European style knives are most recognized in the market, especially the German manufacturers such as Wusthof and Zwilling J.A. Henckels. Historically, German blades were made to be hard and heavy enough to penetrate a suit of armor without breaking. The legacy of this is seen in the modern German knife. The tip of the blade is usually beveled (with straight angles) to help it withstand force of the thrust. Pivotal balance for the user is maintained by the carefully adjustments on the length of the blade ending embedded the handle (called the "tang").
Japanese knives by contrast, were historically designed as longer blades aimed at beheading opponents. These blades had to be very sharp and flexible. A major Japanese manufacturer, Global Knives based in Yoshikin, Niigata, still had craft their knives according to these Samurai sword making principles. The tip of the knife is pointed in a sharp "V" with no beveled straight edges. This extends the sharp cutting edge of the tip upwards by at least a quarter of an inch. Another signature of this maker is the design where the entire knife, from sharp tip to handle end is made from one seamless piece of steel, without joining. The lack of joints in this kitchen knife helps avoid trapping of blood, dirt or residues. Another unique Japanese style is used when it comes to maintaining the knife's balance. The hollow handle is filled with measurements of sand to achieve the right weight and pivotal balance.