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A Tanto Knife Guide

By Ben Stephens

You can head any to Ikea type warehouse and pick yourself up a wooden handle with a metal blade attached. It’ll be sold to you as a kitchen knife or chef’s knife. Or you could spend late nights watching the home shopping channel. Get all caught up in a knife that not only slices a tomato with ease, but also a tin can. And really, you never know when you’ll need to slice one of those bad boys open, right?

It’s when you begin to take yourself seriously, that’s when you begin to understand that having a single standout or a whole collection of knives can change the process of preparing food.

To bring something new to Australia and in particular, Melbourne, Tanto Knife Store is currently in possession of some of the finest knives this side of Osaka.

Ranging from pairing to sashimi knives the collection is nothing short of impressive, though a little confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking for. From me to you, here is a guide to the collection, aimed at giving you a base to further your knowledge in store:

Yanagiba Suisin Aoniko
Crafted by twice-folded Blue Steel, the metal, not the pose. Best for slicing beef and fish in very fine fashion, or filleting fish with care. The Aoniko is hand made in Osaka, using the techniques of the 10th century samurai, with a handle made from magnolia tree and Australian buffalo husk Check out the Hongasumi, the top selling knife in New York for a reason, hold it and you’ll see why.

Nickel Damascus
As you pick it up and better your grip, you feel the mass in the Damascus as the big feature here. The weight helps with the ease of slicing through the produce in front of you. With the texture lines from the Damascus on the outer layer, this is one good-looking blade. The team at Tanto recommend using this as an all-rounder knife.

Carbon Steel
This is the Japanese take on the Western style of knife. Using carbon steel and coming in all shapes for all differing needs, from pairing to crunching lobster shells. With low entry-level prices, If you’re still working out your knife skills, this is where you should start. Only after you have perfected your julienne cuts can you move on – that’s exactly what my culinary arts teacher whispered to me once – words of wisdom.

INOX Steel
Take a look at the INOX range you’ll see why they are the best sellers. The handle, the blade, they combine to create a very sexy looking knife. They also come with affordable pricing and are easy to care for. The range starts out with pairing knives and moves to all-rounder and sashimi type. The collection all together will make you look like your belong on Iron Chef.

Chefs, gather round. The whole range was created for the commercial kitchen. With flat back-ends and angled tips for slicing, the SP-INOX range are weighted for easy slicing.

This is what it’s all about. Itsuo Doi handcrafts every knife in this range. He started out as an apprentice at the young age of 19. Today he forges only 8 blades a day. That’s one every working hour of the day. The knives are twice-folded Blue Steel 2 with handles made from ebony and black buffalo husk. With the shortest knife coming in at 240mm and the longest sitting at 300mm, making these knives statement pieces for your collection. Fine slicing vegetables, sashimi and carpaccio will never be the same again.

Sharpening Stones
There isn’t a lot discuss here, all the stones for sale are Kyoto stone, sourced from… well no one knows or is willing to say as the tradition spot is kept as a top secret. See the team in Tanto to see what type of stone will best suit your knives, thought the fine stone is a good looker.

For more information, I would urge you to take some time and drop into Tanto to have a chat about all the pointy things.

There you have it, a tight wrap up of all things on offer in Melbourne’s sharpest knife store. The Tanto team are open from Tuesday to Saturday 10 – 6 and are always up for a chat about what you need.

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