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Kogatana is a term used to describe a range of small, traditional Japanese knives. Some 80 years ago, the traditional Japanese Kiridashi-kogatana was still widely used in Japan as a multi-purpose utility knife and it was commonly used by school children for sharpening pencils, for craft projects and toys. Kiridashi means 'pointed knife' and references the angled tip of these knives, which is typically around 25°.
Kiridashi-kogatana typically have a single bevel and a flat blade back, but double bevel knives are also available.
Traditionally, Kiridashi-kogatana have a hand forged, laminated blade, which uses iron or mild steel for the handle and high carbon steel for the cutting edge, and they were supplied with or without a wooden handle and matching blade cover. A variety of blade sizes and widths are available to suit a range of tasks; generally, the larger the work, the larger the knife.