What is a Japanese Forged Chef Knife?
A forged Chef Knife, or a forged blade,
is a blade which is made of
one piece of steel, usually Carbon
Steel, which is heated up in a forge (oven),
almost to its melting
point, and the beaten with a hammer to form the
What is so special about the
Japanese Forged Chef Knife?
First of all the material.
Forging steel will not
necessarily make it strong. There is a huge
importance to the steel
compound that is forged, shaped and sharpened.
In the 13th century, when blade
forging was used for the making
of the Katana (Samurai Sword), --
History of the Japanese Forged
Chef Knife -- Japanese sword
smiths used to experiment with different
kinds of steel
compounds to get maximum strength and flexibility
for their blades.
After Centuries of experiments,
the best compounds that were
available, and still used to this day
in the making of Japanese Forged
Chef Knives are Carbon Steel
compound which include Chromium,
Vanadium, Molybdenum and Cobalt.
The metal that is used today is
called VG-10. It is only found in
Japan, and the Japanese government
does not allow it to be exported
as raw material. Only as finished
The next thing that was
discovered in the forging of the Japanese
blade, was that folding
the Carbon Steel metal while hammering it, gave
the blade more steel
That allows for more strength and
The best Katana swords, were
folded up to 800 times, making them
the most expensive and sought
after weapons in the far east.
Folding steel while forging it
into a blade takes a lot of time and
experience. That is why a good
Japanese forged chef knife may cost a
few hundred dollars today.
Each fold added to the blade, adds
carbon steel fibers by 2 to the
factor of the number of folds:
X (the number of folds)
The number of fibers = 2
While each fiber gives the blade
more flexibility and more strength.
A forged Japanese chef knife
usually has between 16 to 32 folds.
The better knives have 67 folds
A traditional Japanese Forge can heat up
to 1200° C.