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The Soba Kiri and its versatility
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Thread: The Soba Kiri and its versatility

  1. #1

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    The Soba Kiri and its versatility

    Hi all,

    Am new to the forum and am looking forward to learning from you all!

    I was looking to get a good cleaver for butchering and also cutting up large vegetables. In my search I found the soba kiri to look amazing, and so I would like to get one.

    But I am not too sure if it is made in a way that renders its use as a normal cleaver less suitable for the blade itself. Not sure about it, the one that I am looking at is a shirogami blade so I guess it should be more than capable of handling anything.

    Again not sure if they are more dull than normal cleavers or not, anyone here can shed some advice on the matter?

  2. #2
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    This is meant for noodle preparation, I am not convinced it will work well for anything else.
    I think for butchering you need a meat cleaver, for vegetables you need a vegetable slicer.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, like a lot of things, you can probably make it work but I would guess there are very good reasons for the fact that pretty much all knives don't have that kind of design.

  4. #4
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    99Limited's Avatar
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    I guess these knives come in multiple sizes, but the one in this video looks pretty big and it probably has some weight to it. I don't think I'd want to cut up veggies with this one.

  5. #5
    Senior Member la2tokyo's Avatar
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    The soba kiri is worthless for anything other than cutting noodles. It is thin, fragile, and extraordinarily difficult to sharpen. Even professional soba chefs send them out to be sharpened. I would not even attempt to cut vegetables with mine if you paid me. Because it's SO square, so flat and so thin, if it doesn't hit the chopping board perfectly square on every angle it makes a horrible scraping sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. Many knives are great for multipurpose work but not a soba kiri. It does look very cool though.

  6. #6


    Dave Martell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by la2tokyo View Post
    The soba kiri is worthless for anything other than cutting noodles. It is thin, fragile, and extraordinarily difficult to sharpen. Even professional soba chefs send them out to be sharpened. I would not even attempt to cut vegetables with mine if you paid me. Because it's SO square, so flat and so thin, if it doesn't hit the chopping board perfectly square on every angle it makes a horrible scraping sound like fingernails on a chalkboard. Many knives are great for multipurpose work but not a soba kiri. It does look very cool though.


    This is one knife that I've never sharpened and I can't say that I want the experience either.

    Thanks for posting.

  7. #7
    Senior Member la2tokyo's Avatar
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    I am a novice at making soba, and I can't speak for many soba chefs, but the few that I know send out their knives to be sharpened. The knife doesn't really need to be razor sharp so it's not something that needs to be done very often. The problem with sharpening a soba kiri is that it has to be 100% absolutely perfectly square. Some soba noodles are under 1mm thick...if there is the slightest gap or chip in the blade, even the thickness of a hair, the noodles closest to the chopping board will be stuck together at that point, and then either stick together when cooking or break apart at that point when you pick them up. When you sharpen an usuba there is a slight arc at the ends that makes sharpening much less exacting...add to that the added length of the soba kiri, all of which gets used with each cut, and you have a sharpening problem that leaves very little room for error. If anyone knows how Japanese professionals do this I would like to know. I wouldn't be surprised if they did it on a machine and then finished by hand.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mateo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 99Limited View Post
    I guess these knives come in multiple sizes, but the one in this video looks pretty big and it probably has some weight to it. I don't think I'd want to cut up veggies with this one.
    Damn... those are some knife skills. Did anyone catch how he was moving the "stick" along the surface of the uncut dough? Was it the knife progression to his left, or was he moving the stick with his fingers via a handle or something?

  9. #9
    Senior Member la2tokyo's Avatar
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    The knife goes forward and straight down until it hits the chopping board, and then it's pressed into the chopping board as you pivot the handle towards your left hand. This pushes the komaita (the board that you press down on the soba) to the left and the process is repeated.

    Now ridiculously fast:


  10. #10
    Senior Member UglyJoe's Avatar
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    WOW! That's pretty amazing.... Not as amazing as this though:



    Pretty sure this is actually magic.

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