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 that the SG2 Ironwood series knives are some of the most sort after and desirable kitchen knives on the planet. This Tanaka Ironwood Nakiri is no exception!
As is standard with the Ironwood and R2 series the knife comes in a wooden gift box, lined with red fabric and secured with a cardboard sheath and bubble wrap. The packaging is hardly of interest though. The real prize awaits within.
Fit and finish is as you would expect on this Tanaka Ironwood Nakiri. The spine and choil (heal) 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 ironwood handle is near perfection in aesthetics and function. 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 SG2 steel (Rockwell 62-63) which is clad in a 32-layer acid-etched suminagashi, Damascus cladding. The profile exhibited on the edge of this Tanaka Ironwood 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 the ironwood series 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. The ironwood series are beautifully forged and very comfortable to use.
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