Saji R2 Damascus Santoku 180mm. This magnificent piece of craftsmanship was created by the hands of master smith Takeshi Saji. Mr. Saji-san works in the Echizen region, and is a third-generation blacksmith. This well-known area of Japan has been producing cutlery for approximately 700 years.
The core steel used for this fine example is R2 stainless steel, which is a PM, or powdered metallurgic. The steel contains fairly high amounts of tungsten, vanadium, and carbon. This produces a steel that has high wear resistance, yet is capable of taking rather acute sharpening angles. This particular steel can be hardened to 64HRC, but Mr. Saji doesn't take it to the extreme. He believes that dropping the hardness a few points adds a great deal of toughness.
The cladding on this is also stainless, so it creates a very carefree, user-friendly knife. The finish on the blade is not very common and was created by the hammers used to forge it. The kanji on the face of the blade is hand engraved.
The yo handle (western) is made of stabilized stag horn and is yet another fine example of the work, and art, that Saji-san is capable of producing. The stag horn also connects a traditional, old-world material sourced in Hokkaido with the modern day R2 at the center of it all.
Steel: R2 Powdered Stainless steel
Engraving: Hand Engraved
Handle: Western (Yo) Stabilized Stag Horn
Weight: 8.8 oz (250g)
Blade Length: 183 mm
Total Length: 310 mm
Spine Thickness at Base: 2.8 mm
Blade Height: 51 mm