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What is a Machi?

Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:13 am

Hello Mark,

I see people on your forum talking about the "machi". Can you please tell me what they are talking about?

Thank you,


Re: What is a Machi?

Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:28 am

Hi Mel,

The Machi is the small gap between the tang and the main part of the knife. The term was taken from Japanese sword makers that gapped their swords to allow for a tsuba to protect the fingers and small parts called seppa that are put on both sides of the tsuba to keep it from moving.

This gap was adopted as an aesthetic part of Japanese kitchen knives and it was preferred in the Tokyo area mostly, so you see this as a standard feature of knives from and sold to that area like the Masamoto kk series we offer. Many pro cooks in other areas prefer the handle to be butted up against the machi so there is no gap. Customers in the USA usually prefer it this way too since they tend to think this is a flaw in the handle installation (which it’s not). I've gotten many questions about this over the years when customers buy a knife and they get one with this little gap so we request them jammed in flush when possible.

Here is a picture of the machi:


Re: What is a Machi?

Fri Nov 01, 2013 11:32 am

Here are images of some cool tsubas from sword makers. https://www.google.com/search?q=tsuba&t ... 20&bih=955

Re: What is a Machi?

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:00 pm

I always wondered why that gap was present on some knives and not on others, great Q&A, thanks :)

Re: What is a Machi?

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:20 pm

There is a bit of a practical use for this too. Often tiimes the handles are simply burned onto the heated up tang and they can come loose with use. As a matter of fact some pros will remove the handle when they're done with their shifts so they insure no water gets down into the tang hole and rusts out the tang from the inside of the handle. By leaving a little slack space it allows you to tap the handle on further to get a tight fit.

Re: What is a Machi?

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:24 pm

Good to know. I always thought the machi was the Japanese term for choil.

Re: What is a Machi?

Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:55 pm

Yes many of us on these forums use the term to include the whole area between the start of the handle and the back of the knife.
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