WHAT: Professional-grade, heirloom-quality knife
WHY: Made by a guy who really knows his blades
Yoshikazu Ikeda has been making hand-forged knives and swords for more than 40 years. He currently creates knives for several top Japanese cutlery companies and acts as chairman of the association of dentoukougeishi, traditional craftsmen acknowledged by the Japanese local government. Ikeda showcases his skills with the professional-quality, multipurpose Suisin Tanryu Kiritsuke (starting at $788), a blue-steel, single-edge blade balanced by a bolster made of water-buffalo horn and an ebony handle. We do not have to tell you to keep this knife out of the dishwasher: Lubricate it with tsubaki oil to keep out moisture, hone it with a sharpening stone, and store it in its wooden sheath. The kiritsuke-style design may take some getting used to, but practicing should produce delectable results.