Haruyuki Nagisa is an awesome knife for someone totally new to Japanese Knives, and it even makes a great gift! The blade has a super shiny tsuchime (hammered) finish that is handy if you want a little more food separation. However, the real show-stopper of this knife is the damascus pattern towards the edge. “Nagisa” means “Edge of the Wave” because the damascus literally looks like waves crashing against the knife's edge. Poetic, eh? The AUS-10 stainless steel is both sharp and not too delicate. With the finish and steel combined, this knife is a perfect way to start your knife collection.View more
Love a knife that is handmade, has an unbeatable price, and looks hella cool for some massive food prep? Look no further than the Fujimoto Kurouchi-Forge 240mm gyuto. I love this knife because it has such a simple rustic look. The kurouchi (blacksmith) finish is dark and sexy, plus it helps slow rusting and is a little more grippy when you hold the knife by the blade. I love the steel, too: Shirogami 2# Carbon steel holds an edge very well, is easy to keep sharp on a ceramic honing rod, and sharpens easily on whetstones. Though this knife is higher maintenance and must be kept dry to avoid rust, it can be great for someone dipping their toes into the carbon steel ‘pool’.View more
When I think of a classic Japanese Gyuto, my mind wanders to clean Migaki (polished) finished knives. One that is super thin, that cuts like a laser and stays sharp for a crazy long time. Kobayashi SG2 Gyuto 210mm is a perfect example of this fresh look. The finish is crisp, clean, and makes for an eye-catching knife that will seriously wow anyone who uses it. This blade also cuts like a dream; dare I say, it’s a gift sent to us mortals from the knife gods. The SG2 Powdered Stainless steel allows the knife to hold a crazy thin edge and say sharp for an ungodly length of time with minimal maintenance. It’s perfect for folks looking for straightforward performance, with no bells and whistles. However, if you want extra flare, this knife also comes in a Damascus finish!View more
Now hear me out. I love the occasional small, cute knife, but I don’t like to sacrifice the versatility and sharpness of my knives, either. THUS the Fujiwara Maboroshi 150mm Gyuto is perfect for being compact but sharp as hell! Maboroshi No Meito by Fujiwara are elegant monsters in the kitchen. They stay sharp for a super long time because of the superb Shirogami 1A# carbon steel used in the core, but the stainless steel cladding makes it easy to maintain. Teruyasa Fujiwara makes excellent knives, developed the technique of forging stainless steel onto carbon steel, and is even a 4th generation swordsmith. Not to mention that Maboroshi No Meito means Visionary Sword Celebrated in Victory… Now that’s how I wanna be romanced.View more
Alright now the pièce de résistance…If you’re really feeling the money in your pocket is burning, then maybe this beautiful masterpiece is for you. The Satoshi Nakagawa Aoichi Damacaus Kiritsuke Gyuto 240mm is expertly crafted to a beautiful damascus finish made of two amazing carbon steels: Aogami #1 in the core with Aogami #2 and another carbon steel in the cladding. Does having both add to the performance? Some would say it just makes it really badass, but it also makes the steel harder to hammer, and that extra hammering may increase the knife's performance. Do you want a crazy edge AND a beautiful knife made by a young, savant blacksmith? BOOM: this Kiritsuke Gyuto is for you!
The Soba nakiri has a western-style handle, which puts most of the weight in your hand. I love this design because it gives you confidence and control with your knife.View more
With similar steel and similar finish to the Fujimoto Kurouchi-Forged, but sort of a “pimp my ride” version. This knife was a collaboration between Knifewear and Hado Sakai; we selected the steel, the finish, and how the knife was polished on the spine and choil. We even picked out the blacksmith Yoshikazu Tanaka and the knife sharpener Tadataka Maruyama! We suggested a badass kurouchi finish, something uncommon in Sakai, and the folks at Hado loved it!
All of these are fantastic knives and should belong in your set. I’m sure I'll be wishing you a Happy New Knife Day to any of these knives soon; if not, let me know which one you end up with instead!