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 Post subject: Kunimitsu
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:07 am
Posts: 371
Just saw these on the website today http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shkukn.html

I'm curious which of the Yasuki steels is used?


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 Post subject: Re: Kunimitsu
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:24 am 

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:51 am
Posts: 218
Location: Austin tX
I was wondering the same thing I like the video


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 Post subject: Re: Kunimitsu
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:34 pm
Posts: 354
I did a little research:
Shiro Kunimitsu is a swordsmith in Japan who are active in making kitchen knives in the same steel that is used in Japanese swords. Traditionally, a steel called Tamahagane is used to make the swords and the steel is made in a very special way.
Shiro Kunimitsu uses a steel called Yasuki steel, and is made ​​of the same iron-rich sand that is used to make Tamahagane. Yasuki steel is refined only slightly better than Tamahagane steel is made during its manufacture.

Yasuki Steel produced by Hitachi Metals is now the mainstream in Japanese knife manufacturing. It is very advanced material, and there are many grades classified based on its combination of impurities and metal.
The grade is primarily divided into three categories, which are Kigami, Shirogami, and Aogami. In the knife industry Shirogami and Aogami are used in general. Shirogami has the hardness of HRC62+-1, and Aogami is HRC64+-1, both of which are balanced very good in sharpness and hardness.

Shirogami steel

It is highly purified Yasuki Steel. It is however very difficult in queching and requires experience and skill of craftsman. There are 4 categories in Shirogami, which are Shirogami #1(1,25 - 1,35% of carbon content), Shirogami #2(1,05 - 1,15%), Shirogami #3(0,80 - 0,90%), and Shirogami Saw material (0,90 - 1,00&). Shirogami #2 is usually most suitable for knife manufacturing.
Knives made by Shirogami are harder than stainless and has good sharpness, but quite fragile.

Aogami steel

When chrome and tungsten are added in the Shirogami #2, the material is called Aogami. Chrome improves its viscosity and tungsten improves its resistance to the friction. Metal carbide which is high in hardness is also contained in Aogami and those materials effectively act on making good knife blades.
Depends on containing amount of carbon, Aogami is classified as Aogami #1 (1,25 - 1,35% of carbon content), Aogami #1 (1,05 - 1,15%), and Aogami Super (1,40 - 1,50%).
Aogami is not that severe on quenching as Shirogami and tends to keep hardness evenly. With its high viscosity, Aogami is quite ideal for knives. It is however difficult to resharpen due to its good hardness.

Nowhere was I able to find specifically what the core steel is.


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 Post subject: Re: Kunimitsu
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 4:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:07 am
Posts: 371
Excellent research Philly, I think you highlighted what I poorly clarified in my original question. Since Hitachi Metals bought the Yasugi Works plant(Yasugi is the city in Shimane Perfecture where the plant is located), Yasuki steel only denotes the plant. The actual steel can be any of Hitachi's white(Shirogami), blue(aogami) or yellow(kigami) steels as you mentioned. The poorly worded question I meant to ask was which Yasuki/Hitachi steel is used as the core steel for this line?

Tamahagane/Yasugi steel falls into a discussion of traditional Japanese sword making and brings with it topics of tartara, iron-sands and the origins/purpose of fold welding. This is a very vaild discussion when talking about Yasugi(the city). However, it is a very lengthy discussion that takes on a whole other world. I do enjoy the subject, but I will digress from boring you guys with a long winded rant of my limited knowledge of the subject.

... unless there is interest :D


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