Togiharu Virgin Gyutou Knife

Japanese Kitchen Carbon Steel Cutlery

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Togiharu Virgin Gyutou Knife In the realm of kitchen knives, Japanese virgin carbon steel is considered amongst the most desirable of blade materials. What makes Virgin carbon steel so special and why does a virgin carbon steel blade offer such fine performance?

Unfortunately, most steels these days, both carbon and stainless, originate from recycled materials. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that the steel soup can which you threw in the recycling bin or the bumper from your first car ended up as part of a batch of steel from which knives were made.

As the moniker "virgin carbon" implies, no recycled steel is used, only raw iron ore is used in the smelting of virgin carbon steel, so it is relatively free of many of the impurities and the alloying elements present in other types of steel. This makes for a blade which offers good edge holding ability and is capable of taking a very fine edge.

Of course, blade material isn't the only factor in determining how a knife will perform. Geometry and tempering (hardness) are equally important as the type of steel used. Fortunately, this knife features thin geometry and is tempered to a relatively hard 61-62RC, which makes for a very effective combination.

Unlike most "Western style" Japanese knives, Togiharu features POM, a synthetic handle material which will be quite familiar to most users of high quality European kitchen knives. The only significant criticism which I can offer is that the spine on this knife is nearly as sharp as the blade itself. Thankfully, a little sandpaper easily softens the spine making it much friendlier to the user.

Since carbon steel is more prone to rusting and discolors with use, it will require a bit more effort to keep it clean and dry, but the performance advantage more than outweighs any downside to the increased maintenance.

This is a knife which is deserving of a spot in any cook's kit and will almost certainly become a favorite.

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