What is good knife?
I had thought good knife means cutting well. It’s wrong. Cutting is just small part of the value of knives.
I realized this fact, after I sell, sharpen knives, talk with customers and craftsmen, study about competitors.
Emotional factor is more powerful than cutting function. It's build by visual and story. I believe that both affect to the cutting too. If a machine use a knife, both are meaningless.
We are human.
Knife makers and retailers put their efforts (cost) to enhance the emotional value.
Appearance is the biggest factor. Beautiful thing raises our feelings, motivates us to cut and cook.
Some crafts have aura. Some people feel it, some don't. It's subjective.
I advice my customers to select knife by visual when they cannot make a decision.
Advertisements use it such as “Katana, Japanese sword”, “celebrity use”, “handmade by master craftsman” and “testimonials”.
It increases the credibility of knives, gives us confidence.
I changed my career going into knife business because I was attracted to the craftsmen in my hometown. Story is the most powerful factor for me.
There are many fake and staggered stories using marketing tactics. I prefer real story to fantasy.
Cutting well and keeping it longer is the conditions of good knife. These functions seems obvious to see. In fact, it's not.
Consumers has difficulty to know the functions. We can know it only using long time and when compare to others.
In the specific situation such as food processing factory, they know the funcitons of thier knives.
Factory made knives have similar functions in each price range. Our crafts knives have unique functions.
In Japan, we say “Taste of Cut”. Taste is definitely subjective and cannot be measured by data. Individuals have their own ways and feelings. Even for the same person, cutting ways and feelings are bound by situations.
Traditional Japanese knife is good for slicing but not good for hitting, smashing, tearing.
I feel our knives are top level in the world about sharpness of the edge, after I sharpened thousands knives of the world.
In the old time in Japan, maintenance is daily routine for the knife users.
Now most of people don’t do maintenance. Knives don’t oxidize. Comsumers buy new knives if it loses a sharpness.
Our knives oxidize if you don't take care well. We recommend to sharpen our knives. It’s usable until you die.
There are no objective standard, even applying this logic tree. No matter what others say, good knife is what you feel good.
I hope it helps you to select knives.
I welcome you to talk about this topic in my sharpening lessons.