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Sakai Takayuki’s Western Ao-Ko Honyaki series sports knives whose blade steel is constructed solely out of Blue Steel No. 2, a high-carbon steel, often with an HRC ranging from 62-63 and that is also more abrasion resistant than its white steel counterpart. While the blade steel of the knives in this series are very hard and difficult to sharpen they keep their edge for a long time, making them practical knives that are an asset to the professional chef or cook. While the “Kasumi” knife is crafted by bonding high-carbon steel and soft iron together, the blade steel of “Honyaki” knives are made solely out of high-carbon steel alone, which requires exceptional blacksmithing skill as “Honyaki” blades are exceedingly rigid and therefore difficult to forge. After being successfully forged, “Honyaki” knives take on a lavish value and are popularly held as high-end knives. The Ao-Ko Honyaki knives sport a Western-style, pakkawood handle embedded with a high-carbon steel bolster for balance.
Recommendation: Sakai Takayuki’s Western Ao-Ko Honyaki line is recommended for professional chefs, cooks and kitchens because its knives require advanced knife maintenance and sharpening skills. Additionally, the blades of the knives in this series rust when exposed to air and water and must be dried properly before being put away.