Kengata • 190 mm • 3 Layers Hammered • Aogami blue super • Japanese WA Handle Zelkova with Spanish mahogany • for left- and right handed use
Features of the 3 layers AS+ series
3 layers of hammered stainless warikomi damascus steel with a kurouchi finish. A classic Japanese wa handle from Zelkova (Japanese elm), big enough for Western hands and ideal for its weight. The blade has been rounded at the choil, close to the ferrule, this enhances the comfort while using the knife for a longer period.
The blade is made up of 2 layers of softer stainless steel (1 | 1)on the outside of the blade, combined with a core of aogami super steel. The outer layer is hammered (Tsuchime) and ensures less contact with the product during cutting. I always say: "the potato will not fall off, but it certainly gives less resistance."
Kurouchi is not a type of knife but rather a traditional, rustic finish. Kurouchi roughly translates as blacksmith’s finish. Kurouchi knives retain the scaly residue left from the forging process. The finish reduces reactivity on carbon steel knives, lowers the cost of production, and gives the knife a very characterful, rustic look prized by many knife enthusiasts.
Blue steel, also known as Aogami/Aoki steel
This traditional steel is not named after its colour, but named after the colour of its paper wrapping, in which it is stored in the Hitachi steel factory in Japan. There are three different grades: super, #1 en #2. Blue steels use a high grade of carbon, chrome and vanadium added in their alloy. Aogami super even added extra tungsten. Aogami super is here " Best of both worlds" Blue #1 is for sharpness, Blue #2 for toughness. Blue steels are mostly seen in deba or usuba knives, white steels often in yanagibas. Aogami super is regarded as one of the best traditional steels by Japanese knifemakers, but difficult to work with. Blue steels are difficult to sharpen on a whetstone, but they remain sharp for a longer period, compared to white steels.
Elwin de Veld about the knives of Sakai Takayuki:
We usually start our trips to Japan in Osaka, from where we take a Shinkansen ( a bullet train) to Seki, in Gifu prefecture. We start in Sakai, in south of Osaka, where we always recieve a warm friendly welcome from Aoki san and Ogawa san from Sakai Takayuki. In recent years the customers in our shop have been asking for special Japanese traditionally forged knives: Yanagiba, Sakimura, Kengata: all the names of models which are used in Japanese kitchens for preparing various sorts of fish. Sakai Takayuki is my key which opens the door to the world of traditional Japanese knives and to top it all, their product range is targeted for the western market. For making of the traditional Japanese knives Sakai Takayuki employs the best of the best: Itsuo Doi and Kenji Togashi, among others. The blacksmith Yamatsuke san, with his stable hand on the Kaiten Toshi (Japanese water stone), is a guarantor of an exceptionally sharp finish. Sakai Takayuki buys lots of their steel from the Aichi steel (their headquarters are situated close to Nagoya) and works among other with carbon steel shirogami white and aogami blue. A nice detail: the colours in the names of the steel have nothing to do with the colour of the steel itself- it's just the colour of the packing in which the raw steel is being stored in the factory. The western models are manually finished at the company's quarters in Osaka (sharpening), but largely manufactured in Seki, in Gifu prefecture. The finish and the quality is sublime- just what we can expect from Takayuki.