Most people will have a Chef’s knife, Santoku or a Gyuto in their kitchen Amory, often a paring knife is also available, but a utility knife like the Tanaka R2 Petty can be the perfect knife for cleaning vegetables and fine detail work. The Petty can even be used as a boning knife if you don’t own one. At Modern Cooking we see the Petty, along with a Paring knife, and a Santoku, Gyuto or French Chef Knife as must have equipment.
Like the Hattori Hanzō sword in the Kill Bill movies, to have a knife made by Shigeki Tanaka is to have the best of the best. This 150mm Tanaka R2 Petty is no exception and will serve you well in this life time and the next.
As you open the custom gift box the first thing that catches your eyes is the beautiful Damascus cladding. Acid etched to highlight the 33-layer suminigashi cladding, which is consistently distributed from choil (heal) to kissaki (tip) 6mm from the blade edge.
Shigeki Tanaka is not simply a master blacksmith, but a true master craftsman. You really won’t find any rough or uncomfortable edges on this blade. The fit and finish is near perfection in every way.
The Japanese style Wa handle is perfect, both in terms aesthetics and function. The traditional octagonal shape lends itself well to most hand sizes and works well in a pinch grip. The handle also suits the dark Damascus finish and helps to bring the traditional rustic look together. All junctions are flushed extremely well, and you won’t find any unsightly gaps.
The knife is constructed with R2 steel (Rockwell 62-63) and clad in a 32-layer acid-etched suminagashi, Damascus cladding as mentioned above. The profile exhibited on the edge of this Tanaka R2 Petty is fairly traditional for this type of knife and tapers evenly from choil (heal) to kissaki (tip). The curve is subtle and consistent and exactly what you want from a premium forged Petty.
The spine has a slight distal taper throughout providing good balance and the grind is 50/50 convex, which is perfect for this kind of knife and very simple to maintain.
After a short amount of use, you will quickly realise just how beautiful this knife is. The R2 steel holds a super sharp edge, the ergonomics and balance are perfect, and the convex grind seems to glide through almost any material with ease. The acid etched Damascus cladding has a 3D shimmer to it, which pairs well with the rustic Japanese style, octagonal Wa handle and is highly scratch resistant. The cladding is not only beautiful, but practical and helps to stop produce sticking to the side of the blade as you cut. This Tanaka R2 Petty is a great-looking knife, but it’s the performance that really stands out.
The R2 series knives are great value, hand forged blades. We have been using them in our own test kitchen and find them to be razor sharp, light weight and nimble with balance and ergonomics that help to reduce fatigue. The Japanese Wa handles are really very comfortable and robust. If you are looking for a premium quality, hand forged kitchen knife that will stand up to trials of everyday use then the R2 series will not let you down.
If you would like to learn more about kitchen knives check out our cook smart series on kitchen knives, which discusses everything from the different knife types, how they are made and the various different materials they are made from. We also have articles and videos on lots of other cooking related topics including ingredients, product reviews, cookery courses and smart cooking guides. Check out all the great reading and viewing material in our Cooking School and Magazine.