Know more about KAI knives: a brand of Japanese knives of quality and design

In our catalog we work with the best knife brands and today we want to know more about the history of KAI knives. The Japanese company KAI is, in our opinion, one of the world leaders in high-end knives.

KAI: history

KAI Corporation is a family business located in Seki (Japan). This city is known for its long tradition in knife manufacturing. In 2008 they celebrated their 100th anniversary.

KAI Knives is run by the third generation since its inception. After all this trajectory, KAI have become cutting experts, and not just in kitchen products. They are also a reference in products such as: disposable razors, surgical tools, personal care and household products in Japan.

The origins of the KAI Group date back to 1908, when its founder, Saijiro Endo, established the company in Seki, the city of samurai.

A decree in this city abolished the bearing of swords, which facilitated the ascent of KAI as a global manufacturer of cutlery. The older brother of Sajiro Endo opened a folding knives factory and for 8 years he worked as an apprentice. In 1908, when Mr. Endo was 20 years old, he opened his small factory. The beginning was difficult, but in the First World War, sales skyrocketed.

After the war Japan was hit by a recession. Saijiro, however, continued his research and product development. His time and effort were rewarded when he created the innovative folding knife ‘Nr.510’.

The simple black model was so successful that Saijiro’s competitors began to imitate him. Even after gaining recognition for being the No. 1 knife maker in Japan, he continued to innovate. The popular series ‘Seki Magoroku’ by KAI is named after a legendary samurai.

When the Meiji government banned swords to favor modernization, the Samurais had to dissolve. However, the spirit of making swords was transmitted to future generations as evidenced by Saijiro’s commitment to produce quality knives.

Currently, KAI distributes in more than 30 countries and is a benchmark in kitchen knives and other cutting products. The quality and perfection of the brand are based on the tradition and culture of the Japanese blacksmith Samurai.

KAI knives

The KAI knife catalog includes many collections.

KAI Shun Classic

The Shun Classic series combines the Japanese Samurai tradition of steel with the modern and technically advanced manufacturing processes of our time.

  • Made from stainless damask steel with 32 layers.
  • The core layer is made from VG MAX steel, corrosion-resistant and extremely hard (61 HRC, 1% carbon and 1.5% cobalt).
  • Pakka wood handle.
  • Every KAI Shun knife is unique and unmistakable. By refining the natural beauty of the damask grain, each KAI Shun kitchen knife gets its individual character.

In our catalog you will find many sets of this collection, such as the KAI knife set, ref: DMS-300 , with paring, universal and chef’s knives, as you can see in the picture below.

KAI SHUN DMS-300 Knife set, 3 pcs. (Paring knife, Utility knife and Chef's knife)

KAI SHUN Premier Tim Mälzer

For the trendy Shun Premier Tim Mälzer series, KAI has developed professional knives made of corrosion-resistant 32-ply damascus steel, embellished with a hand-hammered surface called Tsuchime, thus combining timeless aesthetic qualities with ultimate sharpness.

  • Made of corrosion-resistant damask steel with 32 layers
  • The steel is embellished with a hand-hammered surface called Tsuchime, combinating ultimate sharpness with timeless attractive qualities.
  • The core of the blades are made of a massive VG MAX steel with a hardness of 61±1 HRC.
  • Both for right-handed and left-handed use thanks to the particularly symmetrical shape of the handle.
  • Walnut handle.

In our catalog you will find many knives from this collection. We recommend the KAI Shun Premier Tim Mälzer Chef’s knife, ref: TDM-1706

KAI TDM-1706 SHUN Premier Tim Mälzer Chef's knife

KAI Shun Nagare

KAI has created yet another innovative masterpiece of Japanese blacksmithing, the KAI SHUN Nagare kitchen knives. The sophisticated design, the special properties of the materials and a technically complex production process make this series of knives an absolute luxury class. The series obtained the special mention in the German Design Award 2017.

  • Hardness 61±1 HRC.
  • Polished blades, ornately decorated, radial pattern of Damascus layers.
  • Blades made of two different types of steel (flexible VG-2 and hard VG-10 steels), which are bonded to a 72-layered piece of Damascus steel.
  • Mottled grey-black handle made of pakkawood, with 2 rivets. Ergonomic and well-balanced.
  • Complex layering of two types of steel that results in a blade with an exceptional and lasting cutting power.

One of the most successful knives in the series is the KAI Shun Nagare Santoku knife, ref: NDC-0702

KAI Shun Nagare Santoku knife, ref: NDC-0702

KAI Seki Magoroku Composite

The KAI Seki Magoroku Composite is an innovative kitchen series that consists of 8 double sided polished blade shapes. Each blade is a combination of two steels, creating a fascinating contrast, and guaranteeing a lasting performance and a high resistance to corrosion.

  • The mirror-polished core of the blade is made from VG MAX steel with a hardness of 61 HRC. The satined outer material is made from SUS420J2 steel.
  • The production process is based on a new technique based on technologies of the aircraft industry. It guarantees an extreme precision and a high resistance. The two steel grades are jointed through a particular copper brazing procedure, and the subtle copper line reimaining between the steel grades adds an additional touch.
  • The slim handle is made of light Pakka wood. Its diagonal grain pattern and its form give these masterpieces a particularly light and dynamic feeling.

Within this collection, you can find the KAI Seki Magoroku Santoku Knife, ref: MGC-0402

KAI MGC-0402 Santoku knife

KAI Shun Pro Sho

KAI’s new Shun Pro Sho series combines classic Japanese design with modern details and high-quality materials. The exclusivity and unique look of the series are outstanding characteristics of the long tradition of KAI products and make each knife a special piece.

  • Blade made of VG10 steel.
  • Pakka wood and asymmetric ergonomic handle, only for right-handed people.
  • 61±1 HRC hardness.
  • Sand pattern on one side.

In our catalog you will find many knives of this collection. In this post, we recommend one of the most successful: KAI Shun Pro SHO Yanagiba knife, ref: VG-0006

KAI SHUN Pro SHO VG-0006 Cuchillo Yanagiba

KAI Wasabi Black

The KAI Wasabi Black kitchen knives feature a polished steel blade and a black handle. In contrast to the traditional Japanese wood handle, the black handle is not inserted, but fully embraces the blade. Therefore, the blade is tightly connected to the handle, not allowing dirt to settle in any gap.

  • They have a polished stainless steel blade with a hardness of 58 ± 1 HRC that gives your kitchen the unmistakable Japanese touch.
  • The handle offers the optimum hygiene thanks to the special combination of polypropylene and bamboo powder, with its natural anti-bacterial properties.

Within this collection, you can find many knives but we recommend the KAI Wasabi Black Deba Knife, ref: 6721D

KAI Wasabi Black Deba knife, ref: 6721D-0

There is a KAI knife for each kind of chef, find yours.

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