Yoshikane 240mm wa-gyuto. SLD steel core with nickel and stainless suminagashi cladding. Half octagonal enju wood handle with water buffalo horn ferrule and endcap. HRC 64. 405mm overall, height at heel 50mm, 177 grams.
Yoshikane's hand-forged and excellently heat-treated SLD series bring out some of the best performance from this steel: great cutting feel, good sharpen-ability, and excellent edge life. SLD ranges from 12-13% chromium content, right on the stainless / non-stainless boundary. It has excellent toughness, hardened to 64 HRC, and can be ground very thin without becoming chippy. In our opinion, these are some of the best nearly-stainless hand-forged knives. They are ideal for the professional or home cook who is looking for a great workhorse, long edge life, and easy sharpen-ability. Although these knives are nearly stainless, they should still dried after use to avoid rust.
Yoshikane operates a small, family run forge in Sanjo, Niigata and has been making kitchen knives since 1919. They deserve their good reputation for excellent forging and heat treatments, which make for easy sharpening and great edge life for both single and double bevel knives. This is especially true about the thin grinds provided on their double bevel knives. For middleweight Japanese knives, they cut like a much thinner blade.