The Japanese equivalent of our traditional carving knife. A great addition to a growing knife collection, and an important tool in the kit of any working chef. This 240mm size is the most popular, but many professional chefs still prefer to go to the longer 270mm version... for some and most other uses, I'd say the 240 is still plenty long, but I guess it would depend on the length of your chef's knife -- if you're already using a 240mm chef's knife, the 270mm slicer might make more sense. Great for slicing big meats, vegetables and fruits. Some people even end up using these knives are all-around kitchen tools because they're so comfortable to handle and slice so well (though for tougher items I'd still recommend a proper chef's knife). The blade is low profile, thin, flexible and extremely sharp -- a true high quality slicer. As with all Sakai Takayuki knives, I find the fit and finish and overall quality excellent, and the edge is very, very sharp and precisely ground and finished. Made of AEB-L steel, a hard and long lasting special alloy stainless steel from Uddeholm Sweden (the same as used on the much more expensive Misono UX-10). Comes in a very nice 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 mostly 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.