Tanaka Santoku Kyokko VG-10 Damascus 165mm (6.5")
Tanaka Santoku Kyokko VG-10 Damascus 165mm is a multi-purpose knife for the aspiring cook that doesn't just want to use their knife, but admire it too. But at its essence, it’s still a workhorse, meant to be put to work and not just decorate your cabinet. VG-10 steel is great for professional environments, mainly due to its excellent edge retention and stainless qualities, while at the same time being ideal for the home cook that wants a reliable knife that won't need much maintenance.
Kyokko 極光 (meaning “aurora”) draws inspiration from wavy lights illuminating the northern night sky. This impression was transferred to the blade, adorned with a smooth 33-layer damascus finish that won't stick out too much, but still make a statement.
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.
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 two layers of softer steel. 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 has a 33-layer damascus finish with a hand-chiseled kanji carrying the signature of master blacksmith Shigeki Tanaka.
Western (Yo) style handle with steel rivets made from black pakka wood.
ABOUT THE BLACKSMITH:
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: VG-10
Blade construction: San-mai / full hamaguri convex / damascus
Hardness (HRC scale): 61-62
Overall length: 298mm (11.7")
Blade length: 165mm (6.5")
Blade height: 49mm (1.9")
Spine thickness: 2.7mm (0.11")
Weight: 195g (6.9 oz)
Handle length: 120mm (4.7")
Handle type / wood: Western (Yo) style / Pakka
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.
- €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.