Tamahagane is the root of the Japanese Samurai Sword and the name was used only on very high quality swords. SAN 3-ply steel blade and also San Kyoto 63-ply steel blade are made by repeated rolling and trained many times. Tamahagane produces in an ancient way with the modern technique by repeating rolling process, all impure materials in the alloy are extracted from the material and the blade becomes harder and more durable.
For more than 600 years Japan produced the well-known sword called Katana. SAN Knives are made with the knowledge that had been accumulated since then. The characteristics of the steel are modified, using plural clad material which makes the knives very easy to re-sharpen.
During the lastest years of the Edo era from A.D 1680 to 1850 in Japan, people could enjoy a peaceful life as there was no war and the Samurai hardly used his sword. At that time, it was very popular to decorate or trim the words by various ways of etching, stamping, etc., in addition to the function of its sharpness. There are many beautiful Katanas which were made during this period. Incorporating this fashion into the SAN Knives gives another artistic feature to make the knives even more beautiful.
The Japanese symbol SAN means brilliant and radiant in English, thus the knives will shine proudly in your kitchen creating historic and artistic ambience.
The santoku is mainly used for vegetables and fish. Since they are flatter, the wrist is in a more natural position and the shoulder does not need to be raised as high. These knives do not need as much room to cut. These are the most popular knives in most Japanese homes.
The Tamahagane SAN TSUBAME knives feature 3-ply stainless steel construction. The middle layer is VG No. 5. This layer is very hard and acts as the cutting edge. The two outside layers are made of SUS410 stainless steel. The outside layers are softer and more stain resistant than the cutting edge and actually protect the cutting edge.
The SAN TSUBAME knives are balanced with a stainless steel weight which attaches to the tang and is visible at the heel of the handle. Not only does this add to the beauty of the design, it also creates fantastic balance. The SAN TSUBAME pakkawood knives feature a handle that is made of a rich, dark laminated wood.
- Manufactured by Kataoka and Company in Niigata, Japan.
- The 3-ply stainless steel has an original thickness of 20 mm and is thinned by repeated rolling to a thickness of 2 mm. You might want to look at this rolling process as a modern forging technique. Also, this rolling process removes all the impurities in the steel leaving you with a very hard, very pure stainless steel. After the rolling processes, the V-G No. 5 cutting edge reaches a hardness of 61 degrees on the Rockwell scale and a final thickness of .65 mm. The outside layers each reach a thickness of .675 mm.
- There are several different VG stainless steels. Kataoka selected V-G No. 5 stainless steel for the SAN TSUBAME knives, because V-G No. 5 can be hardened as hard as any of the other V-G steels but has superior edge retention. Using scientific testing equipment (CATRA), Kataoka was able to show that their knives stayed sharper longer than knives made from other VG steels.
- The edge on the SAN TSUBAME knives is a minute, beveled edge. The angle of the edge is between 14 and 15 degrees. To appreciate the quality of the edge, you must first look at its incredible mirror polish and then try cutting with it. Kataoka has achieved the perfect balance between sharpness and strength with the SAN TSUBAME edges.
- The blade of the SAN TSUBAME is hand-hammered about half way down from the spine. The whole blade is then sandblasted. The sandblasting only affects the softer SUS410 outside layers leaving the outside layers with a matte finish and the VG No. 5 core with a mirror polish. The hammering and sandblasting give the SAN TSUBAME a very rich appearance.
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