One of the best parts of this business is discovering new, young blade makers who are just starting out on their own, while trying to make a name for themselves in this crowded marketplace.
Our last trip to Japan unearthed a talent that we are very happy to present to our customers and all American kitchen knife users. Naoki Mazaki is beginning to establish himself in the industry and is making some really nice blades. He is based in Sanjo City, Japan, and works by himself undertaking every process in his small workshop.
He uses White #2, or Shirogami 2, as the core and then hammer forges a layer of soft iron, san mai style, to this carbon steel core. This steel is a good choice for kitchen knives as it can be heat-treated very hard, and responds very well to various thermal cycles. The alloy has great wear resistance while edge stability is very high. The inner core of White #2 steel takes and keeps a good edge and it is quite easy to sharpen. But do remember that this is a reactive blade which will require care in cleaning and drying between and after uses.
The great looking blade is made even greater with the addition of a traditional and finely made octagonal oak handle with a buffalo horn ferrule.
Blacksmith: Naoki Mazaki
Location: Sanjo, Japan
Construction: San Mai, Hammer Forged
Edge Steel: Shirogami #2 (White Paper #2)
Cladding: Soft Iron
Edge Grind: Even (See Photo)
Blade Height: 51mm
Edge Length: 220mm
Handle: Oak Octagonal
Ferrule: Buffalo Horn
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