Nakiri 165mm SG2 Damascus Custom Maple


If you find handmade Japanese kitchen knives as impressive as we do, and you are aware of Shigeki Tanaka’s reputation as a master blacksmith then you will already know the SG2 Ironwood series knives are some of the most sort after and desirable kitchen knives on the planet. This custom R2 Nakiri with stabilised maple handle is a unique one of a kind piece made with the same attention to detail.

The packaging is hardly of interest. However, when you receive your custom R2 Nakiri it comes in a unique laminated box, which includes a plastic protective sheath or blade guard. The real prize awaits within though.

Fit and finish is as you would expect on this Tanaka Nakiri. The spine and choil (heel) are rounded off nicely and you really won’t find any rough or uncomfortable edges on this blade. The balance point is directly over the choil, making it feel light weight, nimble and comfortable.

Tanka is really a master of the forge and it shows in the quality of his cladding. The shinogi (cladding line) is 6mm away from the blade edge and consistently distributed from choil to kissaki (tip).

The stabilised maple handle is near perfection in aesthetics and function and totally unique. The smooth ergonomic shape lends well to most hand shapes and works well in a pinch grip. The handle is fastened with inlaid mosaic rivets and a polished stainless-steel bolster. The full tang is polished as well. All junctions are flushed extremely well, and you won’t find any unsightly gaps.

The knife is constructed with R2 steel (Rockwell 62-63) which is clad in a 32-layer acid-etched suminagashi, Damascus cladding. The profile exhibited on the edge of this one of a kind Tanaka Nakiri is fairly traditional for this type of knife and is fairly flat throughout with a slight curve towards the kissaki (tip).

The spine has virtually no distal taper throughout, as you would expect from a Nakiri. The grind is 50/50 convex, which is perfect for this kind of knife and very simple to maintain.

After a few hours of use, it is apparent just how beautiful this knife is. The thin blade, perfect balance and overall light weight inspires confidence and reduces fatigue. The edge profile lends well to push cutting as well as the fine detail work that the Nakiri is designed for.

The beautiful Damascus cladding is extra hard and extremely scratch resistant. It takes abuse very well.

If you are interested in premium hand forged knives like this then you are serious about knives and having used Tanaka Knives in the Modern Cooking kitchen for several years we can assure you that you will not be disappointed. This unique custom Nakiri is beautifully forged and very comfortable to use.

This knife is part of a series of custom made knives that we have been lucky enough to receive including knives with Acrylic, Ironwood and Stabilised Maple like this.

Product Specification

Blade Type: Nakiri

Edge Length: 165mm

Spine Heel:

Spine Mid:

Spine Tip (20mm before):

Blade Height:


Cutting Edge Steel: R2 / SG2

Stainless: Yes

HRC: 62+

Blade Construction: 3 Layer (San Mai)

Blade Finish: Acid Etched (Forced Patina)

Grind: Convex

Handle Construction: Full Tang

Handle Materials: Spalted Maple

Handedness: Ambidextrous

Saya Included: No

Product Care:

Cleaning: Clean by hand with warm water. Avoid wetting the handle when possible. 

Sharpening: We advise using whetstones to sharpen your knives and a honing rod or steel to maintain the burr between sharpening sessions. 

Reactive Steels: Reactive steels like Aogami Super, Apex Ultra or one of the many premium reactive German and Swedish steels are susceptible to rust if not properly cared for. In this case we advise that you keep the knife dry between uses and when storing the knife for longer periods wiping the knife blade with Tsubaki oil or another food safe oil is a wise choice. This will not stop a patina forming on the blade, but it will stop rust. A patina can be a beautiful personal feature on your knife and helps to stop rust forming. So, dry your knife regularly between uses, store in a dry place and apply some Tsubaki oil from time to time when storing for long periods. 

A reference guide to steel types

Handle Care: If you have a knife with a non-stabilised wooden handle, you can apply Tsubaki oil or another food safe oil to your handle from time to time. Food safe wax can be applied to both stabilised and no-stabilised wooden handles. Never apply hot wax or oil as you risk warping or damaging the handle.