Maker: Nakamura Hamono
Blade Core Material: Aogami Super or Blue Super with stainless steel cladding.Blade Hardness: 64 Rockwell, which is VERY impressive for a hand-made Japanese knife at this price.
Out Box Sharpness: 8 out of 10. My particular sample was quite sharp.
Real-World Edge Retention: 9 out of 10. It never ceases to amaze me how well the edge can hold on to such a thin knife. In my long-term six-month torcher test (regular home use), I never sharpened it. Yet, it was still acceptably sharp by the end of the six months.
Handle Material: Magnolia wood. You can get these with a stunning Sugi Fuki-urushi handle, but I opted for the basic magnolia handle.
Handle Comfort: 8 out of 10. What I like about the handle on the sample I received is the size of the handle. It has slightly more girth than typical 210mm gyutos. The corners and edges of the handle are all nicely sanded. The top of the ferrule is easy to miss, and there is where most wa handles can be uncomfortable, but not this particular sample.
Fit & finish: 7 out of 10. The spine and choil are rounded with a matte polish. There are no sharp corners or edges (other than the cutting edge).
Overall: 8 out of 10. There is very little to complain about on this Kaishin. It checks off all of the boxes a Japanese knife purest is looking for in a relatively affordable knife. Of course, some knives cost less with similar steels, but when you consider the fit and finish quality of the blade and handle, the Kaishin ranks as a TOP PICK.
See the review video:
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