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Kitchen knives (Japan)
It is no secret that the sale of various types of cutting tools, including kitchen knives, is a significant part of Japan's exports. But knives sold abroad are often quite vaguely reminiscent of what the Japanese are used to using at home. And this is not surprising, a foreign buyer, as a rule, wants to buy a Japanese knife as he imagines it, and not as he really is ...

In this section you will not find "stylizations" for the European market - only original knives made in Japan and for Japan.

The glory of Japanese kitchen knives was brought primarily by Japanese carbon steels, which are often called "paper" because of the thin (actually the thickness of a paper sheet) cutting layer, clamped in the linings of a softer laminate. The cheapest of them are combined into the JIS SK series (SK4, SK5, etc.), and Aogami Super steel (Blue paper or blue paper) is the most expensive of Japanese carbon steels. SK-version steels are the most common, simple carbon steels (heated up to 56-60 HRC in products), which, in addition to iron and carbon, contain a moderate amount of sulfur and phosphorus, which, in general, are undesirable impurities. Yellow paper is simply a cleaner version of SK Steel (in products the same as SK, the hardening range is 56-60 HRC). Yellow paper number 3 has the least amount of carbon (it is actually eutectoid carbon, C content is 0.8-0.9%), number 2 has more carbon (1.05-1.15%) and so on. White steel is simply an even cleaner (less sulfur and phosphorus) version of yellow steel (standard order 59-61 HRC). And in the same way, the amount of carbon in white steel decreases from number 1 (1.25 - 1.35%) to number 3 (0.8 - 0.9%). Blue paper is the same white steel, but with the addition of chromium and tungsten (61-63 HRC). Blue #2 steel has the same amount of carbon as white #2, and blue #1 has the same amount as white #1. Finally, Blue Super only has slightly more carbon, chromium and tungsten than blue #1. Those. everything is extremely simple.

The 1st numbers of steels are the hardest, they hold sharpening better, but the 3rd numbers are more durable and less prone to chipping, but they can already jam, they can be hammered. When sharpening white steel, a sharper cutting edge can be realized than on blue steel (!), but the presence of ligatures (chromium and tungsten) in blue steel will allow it to have a much higher resistance to blunting than white paper. This is due to the presence in the structural matrix of Blue paper steel of not only iron carbides, but also larger carbides of alloying elements.
All of the above on the comparative properties of steel may vary depending on the manufacturer and heat treatment.

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