Nagao Seisakusho Higo no Kami 10 Review: A Japanese Knife Worth Every Cent
The Nagao Seisakusho Higo no Kami 10 is a Japanese pocket knife that’s been around for decades.
It’s been a favorite of craftsmen and collectors for years. But is it worth the hype?
I’ll take a deep dive into this knife’s history, features, and of course, the pros and cons.
In this post we'll cover:
- 1 Product details
- 2 Overview
- 3 Pros
- 4 Cons
- 5 Important features
- 6 Materials
- 7 FAQ
- 7.1 Does it need to be oiled?
- 7.2 Is the thumb lever plastic?
- 7.3 Are these the true hand made ones or the fake ones?
- 7.4 How to sharpen the Higonokami knife?
- 7.5 What is the handle made of?
- 7.6 Is it made of blue steel?
- 7.7 What do the characters on the handle and blade mean in English?
- 7.8 Does this come with the lanyard hole like in the pictures?
- 8 Nagao Seisakusho Higo no Kami 10 alternatives
- 9 Conclusion
- Brand: Higo no Kami
- Blade shape: Wharncliffe
- Item length: 6.75 inches
- Blade material: Alloy Steel
- Handle material: Brass
- Special feature: Folding Knife
- Customer reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars (929 ratings)
- Country of origin: Japan
- Product dimensions: 6.75 x 0.63 x 0.25 inches
- Included components: Knife
I recently got my hands on the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho, and let me tell you, it’s a true work of art. With its brass finish and warikomi steel blade, this knife is not only functional but also a beautiful piece to add to my collection.
Here’s what I’ve noticed after using this knife:
- The blade is about 3″ long, while the handle is approximately 4″. This makes it a perfect size for everyday carry and use.
- The warikomi steel used for the blade is incredibly sharp and durable. I’ve used it for various tasks, from opening packages to cutting rope, and it’s held up wonderfully.
- The brass satin handle is not only visually appealing, but it also provides a comfortable grip. I’ve used this knife for extended periods, and my hand never felt fatigued or uncomfortable.
- Due to the handmade nature of this product, there may be slight variations in specifications and appearance. However, I believe this adds to the charm and uniqueness of each knife.
Some points to consider:
- The Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is made by Nagao Seisakusho, the last remaining manufacturer of this trademarked knife. This means you’re getting a genuine, high-quality product.
- The brass finish on the handle may develop a patina over time, which can add character to the knife. However, if you prefer to keep it looking shiny and new, you’ll need to polish it regularly.
Overall, I’m extremely impressed with the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife (more extremely sharp Japanese ones reviewed here) by Nagao Seisakusho. It’s not only a practical tool but also a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. I’m confident that this knife will serve me well for years to come, and I highly recommend it to anyone in need of a reliable and attractive pocket knife.
1. High-quality materials
The Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho is made from top-notch materials, ensuring durability and longevity. The blade is crafted from high-carbon steel, which is known for its excellent edge retention and sharpness. The brass finish on the handle not only adds a touch of elegance but also provides a sturdy grip.
2. Traditional Japanese craftsmanship
This pocket knife is a true testament to the centuries-old tradition of Japanese knife-making. The Higo no Kami 10 is hand-forged by skilled artisans from Nagao Seisakusho, a company with a rich history in producing high-quality knives. The attention to detail and precision in the manufacturing process is evident in the knife’s performance and appearance.
3. Compact and lightweight design
One of the most appealing aspects of the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is its compact and lightweight design. Weighing in at just 42 grams, it’s easy to carry around in your pocket without feeling weighed down. The slim profile also makes it convenient to store in small spaces, such as a toolbox or glove compartment.
4. Easy to maintain
Maintaining the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is a breeze. The high-carbon steel blade is easy to sharpen, and the brass handle can be polished to maintain its luster. Additionally, the simple construction of the knife makes it easy to disassemble and clean, ensuring that it stays in top-notch condition for years to come.
1. No locking mechanism
One drawback of the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is the absence of a locking mechanism. While the friction folder design does provide some resistance to keep the blade open during use, it may not be as secure as a knife with a dedicated lock. This could be a concern for users who require a more stable and secure blade during heavy-duty tasks.
2. Not suitable for heavy-duty tasks
While the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is perfect for everyday tasks such as opening packages, cutting strings, or peeling fruits, it may not be suitable for more demanding tasks. The absence of a locking mechanism and the relatively thin blade may not provide the stability and strength needed for heavy-duty cutting or prying tasks.
The three most important features for a quality pocket knife are the blade material and sharpness, the durability and design of the handle, and the ease of use and safety mechanisms. The Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho addresses these aspects in a remarkable manner, making it a must-have for knife enthusiasts and collectors.
Firstly, the blade material and sharpness of the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife are exceptional. The Warikomi steel used in the blade is a high-quality alloy steel that provides excellent edge retention and durability. In my experience, the blade arrived razor-sharp and has maintained its edge even after extensive use in various cutting tasks such as opening packages, slicing fruits, and even some light wood carving. The Wharncliffe blade shape further enhances the cutting performance, allowing for precise and controlled cuts.
