Yoshimi Kato has taken the reins of the business that his father-in-law, Hiroshi started and is making some of the best blades coming out of Echizen today.
While these varied considerations carry across many fronts, there is also a sole consideration that Kato-san adheres to with every fine blade he creates. Quality in performance, ownership, and aesthetic.
With this new line of VG-10 blades he has managed to these build these principles into his most affordable line of kitchen knives.
VG-10 is a cutlery grade stainless steel produced in Japan. The name stands for V Gold 10 ("gold" meaning quality), or sometimes V-Kin-10 (kin means "gold" in Japanese). It is a stainless steel with a high carbon content containing 1% carbon, 15% chromium, 1% molybdenum, 0.2% vanadium, 1.5% cobalt, and 0.5% manganese. All of these relatively small amounts of other metals give the VG-10 steel its most important properties, such as its ability to hold an edge coupled with great durability. It is one reason why the VG-10 label has been so highly prized among so many people, ranging from chefs to knife collectors.
At 180mm, this knife is as small as gyutos get. It is a good choice for lovers of shorter blades or those with very restricted board space. It is also a great choice for prepping garnishes and other smaller items. This knife will appeal to rock and push cutters alike. Its 50/50 grind will also be useful to both left- and right-handed users. It has a nice thin spine that tapers towards the tip and it also exhibits a fairly thin grind behind the edge.
Its great aesthetics and functionality are further enhanced by a well-balanced Western style rosewood handle. This is a very well made knife at a great price.
Blacksmith: Yoshimi Kato
Location: Echizen, Japan
Factory: Takefu Village
Edge Steel: VG10
Edge: Even 50/50
Weight: 5.1 oz (146 g)
Blade Length: 181 mm
Total Length: 310 mm
Spine Thickness at Base: 1.8 mm
Blade Height: 42.4 mm
Cladding: Nickel Damascus
Handle: Yo Rosewood