I have a like-new condition Hiroo Itou 180 mm gyutou with genuine stag handle scales, stainless steel bolsters, and a san mai blade of R-2 powder steel between laminates of 33-layer stainless damascus. Stag-handled chef knives are rare, but of the few that I've seen so far, this one is the most impressive. The handle scales are fully contoured, both up and down and front-to-back, and the handle is extremely confortable to hold. The tang of the handle is tapered to help the knife balance perfectly.
Itou has allegedly claimed that R-2 is the best kitchen knife steel in terms of sharpness, edge retention, durability, and rust resistance, and that it performs even better than Cowry X or ZDP-189 in the kitchen. I couldn't tell you if his claims are true, but if they are, the R-2's cutting performance will really be something. The laminates are etched deeply, which creates a texture on the side of the blade and help food stick less to the side of it. The blade is ground thin and goes through vegetables like they aren't there. The R-2 core is hardened to RC 62 for maximum edgeholding ability.
The stag chef knife listed here has been used couple of times, but it's never been resharpened, and its original edge from Itou is on the same scary-sharp level as that of Murray Carter, which is as sharp as anything that I have ever felt. It shows no signs of wear at all, and the edge is as sharp as it came out of the box.
Condition: Near mint
Blade length: 7 3/4" cutting edge
Overall length: 12 1/4"
Blade thickness: 1/8" at ricasso
Blade steel: R-2 powder steel core hardened to RC 62, 33-layer stainless damascus laminates
Blade finish: Etched
Bolsters: Stainless steel, satin finished
Handle scale material: Stag, with red liners and stainless steel pins
For payment on this piece, I strongly prefer USPS money orders, but I will also accept PayPal or personal check if I know you. If you are paying by PayPal, I will cover the fees, but the payment has to be sent with a PayPal-confirmed address (including the green "confirmed" marker) listed in the invoice, and I will only ship to that PayPal-confirmed address. I reserve the right to wait for personal checks to clear before I ship.
I will consider trades (with appropriate cash adjustment) for custom folders and custom balis. I am especially interested in the following makers:
Flavio Ikoma (balis only)
Mauricio Dobruski (balis only)
I may consider trades for other custom folders not listed above. However, I am not interested in serrated blades, production knives other than a numbered Strider RC, or fixed blades other than those by Tim Galyean, Tom Krein, John Young, Jerry Hossom, or Russ Andrews.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thanks for looking!