Muneishi Santoku Aogami #2 Kuro-uchi 150mm (5.9")
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Muneishi Santoku Aogami #2 Kuro-uchi 210mm is a multi-purpose Japanese kitchen knife, suitable for preparing meat, fish and vegetables. The knife’s steel and looks are kept pretty closely within tradition. High-carbon Aogami #2 steel is easy to sharpen to a very fine sharpness and also has slightly improved corrosion resistance in comparison to other traditional steels. A magnolia handle which is traditionally used was swapped for a beautiful cherry wood oval piece with a pakka ferrule – providing a nice contrast to the dark look of the blade.
The Japanese word Santoku roughly translates to “knife of three virtues” and may refer to the wide variety of ingredients that the knife can handle: meat, fish and vegetables, or to the tasks it can perform: slicing, chopping and dicing - the emphasis being on the number 3 (san).
Its distinguishing shape makes santoku easy to identify: the cutting edge is fairly straight, while the spine of the blade curves towards the tip continuously at an approximately 60-degree angle, making it resemble a sheep's foot.
Aogami #2 steel is a very popular steel in Japanese knifemaking and one of the finest high-carbon steels, meaning the knives forged from it will have excellent edge retention and also sharpen very easily. At the same time, it is less resistant to corrosion, meaning the blade can develop a patina, while longer exposure to water or other corrosives could also lead to rusting. This is improved to some extent with the addition of chromium and tungsten, but it’s still a high-carbon steel that should be maintained accordingly. Aogami #2 steel is composed of carbon (C) 1.1%, chromium (Cr) 0.5%, manganese (Mn) 0.3%, and tungsten (W) 1.5%.
High-carbon steels are hard, but brittle for the same reason, which makes them more prone to breakage and chipping. To prevent that, blacksmiths sandwich the blade’s core, made from Aogami #2 steel, between multiple layers of softer, more corrosion resistant steels. This improves the blade’s flexibility—and most importantly with high-carbon steels—protection from corrosion and rusting too.
It has a double bevel (symmetrical) blade.
Kuro-uchi finish, the unprocessed (black) part on the top side of the blade has already developed a dark patina, which protects the blade and gives it a traditional Japanese look. The knife bears barely visible impressions of the hand-forging process (round hammer dents on the blade), which gives it a beautiful rustic finish. Kanji "made by Muneishi" 宗石作 has been hand-chiseled onto the blade.
Octagonal Japanese (Wa) handle made out of cherry wood is suitable for right- and left-handed individuals.
ABOUT THE BLACKSMITH:
Muneishi smithy was founded in 1955. Hirotaka Muneishi, the second-generation knife smith, is renowned for manufacturing forestry knives such as axes and machetes for the local woodsmen. Kosuke Muneishi, the third-generation blacksmith and now the head of the company, has since branched out to making kitchen knives. He mostly uses Aogami Super steel and performs all the steps himself: tempering, forging, hammering and edging knives. His knives have very nice grinds, good profile, and are very affordable.
|Steel type:||Aogami #2|
|Hardness (HRC scale):||63|
|Overall length:||290mm (11.4")|
|Blade length:||150mm (5.9")|
|Spine thickness:||3.2mm (0.13")|
|Weight:||130g (4.6 oz)|
|Handle length:||127mm (5")|
|Handle type / wood:||
Japanese / Cherry
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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