Discontinued! Sad but true. This knife is no longer available, as of the 19th of February, 2020. We'll leave this page up on the site for the time being so that readers who've come over from Paul's fun review can look over it.
The shortest knife in our armory and beautifully conceived. Plenty sharp, plenty of knuckle room, in hand it has all the comfort of a full size knife. Forget cabbage though, you'd need something longer for that and in all honesty, for many cutting tasks in the kitchen.
But when it comes to the cutting tasks that suit it you wouldn't want to be using anything else. Roots, rhizomes, bulbs and tubers, delicate fish, plastic wrap, you name it. Ours is a favourite for cross-cut sunchokes, ginger and burdock. And it's lovely for slicing strawberries.
Naturally its applications are limited by the fact that it's shorter than your little finger. Yes, it is the shortest hand-forged kitchen knife we've seen. Yes, it's very useful.
|Blade steel:||YSS Aogami #1 | Nantetsu|
|Bevel:||Ryōba double bevel|
|Left-handed available:||Handle and blade suit both hands|
|Weight in hand:||51g
A fun little knife!
Posted by Paul on 7th Feb 2020
I wrote a full review with photos here: https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/okamitsu-55-mm-ginger-knife-the-smallest-hand-forged-japanese-kitchen-knife.45407/. Below is a summary.
Most of us have at least one gyuto around 210-270 mm and one petty around 120-150 mm that we use on the cutting board. Conspicuously missing from most of our kits is a smaller sub-100, nay, sub-60 mm knife for the finest on-board tasks. The Okamitsu 55 mm might be the perfect choice to fill this void in your lineup. It also works well in hand off the board for some tasks.
Sold as a “ginger knife”, it is so much more. I threw (miniature) onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and even cabbages (Brussels sprouts) at it, and it took them in stride. By the end of my tests, I wanted to call it the Little Cabbage Slayer! Maybe it’s just because mine is an oversized 55, coming in at 58 mm, or maybe it is really just that good.
The fit and finish is rustic and emphasizes the functional. The edges of the spine and choil are a little rough, and the blacksmith’s finish (kurouchi) remains on the carbon steel cladding. There were no obvious grind issues, twists, or bends in the blade. It passed the paper test with the out-of-the-box edge. The handle needed some beeswax/mineral oil on the ends, and I removed the lacquer from the blade, but the knife was otherwise ready to go.
The profile is a typical gyuto, but in miniature and with the back three quarters of the blade missing. Indeed, one wonders if this knife design was conceived when the tip of a gyuto broke off in production and the industrious Yamada-san salvaged it for new purpose.
The Okamitsu 55 handled a variety of product and tasks well. The small flat spot at the back yielded nicely chopped cucumbers with only a few accordion cuts, and along with the fine tip, I was able to finely chop onions. Pull cuts on tomatoes, no problem. Push cuts to halve and shred cabbages (again, Brussels sprouts), no problem. Oh, Little Cabbage Slayer!
The knife is not too reactive. After an hour or so, it started forming a nice patina with blues, purples, and browns.
Conclusion: The Okamitsu 55 mm is a fun little knife no matter how you slice it. In the end, this knife can handle all kinds of (small) produce and some fine board work, and it would probably excel at chopping or rocking through chives… individually. But, seriously, just use it for ginger.
Addendum: Seriously seriously, I really do like this knife as a utility knife, for broccoli florets, to remove potato eyes, and for the various items mentioned on the product page. Either way, it is just such a fun knife. It might be the smallest (functional) hand-forged Japanese kitchen knife.