Katana are traditionally made from a specialized Japanese steel called tamahagane,created from a traditional smelting process that results in layered steels with different carbon concentrations. This process helps remove impurities and even out the carbon content of the steel. The Katana's gentle curvature is made by a process of differential hardening or differential quenching: the smith coats the blade with several layers of a wet clay slurry, which is a special concoction unique to each sword maker, but generally composed of clay, water and any or none of ash, grinding stone powder, or rust. This process is called tsuchioki. The edge of the blade is coated with a thinner layer than the sides and spine of the sword. It is then heated, and then quenched in water (few sword makers use oil to quench the blade). The slurry causes only the blade's edge to be hardened and also causes the blade to curve due to the difference in densities of the micro-structures in the steel. When steel with a carbon content of 0.7% is heated beyond 750 °C, it enters the austenite phase. When austenite is cooled very suddenly by quenching in water, the structure changes into martensite, which is a very hard form of steel. When austenite is allowed to cool slowly, its structure changes into a mixture of ferrite and pearlite which is softer than martensite. This process also creates the distinct line down the sides of the blade called the Hamon, which is made distinct by polishing. Each Hamon and each smith's style of Hamon is distinct. Example of a hamon After the blade is forged, it is then sent to be polished. Traditional hand polishing takes between one and three weeks. The polisher uses a series of successively finer grains of polishing stones in a process called glazing, until the blade has a mirror finish. However, the blunt edge of the katana is often given a matte finish to emphasize the hamon. Only a small amount of people use the traditional method of sword making doing everything by hand with no power tools at all, these sword maker undergo years of apprenticeship and are tightly licensed. Replica Katanas have flooded the market and you can buy a decoration katana that will break on the first swing if ever used for about £20/$30. A properly made Katana should cost anywhere from £150/$200 upto thousands of pounds or dollars if made by a true master in the old fashion. You can buy Katana's on our site that are made semi traditionally, using all the correct methods but implementing the use of power tools to speed up the process. This does not affect the finish or usability of our swords but does make them much more affordable.
In cooking, a chef's knife, also known as a cook's knife, is used in food preparation. The chef's knife was originally designed primarily to slice and disjoint large cuts of beef. Today it is the primary general-utility knife for most western cooks. A chef's knife generally has a blade eight inches (20 centimeters) in length and 1 1⁄2 inches (3.8 cm) in width, although individual models range from 6 to 14 inches (15 to 36 centimetres) in length. Japanese Chef Knives: A Japanese Gyuto (Gyūtō), literally meaning 'beef knife', is the Japanese version of a French (or Western) chef's knife. The Santoku knife is basically a Japanese style chef's knife. It's smaller lighter sharper with a different blade shape. The Chinese chef's knife is completely different and resembles a cleaver. A modern chef's knife is a multi-purpose knife designed to perform well at many differing kitchen tasks, rather than excelling at any one in particular. It can be used for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and disjointing large cuts.
A simple History of Damascus Steel, What is Damascus Steel? Lets start with a cool fact.. The exceptionally strong fictitious Valyrian steel mentioned in the television series Game of Thrones, as well as George R. R. Martin's book series A Song of Ice and Fire, is inspired by Damascus steel. Just like Damascus/Wootz steel, Valyrian steel also seems to be a lost art from an ancient civilization. However a resurgence of interest thanks to TV shows like Forged in Fire means that the knowledge for Damascus Steel is yet to survive and be passed on for years to come yet. Now we just need to ask.. Damascus steel was the forged steel comprising the blades of swords smithed in the Near East from ingots of Wootz steel imported from Southern India and Tamraparni (ancient Sri Lanka). These swords are characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water, or a "ladder" or "teardrop" pattern. Such blades were tough, resistant to shattering, and capable of being honed to an extremely sharp, resilient edge. The steel is named after Damascus, the capital city of Syria and one of the largest cities in the ancient Levant. The original method of producing wootz is not known. Modern attempts to duplicate the metal have not been entirely successful due to differences in raw materials and manufacturing techniques. Several individuals in modern times have claimed that they have rediscovered the methods by which the original Damascus steel was produced. The reputation and history of Damascus steel has given rise to many legends, such as the ability to cut through a rifle barrel or to cut a hair falling across the blade. Nowadays Damascus is loved mainly for it;s uniqueness, no 2 blades will ever be identical with a Handforged Damascus Knife.