Long has it been known that one of our top chefs, Heston Blumenthal uses and favours the Japanese knife Tojiro Senkou.
Tojiro Senkou knives are aimed at professional chefs and very keen home cooks. Heston loves the design, weight and blade edge of the Tojiro Senkou range each of which make the brand a premium choice.
Japan has a long tradition of knife manufacturing. Over one thousand years ago, Japanese sword smiths developed the high art of sword making to provide strong, sharp blades for the Samurai, the feared warrior caste.
Tojiro Senkou have adopted many traditional techniques in producing knives for the 21st Century which incorporate the same multi-layered blades as the Samurai swords so painstakingly produced by these masters in the past, and which both look and perform as well in the kitchen as their predecessors did in the fields. Each knife is carefully assembled and finished.
The technique of laminating steel was first seen in Damascus, Syria around 400AD. It was later adopted by Japanese sword smiths who would fold and hammer many layers of steel into their blades.
A perfect blade needs to be hard, but also strong and flexible. In many respects, these features can be contradictory. The cutting edge on Tojiro Senkou knives is made of extremely hard steel (Rockwell 60°-62°). This allows the knives to be sharpened to a more acute angle and to emerge from the factory razor sharp. If the knives were made solely of this hard steel, however, they would be inflexible and brittle, breaking easily if dropped or misused.
The solution lies in using the process of lamination to cushion the super hard inner core by adding outer layers of softer stainless steel. This results in a knife as flexible and strong as any single layer knife, but with a cutting edge that is harder, sharper and lasts longer.
Tojiro Senkou knives are made of 37 or 63 layers of steel. (Deba knife with 19 layers) This results in the beautiful Damascene effect - a pattern formed by the many layers of steel, which is known in Japanese as "kasumi-nagashi" or "floating mist"
For this superb range of knives, the remarkable Damascus multi-layered blades has been allied to comfortable and stylish Micarta handles. The handles have an inlay of stainless steel which can be engraved if required.
Heston Blumenthal chose Tojiro Senkou knives as his luxury item on Desert Island Discs