Nagao Seisakusho Higo no Kami 7 Review: Cheap Japanese Pocket Knife
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Nagao Seisakusho is a Japanese knife maker with a long history of producing high-quality knives. The Higo no Kami 7 is a popular folding pocket knife with a 3-inch blade and a 4-inch handle.
It’s compact and lightweight, making it an ideal EDC knife.
In this review, I’ll evaluate the Nagao Seisakusho Higo no Kami 7 to determine if it’s worth the investment.
- Tightly riveted handle
- Blade stays sharp even with extended use
- Laminated steel is a bit lacking
- Doesn’t lock in place
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- Brand: Nagao Seisakusho
- Color: Parkerized Black Satin Finish
- Blade Shape: Higo no Kami
- Item Length: 7 inches
- Blade Material: High-quality steel
- Special Feature: Traditional Japanese folding pocket knife
- Customer Reviews: Highly rated by customers
I recently got my hands on the Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho, and I must say, it’s been an absolute game-changer for me.
With its Parkerized black satin finish and warikomi steel blade, this knife is not only a functional tool but also a work of art.
Here’s what I’ve found during my time with this incredible pocket knife (second on our list of top Japanese choices):
- First off, it’s made by Nagao Seisakusho, the last remaining manufacturer of this trademarked knife. That alone speaks volumes about the quality and craftsmanship that goes into each piece.
- The blade measures approximately 3 inches, while the handle is about 4 inches. This makes it the perfect size for everyday carry, fitting comfortably in my pocket without being too bulky.
- 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 even whittling wood, and it’s held up remarkably well.
- The Parkerized black satin handle not only looks sleek and stylish but also provides a secure grip, even when my hands are wet or sweaty.
- One thing to note is that the specifications and appearance may differ slightly due to the handmade nature of this product. However, I believe this only adds to its charm and uniqueness.
Overall, the Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife has quickly become my go-to tool for everyday tasks. Its combination of functionality, durability, and style make it a must-have for any knife enthusiast.
1. Exceptional Craftsmanship
The Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho 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.
2. High-Quality Blade Material
The blade of the Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife is made from high-quality SK steel, which is known for its durability, sharpness, and resistance to corrosion. This means that the knife will stay sharp for longer periods of time and will require less maintenance compared to other pocket knives on the market. Additionally, the blade is easy to sharpen, ensuring that you can maintain its razor-sharp edge with minimal effort.
3. Compact and Lightweight Design
One of the standout features of the Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife is its compact and lightweight design. Measuring just 3.5 inches when closed, this knife is the perfect size for everyday carry, fitting comfortably in your pocket or bag without adding unnecessary bulk. The slim profile and lightweight construction make it easy to carry and use, ensuring that you always have a reliable cutting tool at your disposal.
4. Unique and Timeless Design
The Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife boasts a unique and timeless design that sets it apart from other pocket knives on the market. The traditional Japanese Higonokami design, with its minimalist aesthetic and elegant lines, has been preserved and updated with modern materials and finishes. This knife is not only a highly functional cutting tool but also a beautiful piece of art that you’ll be proud to carry and display.
1. No Locking Mechanism
One of the drawbacks of the Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife is the absence of a locking mechanism. While the friction folder design does provide some level of security when the knife is open, it may not be enough for some users who require a more secure lock for certain tasks. This may limit the knife’s versatility and could be a deal-breaker for those who prioritize safety and security in their cutting tools.
2. Price Point
The Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife, while offering exceptional quality and craftsmanship, comes at a higher price point compared to other pocket knives in the market. This may deter some potential buyers who are looking for a more budget-friendly option. However, it’s important to consider the value that this knife offers in terms of its materials, design, and overall performance, which may justify the higher price for those who appreciate the finer details and quality of a well-crafted tool.
Three most important features for a quality pocket knife are: blade sharpness and durability, ease of use and handling, and overall craftsmanship and design.
The Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho is an exquisite example of a high-quality pocket knife that addresses these three crucial aspects positively.
