Review (Brief): Korin Hammered Damascus Wa-Santoku with Saya

As indicated in another post, I have purchased a kitchen knife from Korin for a friend. It is: “Korin Hammered Damascus Wa-Santoku with Saya”. Product number: HKR-HDWSA-180. You can find the product page here.

Overall, it is a good knife for its price at $168. It is actually the same price range as a Shun or Miyabi Santoku, and I think this Korin knife is just as good if not a little better or more interesting.
• VG-10 steel hardened to HRC: 60-61
• Magnolia wood Japanese Wa handle (coated)
• Buffalo horn bolster
• Magnolia wood saya cover (not coated)
• Good finish details

The knife edge was very sharp out of the box. It can push cut (without slicing) printer paper. The knife spine and knife heel are well polished without any sharp edge. I did a light cutting session on some vegetables and raw fish and it performed nicely. I ask Korin to engrave my friend’s name to the knife blade. I block out part of her name, but you can see for yourself the name engraving service.

Here are some specs I measured for both the CarboNext Santoku and this Korin VG-10 Wa Santoku. Overall, the Korin knife blade is longer by about half inch, but noticeably lighter and more nimble. The blade maybe slightly thinner - based on my micrometer. The Korin handle is also longer as the photo shows

CarboNext Santoku:
• 162 grams
• 17.6 cm heel to tip in length
• 4.6 cm spine to heel (longest blade width)
• 2.2 mm blade thickness at the spine
• 0.8 mm blade thickness slightly above the cutting edge (~0.5 cm above)

Korin VG-10 Wa-Santoku:
• 128 grams
• 18.5 cm heel to tip in length
• 4.6 cm spine to heel (longest blade width)
• 2.0 mm blade thickness at the spine
• 0.7 mm blade thickness slightly above the cutting edge (~0.5 cm above)

A few photos. Enjoy


Very nice; very traditional–a little pricey, but Korin is a trustworthy supplier.


Hi Chem,

Given what seems to be happening with pricing and availability of Japanese knives, this is becoming a bargain as well as a great knife. I just checked Korin, and the knife is on back order (at least 4 months) for about $20 more. I recently purchased a Shun dual core for about $250 for a friend–it’s already jumped to about $330–if you can find one.

This is a really great review!


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I just picked up my two 6" utility knives–one by Kai Shun, and the other by Tojiro for a comparison with my other small utility knives–and couldn’t help but notice how perfect and beautiful they both still were: no scratches to mar the simple abstract pattern. Both with a vg10 core. My Shun classic 6" has a ridge on its wa handle for lefties, and a serration that makes it effectively a single beveled knife. When I purchased it, it seemed so nondescript and small I felt cheated, somehow, and couldn’t get the hang of using it properly. I hardly even noticed the damascus.

But I’ve learned how to use this knife and appreciate the damascus perfection much more than I did originally: