The usuba is the quintessential Japanese vegetable knife. With its flat blade and squared-off tip, it is perfect for push/pull vegetable chopping. The straight edge cleanly contacts the cutting board so there is no need for the rocking cut used with a chef's knife. Since the entire blade contacts the board, there is much less chance for "accordion" vegetables—where the vegetable slices are still connected at the bottom because the knife hasn't quite cut all the way through.
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