Shiro-Ko #1 Sirogokuzyou
Akazawa's Shiro-Ko #1 Sirogokuzyou line sports a blade steel crafted out of White Steel No. 1 (WS1). WS1 is a high-carbon steel with an HRC ranging from 63 to 64, making it a very hard blade. WS1 has a favorable edge retention and edge sharpness, and in spite of its hardness is easier to sharpen relative to other high-carbon steel blades. The blades in this line are also all “sandwiched” steel blades—those blades whose high-carbon steel is “sandwiched” in between one layer of stainless-steel on each side—giving them “stainless” properties; they do not rust above the cutting-edge and are easy to maintain. Additionally, Akazawa's Shiro-Ko #1 Sirogokuzyou line is comprised of “wa-knives”—those knives whose blade design originated in Western countries but that is equipped with a traditional, Eastern handle that is embedded with a buffalo horn bolster.
Disclaimer: The edge of the blades in this line are prone to rusting because they are not “sandwiched” in between two layers of stainless-steel and are instead crafted solely from Super Blue Steel. They were purposefully made this way in order to improve the edge sharpness of the knives.
Recommendation: The knives in this series are recommended for all line-cooks and chefs of all levels because they are easy to care for and are a very practical tool in a professional kitchen. Nonetheless, we recommend that those who purchase these knives enjoy working with Eastern handles as opposed to Western handles and have good sharpening skills.