Buying a Japanese pocket knife? Traditional and stylish Japanese pocket knives
If there is one country where knife forging and sharpening is deeply rooted in culture, it is Japan. For instance, every knife connoisseur knows the famous Higonokami knife. And the Japanese knife, or sword, is also a staple of Western and Japanese pop culture.
Japanese pocket knives steel and handle material
Japanese pocket knives are generally characterised by the use of high-quality handle materials and types of steel. Popular types of steel for Japanese knives are VG10 steel and Aogami steel (Blue Paper carbon steel). Due to their high level of hardness, these types of steel can be sharpened to extreme sharpness. Damascus steel is also very common. This is a type of steel comprised of many layers of steel. This gives the knives a unique pattern. You also see a lot of laminated steel. Laminated steel consists of premium carbon steel, which is then laminated between two pieces of stainless steel. This gives you the sharpness and great cutting performance of the carbon steel, and the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel.
In addition, the handles of Japanese pocket knives always have something special about them. In terms of handle materials, we see beautiful types of wood, micarta and premium plastics like carbon fibre. Even when they use a common material like stainless steel or aluminium, it always features a special finish. Like a geometric pattern or a handle shaped like a piece of bamboo.
Japanese pocket knives and craftsmanship
A defining feature of a Japanese pocket knife is the amount of manual work it takes. Especially with well-known Japanese brands like Mcusta and Ohta. You can see the hand of the maker in each knife. This makes each knife slightly different, and therefore unique. In Japanese history and pop culture, they often talk about the 'soul' of the creator. That is certainly the case for these knives!