Sakai Takayuki’s Shiro-Ko Hongasumi line offers blades that are crafted from White Steel No.1 (WS1). WS1 is a more pure and refined version of White Steel No. 2, and has more carbon added into it during the forging process. The addition of Carbon into WS1 increases its HRC and edge-retention capability. Blades crafted from WS1 can become very sharp, however, they require sharpening often as they are brittle and are prone to chipping. It is important to know that White Steel blades aren’t stainless and rust if not handled properly Additionally, because these knives are “Hongasumi” knives, they are forged with more deliberation and care to remove impurities during the forging process, making them even more refined than “Kasumi” knives. The Shiro-Ko Hongasumi knives sport a traditional-style, magnolia wood handle embedded with a buffalo horn bolster for balance.

Recommendation: The knives in this series are best for professional chefs and users who are proficient in knife sharpening and maintenance. These knives cannot be sharpened with a honing steel and require a whetstone. Additionally, because these knives are prone to chipping at the edge, they may require more than average maintenance and sharpening. However, that is solely based on how the knives are handled.

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