If you are you looking for a fancy finish like the ever popular Damascus or the increasingly popular Kurouchi (Blacksmith) finish then this is not the knife for you. However, if you are looking for a knife that focuses on utility, balance, edge retention and sharpness then the Takamura R2 Gyuto and indeed any knife from the Takamura Hamono is going to suite you just fine.
This 210mm Gyuto features a hygienic resin bonded pakkawood handle in Burgundy. The handle has a classic design with conservative looks. It’s a comfortable handle to use and fills the hand nicely. The knife features a 50/50 convex grind and the handle has an ambidextrous design. Lefty or righty you are good to go.
The blade features a San Mai construction with R2 core steel and a Migaki or polished finish. You can see the cladding line when you hold the knife up to the light and its a subtle but nice feature on the blade face. Although Takamura Hamono have kept the design quite reserved the knife is really good to look at.
Performance is truly where this blade shines though. The knife is supper thin, about 1.5mm from the hilt to where the spine meets the grind. The balance and weight are perfect. The Takamura R2 Gyuto has a balance point just over the heel or chin of the blade and the knife only weighs about 150g. It’s really nimble knife and performs like a scalpel.
Takamura knives feature great quality steel, leading edge fit and finish and utility focused designs that professional chefs have come to respect. The Takamura R2 series are top tier knives and serious value for professional chefs and cooking enthusiasts.
Established in 1945 Takamura Hamono or Takamura Cutlery is an award winning innovator in the kitchen knife industry. The business was first established by Isao Takamura, but it was his son and current owner who turned out to be a truly innovative blacksmith. Toshiyuki Takamura began working with High Speed Powder Steel (HSPS) in 1982. At the time stainless steel knives had a reputation for having particularly poor edge retention and sharpness. Tochiyuki wanted to change that. He felt that if he could produce a knife that had good edge retention and sharpness as well as being rust resistant he would have made a great contribution to Japanese knife making.
In the end he made two great contributions. Through his experiments with HSPS, in particular SG2 or R2 steel a brand produced by Takefu Special Steel Co. Ltd., he succeeded in producing an ultra-sharp stainless steel knife with great edge retention and durability. In fact knives forged in SG2 or R2 steel are considered some of the best in the world today.
Toshiyuki’s second major innovation occurred almost by accident. While testing the R2 series knives Toshiiyuki would simply sharpen the un finished blade edges, while leaving his unpolished hammer marks in the face of the blade. The Takamura team noticed that when slicing with the hammered blades the produce would release cleaner and the blades actually created less drag as they moved through the produce. This created much cleaner cuts and made for a far more pleasant cutting experience. Today this type of knife is known to have a Tsuchimi finish, which translates to “Hammered finish” 😉 .
Although Toshiyuki is no longer running Takamura Hamono he still works in the shop producing knives along side his three sons who are now running the shop. Toshiyuki was awarded the Medal of Honour from the Emperor of Japan for his efforts, accomplishments, and contributions to knife making. He has also been awarded the title of Modern Contemporary Master Craftsman.
Takamura knives are considered some of the best forged knives in the world today and are used by professional chefs including Michelin masters like Gordon Ramsay, Rene Redzepi and many others. Regardless of who uses them our experience certainly has been positive and we can assure you that you will be satisfied. The craftsmanship and materials used are a very high standard and the product speaks for itself. The blades are not that easy to come by and we feel privileged to be able to offer them to you.
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