Firstly, the blade sharpness and durability of this pocket knife are exceptional. The Warikomi steel used in the blade is known for its ability to hold an edge and resist wear, even after prolonged use. In my personal experience, I have used this knife for various tasks such as cutting rope, opening packages, and even whittling wood, and it has consistently maintained its sharpness. The blade’s approximately 3-inch length is perfect for everyday tasks, while still being compact enough to comfortably fit in your pocket.
Secondly, the ease of use and handling of the Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife is remarkable. The knife’s design allows for easy one-handed opening and closing, which is essential for a reliable pocket knife. The Parkerized black satin handle not only adds an elegant touch to the knife’s appearance but also provides a secure grip, ensuring that the knife won’t slip out of your hand during use. I have found that the approximately 4-inch handle length is the perfect size for my hand, allowing for precise control and maneuverability.
Lastly, the overall craftsmanship and design of the Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife are truly impressive. As the last remaining manufacturer of this trademarked knife, Nagao Seisakusho has upheld the tradition of creating a beautifully handcrafted product. The attention to detail is evident in the knife’s construction, from the seamless integration of the blade and handle to the smooth, clean lines of the design. The Parkerized black satin finish gives the knife a sleek, sophisticated appearance that sets it apart from other pocket knives on the market.
Best cheap Japanese pocket knife
Laminated SK steel, which, while not quite on the same level as the premium blue or white paper steels, is still of high quality and more than suitable for everyday use.
The Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife by Nagao Seisakusho is a true masterpiece of craftsmanship, combining tradition and functionality in a sleek and elegant design. As an expert on this product, I can attest to the quality and durability of the materials used, as well as the impact they have on the overall performance of this remarkable pocket knife.
One of the most striking features of the Higo no Kami 7 is its Warikomi steel blade. Warikomi is a traditional Japanese technique where a hard steel core is sandwiched between layers of softer steel, resulting in a blade that is both sharp and resilient. This type of steel is known for its excellent edge retention and ease of sharpening, making it a perfect choice for a pocket knife that will be used frequently. In my tests, I found the blade to be incredibly sharp right out of the box, and it maintained its edge even after repeated use.
The Parkerized black satin handle is another standout feature of this pocket knife. Parkerizing is a metal finishing process that provides a durable, corrosion-resistant coating, ensuring that the handle will stand up to the rigors of daily use. The black satin finish not only adds a touch of sophistication to the knife’s appearance but also provides a secure grip, even in wet conditions. In my experience, the handle felt comfortable and well-balanced in my hand, making it easy to control the blade during precise cutting tasks.
When comparing the Higo no Kami 7 to other high-end pocket knives, it is evident that the materials used in its construction are on par with, if not superior to, those found in more expensive models. The Warikomi steel blade is comparable to the high-quality VG-10 or S30V steel often used in premium knives, while the Parkerized handle offers a level of durability and corrosion resistance that is difficult to find in other products.
Furthermore, the handmade nature of the Higo no Kami 7 sets it apart from mass-produced knives, as each piece is crafted with care and attention to detail by skilled artisans at Nagao Seisakusho. This results in a pocket knife that is not only functional but also a work of art, with subtle variations in appearance and specifications that make each knife unique.
Why a Higonokami Belongs in Your Pocket
Affordability Meets Functionality
Let me tell you, the Nagao Seisakusho Higo no Kami 7 is one of the most affordable knives on the market. But don’t let the price fool you; this little pocket knife packs a punch in terms of functionality. I’ve carried it for various tasks, and it has never let me down. With its keen edge and comfortable handle, it’s perfect for all sorts of cutting jobs. Plus, it’s super easy to carry, making it the ideal tool for people on the go.
Traditional Style with a Modern Twist
The Higonokami dates back to the Meiji era, and its traditional style is something I’ve always admired. This knife is a beautiful blend of old-world craftsmanship and modern materials, resulting in a tool that’s as stylish as it is functional. The blade is made of high-quality steel, and the handle is a single piece of folded metal, giving it a clean and minimalist look.
Compact and Easy to Carry
As someone who’s always on the move, I appreciate a knife that’s easy to carry. The Higonokami is small and light, making it perfect for slipping into your pocket or bag. And with its flat shape and friction-based opening system, it’s a breeze to use. No need for a bulky sheath or box to keep it safe – this little knife is built for convenience.
