What Is A Bunka Knife Used For?

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Did you know?

Bunka knife is a Japanese knife and it would be interesting to note that it is written in the Japanese language like this: 文化包丁.

It is a wonderful general-purpose knife that you can use to carry out a variety of tasks in the kitchen such as vegetable and fruit cutting, fish slicing, dicing, and mincing foods.

Here it is worth noting that the functionality resembles the chef knives.

It is due to this reason Japanese people consider them the best alternative to western chef knives.

However, there is a slight difference between the two.

The Bunka often comes up with a sharper and wider blade.

You can also use them for performing light butcher’s work and scoring vegetables.

Read on to get more interesting information.

What is it?

“Bunka” is a Japanese word that literally means “kitchen knife”.

They were formerly used for making cultural cuisine in Japanese homes.

The interesting part?

The Japanese people often called them Bunno which means “a convenient tool”.

So we can also call it a convenient cultural knife.

What is it used for?

As discussed earlier, the blade is extremely thin and sharp, even sharper than the chef knives.

So you can use them for extremely fine chopping, cutting, and mincing purposes.

If you love to eat minced meat, you can easily get it at your home.

You have a Bunka knife in your kitchen.

The efficiency is hidden in the straight edges that make them a perfect knife for swift and clean cutting.

Seafood lovers particularly love these blades as they enable them to get the fine chops and pieces of fish, cheese, meat, seafood, and all the relevant foodstuff.

Being a bit fragile than the butcher knives, you cannot use them to carry out heavy butchering tasks, yet they are available for light butchering work.

If you are still confused about how this knife is more efficient than the traditional western chef knife, you should remember that these Bunka cutters are smaller, lighter, and easier to handle than chef knives.


Looking at the characteristics will motivate you about the purchase.


The length of the blade is not more than 180 mm which is equal to the size of the average adult female.

The thinness of the blade makes it look smaller than it is.

You can find considerably small Bunka knives as well, whose blade lengths can anywhere between 120 mm to 130 mm.

However, if you do not know what the standard size is, you should choose the 165 mm blade length.

This size is very perfect for carrying out multiple tasks with the feeling of weightlessness.

The 165 mm blade length is the first preference of the professional chef and the experienced users.


The cutting edge is straight without any curves.

The tip is the “reverse-tanto-shaped” which simply means that the shape of the tip is like the alphabet “K”.

The flatness of the blade makes it an amazing tool for pull-cutting, push-cutting, and other chopping and mincing techniques.

However, you can proceed with the rock-cutting with this knife.


The edge of this cutter is very sharp.

Keep in that the sharpness of the edges is a feature that is common to almost all Japanese knives and is not particularly associated with the Bunka knives.


Though, there are multiple variations available for the handles; oval, d-shaped, and octagonal handles are the most common handle types.

We can also broadly classify the handles into two major categories:

  • Western-style handle
  • Traditional Japanese Wa-handle.

Popular choices

The primary origin of the Bunka is in Japan, so the major manufacturers belong primarily to Japan.

Osaka, Gifu, and Fukui are the major brands that are the popular areas where you can find the popular Japanese manufacturers.

Some of the major Japanese brands include Masamoto, Global, Anryu, and Tojiro.

How much to spend on one?

Bunka can be cheap as well as expensive too.

The price of the Bunka depends on the type of blade (carbon and stainless steel) as well as on the type of handles and the styles.

So you can find one for $60 to several hundred dollars.

Traditionally hand-forged knives that are available in the modern designs are expensive options for the Bunka knives, while the budget-friendly options are also there.

Final Verdict

If you have not ever considered the Bunka knives, now you should enter this beautiful world of Japanese knives and see what these tools have for you to offer.

Then what are you waiting for?

Get one now and experience it.

Last Updated on April 12, 2021 by Andy Wang

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.