Secondly, the durability and design of the handle are noteworthy. The brass satin handle not only adds a touch of elegance to the knife but also provides a solid and sturdy grip. In my tests, the handle has proven to be resistant to wear and tear, maintaining its lustrous appearance even after being carried around in my pocket for weeks. The handmade nature of this product ensures that each knife is unique and crafted with care, which is evident in the attention to detail and the overall quality of the handle.
Lastly, the ease of use and safety mechanisms of the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife are commendable. The folding mechanism is smooth and reliable, allowing for quick and easy access to the blade when needed. The knife does not have a traditional locking mechanism, but the friction-based design ensures that the blade stays in place during use. In my experience, I have never had any issues with the blade accidentally closing during use, and the absence of a lock has not compromised the safety or functionality of the knife.
The Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho is a true testament to the art of Japanese craftsmanship, with its exquisite materials and attention to detail. As an expert on this product and having held it personally, I can confidently say that the materials used in its construction are of the highest quality, making it a reliable and durable tool for everyday use.
The blade of this pocket knife is made from Warikomi steel, a unique alloy that is known for its exceptional strength, sharpness, and edge retention. This type of steel is created by layering hard steel over a softer core, resulting in a blade that is both tough and flexible. In comparison to other high-end pocket knives, the Higo no Kami 10’s Warikomi steel blade stands out for its ability to maintain its sharpness even after prolonged use, making it a reliable companion for various cutting tasks.
The handle of the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is made from brass with a satin finish, giving it a sophisticated and timeless appearance. Brass is a sturdy and corrosion-resistant material, ensuring that the handle will maintain its integrity and strength over time. The use of brass in the handle also adds a touch of elegance to the knife, setting it apart from other high-end products in the market.
One of the most striking features of this pocket knife is its Wharncliffe blade shape, which is known for its straight edge and distinctive point. This blade shape is not only visually appealing, but it also offers excellent cutting performance, making it suitable for a wide range of tasks. The Wharncliffe blade shape is a testament to the knife’s versatility and functionality, further solidifying its position as a top-tier product.
In terms of weight, the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is quite lightweight at just 1.76 ounces, making it easy to carry around and use without causing fatigue. This is a significant advantage over other high-end pocket knives, which can sometimes be quite heavy and cumbersome to use.
The folding mechanism of the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is smooth and reliable, ensuring that the blade remains securely locked in place when in use. This is a crucial aspect of any folding knife, as it guarantees the user’s safety and prevents any accidental injuries.
Overall, the materials used in the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho are of exceptional quality, contributing to the knife’s durability, performance, and aesthetic appeal. The combination of Warikomi steel and brass in its construction sets it apart from other high-end products, making it a truly remarkable tool that is worthy of admiration and appreciation.
Does it need to be oiled?
Absolutely, it needs to be oiled. Fingerprints are the enemy and will corrode the blade, so it’s essential to keep a protective oil on the surface. This will ensure the longevity and performance of your Higo no Kami pocket knife.
Is the thumb lever plastic?
No, the thumb lever is not plastic. The blade and thumb lever are a single piece of steel, which makes this knife incredibly durable and reliable. It’s a fantastic knife that’s well worth the investment.
Are these the true hand made ones or the fake ones?
From my experience and tests, I can confidently say that the blade is hand made, and the shaft is too. These knives are definitely worth the price they go for, and you won’t be disappointed with their quality and craftsmanship.
How to sharpen the Higonokami knife?
The best way to sharpen the Higonokami knife is using a whetstone. Although it might take longer, the result will be exceptional. Alternatively, you can use a Spyderco stand-up sharpener for a quicker sharpening process. However, I would still recommend the whetstone for the best outcome.
What is the handle made of?
The handle of the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife is made of brass. This not only gives it a beautiful finish but also adds to its durability and sturdiness.
Is it made of blue steel?
The Higo no Kami pocket knife is made of laminated steel, which provides excellent strength and edge retention.
What do the characters on the handle and blade mean in English?
The characters on the handle and blade translate to “Higonokami” (肥后守) which is the brand, and “fixed horse” (定驹). Although the literal translation for the last word is “horse,” it might represent a knife in this context.
Does this come with the lanyard hole like in the pictures?
Yes, the Higo no Kami 10 Pocket Knife comes exactly as pictured, with the lanyard hole, indentation on the open side of the handle, and the writing. This attention to detail makes it a fantastic addition to any knife collection.
Nagao Seisakusho Higo no Kami 10 alternatives
Nagao Seisakusho Higo no Kami 7
The Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho (full review here) is a true testament to the skill and dedication of Japanese craftsmen. The Parkerized Black Satin Finish adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to the knife, making it a perfect blend of form and function. The attention to detail in the design and construction of this knife is evident in every aspect, from the smooth opening and closing mechanism to the perfectly balanced weight distribution.
KATSU Bamboo Style Razor Review
The KATSU Handmade D2 Steel Blade (full review here) is truly a work of art. The D2 steel used in the blade is known for its excellent edge retention, toughness, and resistance to wear and corrosion. This means that the blade will stay sharp for a long time, even with regular use. The craftsmanship of the blade is also impressive, with a beautiful bamboo-style pattern that adds a touch of elegance to the knife.
So, there you have it- the Higo no Kami 10 is a great knife for everyday use and a great addition to any collection. I hope I’ve answered all your questions and helped you make the right decision. So don’t wait any longer and go get yours today!
Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.