What is a factory finish?
Japanese knives - and to be honest all knives - are sold with what is called a "factory finish". You will also hear this talked about in terms of "sharpness out of the box". This means the knife is finished to about 80% of it's potential sharpness. This varies between knives and makers and, inevitably, with more mass produced knives, the finish is less refined.
Basically the knife will be sharp when you receive it, but not as sharp as it can potentially get. Why is this?
DIY FINISH: how sharp you take your knives is a bit of a personal preference, as is how you do it. Without moving into the realms of knife geekery, your choice of finishing stones, grits and whether you go synthetic and natural are as personal choices as the food you cook.
DO YOU NEED IT THAT SHARP: knives can get hair poppingly sharp. If you have a sujihiki that you are going to take to a side of salmon, you want that edge to pop. But if you have a workhorse knife, a really fine edge will be blunted easily and there is a certain advantage to having a "toothier" blade.
COST: putting a finish on a knife takes time and therefore costs money. The price of a knife reflects the time it has spent in the sharpeners hands so therefore more expensive knives have a more sophisticated finish.
We don't put an edge on the knife (although we can if you are certain you want this). Doing so would mean that the knife is no longer box fresh, it can alter the finish on the edge of the blade, and people have their own personal preferences as to how sharp they want to take it. We are certain that the knife you receive will seem super sharp and will be totally useable. We then give you a voucher for a first free sharpen. We suggest that you wait 4-5 months to redeem this so you get maximum bang for your buck.