The Blazen series features an SG2 core (a powdered stainless steel), clad in softer stainless steel. A long time ago, when I was still cooking professionally, Blazen was one of my first serious Japanese knives. Even back then, they were known for exceptional edge retention and a great distal taper. Since that time, they have gotten better. When visiting Echizen on one of our Japan trips, we met with Ryusen Hamono, the maker of Blazen knives. Their commitment to excellence in grind quality, fit and finish, and consistency in each line they made was most impressive. Likewise, it was clear they took great care and pride in each step of the knife making process, which they do entirely in-house. From the forging to the heat treating to the product design and packaging, they had smart, well thought out processes in place. Ryusen used to be one of the most popular OEM makers in Japan, as they had an excellent reputation for the knives they produced. More recently, the have stopped all OEM work to focus on their own brand. With this shift in philosophy, they have redoubled efforts to constantly make improvements to their various series (profiles, grinds, fit and finish, forging, heat treating, etc.). This is extremely apparent in their most recent offerings. They have done an excellent job at both researching on their own, as well as eliciting in-depth feedback from professional chefs and customers. Their business philosophy is such that they are open to new and better ways of doing things at every step of the way. We are proud to be Ryusen's only official dealership for the Americas.
The Blazen series has a decently tall blade height, a very thin tip, is thin behind the edge, but has some weight to it, due to the distal taper. They cut rather well and have amazingly good edge retention. While the steel is hard, the heat treatment method they are using works extremely well and creates an edge that sharpens easily and takes a very nice edge. The spine and choil are polished, and the level of polish on the handle and bolster is indicative of the level of care that goes into each knife.