This line of knives from Matsubara has become one of our favorites on the site in a short amount of time. They combine beautiful aesthetics with fine craftsmanship and outstanding performance. Katsuto Tanaka is the principal blacksmith responsible for hand-forging these lovely blades in his famed shop located in the town of Matsubara in the city of Omura, Nagasaki Prefecture.
Tanaka-San uses the very popular Aogami 2 steel as his core component. He hardens the steel to a Rockwell rating of 62HRC. This is a sweet spot for Blue #2. He then forge welds a layer of soft stainless steel to the core (hagane) using a technique known as san mai. This involves covering both sides of the blade without wrapping the outer layer (jigane) over the spine. The hagane thus shows through at the edge and on top of the spine. These knives must be kept clean and dry to avoid corrosion to the exposed hagane. The jigane then receives a really lovely nashiji, or pear skin, finish.
The Matsubara Blue #2 Nashiji Sukihiki 270 mm has a profile that is quite flat at the heel end and then transitions into a nice curved belly about halfway along the edge. Blade height is very generous for a 240mm Kiritsuke. This is a robust blade in size and weight which will find favor with users looking for a knife that feels solid and stiff. The heft and strength are confidence-inspiring. It comes with a very nice custom octagonal handle.
Steel: Blue #2
Knife Type: Sukihiki
Weight: 7.6 oz/ 216g
Blade Length: 275 mm
Overall Length: 434 mm
Spine Thickness at Heel: 3.2 mm
Blade Height at Heel: 40.2 mm
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