View Full Version : Ittosai Kotetsu Blue 2 steel?

04-11-2012, 07:50 PM
Posted in an old Ittosai thread but I'm not sure of how others read these boards and it may not have gotten any notice, so if it's OK I'd like to ask in a new thread.

I realize that Ittosai Kotetsu knives are old news, like A-types and others from the "first wave" of the current Japanese cutlery movement in the west. On Monday I was in Tokyo for a few hours and had a chance to visit some of my (now-)favorite knife shops on Kappabashi-dori. I wasn't really looking for something specific, but asked my friends at Union Commerce if they had any nice nakiri I could check out. I was presented with a range from cheap to expensive, a name I did not recognize in tool steel for 5000 (about $65) to a Masamoto Sohonten KK in white #2 with typical Masamoto F&F for 12,500 (~$160). All of them were kuro-uchi style finish, which I don't find objectionable, but then he brought out the Ittosai Kotetsu 165 in ao-niko (blue #2) with a brushed kasumi finish, I kind of fell in love. At 10,000 (~$120) with very reasonable F&F and a nice handle (I don't know my woods, but it's either mahogany or rosewood :O ), I think it's a steal. Most of what I've been able to find out about Ittosai Kotetsu has been the observations that the gyutos available in the past have been VG-10 or stainless, and apparently OEMd by Ryusen. I haven't read much about Ittosai's carbon knives, and nothing about blue #2 blades.

Does anybody know any more about them?






Sorry about the crappy pictures; the light dropped quickly. Hopefully these can give some insight.

sachem allison
04-11-2012, 08:30 PM
looks like cherry wood actually, definitely not mahogany or rosewood. very nice knife though. I always liked Ittosai.

04-11-2012, 09:14 PM
Duh. I really should school myself about wood. :O

As I said, I was surprised about the knife, considering the price. I like the profile and geometry; it's got some heft right ahead of the heel and just enough curve to the edge to not make me look foolish. LOL The grind is nice, with only a few flaws in the jigane visible on the bevel.

04-11-2012, 09:16 PM
Blue steel is pure carbon steel (white steel) with added elements chromium and tungsten which enhance edge retention. The grain is a little larger than with white steel. No. 2 has the least carbon which will make it less brittle. It won't get as hard as no. 1 or Aogami Super. In fact the differences between the blue and white steels will be rarely noticed. Heat treatment is far more important. Blue no. 2 is an excellent choice for kitchen knives without making the production very difficult and expensive.

04-11-2012, 11:32 PM
looks like cherry wood actually, definitely not mahogany or rosewood. very nice knife though. I always liked Ittosai.


04-11-2012, 11:36 PM
OK, rub it in. LOL

04-11-2012, 11:45 PM
that's a good looking knife!

04-12-2012, 12:12 AM
I thought so, too, which is why I didn't hesitate much. I'm going to the market for veg tomorrow, just to give it a shake-down. :)

04-12-2012, 12:33 AM
I'm a fan of that handle as well, seems like a nice upgrade from the traditional ho wood.