Japanese Wa style-handle kitchen knives

Recently I’ve been having fun making knives with Wa handles. Wa handles are a traditional Japanese style knife handle, characterized by a very simple cylindrical shape that does not use pins or bolsters. This results in an overall lighter feel with a blade-forward balance.

Wa handles are secured to the knife tang entirely by glue, and crafted for balance that is extremely comfortable to hold and use.

For today’s post I wanted to share some photos of a small kitchen paring knife I finished just last week with a Wa handle. The handle is cherry wood and black micarta with an octagonal shape.

Click on any image to scroll through enlarged images of the gallery.

The paring knife picture here used to have a typical western full-tang handle with brass pins. But after finishing the knife and using it for a while in the kitchen I got bored with it and wanted to find a way to make the knife more interesting. So I removed the handle scales, filed down the tang to make the tang shorter and more narrow, and made this Wa handle for it.

Japanese style knives with Wa handles are lighter with a blade forward balance.

Wa handles can come in all types of wood with different colours. Care for these handles is quite simple. If the wood starts to get dry, just apply a bit of beeswax or natural mineral oil. If you are a professional cook, the natural oil from your hands may be enough to keep the handle in good shape.

The beauty of this type of handle is that they are quite easy to replace if they become damaged or broken.

I’ve got a couple more Japanese style knives in progress, and will make them available for sale shortly on my website when they are ready – likely next week. They will feature oak and burlwood Wa handles.

Thanks for visiting!

Place an order

Since you are here, you probably like to cook. If you need some great recipes, visit my favorite chef at Once upon a chef.

Have a great day!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.