The Kitaoka Damascus White #1 Usuba is a beautiful knife however you judge it. Master Blacksmith Hideo Kitaoka makes his blades in the famed Takefu Village located in Echizen, Fukui Prefecture. This is one of the oldest places in Japan for the forging of knives and swords, and this particular knife line holds true to these ancient principles and design ethics. These are single bevel blades, and as such require a higher understanding of the art of cutting and slicing, as well as sharpening.
Usuba knives are designed for cutting vegetables and rotary peeling. Their dead flat edge contacts the board at all points so that accordion cuts are avoided. The name usuba translates to thin edge. This is not only a great performer but it is a visually stunning knife too. The damascus is some of the best we have seen and the fit and finish is exemplary. Blade performance is equally impressive. With a hardness rating of 63-64 Rockwell, these edges will hold their sharpness for a long time while being less brittle than other carbon steel blades.
The blade is mated to a really well finished octagonal handle made from rosewood and black pakka wood.
Location: Echizen, Japan
Construction: Hammer Forged, Ni Mai
Cladding: Carbon Steel Damascus
Edge Steel: White #1
Grind: One Sided Single Bevel, Traditional Grind (see choil shot)
Handle: Rosewood Octagonal
Ferrule: Black Pakka Wood
Engraving: Hand Engraved
Weight: 5.2 oz/ 146g
Blade Length: 157 mm
Overall Length: 298 mm
Spine Thickness at Heel: 3.5 mm
Blade Height at Heel: 42.4 mm