Kawamura Mizu-Honyaki Gyuto 240mm (9.5")
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Kawamura Mizu-Honyaki Gyuto is a knife hand-forged with incredible precision that stems from centuries worth of experience and knowledge. It is a blend of an excellent working tool and artwork. The honyaki blade is forged from a single piece of high-carbon Yasuki White Steel #2.
Honyaki literally means “true-fired” and this forging method reflects, in its purest form, the traditional Japanese art of sword making. These knives are extremely demanding to forge and shape, thus only the best craftsmen make them. Being exceptionally rare, expensive and delicate, they are suitable only for highly experienced chefs. They are greatly appreciated due to their kirenaga or edge retention capabilities, maintaining sharpness for a very long time.
Such knives need a different process of hardening. After the blade is forged and roughly ground, a special mixture of clay, charcoal, natural sharpening stone and water is applied to the blade in a specific pattern. The knife is then quenched in water (that's the part of the process where the katana gets its iconic curved shape). The part of the knife that was not covered in clay hardens, while the part that was covered is cooled slower and doesn't harden that much. The result is a blade made from one alloy which has two different crystalline structures. The phase line between two different structures is called hamon. It takes a lot of experience, knowledge and equipment to "pop" the hamon. The honyaki forging method allows the hamon – a graceful temper line clearly defining the transition zone between a hard edge and soft back – to be formed upon quenching.
In this case, the unique hamon line takes the subtle shape of Mount Fuji with a moonrise – on one side, the moon is full, on the other, only its crescent is silhouetted against the silvery surface of the blade. Mount Fuji is considered a sacred symbol of Japan and has been reproduced countless times in Japanese art.
The highly polished look of the blade is the result of a very unique, time-consuming process of polishing the blade. The protective coating that prevents corrosion gives the knife an iridescent, rainbow sheen.
Gyuto is the most versatile and useful blade shape in the modern kitchen. It has a wide profile for easy food transfer and tends to be fairly flat towards the heel, enabling easy and fast chopping on the cutting board. A pointed tip allows piercing and precise, delicate work. A slight curve between the tip and the midsection makes the belly great for rocking the blade back and forth when cutting. It can be used for cutting meat, fish and vegetables.
It is a slightly heavier Gyuto, as the blade at the handle is thicker (3.8 mm) and then gradually tapers towards the tip (1.8 mm). Due to its thickness, the blade can be sharpened to a double bevel grind with a secondary bevel that is not concave but rather convex. This type of grind is called hamaguri or “clamshell” and is inspired by the katana. It allows superior sharpness that requires delicate handling and helps to prevent food from sticking to the blade.
The knife was made by the smith Nakagawa-san in the Shiraki Hamono smithy in the city of Sakai, one of the centers of Japanese forging craft.
⚠️ Carbon steel knives are delicate and require special care. In addition to careful use that will prolong its sharpness, the blade should be carefully cleaned after each use and wiped with a dry cloth to prevent corrosion. If you cut vegetables or fruits that contain large amounts of acid, we suggest that you wipe the blade even while cutting. After you are finished preparing food, we recommend using oil for blade maintenance to protect the surface of the blade from corrosion. The thin and sharp blade is intended for precise work and is not suitable for cutting bones, frozen food and other food items with a hard crust or shell.
About Sakai Kikumori:
Skillful craftsmen have been making kitchen knives under the brand of Sakai Kikumori since 1925. The brand fosters the cooking culture by creating traditional knives in the city of Sakai which is most famous for being the home of cutlery, whilst Kikumori is renowned as one of the best knife manufacturers in the region.
|Steel type:||Yasuki White #2 (Shirogami)|
|Hardness (HRC scale):||61-62
|Overall length:||380mm (14.9")|
|Blade lenght (from handle to the tip of the blade):||240mm (9.5")|
|Spine thickness:||3.8 - 1.8mm (0.14"-0.07")|
|Weight:||205g (7.2 oz)|
|Handle length:||134mm (5.2")|
|Handle type / wood:||
Japanese / Ebony wood
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.
Still doubting which type of Japanese knife should best fit your needs? We created a quick, 5-steps quiz to help you find the perfect knife based on your cooking skills and the type of food you prepare.
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