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Hideo Kitaoka has been making knife blades for over 30 years. Over these years he has honed his craft by concentrating on perfecting his skills making just a few knife styles employing just a couple of steel types.
His knives of choice are all traditional blade designs featuring a single bevel. His Deba knives are among his most prized and appreciated.
The Kitaoka 165mm Deba Blue #2 is a perfect example of this dedication to his art. Fashioned in the traditional steel jacketed ‘awase’ way, these blades consist of a core ‘hagane’ steel for the cutting edge and a ‘jigane’ of soft iron for the spine and upper blade body. The hagane steel used here is Blue #2.
Blue #2 steel is made by Hitachi and sometimes called Blue Paper #2 since the steel is wrapped in blue paper when it’s sent to blacksmiths. This steel is highly regarded by blade makers and knife users. The alloy is made from Japanese pure sand irons. It has 1.10 ~1.20 high carbon with 0.20 ~0.50 Chromium and 1.00 ~1.50 Tungsten. It is manufactured at Hitachi’s Yasugi plant in Shimane Prefecture.
Aogami Blue #2 outperforms Shirogami (White Steel) in a couple of ways. Notably, better edge retention and an ability to take a more acute edge geometry. Kitaoka-san tempers his Blue Steel to an HRC of 62-63 which we think is a sweet spot for this alloy. This beautifully finished, strong blade is fitted with a rosewood octagonal handle.
Steel: Blue #2
Handle: Rosewood Octagonal
Ferrule: Black Plastic
Blade length: 170mm
Total length: 309mm
Spine thickness at base: 7.96mm
Blade height: 50.85mm
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