The word Tamahagane is traditionally used in Japan to describe a very special and specific steel, tama meaning "round and precious" and hagane meaning steel. In feudal Japan Tamahagane, being extremely expensive and difficult to forge, was only ever used in valuable blades such as swords and knives.
Named for this fabled forging tradition, these Tamahagane knives are made by Kataoka in Sanjo, Niigata prefecture, where many of our high-end tools are produced by master smiths. The cutting edge of this knife is made from molybdenum-vanadium steel forged between encasing layers of stainless steel.
In total this knife incorporates 63 layers of folding, flowing steel that is an absolute delight to behold. The acid-etched design captures the gaze in subtle and surprising ways, and has an almost crystalline quality in certain lights.
Thanks to the modern metallurgy of the cutting edge, this knife will not rust or corrode. The handle is made from extremely hard wearing compressed stabilised wood and is contoured for the hand in the Western style. Although the materials in this knife are thoroughly modern and hardy, due to the high level of workmanship we recommend you hand wash the knife after each use to ensure it retains its figured patina for years to come.
The Nakiri knife is the most traditionally Japanese shape of the three Tamahagane knives we stock. The Nakiri form is a household staple and the most popular for chopping vegetables. Due to the long, flat blade there is no need to rock or pull the knife. Instead, the user can make thin, even cuts with a simple up-and-down action.
These Tamahagane knives will take an exceptionally sharp edge and retain it well. We recommend our customers use Cerax waterstones to maintain a keen cutting edge.