View Full Version : Japanese blade measurements?

06-18-2012, 10:11 AM
Salty touched on this in another thread, and got me wondering.

On the Mizuno, the blade length is measured form the handle, as opposed to the cutting edge. Is this typical with all Japanese knives? How do you guage the blade length? For example I get some customers that specify for example a 255 mm cutting edge, I try not to go below the number specified at all. If you buy a knife measured from the handle, do you ask what the ricasso length is? Do you hope for the best figuring that it will be close to what you want? In reality 5 mm isn't a pile, but depending on the ricasso length, it can easily be absorbed into the dimensions, leaving you shorter than you hoped.

I find it curious the edge length isn't the advertised feature. Thoughts?

06-18-2012, 10:23 AM
Custom knives with specified edge length should clearly be as close to specified as possible. If you can't make it exact, I think it's psychologically nicer to have an extra couple of mm than a couple fewer than you asked for.

With regard to Japanese knives, Jon posted on this a while back but I can't seem to find the post... I think he said it had to do with the way they make the tangs in different places. The knives that have that little machi gap are measured at the handle. Those that have a smooth transition into the tang are measured at the edge.

Salty dog
06-18-2012, 10:28 AM
And Masamotos run long. My 240s are 263.

06-18-2012, 01:03 PM
My 210 Takeda is 215 on the edge, fwiw.

06-18-2012, 01:23 PM
The wa- offerings of Suisin, Konosuke, Ashi, Yusuke, IT are all measured at the handle. The westerns are measured on the edge (Pretty much all westerns are measured on the edge, actually.). Heiji, Shigefusa, Kochi, Gengetsu, Carter, Yoshihiro are measured on the edge.

06-18-2012, 01:32 PM
This is from one of Jon's posts (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/5552-New-Gesshin-Hide-Knives):

knives with a machi in the tang are measured from the handle to the tip length-wise and knives without are measured from the heel to the tip as a general rule. So, deba and such are heel to tip and santoku, yanagiba, etc. are handle to tip length-wise.

However, some knives run long (or short), so the nominal length of Japanese knives is usually just an approximation. At least that's my experience.



06-18-2012, 02:05 PM
my statement still runs true as far as i know... for example, gengetsu, gesshin heiji, shigefusa, etc. dont have machi so they are measured from the heel.

06-19-2012, 12:30 AM
I measured a couple of my knives. My 240 Shigefusa gyuto (no machi), measures 245mm heel to tip. My 270 Tadatsuna gyuto (with machi) measures 275mm from handle to tip, and 262mm heel to tip.

I think it's great that JKI provides all the measurements it does. You'll know exactly what you're getting!