This makes an awesome gift for someone interested in Japanese knives or culture! It gives you a traditional Japanese knife handle, but attached to a more useful and rugged (stainless steel) chef's knife blade. A very unique and useful combination of good looks, high-tech steels, the versatile chef's knife (gyutou) shape, and a traditional Japanese knife handle. The handle is the same they use on their expensive hand-made carbon steel sushi chef knives, so it's made of a lightweight blond-coloured wood. The handle is very lightweight so the overall knife weight is low, and being made of real wood it won't be as stain-resistant and waterproof as models with pakkawood or plastic handles. The handles are still strong and comfortable, but you'll need to treat this style with respect and keep it clean and dry (NO leaving it in a sink!!)... it won't handle abuse like the plastic handles will, and the wood will darken/discolour and take on a nice patina over time which is part of the charm of these handles -- don't expect them to stay pristine (like a favourite guitar or baseball batt/mitt, it's normal and valued!)
NOTE: Colour of the ferrule (horn cylinder between handle and blade, black in the photos) may vary. Depending on the batch, sometimes it's black, sometimes it's blonde.
You get a super sharp and long-lasting Swedish steel cutting core (this is a very hard steel, with a Rockwell hardness of approximately 60), with a unique 45-layer hammered stainless steel surface and that beautiful traditional Japanese handle. This makes an excellent choice as an all-around knife. This is really an excellent knife, especially for the money. Highly recommended.
Comes in a beautiful gift box (pictured).
I'd recommend the fine ceramic hone (see below) for regular/daily maintenance of the edge. As with any knife, use the hone regularly and you'll keep the edge in good shape for a LONG time before you need to think about doing any serious "re-sharpening" or real grinding and refinishing of the edge. NOTE: This knife is sharpened 50/50 (equally on the right and left side), so it's easy to maintain and fine for right or left hand use. If you look carefully at the edge, you might see a slight right-side bias, this is just because the final edge is so tiny and because of the way they finish the edge; it has NO bearing on right- or left-hand use, sharpening or maintenance and can be ignored, so you should treat the edge just like any standard 50/50 edge. Overall knife weight: 135g