HK-4 'Hocho Kobo' Gyuto Knife
- Model no.: Tadafusa HK-4 Gyuto
- Dimensions: 210mm blade length
- Blade steel: SLD core with stainless cladding
- Handle: Carbonised chestnut wood
The Tadafusa Hocho Kobo (HK) range of household knives combines a contemporary look with the traditional hand-forged knife making techniques of the Tadafusa company. The design is by iconic Japanese product designer Fumie Shibata, and it is made at the Tadafusa factory in TsubameSanjo.
The HK-4 is a gyuto (literally: "beef sword"), which is a Japanese version of a Western style chef's knife. It is used as a multi-purpose knife - for chopping vegetables by using the heel of the blade, for rock-chopping using the middle of the blade, or to cut meat with pull or push cuts. Its tip allows for precision work if required from a large knife. The blade is also thinner than its Western counterpart.
The blade combines an SLD steel core, which offers a high carbon, sharp cutting edge, with stainless steel cladding. It is a thin and light blade for everyday use. The chestnut handle is heat treated using a patented method in order to prevent shrinkage and to increase bacterial resistance. It comes packed in a custom branded cardboard box.
MAKER PROFILE: TADAFUSA
Sanjo in Niigata Prefecture is a well known hub in Japan of blacksmith factories and hardware manufacturing businesses. Its blacksmith tradition goes back to 1635.
The founder of Tadafusa - Torasaburo Sone - started Tadafusa in 1948 and, by using the techniques of the region, began making sickles, short swords, kitchen knives and hand-forged metal scales. Over time, Tadafusa became renowned especially for fishing knives, kitchen knives and soba knives.
Now in its third generation under the leadership of Tadayuki Sone, Tadafusa has introduced many contemporary elements to its knife ranges, including partnering with industrial designers like Fumie Shibata for the Hocho Kobo range and Yusuke Seki for its knife showroom. As a result, Tadafusa has won a number of Good-Design Awards and in the words of the company "have been continuing taking great effort to create the hand-forged knives that customers really desire for with the demands of the present age.
Tadafusa knives are ideal for serious home cooks as well as professional chefs and come in different blade types and wooden handle finishes. They have pioneered a process of carbonising wood handles to improve the antibacterial properties.