Master Shiro Kamo is one of the great makers of Japan and founders of Takefu knife village. Using traditional techniques to forge modern steels he has become a pioneer in his field. We are very proud to sell his knives.
SHAPE: Gyuto. Literally translates as "cow sword", this is Japan's answer to the western chef knife.
STEEL: SG2 or R2. These are modern powder steels and as the name suggested are formed from mixture of powdered elements heated and pressed together. This allows for very precise recipes to be followed. The steels themselves have the ability to be hardened to above 65 on the Rockwell scale giving them excellent edge retention. This does come at a slight cost in that them can be slightly difficult to sharpen.
FINISH: Damascus or Suminagashi. This type of finish is made by creating a Kitaeji; which is produced by repeatedly folding/stacking then compressing two different steels until they create a laminated pattern. This can then be manipulated in various ways to produce the maker’s desired pattern effect. This material is then clad around the core metal of the blade as an elaborate protective layer for the core steel - thus giving the knife a beautiful and striking appearance.
HANDLE: Octagonal rosewood handle
LENGTH: 210 and 240mm in length.
MAKER: Shiro Kamo - Takefu, Japan
BEST FOR: Those looking for a master smiths forging at a really good price.
SAUNDERS SAYS: "I’m not usually a damascus fan but I would take all of these knives straight home. Kamo san heat treatment of SG2 is fantastic making them not too bad to sharpen."
These knives are hand-forged so there may be slight variations in measurements and finishes.
General Knife care instructions
There are a basic set of rules that you should adhere to. If you come into store, we will discuss these with you at length alongside other tips and tricky to get the best from your knife. We also give you a little card as a reminder and which also gives you your first sharpen free of charge.
- ALWAYS CUT ON A WOOD OR PLASTIC CHOPPING BOARD: Because continually hitting the edge of your knife onto a hard surface will blunt it and risks chipping the edge. This should go without saying as glass chopping boards will not only blunt your knives but are also a complete abomination. Also try to avoid cutting directly on plates. If you are super keen, try a hi-soft chopping board (we sell these in store) or a hinoki board.
- RINSE AND DRY AFTER USE: If it is carbon steel, you don't want to keep it wet as this will risk rust developing. Keep a tea towel next to your board and just wipe off the knife from time to time. Don't be an animal, clean your knife.
- NEVER PUT IN THE DISHWASHER OR LEAVE TO SOAK: Putting knives in the dishwasher blunts them. Yes, chefs, this includes giving it to the KP to run through the pot wash. Don't do it! All you need to do is hold the knife tip down under the tap, rinse it off and dry it. Knives don't really get that dirty and you want to avoid water getting in and around the handle. Any soaking or dishwashering also damages the glues in the handle. This is the absolute unquestionable indisputable no no.
- AVOID TWISTING OR PRYING MOTIONS: If you put stress on a fine edge of a knife it will chip. This might not happen straightaway but the risk of damaging the knife is definitely there. Things to avoid include hacking into butternut squash, hitting into the stone of an avocado, chopping through a chicken carcass, or, god forbid, trying to open oysters. If in doubt, don't do it. Have a rubbish second rate cheap knife and do any gnarly jobs - where you are reliant on brute force rather than precision sharpness - with this. Steel doesn't just randomly fall apart or shatter but if you stress the edge it will eventually chip.
- CARBON STEEL WILL DEVELOP A PROTECTIVE PATINA AFTER USE. WIPE AFTER USE OR AFTER CUTTING ANYTHING ACIDIC TO AVOID RUST FORMING: a protective patina is a dark grey in colour. It is not orange. Rust is orange. As the patina develops, the surface will become less reactive and the knife easier to care for. If you have by accident allowed it to rust, don't worry, this can be removed.
- DO NOT SHARPEN ON A METAL STEEL: This should read, don't "TRY" to sharpen on a metal steel. Steels don't remove metal and sharpen knives, they just realign the edge. Don't go at one with your knife in a swashbuckling fashion, this is likely to chip the knife at worst and, at best, will remove the metal unevenly, therefore making it harden to sharpen. Steels should be used gently and sparingly, if you aren't sure what you are doing with one, don't!
- STORE IN BOX OR ON KNIFE RACK: As you might be gathering by now, knife against anything hard is potentially damaging. This includes letting it rattle round in your cutlery drawer. We also aren't big fans of concealed knife blocks as you don't really know where you are sticking it. You can't go wrong keeping it in its box or, if possible, a wall mounted knife rack with some sort of cushioning (rubber or wood).