Nigara Santoku SG2 Tsuchime Maplewood 180mm is a multi-purpose Japanese kitchen knife, suitable for preparing meat, fish and vegetables. Its SG2 powder steel core insures long-lasting sharpness with little to no maintenance, as the steel resists corrosion very well.
The knife has all the features of a traditional Japanese santoku blade: a wide blade, a flat belly, and a spine that curves at a 60-degree angle towards the tip, making it resemble a sheep's foot. The geometry of the blade (hollow grind), combined with the unique hammer blows, prevents ingredients from sticking to the blade during chopping, making for faster and more precise work.
Its striking blade features and aesthetics are wonderfully complemented by a Western-style handle crafted from stabilized maple and masterfully crafted hexagonal tsuchime finish on the blade.
The Santoku knife, originating from Japan, is a versatile and multipurpose kitchen tool commonly found in Japanese households. It excels at various cutting and chopping tasks on the cutting board.
The name "Santoku" derives from the Japanese word "San," meaning "three," representing the knife's three virtues. It effortlessly handles three key ingredients: meat, fish, and vegetables. It is equally adept at slicing, chopping, and mincing, making it a versatile companion in the kitchen.
The Santoku knife is divided into three distinct parts. The tip is designed for intricate work, allowing for precise cuts. The cutting edge serves general cutting purposes, accommodating a range of tasks. Lastly, the heel of the knife is perfect for heavy-duty chopping.
With its rich heritage and versatile design, the Santoku knife is an indispensable tool for any kitchen, catering to a wide range of cutting needs with its three virtues.
*The length of the cutting edge is 165mm (heel to point), but with this knife the length is measured from the edge of the handle to the tip of the blade, amounting to 180mm.
SG2 steel is a powder steel, renowned for its hardness and subsequent edge retention—due to a high carbon (C) content of 1.5%. The steel is also high in chromium (Cr)—around 15%, which adds to corrosion resistance and Molybdenum (Mo) that improves the blade’s wear resistance. SG2 steel blades will be able to achieve a fine sharpness due to the fine microstructure of the steel and will keep it—without having to worry about maintenance and corrosion.
A high hardness of around 64 HRC means that the blade won’t be very tough, so the blade’s core was laminated using the san-mai method to improve its structural integrity and subsequent ability to withstand impacts and prevent chipping. San-mai translates to “three layers” in Japanese, referring to a blade that is composed of a primary, inner layer of harder steel (hagane) and of two secondary, outer layers of softer steel (jigane) that protect the prior.
It has a double bevel (symmetrical) blade with convex (full hamaguri) grind. Hamaguri grind allows superior sharpness that requires delicate handling and helps to prevent food from sticking to the blade. Such a shape keeps a lot of metal behind the edge and makes for a stronger edge, yet it still allows a good degree of sharpness. The downside to a convex grind is that it is very hard to reproduce by anyone other than a very experienced sharpener.
The surface of the blade was treated with a special textured hammer, leaving complex geometric impressions on its upper part. The Japanese hexagon hammered finish on knives is a stunning technique that involves skillfully hammering the blade's surface to create captivating hexagonal indentations.
In Japan, the hexagon is prized for its aesthetic appeal and structural stability in traditional arts, crafts, and architecture. It is found in various artistic forms and is also used in the design of Shinto torii doors and modern buildings. The hexagonal shape of the kasagi in torii doors represents the belief in strength and stability associated with the number six.
The tsuchime surface helps to reduce friction and prevents food from sticking to the blade during cutting. The textured surface creates small air pockets which allow for smoother and more precise cutting.
The knife features a classic Western-style (Yo) handle crafted from exceptionally dense and durable maple wood. To enhance grip and balance, a stainless steel bolster is incorporated. The handle's luxurious appearance is further elevated by two mosaic pins in copper and brass, providing an exquisite touch.
