Honyaki knives are one of the best knives in the world and are used by the most famous chefs. They are forged from one material: high carbon steel (called "Hagane"). Generally Hagane is white steel (Shirogami) or blue steel (Aogami). The manufacturing method used to make Honyaki knives is similar to that used to make traditional Japanese swords, a very long and difficult process that results in many making some of the best chef's knives.
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The blade is forged in a technique most akin to the nihonto tradition from a single piece of high-carbon steel covered with clay to give a soft, springy spine, a hamon (tempering line) and a hard, sharp edge after quenching. After the heated treatment, the steel is hammered to shape the shape of the blade and evenly distribute the carbon and chromium molecules. The techniques of skilled and experienced craftsmen are needed to make such knives.