Takeda Hamono Nakiri Knife
We love Takeda Hamono knives, and took it as a good sign that the maker's mark includes a friendly heart stamped along the blade. This is a knife with a point of view, and each hand-forged Nakiri-Bocho NAS has huge amounts of the master blacksmith Shosui Takeda's personality worked into it. That, along with the way it performs, is why we chose this nakiri as our first Japanese culinary knife. We've since added the gyuto (multi-purpose chef knife), and a mini petit (paring), as well as a set. Takeda Hamono is a third generation factory of blacksmiths, with roots going back to the 1920s.
Takeda Hamono crafts various sizes of nakiri knives, but months ago we requested a custom batch of this ~165mm blade size. They're great all-around knives - typically celebrated for vegetable preparation, but we use it for a world of things beyond that. It's light in hand, with a thin, but still strong and substantial, blade that drops straight and flush to the cutting board. Not too large, and not too small for average hands. The thin nakiri blade style reduces the amount of food that sticks to the side of the blade. It's a versatile size, making more detailed prep work possible. The Takeda arrives from the factory "wow" sharp, and with the occasional visit to your sharpening stone this is a knife that is pure pleasure to use.
A few details: The rosewood octagon handle is friendly to both right and left-handers. It has a black pakka wood collar. The blade is also suitable for right and left-handers - beveled 50/50. These nakiri are part of Takeda's NAS series - carbon blades that have been clad with Aogami Super Steel coating. It's a stainless coating around a carbon core making the face of the blades resistant to oxidation, and easier to care for. You can see the layers in the profile view (see photos), and it's part of what makes each knife unique. As a finishing detail, Takeda uses a bit of epoxy glue at the bolster to prevent water from getting down into the handle. It's a nice touch that helps protect the knife over the course of its life.
Care: Wipe the knife’s blade with a clean cloth or wash it gently after each use, avoiding harsh detergents or scrubbers. Never use in a dish washer. Dry the blade soon after washing; the knife will develop a patina over time, but you want to avoid rust. The wood handle is durable—that said, we recommend hand washing your knife, drying it, and storing it somewhere it doesn't come into contact with other objects or utensils, such as a knife strip. Or, when completely dry, you can keep it in the box it comes in. We suggest having the knife professionally sharpened, or using a sharpening stone.
The Takeda Hamono nakiri ships in a gift-worthy box, with the blade wrapped in Japanese paper.
Blade length: approx. 6.25 inches / 165 mm
Weight: approx. 5.25 ounces
Made in Niimi, Okayama Prefecture, Japan.