In April, 2006, we have introduced Mr. Itou’s custom kitchen knives, hand crafted from the special R-2 powdered high-speed tool steel core blade edge hardened to HRc.62, and forge-sandwiched with 32 layered stainless Damascus steel.
You can see the details at "Mr.Itou Custom Kitchen Knives" on JCK (Our Kitchen Knife Web Shop).
The reputation and demand were terrific! We had so many good words from the users for the extremely sharp cutting and edge retention ability. The secret of this is the finest powdered steel R-2 and the forging process. He said he was first using Hitachi Blue steel (Aogami), from which he could obtain a good cutting, but it was rusty. He has then used R-1 from Kobe Steel, but it was brittle. Finally, he worked with Kobe Steel to develop new formula, R-2 that has improved and exceeded over R-1 steels.
He also found his special forging process makes it sharper and longer edge retention. Another secret is he uses a large water stone wheel with slow rotating to grind his blades, unlike the normal belt sander grinding. This will prevent over-heating the blade to ruin the proper hardness and its chemical characters.
He is also an avid hunter, and makes some Hunting knives with same R-2 blade and finish. He is also a leather craftsman, and each leather sheath is hand formed to fit each knife perfectly and hand stitched and custom engraved by him. This will be a great opportunity to obtain his superb knife for your outdoor activity.
Mr. Itou is now 80 years old and in the near future he will end his career as a custom knife maker.
You are probably aware that Mr. Itou has been crafting special custom knives for us for many years and we have been very proud to introduce and sell his beautiful, unique and very practical knives to our customers.
Unfortunately, we received a message from Mr. Itou informing us that he must increase the price of his knives due to his limited production output, his limited available time and the increasing cost of knife production (i.e.: Steel; knife materials; running costs; etc.).
It is very difficult for us to accept these price increases, but we appreciate that his custom knife making process is very time-consuming and that he has limited time and production capacity. Furthermore, we understand and respect the value of Mr. Itou’s knives, his expertise as a custom knife maker and his unique creative spirit.
We regret that we have to increase the price of Mr. Itou’s knives, but his custom kitchen knives are made with all his passion, expertise and much hard work.
In here, we are proud to be offering these last and final collections of Custom Knife Collections from Mr. Itou.