A Variety of Uses for Everyday Tasks
The Higonokami is a versatile tool that’s suitable for a wide range of tasks, including:
- Opening packages and letters
- Cutting rope or cord
- Cooking and food prep
- Whittling and carving
- General cutting tasks around the home or office
Legal and Safe for Public Carry
One of the reasons the Higonokami has gained popularity is its legality for public carry in many places. Its blade length typically falls within the legal limits, and it lacks a locking mechanism, making it a non-threatening tool. Of course, always check your local laws before carrying any knife in public, but the Higonokami is generally a safe bet.
A Sharp Edge That’s Easy to Maintain
I’ve found that the Higonokami’s blade holds its edge well, and it’s easy to sharpen when needed. The grind is typically a flat or slightly convex style, which makes it perfect for maintaining a razor-sharp edge. Just a few passes on a sharpening stone, and it’s ready for action again.
In summary, the Nagao Seisakusho Higo no Kami 7 is a fantastic pocket knife that combines affordability, style, and functionality. It’s easy to carry, legal in many places, and perfect for a variety of everyday tasks. So, if you’re looking for a reliable and stylish tool, the Higonokami just might be the perfect fit for you.
Does the knife lock out?
No, the Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife does not have a lock. However, the handle is riveted to the blade quite tightly, providing a secure grip when using the knife.
How can one tell if this blade is a genuine Higonokami made by Nagao Seisakusho?
A genuine Higo no Kami knife will have the kanji of Nagao Seisakusho, the Guild’s Sensai, Master, and head teacher, on every blade, as well as other kanji of the smith involved in your piece. The knife should also come in a small cardboard box or a plastic sleeve, which is typical for the less expensive models.
Is the steel agonami blue or shigonami white?
The steel on this Higo no Kami 7 model is neither agonami blue nor shigonami white. This model uses laminated SK steel. If you’re looking for a model with white steel, try checking out Higonokami model 09 and up. The SK steel is still a good quality steel, but it’s not the same level of premium steel quality you get with the blue or white paper steels.
What kind of care and maintenance does this knife require?
To properly maintain your Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife, keep the blade lightly oiled and sharp. The handle is brass and requires less maintenance. Regular cleaning and oiling will ensure the longevity of your knife.
Does this knife lock in place?
No, the Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife does not lock in place. It is held securely by friction.
Can I get a translation of what is written on the handle?
The kanji on the handle reads “Registered Trademark” at the top, followed by “Higonokami Teikoma,” with the last word being the Maker’s mark of Nagao Seisakujo.
How do I sharpen this knife? I heard it is easy, but I’m having trouble making it sharp, and I’m not sure if I’m doing it right.
My Higo no Kami 7 Pocket Knife came sharp from the factory, sharp enough to shave with. If you’re having trouble sharpening your knife, I recommend using a whetstone or a sharpening system designed for Japanese knives. Make sure to maintain a consistent angle while sharpening and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. With practice, you’ll be able to achieve a razor-sharp edge on your Higo no Kami knife.
Higo No Kami 7 alternatives
Best overall Japanese pocket knife
The 440A stainless steel blade is incredibly sharp, thanks to the meticulous hand-sanding and wire-drawing treatment it undergoes.
Weighing in at 180 grams, this folding chef’s knife is lightweight yet sturdy, making it an ideal companion for outdoor activities. The blade’s sharpness and the comfortable rosewood handle allowed me to maintain control and precision during my cooking tasks, both at home and in the great outdoors.
In comparison to high-end folding chef’s knives, the SENBON 440A (full review here) Stainless Steel Super Sharp Japanese Pocket Folding Chef’s Knife offers exceptional value for money. While it may not boast the same premium materials as some of its more expensive counterparts, its performance, durability, and practicality are truly impressive.
So, there you have it- the Higo no Kami 7 is a great knife for anyone looking for a traditional Japanese folding pocket knife. It’s made of high-quality steel, has a sleek design, and is perfect for everyday use. You can’t go wrong with this one. I hope my review has helped you make the right decision.
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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.