Kouhei-Shinmatsu ZDP-189 Silver Set
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Kouhei-Shinmatsu ZDP-189 Silver Set comes as the culmination of a decade’s worth of expertise gained through selling and working with knives on our part, and the knowledge and mastery of Japanese knife forging, passed on through generations within the Suncraft smithy.
Due to our continued and successful collaboration with Suncraft, we decided to honor the founders of the smithy by naming this line of knives after them: Kouhei (耕平) Kawashima, who started Suncraft more than 70 years ago, and his father, Shinmatsu (新松).
The set includes 2 knives:
- Kouhei-Shinmatsu ZDP-189 Bunka Silver 200mm (7.9")
- Kouhei-Shinmatsu ZDP-189 Petty Silver 135mm (5.3")
If you’re not into owning a million different knives, but want all the bases in the kitchen covered, these two knives are the way to go. Our plan was to clear away the clutter (less is more) and offer the most important in regards to the knife shapes and the tasks they are able to perform.
A universal bunka knife with a super-thin blade to help you with chopping vegetables and slicing meat plus a sturdy petty knife for all the rest.
ZDP-189 steel has stood the test of time as the ultimate kitchen knife steel and remains a favorite among professional chefs, as well as aspiring home cooks. Therefore, we felt it was appropriate that a hardcore duo—such as this Bunka and Petty—was forged out of the most hard-core (literally) steel! Coming in at 65-66 HRC on the Rockwell scale, these knives are easily one of the hardest knives we offer, so edge retention will be second to none.
Put this in an equation together with subtle hammer marks (tsuchime) adorning the blade and a beautiful octagon rosewood handle, and you got yourself a winning duo!
These knives were forged out of ZDP-189 steel, which falls into the powder steel category. The ZDP-189 steel has gained a reputation as one of the most technologically advanced steels in Japanese knife making, due to its unique characteristics. The carbon (C) content is around 3%, meaning it can be treated to extreme hardness (65-66 HRC), which results in extended sharpness retention. ZDP-189 steel is also highly corrosion resistant due to its high chromium (Cr) content of 20%. Because of its composition, though, it can be hard to treat and forge, so it can only be trusted to the most experienced blacksmiths.
→ Read more on Steel: The Heart of Japanese knives.
The technique used to laminate these blades is called san-mai. The core of these blades, which is made of harder (and subsequently more fragile) steel, is sandwiched between two layers of softer steel. This results in a blade that is more flexible, and therefore less prone to breakage and other outside factors.
→ Read more on Blade construction: Lamination.
They have a double bevel (symmetrical) blade.
→ Read more on Blade construction: Geometry.
The upper part of the blade was treated with hammer blows, which resulted in an intricate tsuchime (hammered) finish. The lower half is polished down to the hairline, which is the curvy line marking the border between the laminated part of the blade (jigane) and its core (hagane). The kanji on the blade reads “Kouhei-Shinmatsu” 耕平新松, paying homage to the founders of the Suncraft smithy.
→ Read more on Blade construction: Blade finish.
Traditional rosewood Japanese (Wa) handle with a black pakka wood ferrule. Its octagonal shape makes it especially ergonomic and comfortable to use, both for right- and left-handed users.
|Blade shape:||Petty / Bunka|
|Hardness (HRC scale):||65-66|
|Overall length:||258mm (10.2") / 345mm (13.6")|
|135mm (5.3") / 200mm (7.9")|
|27mm (1.1") / 47mm (1.9")|
|Spine thickness:||2.0mm (0.08") / 2.0mm (0.08")|
|Weight:||75g (2.6 oz) / 155g (5.5 oz)|
|Handle length:||115mm (4.5") / 127mm (5")|
|Handle type / wood:||
Japanese / Rosewood
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.