This Japanese knife is a hybrid design combining the characteristics of Japanese usuba and yanagiba. The usuba is a dedicated vegetable knife, while the yanagiba is used to slice raw fish for sushi. Therefore, the kiritsuke is intended as a general purpose knife for the preparation of traditional Japanese cuisine. Many of these knives retain the unique bevel design of the usuba and yanagiba. Users therefore need to know what the use and maintenance of single angle knives entails.
However a number of manufacturers are now producing the double angle kiritsuke, often called gyuto kiritsuke, for western users who appreciate the striking aesthetics of the profile but need the additional versatility of a profile with two angles. The inverted 'tanto' profile of the kiritsuke makes the tip very agile but also delicate, while the flat profile lends itself well to cutting.