Ashi Hamono was established in 1948 in Sakai City Japan, a major center of traditional knife making. Ashi makes knives utilizing a one piece (rather than forge laminated 2/3 layer blade) or zenkou construction. Ashi’s Ginga line is famous for it’s thinness and precision, utilizing top quality Japanese carbon steel and Swedish stainless steel. Ashi knives have an excellent attention to detail from their forging, grinding, heat treatment and hafting.
White steel is a high grade carbon steel loved for it’s fine grain and ability to take a very fine razor sharp edge and to hone easily. Named for the color of the tag put on the billets at the Hitachi steel mill. White steel is a low contaminate steel (sulphur and phosphorus being the main ones) which is a favorite of sushi chefs for knives in which a very fine finish is essential. Not the easiest steel to forge and temper properly, white steel done well is a testimony to a smith’s skill.
Called a petty knife by Ashi, we find this knife to be more of a small slicer or mini sujihiki, a new favorite for many of our professional chefs who work in small San Francisco kitchens, a great knife for smaller line work and precise slicing.
Carbon steel and iron will pick up a patina with use which need not be removed, you will find a variety of opinions and attitudes towards the patina from a religious reverence to a meticulous removal.
Wa handle or Japanese style handle is a one piece octagonal Japanese magnolia Ho wood handle with a horn ferrule ring for added strength.