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ZDP-189 Burja - Prosciutto Knife 300mm (11.8")

Regular price 320,00 EUR
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Burja [pronounced as 'booryah'] is a prosciutto slicer knife. Burja is a knife of our own creation - we love good knives, we love good prosciutto, and good prosciutto should be sliced by hand using the sharpest knife around. Burja is the first Japanese-made prosciutto knife. 

But no worries - Burja is not just a knife for cutting prosciutto. Because of its harder, but still flexible blade, it can be used for cutting other dry meats as well. And due to its thin and long blade profile, it will perform well as a slicer for larger pieces of meat and fish.

The shape of Burja is unique, although at first sight resembles other prosciutto knives. It has an extremely thin spine of the blade at 2mm. The blade is 300mm (11.8") long and finishes with a thin, pointy tip, revealing its origins and traditions of blacksmiths that were once forging katanas. The profile of the blade is not completely straight. The slight curvature of the sharp edge reduces the point of contact, which greatly eases the cutting.

Flexibility is necessary to some extent, but we have opted for somewhat more rigid flexibility with Burja since this makes it more versatile and suitable for many different types of prosciutto, and at the same time excels when cutting other large pieces of dried meats and other proteins.

The handle attached to the ZDP-189 Burja is universal and easy to maintain. A beautiful, dark brown, octagonal-shaped rosewood wood handle sits well in your hands regardless if you are left- or right-handed. 

Burja will be delivered in a beautiful wooden storage box, as seen in the product photos. You can also add a Burja leather saya to your order, a knife sheath that we specifically designed for Burja. Saya will protect Burja and yourself whenever you are not using the knife.


BLADE: ZDP-189 powder steel (65-66 HRC): Carbon 3.00 %, Chromium 20.00 %, Molybdenum 1.3 %, Vanadium 0.10 %

HANDLE: Traditional rosewood Japanese (Wa) handle with a black pakka wood ferrule. Its octagonal shape makes it especially ergonomic and comfortable to use, both for right- and left-handed users.


Blade shape: Slicer

Steel type: ZDP-189

Hardness (HRC scale): 65-66

Overall length: 440mm (17.3")

Blade length: 300mm (11.8")

Blade height: 24mm (0.9")

Spine thickness: 2mm (0.08")

Weight: 145g (5.1 oz)

Handle length: 127mm (5")

Handle type / wood: Japanese / Rosewood

Use & Care

→ Handwash in warm water and towel dry.
→ Use a sharpening stone (not a honing steel!) to sharpen your knife.
→ Do not cut frozen foods and meat bones.
→ Do not put the knife in a dishwasher.
→ Read our guide on proper knife maintenance.

Custom handles available

The handle is an integral part of any knife. With our Burja knife we want to keep things a bit more funky by experimenting with unique, custom-made handles. While the standard version was fitted a dark brown pakka wood handle, custom handles are also available, inspired by designers, artists and woodworkers that we got to know along the way. If you would like your Burja with a unique handle, please contact us!

Contact us

Designed by SharpEdge, forged by Japanese smithy Suncraft, based in the famous blacksmith town of Seki, made of Japanese steel and optimized for cutting prosciutto. No one has ever paid so much attention to making a knife that will meet all the needs of cutting prosciutto. It is especially difficult to make a universal knife since there are a lot of different types of prosciutto, as well as there are many cutting techniques to slice it.

The upper part of the blade was treated with hammer blows, which resulted in an intricate tsuchime (hammered) finish. The lower half is polished down to the hairline, which is the curvy line marking the border between the laminated part of the blade (jigane) and its core (hagane).

We love the geometry and the slim profile, so we recommend it to all cooks, regardless if you are a professional chef or a passionate home cook.

This knife was forged out of ZDP-189 steel, which falls into the powder steel category. The ZDP-189 steel has gained a reputation as one of the most technologically advanced steels in Japanese knifemaking, due to its unique characteristics. The carbon (C) content is around 3%, meaning it can be treated to extreme hardness (65-66 HRC), which results in extended sharpness retention. ZDP-189 steel is also highly corrosion resistant due to its high chromium (Cr) content of 20%. Because of its composition, though, it can be hard to treat and forge, so it can only be trusted to the most experienced blacksmiths.

Burja knife is a combination of the rich culinary tradition of prosciutto ham with the Japanese tradition of forging knives. Since Japanese blacksmiths are the best blacksmiths in the world, possessing centuries of knowledge and experience of forging steel, it made perfect sense to make our prosciutto knife in Japan. From idea to design, after many conversations with knife makers, trial&errors, finding the right steel and handles, many sliced (and eaten) prosciuttos, visits to Japan, the process finally ended after a good two years.

Cutting a perfectly aged leg of prosciutto with our Burja knife

What does Burja mean?

Burja is a Slovenian name of the local wind, in English known under the name Bora. Burja wind is typical for the Adriatic region. It is a cold, dry, strong and gusty northeast wind without which no prosciutto would ever be produced, no matter where in the world it is dried. With all the characteristics, Burja immediately felt like the perfect name for our prosciutto knife. Three engraved symbols can be seen on the left side of the blade. These symbols are called wind barbs, they indicate wind direction and wind speed. The three engraved wind barbs represent Burja wind with three different wind speeds, as Burja is a gusty and very strong wind.

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The Ethos of Burja knife

The invisible presence of the wind, this great architect of nature who bends mighty trees, invigorates sea waves and creates magical dunes, is also a key component of some of the most distinctive flavors that have accompanied us for millennia. Many times when we look at the beautiful landscapes created by the wind, or at the delicious plates of wind-dried delicacies that melt in your mouth, we are reminded of this humble but undisputed king of natural beauty. Prosciutto makers don't forget to mention their beloved wind - without it, they wouldn't be able to serve their dried delicacies. It is the sharpness of the northeast wind that cuts through the pores of the meat and slowly, with precision, squeezes out the juices and dries the meat until we can call it prosciutto crudo.

Homo Habilis was the first to use (stone) knives as tools for preparing and sharing food with others. Today, the knife still defines the essence of modern humans, but has changed dramatically since its stone beginnings. The prosciutto knife embodies this ancient essence of a rudimentary knife when we cut a dried piece of meat and share it with friends.

Handmade in Japan

Our knives are forged by the Japanese knifemaker Suncraft, a family company spanning four generations and specializing in the production of kitchen tools. The smithy was founded in 1948 and is located in a thriving manufacturing area of Seki in Gifu prefecture, where steelwork dates back to the times of the Samurai warriors.

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  • Maintenance

    With proper maintenance, Japanese kitchen knives will last a lifetime!

    Sharpening & knife care tips