Sakai Takayuki Aonikou Blue-2 Carbon Steel Santoku, 180mm (7")
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. An excellent knife you're sure to fall in love with if you've only ever used stainless steel knives! 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 will also stain and discolour -- this is normal, so forget about trying to keep a carbon steel knife shiny. If you're worried about this, stick with stainless steel knives. It's also best to avoid cutting very acidic items such as citrus fruits, as the acid will react with the carbon steel and can cause intense staining, discolouring and even pitting if left in contact with the blade for any length of time. 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 fine ceramic hone listed below for regular everyday maintenance.