Hand made by 5th generation blacksmith Masami Asai blade is marked Akifusa the designer/developer of this line of knives with a sticker on the ferrule which reads tezukuri ‘handmade’. Azai san makes knives in Takefu Japan, a small center of handmade knife making. His work is a prime example of the artistry and precision of fine Japanese knife making, not only are his knives beautiful but they perform exceptionally well.
Made with a core of SG2 powder metal hardened to HRC 64-65. This metal is a very tough stainless steel which has been made into a fine powder and then sintered back together giving it a very fine grain structure and homogenous distribution of alloy materials translating into a blade with excellent edge life and a good sharpenability; surprisingly easy for a knife with this kind of edge life. The thin distally tapered blade wedges very little in use and cuts very smoothly.
The thin Nakiri blade wedges very little during chopping and is ideal for vegetables which will be chopped rather than sliced. Blades vary in thickness from extremely thin to the average thickness of a santoku, the thinner the more precise but the more delicate.
Literally ‘floating ink’ a Japanese damascus steel made with several types of metal forge welded together creating varying patterns depending on how it is treated. Varying from a simple stacked layer structure to a wild or geometric patterned structure, suminagashi differs from the layered steel created in sword making in that it is not a homogenous metal folded to create the pattern. The artistry involved the forging of suminagashi can be quite impressive.
Handle is a beautiful, dark red hardwood with a resin and pressure treated pakka wood ferrule for added strength.