We wanted to create a knife that would feel familiar to Western hands with an exceptional edge capable of maintaining the integrity of even the most challenging ingredients and we feel the Tamahagane Collection fulfils this demanding remit.
The word tamahagane refers to the central core of a samurai sword which had to be both strong and outrageously sharp. The ancient joke goes that prisoners should still be pleading for their liberation upon completion of swords strike through the neck, so keen is the executioner’s weapon that the flesh, muscle and sinew are not disturbed and only separate upon movement or blood loss. Our quest for an accessibly priced collection of Western-style knives with an edge of such silkiness that the integrity of even the most challenging ingredients would be maintained led us to the Arai workshop.
Our extensive collaboration with the Arai workshop (in Ogata City, Niigata prefecture) resulted in a range of knives that utilise the best talent and abilities of each of the protagonists. The finest materials (Hitachi and Takefu Special Steels), outstanding knife smiths (Arai family) and uncompromising standards plus an unmatched understanding of the western cook (JKC). This partnership of like minds has led to the birth of what we consider to be an extensive collection of knives that will meet every challenge presented as well as delighting the eye and giving unparalleled cutting action.
The central core of the 35 layers Damascus Steel is a High Carbon Super Steel known as VG10. This High Carbon Super Steel has the highest recommendations in the production of knives by authorities such as the British Steel Confederation and the Solingen Institute of Steel. With 1.1% – 1.3% Carbon the blade is final tempered to a hardness of 60:62 HRC resulting in an edge that can be honed to surgical sharpness and will out endure the best Western knives by 5 to 6 times longer than many in a similar price range. VG10 is often called Cobalt steel due to possessing in excess of 1.5% of Cobalt – an element virtually incomparable in its steel toughening effectiveness. The 17 softer outer layers (SUS410) on either side protect the tough, hard central core and make resharpening much easier than any western knife – whilst giving the blade a most beautiful patina resembling the patterns left by a gentle sea on a fine sand beach.
With a full tang and smooth bolster, the laminated, silicon injected hardwood handles are secured by three steel rivets to provide comfort, wonderful balance and a classic look.Sujihiki & Slicers: The classic slicer. Long and thin, this is the best shape for the preparation of any flesh (meat or fish – cooked or raw) without bones. The slim profile presents a smaller are of contact with the flesh and thus reduces the strength of the vacuum between the blade and the food resulting in a smoother and easier cut. Function – Slicing and carving of meat and fish without bones. Normal length – 240mm to 300mm (a few smaller 180mm and longer 330mm are available) Tip: Whilst the 240mm or the 270mm lengths are the most popular select the longest length you are comfortable with. The longer the blade, the lesser the pressure required to cut the food and thus increase the ability to cut thinner slices. As this is one knife that is often taken to the table for carving in front of the diners, apart from the functionality, aesthetics should be an important consideration.