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Musashi Hamano – Kiritsuke Gyuto HAP40 Review

Musashi Hamono is a new Japanese Cutlery brand that ships knives directly from Japan. I did a small Q&A with Musashi where you can read Musashi’s goal. Click here to go to the Q&A with Musashi Hamono.

Shipping & Packaging 

Mushashi Hamono ships the knives directly from Japan there is enough padding to protect the knife so you don’t have to worry about shipment damages.

Musashi Hamono Box - the knife is protected by newspapers
Musashi Hamono Box – the knife is protected by newspapers

Mushashi Hamono did add a letter where you can read Musashi’s goal, they also included a nice postcard.

Musashi included a postcard that you can use
Musashi included a postcard that you can use

The Mushashi Kiritsuke Gyuto is packaged in a hard cardboard box.

Musashi Hamano Knife Box

The knife is protected by a cardboard knife cover.

Cardboard knife cover

The knife comes with some VCI paper wrapped around the blade. This protects the knife from forming corrosion on the blade. 

VCI paper

Mushashi Kiritsuke Gyuto HAP40 Specification

The Mushashi Kiritsuke Gyuto has a blade length of 200mm. The top part of the blade has a matte finish. The Mushashi Kanji is nicely engraved on the blade.

Musashi Hamono Kanji Engraving
Musashi Hamono Kanji Engraving

The knife comes with a nicely polished octagonal rosewood handle.

Polished Rosewood Handle
Polished Rosewood Handle

The steel that is used is HAP40 which has great toughness, hardness, and edge retention. However, HAP40 is not stainless and it needs some care. 

Musashi Hamono HAP40 is not stainless
Musashi Hamono HAP40 is not stainless

Knife Rockwell Hardness

Musashi did not specify the Rockwell hardness of the HAP40 Kiritsuke Gyuto. But my review sample has a Rockwell of around 64 to 65. If used at home, you can get away with around 11 months before needing a whetstone touch-up if you regularly hone your knife with a honing rod.

Musashi Hamono HAP40 Rockwell 64/65
Musashi Hamono HAP40 Rockwell 64/65

The knife is also quite durable however the knife is not stainless and you should take care of the knife. If not used for a long period or used in a humid environment it is recommended to protect the blade by adding a layer of mineral oil on the blade before storing it.

If not used for a long period use some mineral oil on the blade
If not used for a long period use some mineral oil on the blade

What not to do!

As with all high Rockwell knives, it should not be used to slice through frozen food, bones, or hard bread, or force your way through others through food, and you should not twist or pry the food open with the knife since that can cause chipping. 

Never twist, pry or force your way through things
Never twist, pry or force your way through things

Blade aesthetic and food release

The blade comes with a softer outer cladding, and they have added a matte finish on the top of the blade which prevents the food from resisting your cut by clinging onto the blade side. However, food with high water content will still stick onto the blade but you won’t notice any resistance. 

Cladding and matte finish
Cladding and matte finish

Knife handle

The knife comes with a nicely polished rosewood octagonal handle which is a well-balanced design for comfort and grip. When the handle starts to feel dry, you can apply a thin layer of mineral oil. Most traditional handles come with a colored top part. This top part is usually a thin layer of resin to prevent water damage on the rosewood handle. The downside of this kind of handle is its durability; a traditional handle is less impact-resistant compared to a full-tang handle. However, a Japanese knife with a high Rockwell isn’t impact-resistant in the first place. Therefore I do not recommend the pinch or thump grip on the handle. 

Thumb Grip and Handle pinch grip is not recommended

Knife balance point

The balance point is under the Kanji, depending on the gripping style, the knife balance point will shift.

Point of Balance

It is considered front-heavy if you pinch grip the knife at the neck area.

Front heavy if you pinch at the neck

If you pinch grip at the blade or in front of the chiseled Kanji, the knife will be middle-balanced. Keep in mind that you shift your middle finger towards the choil by doing so.

Middle balanced if you pinch under the kanji/blade

The choil is nicely rounded and polished.

Rounded Choil

If you use a fingertip grip the knife will be front-heavy.

Front heavy with the fingertip grip
Front heavy with the fingertip grip

Blade profile

The blade profile has a slight belly in the middle.

slight belly
slight belly

The heel of the knife is flat which is great for an up and down motion.

Flat heel
Flat heel

But with the flat heel, you can see that the front will curve upwards a lot. Which also helps you with the rocking motion. The front part is also nicely curved which helps a lot with slicing things towards yourself. Because of the K-tip, it is very enjoyable to use the front part of the knife to trim things down. The blade profile gives you a smooth performance but it shines a lot with tip work. 

Great tip

Things to consider, knuckle clearance

I have a large hand size and for me, the knuckle clearance is minimal. As you can see I do have a bit of knuckle clearance in the pinch or fingertip grip.

knuckle clearance (Large hand size)

If there is no knuckle clearance due to your hand size, you can use the knife at the edge of your cutting board to add more knuckle clearance. 

Extra clearance method
Extra clearance method

Distal spine taper & Fit and Finish

The knife has no distal spine taper and the thickness across the spine is 2.2mm. Therefore the performance after the tip area is pretty much the same. The fit and finish are great, and the spine and the choil are nicely rounded.

no distal spine taper
no distal spine taper

The blade is put completely straight into the handle and the knife itself is completely straight.

I could not see any flaws in the fit and finish.   

Knife weight and sharpened angle

My review sample came with a weight of 145grams and the knife was sharpened at around 12 degrees per side. 


Musashi Hamono surpassed my expectations. The knife is exactly as in the pictures and the quality of the product speaks for itself. The fit and finish are what I expect from Japanese-made knives and the Musashi HAP40 Kiritsuke Gyuto is delivering a well-made Japanese knife with a lot of attention to the details by rounding off the spine and choil. 


🛒S H O P:
Musashi Hamono Official Website
Kiritsuke Gyuto HAP40 from Musashi Hamono

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Hi, I'm ChefPanko, I have worked for multiple restaurants and have decided to share my experience with you guys. I will share recipes and techniques that I have learned, taken, and improved from the French, Japanese restaurants that I have worked for. I will also explore other cuisines with you guys.

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