WHY WE MAKE KNIVES
Knives were the first tools humans invented. We are drawn to them with primitive fascination in the same way we are drawn to the flickering flames of a fire. We show our respect through patiently sharpening and caring for our blades, repairing them when they are worn, and making sure they last a lifetime. Because you can’t honour a knife unless you use it.
STEEL AND PATIENCE
In the past, sword makers in Seki would dedicate their lives to mastering one part of the process. Making a blade takes patience and persistence, and we believe there is a place for these values today. As trained product designers, it took us two years to develop our first TOG. Thousands of decisions and adjustments. We still have that first knife marked 001. We continue to release new products slowly and deliberately, which has resulted in a focused collection. If it’s the best one to sell, we sell only one.
Jigane ga deru - 地金が出る
When a blade is polished so often that the shingane appears or the jigane shows more unrefined areas – similar to “revealing one’s true character”.
THE LONG ROAD TO SEKI
In 2004, I got the opportunity to hold a Samurai sword. A real one. The man who made it was Mr. Hiromune Takaba and I had the privilege of meeting him on the day he finished three months of work making the blade. I watched him sign it. He showed me a box of nails that he had collected from a 750-year-old temple in Japan. He told me of his travels to Sweden to collect scrap from a car factory and to Australia in search of interesting steels.
THE KNIFE OF CHOICE
We sent our first ever knife to professional kitchens and we asked the chefs to give them hell. They came back in pieces. We put them through a commercial dishwasher 700 times. Materials failed, blades chipped, handles fell off. We made changes. We kept making more prototypes and each time we went back to the chefs. We needed to be sure that our knives could go the distance. When a TOG knife can survive a professional kitchen, we know it’s up to the task at home too.
"I have been using this knife at home for the last six months and have to say, it's been brilliant."
Chef/Owner, Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, Nottingham (2 Michelin stars)