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An absolutely beautiful 63-layer damascus steel, over a special hard alloy blade core (Rockwell "HRC" hardness of 60, so it's HARD and will take and keep an amazing and thin edge), for superb performance, sharpness, and spectacular good looks. This 9.5" length is perfect for the professional chef or serious home cook who wants something a little longer than the usual 8" chef's knife or 7" santoku, and the handle has a nice large size and very angular profile (similar to the Misono UX10 handles), for excellent comfort and control. The handle is also very nicely polished and finished in a semi-transluscent blue/black, complementing the overall great looks of this very special knife. And yes, it has an AMAZING factory edge that is spectacularly sharp. Comes in a beautiful black textured gift box. 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 in the traditional Japanese style, that is, almost entirely on the right side, which means it's not really suitable for left-handed use. And when you maintain it, you should concentrate your sharpening and honing efforts on the right side of the blade. Of course if you sharpen both sides you're free to change the edge to a more symmetrical bevel. Or you can bring it to a professional knife sharpening service (a GOOD one that you trust!) who can re-grind the edge however you'd like. A symmetrical right/left bevel (good for left or right hand use) in my opinion really won't diminish the performance much if you maintain it, so that's also a good option if you're left-handed or just want something easier to maintain.
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