At the Seki Outdoor Knife Show, we met with a passionate Young Forge Smith (Although he already has over 20 years of knife making experience) called Daisuke Nishida, who is from Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyūshū Island.
Master Nishida started his knife making career when he was 19 years old and he apprenticed with an experienced and sophisticated forge smith, who taught him traditional hammer forging techniques, knife handcrafting methods and other knife making knowledge.
Now, 20 years later, Forge Smith Nishida runs his own workshop and he continues to challenge himself to produce the best possible knives and to impact the hearts and spirits of knife lovers and collectors.
Recently, the numbers of traditional forge smiths that make handmade knives has been decreasing, whilst the number of factory-made knives has been increasing.
Among these few remaining forge smiths, Master Nishida preserves his traditional handcrafting practices and continues to make his knives using the traditional Tan-Setsu ("Forge-Welding") process; In other words, Forge Smith Nishida makes his own laminated blade material using his own experience and forging skills rather than buying pre-laminated blade material from the steel company. While this means he can only produce a limited number of traditional hammer forged knives, it allows him to activate and use all of his creativity, technical skills, experience, passion and spirit to produce wonderful one-of-a-kind custom knives.
In addition to preserving traditional blade forging and handcrafting techniques and skills, Master Nishida has also developed his design skills and design sense so that he can produce creative, attractive and practical custom handles and overall knife designs.
Master Nishida truly is a very conscientious and dedicated custom knife maker who is able to design and make custom knives that harmoniously blend traditional Japanese "WA" taste/style and contemporary knife design concepts. When these skills are combined with the High Cutting Performance offered by a Pure Carbon Japanese Steel blade, and a great sense for custom handle making, you end up with knives that really are outstanding.
DN-1 Path-Finder I
Forge Smith Nishida has decorated this White Steel No.1 San-Mai ("3-layer") blade with a Wavy Tsuchime hammered texture and a Kurouchi ("Black forged") finish. It requires great experience, skill and the proper forging processes to maximise the characteristics of Pure High Carbon Japanese White Steel No.1. Master Nishida has been using White Steel No.1 throughout his knife forging career and he continues to use this steel because it offers very high cutting performance.
The Wavy Hammer Textured, Black Forged, White Steel No.1 San-Mai Blade is fitted with a handmade custom Desert Ironwood Handle and a Brass Hilt that are securely fastened to the hidden tang. The knife comes with a custom handmade black leather sheath, which has a hammered texture that beautifully matches the knife.
Master Nishida’s selection of natural wood material and his traditional handcrafting processes have created a knife with real warmness and overall Japanese WA beauty.
White Steel No.1 San-Mai, Blade: 5.2mm thick, 125mm blade, 240mm overall, Weight 183g
Knife Model: Daisuke Nishida DN-1 Path-Finder I
Blade Material: White Steel No.1 San-Mai ("3-layer")
Rockwell Hardness (HRc.): 60 to 62
Handle Material: Desert Ironwood Handle with Brass Hilt
Natural Wood Sheath: Included
Overall Length: 240mm (9 ½ inches)
Blade Length: 125mm (5 inches)
Blade Thickness: 5.2mm (7/32 inch approximately)
Weight: 183g (6.5oz)