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My last post was my impulsive purchase of a new Santuko from Japan. A PayPal transaction, a DHL shipment, and on Wednesday it arrived. Pretty quick if I do say so myself.

I opened it up, and wow. It is a work of art. Shinichi Watanabe is a master, and the quality of workmanship is top notch. An amazingly functional tool, impeccably forged, with a hardwood octagonal handle that is a joy to hold.

The Watanabe Santuko
The Watanabe Santuko

A 6” blade, ultra hard carbon steel sandwiched between more flexible higher iron steel, and honed to a perfect edge. Grafted to a handle with a bone hilt, this is a tool to last a lifetime.

On a lark, I decided to look up my original set. I bought a 5 knife “Standard” set in February 2009, and at the time it was $226 with shipping. This one knife, granted it is a better forging, and nicer handle, was $301 with shipping.

You know what? It is still a good value.

The package came with one of those Sushi Chef headscarves, that I will of course not use, but it is a nice touch.

Old in the foreground vs new in the background
Old in the foreground vs new in the background

The original Santuko is still in great condition. Sure, the handle looks like I have handled it a few thousand times, the blade has a patina of moderate to heavy usage, but it still is sharp. It holds a great edge, and it will be a great back up. Into the knife drawer it goes, while the new blade is now in the knife block on the counter.

Bon apetite!

(In the future, I will type some words on kitchen cutlery from my personal use over the last 45 years)

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