Saji Chuka VG-10 Damascus 220mm (8.7")
It’s not just about size, it’s how you use it. With this monumental piece from Takeshi Saji, this saying absolutely holds water. This knife takes an experienced—and strong while you're at it—hand to properly utilize. Coming with a handle of equal heft and presence, as a knife of such magnitude needs it to be handled properly.
Chuka 中華, is a term used for Chinese-Japanese cuisine that developed in Japan, under the influence of Chinese immigrants. It combines elements of both cooking styles, and in similar fashion, the master blacksmith integrated components of both the cultures’ cutlery traditions. In Chinese kitchens, such large knives are widely used, as their flat and tall blades are great for chopping and easy food transfer, but are made of softer stainless steels. Saji opted for VG-10 steel, with similar easygoing stainless characteristics, but a high carbon content and hardness upwards of 60 HRC. Plus, of course, Saji-san’s magic touch, making this knife nothing to joke about in terms of chopping performance.
Of course, he added a bit of his recognizable style and grandeur. The large surface of this blade almost works as a canvas for the maestro Saji-san, showing off a beautiful damascus finish that starts as a vast landscape of shadowy terrain and then transforms into layers of wavy alternating steel. The cutting edge or kireha was etched with acid to achieve a dark forced patina and match the blackish appearance of the blade.
In Chinese kitchens, the bulk of the work is usually done with just one knife. The large cleaver shape is great for chopping and easy food transfer, with an added heft that allows the user to hack through harder produce (🚨 but not through bones and joints!). Longer slicing motions, as well as finer techniques such as mincing, dicing or the julienne are no trouble for the Chinese cleaver, either, due to the long and thin cutting edge.
VG-10 (V for Vanadium, G for "gold" as in "gold standard") 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.
The core layer consisting of VG-10 steel was sandwiched between layers of softer, pliable steel that had been forged together to create a rippling damascus pattern. This technique is called san-mai and is used to protect the hard (but delicate) core from outside factors and physical impacts, which could lead to breakage.
It has a double bevel (symmetrical) blade.
The blade sports a beautiful dark 15-layer nickel Damascus finish.
The Western style (Yo) handle is made of very dense and durable ironwood.
Blade shape: Cleaver
Steel type: VG-10
Blade construction: San-Mai / V-edge / damask
Hardness (HRC scale): 61
Overall length: 333mm (13.1")
Blade length: 220mm (8.7")
Blade height: 110mm (4.3")
Spine thickness: 2.7mm (0.11")
Weight: 645g (22.8 oz)
Handle length: 106mm (4.2")
Handle type / wood: Western (Yo) style / Ironwood
Kanji on the blade:
Blacksmith: Takeshi Saji
Location of the smithy: ECHIZEN - TAKEFU KNIFE VILLAGE / Fukui 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 quick, 5-steps quiz to help you find the perfect knife based on your cooking skills and the type of food you prepare.