Tamahagane knives are manufactured by Kataoka and Company in Niigata, Japan. The word tamahagane means precious steel. Historically, the word tamahagane has been known as a particular, very pure and high-quality steel produced using traditional Japanese techniques. Today, Kataoka uses Tamahagane as the brand name for the exceptional knives it makes from similar quality steels produced using modern techniques. With their unsurpassed sharpness and edge retention, these knives are definitely precious steel.
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.