This high speed knife is one of a kind knife. The maker of the Jin knives was born in Tokyo before World War II and began making knives early on in his life. We met with him some years ago, during our first business trip to Japan. After a very nice meeting with him, we were lucky enough to be allowed to carry his knives. At the time we met him, he was already retired, so his knives are all new old stock (unused and new, but produced years ago). Sadly, this craftsman passed away at the end of 2015. He was a dear friend and is sincerely missed. He is survived by his son, who, while also a craftsman, does not make knives. As he is no longer producing knives, the inventory is EXTREMELY LIMITED. Once things are gone, they are gone.
He had been working as a knife maker since his early 20's (before WWII) and has developed a unique philosophy about his knives. He chose to use high speed steel because he liked its qualities... extremely durable, takes a great edge, easy to sharpen, and has great edge holding. The cost of his materials was extremely high, but he cared only about producing the best knives he could. He completed each knife entirely in-house, including the making of the knife, the handle, the saya, etc. He even built most of the machinery in his workshop.
We like his knives because they are so unique, and combine wonderful performance with great artistry and craftsmanship. No other knife maker in Japan that we know of has such a long history of working with High Speed Steel, and no other kitchen knives we know of use the same steel. We also think the design of his knives are very interesting... especially the metal ferrule. I've used some of his knives over the last few years, and am constantly impressed with the edge retention and durability.
You will notice that in between the softer carbon steel and harder High Speed Steel cutting edge, there is a tiny bit of copper. This was a method of cladding that was used long ago in Japan.
We refinish, polish, and sharpen each one of these before shipping them out. This includes refinishing the handle and saya, cleaning up and polishing the blade, and sharpening the knife. Because they were made a long time ago, we want to make sure that they are in the best condition they can be in by the time they make it to you.