About the Shape - This is also a multi purpose knife, but with a slight vegetable bias. Santoku means 'Three Virtues' or 'To solve Three Problems'. The virtues or problems are slicing, dicing and mincing. Santoku is usually found in 160mm - 190mm lengths. These are more and more popular in Western kitchens due to the unique shape and smaller easy to handle size.
About Manaka Hamono -Kisuke Manaka is a relatively young, 5th generation, blacksmith in Kasukabe, Saitama pref. Manaka-san didn’t like the dishonest way his father-in-law operated his business so he decided to become a blacksmith himself. He began making knives from scratch about 10 years ago, with nothing but a workshop full of equipment and no mentor. He is completely self-taught, yet he mastered techniques to forge-weld steels in house, even forge welding stainless steel which is no easy task.
Now he forge-welds everything in house, from hard carbon steel clad with soft steel, stainless steel clad with stainless, and carbon steel clad with stainless steel. The ATS-34 steel used in these knives is forge-welded in house by Manaka-san. While mostly stainless, it is more durable and keeps an edge better than many comparable steels. It will patina very slowly, so don't leave it dirty overnight!
|Spine Thickness at Heel|
|Handle||Wa (Japanese) Handle, Cherry Octagon wood handle with Black Pakka wood collar|
Stainless steel is super handy because it doesn’t rust or stain easily like carbon steel. That said, remember it is stain-less, not stain-never. While it is much easier to care for than high-carbon steel, it does benefit from proper use: use it, wash it, dry it and put it away. Always avoid the dishwasher!
• Only cut food you can bite through with this knife. Hard foods can chip the blade. No olive pits, bones, lobster shells, woody stems or parmesan rinds. Cutting frozen food is especially bad because the cold will make hard steel even more brittle. If you wouldn’t chew it with your own teeth, don’t cut it.
• Your cutting surface is the biggest culprit of dulling your knife. Use wood. End grain wood is especially good. Plastic can be fine too, but certainly not glass, granite or bamboo.
• The edge of your knife works best sliding forwards or backwards. Scraping the knife edge sideways will dull or damage the edge. Instead, use the spine of the knife to move foods across the cutting board. Do not twist the edge or pry with the edge, this is the worst screwdriver you ever bought and these motions will certainly damage the edge. Listen to the knife! If you can hear the edge making a “tink” sound on the cutting board, change what you are doing.
• After use, wash the knife by hand with regular dish soap, rinse with hot water and dry by hand immediately. Dishwashers are very bad for knives.
• Wood handles may dry out over time and exposure to water. Simply treat them with some food safe wax.
• Protect the edge for your safety and to avoid edge damage. A simple blade cover will do the trick if you keep knives in a drawer or in a travel case.
• The convenient wall magnet made with wood is a great way to show off your knives. Be sure to put it back spine first, then roll it onto the blade face. This will keep the edge from contacting the wood first.
• The good ol’ counter top block can keep knives at the ready and protected, so can drawer inserts. Whatever the method, it should keep the edge from touching anything else.
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