Collection: Hitachi White#1 (Shirogami#1)

Hitachi White #1 (Shirogami #1) is a steel produced by Hitachi Metals Ltd. Its composition includes: Carbon (C): 1.25-1.35%; Manganese (Mn): 0.20-0.30%; Silicon (Si): 0.10-0.20%; Phosphorus (P): 0.025%; Sulfur (S): 0.004%.

(Note: All knife steels contain carbon, which is primarily responsible for hardness and edge retention. However, higher carbon content alone can reduce toughness.)

Shirogami #1 has the highest carbon content among the Shirogami steels, providing excellent edge retention and sharpness but can be less tough. In comparison, Shirogami #2 balances sharpness and toughness with a moderate carbon content of 1.05-1.15%, while Shirogami #3 has the lowest carbon content (0.80-0.90%), making it the toughest and most resistant to chipping.

Shirogami steel is known for its exceptional sharpness, capable of taking a keener edge than Aogami (Blue) steel. Aogami, with added chromium and tungsten, offers enhanced edge retention and toughness but at the expense of maximum sharpness.

Note: When selecting a knife steel for your Japanese kitchen knife, it's essential to understand that there are trade-offs involved. Improving one characteristic, such as edge retention, often means compromising on another, like toughness. There is no universally "best" steel; the choice depends entirely on your individual needs and preferences. Remember, steel is just one piece of the puzzle. Consider other aspects that matter to you such as the grind, aesthetics, and overall craftsmanship. While steel matters, it's not the only thing that makes a great knife.
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