Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef Japanese Gyuto/Chef's Knife 240mm (9.5") Wooden Handle, Water Buffalo Horn Ferrule
If you've ever wanted a Japanese-looking knife (like a traditional sashimi knife) but didn't have use for a dedicated "sushi" knife, this is the knife for you! It uses an excellent stainless steel so the blade is hard for superb edge retention and sharpness, and it's durable, rust-free and easy to maintain, and you get the very useful and standard gyuto/chef's knife shape. But the handle is traditional wooden Japanese-style, and you even get a beautiful water buffalo horn ferrule (bolster). Note that the exact bolster colour will vary... there is normally some variation and marbling which only adds to the natural beauty of the material. This is a very lightweight knife -- the blade is thin, and the handle material (natural wood) is light, so the overall weight is just approx. 152g. This means that even though the blade length is long by normal "home use" standards, it does NOT feel large since it's so light and easy to handle. I suppose this is also why they don't bother to make smaller versions (no, a 210mm version is not available).
Note that the handle is a natural and lightweight wood, so it WILL stain and change colour over time -- this is part of the charm of these handles though, so it's not a problem, but you MUST be careful not to let the knife soak in water, and to keep it clean and try and stored away from excessive humidity and heat. The blade and edge are expertly finished and VERY sharp. This is a great looking and high performance knife. Highly recommended!
All Grand Chef series knives are made from high quality Bohler N685 stainless steel. This is a martensitic chromium stainless steel with added molybdenum and vanadium, which results in high hardness and good wear resistance, with excellent corrosion resistance -- an ideal steel for durable and sharp kitchen knives! Grand Chef blades are hard and tough with long lasting edges. HRC approx. 59-60 for sharpness and ease of maintenance and sharpening.
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.
I would recommend the fine Idahone ceramic hone for everyday maintenance.
NOTE: Handle colour/finish may vary from the version pictured here. It is natural wood, and so some are lighter or darker than others, and small imperfections are to be expected and are not considered defects. The wood is not sealed and so extra care must be taken to keep it dry and clean... do NOT leave it sitting in a sink or in water!! As with all quality knives, wash, rinse, hand-dry and store immediately after use.