During a trip to Japan a few years ago I met young up-and-coming blacksmith, Kanjo Tsukahara. He had been working with his father, Tsukahara-san, for just five years but he asked if he could design some knives for our customers in the USA. I pushed him to do knives in ZDP-189 since I knew that steel was very popular with our customers but was not being used by many of our suppliers. At the time, Henckels had an exclusive for ZDP-189 and it took a while for the steel mill to relent and start selling the alloy to outsiders.
Fast forward a few years, and we are now able to present the one of the results of this collaboration. The Kanjo ZDP-189 Gyuto 210mm is made with ZDP-189 Powdered Metallurgical Steel. This super steel boasts some serious attributes. It is one of the highest wear resistant steels available from Hitachi Metals, while it also has some of the highest hardness and carbon content of any knife steel.
Used in the right context, as in kitchen knife blades, this alloy is one of the best high carbon semi stainless steels around. Note we do say semi stainless, as the core ZDP189 can corrode if neglected. Of course the soft stainless cladding goes a long way to reducing this occurrence.
We really like the subtly curved spine of this gyuto and beautifully shaped profile. The blade height is taller than many 210mm knives of this type, which together with the western style handle offer good knuckle clearance and an ingrained ability to rock chop with ease. Fit and finish on these knives is top shelf and the design aesthetic is among the best we have seen. We look forward to seeing more knives from this exciting young blade maker.
Maker: Kanjo Tsukahara
Location: Seki, Japan
Construction: San Mai, Laser Cut
Edge Steel: ZDP-189 Stainless Steel
Cladding: Stainless Cladding
Handle: Yo (Western)
Scales: Black Micarta
Edge Length: 210 mm
Blade Height: 52.1 mm
Spine Thickness: 2.8 mm
Weight: 7.8 ounces
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