror-like appearance. It takes many more steps to get a mirror finish on the surface of the blade which is reflected in the cost of the knife