Each handle showcases captivating swirls and patterns, making it truly unique. Through the stabilization process, the handle's durability and resistance to moisture are enhanced, ensuring its pristine condition throughout its lifetime.
The handle is designed to provide an ergonomic grip that adapts perfectly to the contours of your hand. Its larger size and thoughtfully shaped profile ensure optimum comfort and control, making it easy to maneuver the blade.
Nigara Hamono has a 350-year history, making swords since the Edo period. Head blacksmith Tsuyoshi Yoshizawa, who works alongside his father Toshi Yoshizawa, is an eighth generation blacksmith with a passion for art and music as well as knives, and his famous Nigara Anmon design is the result of his love of Andy Warhol’s artwork. Nigara is easily one of the most special knife makers in Japan.
Blade shape: Santoku
Steel type: SG2
Blade construction: San-mai / hamaguri / tsuchime, kasumi
Hardness (HRC scale): 64
Overall length: 308mm (12.1")
Blade length: 180mm (7.1")
Blade height: 50mm (2")
Spine thickness: 2.1mm (0.08")
Weight: 200g (7.1 oz)
Handle length: 123mm (4.8")
Handle type / wood: Western (Yo) style / Maple
Kanji on the blade:
Blacksmith: Nigara Hamono
Location of the smithy: HIROSAKI / Aomori Prefecture / Japan
☝️ Japanese kitchen knives in our store are handmade from natural materials. Slight variations in color, texture, weight and other dimensions are possible. We try to give a good photographic representation of our products, however computer screen resolution and colors do vary, so products might not look exactly as they are seen on screen.
Blade wear depends on the quality of steel, usage and maintenance of the blade. Japanese knives are made of high-quality steels. Follow these tips to keep your Japanese knife in top-notch shape:
✔ Use a wooden, plastic or rubber cutting board.
✔ After use, wash the knives and wipe them dry.
✔ Use a magnetic rack, knife blocks, or use protective knife sheath (saya).
✔ A good cutting technique is your best bet to prolong sharpness.
✔ Use sharpening stones to sharpen the knife.
❗️Don’t leave the knife in the sink. Wash it by hand.
❗️Don’t wash the knife in the dishwasher.
❗️Don’t use the knife on glass, ceramics, marble or steel surfaces.
❗️Don’t scrape the food off the cutting board with the edge of the blade. Use the spine of the knife instead.
❗️Knife is a tool intended for specific use - cutting food. It is not a can opener, screwdriver, trowel, wire cutter, hammer etc.
→ For more details, read our guide
on Maintenance of Kitchen Knives.
🤙 Contact us if you need some help. We reply within 1 business day.
- €10 - flat worldwide rate with DHL Express (express delivery, 2-5 business days).
- FREE - all orders over €300 (DHL Express).
- United Kingdom - shipping to UK costs €15. All orders are shipped with UPS Express (2-3 business days). Free shipping on orders over €300.
- Russia (currently not available) - shipping to Russia costs €40. All orders are shipped with EMS postal service.
DUTIES AND IMPORT TAXES:
We ship all orders DDP (duties & taxes paid). This means you will not be charged for any import fees and taxes (including VAT). All our prices are final. The price you see at checkout is the final price, no hidden costs.
- Europe: 1-2 business days
- US & Canada: 2-4 business days
- Rest of the World: 3-5 business days
Our return policy lasts 30 days. If more than 30 days have gone by since the day you received your order, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.
Each knife comes with:
✔️ Instructions and knife care leaflet.
✔️ A preventive Band-Aid – the knives are very sharp! 😉
✔️ Original box from the blacksmith, which we wrap in an old Japanese newspaper sheet – so every knife is ready to be passed on as a gift as soon as it hits your doorstep!
✔️ We also offer a special gift wrapping option with the traditional Japanese washi paper.
Still doubting which type of Japanese knife should best fit your needs?
We created a 5-steps quiz to help you find the perfect knife based on your cooking skills and the type of food you prepare.