About the shape - Santoku means 'Three Virtues' or 'To solve Three Problems'. The three virtues are meat, fish and vegetables, or slicing, dicing and mincing depending on your interpretation. This means that the Santoku is an all-around knife, suitable for the amateur home cook and the professional chef alike. The heigh means good clearance for big hands, while the relatively short blade can be wielded by anyone.
About Yoshida Hamono - The first generation of the Yoshida family was, like many, a swordsmith. After WWII, they decided to open a small workshop to produce knives and other steel tools, and in 1971 they expanded to a large scale production to meet a growing demand from all over Japan. They invested early in modern machinery that made large-scale production possible, which is one of the reasons why they have the ability to clad their own steel, rather than buying it pre-laminated. Because Saga is not a major production center for knives and there are not many other craftsmen, they have built a facility that can handle the knife making process entirely from start to finish.
In 2017 when the ZDP-189 became first available, Osamu Yoshida quickly purchased the steel and tried it out. He was amazed by how insanely sharp the steel could get and how long it would keep its edge, so he started making kitchen knives using this super steel. Despite being hard steel to deal with, he feels a great sense of accomplishment when he forges with it compared to other steels.
|Steel Type||ZDP-189 Powder Stainless Steel|
Wa (Japanese) Handle, Octagon Morado wood handle with Blonde 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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