The Matsubara White #1 Cleaver is a fine example of a traditional cleaver
, the Japanese version of the European chef knife. It is hand-forged by 4th generation master bladesmith Katsuto Tanaka who was born in Matsubara in 1962. He is the fourth president of Tanaka Kama Kogyo, Blacksmith.
Tanaka-san hammer forges his blades from Hitachi White Paper #1, a very pure carbon alloy renowned for it hardness and ability to take and hold a sharp edge. This knife is hardened to 63-64 HRC which is at the upper end of hardness for this steel. The core (hagane) is then covered in a layer of softer carbon steel to add strength and protection. This layer is finished in a kurouchi style of blacksmith carbon which further protects the blade and aids in food release. It also endows the knife with a very nice rustic appearance. A lovely hand engraved motif further adds to the fine aesthetic of the knife.
The Matsubara White #1 Cleaver measures 215mm in blade length and has a thicker than average spine measuring just over 3.4mm at the base. It also boasts a taller than average blade height of 85.9mm which makes it a great choice for people with larger hands and those seeking more finger to board clearance. The double sided grind features a very well finished symmetrical edge bevel. This is a wonderful example of a classic cleaver. A knife that should occupy a spot on the shopping list of anyone seeking a medium sized and modestly priced kitchen knife capable of handling most cutting tasks.
Blacksmith: Tanaka San
Location: Nagasaki Japan
Construction: Hammer Forged, San Mai
Cladding: Soft Iron
Weight: 11.1oz/ 314g
Blade Length: 215 mm
Overall Length: 366 mm
Spine Thickness at Heel: 3.4mm
Blade Height at Heel: 85.9mm
Handle Type: Walnut Octagonal
Please note, Mr. Tanaka puts a notch in the tang and this is done on purpose and is not an installation mistake.