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Sakai Takayuki Aonikou Blue-2 Carbon Steel Chef's Knife/Gyutou, 210mm (8.3") If you already have a good stainless steel santoku or chef's knife but have been curious about a real "carbon steel" knife, this is for you! It's a superb example of a knife made with a high end carbon steel, so it is VERY sharp, it keeps this sharp edge a long time, and it resharpens more easily than most stainless steels. The handle and blade are beautiful, well made, and expertly finished, with excellent overall fit and finish. A GREAT knife. But remember, this is a high carbon steel knife, NOT stainless, which means you need to keep it dry and stored in a dry place to keep it from rusting. Wash by hand, wipe, dry and store after use. It is made from the high-end Hitachi Yasugi-works Blue-2 steel which is a very pure high carbon steel with added chromium and tungsten for increased toughness and durability (making it somewhat less fragile than the "white" steels for example). This steel is also called Aogami or Ao-Ko II in Japanese. Hardness is at least HRC 60.
This knife is sharpened mostly on the right hand side and so is not suitable for left-hand use. I recommend the Idahone fine ceramic hone listed below for regular everyday maintenance. Comes in a beautiful Japanese box.
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