The Blazen wa-series features an SG2 (powdered stainless steel) core, clad in softer stainless steel with a nashiji finish. 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, they 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 sole official dealership for the Americas.
The Blazen wa-petty has a very thin kiritsuke-style tip. The blade is very thin behind the edge and overall lighter-weight compared to the Western handle version due to the walnut handle. 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 rounded, and the level of comfort on the handle and blade is indicative of the level of care that goes into each knife.
This knife does not come with a saya, photos will be updated in the near future.