As many of you may already know Japanese knives do not come out of the box (new) in a sharp condition and are not always ready to go to work.
They do often come somewhat sharp and may impress you with their thin cross section however they all can be improved upon when new.
It's a well known fact that the true potential of a new Japanese knife will only be realized after 1-2 sharpening sessions have occurred.
It's also well known that this initial out of the box sharpening is the most difficult to accomplish (beyond edge repairs) simply because the bevels are often very obtuse, wavy, or in some cases not even ground in yet at all. This is true for both double bevel and single bevel knives alike.
We, at JapaneseKnifeSharpening.com, have been providing initial sharpening service for Japanese knives for many years at no additional cost beyond our standard sharpening fees. With only a very limited exception (example - Aritsugu/Moritaka), we still offer this same service at no additional cost to our normal sharpening service. This means to you that you can purchase a new Japanese knife, have it shipped directly to us, and we will then bring out the full potential (and repair any small defects with the maker's bevel grinds) at no additional costs. You will then receive your knife knowing that it is now ready to use at the highest level that can be obtained while also having the peace of mind to understand that the knife is ready for you to either strop or touch-up sharpen when the times comes to do so. You won't have to worry about purchasing a complete set of sharpening stones and going through the learning curve right at the start of your Japanese knife ownership experience. When the knife begins to not feel sharp you can then choose to just strop or maybe touch-up sharpen on a polishing stone and have this work effectively for a very long time. In many cases a home user could go years with this type of maintenance regimen in place and be very satisfied.
If you have questions as to whether or not your new Japanese knife could benefit from initial sharpening you can always ask us about this as we'd be more than happy to answer your questions or concerns. I will say that all knives will benefit from initial sharpening although I will never say that all knives need it. The benefit of having initial sharpening done to your knife can be great but not always necessary. Again, if you have questions about this issue please feel free to ask, we welcome your inquiries.