The SAN KYOTO Tamahagane knives feature 63-ply stainless steel construction. The core or middle layer is VG No. 5. The core layer is the cutting edge and is 61 degrees on the Rockwell scale for hardness. There are 31 layers of SUS410 stainless steel on each side of the middle layer. These 31 layers on each side create a beautiful damascus pattern which make the knives very distinctive. The outside layers are softer and more stain resistant than the cutting edge and actually protect the cutting edge.
The 63-ply stainless steel has an original thickness of 20 mm and is thinned by repeated rolling to a thickness of 2 mm. You might want to look at this rolling process as a modern forging technique. Also, this rolling process removes all the impurities in the steel leaving you with a very hard, very pure stainless steel. After the rolling processes, the V-G No. 5 cutting edge reaches a hardness of 61 degrees on the Rockwell scale and a final thickness of .65 mm. The outside layers each reach a thickness of .675 mm.
The edge on the SAN KYOTO knives is a minute, beveled edge. The angle of the edge is between 14 and 15 degrees. To appreciate the quality of the edge, you must first look at its incredible mirror polish and then try cutting with it. Kataoka has achieved the perfect balance between sharpness and strength with the SAN edge.
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