Kato VG-10 Santoku Damascus 170mm (6.7")

Yoshimi Kato

Kato VG-10 Santoku Damascus 170mm (6.7")


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Best To Use

vegetablesnot for meatnot for fish

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The hypnotic Suminagashi pattern and perfect blade profile left us speechless at first glance at this very special knife. Suminagashi ("floating ink") is a term for a marbled pattern (called damascus in knives) and in this Santoku it is so exquisite it could only be made by someone as experienced as Yoshimi Kato.

The 170mm (6.7") Santoku design allows for versatile use and is ideal for chefs who prefer a medium-sized, multi-purpose knife that is a little more suited to cutting vegetables. The blade is extremely thin, which allows the user to work precisely even with the smallest pieces of ingredients. The blade edge is sharpened to 50/50 angle, and stays sharp even after hours of constant use. 

The traditional Japanese (Wa) handle is made of rosewood (and black pakka ferrule) and due to its symmetric oval shape fits perfectly in the left as well as the right palm. The distribution of weight between the handle and the blade makes it extremely comfortable to work with and easy to handle.

The core of the knife is made of VG-10 steel, which is clad in several layers of intricate marbled pattern, which the blacksmith obtained by interweaving different layers of materials (Nickel damascus lamination). The VG-10 is currently the most popular Japanese steel, and when deciding which steel to use for a particular blade, one has to weigh its properties such as hardness, retaining sharpness, ease of maintenance, steel graininess, ease of sharpening, and lastly, cost and affordability. The VG-10 (V for Vanadium, G for "gold", which means top quality) is produced by Takefu Special Steel Company, a relatively small company that 60 years prior managed to find the perfect balance between elements forming this famous Japanese steel.

VG-10 is a stainless steel of relatively high carbon content - 1% (C), 15% chromium (Cr), 1% molybdenum (Mo), 0.3% vanadium (V) and 1.5% cobalt (Co). The combination of Cr, Mo and V forms many solid carbides, which gives the steel abrasion resistance and consequently better retention of sharpness.

Kato VG-10 Santoku Damascus 170mm (6.7") is a knife we warmly recommend to all you knife collectors and aficionados of superior design.


Blade shape: Santoku
Steel type: VG-10
Hardness (HRC scale): 61-62
Overall length: 310mm (12.2")
Blade length:
170mm (6.7")
Blade height:
46mm (1.8")
Spine thickness: 1.6mm  (0.1")
Weight: 100g (3.5 oz)
Handle length: 126mm (5")
Handle type / wood:
Japanese / Rosewood
Blacksmith: Yoshimi Kato

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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