Yoshimi Kato is a very busy and highly sought-after blacksmith. He makes knives for some very popular brands, including Masakage and Kanehiro. He works at the Takefu Knife Village Cooperative, one of the centers of the knife world. This new line of kitchen knives is the first to bear his name. We are very impressed with the grinds, fit, and finish of these blades. The overall look of the knives in this new range is also quite splendid.
Kato-san makes these blades from very special steel called SG2. SG2 is a modern high-tech stainless steel made with a powdered metallurgical process that is often found in surgical instruments, metal cutting tools, and of course, kitchen knives. It has very high edge retention at the same time as being fairly wear-resistant and easy to sharpen. The core alloy is clad with softer stainless steel to protect the inner core from shock and add strength to the blade. The cladding is a multi-layer Damascus construct that is beautiful in its execution and finish.
Nakiri knives are a fairly new look in the west but a staple in most Japanese kitchens. Their primary job is to process vegetables (“nakiri” means “greens” in Japanese), but they are also a very good option for other cutting tasks in the kitchen.