Welcome to the KAN Family!
As a proud new owner of a KAN Kitchen knife, you are entering a whole new world of cutlery.
Before you start using your knife, please follow some helpful tips from the pros
Quick tips to help you get the most out of your KAN Kitchen knife
Stay clean. Stay safe. Stay Sharp. No dishwashers.
Tell Me More
People are going to ask. Here’s what you can say about your new knife.
Please read the most frequently asked questions and our answers.
We designed and balanced the KAN Core chef knife to encourage what is called a ‘pinch’ or ‘blade’ grip, shown here.
The benefits of the pinch grip over a common handle grip are:
- Improved stability/control
- Improved accuracy
- Decreased hand fatigue
It may feel strange or awkward at first, but please give the pinch grip a try; you may come to really enjoy it.
For placement of your other hand, please see how to Stay Safe.
We worked very hard to attain the razor edge that is on your knife, straight out of the box. You can preserve that edge for a very long time if you follow a few guidelines.
Please never cut on extremely hard surfaces (granite, glass, ceramic, etc.). A good-quality end-grain wood cutting board is preferable, though a plastic or bamboo cutting surface will be fine.
Bones & Frozen Foods
This one is simple. You now own a Ferrari of a knife. You wouldn’t take a Ferrari off-roading in the mountains and mud, right?
Your edge will last a very long time if you avoid using it to hack through bones or cut through unthawed ingredients.
Also, never pry open a container with your knife, both to avoid damage to the knife, and for your own safety.
Soon after each use, clean your knife with warm water and mild soap, with a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Never put your knife in a dishwasher.
Safely dry both the blade and handle thoroughly soon after washing.
Find a safe place to store your knife, out of the reach of children. Avoid just throwing your knife into a drawer full of loose utensils, as you can damage the face and edge of the blade. We recommend using either a flocking-lined blade guard, like the KAN Kitchen Blade Guard, a wooden saya, or a magnetic strip.
Three main things that will improve safety in the kitchen:
- Proper technique: We recommend a “claw” technique for the non-cutting hand, keeping the fingers curled back, with the thumb behind, completely out of the way. Walk the non-cutting hand back as you go.
- Proper storage: Again, never leave a very sharp knife in a sink, a cluttered drawer, or in the reach of children.
- Sharp edge: Dull is dangerous. Sharp is safe. It may be counterintuitive, but it’s true. Please keep your knife in good cutting condition. If you ever feel that you are having to force your knife through a food, please hone or sharpen the edge, as excessive force will lead to slipping/possible accidents.
We haven’t started producing our own honing instruction video yet, but we highly recommend the guide that Serious Eats put together.
A fine edge on a good knife takes the noisy thudding, chomping kitchen chores and turns them into a smooth, pleasurable gliding experience.
Honing vs Sharpening
Your KAN Core knife can retain a very sharp edge for a very long time, if you treat it correctly. That said, you can always take your edge to a honing rod. Honing is just straightening out an already-sharp edge, without removing material from your blade.
Sharpening, on the other hand, is where you actually remove material from the edge, to make it thinner (thus sharper). Eventually after use, all blades will require sharpening.
Japanese Water Stones
Start with a dual-grit Japanese water stone (I’d suggest something like a 1000/5000 combo stone), practice up, and sharpen as often as you need to.
We really like this option, because you’ll probably eventually want to know how to do this, and you can literally get a hair-popping edge with an inexpensive stone, on your own. It doesn’t take long to get started, and many people find it soothing enough to become a true hobby.
Tutorial Videos & More Coming Soon!
I want to tell my cooking/knife enthusiast friend what I just got. What should I say?
- Japanese AUS-10 super steel core, clad with 66 layers of stainless steel (true Damascus, not just a pretty pattern)
- Ambidextrous handle made either ebony wood or G10 composite resin
- Approximately 8-inch blade and about half a pound, balanced at the pinch point
- 15 degree, double-beveled blade edge
- You may have chosen a hammered finish, in which case, you have an added feature that not only looks good, but has some food-releasing properties as well
- Hardness of approximately 60 on the Rockwell hardness scale (60 HRC)
- Combination between a traditional Japanese and a European-style blade and handle shape, allowing for rocking, chopping, slicing, and even coring
- J. Kenji Lopez-Alt gave your knife the stamp of approval (if they don’t know who Kenji is, they may not be the enthusiast they claim to be)
Is my knife dishwasher safe?
What do you suggest for sharpening/honing?
There are three or four ways you could sharpen your knife.
- Japanese Water Stones – Start with a dual-grit Japanese water stone (I’d suggest something like a 1000/5000 grit combo), practice up, and sharpen as often as you’d like. We really like this option, because you’ll probably eventually want to know how to do this, and you can literally get a hair-popping edge with an inexpensive stone, on your own. It doesn’t take long to get started, and many people find it soothing enough to become a true hobby.
- Professional Bladesmith – Many cutlery places will sharpen your knives for a reasonable fee, so if you don’t feel like learning, find someone who has already mastered the skill.
- Electric Sharpeners – Please heed this warning: you will probably get what you pay for with an electric sharpener. Truly, we can’t whole-heartedly support using an electric sharpener, as most of these will remove insane amounts of metal from your edge and can drastically affect the geometry of your blade in short order.
- Other methods – There are some very fancy (and very expensive) methods of getting a very fine edge on your knife. Some are complicated contraptions, but really create the perfect stone-to-edge angles, taking razor-sharpness to the next level. Others will use belts that can put a convex edge on your knife. Please don’t use any method that would change the profile and geometry of your knife if you aren’t confident in your skills. Again, we highly recommend trying your hand at water stones.