Collection: Hitachi White #2 (Shirogami #2)

Hitachi White #2 (Shirogami #2) steel is produced by Hitachi Metals Ltd. Its composition includes: Carbon (C): 1.05-1.15%;  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 #2 steel has a slightly lower carbon content (1.05-1.15%) compared to Shirogami #1 (1.25-1.35%), providing a good balance between edge retention and toughness. It can achieve a very sharp edge and is suitable for a wide range of cutting tasks. When compared to Shirogami #1 and Shirogami #3 (0.80-0.90% carbon), Shirogami #2 offers a middle ground, balancing sharpness and toughness with its moderate carbon content. Shirogami #2 is the most commonly used Shirogami steel for both single bevel and double bevel knives.

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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