Tanaka Habakiri Gyuto SG2 Damascus Ebony is Shigeki Tanaka's top-of-the-line kitchen knife. This is a very rare piece. Not only is the SG2 powder steel one of the best steels to make kitchen knives of, but the looks of this special Tanaka are simply special. Very pronounced, black-ish 33 layers of Damascus pattern on the blade, attached on a wa-style (Japanese) ebony wood handle.
The knife comes with a traditional Japanese kiri wooden box.
The gyuto design is intended for versatile use for chefs who prefer a standard size multi-purpose knife, suitable to cut meat, fish and vegetables.
240mm (9.4") long gyuto is the perfect choice for chefs who want to wield a real hand-forged Japanese knife made of powder steel which delivers that smooth, fine sharpness. The shape and length are best suited for a main universal Chef's knife which will excel at all types of cutting techniques.
Use for: Works with all food preparation techniques such as slicing, chopping, dicing, julienne... Ideal for effortlessly slicing larger cuts of meat or finely mincing garlic.
SG2 steel is high-quality steel, easy to maintain and sharpen, and has long edge retention. This powder steel contains around: 1.25 - 1.45% carbon (C), 1.80 - 2.20% vanadium (V), 14.00 - 18.00% chromium (Cr), 2.30 - 3.30% molybdenum (Mo). In short, very hard steel which will keep a smooth, sharp edge for a long time.
The double bevel blade, featuring a hamagri grind (for explanation, read the Blade Construction: Geometry article) measures 240mm (9.4") in length and should work for chefs and experienced home cooks alike.
A high hardness of around 63-64 HRC means 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 an inner layer of harder steel (hagane) and of two outer layers of softer steel (jigane) that protect the core.
The blade has a 33-layer etched damascus finish (see article Blade Construction: Blade Finish for more) with a hand engraved kanji carrying the signature of master blacksmith Shigeki Tanaka.
The blacksmith achieved the striking damascus pattern by layering different materials and further etching the blade. The etching brings a strong contrast between the layers and helps to play off the reflections of light from the different colored surfaces of the steel.
The blade was fitted with an octagonal traditional Japanese (wa) handle, made out of ebony wood with an octagonal shape, so it will fit equally well into the hands of right- or left-handed users. Ebony is chosen for Japanese handles because of its hardness, strength, and rich aesthetic, including its dark color, visible grain, and cultural heritage, which enhance the handle's appeal.
Ebony holds significant historical importance in various global cultures, including ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In Japan, ebony has played a pivotal role in traditional craftsmanship, particularly in the creation of samurai swords. Its strength, durability, and dark color symbolized the power and prestige of the samurai class. Ebony was used in sword hilts (tsuka) and ornamental fittings (menuki), showcasing the artisans' craftsmanship and artistry. Additionally, ebony is integral to other Japanese crafts, such as lacquered wood items, musical instruments like the Shamisen, and decorative furniture. This historical connection to traditional Japanese arts and its association with the samurai tradition underscore ebony's cultural significance and continued importance in Japan.
The remarkable performance of kitchen knives may well be a synonym for Shigeki Tanaka. This young skilled craftsman that can boast with his radical design and mastery makes knives that are beloved by people all over the world. Shigeki Tanaka is the fourth generation blacksmith. Due to his excellent knife-making skills, Shigeki Tanaka is one of the most recognizable blacksmiths in the city of Miki.
Blade shape: Gyuto
Steel type: SG2
Blade construction: San-mai / full hamaguri convex / damask
Hardness (HRC scale): 63-64
Overall length: 390mm (15.4")
Blade length: 240mm (9.4")
Blade height: 51mm (2")
Spine thickness: 2.3mm (0.09")
Weight: 215g (7.6 oz)
Handle length: 140mm (5.5")
Handle type / wood: Japanese / Ebony
Kanji on the blade:
Blacksmith: Shigeki Tanaka
Location of the smithy: MIKI / Hyōgo 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.
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- 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.