The Tanaka Santoku Aogami #2 Keyaki, measuring 165mm, is an exceptional option for chefs in search of a hand-forged Japanese knife crafted from traditional steel, delivering an authentic Japanese level of sharpness. Its slender blade enables precise food handling and the preparation of intricate recipes, while the superior Aogami #2 steel ensures long-lasting sharpness and easy sharpening. It's worth noting that proper maintenance is essential for this blade, as it develops a natural patina over time.
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.
Aogami #2 steel is a very popular steel in Japanese knife making 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%.
🚩 Advantages of Aogami #2 steel are a very fine, gentle sharpness - it is easy to sharpen, and remains sharp for a long time. The lower part of the blade where the high carbon steel is exposed will develop some patina after time, so we recommend oiling the blade regularly in order to prevent the development of rust. Read more about how to take care of high carbon knives and patina in our Knife maintenance blog post.
The core of the blade is clad in two layers of softer stainless steel (this type of blade construction is called san mai; for more go to Blade Construction: Lamination). This is a great combination of two different types of steel - the outer layers will protect the blade from developing rust, while the top-notch steel of the cutting edge will slice through food like a laser.
The knife has a double-bevel blade (symmetrical) and features a V-edge hollow grind profile.
The knife is heavier and stronger at the handle and thinner and more precise at the tip. This blade shape makes the knife easier to use because it is very responsive, easily maneuverable, and nicely balanced. The heel of the blade provides increased leverage, while the tip enables precise cutting. This type of blade design is also called distal taper - you can read more about it in the article on blade geometry.
The blade goes from a smooth pear skin nashiji to a cloudy kasumi finish all the way down to the cutting edge, where the Aogami #2 steel core is exposed. Hand-chiseled kanji signature is the only distinguishing element on this otherwise clean nashiji blade.
Japanese (wa) Keyaki handle has a warm golden-brown color. The octagonal handle provides a compact and sturdy grip, and due to its symmetrical shape, it is suitable for both left and right-handed use.
Keyaki, also known as Zelkova, is a durable and attractive hardwood from Eastern Asia. It is prized for its grain pattern, strength, and workability.
ABOUT THE SMITHY:
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: Santoku
Steel type: Aogami #2
Blade construction: San-mai / v-edge hollow grind, distal taper / nashiji
Hardness (HRC scale): 62-63
Overall length: 310mm (12.2")
Blade length: 165mm (6.5")
Blade height: 48mm (1.9")
Spine thickness: 2.7mm (0.11")
Weight: 145g (5.1 oz)
Handle length: 126mm (5")
Handle type / wood: Japanese / Keyaki
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.
☝️ THIS KNIFE MAY DEVELOP PATINA
Knives made of carbon steels can, due to their low chromium (Cr) content, discolor and develop patina. The knife is the most sensitive when it is still new and a patina had not developed yet, but later, patina will protect the blade. These types of knives require a touch more care:
✔ Wipe it regularly with a clean and dry cloth (you can also do this during use).
✔ After use, rinse it with lukewarm water and wipe it dry.
✔ Coat it regularly with knife maintenance oil or plain refined sunflower oil.
✔ Store the knife by wrapping it in paper which will absorb moisture and protect the blade.
A patina is a thin layer that forms on the surface of oxidized steel and protects it from further oxidation. The patina should not be confused with rust. Patina protects the blade, while rust causes corrosion and deterioration of material, so it should be removed (see Rust erasers).
→ For in-depth information about patina, read our dedicated post on patina.
GENERAL KNIFE CARE TIPS:
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.
❗️A knife is a tool intended for specific use: it’s not a can opener, screwdriver, trowel, wire cutter, hammer etc. Kitchen knives are meant for preparing food.
→ 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 - shipping to Russia costs €40*. All orders are shipped with EMS postal service.
*or more, depending on the weight
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.