The Matsubara White #1 Gyuto is a fine example of a traditional gyuto, the Japanese version of the European chef knife. It is hand forged by 4th generation master blade smith Katsuto Tanaka who was born in Matsubara in 1962. He is the fourth president of Tanaka Kama Kogyo, Blacksmith.
Tanaka-san hand hammers 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 Gyuto measures 210mm in blade length and has a thicker than average spine measuring just over 4mm at the base. It also boasts a taller than average blade height of 50mm 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 Gyuto. 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. The subtle Rosewood octagonal handle is nicely finished and proportioned.
Blacksmith: Tanaka San
Location: Nagasaki Japan
Construction: Hammer Forged, San Mai
Cladding: Soft Iron
Weight: 5.8 ounces
Blade Length: 211 mm
Total Length: 357 mm
Spine Thickness at Base: 4.1 mm
Blade Height: 50.3 mm
Handle Type: Rosewood Octagonal
Please note, Mr. Tanaka puts a notch in the tang and this is done on purpose and is not an installation mistake.