Sakai Takayuki’s Shiden Hongasumi line sports a blade steel crafted out of Silver Steel No. 3, a popular stainless steel with favorable wear, stain and rust resistant properties that is easy to maintain and care for. The HRC of the blade steel in this line is 61, making it harder than average, and therefore difficult to sharpen but giving it extra edge retention capability. Additionally, the blade steel in this line is distinguished from other lines because it has a mirror polish finish that gives it an aesthetic edge.  Next, 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 Ginsan-Ko Hongasumi knives sport a traditional-style handle embedded with a buffalo horn bolster for balance.

Recommendation: Sakai Takayuki’s Shiden Hongasumi line is best for chefs and intermediate-level cooks with good sharpening skills. Even though Silver Steel No. 3 is a stainless steel it is of that variety that is harder than many other stainless steels, so good sharpening ability is required in order to maintain its blade steel. Additionally, knives that use Silver Steel No. 3 for their blade steel are wear-, stain- and rust-resistant, making knife maintenance to the exclusion of sharpening a breeze.

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