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High Carbon Steel

  • Japanese knives are made using steel manufactured exclusively for blades. Prominent manufacturers include Hitachi Metals, Takefu Special Steel, and Aichi Steel. Among these, Hitachi Metals has a factory in Yasugi City, Shimane Prefecture, the historical production center of Wakou, traditional Japanese steel made from locally obtained high-quality sand iron. Hitachi Metals is a manufacturer of Yasugi steel, the highest grade cutlery steel made via Tatara iron manufacturing (an ancient Japanese technique that involves the use of iron sand as the source material). Our hammer-forged knives all use Yasugi steel from Hitachi Metals.
  • Yasugi steel is a type of High Carbon Steel that reduces impurities (such as phosphorus (P) and sulfur (S)) to the extreme to reach the hardness required to achieve maximum sharpness. Its characteristics and performance change depending on its ingredients and contents. The type of steel is indistinguishable by the naked eye, so colored paper is used to differentiate them. These are Yellow Paper/Kigami, White Paper/Shirogami (White steel), and Blue Paper/Aogami (Blue steel). Yasugi Blue Steel is particularly superior, it’s hard to rust and is extremely sturdy and tenacious. Sharpening it also restores its sharpness.
  • Shirogami is sharp and easy to grind but is slightly prone to rust. Reinforcing Shirogami with chromium (Cr) and tungsten (W), Aogami has boosted sharpness, life span, and rust-resistance.
  • Steel is also categorized according to carbon content. These are Super (Aogami only), #1, and #2. In terms of sharpness/hardness and endurance (resistance to wear), Super ranks highest, next to #1, then #2. Super and #1 are particularly hard (HRC62-64) and require strong whetstones and grinding techniques to sharpen. As for tenacity (toughness, prevents blades from being chipped), #2 ranks highest, next to #1, then Super.
  • We mainly use Aogami #2 (Blue #2) for our steel. It has excellent sharpness, endurance, and rust-resistance yet is not too hard. This makes it easier to sharpen, maintain, and use. Blue steel is generally more expensive than white steel. However, we can offer it at reasonable prices as our supplies are direct from the manufacturer and production area. Recommended for professionals as well as casuals and cooking enthusiasts. Experience the knives of Tosa's craftsmen. These knives, which have inherited the ancient forging/heating techniques of Japan, were forged in the country's largest blade production site, which also supplies blades for well-known manufacturers like Sakai Knife.