Japanese chef's knives - generically known as hocho - have an unrivalled reputation for edge quality and retention and jaw droppingly beautiful aesthetics.
There are several manufacturing - or perhaps a better word is making - techniques because the best of these hocho are hand made by master smiths. The most renowned technique is lamination where a core of multi layered, high carbon, edge holding steel - often referred to as blue paper or white paper - steel is forged between rust resistant steel cheeks which serve to cushion the hard core steel, rust proof the majority of the surface of the blade and provide a softer layer where the master smith can leave his chop or insignia.
Bear in mind that quality edge tools in woodworking and gardening use high carbon or tool steel for their cutting edges and it is a largely unavoidable trade off that this steel will rust.
In the kitchen so called stainless 'steel' - critics don't accept it as steel at all - has application as an edge steel for some Japanese hocho and it remains a passionate debate as to whether the stainless formulations match their traditional carbon steel counterparts.
Shigeki Classic Hocho - Urushi Handled Range
Master Shigeki practices steel folding and forge welding with great virtuosity to create blades with an enchanting aesthetic - each one unique in its structure. Hard Blue Paper Steel is used for the core cutting layer and low alloyed steels for the outer layers. Every piece is hand signed and packed in a beautiful case made of kiriwood. Urushi lacquered handles with a buffalo horn ferrule. Hardness 62 HRC, not rustproof.
Urushi is extracted from the sap of the Japanese varnish tree and has been used for varnishing furniture, bowls, jars and handles for more than 6000 years. Urushi is resistant to water, heat, alcohol, acids, alkaline solutions and solvents and it is non-aging and food-safe. Urushi varnishing is considered the supreme discipline of Japanese art of lacquering.
Stock Note: Not always held in stock. Please contact us for likely delivery timing. These knives are artisan made and not mass produced.
Care & Maintenence
Santoku - General Purpose
Blade 165 x 2.8mm
Item Code: F8010
Blade 230 x 4.0mm
Item Code: F8011
Blade 170 x 6.5mm
Item Code: F8012
Blade 185 x 2.5mm
Item Code: F8013