06-11-2012, 07:01 AM
#1
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[Image: IMG_3231.jpg]

I have a bunch of kamisori, and one of them has the hagane made of Tamahagane steel. It's the middle one in the (poor) pic above. Those who can recognize the kanji will be able to pick out the Tamahagane stamp.

Tamahagane, for those who haven't heard of it, is a very high-carbon steel used in Japan for making the cutting edges of Katana swords. It is only forged a few times a year and it is very precious and is mostly reserved for sword making.

Western style straights made of Tamahagane are rare and very, very expensive. However, because of the smaller amount of steel used in Kamisori, they're usually cheaper.

I got the above razor NOS, and I was very pleased to get it.

The razor was a joy to hone and get ready, and it shaves really, really well. The edge has stayed sharp for over a year (not used everyday).

However, is it any better at shaving than a non-tamahagane steel blade?

Short answer: no!

All the kamisori I've had are good and I love using them. The two other ones in the pic above (top- a Henkotsu, bottom - Tosuke) are exceptional shavers, and may be a little more fun for me to shave with, as they're significantly larger and heavier than the Taro Tamahagane one in the centre.

So, the steel has some mystique - being used in katanas, and it's undoubtedly great steel. However, the advantage over cheaper steels in a razor edge is insignificant (from this one experience).

It's nice to see the kanji on the blade, but if it wasn't for that I'd have no idea it was anything special.

So unless you're a collector it's probably not worth the time and money to go chasing after a Tamahagane straight.

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 06-11-2012, 07:57 AM
#2
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Very nice collection,i've never shaved with a Kamisori, but i once customised a traditional straight razor that look simular to a Kamisori but probably shave quite differently.

Jamie.

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 06-11-2012, 11:48 AM
#3
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Jamie -

They're different from a converted western straight or any symmetrically-ground blade because of the asymmetric grind. Some people insist that this means that they should be used only on one side. I've found that you can shave well with both sides, so that's what I do.

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 06-11-2012, 01:02 PM
#4
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Cost prohibitive for me.

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 06-11-2012, 02:25 PM
#5
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That's pretty much my point about this steel, Bong. No need to spend money on it thinking the shave is going to be better than plain old carbon steel.

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 06-11-2012, 03:01 PM
#6
  • ajc347
  • Senior Member
  • Exeter, UK
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I never realised that they made straights from Tamahagane.

Thanks for posting up the pictures. Smile

Even replica Katana's made in China using this steel are prohibitively expensive.

Are the blades folded at all in the same way that they are in sword manufacture?

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 06-11-2012, 09:06 PM
#7
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Could not agree with you more, Yohann. Too much money for a daily razor, so unless you are a collector, i would not bother as you can get just as good as shaves from other Kamisoris.

Nice razor, Jamie!

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