Kitaoka Kamagata Usuba 170mm (6.7")
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Kitaoka Kamagata Usuba has a special, sickle-shaped tip (called kamagata), originating in the Kansai region. Usuba is part of the traditional Japanese knives used for preparing vegetables for sushi. It is single bevel, meaning it can only be wielded by right-handed users. This usuba has an astonishing look, featuring both a kuro-uchi look on the top of the blade, as well as a wavy Damascus pattern at the lower part of the blade.
The core of the Kamagata Usuba is made of a high performing, Shirogami White #2 carbon steel, known for its superior edge retention and fine, smooth sharpness, but it will develop a patina and needs more maintenance. Steel was hardened to around 63 HRC.
Hideo Kitaoka is another highly regarded blacksmith of the famous Takefu village, known for many skilled blacksmiths. Mr. Kitaoka specializes in making high end, traditional single bevel sushi knives for a relatively affordable price. A wooden Japanese style dark sandalwood wa handle was attached to this Kamagata usuba, featuring a buffalo horn ferrule.
Read what Luka, our Founder and Master Sharpener, thinks about this knife:
"This knife is special, very special! It’s hard to explain why from just the metallurgical standpoint, or hand-made craftsmanship. There is something more to it.
Let's start with some simple facts - it's a handmade knife from Shirogami White #2 carbon steel. Very traditional steel, heat treated to a hardness of 63/64 HRC, but there was some additional magic in the process because these knives are less brittle as we would expect for this type of steel and hardness.
Blacksmith Hideo Kitaoka-san is an old, experienced blacksmith, working with kitchen knives all his life, learning the craft from his father and being one of the leading blacksmiths in Takefu Knife Village.
Now when you know the facts and see the photos, you can understand and see about 70% of what this knife really is. The remaining 30% is reserved for the feeling when you hold it in your hands, use it, sharpen it. It is difficult to explain with words, but this Usuba is one of my favorite knives out there.
Like the 80s Mercedes, nothing special, just an old car, but when you get behind the wheel and start driving it, it’s hard to explain the feeling, it's like… Maybe having a Sunday bath with a glass of Nikka Whiskey and some cool jazz.
So all of you knife lovers out there looking for a hand-made, traditional Japanese knife masterpiece with a collectible value that you can use every day, this is it. Kitaoka-san knives will be your love at first sight. If you will look after them, they will make you smile daily for the rest of your cooking life. Maintenance is high, and like the 80s Mercedes it will rust, I guarantee you."
|Steel type:||Shirogami White #2|
|Hardness (HRC scale):||63|
|Overall length:||317mm (12.5")|
|Blade length:||170mm (6.7")|
|Spine thickness:||4.3mm (0.17")|
|Weight:||215g (7.6 oz)|
|Handle length:||134mm (5.3")|
|Handle type / wood:||Japanese / Sandalwood|
Use & Care:
- Handwash in warm water and towel dry
- Use a sharpening stone (not a honing steel!) to sharpen your knife
- Do not cut frozen foods and meat bones
- Do not put the knife in a dishwasher
- Read our comprehensive guide on proper Maintenance of Kitchen Knives.
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