A beautiful and high performance chef's knife at a great price! This size is just right for most home users, and even many pro users now prefer a knife of this size instead of the old-school 10". A Japanese knife performs so well that it really doesn't feel "small" at all. These knives really are very sharp, with excellent construction quality and they just look spectacular with the layered steel, hammered finish and gorgeous handle. The handle is a octagonal (and so fine for right- or left-hand use) and made of natural walnut wood, so it's very light and feels great in the hand, but of course you need to take a bit of extra care to keep it dry and clean (and of course NEVER put this -- or any knife -- in the dishwasher).
Note: the handle colour may vary. It is made of natural wood, and so variations and imperfections are to be expected and are not considered defects.
If you like the damascus layered steel look but don't like the artificially high prices by domestic knives and kitchen stores, this is a truly excellent choice. You get a super sharp and long-lasting VG-10 steel cutting core (this is a very hard steel and high quality knife steel, with a Rockwell hardness of approximately 60), with a 33-layer hammered stainless steel surface and a traditional Japanese style wooden handle. This makes an excellent choice as an all-around knife.
We recommend the Idahone 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'll 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.