Being so heavily influenced by Japanese blade styles and aesthetics, it’s no surprise that we make a Tanto. The Gaijin is no ordinary Tanto however, it is a modern homage to the traditional form.
The word Gaijin literally means “Outsider” or “Foreign”. It’s a fitting name for something that aims to feel traditional, but is modern in its construction. The Gaijin combines the detail and form of a traditionally built Tanto with the modern construction of our Tsukamaki handle.
The Gaijin is made from a simple high carbon steel, in this case 1075, and is differentially hardened right here in our workshop using the traditional method to create a Hamon. The Hira-Zukuri style tanto blade is then finish ground on the belt grinder, and painstakingly hand polished with progressively finer abrasives to a 2500 grit finish. The blade is not machine polished at all. This blade has a convex edge which has been hand honed on Japanese Water Stones all the way to a 6000 grit mirror polished edge. The result is a blade that is razor sharp, with a profile giving a robust point for thrusting, and gentle curve you expect from a Japanese tanto.
The handle of our Gaijin is only available as a Tsukamaki, to further align it with its traditional counterpart. With very a neutral handle with a gentle distal taper toward the butt, which is gentle rounded.
The blade of this Gaijin does have a very subtle visible Hamon in the Suguha style. Unfortunately 1075 is not the best steel for hamon, and the result is a very subtle, ghostly white line.
This is a ready to purchase Gaijin. The Tsukamaki handle is built on a synthetic G10 liner with some very special Nebula Damascus Fuchi and Kashira. Neubla Damascus is crafted by award winning knife maker Bertie Rietveld and gives the handle a very subtle detail which can only fully be appreciated close up. The Semegawa features large nodes and is black lacquered with Burgundy Silk Ito completing the Tsukamaki. The handle also features an aesthetic nod to the traditional handle with an antique bamboo Mekugi in the middle of the handle.
This Gaijin ships with a fold over Kydex sheath which allows the knife to be mounted with Soft Loops.
The Gaijin is a special knife, which are never made alike. This example is a special one making use of high quality handle materials, and the first with a visible hamon.