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Meet our new knife! Bunka Black Damascus is the second knife we designed. We've learned many intricate little details about Japanese knives and the people who love using them, so designing a new knife felt like a natural progression for us. Handing over our new knife idea to a skilled Japanese blacksmith was a no brainer - nothing can beat the centuries-old experience of forging swords and knives, so Bunka Black Damascus, like all knives in our shop, is made in Japan.
You've all met our ZDP-189 Bunka Black, right? Think of our new Bunka Black Damascus not as a better knife, but different - different steel, different size, different look. A younger sister from another mister, if we may. 😎
Bunka Black Damascus features a 165mm (6.5") long blade, clad in what is called Black Damascus. A 33-layered Damascus cladding means every piece has a unique pattern on the blade, making every knife one-of-a-kind. Comparing it to her older sister (ZDP-189 Bunka Black) the knife is shorter, with smoother curves, friendlier to a home-user, more comfortable. To summarize, Bunka Black Damascus is easier to use and maintain.
But don't be fooled, both Bunkas share the most important characteristic of any knife - they are both sharp, and they bite if not used with respect. The extremely thin profile of the blade (spine thickness at 1.8mm) and hard Japanese steel will deliver a smooth and long-lasting sharpness.
Like its larger sister, Bunka Black Damascus is a multi-purpose knife, suitable for cutting veggies, meat and fish. Primarily designed for use in home kitchens, although we are sure it will be wielded by many professional chefs that want to have a shorter, more agile multi-purpose knife at hand.
Bunka Black Damascus is forged by Japanese knife maker Suncraft in the famous knife city Seki in Gifu prefecture. The heart of the knife is the most popular and widely-used steel Japanese knives are made of - VG-10 steel. When selecting which steel to choose for a specific knife, we look at the steel features such as hardness, the ability to hold a sharp, smooth edge for a long time, ease of maintenance, the graininess of steel, how easy it is to sharpen, and finally the price and availability of the steel. In the case of Bunka Black Damascus, VG-10 ticked all of the boxes.
VG-10 (V for Vanadium, G for "gold" as in "gold standard") is made in another cutlery-famous city Echizen, just a short 2hr drive from Seki. VG-10 is made by Takefu Special Steel Company, a relatively small steel company that around 60 years ago managed to find just the right balance of different elements to create the most popular Japanese knife making steel today. VG-10 steel is stainless steel with relatively high Carbon (C) content (1%), 15% Chromium (Cr), 1% Molybdenum (Mo), 0.3% Vanadium (V) and 1.5% Cobalt (Co). The combination of Cr, Mo, and V forms a lot of hard carbides, making the steel abrasion resistant which translates to long-lasting, smooth sharpness. Heat treated to the hardness of 60-61 HRC.
The handle chosen to be attached to our Bunka Black Damascus followed the same logic as the blade - universal and easy to maintain. A beautiful, dark brown, octagonal-shaped pakka wood handle sits well in your hands regardless if you are left- or right-handed. Pakka wood is a mixture of laminated wood and epoxy resin which is highly durable and will not get stained easily.
We also made a custom-fit saya (knife sheath) for our new SG2 Bunka Matte which is included in the price! Sayas are hand-made from walnut wood, so the pattern and colors are slightly different with every piece, as it can be seen on the photos.
The engraved dragon on the saya is the symbol of our hometown - Ljubljana (the capital of our small and beautiful country of Slovenia). Since our new knife is a collaboration between us and Japan, where a dragon is a majestic and mystical creature of Japanese mythology, we find it to be a nice symbolic bridge between our two cultures. You can read a short story of Ljubljana's dragon here.
Bunka Black Damascus is our new multi-purpose Japanese kitchen knife. It embodies all of our knowledge and years of experience presenting Japanese kitchen knives to knife lovers around the world. She already has a special place in our kitchen (and in our hearts 😍), just next to her bigger sister ZDP-189 Bunka Black, and we hope it will soon find a special place in your kitchen too.
|Hardness (HRC scale):||60-61|
|Overall length:||300mm (11.8")|
|Blade length:||165mm (6.5")|
|Spine thickness:||1.8mm (0.07")|
|Weight:||150g (5.3 oz)|
|Handle length:||125mm (4.9")|
|Handle type / wood:||Japanese / Pakka 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.