Born in 1950, knife smith Hideo Kitaoka works in Takefu Village, Echizen in Fukui Prefecture. He specializes in the production of high quality, traditional Japanese blades. In 1980, Echizen was the first production centre for forged blades to be awarded the nationally recognized Traditional Craft Product accolade. Blades have been hand forged there since Muromachi period (1392-1573).
The cutting edge is forged from #2 White carbon steel also known as Shirogami #2. Forged to a very hard Rockwell hardness of 62:63 these knives have extremely long edge retention and are less brittle than some carbon steel blades.
Single bevel blades are designed to have extreme cutting precision, and are therefore sharpened on one side only. This means that the knife is twice as sharp, and the back side is concave, which creates an air pocket between the knife and the food, to prevent it from sticking to the blade.
These knives are finished with a “D” shaped Japanese style blonde ho wood (magnolia) handle and black plastic collar. This is the traditional Japanese handle. This type of handle creates a knife with overall lightness and a blade forward balance.
|Steel Type||#2 Shirogami (white carbon) Steel|
|Handle Shape||D Shape|
|Handle Material||Magnolia wood handle with plastic collar|