One of the most highly regarded steels used in the making of Japanese kitchen knives is White paper #2 high carbon steel, manufactured by the Hitachi Metals Company. While it is a great choice for knives for many reasons, it takes a very skilled blacksmith to bring out the best in this steel. Some blacksmiths spend a lifetime discovering the intricacies of White steel and mastering its difficulties in forging. Blue steel, on the other hand, is way more forgiving to both forge and heat treat. But get it right and White #2 will take a keener and sharper edge than almost any other steel out there. This is why it is a favorite of sushi chefs and other cooks requiring the very sharpest of edges in their kitchen knives.
Considering his young age, Naoki Mazaki looks like he is getting a good idea of these skills as we are seeing a high level of maturity in both the forging and heat treating of this fine alloy. He forge welds a soft iron cladding to this core steel which protects the alloy and absorbs shocks, while also reducing the weight of the overall blade. The cladding is left with the forgerís carbon scale, also known as kurouchi, which further protects the blade while adding great character to the knife. A nicely finished oak wood handle with buffalo horn ferrule completes this package.
Blacksmith: Naoki Mazaki
Location: Sanjo, Japan
Construction: San Mai, Hammer Forged
Edge Steel: Shirogami #2 (White Paper #2)
Edge Grind: Even (See Photo)
Blade Height: 53mm
Edge Length: 248mm
Handle: Oak Octagonal
Ferrule: Buffalo Horn
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